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Old 12-28-2011, 12:39 PM   #121
stephielela
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Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
awesome updates! I klnow the cranky kid syndrome too. I have had to deal with it here and there over the last (almost) 23 years. Sadly the oldest is the one who still gets it.
Have you tried La Kringla in Norway? I ate there on my AEP trip and it was pretty darn good.
I haven't, and it was actually your meal there that really got me thinking about trying new things. It is the front runner at the moment!

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Originally Posted by suzanneaz View Post
Do you mind giving us more information about the great spot you staked out for the show? It sounds wonderful. Also seems like it was worth it to get there early.

Was it cold? I wonder if I will need to bundle up my girls.
I am really bad with forward/aft starboard/port etc. So if you are on DEck 10 above the Goofy pool facing the big screen, we were on the right side of the ship. Does that help? Maybe someone more knowledgeable can translate it into ship-talk

It was windy but not cold. I think I had a wrap on, but Jack just had long sleeves and was fine. It was worth it getting there early, and one person can always hold down the fort while another takes the kids down to dance etc!

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Originally Posted by Dream426 View Post
I have been meaning to reply to your updates. I am loving them. Your son looks so adorable in his pirate costume.
Thanks! I have a problem finding time to comment on TR's too, so you are not alone!
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:56 PM   #122
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Day 6.1

On our second day at Cabo, I fully intended to leave Jack on the boat. He had been such a whiner the day before, and I wanted to enjoy the port a bit.
I woke up at 7:25 for some unknown reason. Jack got up at 8 (wake- up call) because the ship was leaving Cabo early. Just a heads up, the second Cabo day is really more of a half day. We headed back to the buffet for breakfast as usual.


Jack of course spilled on his shirt so we went back to the room to change. Then we swung by the computer area to check email and get confirmation on the amount of tequila my mom wanted us to purchase. Then we headed to the club so I could drop off Jack. The club wasn’t open, they were sending the kids to the lab instead and Jack informed me he would rather go with me. I double and triple checked and he assured me he wanted to go and he was going to be good. So off we went!
He still looks a little sleepy…


We went back to the same place we had been shopping the day before. I don’t know what it’s called but it’s the big yellow building right off the dock. We picked up quite a few souvenirs and I spent enough that they gave us a few tote bag. We were headed out when a guy stopped us and asked about a water taxi tour. He said kids were free. I was really tired of being asked so I replied, “Yeah, but how much are adults?” to which he replied “$10”. Sold! I was really excited we would actually get to see the landmarks and I was so glad I had canceled the Harbor cruise excursion. This was cheaper than just one of us going on the excursion, and that was after I tipped the guy and the driver each $5. The guy said it would be a few minutes before the boat got back and then he led us down to the pier. We chatted a few minutes and he was really good with Jack. Then we got on our boat!
I was happy to see they were safety conscious and had Jack wear a life jacket!

The company was Little Crab Glass Bottom boats

I took a lot of pictures so bear with me!



At our first stop the driver gave Jack some tortillas to feed the fish so they would come closer to the boat



I think they called this rock Pelican rock, but I might be making that up!

We were off of a beach and there were lots of people snorkeling, kayaking etc. If we had wanted they would have dropped us off at the beach and then come back for us later but we had already had a beach day so I wanted to stay on the boat.





Then the driver let Jack help him steer!

Scooby Doo rock formation


The famous Los Arcos


Lands End


Continued in next post
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:58 PM   #123
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Day 6.2








Jack had enjoyed feeding the fish so much that we stopped on the way back too!


Jack really enjoyed this boat ride

I took some pictures of some of the signs as we headed back to the tender…


We were back on the ship by 11:15! I really enjoyed the cold washcloths they handed out as we got back on board, it really helps cool you down. I also LOVE that DCL allows you to bring alcohol on board. I had a bag full of tequila and they barely gave it a second glance!
WE headed back to the room and chilled a bit. Jack watched cartoons and we changed and then I took an inventory of our purchases…




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Old 12-28-2011, 01:00 PM   #124
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Day 6.3

I finished up our postcards and then we headed to lunch at Tritons. Jack REEEEEEAAAAALLY didn’t want to eat there, but I wanted to try an informal meal somewhere other than the buffet.
We got lucky and got our normal servers! Jack had a cheeseburger

Normally at dinner Anthony was the one who made the ketchup Mickey heads. Today Teody did it and we got a special surprise, a Minnie!

This became a joke later on at dinner…
I tried the chilled mango soup

It really wasn’t bad, but there was just something I couldn’t adjust to. I can’t put my finger on it, but I really felt like this should be sipped through a straw and have rum in it…

I had pasta for my entrée, and it was delicious!

Jack had a Mickey bar for dessert, and I ate some of it since I had never had one, and since I definitely don’t need two desserts a day!

After lunch we dropped our postcards off at guest services. We went back to the room and found some of the most creative FE gifts yet!


Then I took Jack back to the pool and enjoyed the drink of the day. Afterwards Jack wanted to go to the kids club. I used the opportunity to attend the DVC lecture and take some pictures around the ship. I basically started at the top and worked my way down. I am not going to post them all here, so if you have questions about anything in particular, let me know!
I stopped off and bought some more souvenirs too. When I was done I went back to the room and showered and changed for dinner. It was semi-formal night! I picked Jack up and had him change as well before heading to get some pictures taken. First we saw Goofy


Then we did another portrait. This one also didn’t turn out well enough for me to buy.
Next was Minnie!

I haven’t managed to get the red eye out yet

Next up was dinner!
Grilled vegetables and beef prosciutto

Wild forest mushroom soup

Fettuccine with parmesan crusted chicken

Lava Cake!

At dinner I told the others about the ketchup Minnie. We asked Anthony if he could top that, and he certainly tried…
Donald?

Jack had mac and cheese again…

… and a Mickey bar, surprise surprise

After dinner we went back to the room to change.
Towel Monkey!

Gratuity tickets etc

I really like the way DCL handles gratuity. Basically if you pay in advance, then they provide these tickets to you and the envelopes for the appropriate people. The tickets have the names on them as well, so you just hand them out. If you haven’t prepaid you can go to guest services and pay then and they give you the tickets. It is really nice to have something to hand to all the people who have made your trip magical! Of course you can always tip extra, but it wasn’t a hard sell like it was when we were on Carnival.
Next we headed to the Dreams show. It was awesome!!!! Disney really does have amazing productions!
After the show Jack insisted he wanted to watch a movie outside on the big screen. That lasted all of about five minutes. Can you guess what movie it was?





When we gave up on that we went inside and ordered room service (Jack hadn’t eaten much at dinner) and watched Gummy Bears (no Ducktales) before heading to bed!
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:26 PM   #125
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Day 7.1

Finally we are coming to our last day on board the Wonder. I really enjoyed having a sea day as our last day, it gave us time to finish everything up and pack etc. It also meant we could sleep in a bit. I slept until 8:30 and then got up and started organizing for packing and taking some more room pictures to show the “lived in” version…
This is the trunk at the end of the bed. I kept Jack’s clothes in here and had him put his toys/FE gifts on the top shelf.

Desk- the binder on the right is where I kept all our navigators and notes etc.

This is the “cooler” to which there are many doors…




Candy drawer- really the top two drawers are only one drawer

Junk drawer
.
Costume drawer

Swim stuff

Chargers and dismantled cell phone

Electronics- laptop, portable DVD player, Kindle (which I NEVER had a chance to use on this trip until the plane ride home) and extra ziplocs- *Tip, bring LOTS of extra ziplocs. I didn’t have almost any but luckily a lot of our FE gifts came in them*

This is where I stacked stuff we were done with. We ended up leaving the sand toys behind due to a lack of space.

I had some leftover FE stuff that I put in bags for the other kids at our table

My cup collection! I was really pleased with the whole reusing/trading in of the drink of the day cup. It prevented me from collecting tons of plastic cups that I won’t have an opportunity to use, but that I paid for!

This is where I kept our dirty laundry after I ran out of space in the bag…

Our magnet collection by the end of the trip!

This was the worst hairdryer I have ever tried to use. I haven’t read up on the riles yet, but if it’s allowed, I will be bringing my own next time!

I might have brought too many shoes…

Plenty of hangers!

Jack is still sleeping…

I finally woke him up at 9:30 and we headed to breakfast


More FE gifts…

Jack went to the Oceaneer’s club and I took some time to buy a couple more things and take a few more pictures. This was the second princess meet and greet and I took these pictures to give you an idea of the crowds. I was SO glad I have a boy who doesn’t need to see princesses!
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:32 PM   #126
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Day 7.2

Route 66 ahead!











I went to pick Jack up from the club and told him we were eating lunch at Triton’s again. He decided he would rather go back to the club and eat there. They don’t serve a big lunch in the club, it’s more of a snack, but he said he wasn’t hungry anyways, all he wanted was juice. Once he was seated with his juice I headed back to Triton’s.
I had a mojito which was delicious! I had wanted to do the mojito/caipirinha tasting but both times conflicted with other things I had going so I didn’t get the opportunity.



After lunch I went back to the room to finish packing. I was done by about 2:15 and had some time to kill before our mixology session at 3.
The water was VERY rough this day. I had noticed all along that I could feel the boat more than I did on our Caribbean cruises but I didn’t know if weather/location/ship size had anything to do with it and it wasn’t uncomfortable for me so I wasn’t too worried. I happened to have some meclizine with me because my mom had been sick recently and she had some leftover so I figured I bring it just in case.
I headed to the Cadillac Lounge for mixology and while we were waiting I got a text that Jack had chewed on his shirt so could I please bring him a new one. By the time I grabbed a shirt and got to the club, they had put him in a yellow tshirt that was for the kids show they do on the last night so he was fine. I headed back to mixology. The bartender told us about different alcohols and what goes with what, etc and then he broke us up into teams and each team created their own drink. Here is ours


Right about this time the waves were really getting to me. They were really huge and a couple other people were already feeling sick. I got another page saying Jack wanted to be picked up, and I was a bit relieved to have an excuse to leave since I was really worried I might actually get sick. I was also worried maybe Jack wasn’t feeling well so I hurried to the club. Turns out he just didn’t want to be there anymore, so I took him back to the room, parked him in front of the TV, took 2 meclizine and laid down. Thankfully the drugs and the rest did the trick and by the time we needed to head to dinner I was feeling MUC H better! I was one of the few lucky ones evidently! Everywhere we went there was extra “cleaning” going on and the dining room was empty. When we were walking in we heard one lady saying her whole family was sick so they weren’t coming to dinner.


I was really worried our table mates wouldn’t make it, but luckily we were all present and accounted for!



It was during this meal that Jack learned how to use my camera so I have many pictures of bread crust. Jack received his very own camera for Christmas.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #127
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Day 7.3

Artichoke, Spinach and Jalapeño dip

Potato Leek Soup

Yachtsman Steakhouse Center Cut Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Chocolate decadence

Jack’s pasta

One last Mickey bar…

I have to admit, I was pretty depressed by this point. We had such a great time and I didn’t want it to end!
Everything worked this night, there were no technical difficulties, but since it was also the “Till We Meet Again” farewell dinner, I think it was different than the average Animator’s Palate dinner.

Teody was going on vacation right after this cruise. Anthony is heading to the Fantasy soon. This makes me sad because I would love to request them again as servers, but they won’t be together.
After dinner we headed back to our room where I discovered our pillowcase and tote bag I had dropped off at the beginning of the cruise. Jack didn’t notice so I just tucked them away and he got his pillowcase for Christmas!
We headed back to the show and we ended up sitting with our table mates! The kids all sat together and it was a great show as usual.

They loved collecting the confetti afterwards.
We headed upstairs and got hot chocolate before we came down for the show in the lobby. Jack REALLY wanted to go to bed but I REALLY wanted to see what it was all about, so I made him stay up. I know, I’m a horrible mother!
So they do this entrance where all the characters from all the shows come down the stairs and disperse through the lobby area and then everyone rushes around to get pictures with them. Goofy basically walked over to us so we saw him first

Then Cinderella


Then Peter Pan and Ann Marie from the Dreams show



Ann Marie was telling Jack how much cooler his PJ’s were than hers

Then we headed upstairs to see Donald, who we hadn’t managed to get the entire cruise!


And then we got to see the ever elusive Daisy! Daisy isn’t out much at all so I was really excited about this one!

After this Jack was really insistent he wanted to go to bed so we headed out. At the end all the characters get on the stairs for a group shot, but Jack didn’t want to wait and I figured we had gotten enough so we went back for one last night of Ducktales before bed!
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:45 PM   #128
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You can definitely bring on your own hair dryer! You have to plug it in by the desk.

Jill in CO
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:19 AM   #129
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Wow! You really were on a roll with the updates...and I love them. Sometimes us Mommies just need to make those little ones stay up and have fun.

I love your Cabo pictures. That scenery is just gorgeous! I hope to do it some day too
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #130
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You can definitely bring on your own hair dryer! You have to plug it in by the desk.

Jill in CO
Thank goodness! It seriously took at least twice as long to dry my hair with their silly dryer!

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Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
Wow! You really were on a roll with the updates...and I love them. Sometimes us Mommies just need to make those little ones stay up and have fun.

I love your Cabo pictures. That scenery is just gorgeous! I hope to do it some day too
Thanks! I want to be done with this TR by Jan 1 so I can start my new never ending PTR in January. I still have to post the Disneyland day though so I hope I can get it done tomorrow!!

I really want to do this cruise again, but I get the feeling they are discontinuing it. They canceled all the December 2012 cruises out of LA and rumors are flying about where the Wonder will go next, but with the amount of promotions they run for the MR sailings I get the impression it's not earning enough $$ for them. It makes me sad because I really wanted to do it again with my whole family, it was the perfect cruise!
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:05 PM   #131
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Wow you've been an updating fool!!

Doesn't that hairdryer absolutely stink?! I took my own and had I not, I would have been drying my hair for hours.

Our trip was opposite yours. I was feeling the movement on the first day at sea! I was completely fine on the Bahamian cruise but this one really got to me.

Hope to read about your last day soon!
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:17 PM   #132
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February 1st will be my only park day. It also just so happens (as I mentioned before) that my friend and fellow TA Nikki (NikkiLovesWDW!) will be arriving on the 1st as well.

My plan is to be at Epcot for Rope Drop at 9 and play around in future world until the World Showcase opens at 11. Then I will start my WS browsing. At some point I will meet up with Nikki and her DH Tom. Nikki has graciously invited me to join them at their dinner at La Hacienda at 7:45 and we are hoping to catch Illuminations from there.

Epcot is my all time "Happy Place" so when I decided to do this trip I knew it would be the only park I would go to. I have never eaten at La Hacienda, so I have decided to try to only eat things I haven't before while on this trip. I will probably skip breakfast this day, but I do want to try a new place for lunch in the WS, but a counter service type meal for sure. Any suggestions?
YAY!!!!

I am SOOOOO excited for your trip & for Nikki's!!!! I'm seriously hoping to have the baby prior to your meeting on the 1st -- but you never know!!! Regardless, I know you guys will enjoy drinking those margaritas for me!!!

Suggestions for CS at Epcot -- Hmmmm....Epcot is my absolute favorite place to eat! I definitely suggest grabbing a dessert in Norway AND France (yes you can't pick just one!) We like that Sunshine Seasons (in the Land Pavilion) gives you a lot of options. I've gone there & only got dessert (chocolate mousse cake or strawberry cake). I've also gotten an entire meal there. I love their chicken and noodle dish. I think its called Sesame Chicken or something like that ?? I'll look it up on AllEars and let you know for sure! They have little things like salads or huge meals like half a chicken! But in my personal opinion, there is no wrong choice at Epcot!!!!

Sorry I haven't been posting here, but you know I've been following your blog & keeping up with your trip that way!!!
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:15 PM   #133
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Our crazy last day(s)

Before this trip I debated long and hard about adding a day at Disneyland after the cruise. The way I saw it, it was my best opportunity to see Disneyland since we were already going to be in LA and I also had 2 more days off, so if we had gone home I would have just sat at home with nothing to do. Originally I had planned 2 Disneyland days, but when the reality of my budget set in, I scaled it back to one day. The plan was to leap off the ship and head right to the hotel and then to the parks.
The morning was a blur of activity. I decided we would haul our luggage off the ship ourselves to save time. We knew we couldn’t get off the ship until we were cleared so we decided to go ahead and do breakfast at our normal table, which was in Animator’s Palate. Whatever restaurant you were in the night before is where you went for breakfast. All of our table mates actually showed up as well!
I didn’t take any pictures, it was just too crazy! After breakfast we went back to our room and grabbed our stuff and joined the long line of people leaving. As we were leaving we saw that they were bringing out the Christmas decorations!! Finally we were through customs etc. and jumped in a cab.
Let me just say this was a HUGE mistake. I didn’t book a shuttle because I wanted to get off the ship as early as humanly possible. This was our only park day and I didn’t want to waste a minute of it! I figured the cost of a cab would be comparable to the shuttle anyways. I was WRONG! It was nice to be able to leave right away but the cab ride cost me over $100. That was a bit of a shock, but there was nothing I could do about it. I used the time to call home and check in. My parents were at a football game at home so we didn’t talk long.

Oh, I forgot to mention, it was raining. Yes, my one perfect park day, and it was cold and raining. I was a little stressed about it, but there was nothing we could do but hope for the best.
We made it to the hotel, the Fairfield Inn right across from the park, by 9:30 am. I was pretty pleased about that at least. We went to check in and store our luggage. I had paid the extra $$ for a Disney themed room, so we could at least feel like we were staying on property (for much cheaper). They had several different themes, and my only request was that we not have the princess themed one. She asked if I wanted Cars and I said sure, but then she said the Toy Story room was ready then so I went with that. I didn’t tell Jack what kind of room it was and he was so excited when we got in! We dropped off our stuff, used the bathroom, and headed right out to the parks!

It was still raining out so we stopped off in the little gift shop and bought Jack a poncho. It was about a 5 minute walk to the entrance to the property, past a couple other hotels. It was easy to find, we just followed all the other people!



The question was where to start… due to the weather, I wasn’t sure we would do both parks. If it stayed gross I knew we wouldn’t want to spend a whole day out in the rain so I went ahead and bought a one park ticket for each of us. The CM said we could just come back and upgrade if we decided we wanted a park hopper. So which park did we pick?

I had also asked about World of Color and was told it pretty much went on, rain or shine. Fantasmic however was canceled if it was too wet so the performers wouldn’t slip etc, so I figured DCA was the way to go. I was stoked to see that they had started decorating for the holidays!
They are doing a lot of work on DCA so it was a little weird with all the walls up. We found our way inside and headed to a ride Jack had never done before…
J
ack was saying he didn’t want to ride, but I told him he would love it and that it was grandma’s favorite ride. There was no line really and soon we were ready to take off!

After Soarin’ we headed over towards Paradise Pier. We stopped at this little spot to say hello to some of our friends

Carsland looks like it’s going to be awesome, I hope we get to go visit once it’s up and running!
Next Jack pointed out a ride he wanted to try. I was a little surprised by his choice but whatever!








It was pretty cool, and very well done.
We headed to Paradise Pier next to hit another favorite!

Do you see that little patch of blue? I did! It certainly gave me hope…



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Old 12-31-2011, 08:19 PM   #134
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part 2

I think we waited maybe 15 minutes for this ride.




I asked Jack if he wanted to ride the Monsters Inc ride and he very emphatically said no. The weather was really clearing up so I decided to go back to the original plan and do both parks. We stopped on the way out to get World of Color fastpasses and headed out.


We went back , upgraded our tickets and headed into the Happiest Place on Earth!



Our first stop was the Blue Ribbon Bakery for a snack, it had been quite some time since breakfast, but it wasn’t lunchtime yet.
I got one of these

Jack had one of these!


We also got a bottle of water.
As we headed down Main Street I noticed the Castle was blocked off… they were taping for the Christmas parade!

We could have gotten in the crowd, but we were limited on time so we passed by and kept moving towards…

The Nemo submarines! I have the Touring Plans app on my phone so I was keeping a close eye on wait times. This was the longest line we waited in all day, about 25 minutes. The ride is pretty neat, but not something I would need to do again.



After Nemo Jack was dying to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We waited less than 10 minutes.
My score:

Jack’s:

I was pretty impressed!
When we were done with Buzz it was about 12:30. We decided to eat lunch at Red Rocket’s Pizza and California sticker shock set in. I can’t remember how much we paid exactly, but it was hefty. We got a kids meal
breadsticks and a slice of pizza (I still had water from earlier)


Jack ended up eating the slice of pizza and I ate the kids pizza. We each had a breadstick and neither of us ate the apples or carrots. I want to say we paid around $20. It’s hard to remember because we used our Disney Visa Rewards card for all of our food.
Next we headed to another first for Jack…



He loved it! We got fastpasses for later and they were good between 2 and 3 pm. It was also starting to get warmer out.

Last edited by stephielela; 01-01-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:39 PM   #135
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part 3

Next up was a favorite of mine- Haunted Mansion!! I love the Nightmare before Christmas overlay they do during that time of year! It’s so cool! Jack had recently seen Nightmare before Christmas so he knew who everyone was. It was about a five minute wait.





None of my inside pictures turned out well.
Next we headed to a Disneyland landmark


My goal was to only ride things Jack either hadn’t ridden before or were exclusive to Disneyland. Naturally Buzz didn’t fit in, but we did it because he really wanted to, and it’s his vacation too. I guess I can’t expect him to understand, lol.
After Matterhorn we headed into Fantasyland where we rode exactly one ride.

It was cute, but not life changing!



Jack kept asking to go back to Buzz so we did. This time we ended up waiting for 20 minutes and it broke down a few times while we were on it.




Then it was time to use our Big Thunder fast passes.

We got done just in time for the Soundsational parade. It was pretty neat, but I had to hold Jack on my shoulders so he could see so I was glad when it was over!






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