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Old 04-30-2013, 11:52 AM   #16
choppee
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Magic Day-Magic Memories

So! When I last left off, we were in the Magic Kingdom enjoying our first day. Our kids were thrilled to be inside the magic, and my hubby and I were transported by the joy on their faces. We were in the Small World attraction, and the kids were singing along. My youngest, Fatdaddy, was singing along the loudest! He loved this song and sang it over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over....



On our way out, my son caught his first sight of the Disney Train! As he freaked out (he LOVES trains!), we decided we HAD to go ride on the train! This suited our plans, since the kiddos were getting hungry, and it was close to their naptime--note: our kids always napped for at least two hours a day! I love this about them, and am riding that horse for as long as she goes!!!!



On the train! My four year old is in heaven. He kept saying "choo!choo!" as we rode along. By this time, my feet were thanking me.



We left the park. It was really hot by this time, and we needed nourishment, quiet, and some rest. We went back to the condo, ate some sub sandwiches and dropped into the bed. Would you believe that we slept for three hours??? It was about 2:30 when we returned to the condo, and 3:30 when we fell asleep. That put us at around 6:30 to 7:00 when we all woke back up and started puttering around. We quickly arose, threw something down our gullets, and returned to the park around 8:00. Seems late, but hey, we had Magic Hours until 2:00 am courtesy of my family friend! So we weren't in any rush. When we got back, I got a nice surprise....



Wow! I didn't know that they did light shows with the castle at night! Too impressive. Sorry for the lame pic, but I was in a hurry. We had someone we had to see...guess who?



Ooooohhhhh yeeeeaaahhhh....gotta see the girl who's playing me! Being a Louisiana creole, I absolutely LOVE this chick! My girls identify with her a lot too. Isn't she great? And you know what? The guy who played Prince Naveen was too funny--he kept nodding his head like some wiseguy. Cracked the kids up!

For some reason the pic I have of the kids with her isn't loading. But that's okay...please believe that the kids were pulling on her and asking her to come home with us so that they could bring her to show and tell at school... Hated to break their hearts with that one!

We moved onto the next scheduled location...wanted to stay near the front of the park because Wishes would be on soon. The front was loaded with people! This was, however, to our advantage! We found the lines to see the princesses was nearly a walk up!


Can you tell which girl is the girlie girl??? Fatdaddy is holding a glow in the dark axe that I found in the Dollar Store. He kept showing it to all the princesses and they were properly impressed. They were really wonderful!

He even scored several kisses!



Next to Wishes! And I "Wishes" I had pix for you, but guess what? Two things: my pix that I did take are horrible, and my son is terrified of fireworks! We found this out during this trip and it was a nightmare. He screamed bloody murder from the start, and I spent the rest of it trying to calm him down in a store shop nearby. The cast members were really sweet wiping his tears away and reassuring him, but his little heart was beating so fast I could feel it through his chest. Oh, well. Live and learn! I was sorry that I hadn't realized my four year old would be so frightened from fireworks. Hubby stayed outside and enjoyed the fireworks with the girlies who LOVED them! Motherhood kept me inside. Anyone else relate????

So. After Wishes we marched along looking for something to return the magic for the little one. And guess where we went? Buzz Lightyear! Another favorite of his.



We also did Thunder Mountain (four times!!! all the kids loved it!) Splash Mountain (twice!) and Winnie the Pooh. By this time it was nearly two in the morning and I am BEAT. The kids are beginning to wilt as well.



I'm thinking that it's time to say good night to Magic Kingdom and save some excitement for another day. Tomorrow we are going to the Studios!

What I learned:
  1. Follow the Touring Plans! They really do work.
  2. It is really okay to leave the park and come back. It will still be there!
  3. Enjoy the little things! The cast members who recognized our buttons and gave us little smiles, gifts, extra FPs really made our day!
  4. Rest!
  5. Baby boy HATES fireworks! Plan accordingly. Get earplugs maybe???
  6. Don't try to see everything. Gotta leave something for the next time!
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #17
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I'm loving your report! It's so fun to see you all enjoying everything for the first time.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:52 PM   #19
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Great update. Yes get baby boy ear plugs, life will be so much better. How sweet of DD#2 to take up for Cinderella. IMHO if kids are still resting in the afternoon it would be worth while to rent DVC points and stay closer. Remember ladies don't sweat we glow Can't wait to read about next day.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by luckylady View Post
Great update. Yes get baby boy ear plugs, life will be so much better. How sweet of DD#2 to take up for Cinderella. IMHO if kids are still resting in the afternoon it would be worth while to rent DVC points and stay closer. Remember ladies don't sweat we glow Can't wait to read about next day.
You are so right. I am NEVER coming to WDW without earplugs again! And yes, I was proud of my little Strawberry for taking up for Cinderella--it made me understand that my kiddies are really paying attention to the lessons that those stories are trying to explain. Score!

In the future, I will certainly rent DVC points. We are going again in a month and will be staying at Orange Lake Resort. We are only going to be going to two parks this trip which will be a week long--because of the furious pace of our last trip and the fact that we were gifted the stay in the condo at Orange Lake we decided to see only two parks. I will not stay off site again if I can help it, not to sound ungrateful! It's just that staying off site is a lot of moving around, and I like the option to have the dining plan because hey, really, who wants to spend your time in the kitchen on vacation??? This summer, we are eating out and asked for gift certificates at area restaurants for our past birthdays (me and hubby). Family really came through! We have almost $200.00 worth in gift certificates. Thanks fam!
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:37 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MagicKisses2 View Post
I'm loving your report! It's so fun to see you all enjoying everything for the first time.
Thanks so much for joining! I appreciate your company.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:38 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
You guys are too cute....no way I can't sign-up for this report!

I'm loving it! It's awesome to hear a first-timer's perspective.
Thanks for joining! Hope you enjoy the ride!
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #23
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Yea for family who understand the need to go to Disneyworld. Hay if the place isn't going to cost anything I'd stay there to. Your right, no one wants to cook on vacation. We also learned the first time about staying off site, only our stay was in Lake City I think it is called. 45 minutes down the road. Keep up the great work on teaching your kids compassion. So many don't have it these days.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:18 PM   #24
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Soopah staahhz! We're at the Studios!

The next day we all slept in due to the fact that we had been out so late last night (didn't get in until 2:30-3:00! ) and we were all exhausted. I didn't want to push the family so hard that this became a vacation they would remember with dread, so we took it easy. Didn't get to the Studios until about 11 or 12 that next day. I know! I've learned. Don't schedule two hard park days in a row! Well, I only had four days to visit the parks and had scheduled for us to see all four parks.... I know. Pure foolery. I will NEVER do a lot of the stuff I did again. Like I said before, LIVE AND LEARN! I did read the advice a lot of you guys gave, but apparently I didn't apply it as well as I should have. In retrospect, I gave importance to the park stuff and ignored all the things that supported the trip itself. Gonna cook up a new plan this summer and do it differently. You'll see when I do my pre-trip report and/or trip report in the future! It's cooking now...

So all rested, we got into the car and drove off the World. My Strawberry lady is looking forward to seeing her hero...Ariel! I promised her that we would be sure to do just that. We parked and got onto the tram that takes you to the front entry way.


Me with my shades...and yes! I found those earrings in Walmart of all places. Love them!



I found the entry to be a bit underwhelming....but hey, so what? I don't know quite what I expected, to be honest. Lots of folk! But I expected that.


We started walking around the location and was immediately aware that the place was verycrowdedwithpeople!!! My sonny boy right away starts asking to go back to the hotel. Too hot! Too crowded! So I make a decision...let's go someplace out of the crowds! So I see a meet and greet for Buzz Lightyear! Score. We head in and all complaining stops.


This picture actually cracks me up--it's like Buzz is telling Fatdaddy to calm down!


After leaving the meet and greet, son all happy again, we notice that the crowds are still large, and that the heat is going to get to us if we don't get out of it. So what to do? Keep a promise to a little girl. We go and see her heroine!



We found this to be a great show, full of wonderful A/C. The underwater effect was fascinating to the Strawberry. "Are we really underwater? How can we breathe? Can we swim?" All this until the show actually started.

We decided to do another show, this one being another of our kids' favorites....Disney Junior!



Nice A/C again! And the storyline kept the kids rapt with attention. I couldn't believe that they stayed so attentive for this show. Score!

Next up, the kids decided they wanted to play. Hey, Hubby and I are just along for the ride anyway, so we decided to check into the attraction Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! They loved this area, and stayed almost an hour!



It was really neat how they made it seem like we had shrunk with all the giant items. The Monster had a great time with the ants and the grass--we played hide and seek for quite a while!

Hubbs and I decided that the crowds had cleared enough for a few items that we wanted to do. We also saw the Indiana Jones show (I'm a HUGE Indiana Jones fan!), and we rode the Tower of Terror! I know what you're thinking...we tortured the little one! No, we switched off! The girls had a blast. They were 6 and 8 and made of steel, apparently. Forgot to mention that we went on the Haunted Mansion in MK as well, and the kids were having fun with that until the little one saw his first ghostie...Live and learn. Made sure to switch off, this time. I loved it!

By this time, we were scheduled to do Fantasmic, and well, you know, the Fatdaddy wasn't trying to hear it. So you know what happened, Hubby and the girls got to view it and I stayed in the back area with the son. Sigh. This year, I swear, I will have EARPLUGS!

Things I learned!
  1. Never schedule a "Do or Die" trip! Make time for days in between parks!
  2. EARPLUGS! EARPLUGS! EARPLUGS!
  3. The Switch Off option is great if you want to visit the big people rides!
  4. Do more ADRs...you can eat at the parks more easily than you think.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:21 PM   #25
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Haven't finished reading it all yet but really enjoying it
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:08 AM   #26
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy13 View Post
Haven't finished reading it all yet but really enjoying it
Thanks! I think I'm getting the hang of this. Next trip report will be more streamlined and cohesive, I think. I will take better pix, focus on the interesting points and do food porn! Have a lot more ADRs this next trip in June.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #27
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Shakin' and Bakin'

So! This was our last day in the condo at the Polynesian Isles. I had planned to move to our second resort this morning while the hubbs took the girlies to Epcot. Fatdaddy was a little tired and did not go. He spent extra time in bed and time with mommy! This was a good plan, because I wanted everybody to feel happy in the long run. Can you tell I'm a people pleaser?

Moving out and moving in lasted the morning. Hubs placed all our bags in the van and I dropped him and the girls off. Fatdaddy and I raced to our new place which was the Orange Lake Resort. Very nice! Wished we had had a little time to really enjoy the pool, though. Live and learn!

After I moved us in (left the bags for the hubby to get!), we left the resort to get to Epcot (or Epocot like Fatdaddy called it). We were planning to meet for an ADR at a French restaurant! Being a French teacher, you know this had to happen!

We didn't get pix of the meal we ate, but we sure loved the dessert! Here I'll post a few pix....

Baby girl giving daddy a kiss 'cause he said they can have dessert! He's a wuss with the girls!!!


Me and Fatdaddy! I think that's our food on the tray in the back...sorry! Will do better next time.


And wow! Guess who came to visit! One of the kids' favorites. Remy! My daughter tried to speak French with the guy. She did pretty well! My son wasn't interested. Chocolate cake! A very rare opportunity for him! He's eating as fast as he can because he thinks I will change my mind...


I enjoyed this nice restaurant, and I enjoyed speaking French with the servers who were all francophone. My husband, who's only French is "French toast" and "French fries", was happy to let me and the kids order for him! He got some chocolate cake too.

We walked out and did a little sight seeing. We had to stop by Lightning McQueen and Mater...


And as we walked enjoying the sights, we noticed some drizzle falling! Good thing I packed these Dollar Store rain ponchos! Score!


We decided to leave while the rain poured down. We knew we could come back for Magic Hours (thanks friend), and the girls needed some down time.

When we returned, we did the Test Track four times! Really loved that attraction. Gave us the need for speed that we all loved. The kids loved the cars at the end!



Sitting in the front seat as the driver gave them a real thrill!


We have one more park to go...looking to a fun day tomorrow.

What I learned!
  1. It's okay to take an easy day or an off day. Gotta leave something to come back to see!
  2. REST!
  3. Eat dessert first!
  4. Moving from place to place is a bad idea with kids. Too much drama!
  5. If you can, stay on site!
  6. The Dollar Store is a great resource for necessities that are way too expensive to purchase on site.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #28
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You are such a fantastic storyteller! Thanks for letting us (me) reminisce with you.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #29
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Animals!

This was the park that I was really looking forward to. Animal Kingdom held interest to me because I love The Lion King! I saw the Broadway play--can you say amazing? Really loved it.

Since we had such an easy day at Epcot--late start, early retire--we were good to go to arrive fairly early at Animal Kingdom. We parked, got onto the tram and we were on our way in! Loved the entry--African elephants are waaaayyy cool!


Though I've never been to Asia or Africa, I loved what seemed to be the authenticity of the sights! The Harambe Market was a place I could explore for hours!


While we were walking and enjoying the sights, the kids caught a glimpse of some very important characters that I had never introduced to them before...remember these guys? They had a ball with them. No wait!


Mount Everest was next! Alas, Fatdaddy was too little, so I stayed with him. He didn't mind--a cast member entertained him and other little bitty kiddies with some bubbly fun!


We met back up and Monster stated that she wanted to see some dinosaurs! Easy enough to do...let's go and find some! We rode this ride and all the kids had a ball. Can't remember the name of the ride, but it was in the Dinosaur area.



We did the Jurassic ride, but this wasn't a good one for the littles...they hid their faces and shook during the ride. Hm...we hurried them away from that encounter, though hubby and I liked it. We decided to use our fastpasses for something more tame. A safari!


We are all seated and ready to go. The kids are excited to be seeing some real wildlife. They are big animal lovers.


I really loved the landscaping of this animal preserve!


The horns on these bovines were incredible! The photos do not do them justice.


And look! Look how close this one got! Really lucked out with this pic.


An elephant! Just like the entrance. Beautiful!


The flamingo babies were extremely cute! You can barely see the little grey puffs of feathers on the ground, but there are there.


The guy who did our tour was extremely knowledgeable about the animals, and he answered all our kids' questions with great responses. He even took a pic with the kids! Wonderful!


Walking away, I watched this guy do his work. I should have bought something, it was so beautiful. He was from Nigeria and was a true craftsman.


So...we were hungry by now. Where shall we eat? Why, we will eat where I scored some coupons for the kids! And they loved this place!


Continued in next post...
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:43 AM   #30
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Last Day in the World

So when I last posted, I mentioned that we were going to eat our lunch at the Rainforest Cafe! This was actually outside of the park, and we had to exit to get into the main entrance of the restaurant. Something to consider, so keep your tickets handy! We spent a little time in the area while the kids enjoyed the sights and played in the open space.


We checked in and the kids were immediately drawn to the giant aquarium near the front entrance. They asked, "Can we get one of these?" And put it where??? They found Dori and Nemo several times...


Finally! I remembered to do some food porn. Fatdaddy got the pizza...ate every bit!


Strawberry followed suit, and the Monster got her usual sliders. They were perfect little burgers!


Hubby got a chicken sandwich and I remember getting a seafood something with scallops...I remember because the scallops were in a cream sauce that I found to be a little off-putting. I removed the sauce! Otherwise, we were happy with our choices.

In the gift area, we browsed around--Strawberry just talked with this tree...I found the tree to be creepy, but she and Fatdaddy really liked it! Monster thought it was weird too, and stuck by me.


Once we finished, we went outside, returned to the park and took a walk in the wooded area. The kids had a great time running around and finding the birds that roamed freely.


Loved the parrots! They were so colorful. Monster said they looked like rainbows with wings!


We walked around and found ourselves back at the Harambe Market. There was some really interesting music...we decided to check it out! Loved these guys.


After their performance, they took a pic with the kids. Really nice! Let our son play with one of their drums for a few minutes. He loved it!


A quick family pic...


When we walked away, we decided to try and see Raifiki's Watch. You know what that means...a train! I liked the sideways orientation. so did the kiddies.


We did see Pocahantas at Raifiki's Watch, but unfortunately, I don't seem to have a pic! Sorry, still learning. But on the way back, we finally got to see the Big Cheese!


This was actually the best line for Mickey that I had seen in all the parks. Everywhere else, the line was intolerable! Here, we stayed in line only 10 minutes!


After doing Nemo, Kali River, and the Lion King after the meet and greet, the kids began to wind down. We felt it would be best to head on back to the condo. We were leaving Orlando the next day, and would need the time to pack up, rest, and just kick back. We headed out around 6:00 pm that day.

What I learned!
  1. Animal Kingdom is a great shady park!
  2. Double check with the cast members if the ride is scary!
  3. AK is a great spot to see the Mouse! Best lines for him anywhere
  4. Check the height requirements before hand to avoid disappointments
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