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Old 11-13-2011, 07:38 PM   #1
BridgetR3
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Seven days of Sunshine, Storms, Sweaters and ....Sickness??

I'm finally brave enough to share about our March 2011 trip so come on out of hiding and say hello!!!

Cast members:

Me - Elementary school teacher, sudden Disney freak, and rider of any NONthrill ride

DH - Guy who likes relaxing, laid-back vacations(can you see how Disney isn't his first choice?), beach lover and thrill ride seeker

DS9 - Scared of heights, loud noises, fires, alarms, too many people, fast rides, rides with drops, rides in the dark, just about everything

DS5 - Scared of NOTHING

Here's a family pic from the beginning of our trip....
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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1. Background and our Travel days
2. First Park Day\
3. Checking out the resort and more MK
4. End of Day 1
5. Day 2 - AK morning
6. Day 2 - AK afternoon
7. Day 2 - AK evening
8. Day 3 - Epcot morning
9. Day 3 - Epcot lunch
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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Background and our Travel days

So let's start WAY back at the beginning almost a year ago now.....last November I began talking to my DH about going to Disney. We decided that it was FINALLY time. I had personally never been and he had only been as a toddler which he didn't remember. We decided that May sounded great since it was after testing for my third grader. I booked it....we told the kids.....and BAM, I lose my teaching job. Not many teachers get cut off in January but somehow I managed it. The kids had to switch schools and suddenly we couldn't go in May so we took off with what felt like the rest of Louisiana to spend Mardi Gras at Disney.

Now that you have the background, we can start the trip!!!

As soon as the kids got out of school on Thursday, Mar. 3, we loaded the rest of our stuff into the car and took off for Disney!! It seemed to take forever to get out of Louisiana but finally we were at our hotel in Mississippi. Ironically enough, this was where we received our one towel animal creation of the trip.



Early the next morning, we continued on our journey to Disney but upon arriving in Orlando, we stayed off site for the first night. Yes we learned our lesson that it's WAY too much switching luggage and reservations around on the first day at the parks.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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First park day

On Saturday, March 5, we checked out of our off site hotel and checked into Caribbean Beach Resort. Would we like the hotel? Would we stay there again? I'll share that later but for now.....

After we check in, they tell us that they will text us when our room is available and we head off to the bus stop.


Notice that they are looking the wrong way for the bus? It didn't take them long to realize that the buses came from the other way. We got on the bus at 9:03 a.m. not bad for having to switch hotels and all. On the bus, my DS 9 decided to tell the lady next to him EVERYTHING about his life. I'm thankful that we didn't know our room number yet because she would have known that too. He told her that we were staying at Trinidad North in Caribbean Beach, that we were from Louisiana, etc. As soon as we got off the bus we had a family stranger danger lesson.

First park ever?




Of course we went to Magic Kingdom to see Cinderella's Castle!! We were SOO excited to be at Disney that I think we practically ran down Main Street. I don't remember stopping at a single shop on this day! Magic Kingdom had opened at 8 a.m. and was set to close at midnight this day. The crowds were not bad at all when we got there and it looked like it would be a wonderful day!

Our first ride???



Yes Buzz it is! I had learned enough on the DISboards to know that I should grab a fastpass before we ride it to save for later!

My DS 9 rode with my husband and my DS 5 rode with me. This was a favorite for both of my boys and we rode this at least 4 or 5 times during the week!

I now have one of these photos too!!



After we defeated Zerg, my DH wanted to ride Space Mountain so off he went alone poor fellow as none of the rest of us were brave enough to join him. We were going to meet Chip and Dale but the boys spotted Buzz greeting people. Surprisingly the lines were not bad for Buzz and we only waited about 20 minutes even with a "recharge break" for Buzz.



My DH took a LOT longer than we expected on Space Mountain so we ended up looking around at little kiosks of Buzz merchandise and sitting on a wall while waiting for him. FINALLY he finished and came join us. After all that, he did not enjoy his ride as much as he thought he would. He said it was a rough ride. Maybe we really are getting old......

We had seen the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride while waiting for DH but I knew that it was one of the rides that never had a line (thanks to the helpful DIS people) so we decided to wait and ride it later. DS 9 found the Tomorrowland Speedway and begged to ride but with a wait time of 50 minutes, we decided to try it again later since we were going to have 3 days at Magic Kingdom.

Fastpass time!!! I ran ahead and grabbed Fastpasses for Peter Pan. After catching back up with my family, we decided to see Mickey's Philharmagic.

This was my DS 5's favorite show AFTER he got over the fact that Mickey shot his favorite dear old Donald Duck into a wall! He was SOOO angry with Mickey at first for hurting his dear Donald Duck!

This was a GREAT show. We all enjoyed it a lot but one thing we first saw here that was made more and more evident to us throughout the trip is that our boys have no idea what most Disney shows are. They have never seen Bambi, Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmations, Fantasia, Rascals (not sure it's Disney but still.....) and many many others. We have since introduced them to almost all Disney shows but it was such an eye-opening trip when they had no idea who classic Disney characters were.

Both boys asked to see it again and we told them yes that we would see it on another day. Unfortunately we never made it back here so we have something to look forward to on our next trip.

By the time we got out of Mickey's Philharmagic it was 11:45 a.m. (thank you time stamps) and we were very hungry!!! Our very first Disney meal was Cosmic Rays. Here's a pic of my lunch......



1/2 Rotisserie Chicken - with Mashed Potatoes and green beans with a child's nuggets in the background

I did a terrible job at getting food pictures on this trip!! Maybe next time I'll do better!

I had chosen a chocolate cake as my dessert but the ones at WDW are WAY too rich for me so I would trade them to the kids for their grapes!

Fastpass time!!!! - This time we all headed together to Frontierland to grab fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!!

After grabbing the fastpasses we decided to ride Pirates of the Caribbean which only had a 15 minute wait.

This turned out to be a family favorite for the week!! We LOVED this ride especially the song which we still sing to this day (usually just to aggravate DH).

My DS 5 exclaimed while getting off the ride, "This is FUN and we didn't EVEN GET DEAD!!!" Poor baby!! He was brave enough to ride even if he might die in the fight!

It was a few minutes too early to get fast passes for Splash Mountain like we had planned so we decided to go on a train ride. On the way there I took this crowd pic.



It was by far our biggest crowd day!

And we are back to Frontierland to grab fastpasses for Splash Mountain. We are also waiting for the hotel to text us that our room is ready even though it's only about 1:40 p.m.. They said that it would be between 3 and 5 p.m. but I was really hoping it would be ready sooner so we could go unpack our stuff.

After grabbing fastpasses for Splash Mountain, we decided to use our first fastpass of the day. We headed over to Peter Pan.



This was by far the worst crowds we saw of the whole week. It amazed me how many people were in Magic Kingdom this day.

As we were about to hop on Peter Pan, we saw that the It's A Small World line was a 10 minute wait so we decided to go there first. Our touring on this day was very jumpy, jump here, jump there, all over the park. It did get better some throughout the week.



Is the IASW hippo always drunk?

On the way to Peter Pan, my phone went off!!! YAY! Room is ready and we are staying at 3118!! We rode Peter Pan and left to go unpack our luggage. Would we make it back to MK?





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Old 11-14-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
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Checking out the resort

So last time I left off we were going back to the hotel to unload. Upon arriving at CBR, I reached into the back seat on the floorboard to grab my jacket and realized that it was soaking wet. Now we had noticed wet things on the way to Florida but dismissed them as the boys having spilled a drink or maybe a busted hand sanitizer (I had only brought a million). However, my whole jacket was dripping wet and it STUNK so I knew we had some kind of problem. As we started unloading luggage we noticed that some of it had gotten wet too. Where is this water coming from??

Upon closer inspection we noticed that the ice chest spout at the bottom was open, completely open. We think that in pushing everything in to make it fit in the back we must have pushed the ice chest against something that unlatched the spout. Unfortunately we did not realize this until two days into the trip and my jacket being squished under the back seat in an effort to make room for everything is now really wet and REALLY smelly. Oh well, nothing we can really do now so we bring our luggage to our room to finally see the inside of our home for the week.

Here are some pictures from around our resort.....







While at our resort we decided to have dinner at Old Port Royale and then head back to Magic Kingdom for the second parade and the fireworks later in the evening.

After eating dinner, we caught a bus to MK around 6:40 p.m. I knew that a parade was starting at 7 but I wasn't worried at all because my plan was enter the park, head up the stairs and take the train to Frontierland. Simple enough right? WRONG!! Another first timer mistake - I didn't know that the train stops operating during the parade.

Now if you ask me that is the dumbest thing ever because you enter the park and are stuck. You can't go down main street because of the people and the parade so you have to just stand in the crowd. So what do you do when you are stuck?? Take pics of the parade of course. These pics were taken by me raising the camera over my head and over everyone in front of me and blindly snapping. Therefore, only a couple are actually usable....




Again to me the crowds were large but I don't have anything to reference that by since this was our first trip. I do know that we never again experienced crowds like this all week. However, on this night, it was shoulder to shoulder PACKED for the parade and fireworks (at least the first parade).

So after the parade we went shopping down the shops on Main Street. We traded pins and vinylmations. Then we grabbed a spot for the Magic, Memories and You show. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's neat what they can do to the castle but you can't really tell who or what is in most of the pics from the parks that day. We loved the Buzz Lightyear blastoff part and a lot of the other character things but I wouldn't have been able to tell if we had a picture of us up on the castle or not because I could not see most of them clearly enough to know. What are your thoughts on Memories, Magic and you??


Cinderella's castle looked evil in this one.

After the Magic, Memories and You show, Wishes started. I don't have any pictures of the fireworks from this night because I really wanted to just experience the moment with the boys and besides we were standing shoulder to shoulder front to back with what felt like 8 million other people so it would have been really awkward to take pics like that.

Which fireworks show would be my favorite? Would it be Wishes or would Fantasmic win my heart? Would I enjoy Epcot's show? More on that for another day.....



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Old 11-14-2011, 04:01 PM   #6
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From this pic I can easily see that y'all are "Who Dat" followers as well. I can't tell you how many "Who Dats!" we received walking around WDW during our trip in 2010 after the Super Bowl. Looking forward to the rest of your TR.
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May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:48 PM   #7
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Yes we are Saints fans and LSU fans (that was a different day). Since we were there when most of Louisiana was off for Mardi Gras, we received a LOT of "Who Dats!" and of course, my DH was ALWAYS happy to oblige with one back.

In fact the day we ate at Le Cellier it was pretty much a sea of purple and gold!

Thanks for following along!!
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:10 PM   #8
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Once the fireworks were finished, MOST people exited the park. Did they not know about the midnight closing?? Had they not seen the signs EVERYWHERE or heard the announcements about it? Honestly I didn't care because that meant the crowds were lightening up a bit. Next, we found a spot to sit on the curb and really watch the Main Street Electrical Parade. About 10 minutes before the parade was to start, both boys decided that they needed the bathroom. Yep always happens like that right?? So DH took them while I basically laid down on the curb on Main Street with my stroller and all of our junk trying to hold our place. Yes I realize that it is probably illegal, immoral and unethical to do that but I had waited for this spot for a while and was NOT going to lose it because my boys had to potty!!! It worked and they were back quickly enough to see the parade.

First up, Tinkerbell!!!* DS4 loved watching Tinkerbell fly in the sky during the fireworks and was excited to see her again here.



After the parade, more people left so we decided to use our fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear and Splash Mountain and see what others we could ride before bed time since we were not really tired yet!!

This time the boys switched places so DH rode with....no one???



....oh wait DS4 is in there somewhere. If you look closely you can see his hand on the “gun” but no child.

It's kind of funny that even on the ride photos (the ones THEY take of you) you can't see DS4. I'm not sure he could even see the Z targets but he loved the ride.

On this ride we got stuck at the very very end for a few seconds.It was in the "hall" with the big spinning circle of Z targets on the right side. Well DH and I stopped shooting but the boys didn't. Obviously it was still counting shots because DS8 ended up with 207,400 and DS4 had 400,000+.


DS8's score before the very last room



After riding Buzz, we decided that we wanted to ride the PeopleMover. I was amazed at how many moving walkways they had at the parks. It took a little getting used to especially since I'm so clumsy as it is!!




I love my little one's face in this one!! It's his “I love Disney!” smile!

DS4 really enjoyed the ride, but DS8 was so sure of it. Quite a few parts of this were in the dark and he was always certain that we were going to have a big drop or start going really fast right up ahead. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was always at the back of his mind. He had HATED it.

After getting off of the PeopleMover, we decided that none of us felt like walking over to Splash to use our last fastpasses and in fact, none of us felt like walking at all. We stopped to buy a set of Buzz Lightyear figures for DS4 and a laser gun with Z targets for DS8 and headed back to the hotel. On the way to the bus stop, we saw this.....



After getting back to our hotel, we quickly got ready for bed and fell fast asleep dreaming of our day in the parks!!

UP NEXT: ANIMAL KINGDOM AND OUR FIRST TS

Would we like AK? Where was our first TS? Would we enjoy it or regret our choice? More stories next time.....
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:19 AM   #9
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I'm in! We were there the same weekend but went to MK on Sunday for the evening EMH and I can't believe the crowd difference one day makes! Sunday was nowhere NEAR that crowded.

Our last day was Mardi Gras and it was clear that all you Louisiana folks had taken over. Peter Pan commented to the girl in front of us that there must not be anyone left there, and we were the only ones *not* sporting purple & gold in line for Tiana and Naveen.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #11
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Just starting to get caught up from the reading. I am glad you had a great first day...those crowds are insane. As for the Castle show, I got to see it in Auyg and it was wonderful....but I don't think they use pictures from the parks that day...from what I know, they are pictures people sent in ( I sent some in earlier this year). I think they switch them up, but they are sent in.
I have arrive many times during the parade, and it's hectic, but you can usually push your way in the supposed pathway they have open along the shops.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:50 PM   #12
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Joining in!
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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WOOHOO I have readers!!!!

Colleen, yes the crowds were CRAZY that first day at MK. No other day was ANYWHERE near that full. I do think that all of Louisiana came out that one week because DW was constantly full of LSU and Saints gear!!

Cute story that I'll share now - I had loaded our stroller down with beads, LOADS of Mardi Gras beads, starting on the second day after I saw the "stroller hell" as I called it all week. This helped me identify my stroller from every other stroller although that day at MK was by far the worst. One day this cute little elderly CM stopped me as I was picking up my stroller and said, "Ma'am do you think you left any beads at all in New Orleans on your way down here?" We have laughed about that comment to this day!!!

A pic of stroller hell on that Saturday -


The reason I called it stroller hell was because I would leave my stroller at point A and look around to memorize where it was only to return after our ride to no stroller. Then I would have to walk around for a good 3-5 minutes and usually it was clear across the way from where I had left it. I HATED the stroller organizer CM's!!!
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:27 PM   #14
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Joining in
Thanks for joining in!!!! I was really beginning to worry that I would just be talking to myself throughout the trip down memory lane!!

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Just starting to get caught up from the reading. I am glad you had a great first day...those crowds are insane. As for the Castle show, I got to see it in Auyg and it was wonderful....but I don't think they use pictures from the parks that day...from what I know, they are pictures people sent in ( I sent some in earlier this year). I think they switch them up, but they are sent in.
I have arrive many times during the parade, and it's hectic, but you can usually push your way in the supposed pathway they have open along the shops.
I remember that MK on this day was a 7 which I didn't think was too bad.... but those crowds to me at least were way way more than a 7. Of course, it was my first day at Disney ever so what would I know??

Oh well that makes sense about the Castle show! I was wondering how they could put it together so fast everyday. How do you send in photos?

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THANKS!!! Great to have you along!! Congrats on your upcoming little one!
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #15
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The reason I called it stroller hell was because I would leave my stroller at point A and look around to memorize where it was only to return after our ride to no stroller. Then I would have to walk around for a good 3-5 minutes and usually it was clear across the way from where I had left it. I HATED the stroller organizer CM's!!!
BTDT The beads were a great idea!

We have an older stroller for DD3, a Peg Perego that I bought second hand that has certainly seen better days so I'm not concerned with resale or hand-me-down value. So what I did to make it stand out in stroller hell is ironing on patches all over the canopy, each designed in Photoshop to commemorate trips we've taken with DD, ala an old hard-side suitcase plastered with stickers. It is starting to get a bit crowded now, but I have a new idea for this year.... Electroluminescent wire to make it easier to spot in the dark!
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