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Old 12-21-2011, 01:48 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
No,no, no new kids. I guess I still consider our DD to be "young" as in 12 and under. And there is no trip back in the works either - a vague plan for 2013 is all. This is really the first time in 6 years without a WDW trip to plan, I thought I would go through withdrawal, but so far not so much. I guess its all you nice folks listening to my stories.
OK read too much into that....
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:23 AM   #152
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That's so funny that your DD only will do the carousel that costs money. What's up with that?
The DTD bus situation I do remember being so long. ugh. The day we did DTD was my worst sick day and I swear that bus took forever and I hated having to go through Typhoon Lagoon. Glad I'm not the only one that thinks it's a bit brutal.

You got some great photos of the resort. I love all the pastel colors
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:17 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by FosterA View Post
That's so funny that your DD only will do the carousel that costs money. What's up with that?
The DTD bus situation I do remember being so long. ugh. The day we did DTD was my worst sick day and I swear that bus took forever and I hated having to go through Typhoon Lagoon. Glad I'm not the only one that thinks it's a bit brutal.

You got some great photos of the resort. I love all the pastel colors
I totally understand why they share a bus - the volume for the water parks doesn't really justify their own bus, and DTD is right across the street, but it makes the bus travel really long, especially since the route through DTD is really slow too.

In general, I HATE going to DTD Disney and spending money. I prefer to completey avoid it as my own personal protest to the (incompetant) shuttering of Pleasure Island. I only did it this year because of the 10 % discount @ WoD and the Lego store.

As far as resort photos, my DM didn't take a ton of photos on the trip, but she did take a bunch of resort photos when she stuck around while we went to TL. So, they'll be more coming up eventually.
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR IN PROGRESS!!
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:26 AM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FosterA View Post
That's so funny that your DD only will do the carousel that costs money. What's up with that?
The DTD bus situation I do remember being so long. ugh. The day we did DTD was my worst sick day and I swear that bus took forever and I hated having to go through Typhoon Lagoon. Glad I'm not the only one that thinks it's a bit brutal.

You got some great photos of the resort. I love all the pastel colors
I totally understand why they share a bus - the volume for the water parks doesn't really justify their own bus, and DTD is right across the street, but it makes the bus travel really long, especially since the route through DTD is really slow too.

In general, I HATE going to DTD Disney and spending money. I prefer to completey avoid it as my own personal protest to the (incompetant) shuttering of Pleasure Island. I only did it this year because of the 10 % discount @ WoD and the Lego store.

As far as resort photos, my DM didn't take a ton of photos on the trip, but she did take a bunch of resort photos when she stuck around while we went to TL. So, they'll be more coming up eventually.
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR IN PROGRESS!!
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:18 PM   #155
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Merry Christmas everyone! (Or whatever other holiday you celebrate!) I thought for Christmas I would share a picture of our Christmas tree. It's small, but it reminds us of what Christmas is all about.



Thank you to everyone who takes time out of your life to read my ravings and TR. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. And don't forget to spend some time on Christmas watching the Disney parade!
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR IN PROGRESS!!
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:22 PM   #156
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Hey! I missed a couple of updates. How did that happen??






Oh wait!




MERRY CHRISTMAS!







(Is it over yet? I need to go back to spending time on the DIS)
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:51 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Merry Christmas everyone! (Or whatever other holiday you celebrate!) I thought for Christmas I would share a picture of our Christmas tree. It's small, but it reminds us of what Christmas is all about.


I think it's perfect !!

Thank YOU for sharing your trip with US !
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:22 AM   #158
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Day 4 - Continued (plus Christmas Update).

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. We went to cousin's for Christmas eve for a while, so we were out until 9:30 PM and DD fell right to sleep, which was nice. She had a small fit Christmas day when she opened one of her gifts and it was clothes. but otherwise the day went well. The stress is starting to slide away! It's been unseasonably warm and dry here...yesterday we went for an afternoon walk around the block to visit some neighbors. In the 40s and still zero snow on the ground. So far enjoying the lack of snow, but it'll soon be cramping our winter ski plans!

Gotta work two days this week, hopefully it will be slow. We are then heading out of town to my Dad's in Massachusetts for 5 days. Hope to get a little more TR in between. I was able to cut and paste in more of my report below. Enjoy!


So, we headed out for Epcot somewhere a little after four. We had a 5:45 PM ADR for the Garden Grill, and I was hoping to squeeze in “Living with the Land” and “Circle of Life” before dinner so we didn’t have to come back to The Land pavilion on our other Epcot day. Well, the bus came quickly and we were in Epcot before 5 PM. We headed for LwtL and of course there was very little wait.









DD really likes this ride for some reason. I always enjoy making Jungle Cruise jokes during the opening section:
“Did you know those butterflies can grow anywhere from 12” up to whopping 1 foot?”
“There’s Smiley, he’s always looking for a handout.”
My family of course hates me for this! Can’t say I blame them. It’s definitely worth a ride each trip, but once is enough. DM and DW also enjoyed the ride.

After that, DD insisted we should see the “Circle of Life” and of course our timing was such we had to wait about 10 minutes for the movie. Again, this is a movie I don’t really need to see ever again. (For the record, I am pro-recycle big time.) It’s a nice environmental sledge hammer message and while I guess it’s good to give the kids, I feel the fact that DISNEY of all places is telling us to conserve energy and be one with the environment gets me all irritated. I mean, perhaps they DO try to conserve here and there – but how about providing examples of this? It’s like GE preaching to me to buy new light bulbs to reduce energy usage or something.

Anyways, the movie was running later than our ADR, and I sort of thought there would be a wait, so I ducked out of the movie with a few minutes left and put our names in. There was a few people around, and we had to wait a few more minutes. We were seated by about 6 PM. I was concerned about getting out by 7:15 PM, as we needed to be at the Beach Club for the Illuminations cruise. Because of the late timing, I didn’t request a lower tier table, but we were fortunate to get one anyway.

Dinner at the Garden Grill is a tad different from most Disney Character meals. It’s a revolving restaurant so there really isn’t anyplace to set up a buffet, so the meal is served family style. I neglected to take pictures yet again (What’s wrong with me?) so I’m going to cheat and show last year’s pictures. Right when we sat down the Big Cheese himself came by:



They brought out the salad and bread course first. This was followed by the main meal, which is made up of Turkey and mashed Potatoes, beef with stuffing, and fish over succotash (the pictures show veggies, but that had changed):







The kids get chicken legs (DD ate 3 of these) mac and cheese, sweet potato fries and broccoli:



We actually got seconds on the beef, turkey and also the broccoli (a rare vegetable at Disney!). The food is quite good, not really great, but for the family style it is a decent meal – not for the price of course!

Now, we started in the back of the restaurant, ate our salad and our meal, we were now rotated to the front of the restaurant, had been there almost an hour, and still no other characters. This was a bit strange from my perspective, as this restaurant is not very big, and last time we saw every character twice…so FINALLY Chip came along:



And IMMEDIATELY behind him was Dale. This was actually kind of neat, because they were interacting with each other. Now, I like that this dinner you can see Chip and Dale, but really these are two characters that should be together, and to see them here together was fun:





We got our desserts, which for DD was an ice cream with oreos (this picture actually taken tonight!):


For us, it was apple cobbler, and I admit I like my apples mushy in my apple cobbler, and these are crunchy, so not so great. (Again, last year’s picture.)



We were waiting for Pluto. The ladies went to the bathroom while I waited with DD…it was getting late and I was about to say we have to go…I did ask the waitress at this point, who was very good…if there was anyway we could see him, but she didn’t seem to do anything to hustle him up. We saw him coming and asked the Table behind us if we could skip ahead just to get a quick picture:



Now, I had still not told the family the “surprise”…however, when I told them that they needed to use the bathroom before we went, DW guessed what we were doing. But anyways, on our way from The Land to World Showcase, I told everyone what the surprise was…an Illuminations cruise!
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR IN PROGRESS!!
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

Last edited by skier_pete; 12-27-2011 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:23 AM   #159
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Day 4 - Illuminations Cruise

So, now I can tell the whole tale. I didn’t book this myself, but I knew there was a thread of cruise shares here on the DIS. We had a few nights we could’ve done one so I decided to watch for one that might open up on those nights, but I wasn’t going to re-arrange my plans. Well, early in the summer I spotted ClaireH from the UK looking for people to share a cruise this night (November 14th). I wrote to her and told her I was interested. Well, twice it looked like things were going to be changed – once Disney messed up the booking, and a second time which I won’t get into here – but both times it came back around.

So, in the end I was able to keep the cruise. We basically had to pay for 1/10th of the boat each, which came to about $35 a person. So, we went out the back entrance of Epcot (International Gateway) and took the Friendship boats over to Yacht/Beach Club, with two more bathroom stops in between. We got to the cruise and met our fellow travelers. There was a friend of Claire’s (local DISer) another couple from the UK on their anniversary, and another couple that had just gotten engaged a few days before.

The skipper was a WDW veteran, and we boarded about 8:20 PM, they took us out for a ride down towards DHS and back.









I didn’t get many quality pictures. One of the other guys had a good camera, and was going to share the shots, but I haven’t gotten them yet. (I didn’t really want to post the other families anyways.) We rode back towards the International Gateway and moored underneath the bridge between England and France. I mostly videotaped, so again not many pictures, but here’s the view from where we were docked:



Seeing Illuminations from this vantage point seemed VERY luxurious. I am not a huge, huge fan of Illuminations but do enjoy the show, but always dislike the whole “staking a spot/standing for an hour” that you have to do with these types of things. (I mind it less for Wishes for some reason.) Being able to sit on the boat while seeing people standing above/around you was a lot of fun. The Skipper also gave us an overview of the story of Illuminations, which I hadn’t really known, and that made the show more interesting as well. After that, we rode back towards the Yacht/Beach Club and got off. It was a lot of fun.

So, would I recommend an Illuminations cruise? Well, that depends. At $35-40 a person, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. We had a very good time, met some very nice people, and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I would not pay $350 myself for the event. The boat next to us had only 1 family (2 parents, 2 kids) on it, and I kept thinking “Wow, that’s an expensive evening out!” If you can get in on a share, then I would say give it a try. Even DD liked it, though we gave her ear plugs which I think helped a lot. She was pretty tired by the end though.

At the end of the night we went in through the Yacht Club (which I’ve never been in) and got a taxi. We had to wait about 10-15 minutes for the taxi, which sort of surprised me. There were several other families in front of us, and I assumed that this would be fairly common and they’d have taxis at the ready. In the end, it was the easiest mode of transport back to the room. We were still back at our hotel around 10 PM and it was right to bed for everyone, for the next day, the most important rope drop of all…the Toy Story Drop…er I mean Hollywood Studios Drop.
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR IN PROGRESS!!
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:13 AM   #160
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I've always wondered how those cruises worked as far as cost and such .. and you're right .. unless you can share it, that's a LOT of money to pay for one family. I feel the same about the character meals .. as much fun as it all seems, I can't justify paying so much for a meal. We sort of just nibble our way around the parks.

Hope you have a nice visit to MA ! I, personally, am LOVING no snow ! We practically live at the bottom of Wachusett Mountain ski area but really only go there a couple of times a year so the boys can snowboard. This is usually a huge week for them .. lucky for them they have snow makers.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:01 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Moodyzblu View Post
I've always wondered how those cruises worked as far as cost and such .. and you're right .. unless you can share it, that's a LOT of money to pay for one family. I feel the same about the character meals .. as much fun as it all seems, I can't justify paying so much for a meal. We sort of just nibble our way around the parks.

Hope you have a nice visit to MA ! I, personally, am LOVING no snow ! We practically live at the bottom of Wachusett Mountain ski area but really only go there a couple of times a year so the boys can snowboard. This is usually a huge week for them .. lucky for them they have snow makers.
I grew up near Springfield. Don't know if you remember Mt. Tom Ski Area. My dad ran the Ski Shop and my uncle and aunt ran the Ski School. I don't know what it's been like there in NE, but here our local mountain just opened with 2 trails and 2 lifts. Still charging $50 a head. No thanks! Supposed to get some snow overnight finally.

The character meals are stupid expensive, but since we mostly do go on Free Dining, and we all know how to eat, the price doesn't bother us so much.
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR IN PROGRESS!!
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:50 PM   #162
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Snow Globe

Sorry -meant to add this with the previous posts...here's the snowglobe that we got from DTD:
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR IN PROGRESS!!
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:26 PM   #163
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Cute snowglobe!!

The Illuminations cruise sounds awesome. But that pricetag... Sound like a share would be the way to go. I bet the ladies loved your surprise!

The dinner at Garden Grill sounds like a good option...we might have to give that one a try when DS is a little older.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:30 PM   #164
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Merry Christmas! I love your cute little Charlie Brown tree.

anyhoo...nice updates! I personally really really like Living with the land for some reason. Wanted to do the tour but never got around to it though.
As far as Circle of Life film, have no idea what that is all about. Is it 3-D or anything cool like that?

That's really neat how you arranged that cruise. I think I'd really like to try that one day too though not at full price! yikes So did your mom seem to be enjoying Disney so far? She looks pretty happy in the photo on the boat
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:52 PM   #165
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Nice update Pete. Glad you enjoyed Illuminations cruise. Which way was the wind blowing?

We did it last year and the wind blow the smoke straight at us. I enjoyed watching Illuminations from under the IG; but didn't enjoy the smoke and soot falling all over us much.

LOVE that snowglobe.
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