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Old 10-29-2012, 01:51 AM   #31
OThopeful35
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Awesome trip report!!
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #32
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Day 2: Mission: Get through Mission Space

Hi guys! I know I've been MIA for quite some time but if anyone out there is still following along, I thought I'd try & get back to this trip report. Somehow life (or Pinterest - don't really want to admit to which) got in the way of DISlife but now that the temperature is FREEZING and our Northwestern nights begin at 4:00 pm, well I just need a bit of Disney cheer. Bring on the sunshine!

Okay, I left off finishing up our AMAZING day at DHS. On to Day 2, our first Epcot day. Again, we were up bright and early but there was no EMH so not AS early as our first day. It was a bit more of a struggle to get out the door but we were on our way about 8:00 am. Seems as though our luck with the buses was still with us because a bus to Epcot was there within 5 minutes and there were plenty of seats.

For some reason, there are a complete lack of pictures so you'll have to trust me that we made it to the gates and into the park. Daisy was signing autographs off to the right and Stitch was off to the left. We skipped them and thought we could catch them later (but never did.) We had a plan... or so we thought. The plan was: Mission Space, RIDER SWAP, get FP for Sorin', Character Spot. It honestly seemed like an awesome plan. We went to Mission Space and saw that the standby line for Green was only about 5 minutes so Josh & Eric headed onto the ride while I took Ev over to the play fountain since it was already BLAZING hot.


You can see the tour group loading onto the ride!







After 15 minutes or so, I see Josh & Eric coming our way. Sweet! I yelled over to them and Eric waved and kept on walking.... They disappear into the bathroom. Oohhh, okay. When they reappear, I THOUGHT they were done with the ride and we were ready to SWAP out but nooooooo. I guess right as they were about to load onto the ride, Josh "had to go to the bathroom." This was turning into a pattern. Now the standby line was 15 minutes so we decided we had better get a RIDER SWAP ticket. Eric & Josh headed back onto the ride & Ev & I continued to play at the fountain.

It seemed like it was taking FOREVER! As the novelty of the fountain wore off, Ev was getting hot and cranky. I decided to use a few snack credits to get us all a drink. I got us a Strawberry Lemonade Slushie and a Mango Lemonade Slushie and a Diet Coke for the hubby, since he is completely addicted. (Again, sorry for the lack of pictures! What was wrong with me?!) At this point we were right in front of the entrance so I figured we would enjoy our beverages and wait for them to return. We waited, and waited and waited. People kept coming out of the exit so I knew the ride wasn't broken. Where WERE they? I called Eric's cell. No answer. We went into the Mission Space dump zone, thinking they may have been sidetracked by the video games... nope. FINALLY, I heard my phone ringing and its Eric saying "WHERE ARE YOU?!" Huh? "I'VE been here the whole time, where ARE YOU?!" Somehow they walked right by us and went all the way to Innoventions to look for us. WHY he thought we'd be in Innoventions? I have no idea. WHY he didn't think to call me when he got off the ride? I'm still clueless. Oh well. I could tell he was grumpy so I didn't press the issue. I just pushed the Diet Coke into his hand and grabbed Josh for his second Mission.

We got in line with yet another tour group. Most of them were going on Orange so it didn't really affect us. As we got closer to the elevators, the CM came down the line asking for 2 riders. Score! I guess that's one benefit of getting in line with the tour groups: they all want to ride together so there's usually "filler" room! We ended up riding with two other girls who were very sweet to Josh. I think I was the Navigator and Josh was the Pilot. I was a little nervous because I don't "do" spin-ey rides but it was TOTALLY fine. I actually found the ride to be kind of relaxing! All said and done, Mission Space ate up about an hour and a half of our precious non-crowded morning time but it was okay. I enjoyed the ride and Josh LOVED it. Ev was not as happy as she had spent the morning waiting around so we decided to go straight to the Epcot Character Spot so she could meet some old pals.

*Apologies for the lack of pictures in this post (and most of this day). I'll make up for it when we get to the Magic Kingdom!!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #33
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Sorry I have been gone so long!!! I hope you all come back for the rest of our adventure

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Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
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!
That cupcake WAS good! Holy cow, I'm still having dreams about it. I think I saw on the Disney Food Blog recently that Pizza Planet has added a couple more cupcakes to the menu! It looked like they were seasonal but hey, a girl can hope!

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Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
Lots of great updates!

JTA looks like fun. DS10 (will have just turned 11 when we go in Dec) really wants to do this.
Your trip is coming right up!!! I hope you guys have a FABULOUS time!

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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!
5 is a magical age Your boys would LOVE JTA. My one tip would be to try and NOT get the first show of the day so they could watch at least once before they get up on stage. It can be a little intimidating if they don't know what to expect! (i.e.: DARTH VADER popping out to fight children!!!)

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Originally Posted by airforcemomof2 View Post
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!
Wow, I am so jealous! I wish I was getting away this Christmas with everyone!

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Awesome trip report!!
Thanks! Hopefully you didn't become too impatient with me!!
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:11 PM   #34
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I was wondering where you had gone...gosh darn Pintrest

Our trip is right around the corner! So much to do still!!
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:01 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
I was wondering where you had gone...gosh darn Pintrest

Our trip is right around the corner! So much to do still!!
Hooray! You're still here! Pinterest... Sheesh! I go on thinking "I'll just look up one thing..." 2 hours later

You must be so excited about your trip! I bet its going to be so wonderful to spend the holidays somewhere warm and sunny. Are you thinking of doing a TR? I'd love to hear about your adventures!
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:15 PM   #36
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We're not done yet!... Where's Daisy?

With Mission Space finally completed, it was time to meet some old pals. We quickly made our way over to the Character Spot. As we came around the corner, we saw a bright pink flag being held high in the air, rounding the other corner and heading straight toward Mickey Mouse and his Friends. Eric and I both look at each other and, knowing exactly what was going to be following that fluttering neon fabric, mouth "run." I grabbed Ev from her stroller, took Josh by his hand and did my best walk/run/beeline to the Character Spot entrance. I got in line JUST before the tour group started filing in. Eric parked the stroller and met me in line.

Eric: "Hey the wait time says 30 minutes. I'm going to go get Sorin' Fastpasses."
Me: "Are you sure you can make it back?"
Eric: "Does it matter?"
Me: "Uh... Yah! You don't want to miss them seeing Mickey & Friends, do you?! And if I'm helping Evie with autographs, who's going to video?"
Eric: "I'll be back in time."
Me: "what if they don't let you in?"
Eric: "I'll just video from the outside! Don't you want to go on Sorin'?"
Me: rrrrrrrrr...."Okay."

And so I was left in a 30 minute que with two kids. Fantastic. Thank goodness for those old Disney cartoons they play! Eric came back RIGHT as we were the next people in line. Lucky for us, the CM holding the front of the line let him join us despite the dirty look she got from the Photopass photographer. We weren't getting a bunch of group poses, just the kids this time, so we didn't feel like line-jumpers. Oh well. Ev was sooooo excited to See Mickey again!






For some reason Eric noticed that Mickey was signing with his right hand today and YESTERDAY he was signing with his left. He mentioned this to a CM who replied "He's a magical mouse. Of COURSE he's ambidextrous."

On to Minnie...






Pluto...



Pluto's ears were a little itchy!


I LOVE how Pluto signs his name on his nose. I know it's necessary with that big schnoz of his in the way, but I laugh every time.

Donald was next. He wasn't as good as our Donald from last year but he was still as adorable as ever.







Last but not least, the Goof-man. For some reason, Ev started crawling on the floor and acting like a puppy. The 2-year-old brain will always remain a mystery.... anyhoo, I had read somewhere that its good to warn Characters when there are little ones underfoot since they can't always see them or know they are there. I casually let Goofy know so he sat right down on the floor with them. It was great. I know its just a little thing but that's why I love Disney so much. Goofy didn't even think about it, he just did it. It was very thoughtful, I thought.





So, as you know, Goofy is the end of the lineup. But there's one problem with these children of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Era. There's no such thing as the "Fab 5"... It's the "Sensational SIX!!!" As we're walking out the door, Ev starts pulling me back...

Ev: "NO MAMA!! We're NOT done!!!"
Me: "Yes, darling, that's all there is. We have to give other kids a turn to meet Goofy."
Ev: "NO mama! Where's DAISY?! Gotta see DAISY!!!"

Oh dear. I tried to explain that Daisy was somewhere else but Ev wasn't having it. She was in full meltdown mode, thinking that we were depriving her of meeting Daisy. (Sidetrack: If you're listing, Disney, perhaps it might be a good idea to add Daisy to the Character Spot. I know she's at the front but come on, you've got PLENTY of characters to choose from to dump next to Stitch. Maybe bring Robbin Hood & Maid Marian out of obscurity? Or even, LILO!)

By now it was 11-ish so we decided it was definitely lunch time. Eric got a 12:30 pm fastpass for Sorin' and we love Sunshine Seasons so we made our way over to The Land for lunch.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #37
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The Land, Sky and Sea

Once we had visited with the Fab 5 we were definitely feeling a little rumbly in our tumblies. To The Land we went!



We LOVE Sunshine Seasons! I think it could be in the running for Absolute Best Counter Service in the WHOLE WORLD. There are just so many choices! And the desserts! Don't get me started on the desserts! Eric & I decided that I would take Evelyn and he would take Josh to get our food. I took Ev to each station and let her pick out her own lunch. She chose Macaroni and Cheese ($5.49) from the Soup and Salad Station, which actually was pretty good. It was thick and really cheesy. A step up from the Mac & Cheese we encountered at Hollywood & Vine (however, she liked their mac & cheese just fine.) It came with the standard Kid's Meal choices and she got grapes and a cookie.



Eric, apparently, wasn't as patient as I was because once he found what he wanted to eat, he just told Josh he had to choose from that menu. Eric & I both went to the Sandwich Station where the Kid's Picks are: Pizza Panini ($5.49) or Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Jelly ($5.49). Josh likes pizza but I'm sure the word "panini" scared him off because he chose the PB&J. I really wish Eric wouldn't have let him get that because Josh doesn't like Uncrustables so he didn't eat it. Fortunately Evie's portion of Mac & Cheese was humungous so they split it.



Now, for the good stuff. Eric got a Turkey and Monterey Jack on Ciabatta - with Chipotle Mayonnaise and with a side $8.99 (Allears.net) and I got a Reuben Panini - with a side $8.99 (Allears.net).



They both came with a side and there was only one choice, which was a potato salad that had some kind of vinaigrette on it instead of a mayo base. I wasn't too excited about it; I didn't think it looked all that appealing but it turned out to be wonderful! Get the potato salad! It was awesome! Our sandwiches were huge and both were delicious. We probably could have split one so that is something to consider if you are paying out of pocket or trying to conserve dining credits. However, the BEST part about Sunshine Seasons is the FABULOUS dessert case! If you're on the DDP, don't forget about the dessert case! I had read many, many reviews about the desserts here and I knew exactly what I wanted. The Strawberry Short Cake! It was every bit as wonderful as everyone says. Fresh, sweet strawberries, light, fluffy whipping cream and moist cake. A-mazing. Eric got the Cheesecake with Berries. They ladle the berry sauce over the cheesecake when you order it so you can get plain cheesecake if you prefer. He ate it too quickly for me to get a picture, let alone a bite so I guess you'll just have to trust his opinion that it was great!

Sunshine Seasons was very crowded. It took a while to find a table to sit at and once we were eating, there were people constantly hovering, ready to nab our table once we were done. It was a little stressful but the meal was still worth it. Once we were done, we did the Potty Circus again before our Fastpass for Sorin' was up. Woohoo!



This time, I asked if I could take Josh first while Eric took Evie on Living with the Land. First, we got our RIDER SWAP ticket at the "Flight Desk." They didn't even look up or check to see that we had a child who couldn't ride, they just handed over the pass. We found that every ride seemed to have different "requirements" for giving out RIDER SWAP tickets. Even with a Fastpass, Sorin' was about a 20 minute wait and there are no games in the Fastpass que so Josh & I played thumb wars while we waited . Once we got to the front, we were told by a CM to go Bay B, line #4 (or something like that... you know how it works) anyhow, we went to that spot and it was occupied by a couple of teenage girls from a Tour Group. When we approached they gestured to us to go to line #3; they were obviously trying to all sit together but I know that the CM's have the seating down to a science to maximize space so I asked someone about it. The CM was annoyed with the girls and told them something along the lines of "I TOLD you to line up HERE." As if it wasn't the first time they had tried switching things up. The girls acted like they couldn't understand him; that they didn't speak any English. The CM had to threaten them by telling them that if they didn't STAY PUT, in the line he told them to go to, he would remove them from the ride. Let me tell you, they understood THAT.

As a side note: This was only one of two times I really got annoyed with the kids in the tour groups. Most of the things people find irritating... the singing, chanting, walking without looking where they are going... that's just typical teenage group behavior. I can even forgive the girls for trying to bend the rules to stick together. What I found upsetting was that they were trying to use the fact that they were foreigners to their advantage, pretending like they couldn't understand. My mom and stepdad had a Brazilian doctor stay with them last summer, who was guest teaching at the University of Washington. He said, the kids who go on those tours aren't your typical kids. They almost always come from upper middle class families and go to private schools where English is a requirement for graduation. While they may not be fluent, these kids would definitely know enough English to get around Disney World and they definitely understand when a CM says STAND HERE. Rant out!

So Sorin' was great. As always I had never smelled the smells before! I don't know if it was broken before or if I just didn't notice but the orange groves and the salty sea was wonderful! When Josh & I finally exited the ride we found Eric over by the old switch-back que for Living with the Land (I say "old" because there was literally NEVER a line for this ride) talking on the phone with his sister while Evie entertained herself by running under the wooden railings. Josh, of course, hopped the chains to join her... Well, Ev was just short enough to run right under the railings... Josh, not so much. He underestimated the height and on his first pass, before I could catch him, CLUNK!!! He ran right into the railing and fell down. It looked like it was right out of a 3 Stooges movie or something! I wanted to laugh but my poor baby boy was sobbing on the floor. Fortunately, he was just fine but his pride was hurt pretty badly.

Eric got off the phone with his sister and told me that they, FL residents, had decided to drive up to meet us in two days and we needed to change our ADR for The Garden Grill from 4 to 7 people. SERIOUSLY?! They had known for months that we were coming to Disney and they were JUST NOW deciding that they were coming up? AND joining us for dinner at a CHARACTER meal?!! I knew it would be a long shot but since we were already there, I suggested that we go up and check at the reservation desk. The young gentleman at the desk was very gracious. He told us that they didn't have anything for 7 but to keep checking back for any cancellations. He said, if worst comes to worst, we could always see if there was anything available when we checked in. It may not have been a definite answer but at least it wasn't a no!

By this time, The Land was crawling with people, shoulder to shoulder, and we were all ready to get out of there. Since it was so close, we traveled on to The Seas with Nemo and Friends!



I love Nemo This was a walk-on ride which was great because we rode it 3 times! Ev LOVED it. She called it the "flower ride" because of the sea shell vehicles.


see the CM photobombing?

The CM's working this ride were hilarious. There was one gal who was saying "goodbye" in as many languages as she could think of as the omni-mover entered the first tunnel. "Au revoir! Arrivederci! Ciao!"... then in her best southern accent "Bye y'all!" I wasn't expecting it and I burst into giggles. After our third tour through the Big Blue World, I decided it was time to get back to the room for a nap and some pool time.

Eric wanted to stay but I insisted that they come back. He argued that Josh still wanted to get a Sorcerer Mickey stuffy that he had seen in the first five minutes of arriving in Disney and they could find a good selection at Mouse Gears. We made a compromise that I would go back with Ev and they would shop in Mouse Gears but that they would come RIGHT back as soon as they were done. NO MORE RIDES! Josh really needed a nap and I didn't want to push him. Plus, we had promised him some pool time that day and if we were going to have time to nap, swim, and get back for our dinner ADR we REALLY needed to leave right then. So, we parted ways. Ev & I back to CBR and Josh & Eric to Mouse Gears. I couldn't help stoping for some mommy/daughter photopass pictures though





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Old 12-07-2012, 11:56 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshAndEvsMom View Post
Hooray! You're still here! Pinterest... Sheesh! I go on thinking "I'll just look up one thing..." 2 hours later

You must be so excited about your trip! I bet its going to be so wonderful to spend the holidays somewhere warm and sunny. Are you thinking of doing a TR? I'd love to hear about your adventures!
We are very excited about our trip! Cant believe its only 11 days to go! I am definately going to do a TR when I get back. I will be sure and let you know when I get it started, but it will be right after the first of the year.

I totally get what you mean about Daisy! My little boys LOVE MMCH and watch it every single day. DS4 has asked me about Pete being at Mickey's house.

The CM photobombing the Nemo pic...the CM saying "goodbye" in different languages...too funny.

I love how the characters really do their best to get down to the kids levels. Sitting on the ground...crouching down to hug them.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:57 PM   #39
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OH, and the PP pics of you and DD are super cute!

And, I am SOOO trying the stawberry shortcake from SS!!
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:53 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
We are very excited about our trip! Cant believe its only 11 days to go! I am definately going to do a TR when I get back. I will be sure and let you know when I get it started, but it will be right after the first of the year.

I totally get what you mean about Daisy! My little boys LOVE MMCH and watch it every single day. DS4 has asked me about Pete being at Mickey's house.

The CM photobombing the Nemo pic...the CM saying "goodbye" in different languages...too funny.

I love how the characters really do their best to get down to the kids levels. Sitting on the ground...crouching down to hug them.
Oh my gosh! 11 Days?! Where did the time go? Christmas seemed so far away when I started this thing, now its just around the corner. I am so excited for you! I can't wait to read all about it!

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Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
OH, and the PP pics of you and DD are super cute!

And, I am SOOO trying the stawberry shortcake from SS!!
Awah, thank you!
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:06 AM   #41
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Diner at Biergarten

Eeek! Its just a few days before Christmas and I'm really feeling the crunch. I've really had one of "those" days today... I had just caught my potty-training (yes still... another story for another time) DD before she did a #2 in her pants and hauled her to the toilet. Feeling pretty good about the "catch", my DS promptly walks in and upchucks all over the floor. I had to take DD, mid-poo, to another bathroom while DH cleaned up the mess. Meanwhile, we hear the garage door go "CRASH" and find that half of it is off the tracks. Called a repairman who will be here between 9:00 and 11:00 PM. Yes, 9 and 11 PM. To top it off, our cable company dropped Disney Jr from our package and to get it back we will need to upgrade to the premium package. How convenient for them. So anyway, I think I am going to take a couple deep breaths, drink a glass of wine and relive some vacation memories. Care to join me? Awesome. Lets go.

So I totally forgot to tell you about one of the funniest things that happened on our whole trip! It happened while we were in The Seas from my last post. See, after a couple go-s through "the flower ride" we decided to go see Turtle Talk with Crush. I just love this show! I had been to it last year with my mom but Eric was doing one of the workshops with the band kids so he missed it. We went in and Josh & Evie went and sat right up front, like the very first "row" of the sharkbate section on the floor. Josh was really excited because he had a question he had been dying to ask Crush. Eric and I sat a couple rows back on the benches. So Crush comes out and is totally hilarious. Eric loves it and Josh gets to ask his question: "How do sea turtles get away from shark since they can't pull their heads into their shells?" (Crush's answer: "As fast as we can dude!") I was really impressed that Ev was doing so well on her own. She was listening and didn't really notice that we weren't beside her. When the show was about half way over she started inching toward the screen. As she got closer and closer, I tried to quietly and discretely get her attention so she would move back. No one else seemed to notice until she was right up on the screen. By then it was too late. She stood up, turned around and announced "MOMMY! I tooted!" Oh my gosh! DH & I were soooooo embarrassed! We couldn't stop giggling and both of us had gone beet red. Oh boy. By then, she had caught my eye and ran over to me. We were pretty eager to get out of there once it was over! On the way out we heard a guy ask the CM "So, where's the guy controlling this thing?" to which the CM replied "What guy? You are talking to Crush... you saw him right in front of you..." The guy just kind of paused, then shook his head and walked out with the rest of us. I just love Disney!



After Crush we explored The Seas and did another tour through Nemo and that's where I left you from my last post... I was headed back to CBR with Ev and Eric and Josh were itching to blow some cash in Mouse Gears.





Ev and I walked back to the bus stop and THIS time I brought the stroller! It was good because she fell asleep. The bus wasn't crowded at all and the bus driver was more than happy to help me fold up my stroller while I was holding my sleeping baby. We made it back to our room fairly quickly and I contemplated walking to Old Port Royal to get us some drinks since Ev was asleep in her stroller but then thought better to get her into some air conditioning and have a proper nap. My guess is that it was about 3:00 by this time. Josh and Eric showed up about 20 minutes later with purchases in hand. Josh got his coveted Sorcerer Mickey plush along with a pair of R2D2 Mouse Ears. Eric picked out a Princess cone hat with Minnie ears for Evie. They aren't the traditional ear hat type, more of a plush themselves... I'll have a picture in the next post... but just as cute.

Josh reminded us that we had promised him some pool time. Ev was just waking up and a swim sounded refreshing so I said "sure" but we would go to the "quiet" ( ) pool behind our building instead of the big pool by OPR. We all got on our suits except Eric who opted to take a nap in the room. The pool was nice but it definitely not refreshing! I felt like I was swimming in bathwater! The kids had fun though and that's what mattered. Josh found a buddy and we played for a good hour in the water. It was a nice, relaxing change of pace. Once we were finished in the pool, we made our way back to get showered and changed. Eric had gotten some drinks for us, which was nice, and we relaxed and watched some Stacy while the kids (finally!!) snoozed. Our ADR for Biergarten was at 6:30 so we planned to leave the room at 5:00.

5:00 rolled around and Josh was OUT. We could not wake him up! When we finally got him out of bed it was 5:30, luckily the bus gods were still smiling upon us. We trotted to the bus stop right as an Epcot bus was pulling in. However, Biergarten is on the COMPLETE OPPOSITE side of the park so once we got off the bus, we continued to trot until we checked in at the restaurant!



We got there right at 6:30 and were given a pager while we waited for our table. We sat outside near the fountain and I took a few photos in the mean time.


I really love the detail in the architecture. I spent a little time in Northeastern France, right on the border of Germany, in college and it really felt and looked authentic. So beautiful!







These are from the Agent P game. It must have gone off about a dozen times while we waited.


A really nice gentleman offered to take our picture by the fountain. This ended up being one of my favorite shots of the whole trip!

We only waited 10 or 15 minutes before our name was called. We were brought in and escorted to our seats with another family of 4 who were from Montreal. They were mostly French-speaking but knew a little English. Between their English, my (very poor) French and hand gestures, we actually had a lovely evening with them! Before long, a waitress came over to take our drink order and explain the buffet. One of the chefs also came to our table as the little boy with the Canadian family was allergic to fish so he told them all the dishes they should avoid. I had heard that Disney did that but it still impresses me that they are so thoughtful. My niece is allergic to shellfish so I know how buffets, especially, can give parents anxiety. Cross-contamination is a major factor but I noticed CM's staying really on top of that too and changing out spoons pretty frequently. Anyway, back to the restaurant.

If you have not been to Biergarten, the restaurant is set up in three tiers, a semi-circle around a stage and dance floor at the bottom. Every 10 minutes or so, a Bavarian band comes out and performs traditional polka-type music. It is very entertaining and makes a wonderful diversion for children who become uninterested in food 5 minutes after the meal begins.



We were seated in the uppermost tier, stage right. The restaurant is pretty dark because it is made to look like you are in an outdoor amphitheater right around twilight. It is a beautiful effect and DS kept asking "We're still inside, right?" just to make sure.

The food, of course is pretty traditional Bavarian. Sausages, schnitzel, potato salad, etc. It is served buffet style with two sides that meet in the middle where there is a carving station. One side has the salads and entrees and the other side has deserts. I managed to snap a couple photos before our table mates came back.


My plate


Josh's plate

They had some great choices and we all found things that we liked. I really liked the bologna-type sausages that were cut into wedges and the chicken schnitzel. The cucumber salad was really fresh and the pretzel rolls were to die for! Mmmmmmm.... I could go for an entire basket right about now...


Tasty!

Dessert was really nothing to write home about. In fact, I think the kids just ended up having more berries for dessert! I don't remember what I had... maybe more pretzel bread.

At some point during the meal the entertainment came out and announced the birthdays that were there and sang a little song. Then they announced our anniversary! We were the only ones celebrating an anniversary so they had us stand up and they sang another song just for us. It was pretty cute!

After that, we were pretty much done with our meal. We, of course did the whole bathroom 3 ring circus but THIS time, I discovered that I had forgotten to restock the diaper bag! By the time I discovered I had no diapers, I had already taken off the one DD had on and I couldn't very well put a yucky, wet diaper back on her. I was just starting to panic when I remembered: THE BABY CARE CENTER! I took Ev back to the table and informed DH that we really needed to leave now since Ev was currently going commando. We said goodbye to our table mates and left Germany. I had really, really wanted to get something from Karamelle Kuche since dessert had been so blah but I was stuffed, Ev was diaperless and the boys were anxious to go ride Sorin' again using their Rider Swap tickets from earlier. I thought that I would have plenty of time to come back later in the trip but it never happened. Word to the wise: Get it NOW and save it for LATER! Ah well, something to plan for for the next trip!

So with bellies full of sausage and schnitzel, we made our way back toward The Land. The Baby Care Center is located right next to the First Aid center which is right on the way back to Future World so I popped in there and the boys kept going to get in line for Sorin'.

Thank goodness for the Baby Care Center! It was so nice and clean and quiet! They have a whole bunch of baby items for sale that are really reasonably priced. I bought a diaper package for $4.00 which included 2 diapers, 2 "giant wipes", 2 packets of bum ointment and 2 plastic baggies to put the dirties in. They had other things too, like packages of wipes, baby food, formula, bottles, pacifiers, bibs and even some onsies. The CMs were super nice and it was very quiet. They have a room with about 4 very large changing tables, a separate room with some rocking chairs, another room with highchairs for feeding and ANOTHER room with toys and a movie playing. On our way out Ev got distracted by the toy room and wanted to stop so I had a nice little chat with the two CM's who were there. After about 10 minutes I told Ev it was time to go and she didn't want to leave! I had to laugh, we were in DISNEY WORLD and she just wanted to play with the plastic toys! I eventually convinced her to come with me and we went in search of our men.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:04 PM   #42
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"...But they sounded just like fireworks!"

So the boys were off to hop on Sorin' for our last ride of the night. When we girls arrived in The Land, the place was DEAD. I'm sure it must have been around 8/8:30ish because I had figured that people were probably waiting for Illuminations to start. I was a bit bummed because I really wanted to see it but Eric hadn't mentioned it and I figured that we would be back another night. I also kind of thought that Josh & Eric would be through with the ride soon and we would be able to catch at least the fireworks portion from outside The Land. We had agreed to meet outside Living with The Land since Ev likes that ride and its easy to keep her occupied there. Ev and I walked on this ride no problem and were the only ones in our boat.























Sorry for the overload of Living with the Land but I thought I would try and make up for my relative lack of photography in the previous posts of this day. I really love this ride. Why is it so unpopular? I think everything about it is interesting! Okay, maybe some of the large "screen" scenes are cheesy but overall, I think its a great ride! Of course my favorite parts are in the real, working greenhouses. So Ev & I came to the end and it was obvious that the boys were SITLL waiting for (or riding) Sorin' and the CM asked us if we wanted to go again. We said sure and stayed on for a second ride. We ended up staying on for FOUR rides! Can you believe it?! The CM operating the big "garage door" to the greenhouse started to recognize us and would wave to Evie as we went through. So cute!

So on our last tour through the greenhouses right about here...



...we heard the fireworks start to go off! They were SOOOO LOUD from in there! It felt like the whole building was shaking! It freaked Ev out a little and startled me but I checked the time and knew exactly what was going on. At the end of that tour, we got off and the boys were FINALLY done. It was just about then that we saw the MASSES begin flooding into The Land and were running toward us... er... Sorin'! We were glad to be on our way OUT.

Once outside the pavilion, we sat down to regroup and figure out what to do next. I figured we would be heading out of the park.... Eric thought we should go find a place to view Illuminations. Huh? I told him it was over! The park was closing! He INSISTED that the fireworks were at 10:00 pm. I told him that we had heard them from inside the ride. No, he said we must have heard something else. He would bet me 5 million dollars that Illuminations was at 10 pm. Okay buddy. Here's the thing... I spent NUMEROUS HOURS pouring over park schedules, programing parades, shows and events into my phone, MEMORIZING opening and closing times... I GOT this! I took the bet.

The kiddos running around while I completely showed up my husband with my awesome Disney planning skillz


Evie's Princess Minnie hat


Of course I was right and so we started to make our way out of the park. We stopped briefly to see if Journey into the Imagination was open (it was not) but Josh begged piteously for us to go back to CBR and to bed. Poor guy! He had really hit a wall and so had we. We had an awesome day at Epcot and now it was off to bed for us!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:40 PM   #43
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A Beautiful Animal Kingdom Morning!

Another morning bright and early in Walt Disney World! Except everyone's excited morning momentum was beginning to slow WAY down. I was first out of bed again, showered, dressed and still no one else was awake. I made some sock water... eh hem.. coffee in the coffee pot and flipped on Disney Jr. Eric & Ev started to stir and get ready but Josh was out cold. We literally had to drag him out of bed! The weather report for that day showed rain so we did a little rearranging with our bags to make sure we had our ponchos and stroller rain cover. Then we were on our way out the door!

Unfortunately, this is the day that the Bus gods disappeared completely. We probably waited 20 minutes or so to get a bus to Animal Kingdom. We probably saw 4 or 5 busses go by for Downtown Disney or Typhoon Lagoon. Each time Ev would grab my face with both of her hands and say "That is not our bus mommy!"

Finally, our bus arrived and it was pretty crowded. On one hand, being the last stop at CBR was great because we always went straight to a park but on the other hand, the busses were already full of people so finding a place to sit could be a challenge. People were always pretty awesome about giving up their seats to make sure the kiddos could sit down though.

Once we arrived at Animal Kingdom, I took Josh & Ev straight to Dinoland USA to ride Triceratops Spin and Eric took off to get Fastpasses for Everest.











We rode it a few more times before Eric came back... he had forgotten to get our park tickets! Oops! I handed over the tickets and he ran all the way back to Everest. (I owe him big time for that! On second thought... he never coughed up that 5 million so I guess we're even ) The kids and I just kept going on Triceratops Spin! Incase you don't already know, this is Animal Kingdom's version of Dumbo. Its cute and colorful and the kids love it. I think we ended up riding about 8 times!!

Here we go again...










Eric did finally return with the Fastpasses which weren't for a little while so we headed over to DINOSAUR.



I asked Josh if he wanted his photo taken with the T-Rex skeleton on our way in and he was too afraid... I wondered how he would react to the ride.



I told him that he didn't have to ride it if he didn't want to but he was actually really excited! The wait time said 5 minutes and Eric said that they walked right on. Ev can't ride this one so we did a Rider Swap so she and I walked through the Cretaceous Trail while we waited for the boys.







We met Josh & Eric in the dump shop while they got their ride photo. (Yay Photopass+!!) Eric looked at me and said "That ride was TERRIFYING!" Josh said "IT WAS AWESOME!" He couldn't wait to go again!





I rode with Josh next and even though we used our Rider Swap tickets, we didn't need them. We walked straight on again.



Holy cow. That ride IS terrifying! And Josh wanted to do it AGAIN! We had a little more time so Eric agreed to ride with him again. Josh really wanted to do it a fourth time but we had both had enough! Its a great ride but I think I can only handle it once per trip! By that time our Everest Fastpasses were available so we headed in the direction of Asia.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:52 PM   #44
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Mountains and Plains

Our morning at Animal Kingdom was going pretty well! The one thing that seemed strangely absent were Photopass photographers. I really wanted to get a family picture in front of The Tree of Life and could never find anyone! Later, that would be due to rain but the morning was gorgeous! Anyhow, after DINOSAUR we made our way over to Expedition Everest. Josh was really nervous about this ride but mostly because he was scared of the Yeti. We had watched a YouTube video before we left where the Yeti was fully functional and no matter how many times I told him that the Yeti is just a robot who couldn't move anymore and would NOT grab at him, he was convinced that she might just snatch him up and keep him captive on the mountain.

When we arrived at Expedition Everest, we walked up to the CM to ask for a Rider Swap ticket. EE seemed to have the most strict rules about Rider Swap. The CM wanted to see the entire family, not just the child who couldn't ride. He asked who would be riding first and I said that Josh & I would be going first. Then, he gave me the Rider Swap ticket, explained to Eric where the ride would let out and told us that I could give it to him when I exited the ride.


I know you can't really see him but Josh really did have fun on his first ride on EE.

While we were riding EE, Eric & Ev had walked over to get Fastpasses for Kilimanjaro Safaris. We met them in the dump shop and swapped kiddos. Ev and I mainly browsed the gift shop and tried to spot Josh & Eric coming down that big drop. They took a little longer because Eric wanted to wait for the front of the train. He figured (correctly) that if we wanted a picture of Josh on the ride, they would have to be in front!

You can tell that Josh was a little more brave this time around!

EE is always so much fun but I was beginning to feel kind of bad that Evelyn had spent most of her morning in the stroller. She wanted to ride sooooo badly! I can't wait for her to be tall enough for the "big kid" rides. I know she will love them. I was glad, though, that our next ride was going to be the Safari. We had a little time before we could use our 11:00 am Fastpasses and we were beginning to get hungry! Outside EE, I had seen this kid with this gigantic cookie. It looked SOOO good so we walked around looking for where they might sell such a confection. I should have just asked the family where they got it because we couldn't find those cookies anywhere. Anyone know where they are? I'd love to bank that info away for our next trip! Since we couldn't find the cookies, we made our way over to Africa and to a little place on the map called Kusafari Coffee Shop. I knew from The Disney Food Blog that this tiny little gem is home to some outrageous looking cupcakes, including the White Chocolate Elephant cupcake and all were only one snack credit! It was about 10:45 as I walked up to Kusafari... and there were NO CUPCAKES! All they had was the typical Disney pastry selection of danishes, muffins and a sad looking cinnamon roll. I was so disappointed! I figured that they no longer carried the cupcakes and ordered a blueberry muffin, a cheese danish, an orange juice and an apple juice for me, Josh & Ev to split. Then, I stopped at the fruit stand and got a diet Coke and a banana for Eric. We ate our snack then hopped in line for the Safari.

Okay, so I know everyone has seen a million and one photos of the animals on the Safari but we were in for a surprise! This was the FIRST day they let the baby white rhino out onto the savannah! It was so cool! We saw him 3 different times and one of the times, our vehicle stopped for a couple minutes so we could get photos of him. The keepers were VERY protective of him and kept a close watch on both him and his mama. There were several trucks just following the two rhinos around to make sure were safe and protected. Its great to see how diligent Disney is in the care of their animals. Okay, here it goes...

I'll start you off with some birds:


I think these were the Okapi?


Then the black rhino


Hippos


Crocodiles (I think they look so creepy all piled up like that! Gives me the heebie geebies!)






Driving out onto the savannah


Gotta love the termite hill!


We were stopped for a few minutes while these giraffes crossed the road


I liked how this one kind of blended into the trees


Elephants (Ev's favorite!)






Flamingos (They're pink because they eat PINK shrimp!!)


Here's the mama rhino!! The baby had just run into the bushes. See the truck? Those guys were everywhere!


Some Cheetah & the King of the Savannah doin' what they always do




Here he is!! The baby white rhino! I know he doesn't look like much of a baby out in the open like this but he was pretty small compared to his mama.


I honestly can't tell what these are. Seriously. Warthogs? Baboons? Antelope? Someone help me out here..


I grew up in Seattle with the privilege of being able to visit two very good Zoos as a child and I have to say, Kilimanjaro Safari still blows me away. Nowhere else can you get so close to these kinds of animals who are not behind glass. Its really amazing. My dream is to someday be able to do the Wild Africa Trek. I just think that would be the ultimate!

So we exited the ride, found our stroller and walked back around to the front passed Kusafari and GUESS WHAT?! They had the cupcakes out!! So word to the wise, if you want a cupcake, wait till AFTER 11:00 am!

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Old 01-23-2013, 10:57 PM   #45
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I have been so behind on the Dis, and now I am all caught up!

Lots of great updates!!

We loved the rider swap. Definately made things easier having a little one that wasnt able to ride everything.

Dinosaur is kind of scary!! My DD hated it! I just hate how jerky it is.

I finally got my TR & DR's started if you want to take a look at them
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