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Old 01-30-2013, 05:01 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by luckylady View Post
Welcome back. Can't wait to read about your trip. It could be worse tho, you could have gone home to a lot of snow. :-)
Very true. I'm feeling better now. It was a combination of things this morning that got me all gloomy.

Anyway, I'm almost ready to start posting my TR. Been typing it up like crazy the past couple of hours. Also starting to think about dates for going back next year is helping.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:20 PM   #107
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Welcome home. Sorry DS got sick just before you left. I hope he is feeling better now. I really enjoyed all of the live pics! Ready for the full TR to start.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:28 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
Enchanted Tales was so well!

Crowds are light! Here's Frontietland at 9:40

They were all over at HS with us that day (picture below is around 9:30). We FP Toy Story Mania around 10:30 and got a return time of 4-5pm...the stand by was at 70 minutes or something like that.

We went in January a few years ago and it was way less crowded than this trip. We thought it was better than spring break, 4th of July and Xmas...but it was still a bit too crowded for us. We have done 2 September trips that were perfect and the prior January trip as well. Maybe those kind of low crowd times are a thing of the past.

Love your live TR and can't wait to read your detailed TR. Thanks for sharing...and I agree about coming home to the blah gray weather here in the NE. So sad to leave sunny FL!!!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:05 PM   #109
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I loved the live updates!!! Can't wait to read your trip report...and to get your ideas for a New Fantasyland touring plan!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:23 PM   #110
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How cool that you did a live trip while you were there this past week! We leave Saturday night and I'm hoping the weather and crowds are great!

Looking forward to reading your trip report! We're not too far from you in VA!
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:19 PM   #111
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Welcome home. Sorry DS got sick just before you left. I hope he is feeling better now. I really enjoyed all of the live pics! Ready for the full TR to start.
He's back to his normal self now. His symptoms lasted about 24 hours. Yesterday, when we was still having fevers I took him with me to work since we couldn't send him to preschool. This was his second time he visited my office at the hospital and offered to see some of my patients for me which gave me a good chuckle.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:24 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by lovin'fl View Post
They were all over at HS with us that day (picture below is around 9:30). We FP Toy Story Mania around 10:30 and got a return time of 4-5pm...the stand by was at 70 minutes or something like that.

We went in January a few years ago and it was way less crowded than this trip. We thought it was better than spring break, 4th of July and Xmas...but it was still a bit too crowded for us. We have done 2 September trips that were perfect and the prior January trip as well. Maybe those kind of low crowd times are a thing of the past.

Love your live TR and can't wait to read your detailed TR. Thanks for sharing...and I agree about coming home to the blah gray weather here in the NE. So sad to leave sunny FL!!!!
I agree with you that the crowd levels were definitely higher than previous January crowds. It's definitely less than peak times. But it was pretty comparable to our last trip when we went in April about a week after Easter. That was surprising to me.

Not sure if this is just a blip for this year with New Fantasyland drawing in heavier crowds. My guess is that this is part of an increasing trend. We're thinking about going again next year during the last week of January when DD once again has a couple of student holidays - so we shall see.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:26 PM   #113
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I loved the live updates!!! Can't wait to read your trip report...and to get your ideas for a New Fantasyland touring plan!!
Happy to hear you enjoyed the live updates!

As for touring plans for New FL: Enchanted Tales with Belle is now your new Dumbo or your new Rapunzel Run. This is where you should be at rope drop.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:27 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by lauren_elizabeth View Post
How cool that you did a live trip while you were there this past week! We leave Saturday night and I'm hoping the weather and crowds are great!

Looking forward to reading your trip report! We're not too far from you in VA!
Hope you have a great trip! Which part of VA?
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:32 PM   #115
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Thanks everyone for checking in on my live updates during our trip!

I'm just about ready to start posting the first parts of my TR and should have something going in the next couple of days. Just have to finish going through all of the pictures!
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:17 AM   #116
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Hope you have a great trip! Which part of VA?
We've been in Stafford for the past year and a half, but were in Woodbridge before that. Woodbridge is where my husband and I both grew up and went to school
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:00 AM   #117
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We've been in Stafford for the past year and a half, but were in Woodbridge before that. Woodbridge is where my husband and I both grew up and went to school
You are pretty close by!

You and your family must be so excited with the trip being soooo close!
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #118
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A Wintry Prologue - How I Scored an Extra Day of Disney by Panicking.

(Just a little warning - these first couple of posts have very little pictures to go with them. Traveling solo with two young children doesn't yield many opportunities to take pictures especially if one of those kids likes to run off in random directions whenever he gets excited. But I promise, if you hang in there with me, the pictures will start pouring in!)

Oh, where to begin. Normally I would start my TR with our departure day, but I think for this particular trip it wouldn’t do justice if I didn’t start telling what happened during the 3 days preceding the trip. Right around Inauguration/MLK day, the weather forecasters began talking about a potential “winter storm” for our DC area. Of course, my heart skipped a few beats when I first read about it but told myself not to worry too much since they get these things wrong all the time for forecasts that far in advance. Still, I kept checking back at the weather blog site for the Washington Post looking for updates every chance I got. Each time I did, the forecast kept swerving towards unfavorable weather for our planned departure time on Friday evening.

By Tuesday afternoon, I was a giant ball of anxiety. I could just picture our flight being cancelled and our already short trip becoming even shorter. I looked up how long of a drive it would be to Disney but that did no good since we would still have to drive through the winter weather. I tried looking at alternative airports to fly out of within a two hour drive range but all of those airports would be impacted by the same weather system. The only option I could think of to avoid the whole mess was to leave on Thursday evening. I asked one of my colleagues at the hospital if she could cover for me for Friday and we agreed to swap our work days so that I didn’t have to be at the hospital on Friday. I emailed DD’s first grade teacher about her missing school on Friday and she told us that it was no problem. She made DD do the Friday’s class work ahead of time on Wednesday and she was set.

The problem was DW’s work schedule. She couldn’t get out of her morning work hours that she was scheduled for that Friday. So I was prepared to give up on the plan. DW then said that I should go with the kids on Thursday night, and that she would fly into MCO on Friday night as previously planned. I didn’t feel so good about that plan especially since there was a chance that DW could be left behind for a chunk of our Disney vacation if the flight got cancelled. DW’s answer: “I’m perfectly okay if that happens. Besides, it’ll still be much better than having to watch you get all cranky and filled with angst if the flight does get cancelled and we’re ALL stuck here”. Hmmm, couldn’t argue with that. So, I made the flight change for the three of us. DW would still fly in on Friday night. DFIL would still fly in from Ohio on Friday night as well. So there you have it. After all that, I gained a whole full day at Disney. As soon as the flight plans were set, I found an ADR for Akershus lunch for Friday. We were set.

Departure Day – Thursday 24th

Bags were packed the night before. I finished work around 1pm. When I got home DW had already picked up both kids. She drove us to the airport and saw us off at the security gates. DS started fussing about missing his mom which I tried my best to remind him that we will see her the next evening. We got on our flight with no problems. Both kids fell asleep and slept through the majority of the flight. Before she fell asleep, DD struck up a conversation with a 4 year old girl sitting in front of her and her mom sitting across from her on the aisle. They were trading stories about which hotel they were going to stay in Disney. The family was coming from Canada and this was their second leg of their flights.

(Please excuse the iphone photos - didn't have time to pull out my DSLR)



(I have noooo idea where this is but it was about 10 minutes after take off. By then, I had completely lost my sense of direction. But it does look pretty, doesn't it? )


Ok, let me go back and correct myself about the flight. It was pretty smooth for the most part. Except there was this tour group. The tour guide didn’t have a flag or anything. I mean, that would just look ridiculous in an airport.

As best as I could tell, the group was mostly made up of folks in their 30-50s. When it became boarding time, and as some of the members of this group began shoving their way to the front of the line when the gate attendant was calling for just “Zone 1”, things got a little frustrating. Three of their members were holding tickets to be seated in the emergency aisle. And none of them spoke or understood English so clearly does not meet the requirements to sit in those seats to start off with. Then the tour group leader who does speak English became defensive and began shouting at the attendant. Not a pleasant way to start the flight. Even when everyone was onboard, they were holding up the plane from taxiing back because they wouldn’t get in their seats. They were constantly playing musical seats trying to find their best buddy to seat with as the group was scattered throughout the airplane. So every time someone decided to change their mind on where to sit, the aisle person had to get up and let them in and out. Of course there was the obligatory trying to shove an oversized bag in to geometrically impossible spaces in the overhead bins.

We finally took off and I thought that was the end of that drama. The cabin lights were turned off so people could sleep. 10 minutes into the flight I see a series of camera flashes blinding me and the entire back portion of the cabin!! This one guy was trying to take pictures through his window. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. I don’t even know how the flashes help when you’re trying to take a picture out the window. I may be a beginner in photography, but I’m pretty sure the flash actually just gets in the way. Didn’t matter. Pop Pop Pop. I just had to chuckle at that point. The whole airplane ride felt like a bad experience on PotC with a tour group. Fortunately, the flashes eventually stopped. And it turned out that the rest of the trip was relatively free of any other run-ins with a tour group.

Eventually I got a little nap in as well. And before I knew it, we were on the ground on Orlando and riding the not-so-Disney monorail to the main terminal.

(I like to consider the MCO monorail as a practice run.)


Herded the kids through baggage claim and onto our minivan we picked up from Dollar. We were off. Windows down. Enjoying the temp in the 60s. We arrived at our one-night hotel at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista at Downtown Disney. As we passed through one of those Disney World arches over the roadways, I announced to the kids that we were finally here at Disney. DD then asked me if Disney World was the capital of Florida! I told her no but it very well should be!

While checking in at the front desk, I saw in the corner in my eye what appeared to be a platypus attempting to fly up from the first floor to the second floor. I turned to get a better look, and sure enough, Agent P was going up and down as two young girls were playing catch – one from the second floor balcony and one from the first floor. It was a funny sight. Since this extra night was unplanned I had to book this hotel last minute. The hotel was decent enough although I didn’t have enough time to spend in it to formulate a strong opinion one way or the other. I was starving so after the kids turned in for the night, I order room service and browsed on my ipad before falling asleep.

Next up: Our first day at Disney World with a LOT of park hopping.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:45 PM   #119
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Score on getting an extra day in the parks. What a nice wife you have. I hate tour groups!!! Sounds like they were as bad as the kids from Brazil.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:25 AM   #120
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Score on getting an extra day in the parks. What a nice wife you have. I hate tour groups!!! Sounds like they were as bad as the kids from Brazil.
DW really was really cool about us leaving a day early. I was more concerned than she was about the possibility that her flight could get cancelled but she was more confident that it would just be a delay.

We've had some good experiences with tour groups in the past at the parks where a couple of the members would do something randomly nice for the kids. But, you're right in that those nice encounters are far outweighed by the not so good ones. For the past couple of trips, we just turned in the opposite directions from them and modified our touring plans whenever we had to.
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