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Old 08-14-2011, 10:45 PM   #76
jusero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haleofafamily View Post
They all guessed Pirates of the Caribbean.

I think it might be somewhere in the Indiana Jones stunt show.
HA! Wroooong. Hint: It is something new that has been added recently and probably has gone unnoticed by most.
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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400


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Old 08-18-2011, 10:18 PM   #77
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Chapter Four: Rain, Rain … and Idiot Golfers

So sorry it took so long to get back to my TR. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

Okay. Day four was an EMH day at Hollywood Studios so we were up and out early and were at the Studios for rope drop.

It’s almost comical to see how the crowd splits at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. Everyone who was older or had kids under the age of 13 headed up Hollywood towards Toy Story Mania. Everyone between the ages of 13-30 headed right onto Sunset towards Rock-n-Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.



Of course, even though we are in our 20s, we headed for Toy Story. Okay, okay, so we aren’t in our 20s … we are in our 30s. shut up

By the time we reached TSM, the line was already down the street, but moving fast. Leo got in line and I headed over to the fast pass lines. The line moved so fast, we were able to ride it once, hop off and get back in line again, ride a second time and then a third time with our fast passes later in the day. Three times in one day. Woo-hoo!

Anyway, the first time through, I didn’t play, I took photos. The second time through I whooped Leo’s butt 111,300-98,000.

After 45 minutes of our EMH was gone and we had only done one ride, we headed down the street to the Backlot Tour. There were few people in line and didn’t take long to get in.



Oh, I forgot to mention earlier that when we walked through the gate, we were not greeted by Big Blue, but a big, ugly stage had been erected right in front of it. I really hope this is a temporary thing. Leo thinks it was only there for the upcoming Star Wars Weekends. I hope he is right because it really screws up the photos of Big Blue. I guess I won’t be able to get the night photos I wanted this trip. Oh heck, I guess that means I will just have to come back.

By about 2 p.m., we had managed to get to all the shows and rides we wanted to. Then we headed on to Starring Rolls for a late lunch. Wow! Are those sandwiches big and yummy.

After lunch we decided to split up. I headed to my favorite store – The Art of Disney over by the Little Mermaid show and Playhouse Disney – to look around and Leo headed out to go penny hunting.



Now I usually get one “big ticket” souvenir each visit. Well, big to me…which is usually about $150-200. However, today I found a beautiful shadow box of the Cinderella Castle that lights up with Cindi and her prince in front, a silhouette of Uncle Walt and Mickey shadowed on the sidewalk and Tink in the fireworks behind. It’s really beautiful … even if it is made in China … and left me enough $$ to buy a second “not-so-big ticket” item later in my trip.

The reason the hubby and I always split up when it’s time to buy my one item is because it always causes him physical pain at checkout. When the total pops up on the register, all I hear behind me is moaning and groaning and a quiet but quite clear, “oh, crap.” I just have to point out to him that he and I always spend the same amount of money. I just have less to carry at the end of our trip.

Anyway, with my treasure in-hand, I decided to head back to Shades to kick back for a while.

Not so fast!



When I got to the door, it was pouring buckets. I mean, I don’t mind walking in the rain, but I would have been drenched to the skin within a few feet. So, I hung out in the shop until it let up a bit.

As I leap-frogged my way towards the front of the park between down pours, I ducked into stores, shops and little cubby holes along the way. When I finally made it to the gate, the rain completely stopped just long enough for me to make it to the bus stop. And, miracles of miracles, the Shades bus was actually there waiting. And, if you know anything about the Shades buses at the Studios, you know how much of a miracle that truly is.

Now, the minute my butt hit the seat in the bus, the skies opened up again. Perfect timing. As I sat waiting for the bus to leave, Leo called and said he was going to stay in the park, but was going to go to the Sound Stage thing to take a nap and wait for the rain to quit. Then he would continue to penny hunt before heading back to Shades.

The bus finally left about 20 minutes later but I soon found out that being on the bus was no guarantee of staying dry. I have never seen a bus so leaky in my life! There were spots all over where the rain came through like a faucet … one squarely on the seat behind me. I moved about three times to avoid the water falls and had to keep my bags on my lap since the floor had a giant puddle about one inch deep that moved and sloshed all over as the bus turned corners.

I think Shades needs to invest in a new bus or two.



Oh yah, I almost forgot. Leo got his annual Mickey ice cream today. Though he didn’t get his usual ice cream bar, he tried something new, an ice cream sandwich. It looked pretty yummy, but I am waiting to use my sugar allotment on a funnel cake.

Once I made it back to the hotel … somewhat dry … I went out onto my deck to sit and watch the storms roll through. What was off and on heavy rain was now a pretty intense thunder storm.

Now, if I had not mentioned it before, my deck faced one of the golf courses. I found it quite amusing to see all the golfers high tailing it in their golf carts back to the lodge. Some were in such a hurry I thought they would tip over heading around the corners on two wheels.

Then I saw what is probably the single stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life. Two golfers came rounding the corner in a hurry. I thought they were headed in the same direction as everyone else. But they stopped, got out and finished the hole!!! The wind was gusting pretty strong, the rain was coming down in buckets (nearly horizontally) and the lightening was not too far off. But there they were, finishing their game!



You can’t see it too well in the photo, but it was crazy weather to be golfing in. Dorks!

Anyway, I sat there watching the storm for a while and then took a nap. Leo made it back to the room by about 7-8 p.m. and we decided to eat dinner at the buffet at Shades. It wasn’t too bad.

We then decided to call it a night.

Wait a minute! We are at Disney World and we are finished by 8 p.m. and eating at a buffet? If that aint age standing straight up and slapping me in the face, I don't know what is. Sheesh!

Various photos from throughout the day:
















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Oct. 2006: Disneyland
May, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012: Shades of Green, WDW
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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400



Last edited by jusero; 08-18-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:48 PM   #78
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Chapter Five: Pachyderms in the Potty

Today was Animal Kingdom in the morning and Magic Kingdom for evening EMH. And this was the very first trip to the World in my Disney Freak career that we did not do rope drop to park closing every day … and it was actually nice to do the parks in a more relaxed mode. Shshshshsh…don’t tell anyone I said that. Seems that’s a sure sign of getting old. Shut up, Tanisha.

Anyway, we decided to sleep in a bit today and didn’t leave for the park until about 10:30. I was braced for a packed park and long lines since we were getting there about two hours after park opening. I was also braced for the heat. It’s so far been pretty hot this trip and AK always seems to be even hotter than the other parks.

Boy, was I pleasantly surprised on both counts.

There were no real lines anywhere until later in the day and the weather was perfect. Mid 80s, a light breeze, partly sunny and no rain. Absolutely gorgeous!

We headed straight to the safari, as usual. I love hitting this ride as early as possible. Seems the animals are out and more active early. We had just about a 10-minute wait … even asking for the front seat. I took the outside seat so I could get some good pics. Of course, all the animals ended up being on the other side of the truck…as usual.



As we were sitting there while the truck was loading, I was trying to take a pic of the driver in the rearview mirror. He happened to see me aiming the camera his way and asked, “What the heck are you taking a picture of?” I told him I was trying to get his pic. With a puzzled look, he said, “The back of my head?” I laughed and told him I was trying to get him in the rearview mirror. That’s when he looked into the mirror and made this goofy face. I love Disney CMs. I have been wanting to send it to him, but have no idea how.



After the safari, we wandered over towards Dinosaur!, stopping at Bugs along the way. I was worried the lines may have picked up by now. Certainly by now. It was getting into the afternoon. Nope! Not yet, anyway.

We pretty much walked onto both Bugs and Dinosaur! I love Dino. It’s one of the rides that is fast-paced and exciting, but one that Leo can do. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I have done a roller coaster. I hate riding alone and I feel bad leaving Leo sitting on a bench while I ride. So, I just skip them, for the most part. Every once in a while, I just can’t resist Everest or the Mummy (at Universal). But, it has been years.



When we bounced our way off Dino (and got our hearing back), we grabbed lunch at Restarauntoris (sp?). After a quick lunch (still no crowds), we found our way back to Africa. Found them!!! Someone must have flipped a switch because the place was crazy crowded. Here is a pic of the crowd level today and the same area from last year’s visit, which was early May, instead of late May. What a difference a couple weeks can make.





You would think people would start at AK and then move to another park later in the day since AK closes so early. Not today! I have never seen it so packed, and hope to never see it again. The crowds, not the park.

Because it was so crowded, we grabbed some fast passes to the Safari and headed out to Conservation Station. I love it out there. No matter what the crowd level is in the rest of the park, it’s usually quiet out here.

Oh yah, on the train out to CS, I was sitting next to this young man of about mid 20s. He struck up a conversation in heavily accented English. I found out he was from Norway and was visiting some friends who are CMs over at the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. He was quite the talkative little fellow, but very pleasant and sweet. By the time we reached CS, I had given him some tips on visiting the World and I knew quite a bit about him…and all about the Norwegian national holiday that was coming up in a couple days. Leo always thinks it’s amusing how perfect strangers always seem to target me to strike up conversations. It seems no matter where we are, people just stop me to ask for directions, to take their pics with their cameras, to ask various questions or to just chat in lines or sitting on park benches. And I am not the one who usually starts the interactions.

Once we arrived to CS, I had to head to the little girl’s room. Here comes my next potty predicament. I don’t know if you have ever been to these rest rooms, but they have animal noises being played over the loud speakers. Birds chirping and cawing. Big cats roaring. Bug noises. All at a pleasant listening level. But, someone must have accidentally hit the volume button because, just as my butt hit the seat, this VERY loud elephant trumpet sounded. Good thing I was where I was, because it scared the piss out of me. I nearly flew off the toilet and smacked into the stall door.



And the giggling began. You ever try to hold a good guffaw inside? By the time I was back outside, I was wiping tears away and probably a very nice shade of red on my cheeks. Pretty bad when you embarrass yourself…and no one sees it. Anyway, Leo kept asking what happened, but I couldn’t speak for fear of totally cracking up. Once I finally got myself under control, I explained the whole story to him. He seemed amused, but not hysterical, which was my reaction. BUT, he was kind enough to occasionally trumpet at me throughout the remainer of our visit. Any time he saw an elephant. Funny man!

Anyway, somewhere along the way back to the safari, we passed one of the many benches scattered throughout the park. But this one had a little something extra … a poopy diaper splayed open and just sitting there. Yes, someone had actually left a poopy diaper sitting on the bench, not more than 20-30 feet from a garbage can. What kind of a person does this? Nasty! I felt bad for the CM who would have to pick the darned thing up.

Trying to wipe this sight from our minds, we made out way back to the Safari with our fast passes and hopped on within minutes. Once again, I was on the wrong side of the truck. Leo was just feet away from one of the giraffes.



However, unknown to me, Leo was right in the midst of a PPM (for those who did not read my first TR, this is his periodic Peepee Panic Mode) and was not paying much attention to his surroundings. His mind was on how he could ask the driver to stop so he could jump out and use the nearest bush. To top it off, you know how bumpy and jerky this ride can be. Poor guy. He was freaking out in silence.

I never knew there was a problem until we hit the dock and he took off in a near run. Not a word. Not a look. Not a tap on the arm. Nothing. Just off at a dash. But I knew what that meant and where he was headed.

Taking my time, I headed to the nearest bathrooms which were in downtown Africa. I stood near the bathrooms looking for him for quite some time. I tried calling and texting him, but I guess he couldn’t hear the phone. The crowd was ridiculous.

After about 20 minutes or so (but seemed like hours), I spotted him. He had been standing across from the bathrooms and had been looking for me all this time. We spent the last 20 minutes standing just 20 feet from each other. Sheesh! Too many freakin’ people.

By this time we had both had enough of the crowds and decided to head back to Shades for a while before heading to MK for the evening EMH.

By the way, this is day five in sunny Florida … and my legs are still as pasty as day one.

After a quick rest in our room, we headed to MK for the fireworks and hit some of our fave rides again. I wanted to grab the cool spot Leo had found on our first night to shoot the fireworks from.

We had arrived to the park at about 7:30 p.m., so we had about an hour before I wanted to grab my “shoot spot.” In the mean time, we jumped on – and you are gonna be surprise by this – Pirates and on over to the Haunted Mansion.



By this time, the parade had begun so Leo wanted to head over and watch it for a while and then do some penny hunting. I went to grab my spot.

No one was actually standing in the spot I wanted, but with the parade in full swing, there was heavy foot traffic so I couldn’t set up my tripod just yet. I took my spot and tried to stay flat to the fence and as far out of the way as I could.

When the parade ended and the crowd thinned out, most headed to Main Street. I was now able to set up my tripod and get things set. I have found that, once I do set my tripod up, within minutes I have several others taking up positions near me. What is it about a tripod that makes people think I know what I am doing? Some one of these days I am going to pick a totally inane spot and set my camera and tripod up and pretend to be shooting something and see how many others start shooting too. Kind of like looking up into the sky and pointing to see how many people will stop and look.

Anyway, I was set up on the boardwalk type area along the waterfront in Frontierland facing the paddleboat. With the boat, dock and all its lights reflecting in the water, I waited to see how the fireworks were going to look. Hope the hubby was right.

He was! Great spot hubby!

As the fireworks went off, I clicked away, hoping at least a few of them would come out as I pictured them. There ended up being a few I liked.







When the fireworks ended, I packed up and caught up with Leo. By this time it was getting close to park closing and the start of the EMH and the crowds were thinning out. Yay!

At this point I wanted to try stealing … I mean shooting … a photo I saw on the DISboards. It was of a ghostly figure hitchhiking I front of the HM. Of course, Leo was my hitchhiker. And since the crowds were thinning considerably, this was probably the best time to try it since it would take some time to set up, experiment and shoot several times to get it right.



I set everything up, instructed Leo what he needed to do and gave it a shot. After about 15-20 minutes of shooting, I had gotten a few good ones, but wanted to try for a few more. As I went to change my meter and flash settings, I noticed a small line forming behind me. People were actually lining up for me to take their photos! They thought I was a Disney photographer. Too funny. Although I did feel kind of bad that they had been waiting there patiently for nothing.

After I apologized and told them I was not a Disney photographer, I resumed shooting. Again, within minutes, people were lining up again. Time to call it quits and move along. Of course, after all this shooting, when I got home and looked at the shots, I noticed that I should have moved Leo over a bit so he was not in front of the brick. Oh well, I can always try again next trip.

We ended up going over to Tomorrowland, cutting through Fantasyland. I took a few more night shots along the way and we hopped onto a few rides.











By the time we made it to Tomorrowland and rode some rides there (I LOVE riding the People Mover at night), it was close to midnight and we were getting hungry for a late night snack. We hopped into the counter service in Tomorrowland, the one with Sunny Eclipse singing, for a bite. We split a burger and some chili fries. I have never had the chili at Disney before. Man, it was really good!



However, it’s not a good idea to eat chili after midnight. I had the weirdest dreams that night. I don’t remember what they were. I just remember waking up and thinking, what in the world?

Well, after a long day, it was time to say goodnight and head on home. It always amazes me how hard it is to make myself leave the Magic Kingdom, no matter how tired I am or how late it is.


Various photos from throughout the day:












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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400



Last edited by jusero; 08-23-2011 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #79
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Your photos are amazing! I have never had much interest in photography, but your pictures make me want to try!!

We have recently discovered CS in AK and love it. I literally have to drag my husband away from the mural in the entry. He loves looking for all the hidden mickey's. One time there was a very enthusiastic CM in there and he was pointing out the hidden mickey's so fast we couldn't keep up. We also love the rainforest listening room!!!

Your elephant/bathroom story is hilarious!
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:46 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haleofafamily View Post
Your photos are amazing! I have never had much interest in photography, but your pictures make me want to try!!

We have recently discovered CS in AK and love it. I literally have to drag my husband away from the mural in the entry. He loves looking for all the hidden mickey's. One time there was a very enthusiastic CM in there and he was pointing out the hidden mickey's so fast we couldn't keep up. We also love the rainforest listening room!!!

Your elephant/bathroom story is hilarious!
I am glad you are enjoying my photos. I just love taking them and trying to figure out new and unique angles that will make them more interesting.

I also love that mural and never seem to have enough time to really look at it. I think I will ask a CM the next time I go. I am sure I am missing a LOT of the hidden mickeys.

Picture me making an elephant noise here.

Your sons give up on the last Where in the World?
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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:35 AM   #81
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WOW, your photos are great! And, as always, I'm laughing out loud at your stories! Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:09 AM   #82
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WOW, your photos are great! And, as always, I'm laughing out loud at your stories! Thanks!
Thanks PlutoFan. If anyone ever wants to check out any of my non-Disney photos -- yes, I actually take photos other than Disney , not many, but some -- you can look at them on my photo bucket page: http://s954.photobucket.com/albums/ae24/jusero_photos/
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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400



Last edited by jusero; 08-23-2011 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:11 PM   #83
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I can't see your pictures! This is not good, I came for my Disney picture fix and now I can't get it!

Hope you made out ok today! I know we felt the earthquake here in NJ so I am sure you did.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:55 PM   #84
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Quote:
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I can't see your pictures! This is not good, I came for my Disney picture fix and now I can't get it!

Hope you made out ok today! I know we felt the earthquake here in NJ so I am sure you did.
We made out fine. Just a few cans fell over in the pantry and a few items fell off my dresser. And my nerves were a bit shot for a while.

And I have no idea why my photos disappeared. Weird. I am going to see if I can fix it. They were there earlier. Maybe the earthquake knocked them out.
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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #85
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Photos fixed. Not sure what happened, but part of the photo links seemed to have dropped for some reason. Had to reload all the photos.
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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400


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Old 08-24-2011, 11:07 AM   #86
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Your sons give up on the last Where in the World?
Yes, they have given up. But it's driving me crazy because I know I've seen it and can't figure out where.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #87
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HA! I finally posted one that stumped all of you.

Anyway, it is part of the new sign for Adventureland. I didn't even realize it was new until I was looking at last year's photos. Below is the new sign and a pic I took in May 2010.



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2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400


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Old 08-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #88
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Where in the World?

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May, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012: Shades of Green, WDW
Dec. 2008: Shades of Green, WDW

2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400


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Old 09-04-2011, 10:24 AM   #89
jusero
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Chapter six has been written. I will be getting the photos prepped and getting it posted in the next day or two ... promise.
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1982, 1985, Disneyland
Sept., 1995: Shades of Geen, WDW
Oct. 2006: Disneyland
May, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012: Shades of Green, WDW
Dec. 2008: Shades of Green, WDW

2011 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2745311
2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933651
2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3201400


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Old 09-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #90
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Enjoying your TR! I see a pattern in your siggy- is May your favorite travel time for WDW? We love to go to DL in May because the weather is great and the crowds are low. I would've loved to make our first trip to WDW in May but FD tempted me to give Feb a try.

Also enjoying your pictures. This last year we just sold our SLR. We realized all the work needed to organize and take care of all the pictures we were taking was becoming a burden. Also, we felt like we needed to bring it with us all the time and with five kids our hands are full. The point and shoot captures enough memories for now and now we can enjoy the moment more. Guess I'm just not a photographer at heart. I do enjoy seeing the work of others though!!
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