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Old 03-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #1
rhorsley
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Magic Kingdom view and a free sword? Don't mind if I do!

Hi everyone! This is my first trip report and what a surprise-filled last minute trip it was!

We had just arrived home from an exciting eight-day vacation at Walt Disney World, when I got the excellent news that I made it to round two for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. I dove into the application process with everything I had, and I was fortunate enough to make it to round three! I was so excited; my dream seemed to be within my reach.

However, this year was not my year. (But I won't let that keep me from trying again this September!) Anyway, the day I got the news that I didn’t make it, I went home and told my husband. He seemed even more disappointed than I was (I had been preparing myself that last week for a possible “no”.) He gave me a big hug and said "you know what, let's go anyway! As soon as we can."

Well, of course at this point it was mid-November with the busy holiday season approaching. I made a deal with him, “let's go early next year when the crowds are lighter. That can be our Christmas present, my birthday present, and our Valentine's Day present for each other.”

I checked my handy crowd calendar (courtesy of touringplans.com) and decided that the 2nd week of February would be best for us to go. We rented points from a fellow DVC member (if she's reading this, “thank you so very much Eileen!”) and were able to make arrangements to stay at Bay Lake Tower for 5 nights and 6 days in February.

The featured players on this trip include:
Me (i.e. mommy/Rachel) - Mid 30’s, Disney addict, Disney advocate and lover of all things…well, Disney!
Kevin (i.e. daddy) – 40 and successfully brainwashed lover of Disney World.
Andrew (i.e. “the baby”) - 16 month-old picky eater, red headed goober, and joy of my life. (Also, a true follower of all things Mickey Mouse and his gang. Poohbear is pretty darn popular too.)



We traveled via Southwest Airlines from BWI (Baltimore) to MCO (Orlando.) We stayed in a 1-bedroom (was supposed to be a Bay Lake view, but was sooo much better) at BLT. Groceries were delivered from the Garden Grocer and Baby’s Best Friend delivered a full size crib and toys appropriate for a 1 year-old. We brought our own Baby Jogger Stroller (which I cannot praise enough!) And one night we used the Kids Night Out service.

ADR’s for this trip included:
2/9 – Chef Mickey’s (D)
2/10 – Hollywood & Vine (L)
2/10 – Crystal Palace (D)
2/11 – ‘Ohana (B)
2/11 – Garden Grill (D)
2/12 – Via Napoli (D)
2/13 – Tusker House (B)
2/13 – Liberty Tree Tavern (D)

In September we stayed in a 2-bedroom and there were 9 of us. While that trip was a lot of fun, we wanted this one to be just the 3 of us and have a slower (more toddler focused) pace. All the meals were buffet, family style or Quick Service and usually featured characters. (So different from California Grill, Citricos, Yachtsmans, etc… where hubby and I used to frequent)

I am famous among our friends and family for my Disney agendas. If you are interested you can PM me I can send you a copy of our color-coded, excel spreadsheet (which gets laminated for emergency Florida rainstorms) Also if you have an iPhone or iPad, I recommend the Packing Pro app for packing lists and maintenance.

So enough already…on to the trip!

Day 1: If you want an awesome view, carry a toddler and look pathetic.
Day 2: Poohbear is always worth the wait
Day 3: Oompah's and Ooh-la-la's
Day 3: Addition - I could have walked Test Track faster! (no pics, just venting)
Day 4: It’s not a vacation until there are paramedics in your room.
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Last edited by rhorsley; 03-16-2012 at 02:37 PM. Reason: spelling, added table of content link, leaning to how to do the link thingy, another link, another link
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
rhorsley
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Day 1: If you want an awesome view, carry a toddler and look pathetic.

So when it was just the 2 of us, we always took the 1st non-stop flight to WDW. We tried that in September with our then 1-year-old. That was exhausting. So this time I learned my lesson and booked the 2nd non-stop flight, a whole 50 minutes later! (Insert sarcasm here)

Anyway, we were out of the house by 4:50 am to get to BWI for a 7:20 flight, arriving in Orlando at 9:50. The weather was chilly but clear and despite a smooth flight, Andrew was working a low level fuss for most of the 2.5 hrs. Then we landed and during the taxi to the gate he fell asleep (of course).


We had to wait a little bit (maybe 10-15 minutes) for Magical Express. I think it only seemed long because we were the 1st in the Contemporary line and all the other resorts were being called. We sat in the very first row of the bus and Andrew was fascinated by the driver and looking out the windows.





We arrived at the Contemporary Resort at around 11 AM. I proceeded to the express check-in while my husband went to leave our carry-on bags with Bell Services. I must have looked a sad sight to the cast member checking me in, all alone carrying Andrew on my chest, disheveled from travel. He told me I looked like I need a room right away and even though it wasn’t the one assigned they had another one that was ready now. He told me he thought I would like the room and printed new cards for us.

He couldn't have been more right! Everything was perfect! A one bedroom on the far side of Bay Lake Tower facing the tennis court but from the balcony to the left you could see the Magic Kingdom & to the right Bay Lake.

We knew right away we would be able to watch fireworks from our very own balcony every night!!! (Which is a great way to introduce a toddler to them for the 1st time.) I called Bell Services and learned our Garden Grocer order was already available, as was our order with a Baby’s Best Friend. They were in our room with our carry-ons within 15 minutes! Now, after a bad experience with WeGoShop in September, I am so pleased to report that the Garden Grocer order was perfect. They even got all the special items that weren't on the website that I requested (berry flavored Pediasure is hard to find back here at home) and just as in September, the Baby’s Best Friend order was correct and early!

It was about 12:30 at this point, and we were all very hungry. We packed up the stroller and headed over to the Magic Kingdom. During the short walk from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom Andrew fell asleep in the stroller, so we walked around through Adventureland and (of course) had to pick up a Dole Whip for mommy.

We stopped at Pecos Bills for lunch and, despite it being a very loud restaurant, Andrew slept in the stroller the whole time.
He woke up just in time to enjoy some French fries and fruit snacks before we headed out to ride It's a Small World.

It was about 2pm and there was hardly any wait for IASM. Andrew really enjoyed it and Kevin suggested we get back on the ride again. (He must really love that boy) We circled around and rode it again. Andrew enjoyed it even more the 2nd time. (I think knowing what to expect helped) By this point it was almost 2:30 and we wanted to do some unpacking before our 5:25 ADR at Chef Mickey's.

We headed back toward Main Street through Tomorrowland. Knowing how much Andrew loves Mickey Mouse, we decided we should stop in the Town Square Theater before heading back to our room for a quick visit. It was only a 5-minute wait, but Andrew did not really understand that although he could see Mickey Mouse, he could not go get Mickey Mouse until it was his turn. We were the next family in line and it was all I could do to keep Andrew from tackling Mickey. Surprisingly, when it was our turn he got a little shy. Mommy had to go first and give Mickey a big hug. Then he quickly warmed up to Mickey and Minnie, and we had some nice pictures taken by the PhotoPass photographers.





Of course, after the meet and greet, you exit via the obligatory gift shop. Andrew ran and grabbed the largest Mickey doll on the shelf. Fortunately for our pocketbooks we were able to distract and satisfy him with a much smaller version of his hero.

Brand new Mickey plush in-hand, we happily headed back to our room. Back at the room, the checked luggage had arrived and I was able to get a lot of the unpacking done while Kevin played with Andrew. I love renting the toys from Baby’s Best Friend. They are new to Andrew and keep him entertained in the room. And, we don’t have to pack as much!

At about 5:10 we headed over the skyway to Chef Mickey's. It was very short walk and I'm sorry that we didn't stop to get our picture taken, but the baby had to be changed right away if you catch my drift (just as I caught his drift). We settled in for dinner and although some wouldn’t like being next to the kitchen, we really enjoyed it since it gave the characters so much more room to interact with us.


Goofy evicted mommy from her chair and then sat down and fed Andrew some of his favorite strawberries.


Andrew was enjoying his juice when Donald came over and Donald would not be ignored!


All of the characters were excellent with him. Special cast member moment too…there was an excellent hostess walking around and while we were talking, I admired her Orange Bird pin. She gave it to me to start a lanyard for Andrew even though I had no pin to give her in exchange! Thanks Donna!

We wrapped up dinner and decided to just head back to the room since we had gotten up so early. We did stop by the marketplace and picked up a couple adult beverages for mommy and daddy to enjoy during the fireworks. Andrew didn't make it that far. As soon as we got back to the room he made it quite clear he was ready to sleep and he passed out and slept through all of Wishes. Mommy and daddy enjoyed relaxing and watching them from the balcony.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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Day 2: Poohbear is always worth the wait

My apologies, I think I forgot I had a camera until the evening this day...I'll try to compensate with fun emoticons

We were up and running bright and early to Hollywood studios. If we had left a moment earlier we would've caught the bus immediately. Doesn’t that always seem to happen?

We arrived at Hollywood Studios just in time for the park opening and headed with the rest of the herd over to Toy Story Midway Mania. Our FastPasses were for 10:15, so we went over to see what time the next Disney Junior show started. Seeing that we had about 50 minutes until the next show, I “directed” us over to the Starring Rolls Café, where we enjoyed some lovely pastries for breakfast. (we need an emoticon for stuffing yourself silly)

Even more so than last time, Andrew loved the Disney Junior show. All of his favorite characters from all of his favorite shows were right there! And when you add bubbles, gold doubloons & streamers, how can you top that for a toddler? (We shot video here, no help for pictures) After the show, we went over to Star Tours (one of mommy & daddy’s favorites), and did the rider swap, with daddy riding first. Mommy and Andrew walked around and saw the Phineas & Ferb meet-and-greet, a large group getting pictures taken in the Streets of America and (most importantly) built the groundwork for a good nap in the stroller. Daddy brought it home, and Andrew finally fell asleep while mommy was on Star Tours. (these are actually the parts I got to see)

After we had both done our duty to protect the Rebel Spy, we headed over toward our lunch at Hollywood and Vine. We walked past Toy Story Midway Mania to find it was closed and cast members were handing out stickers to appease the crowds (note: I always take the stickers when offered and keep a couple in my purse all year in case of a toddler meltdown emergency. They work wonders!)

Instead of waking Andrew early for our lunch ADR, the wonderful cast member at Hollywood and Vine let us stroll for another 20 minutes before we had to check-in. Unfortunately, Andrew was still very tired and the character interaction at Hollywood and Vine was not nearly as good as the night before at Chef Mickey's (no fault of the characters) He was shy and a little cautious with some of the characters.


While we were in the restaurant we had our only real rainstorm of the trip. Fortunately, I had placed the rain cover on the stroller before we went in. Others around us were not so lucky. As we were wrapping up lunch I checked my, ever so valuable, Lines app to discover that Toy Story Midway Mania was open again! We headed straight over and were able to get on the ride very quickly.

This time daddy held on to Andrew and mommy crushed him by nearly double. (Last trip mommy held Andrew and still beat daddy by a sizeable margin…actually, he has never beat me at that one. But I read my “Complete Guide to Walt Disney World” and use their “tips.” Kevin calls it cheating…I call it research!) Andrew had a great time and giggled and laughed every time the ride spun off or air blew out at him.

By the time we were done with all that it was nearly 2pm and we wanted to go back to the room for an afternoon nap.

That plan didn't work out at all. On vacation, he would have nothing to do with the pack-and-play (he naps in one every weekday) I tried laying with him on the bed instead, and ended up getting a split lip from Andrew’s head as he protested the whole nap suggestion. While I tried to stop the bleeding, Kevin wore him down and got him to nap on the bed for about 40 minutes. Sadly, we had to wake him around 5:30 so we wouldn’t be more than 15 minutes late for our 5:40 Crystal Palace ADR.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Crystal Palace with all of the friends from the Hundred Acre Wood. As we sat down, Poohbear was at the table just before ours. I think he saw that we were still settling in and so he skipped over us. Next up was Eyeore. Andrew did better at this meal then at lunch, but still not as outgoing as at Chef Mickey's. All of the characters came and went except for Poohbear.

When Eyeore came back to us, I asked him to please tell his friend Pooh that he had missed us the 1st time around and that we would love to see him before we had to go. Immediately, a cast member came over and apologized (not necessary, but nice all the same) and told us Pooh would be by shortly. Within 10 minutes Poohbear was at our table, and Andrew was so excited.

Via my iPhone, I showed Pooh my favorite photo from our last trip in September.

He took my phone hugged it and showed it to his cast member. Then he picked up Andrew, which you don't often see characters do, and hugged him and gave him attention like there were suddenly no other children in the room.


Satisfied that we enjoyed another great character interaction, we headed out. We walked over to Fantasyland and rode the Teacups and the Carousel, both of which Andrew really enjoyed (he loves to spin at home in the office chair, so these were exactly his “cup of tea” sorry…).

(BTW, not endorsing letting your child chew on light sticks. This was the last time this happened)

We were walking though Liberty Square (going back to the room) when I stopped at the Haunted Mansion to ask the cast member about skipping the stretching room if you thought your child would be frightened by it (something I read on DisBoards actually). The cast member advised that while this is possible they don't advertise it and they don't like to do it. We had a polite conversation about things you can do to help your child not be as frightened and then we headed off. As we were walking away (and I was honestly feeling a little bit annoyed) she stopped us and asked us if we would be in the Magic Kingdom the next day. I told her that the plan for the next day was to visit Epcot. Then she asked if we could go to Pirates of the Caribbean that evening on our way out. Since we were headed in that direction anyway, I said “sure.” To our delight she gave Andrew a certificate to get a free pirate sword at the gift shop. We thanked her and headed over to Pirates.

I have stored it away for when he is older, but it is a nice novelty plastic sword, which I'm sure he will use to torment our dogs at a later date.

While we were waiting to check out at Pirates, Andrew melted down. I walked with all possible haste through Adventureland around to Main Street, where they were just beginning the Magic, the Memories, and You show. It was so crowded, but I was able to get into the shops and get down MainStreet rather quickly that way (also a great tip after the fireworks if you need to leave quickly).

By the time we made it to the exit gates, Andrew had calmed down and we were able to jump on the monorail and get back to the room before Wishes started. Another early night for mommy, daddy and Andrew.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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I am loving the writing style in your TR. Can't wait for the next installment of your adventure!
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:40 AM   #6
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I'm in. Your writing style is very pleasing to me as well. How awesome is it that you made it to the third round of the Moms Panel applicants! In years past, I never got around to applying. Finally, I decided I would apply this past year. When they released the details, I knew I could not apply. We were going to be on the Dream from the 8th to the 11th, so I was unable to be at WDW from the 9th to the 13th as required. Hopefully, I can apply next year. Good luck to you as well.

Small World was the only ride that my DS4(now5) requested to ride more than once last trip. What a great way to start yours! Chef Mickey's is his favorite restaurant. The only thing he kept asking me was are we going to eat with Mickey again this trip, Mommy. We also went back to the room after dinner on our travel day to watch the fireworks. My DS would have loved that first day. Great start.

Disney Junior is a great show for young kids. My son wanted to watch it over and over again last trip, although I only let him watch it once last trip. I've never beat DH at TSMM. Maybe, I should make him hold our son next time. I was holding my 5 month old last trip, so I never attempted a single shot. Andrew got a great shot with Pooh. How Precious!
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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I enjoy TR's that are well written, and not just photos with long winded captions. I am enjoying reading along and can't wait for more.

Well done.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:54 PM   #8
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Subscribed. Your son is so cute~! :-) Enjoying your report
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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Day 3: Oompah's and Ooh-la-la's

Thanks to everyone for all the kind comments! Day 3 was our longest day, and it's the longest report (probably), so please bear with me

Day 3: Oompah’s and Ooh-la-la’s

We started day 3 early with a 7:55 ADR at ‘Ohana’s at the Polynesian Resort (my favorite non-DVC resort). We had a really good breakfast where Andrew ate a bunch of bacon and drank 3 cups of that wonderful juice they serve! (I learned it is actually a MinuteMaid product with orange, guava, passion fruit and pineapple juice.) I think it was a bit early in the day for the characters though. He enjoyed watching them, but was not at all interested in interacting with them (or maybe he was completely absorbed with drinking the juice?) Whatever the reason, he wasn’t up for photo-ops til after breakfast.



Speaking of which, I was not happy with the pic we had taken outside the restaurant before breakfast. The photo-guys were great and offered to take it again when we left. That one was so much better! Thanks sudo-PhotoPass dudes!



I chose ‘Ohana this day since we were planning to go to Epcot and it is such a nice short walk over to the TTC from the Poly. (I miss this when coming back from Epcot to BLT now) We had a lovely walk and then a short wait on the monorail platform. Andrew spent the entire ride flirting with 2 little princesses who were on their way to the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for breakfast.
(he's playing peekaboo with one of the girls here)



We arrived just moments after opening and walked over to get Fastpasses for Soarin’ for later.

Tangent: The new Fastpass return window enforcement is really going to change the way parents with toddlers tour – no more waiting until someone is napping or in a better mood to ride an attraction. You are going to see hungry, tired and angry toddlers on rides disrupting others, just because the window is about to close. It’s not too bad for us because we go regularly, and if we don’t hit it this time, we’ll get it next time. But, if I only went to WDW every few years (or maybe like my childhood – once) this would really irritate me. As it was this trip, almost everything we rode involved a Fastpass or a super short standby line (even then, he spent a good amount of the time in line watching the Wiggles on the iPhone to keep him pleasant to be near.) Hopefully the expected “Xpass” system will make this phase short.

Anyway, enough venting…we went from the Land over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends. And after “wading” through that long queue we boarded our clam mobile. Andrew really enjoyed this ride (I was a little worried about the dark park with the scary fish) and he waved at the fishes in the tanks as we passed. Turtle Talk was temporarily down so we decided to check back on that later.

We wanted to let him stretch his legs a bit, so we took him over to the play area in the Seas pavilion. He wasn’t as interested in that as he was in walking around the giant aquarium (and I mean around and around and around and…). Daddy & I spent about 25 minutes playing “Keep the Andrew from annoying everyone else who is trying to enjoy the fishes.” Most people just laughed a little as we chased him around, but I felt like I was bothering everyone.
(Giving Crush a check-up)


Turtle Talk had re-opened and was seating right then, so we went in and sat on a bench in all the way to the left, far away from anyone he might bug. (He’s too little to be trusted to sit on his own up front) He made it about 3 or 4 minutes into the show before we had to play the Little Einsteins on the iPhone to avoid a meltdown. Fortunately, it was enough for him to watch without audio. Thank you Rocket!

After the show we knew he was in need of a nap, so I walked with him while Kevin rode Soarin’. Even with the Fastpass he seemed to be gone forever, but it didn’t really matter. Andrew and I had a really awesome walk around the rose garden and around some of the lesser traveled paths of Future World. (Full disclosure: this photo is from the September trip and not meant to be a true representation of the roses in February. Any actual likeness to Epcot roses in February is purely coincidental)



Then Kevin carved a similar path (incorporating Innoventions) while I rode Soarin’. When we were there in September with a 105 degree heat index, such a walk would have been unbearable. On this day in early February it was in the high 60’s and (even with wind gusts up to 42mph) it was perfect for a nice walk. Which is good because that’s pretty much what we did from 10:45 to 1:30pm.

Once again, I exited the ride to find the boy asleep (yes!) We headed over to the World Showcase since it is about the best place to just meander on property (IMHO) By now it was about noon and I was craving Mexican food, so I thought we could go and sit in the pavilion out on the water and enjoy food from the Cantina de San Angel while Andrew napped. However, between the large & loud group of young people enjoying margaritas and blocking the entrance to the pavilion, and the crazy breeze blowing off the lagoon, that was right out. (I learned on this trip that I have become an old fuddy-duddy and inadvertently scowl and murmur at noisy people near my resting baby)

This made me irritable, and hubby and I (very quietly) argued over what to do for lunch. We had QS credits to use (since we were on the regular dining plan) but all of the places between Mexico and USA are either food he won’t eat (Chinese) or seating is outside in the wind. We were at the African Outpost when Andrew woke and expressed (very clearly) the time had come for food.

I had heard good things about the Biergarten and convinced hubby it would be better to try to get seated there and pay for the meal out of pocket, than continue to argue and get hungrier and meaner. He had never wanted to eat here and I didn’t know why until now. He was confusing it with the limited menu at Sommerfest.

Biergarten only had a 10-minute wait and we were able to feed Andrew some light snacks in his stroller to pass the time. This was one of the best new experiences we had this trip. It was relatively easy to get seated without an ADR, the buffet was unexpectedly good and the band was so much fun. Andrew was laughing, waving and blowing kisses to them. The group seating had me worried. No one wants to eat with an unhappy toddler (sometimes I don’t want to eat with my happy toddler). Right across from us was a very stylish newlywed couple from Columbia (read: young and thin). I apologized in advance in case any cheerios or strawberries ended up being flung in their direction (it’s like eating with an ape sometimes) But Andrew was great and was flirting with the young lady for a good portion of the meal. On a side note, I had a really excellent glass of Gewürztraminer there.

After lunch, we continued to walk, but not before stopping in the shop in Germany and purchasing a $30 Duffy teddy bear. Maybe the wine was stronger than I thought? Andrew had grabbed it off the shelf and was hugging it with all his strength. Who could resist? I’m spoiling him rotten.

We walked around and sure enough, 2 pavilions later Duffy was ejected from the stroller. After running over him, we stowed him beneath for a later time. We strolled through the shops in Morocco and Andrew was living up to his nickname of “Mr. Reachy-Grabby Pants” so we exited quickly to avoid any toddler mishaps.



On the border between England and Canada I took a picture of where the Bailey’s Lava Cake was sold during the Food and Wine festival. It was so yummy, and is now a family joke referred to as “Fava Cake.” My brother swears that’s what he heard me say. Now, who wants a cake made out of fava beans? Only to learn moments later that one of the gluten free desserts at Via Napoli included fava flour – go figure? I guess you had to be there.



As we passed Canada, we decided this would be an excellent time to introduce Andrew to Figment. I was worried about the dark train sound part of this attraction, but he did great and we spent over 30 minutes chasing him around the play area after the ride. In particular, he loved the area where you step on the different lights to make musical instruments play.

It was getting close to 5pm and we expected a meltdown any moment with only an hour nap under his belt. Believing he would never make it to the 5:40 ADR, we asked at the Garden Grill in the Land if we could be seated 40 minutes early. They were excellent and sat us right away (well, almost. Note: some restaurants will not seat you if the entire party isn’t present. As soon as Kevin heard we were a go, he sprinted out the Land to retrieve the cooler bag, with Andrew’s dinner, from the stroller parking area.) I felt so awkward, as the hostess stood there with our menus waiting…waiting…waiting…ok he’s back! Let’s go!

It was 1982 last time I had been to the Garden Grill (called “The Good Turn” back then), and I was 7. I remember eating at a rotating restaurant and my favorite part was when we were over the part of the ride with the animatronic prairie dogs and I could look right into the farmhouse window. All that was still there, but now with quality food and great character experiences for me to remember for another 30 years!

Dinner is family style and includes some really great options, including a very fresh salad with an excellent vinaigrette, buttery tender beef tenderloin and warm fresh rolls with honey-butter. I don’t think I mentioned this yet, but we learned something really cool this trip – every restaurant can get you (lava) hot fresh French fries. Even buffets or family service places where it isn’t on the menu. Most places never even charged us for them since he is under 3 and a “guest of Mickey.” At Garden Grill they also brought us a little bowl of real bacon pieces they use on the salad (the only meat our boy will eat.)

This was one of those occasions where you wonder if your child has been replaced with an alien impostor. He was eating French fries, bacon by the handful, cheese, grapes, strawberries, etc (like an actual normal sized meal!) and was babbling and smiling, despite going all day with so little sleep and a molar poking through his gum. At one point he choked on a piece of French fry and (sorry for the detail) vomited into one of the spare bowls on the table (so glad it was there and daddy thought fast!) and never broke stride. He just kept eating and playing!

He played with Dale, then Chip, then Pluto and finally his hero Mickey.



He gave Mickey kisses on his nose, lots of hi-fives and a big hug! He even (appropriately) waved goodbye and blew him a kiss when he left.

http://s1124.photobucket.com/albums/...t=IMG_0058.mp4

We figured we were probably done with the characters, as we had seen them all, even though dessert was yet to arrive. Suddenly, over daddy’s shoulder that mischievous Dale showed up again, trying to eat Andrew’s bacon. Dale danced with him for a while and even played the game where someone tries to give you a high-five and then pulls his hand away. Andrew laughed so hard the whole time…Daddy got all 3 minutes of it on video. That is a really long time for character interaction and it was the best one of the whole trip. (Note: Garden Grill has exceptionally lengthy character interactions. I think it’s because it is a fairly small restaurant.)

But wait, you may be asking where is the ooh-la-la portion of the day? Dale had him so pumped-up, he was giggling, babbling and dancing…then decided to strip right at the table.




We finally got him to put his shirt back on, when the waitress came with dessert and he had to strip for her too (while laughing maniacally the whole time.)


Re-dressed and still in a good mood, we thanked our server for everything and headed out. We thought we would have to go right back to the room, but he was in such a good mood we stopped to ride Spaceship Earth. Andrew decided that instead of Baltimore, MD we were now residents of Cheyenne, WY. (Who knew?) and chose it appropriately on our vehicle’s screen. He was great for most of the ride and only struggled toward the end where he wanted to go back to the top “Our Spaceship Earth” room. Fortunately, the screen started talking to him and he was distracted again.

By this point, despite Andrew’s excellent mood, mommy and daddy were starting to feel the effects of the long day and we headed back to the monorail platform. By this time it was about 7pm and this night temps dropped below freezing. The wind carrying that cold-front was blowing through the platform like it was a wind tunnel. I know we didn’t wait long, but boy did it feel like it took forever!

Once on the monorail, Andrew amused our car with fresh renditions of his “la, la, la song.” You all know it…all the words are “la, la, la” at the top of your lungs, no particular melody, with giggling and waving in-between. I thought he was being bothersome, but just about everyone was laughing, smiling or waving back at my little diva.

We hopped off and transferred trains. While he continued to entertain, you could tell he was winding down. It was as if he was too tired, but he just couldn’t let down his fans.

We passed sleepy on the monorail trip and went into slaphappy land . When we got back to the room he ran around like a fool in his PJ’s. He was heading toward the front door (and his stroller) at a full run and looked back just in time to miss the edge of the dining table coming at him. (Thank goodness they are rounded!) A giant welt and a few minutes of screaming later, he finally agreed that this day was over and it was time to sleep. (Not until after I checked his pupils and all his reflexes that is.) I was glad when he woke up at 2am crying from tooth pain, because I could rule out a possible concussion…on this day at least.

Dun, Dun, Dun!
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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To mickeystoontown, DuchessOnWheels, kmedina, GreatBiscuit & Angelia'sthree thanks so much for joining the ride for this one!

It's been great to really think in detail about the day and get those moments down on the Internets before I forget them.

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Originally Posted by DuchessOnWheels View Post
I am loving the writing style in your TR. Can't wait for the next installment of your adventure!
Thanks! I took news-writing in college where brevity is considered the soul of wit. Wow, would they flunk me now

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How awesome is it that you made it to the third round of the Moms Panel applicants! In years past, I never got around to applying. Finally, I decided I would apply this past year. When they released the details, I knew I could not apply. We were going to be on the Dream from the 8th to the 11th, so I was unable to be at WDW from the 9th to the 13th as required. Hopefully, I can apply next year.
I hope you do! It's a very stressful couple of months but it was a lot of fun too! I "met" so many great fellow Disney fanatics like me and hope to get to meet them in person this December


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Disney Junior is a great show for young kids. My son wanted to watch it over and over again last trip, although I only let him watch it once last trip.
I think we may have a problem this next trip in November when he is 26 months and more verbal about his wants. I have a feeling I will be having a lot of dablouns dumped on me in this fall.

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I've never beat DH at TSMM. Maybe, I should make him hold our son next time.
Even if you only read that part while you are in the bookstore, you should check out the Complete Guide. The whole book is full color, with tons of pics and lots of great tips for this one and Buzz Lightyear in MK. Let's just say the Robot on the left in the 1st room has a sweet spot that helped me get to 999,999 one time!

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I enjoy TR's that are well written, and not just photos with long winded captions. I am enjoying reading along and can't wait for more.
Thanks so much. I do promise that Day 3 was the longest and strangely the windiest day we were there Day 4 (with the arrival of the paramedics) was considerably shorter and had an adult night out complete with fire alarm.

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Your son is so cute~! :-)
Thanks and I agree completely! That is why we haven't eaten him yet, despite how tender he looks.

Thanks again everyone and I'll be starting on Day 4 tomorrow...and oh...what a way to start the day!

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Old 03-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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Joining in! We were there Feb 4-11 staying at the Poly. It was our first time and we had such a great time! Looking forward to more
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1985,1989,1992 Offsite
Feb'12 Poly July'12 POFQ Aug'13 Poly June'14 GF



Feb'12 TR: How do I go back to a world that doesn't have fireworks every night?
July'12 TR: July 2012. Yes it was hot. Yes it was crowded. Yes it was FUN!
August'13 TR: Mom...am I supposed to have shoes on??
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #12
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Day 3: Addition - I could have walked Test Track faster! (no pics, just venting)

Hubby has just reminded me that between Journey into Imagination and Dinner HE got to ride test track. I walked, and walked and walked some more around that side of Future World. (Speaking of which, the old Wonders of Life pavilion looks downright depressing and overgrown.) Anyway...walking...yup I did a lot of it...and here's why.

When we approached the ride to do rider-swap (with Fastpasses) the cast member dude assured us it would be much faster to just go in the single rider line than to do rider swap.

We believed him.

We were (and he was) wrong.

About 40 minutes later, Kevin returns and I'm just too tired to ride it myself (that and that cold front started coming through and it was getting windy and cold.) I mean 40 minutes for standby is common. For Fastpass single riders it just...well, I'm a mommy now and cannot accurately describe what it is anymore. Kevin said he saw Fastpass folks come and go while he stood there.

Anyway, while I was waiting for him I encountered another part of our vacation which made me feel old & mean.

I don't think I mentioned, we were there during the national cheer championships (yet I never saw Sue Sylvester?) They were everywhere and they were loud. I was trying to get him to nap again (hence all the darned walking). Did they need to stop right in front of the lady with a toddler napping in a stroller and start shouting out cheers? I was off to the side behind Mouse Gears minding my own quiet business.

Yup, I'm an old fuddy-duddy hating on cute little cheerleaders.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #13
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Joining in! We were there Feb 4-11 staying at the Poly. It was our first time and we had such a great time! Looking forward to more
What a great choice for a 1st trip! I'm hoping we can stay there (off points) next summer for one of the Star Wars Weekends. I miss it now that we are DVC. But you can't really complain when you can walk to MK. Did you fly out on the 11th? It was sooooo windy that day.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:57 PM   #14
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I don't think I mentioned, we were there during the national cheer championships (yet I never saw Sue Sylvester?) They were everywhere and they were loud. I was trying to get him to nap again (hence all the darned walking). Did they need to stop right in front of the lady with a toddler napping in a stroller and start shouting out cheers? I was off to the side behind Mouse Gears minding my own quiet business.

Yup, I'm an old fuddy-duddy hating on cute little cheerleaders.
Oh my god they drove me insane! I can't imagine if I had had a napping toddler! Andrew is incredibly gorgeous by the way!

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What a great choice for a 1st trip! I'm hoping we can stay there (off points) next summer for one of the Star Wars Weekends. I miss it now that we are DVC. But you can't really complain when you can walk to MK. Did you fly out on the 11th? It was sooooo windy that day.
We did fly out on the 11th. Our flight wasn't til late afternoon, so we spent alot of time waiting for the ME at the Poly that morning. We tried to let Bradey (DS5) play on the beach, but it was way too windy! I didn't notice anything on the plane though, we took off ontime and smoothly, thank god!

Loved your Garden Grill experience. We ate there on the Tuesday we were there. We got one of the booths down below and loved that we couldn't see anyone else. It was DS's first character meal ever, so it was nice to have the feeling we were all by ourselves. Didn't have a great server and walked away hungry from an all-you-can-eat meal, but what we ate tasted wonderful!

The Poly was an amazing choice. I have actually been a few times when I was real young (offsite) and don't remember much, so I considered this my first time as well. Hubby can be pretty cranky sometimes and hates to travel, so my goal for this trip was total convenience. We had nonstop flights, the Poly with the monorail, not too many ADRs we had to keep to a schedule for. It worked out good. We stopped at the Contemp a few times to get those yummy cupcakes at Contempo Cafe, so maybe we passed you one of your first nights
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Me(Suzi) DH(Bill) DS7(Bradey)
1985,1989,1992 Offsite
Feb'12 Poly July'12 POFQ Aug'13 Poly June'14 GF



Feb'12 TR: How do I go back to a world that doesn't have fireworks every night?
July'12 TR: July 2012. Yes it was hot. Yes it was crowded. Yes it was FUN!
August'13 TR: Mom...am I supposed to have shoes on??
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #15
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Oh, I wanted to ask you.....how is BWI? We are heading out to Cape Coral FL next week and have a layover there. I've never been to that airport. Is it big? We only have a 35 min layover. Its just my son and I, first time traveling alone with him, so I'm very nervous about a new airport

Looking at their website it looks like as long as our arriving flight and departing flight are in the same section we will be fine, but I'm worried about the way it appears to be set up. It looks like if we have to change concourses, we will have to go through security again? I've never seen this before! Yikes!
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Me(Suzi) DH(Bill) DS7(Bradey)
1985,1989,1992 Offsite
Feb'12 Poly July'12 POFQ Aug'13 Poly June'14 GF



Feb'12 TR: How do I go back to a world that doesn't have fireworks every night?
July'12 TR: July 2012. Yes it was hot. Yes it was crowded. Yes it was FUN!
August'13 TR: Mom...am I supposed to have shoes on??
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