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Old 08-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
JoshAndEvsMom
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! - July TR/BIG Update 2/8! The Pirate's League!!

Hello and to my first TR EVER! I learned so much and was so inspired by everyone's trip reports that I thought I'd give it a shot. I did a little PTR, entitled, How DH Saved Mother's Day with a SURPRISE Trip to WDW! It was really sweet. I had to have my wisdom teeth out over Mother's Day weekend so he gave me my present early. He SURPRISED us all with a trip to Disney World! I honestly couldn't believe it. He's never done anything like this before and he TOTALLY got me good. I had no idea. He booked everything, tickets, flights, and a Pirate Room at Caribbean Beach Resort .

Anyway, wanna meet my family? We're a fun bunch and we never take ourselves seriously. Okay, here we are:


Me, Lauren: I'm 31... I think. Yup, 31. As a 6 year old, I always thought it was funny that my parents could never how old they were. I mean, I knew down to the WEEK. Now, I've got to do the math, just to be sure. Anyway, I was re-bitten by the Disney Bug last year when we took my husband's High School Band over spring break. It was a blast but it was WORK. As a kid, my family was lucky enough to visit 3 times. I remember the first time we walked into a Disney Park (Epcot) my 9-year-old self started crying because it was so wonderful that I couldn't wait to bring my own children there someday. It wasn't until last spring when I finally DID get to bring my own children to WDW, that I truly remembered how magical that place is. *sigh* I just couldn't wait to get back with just our family. No band! Oh, and Eric & I were also celebrating our 7th Anniversary. We didn't plan it that way, it just so happened to fall when we were there.


DH, Eric: He's... 34. Hmmm. If I can't remember how old I am, how do you expect me to remember how old he is?! As mentioned before, he's a HS band teacher. Band camp is now in full swing. Vacation is officially over. I actually wasn't sure he was all "in to" the Disney thing until we started planning this trip. He was so awesome about it. He even made us a countdown callendar. After this trip, he's totally hooked. He even asked me "So when do we go without the kids?" To which I answered "Tomorrow?"


DS, Joshua: He's 5, going on 15. He keeps reminding me that he is almost in Kindergarten now so he knows much, MUCH more than he used to. Maybe even more than me. So it begins. He, of course, LOVES Disney. Disney movies, Disney toys, Disney clothes, you name it. He also loves Star Wars, pirates, and ninjas. Pretty much anything where you get to carry some sort of sword. He was so excited to go back and be able to ride some of the roller coasters since he was tall enough. He's a little thrill seeker, just like his mom.


DD, Evelyn: The toddler! She's 2 and is EVERY BIT a 2 year old. My sweet little drama queen! She's a princess at heart and I couldn't wait to see her meet the REAL Princesses. Evelyn knows Disney through the eyes of Disney Jr. She loves Mickey & Minnie and talked every day about going to say hi and give them hugs. It was adorable! She'd even pretend to call them on the phone.


Its been a little more than a month but I thought I'd start reliving the memories. We all had the best time ever! It was amazing, I took a TON of pictures, we were sprinkled with Pixie dust and even had a surprise visit. Thanks for stopping by and don't leave without saying hello!
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! 2012 July TR
How DH Saved Mother's Day with a SURPRISE Trip to WDW! 2012 July PTR

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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Chapter Links

Day -1: Travel Day
Off We Go!

Day 1: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Rise & Shine! - DHS EMH
A Full Morning at DHS
A Free Fall, then Lunch
Play & Dine @ Hollywood & Vine Cont...
Jedi Training Academy!
JTA Continued
DHS Photopass
We need a nap!... and some Pizza

Day 2: Epcot #1
Mission: Get through Mission Space
We're not done yet!... Where's Daisy?!
The Land, Sky and Sea
Dinner at Biergarten
"But they sounded just like fireworks!"

Day 3: Disney's Animal Kingdom
A Beautiful Animal Kingdom Morning!
Mountains and Plains
Rain, Rain Go Away!
The Rest of our Rainy Day at Animal Kingdom
Whispering Canyon Cafe

Day 4: Magic Kingdom #1
Rise and Shine for the Magic Kingdom!
Crystal Palace Breakfast
Adventureland Pixie Dust
The Pirate's League! AaaRrrrMatey!! Post #1
The Pirate's League! AarRrrrrMatey!!! Post #2

Day 5: Epcot #2

Day 6: Magic Kingdom #2/ Travel Home
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! 2012 July TR
How DH Saved Mother's Day with a SURPRISE Trip to WDW! 2012 July PTR

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Old 08-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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Off We Go!! Day -1

The night before our big family vacation, the kids... who am I kidding... we were ALL super duper excited. We have never been on a real family vacation, just the 4 of us so we were really looking to celebrate. And we really did have a lot to celebrate! My son is going to start Kindergarten in a couple weeks, Eric & I were celebrating our 7th year of marriage, and it was my late father's birthday. He passed away a year and a half ago, just two weeks before our first trip to Disney World. He loved Disney and I am so sad he never got to take his grandkids. It felt great to be in the Magic Kingdom for his birthday.

One more night!!


Our flight was at 11:00 am so we didn't have to wake up too incredibly early, which was nice. My MIL picked us up and drove us to the airport. Josh kept asking and asking when she'd be there so I took them outside and took pictures of them to keep the ants out of their pants!




Our airport is really small so it's not like you have to get there hours before your flight or anything. We checked in and were on our plane in about a half an hour. No waiting around! Awesome!





Evelyn got really into the bead & wire toy. She didn't want to get on the plane! Didn't she know where we were going?





Woo hoo! We're finally on our way to.... Las Vegas!





We had a 3 hour layover in Las Vegas to catch our plane to Orlando... or so we thought. When we got to our gate, the sign said it was a flight to Albuquerque. Huh? Both of us swore that wasn't on the itinerary when we booked the flight. Oh well, as long as it ends in Orlando, all is well.

Lunch & Coloring in Las Vegas.


So what do you do with a toddler on a 5 hour flight? Sleep, color, watch My Little Pony, eat snacks and cover her in stickers.



After our very, VERY long day traveling, we finally arrived at MCO!! It was 11:30 at night but we were wired. I was a little worried about our stroller that we had gate checked in Las Vegas. We left it where they told us to but there was no one around so we were just crossing our fingers that someone would find it there and get it on the plane! We deplaned and there were about 5 strollers waiting there but none were ours. Rats! Eric told me to take the kids and he would wait for the stroller. It seemed like we waited for EVER and I was beginning to worry that our stroller didn't make it. I was running contingency plans through my head, crunching numbers... would it be cheeper to rent a stroller from Disney, or should we try to buy a cheep one? Would a single be enough? Should we get a double? Maybe an outside rental company would be easier... Then out popped DH with the stroller. Crisis averted!

We followed the masses to the monorail and watched an ugly exchange: Woman 1: *Standing comforting her fussy baby, who had been fussy almost the entire flight*
Woman 2: "You really need to get that kid under control! I have seen DOGS better behaved than your CHILD!"
*Woman 2 walks away in a huff while Woman 1 and the rest of us stand there with our jaws on the floor. Then, Woman 1 shoves Fussy Baby into grandma's arms and TAKES OFF after Woman 2! Fussy Baby's Daddy then takes off after Woman 1 to hold her back. Woman 1 is yelling "No one calls my baby a DOG!" Holy cow. If I would have caught up to Woman 2 I would have told her that no one, NO ONE wants that baby to stop crying MORE than his MAMA! I'm just really tired of hearing people complain about crying babies. It's not like he was a 4 year old acting badly, he was a, maybe, 4 month old who had no idea what was going on. Boooooo Woman 2!

Anyway, we made our way to baggage claim unscathed and Eric found our things while I took the kids to get changed into PJ's. Then, we started the hike down the long hall way to where we thought we remembered catching the Magical Express. I told Josh "tell me when you see Mickey!" We kept walking. I wasn't seeing anything with Mickey on it... hmmmm... There sure was a lot of Universal posters though. That's odd. We got to the end. Okay, that was definitely not the place we were supposed to be. We finally found someone in the deserted terminal to ask where to catch the ME and apparently you have to go back up the elevators, over to terminal B, and back down. Phew! Here we go again!

We finally made it to the ME around 12:45 am and got right on a bus. I stopped taking pictures because we were uber tired and everything was such a frenzy that I just didn't think about it. We pulled into Caribbean Beach about 30 minutes later and checked in. It was a breeze and the CM's behind the desk were just as cheerful as if It had been 2:00 pm and not nearly 2:00 am. Once we got our room keys, a van took us to our room in Trinidad South! We had a Pirate room on the ground floor in building 34. It was awesome! We didn't bother to put anything away because it was 2:00 am on the nose and we had to be up for EMH at Hollywood Studios! We were finally on Disney soil and we had to go to bed!
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! 2012 July TR
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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Great start! Looking forward to reading along!
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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Hi, Looks like a fun trip report ahead! I'm in!
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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Great start! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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I'm here!!

Sounds like a LONG travel day for sure! DH & I love Vegas, so that would have been tough to fly in and out of that airport...seeing the LV strip and not being able to go...then I would have to remind myself we were headed to WDW...and it would still be tough

Cant wait to hear all about your trip!

OH...those triangle crayons...I bought some for my little boys for our flight. I had never seen them before and read about them online. Anything to avoid having to pick up rolling crayons!
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:55 AM   #8
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You started your TR!

Great start! Wow that sounds like a long travel day. It looks like you all did really well though. The kids are too cute.

at the airport exchange! That is crazy. Woman 2 needs to relax! That is so true about the mom wanting the baby to be quiet more than anyone. Some people have no empathy. Not to mention you are at MCO! There are going to be a lot of kids at that airport!

I'm glad you had such a great trip for all your celebrations! What a special way to remember your dad by being at Disney on his birthday.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harters2WDW View Post
Great start! Looking forward to reading along!
Thanks and

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbellmagic View Post
Hi, Looks like a fun trip report ahead! I'm in!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AshleyAnn View Post
Great start! Can't wait to read more!
I'll try to get out our DHS morning out soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
I'm here!!

Sounds like a LONG travel day for sure! DH & I love Vegas, so that would have been tough to fly in and out of that airport...seeing the LV strip and not being able to go...then I would have to remind myself we were headed to WDW...and it would still be tough

Cant wait to hear all about your trip!

OH...those triangle crayons...I bought some for my little boys for our flight. I had never seen them before and read about them online. Anything to avoid having to pick up rolling crayons!
Yay! I'm so glad you made it over! The triangle crayons are awesome. I also highly suggest stickers. I had to be extra diligent to make sure she didn't stick them on anything she shouldn't, but Evelyn played with those for almost an hour. It was a great trick to pull out of my hat for the last bit of the flight.

Vegas was funny. Josh kept asking why he couldn't play the games so I had to explain gambling. His reaction was hilarious! He said "If kids can't play them, why do they make them all cool so kids want to play them?" I told him that has been debated before. Eric & I honeymooned in Vegas so while we were there, we started thinking how great it would be to go again for a weekend getaway. We have only been that one time but we had a lot of fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
You started your TR!

Great start! Wow that sounds like a long travel day. It looks like you all did really well though. The kids are too cute.

at the airport exchange! That is crazy. Woman 2 needs to relax! That is so true about the mom wanting the baby to be quiet more than anyone. Some people have no empathy. Not to mention you are at MCO! There are going to be a lot of kids at that airport!

I'm glad you had such a great trip for all your celebrations! What a special way to remember your dad by being at Disney on his birthday.
Hi Megan! I'm so glad you made it over to my TR! I was kind of surprised at Woman 2's reaction. I mean, you're on a flight to ORLANDO! There are going to be a ton of kids. Oh well, haters gonna hate, I suppose.

It was so awesome celebrating our anniversary at Disney. I honestly had no idea how fun it would be. When we got home Eric said "I miss that people aren't wishing us a Happy Anniversary!" So true! I bet you had the same experience with Anthony's birthday. Everyone just makes you feel so special!
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! 2012 July TR
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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Rise & Shine! Hollywood Studios EMH

The alarm went off at 6:00 am, a mere 4 hours after we went to bed! I rolled out of bed, woke up Ev and put her in the shower with me. The boys were still fast asleep so I was fully expecting to have to turn on the lights, blare the television, and generally cause a ruckus to get them moving. BUT, when we got out of the shower, there they were, fully dressed laughing at us! We were off to a great start!

We wanted to get out the door at 7:00 am to make sure we were at Hollywood Studios before the gates opened. We were on a mission! Josh really, REALLY wanted to do Jedi Training Academy and we weren't sure how the line was going to be. When we went last year the line was a mile long and, while we did end up getting a spot, it was a little stressful. Anyhow, as we were getting ready, I couldn't seem to find anything. I couldn't find the kids' toothbrushes, I couldn't find Evie's hair ribbons, I couldn't find the comb... All of these things turned up right in front of my nose but I just couldn't seem to get it together. Finally, Eric says "Why don't you just put on your glasses?!!" Grrrrrr... That wasn't what I wanted to hear at that moment so of course I snapped back. Then, I took a couple deep breaths and remembered where we were. Fortunately, that was the one and only time we ever had a moment like that. Just get it out of the way first thing!

We actually made it out the door at around 7:15, which is awesome for us, and walked to the bus stop. DHS was the first bus to come around! Score! We were at DHS and waiting in line at the gates by 7:30! That was one thing I liked about being at Trinidad South, ours was the last stop so we always went immediately to the park.



Our game plan was that I would take Josh to Jedi Training while Eric went with Ev to get TSMM fastpasses. I had heard a couple different things about the JTA line at EMH: 1. They start signing up kiddos right away. 2. People start lining up right away but they don't sign anyone up until the park officially opens. Either way, we were going to JTA, we just didn't know how long we'd be there.

As we're walking in Eric goes "So, if the Toy Story line is ridiculously short, should I ride with Ev?"

"Heck yah!" I say! Why wait around for me & Josh if they can go on a ride? "Just text me so I know you got on. I'll call you once we sign up at Jedi Training."

He agrees and we decide we'll meet up in front of Star Tours. Josh & I head off to ABC Sound Studio and lucky for us we got senario #1! They were taking kiddos right away! We were maybe 10th in line and signed up for the first show at 9:30 am. Perfect! I called Eric, expecting him to be waiting for our call, like planned. No answer. Josh & I decided to head over to Star Tours to see if they were there waiting for us. Nope. But there was no one on the speeder!





We waited a few more minutes and I called again. Still no answer. Maybe I got it wrong? Did we say we'd meet at TSMM? Josh & I decide to head that way just in case. When we walked through the hub, in front of the Hat, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, Minnie and Pluto were all out in their golden "Hollywood" outfits. There was NO line for Daisy and Donald so I asked Josh if he wanted to stop and get his picture taken. He said he just wanted to find Evie and Daddy so we kept on track to Pixar Place. I kind of wish we had stopped. Their outfits were so cool and in just a few minutes, the lines were crazy.


Once we got there, they were nowhere to be found. Still no answer on Eric's phone so I decided to just stay put. Josh saw a Penny Machine so we did his first penny of the trip! Rex, from Toy Story! Just when I was really beginning to worry/get annoyed, Eric comes out of TSMM pushing Ev in the stroller! They were both smiling from ear to ear and every bit of annoyance melted away. I guess in my excitement, I forgot I had told them to go ahead and ride. But wait... how did he get the stroller on? He said that in HIS excitement, he forgot to park the stroller and since there was a very little wait, they just let him on in one of the disabled cars. Wasn't that nice? A little bit of pixie dust right off the bat!

I told him about our 9:30 show time. He got us Fastpasses for 8:55. It would be tight but I was sure it wouldn't be a problem. Our next order of business... Star Tours!! We were so excited for this ride! We went to the entrance and got our first RIDER SWAP of the trip! (Many, many more to come!)

If anyone out there does't know how rider swap works: You can get a Rider Swap ticket on any ride that has a height requirement. You go to the CM at the entrance of the ride and ask for a rider swap ticket. They will want to physically see the child who can not ride. They will ask you who will be waiting out and give them a ticket. It looks just like a Fastpass only it says "Rider Swap" and it doesn't have an expiration time. It is also good for up to 3 riders. When you are ready to ride, you take your rider swap ticket and go straight to the Fastpass line. The CM's will treat it exactly like a FP. This worked out really well for us because Josh got to ride everything twice! One of us would take him through the standby or Fastpass line (we'd only get 2 fastpasses per ride), get the RS ticket and he'd get to ride a second time with the other parent. He's going to be so spoiled once his sister is tall enough to ride!

Josh & I rode first since Eric & Ev already got their turn

I think we went to Tatooine and the Ice Planet (??) We also went through a battle at the Death Star but I think everyone does that. It was SO MUCH FUN! We totally loved that ride! We noticed in the gift shop that they sell shirts that say "I Am the Rebel Spy" I TOTALLY would have bought that if Josh had been chosen. Awesome marketing, Disney. You totally would have had me.

It was walk on so we really didn't need the rider swap that time but used it anyway. Next, Eric took Josh on Star Tours while Evie & I checked out the fountain at Muppet Plaza. What did she think? Decide for yourself!









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Old 08-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #11
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Great start to your trip!

The kids look like they were having a great time that morning.

We have never used rider swap, but we definately will be this time around! So...if you were using FP, do you go up to the CM for the rider swap ticket before entering the FP line? Or before getting your FP?
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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Great start to your trip!

The kids look like they were having a great time that morning.

We have never used rider swap, but we definately will be this time around! So...if you were using FP, do you go up to the CM for the rider swap ticket before entering the FP line? Or before getting your FP?
Oh RS is going to work PERFECTLY for you guys! So, here's how you should use RS in conjunction with Fastpass:

1. Get a FP for DH, DS10 & DD9
2. Return in your FP window and ask the CM for a RS ticket. (So, to answer your question above, get the RS ticket at the time you ride)
3. DH rides with DS & DD while you wait with DSx2
4. (Here's the best part) You ride with your older DS & DD! Because you can get up to 3 riders on one RS ticket, they get to ride twice! How fun is that?!

Now, RS tickets have no expiration (as long as it's the same day) so if you can't ride immediately, no problem. Just remember that you won't be able to do RS on rides that have no height requirement, even if the little ones have no intention of riding. So, no RS on Kilimanjaro Safari, TSMM, Peter Pan, etc.
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! 2012 July TR
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:22 AM   #13
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Oh RS is going to work PERFECTLY for you guys! So, here's how you should use RS in conjunction with Fastpass:

1. Get a FP for DH, DS10 & DD9
2. Return in your FP window and ask the CM for a RS ticket. (So, to answer your question above, get the RS ticket at the time you ride)
3. DH rides with DS & DD while you wait with DSx2
4. (Here's the best part) You ride with your older DS & DD! Because you can get up to 3 riders on one RS ticket, they get to ride twice! How fun is that?!

Now, RS tickets have no expiration (as long as it's the same day) so if you can't ride immediately, no problem. Just remember that you won't be able to do RS on rides that have no height requirement, even if the little ones have no intention of riding. So, no RS on Kilimanjaro Safari, TSMM, Peter Pan, etc.
Awesome!! This sounds perfect for us! I just read all the info to DH (and I am also copying it into my plans online). Sounds like a great solution since I have 2 little guys

Cant wait to hear more about your trip!!
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:12 PM   #14
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so excited your started a report!! now off to read about!
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:18 PM   #15
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so excited your started a report!! now off to read about!
I'm so glad you found my TR! Thanks for following along
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