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Old 03-07-2012, 01:11 PM   #16
vdub322
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I stumbled onto your trip report today and I am enjoying it very much! We are new DVC members planning an upcoming trip, and my nephew was just approved by MAW and my sister in law is waiting on dates right now, hopefully in May. So I've found it very interesting to read about the experiences of others! And your pics are so nice!

Also, my DH was in the Air Force before I met him and was stationed in Japan for four years. He was at Misawa. He tells me lots of stories about his time there...
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:20 PM   #17
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Oh really? I was stationed in Misawa from 2000-2003. I loved our time there. I'd love to go back.

Awww, thank you! I'm actually a photographer, these aren't my best work. LOL! Just shot in auto. www.vanessaarmstrongphotography.com is my photo website or http://www.facebook.com/vanessaarmstrongphotography I really enjoy it and thanks to the Air Force I can go to school for it.

May would be a wonderful time! GKTW is amazing, your nephew will have a great time. We really loved our time there. The kids were so sad when we had to leave.

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Originally Posted by vdub322 View Post
I stumbled onto your trip report today and I am enjoying it very much! We are new DVC members planning an upcoming trip, and my nephew was just approved by MAW and my sister in law is waiting on dates right now, hopefully in May. So I've found it very interesting to read about the experiences of others! And your pics are so nice!

Also, my DH was in the Air Force before I met him and was stationed in Japan for four years. He was at Misawa. He tells me lots of stories about his time there...
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:29 PM   #18
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I am totally loving your trip report and the endless smile on Kiera's face!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:30 PM   #19
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Oh really? I was stationed in Misawa from 2000-2003. I loved our time there. I'd love to go back.

Awww, thank you! I'm actually a photographer, these aren't my best work. LOL! Just shot in auto. www.vanessaarmstrongphotography.com is my photo website or http://www.facebook.com/vanessaarmstrongphotography I really enjoy it and thanks to the Air Force I can go to school for it.

May would be a wonderful time! GKTW is amazing, your nephew will have a great time. We really loved our time there. The kids were so sad when we had to leave.
You were at Misawa at the same time! He was there from 1999-2003!

I checked out your website and you are so talented. I have a DSLR and I have no idea how to make the most of it! I'm trying to learn before our next trip.

It's wonderful that you are able to go to school for what you love. With the help of the Air Force, my husband was able to get his degree in IT from Penn State and now he works full time there as an IT manager.

And in another similarity, my name is Vanessa too!

I look forward to reading the rest of your TR! I know my nephew will have a blast. It's their first time to WDW and I told them about Pirates League too because my SIL has three boys and they would all love it!
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:32 PM   #20
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I am totally loving your trip report and the endless smile on Kiera's face!!
Thanks! I hope it helps build the excitement for you guys!
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:33 PM   #21
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Wow! How funny! I was stationed up on the hill, I was in intell, worked at the MCOC/Elephant Cage. My DH was in the Navy in Misawa, he's been working on his IT degree too, should finish soon now that we aren't moving anymore.
They'll love the pirate league!

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You were at Misawa at the same time! He was there from 1999-2003!

I checked out your website and you are so talented. I have a DSLR and I have no idea how to make the most of it! I'm trying to learn before our next trip.

It's wonderful that you are able to go to school for what you love. With the help of the Air Force, my husband was able to get his degree in IT from Penn State and now he works full time there as an IT manager.

And in another similarity, my name is Vanessa too!

I look forward to reading the rest of your TR! I know my nephew will have a blast. It's their first time to WDW and I told them about Pirates League too because my SIL has three boys and they would all love it!
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nesser1981 View Post
I'm actually a photographer, these aren't my best work. LOL! Just shot in auto. www.vanessaarmstrongphotography.com is my photo website or http://www.facebook.com/vanessaarmstrongphotography I really enjoy it and thanks to the Air Force I can go to school for it.
What a coincedence...I've been looking for a new photographer...and you're pretty close to me!! Hopefully the weather will turn soon (or stay like today) and maybe we can set something up!
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #23
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Sounds good.
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Originally Posted by Delaney21 View Post
What a coincedence...I've been looking for a new photographer...and you're pretty close to me!! Hopefully the weather will turn soon (or stay like today) and maybe we can set something up!
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:52 PM   #24
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I did a quick review of the food we had @ Disney here if anyone wants to look. It has pictures for everything except for the Tusker House & the QS meals.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:19 PM   #25
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Day 5: Islands of Adventure & the Princess/Pirates Party @ GKTW

We had breakfast at the Gingerbread House and then went to the parks. We had amazing parking @ IOA, if you've never been, and I hadn't. It's a big parking garage, and you walk through their City Walk and both parks are right next to each other. I found this to be extremely awesome! I feel both of these parks my kids will enjoy more when they are older, but I was glad we went.

DH & both really love Harry Potter, so we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first, as did everyone else in the entire theme park. I loved the whole look of IOA and can't wait to go back. This was our shortest park day.



We checked out the joke shop, Zonkes, and Honeydukes, but we didn't buy anything.


Sean and the kids tried Pumpkin Juice, I didn't because I was sick and well I heard it was gross. LOL! Sean didn't like it, but the kids drank it.


Next we found Ollivander's Wand Shop, and asked to do the wand choosing process. We waited by the door until the group that was inside was finished and then we went in, first. Keira was chosen to be the person that was taken to the counter to select her wand. That was pretty awesome! She thought it was so coo! LOL! I wish I'd have taken our video camera for this moment, it was really fun what they had her do. They pick one person from each group I'm assuming to do this, but it was really awesome they picked Keira. She killed some plants, rung some bells while he was trying to find the perfect wand for her. If you look the shop up on Youtube they have some videos of the whole process.





After that, we bought Keira's wand ($29.95) and went to the only ride they were big enough for, Flight of the Hippogriff. It was both Keira & Cooper's favorite ride of the week.


We didn't go in Hogwarts, it was so busy and we couldn't do the ride anyhow. Cooper didn't like the wand choosing process, said it was scary, so he may not have liked how dark it would have been in the castle.

We got a frozen & non-frozen Butterbeer @ the Three Broomsticks. The non-frozen was too sweet for me. The kids like watching for House Elves shadows on the walls while we were there.



Then we went to Seuss Landing.


We did the Merry Go Round, the Trolley in the Sky, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish and the Cat in the Hat rides, checked out a few shops and decided to leave early for the day. Coop decided he didn't want to see the Superheros.


We had our best meal of the week so far @ Margaritaville & were back @ the village by 1:30.

Day 5, Part 2
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #26
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Day 5, part 2

The heat had been so much more than we'd expected this trip, cutting our days short to spend more time in the pool was just fine by me.

Cooper didn't do as well as I thought he'd do at the parks, he likes his freedom. LOL!

We went back to swim and play in the splash pad.






After that we had ice cream


Cooper loved that clown trash can, he had to see it every time we were close.

Then we went back to the villa for a little break and went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I'd planned on having dinner at the Gingerbread House, but their food just didn't do it for me or Sean.

Then it was time for the Pirates & Princess Party!
Keira met Twinkle Hope, the My Little Pony.


There were some awesome McCaws there.


Their owners really loved the pirate shirts that Sean & I wore to the party!






They both loved the party, Coop loved the automatic bubbles they had going, he played and danced in them forever. Keira loved all the activities they had.

We went back to the villa about 8 and got the kids to bed. We had one more long day at the parks.



Next, Animal Kingdom & Epcot.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:57 PM   #27
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Day 6, Animal Kingdom & Epcot.

Well, we had our last character meal at Animal Kingdom, so we left about 8 am, our breakfast was at 9:05.

We checked in a few minutes early and got in line to have our picture taken with Donald Duck. Donald doesn't go in Tusker House and he doesn't sign autographs.

Our breakfast was basically the same as all the other buffets had been. They had more pastries and Krispy Kreme donuts!

The kids loved their Jungle Juice, I forget what fruits were in it, but it was good.

This is the only breakfast that Daisy Duck appears at and Keira was dying to meet her. Coop said he was too, until she got to us. LOL!




After the characters made their way around to the tables, Mickey led a little parade w/ the kids dancing and shaking noise makers, I had to go with Cooper and they loved it! DH didn't take pictures, because he doesn't think of those kinds of things. ;p

We went to the Safari next and did the walking trail.


Then we went to Camp Mickey & Minnie, we skipped the Lion King show, it was super busy in this area of the park and I don't think DH really wanted to sit for another show. Not his thing.

Meeting Pocahontas we got our second set of dirty looks and the woman wasn't happy with the cast member when she told her Keira would be going next. Animal Kingdom was the only park where I saw the CM ask the group. Most just told them.


Minnie Mouse was no problem. Although they did check with the family first. Which was fine, we could wait you know. And I didn't not linger if there was a line.



Now, Cooper really loves A Bug's Life, so we went to see Flik, this CM just took us right to the front. Then he told us where other characters were and that we just tell we are a wish family and to the front of the line we would go. He was an older man, very sweet.



We went to see It's Tough to be a Bug, then had lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. It was ok, the meat was kind of dry, the line took forever. The QS food at Disney isn't that great. Maybe next time we go we'll just eat snacks.

It was about 12:30 and we decided to go to Epcot next. We thought about doing Asia & Dinoland USA, but we also wanted to be able to do Epcot, Keira had heard about Mayor Clayton's Birthday Party, so she really wanted to do that too and I still had to pack. We loved AK though, just too many people that day & it was so hot!

Day 6, Part 2-Epcot
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:18 PM   #28
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Epcot!

I was really looking forward to going to Epcot, I went once in High School, it was the first Disney Park I'd ever been too and I thought it was really cool.



We get in and Sean got sunscreen in Keira's eye, that took a little while to get taken care of and getting her feeling better.

We went to Mouse Gear when we first got there so the kids could spend the rest of their spending money from the trip. And FYI, we didn't bust our MAW budget. I did spend money @ Walmart our first day, but didn't count that as MAW money. That was really nice.

We went to do the Seas With Nemo & Friends, then Turtle Talk with Crush.


The lands was the only other thing I think I had on our list of rides and we skipped it.

Keira got to meet Alice in England, that was nice. We got in line to wait, because I didn't see a CM and the line was really short. He saw us and pulled us to the front.


The only other characters we saw in Epcot were Marie & Belle, we skipped them. We looked for Mulan, but couldn't find her.

The Flower & Garden festival starts this weekend I think at Epcot, so it was all done up for it. The displays were great.



While we were in France we had a little snack.



I had cake & Sean shared his cheese plate & bread with me.
We left there about 4:30, decided to skip our reservation for La Hacienda.

Instead we stopped at a Waffle House on the way home. It was yummy! I love Waffle House.


We drove back to GKTW for the last time, got to the villa, changed and went to the pool of course.

Cooper named the fire hydrants that were on our walk to the pool, one was named Jack and this one was Choolooo, or something like that. LOL!


After the pool we went to change clothes and take the kids to see Keira's star and Mayor Clayton's Birthday Party, but not before I made an emergency run to Walmart to find a white shirt for Keira. She put on her princess skirt and top and right away spilled chocolate milk all over her shirt. She got a little on the skirt, and I got it out the tide pen.


We played putt putt too, well, sort of played. LOL!



After the surprise party for Mayor Clayton, we went back to the villa, the kids took a bath and I started packing. OMG, the 3 bags I took worked, but 4 would have been easier.

Our last day & visit w/ friends.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #29
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Our last day at GKTW.

Our flight didn't leave until 4pm, so we stayed at the village until around 1:30. My best friend from home came down to visit us with her family, since I grew up about 3 hours away, it was pretty close for to come see us.

We met in 7th grade, so I guess we've known each other like 17 years now.

She's about 2 & a half months older than I am. We got married within a week of each other so I'd be home on leave to be in her wedding too. Keira & her oldest Madison are also about 2 & a half months apart. And Madison shares the same birthday as Cooper. Coop is in the middle of her other 2 little ones in age.

They got there about 9 am, right as we were finishing up breakfast, of course Sunday was the chillest day of the whole trip. Cold to them. We went to the villa, it go too loud in there really quick w/ 5 kids ages 7 and younger running around.

The crappy thing about the week we were there was Mathew's Boundless Playground was closed, the whole week for painting, that had been my big plan on keeping 5 kids entertained on this day. We went to the train station, they rode the train, went to the castle for a long time and they played in there. Rode the Merry Go Round like 3 times in a row, had ice cream and ate lunch at Katie's Kitchen. We managed to keep them busy.
Keira w/ my friend's girls.


Coop enjoying his Ice Cream Sandwich


Brandt having his ice cream.


The girls having ice cream.


Little kids are so great, Keira & Madison have met 3 times in their short lives and they are like best friend when they're together.



Love this one, this could totally have been Robyn & I if we'd known each other at that age.


And all 5 of them together.


Robyn & I


She is expecting #4 here in about a month.

It was a great trip, the most amazing trip I could have asked for. I can't wait to go back & visit the village. I loved seeing all the elderly married couples that were there volunteering. I told DH that's what we have to do when we retire. I'm glad we did all the events and the village and didn't try to push ourselves to do everything at the parks. We'll go back, characters were a big part of this trip and we did a lot of rides too.

Ooh, let me give you a tip for your photopass. We bought lanyards @ walmart, they had the little id plastic slips on them. I put my photopass in there and they could scan it through the plastic. It was awesome. I was so worried about loosing my card, so having it right around my neck was great.

Is there anything I missed? I think the only thing we didn't do at the village was fish. Anything you have questions about? Ask away.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:04 PM   #30
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For those of you keeping track, not counting Pj's & Swimsuits, Keira changed clothes 19 times during the week and Cooper changed 18 times. They did wear their Big Give Pj's, I thought I got a picture of them wearing them, they were in the wash the night Mayor Clayton tucked the kids in, that's what I was going ot have them wear.


I want to say thank you again to everyone that sent us stuff for the big give. The kids go so many complements on their outfits. The enjoyed their goodies on the flight there and back. The Gift Cards were great, because the kids got to buy what they wanted to and they thought that was awesome!.
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