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Old 05-09-2012, 05:22 PM   #31
papertraveller
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Loving the trip report. Keep it coming!

And for next time, just remember that ME is on the B side ... for BUS! (Only took us four trips to remember!)
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Dylan's an adult on the dining plan? This is going to be really interesting knowing his eating habits.
Oh, yeah. Stay tuned.

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Originally Posted by ltjk View Post
I am new to posting on the DIS boards, but read your last report which helped immensely in planning our Dec 2011 trip.
What a tremendous compliment! Thank you! Glad to have you back

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Originally Posted by beckyx3 View Post
This is my first time posting on a TR (or PTR/TR?), but your writing is so great I just had to let you know!
Post away!

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Originally Posted by rndmr2 View Post
We have a cruise booked for 2013, so it looks like the next possibility for a WDW trip is 2014 so I am fixating on that. DH still says "might" but I refuse to go a 3rd year without my Disney fix!!
Mine Cart will be in full swing by then. I'm very much looking forward to the new Fantasyland.

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Great first dinner! I am curious to see how Dylan fared with being a "Disney Adult." My nephew is the reason my brother stopped getting the dining plan, just about the only thing he will eat is pizza. (well, that and just about any kind of bread there is...)
Dylan is grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, and PB&J. And that's it. No, wait - he loves the bread, too

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Originally Posted by JeanetteK View Post
I loved the picture of "our" benches that Kristin posted saying you guys missed us already. That was so sweet and made me laugh.
The benches didn't look right without you two on them

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By the way, we thought Emily and Dylan were the cutest! Especially after the first night we talked to you and we thought they were killing each other
That story comes next.

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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Yum! Fish tacos. I could definitely go for that!
I've been into fish tacos lately. These were the best I've had. Second best? Bethlehem Brew Works

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Originally Posted by cmaee View Post
...and said to myself, "Self, I wonder if nilla has started this years TR."
You never know what you'll find here!

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Originally Posted by papertraveller View Post
And for next time, just remember that ME is on the B side ... for BUS! (Only took us four trips to remember!)
Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely remember it. Or better yet, tell Kristin, so she can remember it when I forget it.

On to the updates!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #33
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In we go, and we have a message. Kristin plays it on speaker. We have been moved to the Cabanas, 8B. We check the map, and are VERY happy. Kristin is ecstatic. This really would have made her unhappy, even though it's hard to be unhappy about anything in Disney World.

We move on to our new room in Cabanas 8B.



Our bags still have not arrived, so we head over to the beach. I try to figure out how to take night shots with this camera.









Quiet pools are tested...





Em's rockin' the crown she brought from home. It's not the last we'll see of it, either. Dylan and Kristin try out the hammocks.





This area is great. The view across the lake is awesome, and we're about 100 feet from the pool. I try to get some more shots in a moment...
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:55 PM   #34
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...and here they are:







A little better. I should get a DSLR, but I wouldn't like carrying it. It probably wouldn't be much more than what we already carry, though. Then again, I don't really need a reason to stop to take pictures any more than I already do.

Our bags arrive, and we unpack. Kristin stacks the freeze-dried, vacuum-sealed daily clothing rations in the closet.



The kids are pretty whooped by now, especially Emily. They get ready for bed, and Dylan puts on Phineas and Ferb. Emily should be asleep in a few minutes.

Kristin suggests that we make drinks and step outside for a moment. Our fridge is now equipped with two bottles of Swedish fish-flavored vodka, a bottle of rum. A boxed wine sits next to the TV. We come prepared!

Emily's almost out now, and Dylan's laying in bed watching TV. We tell them we'll be right outside, then step out. Finally, a quiet moment!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #35
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We notice a couple sitting on the benches by the main walk, and we go over to meet them. Their names are Dan and Jeanette (the DISboards own Jeanette_k!), and before long, they are telling us about what sounded like an amazing trip up to that point. I am now counting down to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and considering changing an ADR to Fulton's based on their stories. An unintended DISmeet!

But we've been out here a while. It's time we head in and check on the kids. As I start to walk back to the room, I hear a scream.

"Was that Dylan?"

As we get closer, the door flies open, and Emily yells something about killing him. The couple in the room next to ours is out to see what's going on. I shove the kids back inside, apologize profusely, then try to figure out what happened.

Apparently, Dylan got worried because we were gone so long (debatable), and wanted to go looking for us. Emily was not about to let him go out, since she would've been alone. It escalated. And it exploded.

Kristin uses the defibulator on me, and I'm no longer in shock. That was NOT how I expected this night to end, and certainly not how I expected this vacation to start out. No more of that "stepping out of the room" stuff, I guess.

Teeth are brushed, photos are transferred to the laptop, and it's off to bed. Kristin gets a wake-up call for 7 am the next day. We're trying to get to Hollywood Studios for rope drop. After this night, I can stand to fall 13 stories and fly with C-3PO.

Good night!


(next update)

Last edited by nilla; 05-10-2012 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:22 PM   #36
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Nice new room location and view!

I had to LOL at the "Daily clothing rations"

Sorry you had a stressful end to the night. I don't blame you for wanting to drop 13 stories (I bet the "heart up in your throat" feeling is the same anyway! )
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:58 AM   #37
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Quote:
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Kristin stacks the freeze-dried, vacuum-sealed daily clothing rations in the closet.
I love this idea! Kristin is so smart. I have always packed my kids clothes in the gallon size ziploc bags like that, but now that they are larger, I wondered how I was going to neatly pack their clothes since there is no way they will go in a gallon size ziploc bag and not come out looking like they were wadded up in a ball. How wrinkled were they when you opened your daily ration of clothes? Oh, and how much room did you leave in your suitcase to account for the additional size of clothes since I assume they didn't get resealed for the return trip home.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:33 PM   #38
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Yet Another nilla TR!!

Dylan on the adult dining plan, and FastPass return time enforcement! The suspense! Can't wait for more!
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:41 PM   #39
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I had to LOL at the "Daily clothing rations"
I don't participate in that, though I do have my little flash card with what I'll be wearing on what day

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Oh, and how much room did you leave in your suitcase to account for the additional size of clothes since I assume they didn't get resealed for the return trip home.
I folded most of the stuff, or made a weak attempt at folding, so it wasn't much different. We did have some merch on the way back, of course

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Dylan on the adult dining plan, and FastPass return time enforcement! The suspense! Can't wait for more!
It's coming up, right now!
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #40
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Day 2: Hollywood Studios - Lunch at the Backlot, Dinner at Mama Melrose






Last edited by nilla; 05-10-2012 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:43 PM   #41
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The wake-up call arrives at 7:00, as planned, and I am pulled out of bed to the tune of the Toy Story closing credits music. I'm showered, shaved, and dressed, and fed (Nature Valley protein bars are the 2 minute breakfast of choice for me this year), and no one else is up yet. I wake Kristin, then head down to El Centro.

It's a beautiful day out - a few clouds in the sky, but mostly clear. The forecast for this week is calling for occassional thunderstorms at times, but today should be relatively rain-free. I look over at the benches where we met and left Dan and Jeanette last night, and they're there again.

Me: "Did you two ever leave?"

Jeanette: "No, we slept out here on these benches."



We talk briefly, but I'm out here on business, so I have to run. While the walk to El Centro is a bit farther than it was from Casitas 3 last year, it's still not that far. Nonetheless, I have to stop to take pictures every 15 feet, so it's a while before I actually reach my destination.







Now which way am I going?



Cool, that helps. Almost there...







I'll take this walk over the walk from the Casitas any day. There's just something about the transition from the white sand of the Cabanas to the more developed concrete of El Centro, all to the backdrop of Lago Dorado. I'm on the lookout for turtles in the water, and ultimately, that alligator who supposedly lives here but I've never seen. I'm not spotting anything yet, but the views are still amazing. I'm coming up one some buildings:







I finally get to El Centro, and into Rix I go. Kristin did not request the (unsweetend) iced tea today, and I'm trying to avoid caffeine in the mornings (backwards, no?), so I'm here exclusively with the mission of grabbing a chocolate chip muffin for Dylan's breakfast. Chocolate chip - not blueberry. I won't make that mistake again!

Even with our first park day on the horizon, the kids are a joy to wake as usual. Dylan did NOT want to get up...buck up, kid! We haven't even hit a park yet!

Em is in a better mood than her brother. She and Kristin are complimenting each other on their nail polish, to which Emily offers a nail-clicking toast of "nail prost". she's ready for the Biergarten.

We've finally get them ready to go, and it's off to Bus Stop 4. But first, a front shot of the room.



We're the one straight back from the light post on the right. But enough of that - let's get to a park!
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:46 PM   #42
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We loved Bus Stop 2 last year, since it's the first stop the buses pick up from and drop off at, but it's the farthest from the room this year, so we'll give 4 a shot. This stop is literally right around the corner from our room, so it's not much of a hike at all. The stroller is folded up, instructions on who needs to hold what on the bus are ironed out, and all we need to do now is wait. Emily is now a tour guide, so she shows us where we need to go.



Since we have a moment, I'd like to reflect on one of the reasons I love Coronado Springs so much - the variety of wildlife you see here. There are turtles...



birds...



FlightlessDucks...



...and fish.



Scott is a co-worker of mine, and it's funny that we would run into him on our first day here. I've joked before that I see more people I know in Disney than I do at Bethlehem's annual music festival. Scott and his family are off to the Magic Kingdom today, so we part ways when our bus arrives.

Our touring plan this year is no touring plan. Or very little touring plan. Of course, we still have our ADRs and know what park we'll be at on what day, but there are no color-coded, minute-by-minute laminated cards to guide us this year. Part of that is because the new FastPass system is still uncharted territory for us, but the big reason is that we've done this enough that we feel we can make reasonably good decisions on the fly. We'll see how that goes.

Of course, we do know that once that rope drops, it's back to Toy Story Mania for FPs and a possible stand-by ride. While we often joke that we should run back there with the herd, only to branch off into One Man's Dream (the same joke we make about Circle of Life in Epcot), we flow with the masses back into Pixar Place. But first, we need to get into the park! Disney gives some advice:



Don't mind if I do!

In we go, and it looks like we just missed rope drop. Oh well, back to TSM we go. We grab our FPs, and the stand-by line is already something like 50 minutes.

We head past the Backlot Tour. We'll hit this, but not yet. Onward we go, stopping only to get a picture of the girls in front of a prop from Splash...



and for Dylan to pose unknowingly under a ton of bricks.



That shot was taken outside some small merch store that was tucked under a roof of some sort, but it was themed pretty cool:





Star Tours is our next stop, but can we find it from here? We've had problems navigating this park before.


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Old 05-10-2012, 11:47 PM   #43
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As it turns out, navigating this park IS really easy, since it's so small. Basically, wherever you want to get, walk and you will get there eventually. We walk down the Streets of America, if that's what this is. Correct name or not, it's completely vacant:



If you ever wondered about crowd levels in May, that should answer it for you. Amazing the detail on these "buildings":







This cracks us up for some reason:



Ok, a few family pics, then I want to get to Star Tours!





Not that this has anything to do with Disney, but here's a shot Kristin took on our trip to San Francisco last year. What's interesting is that we have the same clothes on that we wore to Hollywood Studios.



"Ok, enough already. Get to Star Tours."

You know, he's right. That voice in my head is sometimes right. I SHOULD just get to Star Tours. This TR is on page 4, and we still haven't hit an attraction. What is the hold up?

"That's what I want to know."

Ok, settle down. We'll go there right now. In fact, there's the gift shop:

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Old 05-10-2012, 11:47 PM   #44
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There's virtually no standby wait, so in we go. We convince Dylan to cross the rope so we can get the "kid being crushed by an AT-AT" shot, but he is immediatlely stopped by a Cast Member. Bad parents!

In we go. The weather looks nice for our trip:



The queue has changed slightly - mostly the display I just showed. These two are still here:





...unlike this guy:



Wait, isn't that our tour guide? Our pilot? It says he's "defective". And look, the robot Splash Mountain vultures have been caged:



That's how you update a ride queue. Leave some traces of the old, but throw in some new. I LOVE when Disney works the ride changes into a story, like they do with the picture of Mr. Toad handing the deed to Owl in the first room of Winnie the Pooh. Here are some more updates:





The last one was a doorway showing silhouettes of various Star Wars characters walking past.

In we go, and it looks like we're TOO early. We're the first ones in our vehicle, which means that one of us will be sitting in the front right corner. So who wants to do it.

Anyone?

Alright, I'll do it. We're seated, C-3PO shows himself, and we're off.

I don't want to give up too much about this ride, but it's AWESOME. I never really liked the ride itself in its former incarnation, but this is solid. They nailed it with this one.

The ride is a combination of 4 different scenes - 2 possible intros, 3 first planet visits, 3 hologram messages, and 3 second planet visits. 54 possible combinations. We get Hoth and Naboo, and both are fantastic. The 3-D is amazing...such a step up from Muppets, and even from Philharmagic. The glasses fit a bit better, too. I was hoping to visit Hoth, since the AT-AT scenes are probably my favorites in the entire Star Wars series.

We exit our first ride, completely blown away. Even Emily loved it. We're definitely coming back. And you know what? The "worst seat in the ride" actually wasn't bad. You still felt like you were in the center of the action. BIG thumbs up to Disney for what they did to this ride, and what a way to start it off!
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:49 PM   #45
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More detail as the exit the Star Wars gift shop:



Dylan can't get his speeder bike started, and he's not happy.



Oh well, guess it's back to walking. We hit the Muppets next, pausing for a fountain photo:



We go in, and I get a kick out of this:



Look, someone hit it! Haha! Brilliant! Oh, wait - it says the guy in the ticket booth is out. No problem, though - the key is under the rug:



Inside we go, and I flip out at "Pigs in Space":



I had a lunch box of that when I was a kid. I'd still use it if I had it today. The movie is fun, but definitely a bit dated. Our favorite line was from Sam Eagle:

"It's a tribute to all nations...but mostly America."

More silly theming outside...



...and then, it's back to Backlot tour. Only it's down. Ok, move on. But not until after the kids complete basic training.







Again, brilliant! And "brilliant" hasn't even become our word yet (SPOILER: that happens at Epcot in 2 days).

Our TSM FPs aren't valid yet, so we step into the Animation Studio. We watch the presentation, but don't go into the drawing class just yet. I do check out one of my favorites, the "coming soon" wall:







Ooh, sign me up for that first one! Who am I kidding - I'll see all of these.

But all of this not riding rides is getting me hungry - let's go get lunch.


(next update)

Last edited by nilla; 05-11-2012 at 10:43 PM.
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