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Old 05-21-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
tehSAC
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365 Days round. A toddlers first trip. May 14th-19th 2012 COMPLETE

Hello, and welcome to my trip report. I created a PTR back in January, but didn't keep up with it, so lets try again. Our trip was May 14th - May 19th, and we stayed at a Studio Villa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House.

The title of our trip is a story in itself. Last year on May 20th, out to see the latest pirates flick, my wife and I decided that it was time to get something planned to take our daughter. It just so happens exactly 365 days later, we would be arriving back home from our trip to WDW.

Before I go any further, lets introduce the members of our trip.


Me: Paul, 30 yrs old, 5 Time visitor (84’, 96’, 97’, 99’, 00’) to WDW. My last time in the park was for my youngest sisters make a wish trip, and we actually only visited MK and HS.


Wife: Christina, 29 yrs old, recently graduated from nursing school. Visited WDW when she was a child, and doesn’t remember much.


Daughter: Lorelai, 4 yrs old, going on 5. A humongous fan of flamingos. Most of her pet fish, gerbil, and a past box turtle had the name flamingo in it. She loves animals, and her favorite pet is Pascal the house cat. Rapunzel (Lorelai), Flynn (me), and Pascal have wonderful adventures around the house.

We packed up the car on the 11th, and slept in on the 12th in preparation for the long drive ahead. Lorelai had a T-ball game that afternoon, then we were off. On saturday morning, my wifes cousin, who works for a non-for-profit animal shelter texted my wife about a puppy that arrived that morning. We had been talking about getting a new dog after we got home, because our other dog seemed to be very lonely. We had to put our lab down in march, because he had bone cancer, and the little dog seemed to be depressed after he was gone. Plus we just wanted a new dog in the house because we are animal lovers. Anyway, she sent us photos and we instantly fell in love. Lorelai and Christina named him Lucky, which was a great fit I thought. Indianapolis just got Andrew Luck in the draft, so now Lucky can have his own jersey. :D

So around 6:30, we headed out on our trip. First stop, an hour away to meet our new puppy. He was going to stay with my wife's cousin while we were gone, but we wanted to meet the little guy before we left. After that we grabbed a quick bite to eat, and started the long journey south. Around Seymour Indiana, it started to rain. That rain lasted all night, into the morning, when we stopped for breakfast in Valdosta Georgia. Other than the rain, and the drunk guy at the gas station who almost vomited on me in the bathroom the drive down was uneventful.

I didnt take any photos on the way down, so sorry for the lack of photos in this first post. I promise with the posts to come there will be plenty of photos to look at. Until then, take care, and have a magical day!
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip! We are hoping to take our son the Disney sometime in the next year. It will be his first trip, too! Yay! So fun that you got a new puppy!
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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Day one started with us finding a room for the night. Since our room at AKL wouldnt be ready until the next day, we needed a place to rest. I wanted to be down in orlando a day ahead of our reservation to give us a chance to rest, shop at DTD, but mainly rest. We stayed off of 192 near the AKL at the Baymont suites. I was an excellent room for the price! Pool right outside our door, free breakfast, small kitchenette, and two queen beds.

Lorelai, mom, and I swam for an hour, then got ready to travel to DTD. Mom had her sights on one thing, a snow globe. My wife and I collect snow globes on every trip we take. The bigger the trip, the bigger the globe. Lorelai just wanted princess stuff, and I just wanted to see the lego store.


Disney Day One 021 by tehSAC, on Flickr

First on the agenda was to try and get into T-Rex for dinner. Lorelai loves Rainforest, and we saw a youtube video of T-Rex, and she said she wanted to try it out. We arrived to a 5 minute wait, and before we knew it we were heading to our seat.


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As soon as we walked in and passed our first Dino, Lorelai started to get very scared. Holding on to dear life she started to scream and cry, she was frightened. As scared as I had ever seen. I took her out side, explained to her that it was okay, and she gave it another shot. As a reward for doing well she got a light up glass, which she loved. She is very sensitive to touch, sound, and sights. I think she was just overwhelmed by everything.


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Lorelai got a cheese burger and fries, Mom and I shared some nachos. After we ordered, mom took her shopping, and she came back with a pen, and a dino wearing a superhero costume. The first of many stuffed critters she would buy on the trip.


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Old 05-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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That is a cool looking restaurant! I never thought about kids getting scared, but you never know how they will react to things. I'm glad she was so brave and willing to give it a try!
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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After our trip back to the prehistoric age for dinner, Lorelai played for a few in the boneyard, then we were off to shop.


Disney Day One 037 by tehSAC, on Flickr


First stop, my favorite, the Lego store. When I last visited DTD the Lego store was much different. I was excited to see the larger store, and new sculptures.


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We actually didn't go in until later, Lorelai was eager to head into the world of Disney. She had her mind set on a pair of princess ears and an autograph book. Mom was looking for a snow globe, and I was just enjoying it all. I picked up my first Vinylmation for the heck of it. I ended up grabbing a star wars one in hopes I would get a stormtrooper. We also picked up the first flamingo item of the trip that evening too. Lorelai found the flamingo antenna topper and we grabbed one. We also saw a display with the same flamingo as a yard ornament, but they were sold out.

Mom and I ended up deciding on a snow globe (pictures to come) and knew it would be our only thing we would buy for ourselves. Its our biggest one yet.

Eventually we made it over to Once Upon a Toy. I love this store, because I'm a big kid at heart. Lorelai found the make your own lightsaber, and wanted to make a purple one. Since it was her money she was spending that was fine with me. Afterwords she had to pose with it, and made a couple CM's laugh.


Disney Day One 058 by tehSAC, on Flickr

Then we made it to the potato head area of the store. My wife and I did this back in 03 and had told her about this before we left. After she picked out hers, she and I played around at the table where you could build your own.


Disney Day One 059 by tehSAC, on Flickr

After all of that fun we decide to head over to the Christmas store. I knew outside that store, Lorelai would see something she had to do. Any guesses?

Stay tuned.....
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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No guesses... I have never really shopped around Disney before. It's cool to see your pics of Legoland! So fun!
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #7
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Leaving where I left off, we were heading towards the Christmas shop in DTD. We made a quick pitstop to look at the pin shop for a flamingo pin, but we didn’t see any. We then moved into the Christmas store and started to browse, and Lorelai found an ornament for grandma. Just after that, she saw the kids outside playing in the fountains. She asked if she could go, and we didn’t care. We always pack an extra pair of clothes, and heck, we are in Disney. At first she was hesitant, along with the other children in the area. Eventually she just went for it and so did all the other kids. Screaming, laughing, and smiling, I snapped some photos, while mom sat on a bench to watch.


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A half hour later, she was soaked, and I had a memory card full of pictures. I realized then, that I should have bought another couple cards for the trip, but I dealt with it. We changed her, and continued to walk around, heading back towards the west side. We stopped in front of the stage outside of World of Disney, as they were starting a dance party for little ones. She wanted to play along, so we found a seat and watched her. After a few songs, I went back into DTD to buy the Vinylmation I decided against purchasing earlier in the evening. When I came out Lorelai was upset. I guess a group of 20 something year olds thought it would be a good idea to jump in and dance with a bunch of toddlers to pre-teens. Lorelai ended up getting knocked down, and that was it for her dance party.

After we calmed down, we headed into the Lego store. We made minifigures for a while, and eventually purchased 3 of them, along with a large tub of lego bricks from the pick your own wall. We didn’t spend too much time inside because it was packed. I went back to the car and came back to pick them up and we headed back to the hotel room. We caught the end of survivor that night, played with our lego’s and laid down around 11PM. We set the alarm for 8, because tomorrow was our first “Official” day in Disney!

Edit: I forgot to add in my report that we returned to the room and Lorelai and I opened my viynlmation I decided to get. I was hoping my choice would end up me getting a stormtrooper. What do you know, it was! Lorelai and I played with it and her Legos until it was bed time.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:17 PM   #8
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The next day we got up around 8, got dressed, and headed down to the lobby for breakfast. Shortly after that, we packed up, and took the short drive to the AKL. We knew we were checking in early and had a minimal chance of getting our room at 10 am, but I went ahead and checked in. The lobby took your breath away. What a beautiful resort! I have never stayed deluxe before, so I was very excited. We used dvcrequest.com to book a studio savanna room, otherwise with our budget, we could have never stayed here. It was seamless, and I'm not sure I will book any other way in the future.

Anyway, the room wasnt ready, but they took my number, so they could text me when it was. I headed back out the car, fist full of buttons, and stickers for lorelai and mom. Next stop, Epcot. I was exited to get to the park. For two reasons, one its been 12 years since I had stepped foot in one, and I was excited to see what Lorelai thought of it all. Plus I had never been to world showcase, so I was eager to see it too. Knowing it would be mostly walk through by the time we got back there, I was okay with that.



003 by tehSAC, on Flickr

We walked in around 10:30, took a few photos, and took off on a whim. A vague plan of what we wanted to do, but no big hurry or plans. Just go with what the 4 year old wanted to do. Our intention was to head towards to Nemo first, but we passed by the Character Spot, and saw the wait was around 10 min. So what better way to start off a Disney Vacation in for first park, than meeting the fab 5 first.


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After meeting the gang, Lorelai's strap on her croc's fell off. I struggled with it but couldnt get it to snap back on. A CM in the area, came by, took the shoe and snapped it on like that. She smiled and said have a magical day. A quick bathroom break and Lorelai saw some ice cream. We stopped for ice cream at Fountain View Ice Cream. She had a Caramel Sunday, and Mom and I shared a Strawberry Sunday. That had to be the best strawberry sunday I had ever had. Strawberry Ice Cream, strawberries in syrup, and some whipped cream.

Next we were off to Nemo, but did it go well? Well you will have to see in the next update.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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Lorelai is SO CUTE with the fab five! I'm glad you thought to make the stop first! What a treat!

I have always wanted to stay at the AKL as well. I'll be looking into renting DVC points. Let me know what you thought of the view from your room. I have read that the view from the 3rd and 4th floors is the best, but the DVC rooms are on the 5th and 6th. Do you think it makes much of a difference? Did you see a lot of animals? I guess if I am spending that much money, I want a great view, but I don't really know what kind to get or request.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairy8i8 View Post
Lorelai is SO CUTE with the fab five! I'm glad you thought to make the stop first! What a treat!

I have always wanted to stay at the AKL as well. I'll be looking into renting DVC points. Let me know what you thought of the view from your room. I have read that the view from the 3rd and 4th floors is the best, but the DVC rooms are on the 5th and 6th. Do you think it makes much of a difference? Did you see a lot of animals? I guess if I am spending that much money, I want a great view, but I don't really know what kind to get or request.
Thanks! I thought it was a great start, plus in all the times I have visited in teh past I had never met them, so it was a first for me too.

We always said when we were finally able to go, we wanted to stay at AKL. Then looking at prices through disney, it wasnt something we could do. Renting points made it affordable, and it was very easy. The view was great for us. Ill post some photos of our view soon. The only thing was we didnt have zebras or giraffes on our savanna, but you could still go to seating areas to see those animals, so it wasnt a big deal. I really had no complaints. I got stuck on the fold out bed a couple nights, and it made me wish we went with a two bedroom, but other than that it was perfect. I would look on dvcrequest at the pricing, and compare it through disney. We wanted a room with a fridge, sink, and microwave, so we could make food for the parks and breakfast, so we just went with a studio villa, savanna view. We have already started to price out a possible 2 night stay in December for BLT, and the prices are hard to beat.

If you have any questions, just ask.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:53 PM   #11
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So I left us finishing up our ice cream. We packed up and headed to finding Nemo. Lorelai was excited to see the “Mine” Birds I had showed her on Youtube. We sat and watched them for about 5 minutes, and I moved the stroller to the parking area.


048 by tehSAC, on Flickr

We made our way to the queue, and as soon as she saw it was dark she started to freak out. She didn’t want to do it, and she wanted her “Moon” Light. Well we had left it back in the room, so I had to pull out my iPhone and load up the flashlight app, to help with her nerves. If your wondering what a “Moon” light is, it is a personal, rechargeable, night light for kids. Its made by kinderglo. She used it as a child, and now when she has a rough night, or its stormy, she will keep it in bed with her.



Basically the ride was a walk on, and she enjoyed it. My wife and I enjoyed it also, except for the EAC part. Hurt my eyes and head. We hopped off and looked at the fish, manatees, and even met Bruce.


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We made our way to Turtle Talk, but we just missed the show, so we decided to move on. We moved over to the Land, and hopped right onto Living with the Land. Lorelai wasn’t a fan with the first part, but actually enjoyed seeing all the fruits and veggies. We hopped off and headed over towards Soarin, because Lorelai saw something we were shopping for at DTD. The flamingo guy, we called him. They actually only had one left in the box, so it was a no brainer. The CM also gave Lorelai a bag of Cotton Candy on the house. We had the flamingo shipped to our resort and headed out of the land. I tried to get Lorelai to try out Soarin, but she wasn’t interested, and I wasn’t going to force her onto anything. If she said she wanted to do it, we would, if not, we moved on.

Leaving the land I went and found the stroller, and then found Lorelai and mom feeding a duck as the waited for me. A older gentleman came up and gave my wife some grief about doing this, so we just moved on. As far as I know he didn’t work for Disney, just a regular park guest, but I guess he could have been a undercover CM. LOL


065 by tehSAC, on Flickr

Next up was Journey into Imagination. It was a walk on and Lorelai loved it. Actually when we got back home, she said to me, she wish she had done it again. While waiting for mom, Lorelai and I found the jumping fountains. We watched and played in them until mom came out.


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Making our way towards World Showcase, we ran into our first princess, Snow White. It was a very short line in the shade, around 5 min or so. She was very excited to meet her first princess. She told Snow White her name, spelled it out for her, and told her that she was 4. Snow White was great, gave her an autograph, and posed for a few shots.


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We then headed up the path where we found one of the play sets they had set up for the flower and garden festival. Lorelai played on it for about 10 minutes, and as we left a CM handed her a hand full of fairy stickers. I joked with her and said “hey you can put these on your countdown calendar”, and she replied, “No dad I cant, we are already here.” That gave me a big smile. I cant get anything past her anymore. :P


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Up next, World Showcase at a Toddlers pace.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:15 PM   #12
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So where did I leave off? Oh yea, on to world showcase, at a toddlers pace.
Lorelai finished up with playing, and mom bought Lorelai her very first mickey bar. She sat in the stroller and seemed to enjoy it. We took a quick pit stop for bathroom breaks and we were on our way.


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We headed towards Canada first and walked through the pavilion. Nothing stood out to Lorelai, so on we went. Heading into the UK, she saw something, or should I say, someone she wanted to meet.


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Alice! We were lucky too, because we were the last allowed to meet her for that scheduled visit. We passed the 10 min, by talking to the CM. We spoke about her job, where she was from, and how rude some guests could be because they weren’t allowed to enter a closed line. Actually funny, yet embarrassing stuff. Lorelai was wearing her birthday button, and Alice signed her book with a “Happy Birthday” too.

We then walked through France, and Lorelai noticed the Eiffel Tower. She thought that was neat and wanted to go up in it. She said it was her turn to go up, even though she had already been to the top of the real one in mommys belly. Mom was three months pregnant when we visited paris, so Lorelai always tells people she has been to the top of the tower. :D

So next we were in between Morocco and France looking out over the lagoon. Lorelai turned around to tell mom about how she could see the “Big Ball” from here, tripped over a curb, and skinned up her knee and elbow. She was very upset, so we took a band-aid break. We chilled out for awhile and then we were on our way.

Japan was next and she was excited for this, because she really wanted to do the pick a pearl deal. We watched a guy pick an oyster with a 7 ¼ size pearl inside it. The CM doing the ceremony was very excited about this. Then it was Lorelai’s turn, and she let the CM know which one she wanted and was very intent on watching the process.


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In the end she picked an oyster with a 6 ¾ size pearl with in. She seemed to enjoy the show, and getting her very own pearl. We moved back outside and looked over the lagoon, and watched them place the barges in place for that evenings fireworks show.


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It was starting to get dark in the West, so we started to make our way towards Mexico. We made a quick stop in the United States to fill up our water and play with a telescope.


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Old 05-26-2012, 11:17 PM   #13
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The walk took us to a small area before crossing the bridge to China. Here there were a few drums kids could play with and Lorelai was right in the thick of it. We played there for a while, and I snapped a couple photos of the details around the area.


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Lorelai was starting to get tired, and the skies were getting darker, but we pressed on, knowing she wanted to ride in Mexico. We heard someone shout “Donald” and I turned around and there was “Fiesta Donald” as I called him. We turned around and waited in the short line to meet him. We didn’t get an autograph, because we had met Donald earlier in the day.


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After meeting him, we moved into the Mexico pavilion, and walked right onto the ride. She seemed to like it, and it was also a first for me and my wife. Actually my wife may have seen it when she was a kid, but she doesn’t remember anything. :D

The clouds seemed to be getting closer, so we started to make our way out of the park, but I still had something I wanted to do. Spaceship Earth! On the way there Lorelai said she wasn’t interested, and good thing. I forgot how dark this ride is. Anyway they headed to another fountain play area, and I went on ahead. I felt selfish doing something without her, especially since I had done it before. I almost walked back, but Christina texted me that they didn’t go, and they were going to sit and have some popcorn.


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I stopped for a quick photo underneath, and walked right on. As I said, I don’t remember it being that dark, but again, its been since 1998 when I last rode it. I walked out, and started searching for them. After a quick phone call I found them outside the Electric Umbrella. We packed up and headed out of the park. Next stop, Animal Kingdom Lodge!
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:40 AM   #14
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I am having so much fun following along on your trip! Your daughter is adorable - I love her Mickey ears! I can't wait until you get back to the resort to see where your room was located
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:47 AM   #15
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We headed out to our car and made the short trip to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We pulled up to the security checkpoint and the guard greeted us with a “Welcome Home”. That was pretty cool. We pulled up to the front and was greeted by a CM who was from very close to where we live. We talked as we loaded up the baggage cart, then I took the car out to the lot. By this time it was starting to rain pretty hard, but I wasn’t going to let that get me down.


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I met Christina and Lorelai in the lobby and they already had our room number and activated keys. We headed to the 5th level, room 5469. I knew we would be up high, but I was okay with that. What would our view look like? Well here ya go..


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So there it is, Everest included!


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Before we knew it, bell services were dropping off our bags, and we started to get settled in. Lorelai and I found our binoculars, and started to look around. We really didn’t need them, but it was nice to get a closer look if we wanted. Plus with my binoculars, I could see the top of the swan and dolphin, the characters in flight balloon when it was in the air, the sky coaster on the other side of I-4, and even people walking to the top of summit plummet. At night we were treated to Illuminations, well at least the fireworks that went above the trees. Also the first night the wind was blowing just right and we could hear the music.

So after we had unpacked, I couldn’t find my phone. I looked all over the room, called my phone, etc. Eventually I went down to the front desk to see if I may have left it there, or if someone had found it. I even went out to the car. No luck. I went back up to the room, determined not to let bother or ruin our trip. I decided to go back down again after a few and looked around, and just decided to look in the car again. I eventually found it in the visor, I don’t even remember putting it there, but I guess I did at one point.

So I made it back up to the room, and Lorelai wanted to go explore around the pool and the resort. Mom was talking to grandma, so we headed out without her. Lorelai all trip started to point out every mickey she saw as a hidden mickey. She found the ones in the carpet, on the signs, and in other areas. Eventually it became a game between the both of us. She usually won.


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We walked around the pool to check it out, and made it to the flamingo pond. Of course we had to stop their everyday to say hi to her flamingos. When she saw them, she yelled out “FLAMINGOS”, and it caught the attention of everyone in the area. At least it seemed that way.


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We ended up swimming and going down the slide for an hour and a half before we went back up to the room. We headed out to target for some supplies, and grabbed a quick bite. It seemed to rain off and on all evening, and I was hoping it wouldn’t be that way in the morning. Christina and Lorelai headed down to the gift shop to look around and she came back with a lanyard and some pins, because she had seen others with them. She was excited to trade with other people. She had a bath and we put in Lady and the Tramp and watched for a while before we went to bed. We had an early wakeup call, because we had a date for breakfast with royalty.
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