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Old 02-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
lledman
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A January No Husbands Allowed Trip Report

We survived with 9 kids and only 4 adults and in fact we actually enjoyed it. January was a wonderful time to visit – the weather was perfect and the crowds were pretty low for the most part. I’m working now on getting photos sorted and such – will take a little while since there were 4 of us with cameras. And speaking of photos, I’m happy to report that I found many more photopass photographers than on our trip last May – we really got our monies worth out of pre-ordering the CD – can’t wait to share it with you all.

For anyone who didn’t read my PTR – which the plans changed a million times – I’ll do a little recap. I traveled with 2 of my friends – my husband claims to not be a huge Disney fan but I think he was a little upset I went without him. Jessica and Janet are two of my closest friends and we travel/camp with their families a lot. We all have kids around the same ages so it's great b/c everyone has a friend along where ever we go. Our vacationing styles are somewhat different - Jess and I research, evaluate, plan and re-plan everything while Janet just goes along with whatever she's told she’s going to do for the day. We all went together in April 2008 but didn’t really end up spending that much time together – we camped at Ft. Wilderness, Janet and my sister stayed at Pop while Jess and another friend of ours stayed offsite in a house. Jess’ husband was not impressed with Disney at all and said he had no desire to return (that was until a couple of weeks before we left and the kids started getting all excited – he will be on the next Disney vacation). Janet has since separated. So the husband free trip was conceived.

The cast of characters (I'll update with pictures once we get our photopass cd)
My family – me – Lisa - Disney obsessed mom to Tyler (13 –almost didn’t get to come b/c he wasn’t taking his grades serious but he did pull it off in the end), Devin (6) and Tyra (4 & a handful)

The R Family – Jessica, Danielle (13), Kiersten (6) and Hunter (4) (see a pattern with the ages there)

The S Family – Janet and Cameron (4) along with Ashlin (who is Cameron’s ½ sister and will be turning 10 on the day we leave). Janet also bought along her mom, Elaine, and nephew Alex (7)


When – January 20-28, 2012
__________________
November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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Friday, January 20, 2012 & Saturday, January 21, 2012
The plan was to leave sometime around 4:30 and by 4:25 we were on the road. We live on my family’s farm so my kids get to see my parents every day. My mom wanted to see the kids before they left so we made plans for everyone to meet at my mom’s house. Tyra had an awards ceremony at school that afternoon so I picked up Devin so he wouldn’t have to ride the bus home. Jess arrived around 4 and I threw our last minute stuff in her van (we had packed the majority of our stuff the night before). Her husband was right down the street at a friend’s house so he came shortly after and my DH got off work and stopped at my mom’s to tell us good-bye. Janet arrived with her crew at 4:20. We threw one kid in with her and we were off.

The ride down was long and uneventful. We stopped at an Arby’s for dinner just before getting on I-95. The kids didn’t want to go to sleep but finally around 11 they were all settled in. We stopped only when we need gas or bathroom breaks. Sucked that I couldn’t get some rest but oh well.






Jess drove until about 1 and then I took over. We stopped at a McDonalds at 5 am for breakfast. That did me in, about an hour after we were back on the road I was super tired and could really feel it. Instead of stopping for a little, Jess said she’d drive again. I was asleep before I hit the passenger seat, the kids fell back to sleep as well I think.


We arrived at our destination around 8 am and of course our rooms at the Comfort Suites Maingate were not ready. We really didn’t have any plans for this day. We drove down the street and stopped at a souvenir shop.


There was a lady in there at a kiosk that was recruiting people for a timeshare tour. You got $75 cash for taking the tour so Jess decided to sign us up, after all we didn’t really have any plans so what did we have to loose. The lady told us all sorts of things that we’d have to say to the people (income requirements, no husbands, blah, blah, blah). So we were off to just about a minute down the street.


When we arrived the lady at the desk took a lot of information and then bam the one thing the kiosk lady forgot to tell us – you had to have stayed in an area hotel the night before, we didn’t know so we were not eligible for the tour. Oh well.
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November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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It was now around 9:30 so we decided to head to Downtown Disney. What a lovely sight -


The weather was definitely a lot warmer than it was at home. Most of us decided to change into shorts for the day (yep, right there in the parking lot of DTD).


We parked near Planet Hollywood because the one mission of this trip was for Tyler to visit the magic shop and get the oreo cookie trick that he wanted last visit and they were sold out. We never did find the magic store – did it close??????





We stopped on the bridge for Tyler to take a “magic shot” of Danielle.


The little kids went just a little further up from us before stopping. Not even at Disney for 20 minutes and Hunter loses his shoe over the side of the bridge.




Luckily there was a wonderful worker nearby and he offered to go retrieve it.


All shoes secured, we headed towards the Lego Store. Tyler took the camera to get some shots of the statues






I think Devin took this photo????


The kids played for about 15 minutes outside the store with the block tables that were set up




We moved on to the World of Disney store.




I don’t think my family made any purchases at this time, I knew we were coming back in a couple of days.









__________________
November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR


Last edited by lledman; 02-01-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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From here we headed to Once Upon a Toy. Again no purchases from my family but they all had fun playing at the Potato Head tables.





























It was now about 12:30 and that was a long time past our 5 am breakfast that morning. Before we had left we each had purchased certificates from restaurant.com for a pizza place that looked pretty good and was just down the street from the Comfort Suites (in the shopping center that was attached actually). So we decided to head back that way for lunch and then we’d stop back by the hotel to see if our rooms were ready.



My kids were beat – guess they should have slept more on the ride down instead of keeping me up half the night




Tyler ordered the spaghetti and the rest of us split a small stuffed pizza – mmmmmmmm!



Nothing like a photo with food hanging out of your mouth – ok, so lets take 2 more since everyone had to sample a bite





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November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
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Thru the parking lot onto the Comfort Suites. Our rooms still weren’t ready but they did let us go ahead and check in and we could use the pool. Jess, Janet and Elaine didn’t want to swim so I joined the kids in the pool.




The pool was heated but there was a slight breeze when you got out of the water.



After about 45 minutes in the pool, Jess went to check on our rooms and they were finally ready.


We grabbed our overnight bags and headed to the room for showers and to change.






Jess made a comment that she thinks this is the smallest tv she’s ever seen in a hotel room.




By 4 we were all showered and laid down in bed to watch tv and rest. Hunter fell asleep almost immediately (and didn’t wake up until 6 the next morning). About this time Tyler started to feel sick to his stomach and we all decided that the spaghetti was a horrible idea. Luckily he was the only one to get sick and it didn’t last into the night. Around 5 I was hungry again and wanted something other than the left over pizza so Jess and I left Tyler and Hunter at the hotel (with Janet and Elaine in the room next to us) and took Devin, Kiersten & Tyra through the drive through at the Chick-fil-a just down the road. We bought back dinner for everyone and our room was in bed asleep by 6:30 – yep we slept almost 12 hours that night. I don’t know how but Jess and all her kids slept in one of the beds, Tyler and I took the other (no one else wanted to sleep with “Pukey”) and Tyra and Devin took the fold out couch.
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November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-02-2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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Since we had all showered the night before and everyone was soo well rested getting ready was a snap.





We loaded up the van and before checking out made our way to breakfast area. Wonderful spread. Jess sat at a table with the boys and I had the girls (no we didn’t separate them that way it’s just how they sat).


We made one quick pit stop at the souvenir shop we visited the day before so Jess could get a sparkle shirt for Kiersten (she never got around to making her one at home with the iron ons we had gotten through ebay). Janet and family were running just slightly behind us this morning so this also allowed them time to finish breakfast and we all met up to drive to Pop together.




We had all done online check in and had no problems getting our packets and tickets. Our rooms were not ready but they took cell phone numbers to text us when they were. After a quick potty break we were off. Here’s the boys waiting on the girls to finish.
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November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-02-2012, 08:03 AM   #7
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I don’t have it in my notes but I don’t think we waited long for a bus and we were off to the Magic Kingdom to start our Disney World Vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After we got through the bag check and gates we stopped for fast passes for the characters in the front. I had read a tip here on the DIS that if you go fast passes for the characters that you could still get fast passes un-interrupted for the rides. Well that’s ½ true. If you get fast passes for Mickey you can still get another for a ride but if you get a FP for the princesses you have to wait the 2 hours or printed time on your FP. Live and Learn. This messed up our plan a little of sending Tyler and Danielle ahead for Space Mt. FP but we only had to wait less than an hour for a new set of FP so we decided like on every visit before to start our day off in Tomorrowland. Our first ride of the trip – to infinity and beyond of course (and with a posted 10 minute wait but this was really just a walk on)










I think we sent Tyler and Danielle over for Space Mt. FP at this time but maybe it was after we went into the Laugh Floor. I texted jokes for all the kids – great tip I read here – save jokes in your draft folder before you go and then when you see the show you can just plug in the number and keyword then send them off – very beneficial if you have 9 kids with you – lol!!! They ended up combining the kids names into 2 jokes but that was cool since they didn’t know which ones I had texted from who, they just liked hearing their names.






Next we moved on to the People Mover – nice slow ride that everyone could enjoy.








Thrilling ride – I don’t know how he contained himself


I have no idea what time it was other than my stomach was saying lunchtime so we decided to eat at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café (my goal for this trip was to eat at new places that I’ve never tried before since we usually have to pay out of pocket for meals – first meal and I fail this goal)

Janet saw Buzz out with a line but wanted to let Cameron and Alex meet him so she hopped in line with most of the kids (I think Cameron, Alex Ashlin, Devin, Kiersten, Hunter and Danielle all stayed with her) while the rest of us went off for lunch.

They met up with us and we all shared our meals.
Jess had sat her food on her table and come over to get something from ours. The birds attacked and she had to go chase them off. Notice the one on the chair in front of her


Tyler and I had bacon cheese burgers and the kids each had a nugget kids meal.


After lunch we went back so those that were tall enough to ride could get on Space Mountain. I think Elaine took Cameron with her while she went to the smoking section while I took Hunter and Tyra on the People Mover again.



We all met back up and it was 12:45. Elaine hightailed it to the Barber Shop with Alex (since he was added to the reservations a week before we left I was unable to secure him a BBB reservation with the others. We gave the kids their invitations and took off towards the castle.





Here’s Hunter with his invitation


And the girls
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November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:09 AM   #8
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signing on, fun trip so far!
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Me: DH: DD (8): DS (6): DS (3):

First Disney Trip 4/1992 ~ 7th Grade with parents and brother ~ MK, Epcot, MGM / 4/1994 ~ 9th grade with parents and brother ~ MK, Epcot, MGM / 3/1998 ~ College Spring Break with then bf now dh ~ MK, Epcot, MGM / 8/2006 with dh and 17 mos dd ~ DLR / 3/2007 with dh and 23 mos dd ~ AK / 12/2007 with dh, 2.5 yr dd and 6 mos ds ~ MK & Epcot / 5/2009 with dh, 4 yr dd, and 2 yr ds ~ DLR & CA /1/2012 with dh, 6 yr dd, 4 yr ds, and 17 mos ds ~ MK & DHS / 11/2012 for my birthday and Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon with dh ~ Marathon & Epcot / 6/2013 with dh, 8 yr old dd, 6 yr old ds, 2.5 yr old ds ~ all!

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Old 02-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dara00 View Post
signing on, fun trip so far!
welcome aboard. heading over to check out your tr now
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November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-02-2012, 07:53 PM   #10
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Count me in!!!
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelMel11 View Post
Count me in!!!
__________________
November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-06-2012, 07:34 AM   #12
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I had never been inside the castle so this was new for me and my family. We check in all the kids – the girls had 1:10 appointments and the boys were at 1:20 and 1:30. They took the boys back first and then did the girls after. (sorry if these are out of order but I’m using both mine and Jess’ photo and then the photo pass photographer must have taken 300 photos at this event)






























Birthday Princess Ashlin


Princess Tyra (or Princess Snooki as Tyler was calling her)










__________________
November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-06-2012, 07:49 AM   #13
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Devin and Tyra need a potty break so we went in search of a rest room. The others got on the Carousel with no wait.






We grabbed FP for Winnie the Pooh when we came back later that evening and were given surprise FP for Mickey’s Philar Magic Show, I took this to mean there was no wait so we went in.








It was now just after 3 pm so we started walking towards the front of the park – duh, parade time – very poor timing on our part. We made it to the train station and decided to use our fast passes from that morning to meet the characters. First up were Mickey and Minnie. Mickey met us at a closed door and then walked us down a hallway into another room where Minnie was waiting.






With 13 people in our group you can imagine the room was a little full. I took some pictures of the surroundings that caught Tyra’s eye.






Back to the characters




With our group being so large I really relied on the photopass photographers a lot more than I have on previous trips. It was nice to get more of the interaction myself and not have to worry soo much about catching every second on film. I apologize in advance for the lack of personal photos but I promise when the cd arrives you will be tired of looking at our crew (it was shipped on the 3rd so any day now).
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April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-06-2012, 07:51 AM   #14
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Since we had no wait at all to see Mickey we cut back into the building and visited with the princesses. We were led straight back into the meeting room with no wait and we were the only family in there at the time.










Belle loved all the hair-dos






It was now time to split for our dinner reservation – I think it was 3:45 so we made excellent time with the characters. The plan was to take the monorail over but as we exited the park the boat had just pulled up so why not.








We arrived at the Grand Floridian around 4 and restaurant didn’t open until 4:30 so we had to wait in the garden. This provided a great opportunity for a photo shoot.




__________________
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April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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Old 02-06-2012, 10:03 AM   #15
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We posed for the group photo and then waited to be seated. We were seated at 2 tables (Jess’ family took the table for 4 and Janet and I sat at the other). Our waitress took our drink order and we were told we could head to the buffet.

First out was Prince Charming




Followed by Cinderella (I like how when the characters are announced that the other characters will pause to recognize them) When she got to our table she loved the girls outfits and they all had a conversation about how wonderful the fairy godmother was to make the dresses for them and do their hair and make up – very cute.




Lady Tremine and the stepsisters were announced but it took a little longer for them to make their way to our tables.





When she got to our table she was in perfect character. She asked if anyone at our table had a steed? The kids sort of gave her funny looks, so I said we live on a farm that has 2 horses. She accepted that as an answer and then one of the kids chimed in that Tyler has a cow of his own. She loved that and made a huge fuss over Tyler having a cow of his very own and asked him all sorts of questions about it – what type – a steer – does he have a name – Bubba. She asked if we had met her daughters yet and the kids said no just Cinderella and she made a snide face that I don’t think they caught. She made Tyler stand next to her and called to Druzilla from across the room – “Oh Drusilla dear, this young man right here has his own steer I think you should meet him as he is a fine suitor”. Drusilla didn’t seem too impressed so she grabbed Tyler by the arm and took him across the room to where Drusilla was and I’m not sure what the interaction was but it was hilarious to everyone else watching. I do feel a little bad for the family that Drusilla was visiting with b/c Lady T and Tyler barged into their interaction but they were laughing at it too so I don’t think they minded.








Anastasia






Drusilla




The formal dance was then announced and we had the perfect seat right in the middle of the room



After a minute they broke and asked a few of the kids to dance with them. Prince Charming first danced with Tyra




then Ashlin




and third he asked Kiersten to dance with him




As you can imagine with 13 people there wasn’t a lot of lag around time to take photos – the Grand Floridian was beautiful but much too upscale for our brood.


After dinner we decided to take the mono rail back to the MK. We waited for about 5 minutes for a monorail to come. We boarded and then waited another 5 minutes for it to leave the station and then we stopped in route for another 5 minutes. Never found out what was going on but it was a slow go to get back and I was not fond of being perched on the rails above the water.
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November 2004 @ Cypress Pointe Grand Villas
April 2008 @ Fort Wilderness
August 2008 @ Pop Century
May 2011 with the in-laws
January 2012 - no husbands allowed

Best Friends Take on the World - October 2012 PTR

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