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Old 05-25-2013, 10:05 PM   #16
MeeskaMomma
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When I left off we had returned to AoA and DS had taken a nice long nap. When he woke up the 3 of us finally hit the cozy cone pool as a family. Of course we said hi to all the cars on the way.










For some reason DS was fascinated by Mater's mouth.

That was nice sneak peak of my AoA photos. We spent most of the next day at the resort so I have plenty more to post.

After our swim we made the long trek over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our ADR at Boma. I say long trek because we had to ride the bus to Animal Kingdom and then catch another bus to AKL. Unfortunately we didn't realize this bus makes two stops, at the villas and then the lodge, so we got off at the wrong stop. We wondered around the villas for a while before finally asking someone where we could find Boma. They explained our situation and led us to the shuttle.

After a quick shuttle ride we were there!

AKL is beautiful. It was really nice just to explore the place. We were really early so we had plenty of time to roam.

At last it was time for Boma, which smelled amazing. Boma was one of my favorite meals. DS was less enthusiastic. We both enjoyed a rasberry piña coladas and I wished I had discovered them earlier. I especially enjoyed the various salads with cous cous and quinoa. Oh and the desserts were unique and fantastic.

Apparently we didn't take any photos of Boma or AKL ::
To be fair I wasn't planning on a TR.

But stay tuned because I have a ton of photos coming your way for our DTD and resort day.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:42 AM   #17
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Oh no! I am already to our last full day

Our last day was a rest day. We slept late and let DS play in the room a bit.
He had opened the last of his Tinker Bell Toys and was having a lot of fun with them.



Once ready we moseyed over to the buses (still DS's favorite thing) to head for Downtown Disney.

Our first stop was the toy store. DS was interested in one thing:

I think it is a sign we are raising him right.

After that we made our way to the Lego store.

DH was super excited about this. He had big plans. He really wanted to do the build your own thing. Not really sure what that is, but I guess you can assemble something there with a plethora of pieces and hen buy it? Any who, there was a field trip so the store was. Crazy busy. DS had fun...

...and made some friends.










After that it was on to the Dinosaur store. DS found the Dinosaur Train section and made himself at home.


He loves Dinosaur train! (I mean it has "sosaurs" and "choo choos", what genius dreamed that up!) we got him the little dinosaur train and he still plays with it every day. Also for some reason he has to have the little dinosaur for bath time.

Uh oh, we also found a computer.

Next was the store I had been itching to get to...the world's largest Disney store.

Here I am with Aurora my favorite princess as a girl. My oh so Czech grandmother told me Aurora was Czech like me, which I thought was really cool. (umm she really isn't, what were you trying to pull Grandma?) I think she may be German which is close right? (Grandma you didn't hear me say that)

DS found the Mickey's

I will have all the Mickies!!!


Okay just this one.

We actually didn't get any Mickey's. DS had already gotten lots of stuffed animals, and we needed to save something special for next year!

I did get him a really cool Disney world sticker book I have squirreled away for our trip next year. It was an item I didn't see at any other store and it looks really cool.

I really want to decorate the castle with stickers!!


If I haven't mentioned it before DS LOVES sticker books.

Up next, as promised LOTS of cool AoA photos!!!

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Old 05-26-2013, 10:26 AM   #18
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I'm following along. I love all the pictures of your son and of the AoA.

He looks like he's in heaven with all the Cars Can't wait to see more of your trip.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberg93 View Post
I'm following along. I love all the pictures of your son and of the AoA.

He looks like he's in heaven with all the Cars Can't wait to see more of your trip.
Thanks Amber. He was so in heaven!
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:09 PM   #20
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A quick note about aphakia.

I mentioned earlier that my son was diagnosed with cataracts at 6 months. He had his lens removed at 7 months and hasnt recieved his IOL's yet (that is how older people with cataracts are treated, IOLs in babies are a lot riskier) and is now considered aphakic. Since pediatric cataracts are extremely rare, aphakia is extremely rare (although it can be causes by other things). One of the interesting effects of being aphakic is that since you don't have lenses filtering UV light you can actually see into the UV spectrum. (basically my son has a super power ) However there is a downside. Aphakics are also extremely light sensitive and theirretina is extremely susceptible to damage from uv light. This is why our son wears such dark sunglasses. We were also told to avoid black lights. Some bright indoor lights really bother my son as well.

I don't know if you guys have noticed this, but ALOT of rides use black lights. I mean why not, they are really cool. The problem is we didn't think about this until we were half way through these rides. It is hard enough to juggle between his indoor an outdoor glasses when walking indoors, I was super nervous to make the shuffle when I was nervously holding onto him while riding a moving boat, clam etc.

We were also worried his super dark outdoor glasses would prevent him from being able to see much of what was going on. The plan for next year is to see about getting some lenses that are lightly tented so he can see indoors but still be protected. I think the older he gets the more lens options we will have.

I brought this topic up in the disABILITIES thread because while it is an odd and rare problem to have I am sure it affects other people. A lovely member started a list of Rides that use UV light but she was pretty sure it was incomplete.

If your reading this and a DisneyVet, do you mind pooping over to the Disabilities thread and helping out with the list? It would be nice list to have. We haven't had any aphaikics on the boards speak up, but it would be nice to have a completed list to share with the aphakic yahoo group.

Here is a link to the thread.

http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=...44&postcount=1
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #21
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Joining in. It looks like you had a great time on your trip so far. I don't know about you, but the last day is always the hardest day for me.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #22
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The spreadsheets

Before I get to the resort photos, I thought I would share some of my pre-trip planning.

I have mentioned my planning binder and spreadsheets a couple of times. I am pretty proud of these suckers so I thought I would share some of my spreadsheets in case others find them useful.

First the itinerary. I used the travel wizard at :

http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/aspx/twiz.aspx

To get travel time estimates. They were actually extremely accurate. I also looked at ride time lengths on undercover tourist to get an estimate of no long each ride would take. I also took into account walking times. There aren't really any maps that show distances between rides but I found an app called "measure" that lets you measure the distance between things. Our family walks at about a 18-20 minute mile if we are REALLY strolling so I used a 20 minute mile to calculate our walking times.

Without trying to hard we were actually perfectly on schedule in the mornings. The afternoons were another story since we went back to the resort later than expected and returned to the park later.

I love having an itinerary but keep in mind the point of an itinerary is to keep you from standing around scratching your head thinking what's next, it is not an appointment schedule. It should not add stress to the trip. I have had people say, I could never micromanage a trip like that, my family wouldn't have it. It is not micromanaging, it is just having a plan, and then being flexible once there.

This was my first Disney itinerary, but the format is something have used for other things. I am continually tweaking it. Right now it is what works for me.



Next the budget. I took a screen shot of this one a little under construction, since I have started planning for next year. There are many mini budgets that make this one up. The red numbers are actuals. It does take into account Pre-trip prep costs which I expect to go down next year. (that is the $100 next to each persons name). I think I did pretty good this year, especially on flights. Next year we are planning on going longer and I don't expect to get as good a deal on the resort do we increased our budget.



The next picture is part of our dinning budget. I originally created this to figure out if the Disney Dinning plan would be worth it, but it really came in hand. It was nice knowing ahead of time what we were spending, it meant no, should I really get that? What do you think sweetie? And got us in and out faster which is important with a 2 year old. You may notice we REALLY splurged on dinning. We love food, and don't ever go out to eat at home, so why not.



Next is a quick spreadsheet I through together to price out different packages. Nothing to fancy there.



I also had a pack lit, a wardrobe spreadsheet, and a checklist. I am not sure they would be helpful to anyone else so I didn't take a picture of those.

If you like my templates and would like a copy send me a pm with your email and. I would be happy to send them to you.

I know not everyone plans like this, but for us all the pre-trip planning made for a stress free trip.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioDisneyLover View Post
Joining in. It looks like you had a great time on your trip so far. I don't know about you, but the last day is always the hardest day for me.
Thanks for joining in! I agree! i think I am putting off writing about the last day because I don't want to stop reliving our trip!

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Old 05-28-2013, 02:12 PM   #24
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AoA part 1

Finally I am getting to more of my AoA photos. AoA is such a fun resort I have been really excited to share these.

When I left off we had just finished our shopping at Downtown Disney. I original plan was to order a Giordsno's pizza, because I haven't had one since I lived in Chicago 9 years ago. Then we discovered the pizza at Landscapes of Flavor was actually pretty good so we went the easy route.


DS returning to our building.

I mentioned in my first post that we came to call Landscapes of Flavor, Landscapes of Despair. Allow me to clarify. The food is pretty good, and the CM's are really friendly, but it is an absolute madhouse. I don't have experience with any of the other food courts at Disney so maybe they are all like this, but we found it a very stressfully experience just getting food and checking out was a whole other ordeal! It seems like every time we would go to check out we would be behind someone with a problem. Usually it had to do with the Disney dinning plan, inevitably something they thought was covered wasn't, so then a big discussion between mom and dad ensued "should we get the item? Should we just pay cash?" or between customer and cm "well why isn't it covered?" meanwhile junior is understandably loosing patience, he or she just wants their food! And so do we for that matter. Needless to say this experience did not leave me with a very high opinion of the Disney Dinning Plan.

We did survive and made it back to the room with this delicious pizza.



After lunch DS took a super long nap. This gave me and DS each a chance to walk around explore the resort by ourselves and buy some souvenirs!

These are the photos I took while walking around.


The chandelier in the hall of animation.




More from the hall.


The big blue pool.


Nemo birds! Sometimes they would go "mine, mine" when you walked by.

Entering Radiator Springs






Ahhh Radiator Springs.

Near the Hourglass Lake






Our view.


We took turns at the gift shop. I bought a simple souvenir that would keep the mouse with me at all times.



DH got DS the best gift ever!

"Pit pit!" (Pitstop) DS's favorite! It now hangs in his room and DS still gets, to say goodnight to PitPit

DH also got me this awesome mug.

I use it every morning.

He also had a couple of other things up his sleeve for mother's day, but I will get to that later.

I am going to have to leave off there for now. I have a lot more AoA photos coming, we spent the rest of the day exploring!
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #25
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love the keychain and maybe its because I'm hungry but the pizza looks delicious!!!!

great update
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:27 PM   #26
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love the keychain and maybe its because I'm hungry but the pizza looks delicious!!!!

great update
Thanks! It makes me happy every time I grab my keys! The pizza was delicious

I see you return in 6 days!!! How exciting!!!
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #27
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yes!!! I'm so excited..... this is going to be the L.O.N.G.E.S.T week ever!!
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:53 PM   #28
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yes!!! I'm so excited..... this is going to be the L.O.N.G.E.S.T week ever!!
Do you have any fun Pre-Disney traditions?
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:20 PM   #29
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At 101 days out we watched 101 Dalmatians and I cooked cupcakes with Dalmatian toppers. When we watched wreck it Ralph I bought napkins with Ralph on them and put by their plate at dinner. I picked up Star Wars cups and plates and we used those when we watched all the star wars movies to prepare for Star Wars week-ends. Lots of random things like that. My oldest who is 13 usually just laughs when he sees it because he thinks he is soooo grown up!

We made a countdown chain and each morning my 10 year old takes a link off..

The last few weeks I have been changing the background pic on my phone to different Disney characters and theme park attractions – just little things to get them excited
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:36 PM   #30
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I love it!!! I am definitely stealing some of those ideas! Especially the 101 Dalmatians thing.
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