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Old 08-12-2012, 11:43 PM   #91
tayalltheway
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You guys are a very sweet couple.

I'm sorry to hear about your health issues. I hope you start feeling better very soon!

I can't wait to read more of your TR!
Thanks! Over the last week or so, I've actually started feeling pretty decent again. Hoping the flare-up is over for now!
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:49 PM   #92
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I am really enjoying your trip report. We were also married June 19th. Great day!
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:53 AM   #93
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Welcome and thank you! I think you are our first reader from down under!
Hooray- glad to represent!

I'm sorry to hear about all the health problems you've had to deal with, never fun.

Your title is hilarious by the way- even more so because Duffy was not exactly ECSTATIC!

haha the orange bird is very much a simpleton- agreed

Sounds like a such a nice relaxing day so far, it's nice when it's not too crazy and you can just go with the flow.

Can't believe you got picked to be in the parade! So awesome
Can't wait to read all about the experience!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:29 PM   #94
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I am really enjoying your trip report. We were also married June 19th. Great day!
I think we can agree that it puts the rest of the days of the year to shame! Thanks for reading

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Hooray- glad to represent!

I'm sorry to hear about all the health problems you've had to deal with, never fun.

Your title is hilarious by the way- even more so because Duffy was not exactly ECSTATIC!

haha the orange bird is very much a simpleton- agreed

Sounds like a such a nice relaxing day so far, it's nice when it's not too crazy and you can just go with the flow.

Can't believe you got picked to be in the parade! So awesome
Can't wait to read all about the experience!
Luckily I'm feeling somewhat better, so hopefully we can start our next adventure sometime soon! Glad you like the title of the report. The second part will be explained soon-ish. Also glad you like the Orange Bird. I can't wait to get to the part of the report with the parade. Hopefully this week!
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:24 AM   #95
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Chapter 28
Thanks for Lunch, Stitch


I feel almost blasphemous revealing that we had never before been on the Carousel of Progress.



Since this is such a classic attraction, I’d heard a lot about it, but we had never fit it into our trips. All that changed as we got in the short line and soon took our seats in the rotating theatre.



This show is great! It’s easily one of the best uses of audioanimatronics in the entirety of WDW. It also has a lot of humor, great voice talents, and obviously the wonderful song by the Sherman brothers. Basically, we discovered what pretty much every other Disney fan already knew. The only downside of the experience was that we got stuck in the last scene for an extra showing.



After exiting the Carousel, we moved along to one of the most controversial attractions in all of Disney World.



I had ridden Stitch’s Great Escape one other time back when it was new, but I didn’t remember all that much about it. I had LOVED Extra Terrorestrial Alien Encounter on my trips when I was younger. It scared me stiff, but it was one of my favorite attractions. Obviously Stitch was never going to live up to its predecessor… It’s not like there’s really anything wrong with the attraction; it’s just not like there’s really anything great about it either. The Stitch animatronic is really cool, and I like the integration of the effects in the seats, but it’s just obvious that they installed this attraction into the existing framework left over from Alien Encounter and didn’t do a great job with story or theming.



In a somewhat disgusting turn of events, however, riding Stitch did influence our lunch choice for this afternoon. We were on the fence about which quick service restaurant to eat at for lunch since we had already had what we considered the two best options at Magic Kingdom on our first day. We thought about going to Columbia Harbour House, but by this point we were already feeling like we didn’t want more fried food if we could avoid it. Then Stitch let out his infamous chili dog burp, and at first we were grossed out by it like everyone else. Then we realized just how hungry we were. Then we remembered how good our chili dogs at Casey’s Corner had been on our first day. Suddenly, almost before we knew it, we were back at Casey’s.



This time, we both got chili dogs.



They were just as delicious as we remembered them. I think this may be the first time we have ever eaten the same thing twice on a single WDW trip. These dogs were just that good. This time, we mixed it up a little and got French Fries and Cotton Candy with one of our meals and Apple Slices and Cracker Jack with the other.



We certainly couldn’t finish everything, though we did both polish off our dogs. We ate a few bites of cotton candy, and a couple fries, and we put the Cracker Jack in our fanny pack for later. After eating, we set off again.





We made our way to Liberty Square.



Like I think many people do, I had taken Liberty Square for granted on most of my other trips to the World. I had mostly just thought of it as the home of the Haunted Mansion. Then, right before this trip, I listened to Lou Mongello’s Audio Guides to WDW, and while I learned a lot about all of the lands of the Magic Kingdom, I think the one I learned the most about was Liberty Square. There are so many great details here that I had never thought to look at before. For instance, the olde-time spelling of “Pensylvania” on the Liberty Bell.



And this duck.



We happened to walk by the Riverboat Landing right as it was about to take off.



We hadn’t ridden the Liberty Belle in four years, so we decided to climb aboard.





I was always the worst type of student in high school. I got good grades, but I didn’t learn a single thing in a lot of my classes. And a lot of the time it was entirely my fault. I was always totally preoccupied with extra-curricular activities, so a lot of the time homework just fell through the cracks. I would always turn in my papers and whatnot, but I didn’t crack a single book for most of my high school career. Since graduating college, however, I’ve found more and more often that I want to know what I should have learned in high school. So I’ve gone back and read many of the books that I pretended to read back then. Among these were Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. After reading both of these books between our last two trips to Disney World, I garnered a new appreciation for everything Twain-themed in the Magic Kingdom. I had obviously enjoyed the experience of Tom Sawyer Island a lot more on our first day having read the book, and now I was able to appreciate and enjoy the Sam Clemens' narration of the Liberty Belle with a new set of ears.





In addition to the narration, this ride provides some of the greatest unique views of the Magic Kingdom. It’s also just a great way to relax and take a break from a busy day.





I think it’s fascinating that this is a working paddle-wheeler.



We got some great views of Big Thunder Mountain. The construction looked done, so we really just wanted it to be open already.





These little details are some of my favorites on the ride. Beware of river pirates.



The greatest views of the Haunted Mansion are to be had via this ride.



As the Liberty Belle pulled back into its dock, we realized it was just about time for us to start heading back toward Main Street. We had a parade to lead, and it was almost time for it to start!

Continued in Next Post
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 08-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #96
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If you like “street meat,” there are lots of options on every corner, but the best in the city is at 52nd St and 6th Ave, The Halal Guys. Their gyro and chicken combo over rice puts all the other carts to shame.



]
I have actually had street meet from Halal Guys on one of our trips to NYC it is great. Thanks between that and the pizza now my lunch will taste like sawdust.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:31 PM   #97
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I have actually had street meet from Halal Guys on one of our trips to NYC it is great. Thanks between that and the pizza now my lunch will taste like sawdust.
Mmm, so delicious... Sorry to ruin your lunch, but I think we're all just gluttons for punishment if we're looking at Disney food before eating our own homemade lunches...
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:15 AM   #98
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Chapter 29
Don’t Rain on My Parade


We made our way back through Liberty Square toward the hub. The ropes were already getting set up for the parade to start!





It was still a little early, so we stopped for a few Photopass pictures in the hub.



In this one it looks like Pluto is eating Tracy’s face. We had several pictures that turned out like this when I was wearing this hat…





We arrived back in Town Square at about 2:30, and we didn’t need to meet Brick until 2:45. Since we were meeting outside the Firehouse anyway, we decided this would be as good a time as any to grab some cards and start trying to understand the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game. We went into the Firehouse and told the cast member we were new to the game. She gave us each key cards and a set of five cards and then took us to the back of the room where they show you how to play. After the introduction, Tracy’s mission had her continuing in Main Street USA while mine sent me to Adventureland. Neither of us was very clear how exactly our cards would come into play, and we found ourselves questioning whether we’d really have time to do much with the game on this trip.

Getting our cards took us right up until about 2:45, so as we left the Firehouse, we ran right into Brick. He was already busy talking to the other family who would be Grand Marshals with us. Once we were all there, he explained again the whole process of being Grand Marshals and what our job would involve. We would be riding in the car at the front of the parade, which is modeled after an antique car from the turn of the century. He told us that only two such cars exist in the world—one in the Magic Kingdom and the other in Disneyland. In just a few minutes, we would be led backstage where the car would be waiting. Just like in the tours and other situations where you go backstage, no photography would be allowed. When the parade started and we came out, we would officially be “on,” meaning it was our job to smile and wave at everyone as we rode at the front of the parade route. As Brick explained it, if by the end of the parade our faces weren’t hurting and we could still lift our arms, we would have done something wrong.

Since we would be riding in the parade and unable to take our own pictures, two Photopass photographers would have the job of taking pictures of us down the entire parade route. After the parade was done, we could go to the photo center at Exposition Hall and have all the photos added to our own Photopass cards. We were also given a certificate good for a free 8x10 photo print. At the end of the parade route in Liberty Square, there would be a roped off section where we could go after getting out of the car so that we could watch the whole parade go by with a good view.

Next, Brick presented us with complimentary pairs of Mickey ears with our names engraved into the backs of them, as well as a certificate with the date on it listing us as Grand Marshals of the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade on May 22nd, 2012.



He actually said that since Tracy and I were wearing our Duffy and Pluto ears respectively, he’d rather we kept those on and he gave us a bag to put our free Mickey ears into. Next, we lined up for some Photopass shots of our families in front of the Firehouse.





The other family who were co-Grand Marshals with us was from Georgia. They had two daughters, one of whom was there celebrating graduating from high school.

As time ticked by and we got closer to the 3:00 start time, we were led backstage through the door between the Firehouse and the Harmony Barber Shop. This was such an exciting moment for me, having never been backstage at a Disney park before. It seems so glamorous and at the same time it must be so mundane for the cast members. Obviously, the real magic takes place onstage. Tracy had already been backstage once before when her marching band was getting ready for their parade on their high school trip, but the official Disney parades are apparently a little more intense than that experience.

We got behind the wall and our car was there waiting for us. The family of four was put in the front seats and Tracy and I got the backseat. The car was HOT. It had leather interior and 3:00 was probably the hottest time of the day. I had to basically just trust that adrenaline and the excitement of this experience would keep me from feeling sick despite the heat. Luckily it did.

Even though there was officially not supposed to be any photography allowed backstage, Brick took our camera and set up a nice picture of us with the Grand Marshal sign on the car.



Right as we were posing for that picture, I felt something moving behind me, and when I turned around, there was Pluto poking his head through the other side of the car! It was time for the characters to start taking their places, so Pluto was bounding around and joining the rest of the characters that lead off the parade. Next, we saw several princes and princesses walking out of their holding area. They smiled and waved at us as they made their way back to their places.

As 3:00 ticked nearer, we were given an official two minute warning, and Brick reminded us of our smile and wave duties one more time. Looking behind us, we could see the characters ramping each other up for the performance ahead. The fur characters were bouncing around, getting ready to go on, and the energy felt electric.

Our two minute warning turned out to be a false alarm, and we were told that we were holding for another minute or so. Tracy and I got ready in our places, however, straightening out our hats and figuring out the best position for waving.

Suddenly, the music started up and we heard our names being announced as the honorary Grand Marshals for the parade. The doors opened, and our car started going forward. We passed Brick, who gave us one more “smile and wave” gesture, and we were out in Town Square.



Continued in Next Post
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 08-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #99
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I'm all caught up and ready for the next installment.

Backstage is so exciting, when we went back for the first time on our KTTK tour we literally went past a garbage compacter and I was still so excited I almost hyperventilated. It was so neat being back there and kinda dangerous b/c its so naughty to be in backstage areas! You have got to to KTTK and see the utiladors they are amazing.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:43 AM   #100
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great update!
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:20 PM   #101
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Loving this trip report! I could *feel* your excitement when waiting in the car for the parade to start!
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:41 AM   #102
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Chapter 30
Before the Parade Passes By


As we emerged from the gate that led backstage, the music for the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade started playing in the first of many loops that we would hear along the route.



The car only drove what I would guess was around 5 miles per hour along the whole route, so it basically felt slower than the Tomorrowland Speedway cars.



Almost right away, there began being people on either side of us, so we certainly got the hang of smiling and waving pretty immediately.



The car comes out and goes in a circle around Town Square before then heading down Main Street.





Right behind us, Chip and Dale were walking among a couple other characters with the banner for the parade.



Tracy and I tried to balance looking for/at our Photopass photographers with waving at the people to either side of us. The result was that we only had a few pictures where we were both looking at the camera.





Rounding Town Square seemed to take the longest out of the whole parade.









From pictures I’ve seen of other Grand Marshals, it looks as if when it’s not a million degrees out, the car doesn’t have a top to it, but to keep us from getting sunburned/heat stroke, they put the top on during the summer months.





Here you can see just how big the car was. There was plenty of room for all of us and then some.







We finally made it around the first circle and started to head toward the full strip of Main Street.





Tracy and I had a decent view out the window in the back of the car if we ever remembered to look behind us.







It’s hard to put into words exactly how it feels coming down Main Street USA at this moment. You’re used to being on the sidelines for the parades and shooed off the route by cast members, so having that clear view straight down the middle to the castle with people lining either side of the street is something pretty special.



One thing we forgot to notice was the windows on Main Street during the parade. My uncle took a class at the Disney University and they were told that all the windows automatically open slightly during the parade as they house some parts of the sound system.

Continued in Next Post
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:50 AM   #103
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Chapter 31
Pink Elephants on Parade




By about halfway down Main Street, I could certainly understand what Brick meant about your arms getting tired. I must have switched waving hands no fewer than ten times along the route because it’s a little exhausting. My face also definitely started to hurt but I couldn’t have kept the smile off even if I tried.





Our Photopass photographers kept reappearing on different sides of the street and in different places along the route. It was a little bit like Where’s Waldo?







This picture just gives you an idea how cool it is to be at the front of everything with the whole parade behind.



We learned quickly that being at the front of the parade meant that we heard the beginning of the parade music about once every two minutes and never heard the rest of it. The way the music is timed out for the parades fascinates me. It all sounds seamless when you are watching as the different floats go by, but each music loop is actually perfectly timed to follow each individual float.



There are several different opportunities to feel like a “celebrity” in Disney for just a few minutes, whether by being chosen for an audience interaction portion of a show, participating in something like the Flag Retreat ceremony, or being able to do something like this. I think it’s great how Disney can make so many people feel a little extra special every day. Therefore, it was fun for us to return the favor and make little kids smile as we made eye contact with them and waved, singling out people along the side of the route.



Going around the hub, right past Cinderella Castle was one of the best parts of the whole parade experience. It all feels so magical.







As we went over the bridge to Liberty Square, there was a man who kept yelling something at us along the sidelines. None of us could figure out what the heck he was saying, and we wondered honestly if he had Tourette’s. Then right after we passed by, Tracy figured out that he was saying “New York? New York? New York?” I guess he was from New York as well and was wondering which of our families was too since they had announced our hometowns at the start of the parade. We missed our chance to acknowledge him, but oh well…







Once we got into Liberty Square, it sadly started to sink in that our experience was almost drawing to a close. We made sure to soak it up for as long as possible.







Tracy had been told by one of the cast members as we entered the park that day that she was probably the only one in the whole place wearing Duffy ears. Apparently they’re not very popular, though they’re really nice and soft. We thought he must be right after seeing everyone along the parade route, but then in Liberty Square we spotted one other woman wearing them.



I love how the treads of the tires on this car are Hidden Mickeys.









Suddenly, we reached the end of the route, and it was time for us to get out of the car. There was Brick (in the pink shirt) to greet us and help us out.





He asked whether our arms were tired and our faces hurt, and when we said yes he told us we had done it right! Then he led us to our roped off section to experience the rest of the parade that was going by right behind us. We still had that to enjoy, but our portion was officially over. It was truly an experience that I’m sure is on most people’s Disney bucket lists and one that so few people ever get to have. Like so many other special Disney experiences, it's not something you can expect or plan for, but when it happens they go all out to make it so incredible. It was a once in a lifetime joy that we’ll never forget.

Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 08-21-2012 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #104
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I'm all caught up and ready for the next installment.

Backstage is so exciting, when we went back for the first time on our KTTK tour we literally went past a garbage compacter and I was still so excited I almost hyperventilated. It was so neat being back there and kinda dangerous b/c its so naughty to be in backstage areas! You have got to to KTTK and see the utiladors they are amazing.
Now I want to go backstage again on one of the tours! I would be so excited to see everything!!

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great update!
Thanks! Hope you like the last ones too. They're a little picture heavy, haha...

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Loving this trip report! I could *feel* your excitement when waiting in the car for the parade to start!
Glad you're enjoying it We were SO excited as you can see!
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #105
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i'm all caught up again.

BTW Duffy rocks. I was resistent like most at first thinking WDW was out to get more of my money (which I freely give them anyway it seems). But after my awesome M&G with him during MNSSHP in which he played secret agent with me (I was Agent P) and our MVMCP m&g in which he made DH act like grumpy since he had on a BaHumbug shirt and grumpy hat I had to start a Duffy collection. I might add the ears this trip, they are so cute.
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