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Old 10-04-2012, 08:26 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 172

Fantasy vacation before baby #2 arrives - Disney World and Cruise

Hello everyone! I am a first time poster, so bare with me while I learn the ropes. I have been a lurker on the boards for about 6 months or so (no idea why I didn't register, just didn't) and have learned so much from reading threads and reading trip reports that I thought I would write a TR as well to try to help others (or for just entertainment ).

The cast: Myself (29), DH (32) and DS (3). We have all been to Disney World several times (4 times for me, 5 times for DH and this was DS 3rd time) and consider ourselves intermediate in our Disney knowledge (not beginners and not experts, lol). We have been on different cruises lines as well but never Disney and we were excited to experience a Disney cruise. I will post the Disney World portion of our vacation here and then the cruise portion on that board. I am currently pregnant with baby #2 (at time of vacation I was 14 weeks along) and we wanted to take one last vacation as a family of 3 (that's what we said when we went back in January but we were so happy we were able to sneak another one in). We spent 2 1/2 days at Disney World and then a 7 day cruise on the Disney Fantasy. Well, let's get on with the show.

Day One: We woke up early to get to the Lexington airport for our flight. Delta had switched our 8:30am flight to 7:10am so we had to get up earlier than we wanted to but we are on vacation so thatís a plus. We were running a few minutes behind schedule but the Lexington airport is not usually busy and small so we were able to get to our gate with no problem at all. We checked our bags in and got a nice surprise, the man working for Delta didnít charge us for our bags! He did warn us that weíd be charged on the way back but he didnít ďhaveĒ to so he was being nice. Wohoo! Great way to start vacation, saving $50 bucks!

We got to our gate and had just enough time to run DS to the bathroom before they started bordering our plane. In short time we were on our way to Atlanta. Once in Atlanta we checked our next gate, switched terminals and then got something to eat. We were all hungry! It was still early but I had been up for hours so I wanted some lunch. We found a place serving something other than breakfast (pizza) and sat down to eat. After, we walked to our next gate to find out it had been switched to two gates down from where we had gotten off the plane! For those of you that have flown into Atlanta you know how big that airport is. We had to go from terminal B to terminal A and then back to B. This was all to DSís delight since he got to ride the escalators and the train again. We got to a very packed gate and had to stand to wait to start boarding. Thankfully they let us board early since we had to gate check our stroller (they said they were testing a new system of letting those with young kids board after first class, apparently that didnít go well because this was the only time we got to board early).

Both flights were uneventful all things considered. DS was good (thank you portable DVD player!), there was very little turbulence and no delays or other issues. I donít usually fly well and this was no exception this time around either. I get pretty sick to my stomach and have been known to use the provided bag that everyone laughs about. I have been wearing seasick bands the last few times while flying and that seems to help; however, I guess being pregnant was a bit much because I felt awful this day and on our return trip (thankfully the bag wasnít necessary, I just felt crummy). It only took an hour or so and a little drink to start feeling better so Iím thankful it wasnít worse.

We arrived in Orlando and it felt like home. We went straight to the bathroom (that was a frequent place for us with a 3 year old) and then down to board a bus to Disney. We didnít have to wait long at all (maybe 10 minutes, if that) and we were on our way to Disneyís Port Orleans Ė Riverside! This is a new resort to us; weíve never stayed here before. I was really looking forward to it because the pictures were beautiful and itís hard to talk DH into trying new things.

Check in took longer than usual, they were super busy for a Wednesday afternoon. But once we did check in they said our room was ready so that was a plus! We walked our bags to our room, dropped them off and went to get something to eat. It wasnít yet 2 but it had been several hours since we ate and we were all hungry. DH and I split a burger and fry combo and we got DS chicken nuggets and fries (sadly, this will be his main diet for the next week and a half; Iím ashamed to admit it). We also picked up our resort mugs and each got dessert. Food was pretty good for resort food. The cheesecake DH and I got was yummy.

After our late lunch we walked around the resort a little and decided we wanted to go swimming. DS couldnít wait to get in the water! We had bought him a puddle jumper (float/life jacket type thing) and he was super excited to try it out. The pool at the resort was nice and they had pool games going on while we were there. DS got to practice ďswimmingĒ and loved it!! The puddle jumper allowed him to have some freedom from us holding him and actually move on his own (I highly recommend these, it is awesome!). He really gained some confidence in the water over this vacation! We spent almost 2 hours playing in the pool.

Once finished swimming and changed, we walked around the resort some more. They had the horse out for carriage rides (really thought about doing this but since this part of our trip was a pre-trip I didnít want to spend the extra money, it wasnít too expensive though so it will go on the ďto-doĒ list for another time). We played in the arcade for a little bit (itís great that DS is still young enough to play the games on when they are just in demo mode, lol). We played skeeball (one of my favorite arcade games) and DH tried to teach DS how to play a basketball game. DS also played on the playground letting off some more energy. Itís a little playground but there were only two other kids there so it was great for him. Plus, the ground is made out of that rubber stuff so he couldnít hurt himself.

We got dinner from the resort food court again. DH and I both got make-your-own pasta dishes. I had penne with alfredo sauce, chicken, broccoli and sundried tomatoes. It was very good! The portion was huge so I split it with DS. It came with garlic bread and of course a dessert and drink since we were on the dinning plan. We both got sundaes as our dessert. Dinner was very yummy! We all enjoyed it. After dinner, it was bath and bed time for DS. We had a long day, he didnít get a nap and we were getting up early for Magic Kingdom the next day. I read a little to unwind and went to bed shortly after as well. Flying wears me out! But DH beat me to bed by a long shot (he might have been asleep even before DS), I think he got like 10 hours of sleep that night.

I promise there will be pictures to come, for whatever reason I did not take pictures this first day. Please let me know if you have any questions, I'll try to answer them.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 172

Day Two - Magic Kingdom

Day Two: Yay! Itís Magic Kingdom day!!! We woke up fairly early (still later than the day before) because I wanted to get to Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. We left the room at 7:15am and were able to walk to the bus stop within a few minutes. And as soon as we got there a bus was pulling up for MK! Honestly, we had great luck with the buses the two days we went to the parks, we felt so lucky! We arrived at MK in what seemed like no time at all and were walking thru the ticket gate. We waited a few minutes and were able to watch the opening ceremony.

I had already told DH I wanted to take DS on the newly remodeled Dumbo ride first so once in the park we made a beeline to the ride. We were practically the only ones back in that area.

DS and I really enjoyed our quiet ride; he just didnít want to go high. I wish we had taken some time to walk thru the circus tent area but in my excitement to ride rides I declined to go in. After Dumbo we took a quick potty brake and then rode Goofyís Barnstormer. DS did not like this ride. He hid his head in my lap and asked to get off almost as soon as it started. He didnít scream or cry, thankfully but he made sure we understood he wanted off. This ride is very quick so he didnít suffer long. And thankfully, this did not scare him off any other rides (but definitely told us to wait a few more years before trying Big Thunder Mountain).

When we got off, DS asked to go on the Pooh ride (we had passed it on our way to Dumbo). Again, we practically walked on to this ride as well. We all enjoyed a nice ride thru the Pooh story, DS didnít like the Huffalump, he told him to go away. Since the teacups were right there, DS and I rode those. I enjoy the teacup ride and was so glad DS did too! To DHís delight Alice and the White Rabbit were standing next to the ride for pictures. Let me give just a line or two background, back in January when we came DS loved the characters! He would run up to them and give them great big hugs and kisses! Well, this time he was so much shyer! He usually wanted to be held when he met them and would like to lay his head on your shoulder too. When we met Alice and the White Rabbit it thru me by surprise, Alice tried to play with him and tickle him (the characters are so great with all types of kids!!!) so he did warm up a little to give her a high five.

After our character interaction we walked down to the Indy Speedway. This was probably the longest wait we had the entire day, around 15 minutes, since they only had one side open. DS loves to drive the cars though so we waited. DH went with DS on this and I sat on the sidelines to get pictures. DH said DS cackled the whole time saying he was driving ďso silly!Ē.

Once they were done we walked over to Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. It was just now a few minutes after 9, park opening for regular guests, so we were able to get on this ride pretty quickly as well. We all love this ride; itís one of our favorites!! I held DS in my lap and we competed against DH to see who could win. Like normal, I stomped DH (even with DS in my lap ). I got a personal high score, over 950,000, almost perfect but just a few points shy as DH made sure to point out (I usually beat him on this game but he has gotten a 999,999 and I have not).

I was pretty hungry when we got off Buzz so we walked down to Main Street Bakery. There was quite a long line for the bakery but we love it so we waited. I ordered a cinnamon roll and DH got a cherry danish and of course we shared with DS. Both were super yummy as always! DS really wanted to go ride Peter Pan so we made our way back over to Fantasyland. The line wasnít long so we didnít bother with Fast Pass, we just waited about 5 minutes or so and we were on our way to Neverland. We all enjoyed our ride. We rode another favorite, Itís A Small World next. DS sang the song for most of the day (and occasionally will sing it now). We do not find this ride irritating like other people, we really like it and itís a classic! Prince Charming Carrousel was up next and DH sat out again (if it goes in circles, he wonít ride it). Thatís ok because DS and I both enjoyed it enough for all. When DS and I got off the carrousel DH was over trying to get the sword in the stone up, he loves trying this and what do you know, he was successful! I think this was a happy moment for him, lol. DS tried right after and he got it up too!

We decided we wanted to try to ride Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean before lunch. We made our way over to Adventureland and grabbed Fast Passes for Jungle Cruise as there was a 25 minute wait for it. We walked down further to check on Pirates and we were in luck, the wait was only 5 minutes. DS wasnít so sure about this ride and hid his head in my lap again for part of the ride. Once we got to the pirate ships shooting the cannon balls he started looking around a little more. And now he will sing ďyo ho, yo ho a pirates life for meĒ, itís too funny! We still had time before our fast pass was available so we walked further down to see how the line was at Haunted Mansion, not bad so we hoped on in line and only waited a few minutes. This is DHís favorite ride at all of Disney World. I kind of feel bad he only got to ride it once while we were there. But it was an enjoyable ride. I was finally able to see the hidden grim reaper Mickey! And DS wasnít too scared. Again, he just hid a little bit and would look around. He did find the ghosts at the end that hitch hike in your buggy very funny. The one we had played the drums on our heads and DS still talks about the ďghost that went bum bum bum on our headsĒ then laughs.
Our fast pass window had now opened so we rode Jungle Cruise. We usually enjoy this one more but our guide wasnít the greatest this time. Oh well. It was noon by now and I was very hungry! However, DS was begging to go see Monsters Inc before we ate lunch. This mommy couldnít turn him down. We had to wait about 10 minutes or so for the other show to let out and then we were seated. We actually made it on screen during the beginning; we got a kick out of that. DS enjoyed seeing the monsters despite not really getting most of the jokes. We got lunch at Cosmic Rays, DHís favorite counter service at MK because of the fixings bar for your burger. By the time we were seated with our food it was 1 and I was starving! We all ate pretty well and then decided it was time to head back to the room to get a nap in. We got pretty lucky and got a bus quickly. I thought DS would put up a huge fight about napping but it didnít take him long and he was out.
We rested for about an hour and a half and then headed back out to MK. This is when the day kind of turned a little sour. DH started feeling crummy but didnít want to ruin our day so he tried to tough it out. We grabbed fast passes for Buzz and then went to Mickeyís Philarmagic. We all enjoyed the show. And then we walked back over to Buzz to ride it again. I beat DH again even though he held DS this time. We had dinner reservations at 5:45 at Liberty Tree Tavern (or so I thought) so we made our way there. During check in I found out our reservation was at 5:25, not 5:45, oops! Thankfully they were still able to accommodate us. We always enjoy the food here and it was no different tonight. DS loves their mac-n-cheese and DH loves the Thanksgiving feast. However, DH was feeling worse and didnít eat much, hated that he couldnít enjoy one of his favorite meals.
DS had asked to ride Peter Pan again so we made our way over to Fantasyland; however, the line for Peter Pan was 45 minutes and we didnít want to wait. We rode Itís A Small World again and that seemed to please him (I still feel bad he didnít get to ride Peter Pan again though). DH wanted to sit down so we went on the People Mover next. After this he was still feeling crummy and we were trying to decide what to do, thought about going on the train; however, we decided to just grab a spot for Spectro Magic parade instead to take a break. We did get our spot about an hour before the parade and had a great view. I had bought DS some glow in the dark bracelets that we took to play with and pass out. He thought this was so great and loved sharing them with the other kids around. Thankfully this helped pass the time quickly. We enjoyed the parade but the last time we saw it, back in (gasp) 2008, it was better.

After the parade the crowd was huge and we didnít really have much of a choice but to find a spot for the fireworks. We didnít have the best spot and that stunk but we still got to see the fireworks and they were great, they are always my favorite thing at Disney. Once the fireworks were over we trudged our way with the mobs of people thru Main Street and to the bus area. I think we had to wait for a bus or two to fill before we made it on but thatís to be expected and the wait wasnít all that long. When we got back to our room it was bath and then straight to bed for DS. We had a great day at Magic Kingdom full of magical memories!!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:46 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Day 3: Hollywood Studios and EPCOT

Day Three: Today we did not need to wake up as early as we did the day before; however, we still wanted to get to Hollywood Studios in time for opening. Toy Story Mania can get very busy and have a very long line so we wanted to ride it first thing and grab fast passes. We left the room after eating a quick snack and headed to the bus stop at about a quarter after 8. Once again, we got lucky and a bus came very quickly. We were soon at Hollywood Studios waiting for opening. We have a Disney Visa and wanted to redeem our reward dollars while on vacation but did not get a reward card before we left for vacation. While we were standing in line I went to the customer service window and within a few minutes was handed a reward card, all I had to do was call to get it activated. DH held our place in line while I did this so I met back up with him and DS and shortly we were let into the park. We made a quick dash to Toy Story Mania, as most people were doing, and grabbed our fast passes. Then we got in line to ride. We only waited for a few minutes (5 to 10 minutes) and were on the ride. We enjoy this ride but probably prefer Buzz Lightyear. DS sat with me for this go around and DH easily beat us.

DH and DS in front of Mickey's hat.

After riding we walked down to Starring Rolls to grab some breakfast (I was starving!). I got a cheese danish and DH got a cherry danish, we just love the danishes at Disney World, they are soooo good!!! We sat down to eat and split our food with DS. After our yummy breakfast we tried to decide what to do next, we did not have any real plan for the day except for lunch reservations at Le Cellier at EPCOT. DS really wanted to go to Disney Junior Live on Stage; however, the first show wasnít for awhile still. We walked around and decided to go to Muppet Vision 3D. DH and DS enjoy this show. When the show was complete we talked about going to Disney Junior but I think we were cutting it close on time so we decided to go use our fast passes at Toy Story Mania then head to EPCOT (with a promise to DS that we would be back and we would see Disney Junior!). DS rode with DH this time around and I beat them on Toy Story Mania (see a pattern, lol). DS loves to try to shot the gun but pulling the string gets to be a bit much for his arm.

We then headed out of Hollywood Studios to the boat dock to go to EPCOT. And just missed a boat pulling away by a few minutes (we could still see the boat) so we decided to try to walk it. We hadnít gone 10 yards from the boat dock when it started to rain and immediately turned around. I would wait for the boat rather than walk in the rain.  Thankfully we didnít wait long for a boat and we were on a nice leisurely ride to EPCOT. Weíve never gone thru International Gateway so this was a new one for us and it put us in World Showcase, right where we needed to be for our lunch. It had stopped raining by the time we go to EPCOT, thankfully, so we were able to stay dry! We walked to Le Cellier, checked-in for our lunch reservations and I took DS to the bathroom. By the time we got back they had already called our name and were waiting for us. DH and I really enjoy eating here, the food is really good, steaks melt in your mouth and the cheese soup and pretzel bread is so yummy! We enjoyed our lunch and were surprised to see a new cheesecake on the dessert menu. We have felt their dessert menu to be lacking in the past (nothing special) but found the cheesecake was very good and a nice way to end a great meal! And we got DS to eat something besides chicken nuggets and fries, he had steak and liked it as well. After lunch we were all very full!

Since we were at EPCOT we walked to Innovations to get our picture taken with the characters then to the camera spot to get our free picture for being Disney Visa card holders. We were a little sad that it was Minnie and Goofy again in the meet and greet since they were the same ones we had back in January but a free picture is a free picture.

We walked around World Showcase a bit trying to find a glass figurine that I had seen back in January. It was of Cinderella and Prince Charming and I knew I should have bought it then but didnít and regretted it. Thankfully we did find the stand and they were still selling it. They sent me to their store in Germany so that I could fill out paperwork to have the figurine sent home (for free) that way we wouldnít break it (it was waiting for me when we got home and in one piece).

While walking around World Showcase DS got to play the drums. He loves playing the "bum bum bums" as he calls them.

We made our way back over to the International Gateway and just missed the boat again, grr! We were too tired to walk back to Hollywood Studios so we waited for the boat. I wanted to make it back to Hollywood Studios in time to watch the parade but since we missed the boat, that didnít happen. So once we got back to Hollywood Studios we headed to Disney Junior, DS was so excited! He really enjoyed watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He loves those shows! We hopped in line to meet Jake after a quick bathroom break and DS was so shy. Little stinker was so excited about meeting Jake but wouldnít really go very close to him (oh the differences 7 months can make, lol).

Then we went and watched the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. DS was pretty sleepy so this gave him some quiet time in the dark. We had picked up fast passes for Toy Story Mania after our last ride on it but they had expired. DH wanted to ride it again so he went and asked if we could still use them. They said yes we could because they had some issues with the fast passes today and were going to continue to accept them (lesson here, never hurts to ask!). We rode again and DS wouldnít sit with me so he sat on DHís lap. I did beat them again but their accuracy was much better than mine. We struggled with what to do next. We really thought about leaving; however, we really wanted to see the Fantasmic show. We did not get to see it back in January (it was closed for refurbishing) and DH loves this show. We walked around the park trying to find a Jake costume but with no luck.  I talked DH into going to watch Beauty and the Beast and Iím very happy I did. DS has never seen this movie but Iíve read him the story a few times. I was shocked at how much he enjoyed the show. My boy really loves his shows!!

This ate up some time but we still had awhile before Fantasmic so we went to the Great Movie Ride. Somehow we were let thru the holding area and were getting ready to get on a car but there were no seats for us so we had to wait in the loading area. The cast member working the ride pointed out the only hidden Minnie in the park to us. DH really got a kick out of this, he loves the hidden Mickeys. After we were done with this ride we decided to go grab some food and then get seats for Fantasmic. I got chicken nuggets for both myself and DS. DH was not feeling well and didnít want anything (at that moment). It seemed to take forever to get our food (I think everyone else had the same idea) but once we did we carried our food into the amphitheater. DS and I ate our dinner and what do you know, DH started getting hungry (I was nice and shared a little). Fantasmic was very good as always. We all enjoyed the fireworks and theatrics of the show. And DH got to yell at some kids fighting in front of him, bonus for him (no idea where their parents were but one boy hit the other really hard in the head, that was DHís breaking point).

After the show, we made our way out of the park with the huge crowd and then to the buses. We waited for a little bit for a bus but it wasnít a terrible wait. Once back at the resort I gave DS a bath and put him to bed and DH decided to go get something to eat. He brought me back a Mickey rice krispy treat so I was happy! If we did this day again, I would change a few things. We should have spent a little more time at EPCOT and rode a few of the rides there (like Nemo and Spaceship Earth) and then gone back to Hollywood Studios. We did not stay up long because we were tired and excited for tomorrow. Tomorrow was cruise day!

Final thoughts on our Disney Portion of Vacation: just a few final comments I wanted to make. We absolutely LOVE Disney World! Nothing compares to it. I donít understand how someone couldnít like Disney World and if they donít they are going about it in all the wrong ways, lol (you know who you are!). I wish I could plan a magical vacation for everyone but what works for some might not work for others. Anyway, Port Orleans Riverside Resort was beautiful and Iím sure we will stay there again. The room was very adequate for our needs. We did enjoy being just a short walk away from the main area rather than a long walk like it is at the Caribbean Beach Resort. Iím sure we will stay here on a future trip again. DS absolutely loved the parks! He talks about Disney World every single day (multiple times a day). He loved the rides, the characters, the parades and just all around being there in the atmosphere. To us, this is what itís all about, making wonderful family memories and spending time together. Personally, our family does much better with a set plan. I will make sure we always have one in advance now. The day we spent at Hollywood Studios and EPCOT could have been done much better and I feel we wasted a lot of time (which drives me crazy since there are so many fun things we could have done). Hollywood Studios is not an all day park for us so we will have to plan better next time (see even a Disney veteran can make mistakes, well at least when pushed by your spouse to not have a plan for the day, lol). We canít wait to go back to Disney World to see the new Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom. But with baby #2 on the way Iím not sure when we will get back down there (hopefully we will be able to go sometime after everything opens up in 2014).
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:48 AM   #4
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Great start=can't wait for more!
Me(Pam) DH DS15 DD13

1986 Disneyland, 1988 Disneyland, August 1991- WDW Offsite, May 1997- WDW Offsite, May 2007- Wilderness Lodge, May 2009- BCV & AKV, August 2011- Poly & AKV, April 2013- WBC- Universal & WDW, July 2013 Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, April 2014- Yacht Club, July 2014 Disney's HHI Resort

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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If you would like to follow the cruise portion, here it is. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3003809
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