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Old 11-29-2011, 07:00 PM   #76
FosterA
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I'm impressed that you guys could get there so early!! We didn't make rope drop one single time Usually within an hour or so but still....You guys are awesome!

Cool about how you get a bonus fastpass too. I had never heard that before.

Also pretty neat how you saw so many workers. It's crazy how they keep all the mess and goings-on so well hidden!

p.s DD is super cute with her lizard. See you could have saved tons of money and instead of Disney trip, just went to a pet store to look at lizards!
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:34 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by solana131 View Post
Great update So sad Dumbo is going to be closed for our trip. I don't remember going on it all those years ago, and its the first trip for DH & DS. And with Thunder Mtn closed as well...I feel like we are missing the classics! But, alas...all the more reason to book a return trip soon

Love the empty rope drop pics. Hoping ours will be similar. Should be pretty cool in Feb, so maybe everyone will stay in bed
Meh...Dumbo is a "classic" in that its traditional. The ride itself is a bore, and there's three of the same ride available elsewhere (Aladdin's Carpets, Astro Orbiter and Triceratops Spin). I wouldn't say your missing that much missing it, especially if you have no "tradition" with it.

BTMRR is a different story, a great ride in that it is a full size coaster that's mild enough that you can take your 5 year-old on it, and also most ride chickens will ride it. A very cool ride. Sorry you will miss it. However, it's an excuse to go back again!

Oh - and if you love the empty rope drop pictures, wait until you see our TL pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FosterA View Post
I'm impressed that you guys could get there so early!! We didn't make rope drop one single time Usually within an hour or so but still....You guys are awesome!

Cool about how you get a bonus fastpass too. I had never heard that before.

Also pretty neat how you saw so many workers. It's crazy how they keep all the mess and goings-on so well hidden!

p.s DD is super cute with her lizard. See you could have saved tons of money and instead of Disney trip, just went to a pet store to look at lizards!
I'm really militant about rope drop, at least early in the trip. You can just get so much done in those first few hours without anyone around. Of course, us rope-droppers rely on all the people that can't make it.

For us - we are normally up at 6 AM every day at home. Getting up at 7 AM for a 9 AM rope drop is not even difficult at all. The 8 AM one was a little rough, but doing it one time a trip is not that big a deal.

The only other thing I insist on is I have a "rides first" policy. For the first 60-90 minutes, we don't look in shops, we don't stop and watch shows, we don't wander around. We do rides. Mostly applies at MK, and to a lesser extent DHS.

This is the only place I've seen a bonus FP. They set it up a few years ago when they took out the Philharmagic FP machines. Philharmagic doesn't even HAVE FP anymore, but we always get an early AM FP from Peter Pan, and I think the last 6-7 times we've also gotten the Philharmagic FP. It hardly necessary, as Philharmagic doesn't really have a wait usually, but it still back-doors you to the front of the line.

Oh - and as far as going to pet stores and looking at lizards - our DD loves this! We have a friend that has pet lizards and snakes, and she loves to hold them and carry them. We won't let her get one though, because (1) DW doesn't like lizards/snakes and (2) I find them to be really lousy pets..because, well, what do they do? Why do I really want a pet that just sits there and does nothing.I might as well have a pet rock. But, she does really love animals, that's for sure. And she's not afraid of much - except not a big fan of spiders.
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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 11-30-2011, 02:50 PM   #78
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That's a great first hour to get 6 Fantasyland rides done!

And with Adventure calling your name....I can't wait for the next update.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:12 AM   #79
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Wow - what a great first morning! I love it when the park is so empty!
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:20 AM   #80
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Wow you guys did a LOT in that amount of time! I was pretty impressed with all we got done on our 9 am rope drop morning at MK, but y'all definitely have us beat. I guess as hard as it is for some people to be there early enough for a 9 am opening, it is even harder for them to get to an 8 am one. Very impressed that y'all made it after a day of traveling!

Side note, I love your DD's Minnie jacket!!
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:30 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
That's a great first hour to get 6 Fantasyland rides done!

And with Adventure calling your name....I can't wait for the next update.
Coming soon...I promise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joy13 View Post
Wow - what a great first morning! I love it when the park is so empty!
See picture in the next post to see how really empty it was!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
Wow you guys did a LOT in that amount of time! I was pretty impressed with all we got done on our 9 am rope drop morning at MK, but y'all definitely have us beat. I guess as hard as it is for some people to be there early enough for a 9 am opening, it is even harder for them to get to an 8 am one. Very impressed that y'all made it after a day of traveling!

Side note, I love your DD's Minnie jacket!!
It was pretty sweet, especially compared to the insanity at MK just 8 days later. The Minnie jacket is DD's favorite. DW bought her a new larger one on this trip because it's the only thing she'll wear.
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
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 12-01-2011, 02:02 PM   #82
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Picture update

My mom sent me her pictures - so here's a few from what we've done so far:



Us riding on Dumbo:



Us on the teacups:





Heading over to our next destination - adventureland. This shot I think really shows how uncrowded the park was around 9:15 AM:



A nice shot my mom took of the partners statue:



Some of the holiday Pointessas:







Yet another shot of the castle, this time one of mine:



More to come
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
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
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"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:56 PM   #83
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Great pictures - it looks deserted! I have pictures like that from our 2009 trip, but we never got anywhere early enough to get them this trip.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:49 AM   #84
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Love the pics!
I wish I had taken more of the crowd/non crowd shots for my TR.

I love those poinsetta trees!
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #85
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Great pictures - it looks deserted! I have pictures like that from our 2009 trip, but we never got anywhere early enough to get them this trip.
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Love the pics!
I wish I had taken more of the crowd/non crowd shots for my TR.

I love those poinsetta trees!
I know, I never think to take crowd shots either, it's really just a coincidence if I get them. I wish I had taken one showing the crowd at opening on the 11th and the 19th. There was maybe a couple hundred people on the 11th, on the 19th at rope drop the entire corral past the turnstyles was PACKED with people. Ugh...I'm still kicking myself for doing MK that day....but I'm getting ahead of myself...
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
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
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"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:31 AM   #86
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Day 1 @ MK Continued

Before I start the "Adventure keeps calling my name" is a reference to the Adventure's Club and one of the Library Shows with Samantha Sterling would sing this song. If there are any AC fans reading in: Kungaloosh, and stay tuned later in the report for addition AC references.

I still couldn’t get more FP since the PP one was for 9:40 AM, we decided to head over to Adventureland and another DD favorite, the Jungle Cruise.



Good skipper, good ride. Favorite (semi-new) joke of the ride “These cliffs here on the right are sandstone. I point them out because some people take them for granite. Either way – they ROCK!” Just the last part I hadn't heard before. I'm always amazed how unresponsive people are on the JC...DW and I were groaning loudly throughout the ride - really getting into it. At one point the skipper asked us "Are you people all right over there?"

It was now time to get those next FP. I left the family driving one of those RC Jungle Cruise boats....the single biggest ripoff in all of Disney World. So I headed across to Tomorrowland for some Buzz passes. I was back in < 10 minutes, and they were snacking on a package of grapes. It was not yet 10 AM, but we decided to do the Tiki Room next. I was SO looking forward to this. The OLD Tiki Room. Back as it was. I was sure I was going to break down and bawl once the show started, but I didn’t. I did get a little misty eyed when the moment passed when Iago would have normally come out of the ceiling. It's been 13 years and 6 months since I last saw my beloved Tropical Serenade. I didn’t take pictures or video, I just sat and enjoyed. It was like watching a old movie you’ve seen a billion times but not in a long time. Like comfort food. Truthfully, the show is really not that great, and it’s actually been shortened in spots (the final sing-a-long verse of “Let’s all sing like the birdies sing” is gone), but its such a piece of my childhood (my absolute favorite as a kid) and such an original Walt Disney creation that I am glad they brought it back.

We were heading for pirates next, but we stopped and watched the Tutorial first with Captain Jack. DD was worried about being "volunteered" but I told her they would only take you if you wanted it, so she was happy to sit and watch. After that show we tried to ride Pirates – no good it was down. DD wanted to look in the store as she likes Pirate stuff (she tends to more like the boy stuff than the girl stuff) but she didn’t find anything she really wanted except a gun, and I convinced her to hold off on that. On the way out, the ride was STILL down, so we decided to head back through Fantasyland to ride PP again and then head over for lunch. I detoured by Space Mountain for Fastpasses, and then we hit Peter Pan.

After PP – we next saw Mickey’s Philharmagic. Again, DD put up a stink (#2) she doesn’t like the 3D stuff shooting at her, but again she’s seen it half a dozen times, so we made her sit through, even though she hid for ½ of it. (Remember – she’s an 8-year old!) DM really liked the show. Her biggest comment from the morning was “I can’t believe how empty the park is!” and “You told me we wouldn’t be waiting in lines, and I didn’t really believe you, but so far we aren’t.” and I replied “That’s right, and you won’t either!”

It was approaching lunch-time now (around 11:30 AM) so we decided to stop for lunch. The original plan was Cosmic Ray’s, but DD wanted Pinnochio Village Haus, and since everyone saw something on the menu they liked, we went with it. The restaurant was actually very crowded for so early in the day. DW and DM had a salad, I had the chicken Parm, and DD had pasta with meatballs. The salads were quite good, the chicken as well. The pasta sauce was rather spicy, and I made the mistake of not ordering it on the side for DD. She got an order of breadsticks with it, and mostly ate those. The meatballs were bad, and she didn’t like the sauce. Overall, I give the meal a 7/10.

Our final destination of the day was (can you guess from this?)...


...Tommorowland. Look I finally pulled the camera out again!






On the way over, we were lucky to have a run-in with “Push” the talking trash can. DD is fascinated with “Push”. One previous trip she had just bought a stuffed bat (don’t ask) and saw him – “Push” told her to put the bat on his lid. Then he started rolling around with it saying “Na-na-na-na-na-na-na Bat-Can!” Too funny!

We were going to hit Buzz first, but for some reason there was a huge line for FP people sticking out the door, so we decided to see the Monster’s Inc laugh floor. DD had just pulled this movie out the week before, and was high on seeing them. I like this show a lot, but I still missed out on being “That guy!” Best joke of the day, which DD kept repeating the whole trip:
“What did Darth Vader say to Obi-Wan Kenobi when he served him some toast?”
“What?”
“It’s a little on the dark side!”

We then rode through Buzz.



I love the big veiwmaster for the briefing. Reminds us that they're all just toys!



I rode with DD while DM and DW rode together. I beat DD, but DW won the group. DD got upset that I beat her, I told her next time she should ride with Grandma.





Next up – fourteenth if you are counting – was the Peoplemover, formerly the TTA, formerly the Peoplemover (they seem to change this one all the time). Don’t know why, but the peoplemover is just awesome. Maybe because you can really get off your feet in some super comfy seats.

Next – Carousel of Progress, another thing DM saw back at the 1964 World’s Fair. I’ve seen this one enough lately since DD likes it a lot, but sitting through it once a trip isn’t terrible. Another classic that should be kept forever, regardless of what I think of it. DW likes this one to take a nap. I don't find the seats comfortable enough - but we've seen this one enough times lately.

Our final ride before returning to our room – space mountain! DD had promised she would try it, but backed out at the last minute. I had four FP so DW and I rode it. Love this ride, but again once a trip is enough to satisfy me. Gave DW bunny ears in the redneck ride photo!



So, at this point, it’s a little after 2 PM – the crowds are still relatively small (Standby at Space Mountain was like 30 minutes, but didn’t look that long inside) but we had a dinner ADR for late, and wanted to spend some time at the resort. We’d seen 16 rides/attractions at MK – and the only biggies we hadn’t hit were Pirates, HM, BTMRR and Splash Mountain. We hadn't waited more than 5 minutes in line for anything yet - that was Space Mountain FP line. Honestly we could've finished the park today if we stayed. (I also stopped getting FP at noon.) I was figuring we’d save these for our other day, so we decided to head back to the room. We didn’t need to switch rooms, but we did need to finish unpacking, and really were hoping to get in a swim and a change of clothes for dinner.

Up next - dinner @ the California Grille.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
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
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"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:32 PM   #87
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Day 1 Continued - Dinner and a show

So – we went back to the hotel. After we made her work on her homework a bit, DD and I went for a swim. It was cold though – a little too cold. She LOVED the pool. There are two slides, one a little bigger and in the dark. After about an hour of swimming, I insisted we go in the hot tub, which was nice and warm. We had to then get dressed for dinner at the California Grill. We took the bus to MK and then went on the monorail to the Contemporary. This turned out to be the only monorail ride we took the whole trip, and it was very crowded because the park was "closing" for MVMCP.



OK – I’ll say it right now – I wanted to do the CG / fireworks for my daughter and mom – and this was really the best night on the schedule to do it. It really wasn’t worth it. DD was tired and spent most of the dinner whining.



DM thought the restaurant was too loud and crowded for what it was worth (which she was right about). On top of that, by the time came around for the fireworks, it was FREEZING outside, and none of us had clothes warm enough for the weather. So, other than me, everyone just stayed inside. And it seemed like DD never fully recovered from this too long day with enough sleep to catch up – she just seemed tired and cranky most days of the trip, moreso than in more recent trips. It was a LOT of money, and I feel like it was a bit of a waste to spend it, though a portion of that was due to the weather and outside of my control.

DW keeping DD entertained with bunny ears!


All that said, the food was indeed fantastic, and I don’t think the prices are really out of line for the level of service and cuisine. The atmosphere was very noisy, much more noisy than I remembered from our first time there. Perhaps because it was a Friday instead of Tuesday, I don’t know.

Here comes the food porn:

Triple Cheese Flatbread (Appetizer) - this was very good.


Hearts of Romaine Salad (DM) - Also good - but basically a Caesar Salad


Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli - with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pesto, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Basil - This was one very large raviloli - and very tasty.


My DM had what I can't recall exactly was a vegitarian Lasagna with butternut squash or something. She said it was really good.


I had the All Natural Duck Two Ways - seared breast, potato rosti, cherry demi, confit leg, pomegranate gastrique. The leg itself was very plain, but the breast and potato rosti were fantastic.


DW I think had the Florida Snapper - dungeness crab risotto, Zellwood corn, snap peas and sauce choron


DD had a Pizza - which was slightly above the quality of the typical Disney pizza. (I didn't take a picture of it.) She also had ice cream for dessert.

We were all pretty full, but split an order of Heirloom Apple Bread Pudding - brown butter and candied bacon ice cream, Jack Daniel's Anglaise


The fireworks were "Christmas Wishes" and I was the only one that stood outside to watch. It said it was 54 degrees out, but felt colder. The good news was they did dim the lights inside and play the music, so the rest of the family did get to see the show. DD spent the whole night saying she wanted to go home and she didn't want to see the fireworks.

Anyways, I wish I could say this was a highlight of the trip, but it really wasn’t. We took a taxi home afterward rather than trudge back to MK for a bus, and collapsed into bed about 10:30 PM. With the taxi ride it ran about $250, too. Fortunately, this evening came out of a special fund I of extra money I set aside over the year - which I consider "free" money. Good thing - or I would've been really upset.

Overall, the day at MK was wonderful, the evening was not great, and it is something I will not repeat until DD is much, much older. Next time we go for a nice meal at WDW, we will find a kids club to put her in. I give the food a 9/10 but the experience a 6/10.

Day 1:
Characters Met: 0
Rides/Attractions seen: 17 (including Christmas Wishes)
Waits of > 5 minutes: 0

Up next - Day 2 @ AK - it DOES get better!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
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
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"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:08 PM   #88
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Great update with lots of good details!

First and foremost, I want that ravioli right now!

Secondly, that is AWESOME how many attractions you guys got accomplished! Plus you are dealing with a grandma and a little one. very impressive.

Too bad that DD had her cranky pants on at that dinner. I hope she was able to bounce back and get some rest so she was ready for the rest of your days!

Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:52 PM   #89
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Great update with lots of good details!

First and foremost, I want that ravioli right now!

Secondly, that is AWESOME how many attractions you guys got accomplished! Plus you are dealing with a grandma and a little one. very impressive.

Too bad that DD had her cranky pants on at that dinner. I hope she was able to bounce back and get some rest so she was ready for the rest of your days!

Can't wait to hear more.
The good thing is while she lets me lead - DW is pretty much in sync with me at Disney...which is why I try to say "us" instead of "me". DM was pretty much willing to go along for the ride, and though DD has plenty of protest in her, she did GREAT really. This was her first trip without a stroller, and she hardly complained about the walking, though I was very careful to minimize the backtracking when I could. You notice we did Fantasyland - Aventureland - Fantasyland - Torrowland - not a lot of skipping back and forth.
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
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"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:14 AM   #90
PrincessInOz
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 93,317

Wow! That's a full day. Pity about CG and Wishes....I've vaguely thought about doing it but I'm not sure that CG pricing is worth it for me.
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Walt Disney World - Jun 2005, May 2010 (POR, BCV) PTR || TR, Oct 2010 (CSR) PTR || TR, Oct 2013 Anyone Game? PTR || TR in progress
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