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Old 08-26-2012, 10:48 PM   #16
JoshAndEvsMom
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A Full Morning @ DHS

EMH seems to go by so quickly! Soon, the park was filling up but we had already signed up for JTA, (Eric & Ev) rode TSMM, and done Star Tours twice. Josh was already itching to spend some of his spending money on a BYO Lightsaber. He had talked non-stop about doing BYO Droid but I think it may have only been around for Star Wars Weekends. We found the table in Tatooine Traders where it used to be but the bins were full of plush Yodas, Ewoks and Jedi Mickeys. We somehow convinced him to wait a little while longer and made our way back to check in for his JTA show at 9:30.

WEEEELLL, we showed up and the CM told us that the 9:30 show had been cancelled! I'm really not sure why. The weather was perfect that morning. Anyway, he told us we could be in the 12:30 show instead. Shoot. We had a lunch ADR at 12:30. 1:00? He asked... Ummmm...still, that ADR thing... I didn't think we could finish lunch in 15 minutes. The CM went over and talked to another lady for a second and came back and asked if we thought we could make it to the 2:00 pm show. Sure we could! Awesome! Now our TSMM Fastpasses wouldn't conflict either! We made our way back to Pixar Place.



This was my first time on TSMM. OMG! Loved it! I never understood what the big deal was? Why did the line always get so long? Well, now I know. The ride is super duper awesomely fun. I rode with Josh and Eric rode with Ev again. We were cracking up the entire time.





I tired to take a picture of our score but couldn't get my camera settings right in such a short amount of time. I was fumbling all over the place. This is the best I got.



I won! Yep. I'm doing the happy dance after beating a 5 year old!

After TSMM, we hit up the Little Mermaid, which was walk-on. Josh was a little cranky to be doing this show for some reason or another. I think he thought it would be too girly or something. Either that or he was afraid of Ursula and wasn't telling us. We loved the show! And when it was all said and done, Josh even admitted that it was "kinda cool." Our next plan was to go to the Beauty and the Beast show at 11:20 but it was only 10:15! We were WAY ahead of schedule.

We decided to go over to the Magic of Animation building and see some characters. Somehow, we got ushered into the little show with Mushu where they talked about animation. We hadn't planned on doing that but I really enjoyed the show! We then made our way down to see Sorcerer Mickey!









Sorcerer Mickey was our very first character of the trip! So fun!

After we visited with The Mouse, Josh informed us that he would die without a Mickey Bar. Okey-dokey then! Don't need to ask me twice!





Since we were over that way, we decided to grab Fastpasses to Tower of Terror (my FAVORITE ride EVER!) and check out the line to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Of course the line was crazy. But hey, we gave it a shot.





We made our way over to Beauty & the Beast just as they were letting everyone into the theater. This was also our first encounter with a Brazilian Tour Group. It wasn't a bad encounter, more of "OOHhHhhhooo... so THAT's what everyone has been talking about over on the DIS" kind of thing.

Josh was cranky about Beauty & the Beast too. He really had an attitude about Princesses. He wanted NOTHING to do with them. I had to give him some credit though. It was HOT, we were TIRED, HUNGRY and it was so HUMID that you could practically drink the air. "Hold on", we told him. We would be having lunch soon and we knew it would be a hit. Again, he admitted after the show was over that it was "pretty cool." Boys!

We meandered back up Sunset Blvd., then popped into the photo shop around the corner so I could exchange our voucher for our Photopass+ card. Then... On to lunch! We were pretty impressed with ourselves with everything we did before noon!
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:18 AM   #17
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Wow, I can't believe you all did ALL that before noon! In July no less!

Ok, if I got out of the shower to find Chad & Anthony ready to go at 7am I would fall over! I totally get the looking for things in the morning! I don't know when I will learn to just set things out the night before.

I'm glad Josh liked Star Tours. It is definitely fun. If Anthony would have been the Rebel Spy I would have bought the shirt too. Love the pics of Ev & the fountain. What a cutie!

I'm sorry JTA was cancelled. I wonder what was up with that? Maybe Vader was caught in traffic...it seems like your new time worked even better though.

The Mickey Bar pics are cute! Anthony is the same way about princesses. The only one who isn't completely icky to him is Merida.

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Originally Posted by JoshAndEvsMom View Post
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!
Yes! It was so fun celebrating Anthony's birthday there. Everyone was wishing him a Happy Birthday. So special!
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:13 PM   #18
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Great EMH morning

What did you think of Photopass +?
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:34 PM   #19
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Subbing , and can I just say those flowers at your house are beautiful.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
Wow, I can't believe you all did ALL that before noon! In July no less!

Ok, if I got out of the shower to find Chad & Anthony ready to go at 7am I would fall over! I totally get the looking for things in the morning! I don't know when I will learn to just set things out the night before.

I'm glad Josh liked Star Tours. It is definitely fun. If Anthony would have been the Rebel Spy I would have bought the shirt too. Love the pics of Ev & the fountain. What a cutie!

I'm sorry JTA was cancelled. I wonder what was up with that? Maybe Vader was caught in traffic...it seems like your new time worked even better though.

The Mickey Bar pics are cute! Anthony is the same way about princesses. The only one who isn't completely icky to him is Merida.



Yes! It was so fun celebrating Anthony's birthday there. Everyone was wishing him a Happy Birthday. So special!
We honestly couldn't believe we did so much either! We were trying to follow a touring plan from TouringPlans.com and since we finished everything on the list so early, we were like - what are we going to do now?

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Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
Great EMH morning

What did you think of Photopass +?
I loved Photopass+. I think the photographers paid a little more attention to us because they knew we were getting all the pictures as opposed to handing over the "regular" card. I also love the ride photos and we got a whole bunch. We never would have purchased them all separately so it made up for the cost. We didn't do any character meals that included the prints but we did do Pirates League and the print package is included with Photopass+. At the pre-purchase "deal" price, it was worth it for us. I would definitely do it again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor Princesses View Post
Subbing , and can I just say those flowers at your house are beautiful.
Thanks for following along! Sorry it took me so long to get back here.

Thank you for the complement on my hydrangeas! I'm no gardener and those are the only flowers I have that I can keep looking good
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #21
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A Free Fall, then Lunch

I finally got my Photopass pictures uploaded to Photobucket and now I'm ready for a BIG update! This may be a couple posts long with LOTS of pictures so bare with me. Anyone else have trouble with Photobucket in the last couple days? Ah well. On to the trip report!

I left you hanging as we were leaving Beauty and the Beast and walking back up Sunset Boulevard to go have lunch with some Disney Jr. Pals... except, I was wrong. (Yes, it does happen sometimes) We did NOT immediately go to lunch! As I was looking at the Photopass pictures that came in the mail, I realized that THIS was our first ride on Tower of Terror AND our BIGGEST Rider Swap Mistake we would make. So, listen up and don't make the same mistake we did!

Josh was actually pretty excited to go on this until it was actually time to go. We had to stop calling it "Tower of Terror" and started calling it "Hollywood Tower Hotel" just so he would stop freaking out. Well, with all that Joshua-convincing going on, and heat, excitement, Evie fell asleep in her stroller. I really wanted to ride with Josh first because ToT is my very favorite ride but (here comes the BIG mistake) I told Eric to take the Fastpasses and ride with Josh. I would take Ev inside to cool her down and would wait for them at the exit. Anyone notice yet what I did wrong? So the boys go on the ride and I make my way down, through the gift shop, to the exit of the ride. They were out in about 15 minutes. MUCH faster than I expected.



Josh LOVED it! He said he wanted to go again and we had time so...I pulled out my Fastpass, and started to take him to go again. THAT's when it hit me. We didn't get a Rider Swap ticket! Doh! I could go, but he couldn't go with me. I really wanted to go with him and not by myself so I gave my fastpass to a teenage boy and decided to try for a later Fastpass where we would NOT forget to get the Rider Swap ticket!

We were pretty starving at this point and it was right about time for our lunch ADR at Play & Dine at Hollywood & Vine! When we walked up to the restaurant, Josh & Evie still didn't know what to expect so we told them to look in the window to see if there was anyone they knew in there...



Oh my gosh, they were so excited! Our plan worked!

I thought the buffet was really fresh and yummy. There were fresh salads (a garden salad and a caesar salad), sliced fruit, two soups (minestrone and broccoli cheddar) very fresh sandwiches on focaccia bread (I think they were turkey with cheese and an Italian type one), then a variety of hot dishes which I didn't pay much attention to. I know for sure there was a fish pasta and some teriyaki chicken, which DH LOVED. For the kids, there were the usual mac & cheese and chicken nuggets. This is exactly what my kids always want to eat, so it was completely fine by me!



Josh's plate


My plate


A picture Josh insisted on me taking...


I really liked all the food, in fact, I think it was the best buffet we went to... and we went to a lot! The broccoli cheddar soup was really good, as was the caesar salad and sandwiches. I thought everything tasted really fresh. Like I said, DH loved the chicken and everything else on the buffet looked good as well. The kid's selection was... meh... but they ate it and liked it so I was happy.

Continued in next post...
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:58 AM   #22
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Play & Dine @ Hollywood & Vine Continued...

As we were eating, two very energetic CM's announced that it was time to get up and dance! The kids were a little shy at first but quickly warmed up.





After dancing, the characters started making the rounds. Our first visit was from June, Evie's favorite.





June obliged us with a little dance. Then Oso...





Josh & Evie don't really watch Oso that much but they knew who he was and were excited to meet him. Next was Handy Manny...





Eric asked Manny what the best way was to re-tile the bathroom floor... Manny thought for a second then signaled "Don't try it yourself; call me." It was pretty funny!

The bouncy CM's announced it was time to dance again and this time the kids were TOTALLY into it. They sang songs from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, which we have on iTunes, so they knew all the words. It was great!





Once we sat back down, Jake made his way over. THIS was the guy we were really here to see! It was worth it!









I was way too full for dessert but Eric and the kids grabbed some cookies. It was now getting very close to our JTA time so we had to scoot. We did the bathroom circus... if you have/had young kids, you know how this goes...

Me: "Ok, I'm going to take Ev to the bathroom. Josh, do you need to go?"
Josh: "No."

I take Evie to the bathroom. She's two and *almost* potty training so we try whenever she's willing. She was NOT willing this time so I go back to the table...

Josh: "I have to go potty."
Me: "Of course you do."
Eric: "Can you wait, because I have to go..."
Me: "Why don't you just take Josh with you then?"
Eric: "Well.. I just.. *sigh* ... okay."
Evie: "Mommy! Want to go potty!"
Me:

I take Ev again, who immediately changed her mind once she saw the toilet. We went back to the table and the boys still weren't back. Its at that point, I realize that I still haven't gone... so back we go. I ran into Eric outside the men's room and he tells me that Josh still isn't done. (Poor Joshua is cursed with his mommy's weak tummy. Traveling messes him up!) Eric was getting nervous because our JTA time was creeping up fast. I told him that when Josh finished, to just go. I would take care of the check and meet him over at the JTA stage. Our 5 minute potty break had just taken us 25 minutes!

Ev & I made our way back to the table again to find our super sweet waiter holding a plate of chocolate covered strawberries and a little chocolate wafer that said "Happy Anniversary" So cute! Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and Eric wasn't there so I let Ev gobble up the strawberries and forgot to take a picture, which I regretted as soon as we walked out of the restaurant.

I settled the bill then rushed to the JTA stage... I had a little Padawan about to become a Jedi!


**Okay, so the big question is: Would we do Hollywood & Vine lunch again? The answer: YES!! The food was great and the character interaction was amazing. If you have kids who love Disney Jr., this is a MUST.

Would I recommend it for people without kids or families with older kids??... No. I would not come here for the food alone. It is clearly geared for the under 8 crowd so I would think that all the singing, dancing and "peppy-ness" might get old after, say, three seconds.

However, we had a blast. The kids loved the characters and the food. Eric and I enjoyed the buffet and loved watching our little darlings having so much fun. We will definitely continue to keep Hollywood & Vine on our list as long as our kids love Disney Jr.**

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Old 09-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #23
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Jedi Training Academy!

THIS is the reason we got up so early! We did Jedi Training last year and it didn't turn out so well. Josh loved the first part but was terrified when Darth Vader came out. He hid in the back and didn't want to fight Vader. Despite his last experience, he talked about Jedi Training ALL the time and REALLY wanted to do it again. I think he wanted to redeem himself.

Anyway, Ev & I walked over to the JTA stage and made it just before they walked all the Padawans out.





Our Jedi Master came out on stage and made the usual jokes then invited the Padawans up.









I thought the Master was great. He was really funny and seemed like he really enjoyed being up there. He was cracking some jokes that were flying over the kiddo's heads when he walks up to Joshua and asks him if he knows who Yoda is. Josh is like DUH!! Of course he knows who yoda is! Then the Master asks Josh if he thinks Yoda looks like a green, hairless cat... this is Josh's reaction:





Priceless! The helpers then pass out the lightsabers and they get to work.











Continued in next post...
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! 2012 July TR
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #24
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JTA Continued...

Just as they were finishing up the basics of lightsaber dueling, who shows up but Darth Vader!









Vader challenged the Padawans to join him on the Dark Side. And of course they choose to fight! Josh's turn comes up and he doesn't even flinch! Yay Josh!







Then, during his fight, the Storm Troopers suddenly jump up from their posts and walk over to Josh holding their guns! Josh was clearly startled and the Master quickly told him to hold up his hand and use the Force to push them away. Josh did what he was told and was thrilled when the Storm Troopers flew backwards. "Again!" the Master told Josh. Josh gleefully held up his hand and again, the Storm Troopers flew backwards. It was so awesome!









For the finale, Vader gave them one last chance to join him. The Master told all the Padiwans to activate their lightsabers, which basically told Vader where he could go. Vader left in a huff, leaving the Storm Troopers to fend for themselves.







Having defeated Vader, the Padawans graduated from Jedi Training Academy.







Jedi Training Academy is SOOOO fun! There are boys AND girls who do it and the pictures you get from it are awesome. Even if you don't have a kid participating, it is hilarious to watch and the crowd really gets into it. Getting a JTA time was WAY worth only getting 4 hours of sleep to get there before the gates opened. If your kid decides that he/she wants to do this, get there EARLY and go straight to JTA. Don't do the TSMM rush unless you can split up because times go fast. This will be on our must do list until Disney stops doing this show. Its one of the best in my opinion!

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Old 09-10-2012, 04:05 PM   #25
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Photopass

Here are some photopass pictures from our morning at DHS. I posted some in the back posts but if you've already been reading along, here they are so you don't have to go back and search for them. You're welcome.



















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Old 09-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #26
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We Need a Nap! ...and Some Pizza.

Once JTA was over, Evie was clearly done. I was feeling pretty "done" myself so I suggested that we all go back to the room for a nap. Eric wanted to do Star Tours again and Josh began to whine about a lightsaber. We decided that I would take Ev back to CBR while Eric and Josh did the BYO lightsaber and Star Tours, then they would head back as well. Silly me, suggested that it would be easier if they took the stroller and I would just carry Ev. Not the greatest idea, you'll see why in a minute...

Ev and I made our way out the front gate and to the CBR bus stop. There was already a bus waiting there for us! Score #2 for the buses! It was a very short trip from DHS back to CBR and now that we were cooling off in the air conditioned bus and sitting down, I started thinking how great it would be if I just went ahead and got off at Old Port Royale to get our mugs and bring back a cool drink! So Ev & I hopped off and got the mugs... now I was carrying 4 full mugs... We walked out through the gift shop toward the pool area. Ev saw the display of stuffed animals and started giving each one a hug. It was so adorable and I knew Big Brother was going to be bringing a toy back to the room so I asked her if she wanted one. Her face lit up and she immediately chose a Princess Minnie doll! We paid for it and started to make the looooooong walk back to Trinidad South... so NOW I was carrying 4 full mugs and a large Princess Minnie doll with a tired, hot two year old stumbling behind me. Yah. I totally should have taken the stroller!! She was a trooper though and walked the entire way back! It took a while and several times I had to distract her with passing ducks ("Hurry Evelyn! Come see the ducks up this way!") but we DID make it back.

We settled in for a nap around 4:00 and the boys showed up about 4:45. Eric had gotten us Fastpasses for ToT! They were for 6:15 so we knew we would have to leave by 5:30 if we wanted to make it. Josh crashed on the bed for 20 minutes before we woke them up to head back to the park. Well, Ev never actually woke up but we just put her in the stroller fast asleep.

We left the room right at 5:30 and DHS was the first bus to come around. Score #3 for busses! We got to DHS and went straight to ToT. I am serious, it was exactly 12 minutes from our room to ToT. It was AWESOME! I really wanted to get some photopass pictures in front of ToT with Joshua since it was his first time on it so we found a photographer before we rode. I love these!





I rode first with Josh and THIS time we were sure to get our Rider Swap ticket! Josh and I went to the end of the queue and we ended up standing next to a lovely young man in his early teens. He told us that this was his favorite ride and that he had already rode it 10 times that day! He said he was happy to just ride Tower of Terror all day long while his family did other thing. He knew all kinds of details about the place and pointed out all the little extras the Imagineers worked into the theming. He was so delightful! Unfortunately, he was directed to the left and us to the right at the pre-show, so we were split up. I wish we could have stayed with him because he was doing such a good job distracting Josh from the "spooky" parts of the Tower. Once we got in the Library, Josh started freaking out. He said that he changed his mind and didn't want to ride again. I was the mean mom who made him go anyway.





I'm not sure if this is the way it always works or if the camera was just broken that day but once we were seated in the elevator, the CM said "Ok now everyone hold up your hands and scream!" then a flash went off. I know this is the photo that we got because it is the only time I put up my hands. Hmmm.

Josh loved it just as much as the first time and said he wanted to go again. Since we REMEMBERED to get our Rider Swap ticket, Eric went took Josh while I waited with Ev, who was STILL asleep in her stroller from when we left the room!





After the third time, Josh says: "I like that ride but I NEVER want to do it again." I guess three times is enough!

With my ToT mission out of the way we needed to do some more rides! Earlier that day, Eric had also grabbed some fastpasses to TSMM. We really lucked out on our fastpass "schedule." We were always able to get a fastpass for whatever we wanted and for a time that worked out for us. The only one that we didn't make was Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, which we really didn't care too much about anyway since Eric & I would each have to ride by ourself.

Josh decided to leave town but his luggage was too heavy


Our TSMM fastpass wasn't until much later that evening so we decided the Pizza Planet was in order. It took some searching out but we found it and went inside to order. My first impression was that it was REALLY loud. I had to finally wake Ev up and she was NOT happy. The restaurant was so overwhelming that we decided to brave the patio, even though it was still pretty hot outside. The patio was actually very nice! It was quiet, cool (I don't know how they did it but I swear it was air conditioned) and no games to distract the kiddos. It was perfect! I got a veggie pizza with a cupcake, Eric got pepperoni with a cookie and we got one cheese pizza off the kids menu for the two of them to split. Josh had wanted a pepperoni pizza too but they only offer kids cheese.









It was a TON of food! This was a really good use of a counter service credit, in my opinion. I actually wasn't too excited about going to this place because, from the pictures on the menu, the pizza doesn't look that great. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed my pizza and salad and so did everyone else in my family. The real star of the show though was the cappuccino cupcake. Oh Em Gee. I'm not a "cake person" but this was delicious with a capitol D. I would go back to Pizza Planet for that cupcake alone. The cake was moist and chocolaty, while the frosting was light, fluffy and full of coffee flavor. I hate the greasy, heavy frosting that just tastes sweet, no flavor, that comes on most store bought cupcakes. This frosting was DEFINITELY not that. It was soooo gooood. Disney, if you're listening, NEVER get rid of the cappuccino cupcake!!

Anyway, I would go there again. I can't tell you if it was a good "value" on the DDP or not. We really didn't pay that much attention to the prices, we just got what we felt like eating. To me, it was a good value if it tasted good and my kids ate it.

Once we finished eating, we still had some time before our TSMM passes so we hit up Muppet Vision 3D. I love this show! We walked right into the pre-show area and there were barely any people waiting. Ev was just beginning to shift out of her cranky mood so she and Josh wandered around the room looking at all the props. It was a nice transition before walking back to Pixar Place to do TSMM for a THIRD time! We stopped quickly at Luigi's Garage to say hellow to Lightning and Mater.



This time I got to ride with Ev and Josh rode with Eric. Ev giggled the whole time! She just couldn't get enough of the "Woody Ride." Nether could I! Such a fun ride.

Just as we were walking out, we heard Fantasmic! starting up. We had made a conscious decision to skip Fantasmic! this trip. We just didn't want to fight the crowds when there was the potential for the kiddos to have a meltdown in the middle of it due to fatigue. Instead, we wanted to try something new: The Great Movie Ride. We didn't do this on our last trip and I hadn't been on it since I was a kid. There was no line whatsoever and we walked right up to the very front podium next to the doors where you enter the ride vehicles. We thought for sure we'd be riding in just a few minutes... Well, I guess that late at night, they only run one vehicle at a time or something because it was a full 25 minutes before we got on! The sweet CM at the podium entertained Ev the entire time, playing peek a boo and showing her all the buttons until it was our turn. I must say, this ride is a whole lot cheesier than I remember! There were a whole 5 people, including us, in the ride vehicle so maybe the CM's weren't giving forth their very best effort but seriously. I think this ride may need a revamp.

When we got out, the park was finally closing. It had been a really long day! But I wasn't done... I still needed photopass pictures in front of the hat!!!





I got my pictures and now it was time for bed. It had been a really, really great day.
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We've got this Rider Swap thing DOWN! 2012 July TR
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:44 PM   #27
megan511
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I'm all caught up!

I'm glad Josh rode & liked TOT. It is my very favorite too!

We really enjoyed Hollywood & Vine's buffet too! I really liked those sandwiches. I totally get the bathroom dance that sounded just like my family.

Great JTA pics! Go Josh! I have never seen the use the force on the Storm Troopers part! Too cool.

You did have great luck with buses. 12 minutes? That's awesome!

I'm glad you got to ride TOT with Josh. Love the ride pics.

It sounds like you all had a nice evening. That cupcake sounds soooo good!
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:18 PM   #28
debrapagliasotti
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Lots of great updates!

JTA looks like fun. DS10 (will have just turned 11 when we go in Dec) really wants to do this.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #29
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Hi there! Joining in!

My boys will be five the next time we make it to WDW, so I am enjoying hearing about what your son liked to do. The pictures of him at Jedi training were awesome! Your daughter is adorable, I'm glad she enjoyed TSMM so much! It sounds like you guys had a wonderful DHS day!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #30
airforcemomof2
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Love your TR so far! We are going to WDW at Christmas this year! I am so excited! I love your pictures! Hope to see the rest of your trip when you have time to post them!
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