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Old 06-20-2012, 07:31 PM   #76
MEK
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All caught up.

Great TR. I am really enjoying all your witty comments. I can't believe you had your eye sight taken out by a love bug. That's a bummer, for sure.

Your trip to Seaworld looks so fun. I have never been there and I really need to change that. For a long time I didn't think I could do a non-disney park trip, but after this summer I would really like to try one. I am also anxious to try DC. Can't wait to see your pics. Hope your eye recovers.

Bummer about the broken dryer. I love the layout our your 2BR vila. WE had an unusual room combo when we stayed there but it was a lock off unit. It was huge.

very funny about all the neked boys at BLT. Who knew?
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:00 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saintstickets View Post
Way to sport that Golden Eagle!!!!

LOVE HDDR!! I can't believe this was your first time there!!

We loved Sea World in San Antonio and after seeing your pics I think I need to plan on going one day in Orlando!

Holy cow at the tomatoes!!!!!!!
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:36 AM   #78
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Great day at Sea World!

Your pictures from the One Ocean show are amazing!!!

The rides are a nice addition to the park. My teenager loved Kraaken and Manta.

The mime preshow is my favorite thing at Sea World. Unfortunately, we came in too late to the Sea Lion show to see him last summer.

Sorry your night was hampered by the love bug incident.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:07 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
All caught up.

Great TR. I am really enjoying all your witty comments. I can't believe you had your eye sight taken out by a love bug. That's a bummer, for sure.

Your trip to Seaworld looks so fun. I have never been there and I really need to change that. For a long time I didn't think I could do a non-disney park trip, but after this summer I would really like to try one. I am also anxious to try DC. Can't wait to see your pics. Hope your eye recovers.

Bummer about the broken dryer. I love the layout our your 2BR vila. WE had an unusual room combo when we stayed there but it was a lock off unit. It was huge.

very funny about all the neked boys at BLT. Who knew?
Thanks MEK. I'm glad you are enjoying the TR. I always enjoy yours so consider it partial pay back!

It was our first non-Disney trip to Orlando in 15 years. SeaWorld and Universal seem more amusement park than theme park with all the coaster rides to me. There's nothing wrong with that but one can't expect a Disney-type trip because, well....it's not Disney! With that said, DC comes as close to a Disney-type experience as one could expect. I would return there often.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TinksThree View Post
Way to sport that Golden Eagle!!!!

LOVE HDDR!! I can't believe this was your first time there!!

We loved Sea World in San Antonio and after seeing your pics I think I need to plan on going one day in Orlando!

Holy cow at the tomatoes!!!!!!!
Gotta support dem Eagles! I usually wear USM or Saints shirts every day at the parks. After the 2009 season and the Saints Super Bowl victory, we were at WDW 3 months later and there were LOTS of band-wagon fans wearing Saints garb. I can't tell you how many times we were walking around and someone yelled out "Who Dat!"

Hopefully we will finish putting up tomatoes tonight. We picked WAY more than we should have!


Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
Great day at Sea World!

Your pictures from the One Ocean show are amazing!!!

The rides are a nice addition to the park. My teenager loved Kraaken and Manta.

The mime preshow is my favorite thing at Sea World. Unfortunately, we came in too late to the Sea Lion show to see him last summer.

Sorry your night was hampered by the love bug incident.
Thanks natebenma! The show at One Ocean was fantastic. It always amazes me that they can get those HUGE beasts to react to specific commands. Oops, gotta run...DW is giving me "the look" to come help with the tomatoes. Hmmm...I guess I'm trained pretty well too!
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The "Don't mess with the CMs/take less photos TR" Jun14 @ BWV
Oct13-BCV - MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek
Sep12-Aulani - Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey
May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:23 PM   #80
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Day 4 – 5/22/12 – Discovery Cove



For those that are unfamiliar with Discovery Cove, it is located across the street from SeaWorld. DC is a place where you can snorkel among exotic fish, rays and sharks. You can hand-feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary. You can relax on white sand beaches and float a lazy river. The price of admission includes unlimited access to all of the above plus it includes your food, snacks, drink and even select adult beverages for the entire day. Also included are parking, a group photo, snorkel gear, swim vests, wetsuits, noodles/flotation devices, sunscreen, lockers, showers, towels and changing facilities. The only thing you need to bring is a swimsuit, some type of pool shoes/water socks, a hat, and a change of clothes. As mentioned in a previous post, the reservation even includes admission for 14 consecutive days around the date of your reservation to SeaWorld and Aquatica. The price varies depending on the time of the year and from time to time special promotions are offered. We found one that knocked $30 off the price of each adult ticket for the day. Here is the link to their website - Discovery Cove

As you can see, this all-inclusive price covers most everything. The only thing that will cost you extra would be souvenirs, additional pictures, private cabana rental, an underwater walking tour while wearing a dive helmet, a dolphin training package and the best thing about DC, a reserved 30 minute dolphin interaction and swim!



We decided months ago that this would be our day to splurge. DC is not cheap but it also includes a lot to do. When you consider the price of admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica are included ($82/$50 one day adult gate price respectively), the price is not bad at all. DC does limit the number of guests each day to around 1,000 so it doesn’t get overly crowded. As stated before, the dolphin swim is extra but IMO, it is the highlight of the day and well worth the additional cost. There are different levels of dolphin swim packages. There are only 13 private cabanas so as you can imagine, they rent quickly. You cannot reserve a cabana until a few weeks before your reservation date regardless of when you made your reservation but it also is well worth the additional cost. Make your reservation early to insure you get the day you want and ask at that time when you can call back and reserve the cabana. It can get awfully hot and they really pamper you if you have reserved a cabana. There are also different levels of cabana rentals depending on what “extras” you desire. As I said before, this was our day to go all out. We did the premium dolphin swim package with the cabana rental. This gave us a reserved dolphin swim, a personalized buoy delivered by a dolphin, DC t-shirt, DC backpack, underwater camera, 6x8 photo with the dolphin, photo frame or plush toy, private cabana and 25% off the ultimate photo package if purchased. Here is a pic of some of the extras in our package
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The "Don't mess with the CMs/take less photos TR" Jun14 @ BWV
Oct13-BCV - MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek
Sep12-Aulani - Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey
May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:29 PM   #81
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Now to our day at Discovery Cove…

Get there early! DC opens at 9:00. We arrived about 8:15 and there were already a couple hundred people lined up. Your dolphin swim time is assigned depending on when you arrive so the earlier you are there, the earlier your swim time. Once the doors open, your group will register and get a photo ID. You will also get a small plastic map that can attach to your ID lanyard. Both the ID and map are waterproof. Here is a pic of the map



After your group has been properly tagged, labeled and counted, you then get your complimentary group pic. Here is ours (Notice the one-eyed fat man!)



From there, you wind your way through lush tropical plants until the path opens up to DC. Here is a stock pic



Because we reserved a cabana, we were escorted to it by one of the hostesses at DC. I said it before but if you can fit it into your budget, reserve a cabana. Ours was the first one by the first dolphin area and nearest to the restaurant and Wind Away River. Here are a couple of pictures of the cabana area and our view of the Starfish pool











Those groups are the dolphin swim sessions. They limit each group to 7-10 people. There was a group of 3 with our 6 in our session. There is a trainer and an assistant with each group as well as 2-3 photographers/videographers with each group.
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The "Don't mess with the CMs/take less photos TR" Jun14 @ BWV
Oct13-BCV - MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek
Sep12-Aulani - Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey
May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:37 PM   #82
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After showing us to our cabana, the hostess pointed out the locker, stocked refrigerator and snack cabinet. The fridge had soft drinks and water and she said if we wanted adult beverages that she would bring us some. She also said that she would be by several times during the day to see if we needed anything and replenish whatever we had used. We actually saw her only one time during the day but we could tell she had been there because she had put more beverages in the refrigerator, brought a basket of snacks, took our wet towels and brought us fresh ones, left additional packages of sunscreen and swept the sand off the deck! Talk about 1st class service! We felt really pampered.

Next it was off to get your snorkel gear and either swim vest or wetsuit. Inside the tote that has your mask and snorkel, there are packets of sunscreen that are safe for the dolphins and other critters. Here is the sunscreen



I’m here to tell you folks, this stuff is THICK! It has the consistency of sour cream or maybe the cold cream our mothers used to put on at bedtime. When you first put it on, you look like Casper the ghost so you’ll spend 10 minutes rubbing it in!


(I know. DW is gonna kill me but just wait. It won’t be for this pic. Wait until you see the other one I will post!)


The DC employees that are handing out the swim vest/wetsuit must have worked at an upscale clothing store in another life. You walk up and they don’t ask your size (thank goodness since other people are around!). They ask you which suit you prefer (swim vest or wetsuit), size you up and go get the correct size the 1st time. There are changing rooms and showers right there. A word of caution about the wetsuit…after you wear it for a while out of the water, you will get hot…I’m talking sauna hot! However, the water where the dolphins swim and in the Grand Reef is COLD. We’re talking Seinfeld shrinkage cold! (Another one of my favorite episodes-poor George-and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I cannot explain it because then the DISboard monitors WOULD have something to say!) The water in Serenity Bay and Wind Away River is 85-88 F. The water in the Grand Reef is 77 F. But in the Dolphin Lagoon it is 72 F! We started off with the swim vest but then switched to the wetsuit right before our dolphin swim. Also, if you wear glasses, go to Guest Services and ask for a prescription mask. It kinda takes away from the snorkel experience if everything is fuzzy. All you have to do is sign for the prescription mask and return it when you get ready to leave. There is no charge.
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The "Don't mess with the CMs/take less photos TR" Jun14 @ BWV
Oct13-BCV - MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek
Sep12-Aulani - Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey
May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
Nov/Dec10-AKV/BWV - Backstage Magic Tour; V&A; Lots of pics and video
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:45 PM   #83
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Now that we are all suited up, greased up and geared up, it is time to try the lazy river called Wind Away River. A bit of advice – grab one of the life vests or noodles in a rack at the main pool area of WAR. I don’t know why they call it lazy river because if you try to swim/float it without a flotation device, you will be worn out! It is not a short trip. In addition, there are several areas that are quite deep and over your head. You will not be able to wade the whole course. I didn’t use any flotation device and was weary by the time I finished. I don’t know why I didn’t use a noodle. Fellow DISboard member MEK is the noodle queen and in one of her TR’s, she told her readers her experience with a noodle and how she mastered the technique. Tsk, tsk, tsk….I know MEK, I shoulda…I coulda…I woulda…but I didn’ta (Is that a word?). Here are some pics from the main pool area leading to Wind Away River
DDiL & DW


The newlyweds – DS & DDiL


DS1 being his usual self. I know, I know…that acorn didn’t fall far from the tree!



And here are a few pics of the “lazy” river











And then there is this pic I took while snorkeling the Wind Away River


Now before you females get bent out of shape, I’m not alone in DH’s who prefer to photograph and preserve for posterity their partner’s posterior! I’m not going to mention any names but a certain young cutie from NC here on the DISboards has had her DH take her pic from the same…er…angle and it was posted in her TR! Hey ladies, it’s a sign of admiration and respect. Heck, DW and I have been married for nearly 30 years and she still quivers my liver!

Of course, when DW turned around to see what I was doing and I was reviewing the pics, she knew something was up and even underwater, I get the “look”
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The "Don't mess with the CMs/take less photos TR" Jun14 @ BWV
Oct13-BCV - MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek
Sep12-Aulani - Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey
May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
Nov/Dec10-AKV/BWV - Backstage Magic Tour; V&A; Lots of pics and video
May10-OKW - DDP cost analysis; Wishes Dessert Party; Fantasmic
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #84
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You men know what I’m talking about. The “look” can be disgust, embarrassment, anger or any combination. That’s when we men get the puzzled, what’s wrong, I didn’t know expression on our face. Then we both just shake our head and move on…right? That’s what happens at your house guys, right? That’s what happens at mine, I promise. Excuse me while I make the dog move over. There’s not enough room in his house for both of us!


Now during this excursion, if I would have paid more attention to MEK in her TR and used a noodle, I would not have slipped and gashed my shin. It was bloody, it was messy, it was embarrassing. Wait, I didn’t slip…I got bit by a shark! That’s it…a shark took a hunk out of my leg! I bopped that big ole great white orca on the nose and he swam away as fast as he could! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

After my visit to the first aid station and the women swooning at my bravery in fighting the killer shark and the men giving me high-fives and saying, “You da man!” (It could happen!) it was getting close to the time for our dolphin swim.

A side note here, the people at the first aid station were extremely nice. They even felt sorry, I mean were so impressed by my heroic feat that they treated my “it’s not a bug’s life” eye as well! I’m sure it had nothing to do with that old, fat, gray haired man I saw in the mirror…er... next to me that could not walk and chew bubble gum at the same time or is that he can't swim and take pics of his wife at the same time? Well, anyway, the triage team at the level 1 trauma first aid station were excellent in treating my shark bite!
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DL - 1967 | WDW - 1973 (Orlando) | WDW - 1980 (Kissimmee) | WDW - 1985 (Kissimmee) | WDW - 1997 (Contemporary) | WDW - 2007 (Old Key West)
DVC - May2010 - OKW | Nov-Dec2010 - AKV/BWV | May2012 - BLT/VWL | Sep2012 - Aulani (30th anniversary) | Dec2012 - Aulani (DD honeymoon) | Oct2013 - BCV | Jun2014 - BWV | Oct2014 - DCL/BCV | Aug2015 - DCL Alaska | Dec2015 - BWV

The "Don't mess with the CMs/take less photos TR" Jun14 @ BWV
Oct13-BCV - MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek
Sep12-Aulani - Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey
May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
Nov/Dec10-AKV/BWV - Backstage Magic Tour; V&A; Lots of pics and video
May10-OKW - DDP cost analysis; Wishes Dessert Party; Fantasmic
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:05 PM   #85
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I love the pic of you with the dolphin--it is terrific! I have cracked my knee at the bottom of a lazy river--it took two months almost to heal and that is my line of work. You are really changing my mind about visiting the "dark side". So what is the DDfi thinking about this fantastic/fun vacation? I also love MEK's TR and she is who started me down the path of getting Resort music. She loved the Kidani lobby music and gave a link to the list...the rest is history.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:32 PM   #86
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I’ve never tried the HDDR, but it looks like something we would really enjoy! Your description kind of reminds me of the Dixie Stampede they have at Myrtle Beach, but I’m sure it’s much cooler since, after all, it’s Disney!

John and I went to Sea World for the first time last June and I fell in love! We got in totally free thanks to their really generous military appreciation program, and we had a blast! We did not, however, ride any rides. I will have to try that Kraken the next time we go!

I cried like a baby when they asked all military personnel to stand before One Ocean. They really are great to our armed services!

I love that show, by the way. I’m sure you probably remember my description from my TR last summer when I cried the whole time because it was so beautiful. Those orcas are so majestic!

HAHA I love your wife’s tactfulness! That sounds like something I would try with John! We have to be careful with those fragile male egos!

YIKES! A bug flying in my eye sounds like my worst nightmare. Sorry that happened to you!

Yes, to “fiddle” with something is a very complicated verb. It has all different kinds of meaning, just like “yonder” is a very complex term for measuring various distances!

By the way, “eye” really appreciate all your eye puns!

Wow, swimming with dolphins sounds amazing! I know how much I enjoyed feeding them at Sea World, so swimming with them at DC must be wonderful!

Hahaha oh Seinfeld. I was in the pool! I WAS IN THE POOL!

There it is! The infamous picture! HAHAHA! All joking aside, we really should consider it a compliment. Now it’s when he starts taking pictures of other womens’ backsides that we will have a problem!

Oh I know "the look" very well. I think on her wedding day, every woman is taken aside by her mother or the matriarch of the family and is taught how to master "the look". Poor John, he gets it quite often!
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:52 PM   #88
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By now it is 2:30pm and our room is still not ready. DS and DDiL head to their room to rest a spell. DW, DD and DDfi relax in the main lobby while I do a bit more reconnoitering around WL. When I return, I discover they had been bored and decided to take pics with my camera.

Now I would show you the pic of DW but I want to continue to live with her so discretion is the better part of valor in this situation. Besides, there are a couple of pics later on that I'M SURE will get me in hot water!

It is now 3:00pm and DW goes to the desk to ask about our room. Nope...not ready. She is now speaking to a manager and he tells her that if we would give them our cell phone number that they would call when the room is ready! Uh oh…mama bear is getting mad now but she bites her tongue and told the Manager CM that we HAD given our cell number on two separate occasions and asked the CM to repeat it to make sure it was correct. He checked and said it was not in the system.

She gave it to him for a 3rd time. I have now returned from my sightseeing tour and DW tells me what the Manager CR told her. Before I could make my way to the desk, my cell phone dings with a message that room #3519 is ready. It is 3:10pm – 10 minutes after the time that DW spoke to the Manager CM and well over 4 hours since we arrived. This is the 2nd time we experienced something that wasn’t the “Disney way”.
Great Trip Report! I've enjoyed it!!! I did want to throw it out there (though I'm sure you know) that the rooms are technically not ready until after 4 pm. Many times they are available prior to 4 and many times (based on our experience) they aren't. We've had as early as 7:30 am and as late as 5:40 pm. My personal experience is that online check-in hasn't gained us an earlier time gaining access to our room...though it would be great if it did! With that said, we've also had the exact same issue of giving our mobile number and then checking in later in the day after a swim or quick jaunt to the park to only find out that, gasp, our room was ready but they didn't have our mobile number. Whatever..we are at Disney so we roll with it.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #89
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I am loving this trip report because it's giving me a chance to experience things that my family would never venture out to do. Gotta admit, I am a roller coaster junkie and I would LOVE to ride The Manta, looks like a lot of fun. You knows it gott be crazy when they have to lock in your ankles Maybe I will adventure out to adventure cove while I'm in Florida for my college program, it looks so beautiful and I LOVE SWIMMING
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:58 AM   #90
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Middletown, DE
Posts: 18,148

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddyLu View Post
I love the pic of you with the dolphin--it is terrific! I have cracked my knee at the bottom of a lazy river--it took two months almost to heal and that is my line of work. You are really changing my mind about visiting the "dark side". So what is the DDfi thinking about this fantastic/fun vacation? I also love MEK's TR and she is who started me down the path of getting Resort music. She loved the Kidani lobby music and gave a link to the list...the rest is history.
Gee Thanks!

Stop on over at my newest TR (Something about chill out and pixie dust) which I just started yesterday!

I am trying to get caught up today without pictures and I know, horrors - how can I even think about reading updates on DC without the pictures? So I'll be back to look at them.

FWIW - I took over as the photographer in our family because my DH took one too many "posterior" shots of me. And I'm not kidding. The only thing those shots are good for is posting them on the rerigerator as incentive for sticking to a diet.

I've seen that Seinfeld episode more than once. George really does a great job with that.

One comment about the noodle - if I tried noodling in a lazy river I would probably end up with a shark bite AND a concussion!

Great description of what to do when visiting DC. Can't wait to read more.
__________________

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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