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Old 06-30-2013, 07:03 AM   #31
glassslippergirl
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The Many Adventures of the Winnie the Pooh Interactive Queue

The Many Adventures of the Winnie the Pooh Interactive Queue

Ready to go, we first picked up FP’s for Journey of the Little Mermaid, then got into the standby line for Winnie the Pooh. Several years ago after we were hit by Hurricane Wilma, my little cousin, then in kindergarten, smiled and told me, “The best part of the hurricane was the ice cream.” She elaborated that when the power went out, her mother let her have as much ice cream as she wanted; it was going to melt anyway. That memory of as much ice cream as a little girl could want sustained her through a bad storm and a week without electricity. My cousin, now going into seventh grade, probably does not remember this story, but I think of it often as it is a good lesson in making the best of a bad situation. I think that is what Disney is trying to do with the interactive queues it’s installing around the park. DH and I really enjoy the queue at the Haunted Mansion. We had tried the queue at Winnie the Pooh before, too, but it was a totally different experience with DS.

He started by playing drums on some of Rabbit’s vegetables. He loves anything that makes a noise when he hits it.


IMG_1791_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Then, he played with more vegetables,


IMG_1797_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

spun a flower or two,


IMG_1811_IJFR2 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_1812_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

and was busy as a bee playing with the bees to make “hunny” for Pooh.


IMG_1831_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_1841_IJFR2 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_1854_IJFR2 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

I think he had more fun playing the interactive queue than he did on the ride itself—I know we had more fun with him there. To think, there are still parts of this queue that he is too little to enjoy like the virtual wall of honey (he just didn’t get it) and the place where you step on something and make gophers appear in the garden. More fun to come!

Our next stop was the carousel, which we rode not once, but twice. The first time we sat on the bench.


IMG_1971_IJFR3 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

The second time, DS rode a horse.


IMG_2019_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_2013_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

I really like this photo taken on the carousel. I think it captures DS experiencing the wonder and magic of Disney World.


IMG_1998_IJFR2 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

After a quick stop at the new FLE gates, we headed off to our first experience Under the Sea: The Journey of the Little Mermaid.


IMG_1919_IJFR2 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:49 PM   #32
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Under the Sea without any Water

Under the Sea without any Water

We headed to use our fastpasses at Under the Sea: The Journey of the Little Mermaid. We were able to practically walk onto the ride, so no special adventures in this queue today. For all of us, it was our first time on this attraction. Since we’ve been to Disney World so many times in our lives, it is rare for us to have a totally new experience on a ride, so we were really looking forward to this. I had even spent the last six months avoiding any discussions and videos of the ride on Disboards and the blogs I read so that it would be a surprise. Overall, we found the ride visually stunning. There was always a lot going on—in the wrong hands, it would have been too much—but here it worked.

To me the biggest surprise, and my biggest question about the overall design, was that it was not a boat ride (yep, I really had avoided finding out about this ride). Especially when I consider that this ride was so close to the old site of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I would have thought that a water ride about the Little Mermaid was a natural fit. After riding, I understand that the vehicles allowed for greater freedom of movement through the ride—turns and such that would have not been possible in a boat—but I wish the imagineers had done more with actual water. I also question whether two attractions telling the story of the Little Mermaid are necessary in Disney World (Ariel's Undersea Adventure does the same in DHS).

No photos from this ride because we were busy enjoying our first experience with it. DH is excited to practice his photography skills in the big room the next time we visit.

We passed Gaston’s Tavern and suddenly felt thirsty. The memory of LeFou’s Brew was compelling us to stop for yet another. We had talked about it so many times over the week between our visits. DH also wanted to try the pork shank, so I asked him to get one of the cinnamon rolls I had heard so much about. What was just supposed to be a quick stop for a drink turned into a full-fledged lunch.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

DH really enjoyed the pork. He said that it was even better than the pork shank he had the previous week at the Pop Century food court, but he missed the mashed potatoes from Pop—those were the best mashed potatoes he had ever had.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

As for the much-acclaimed cinnamon roll, it was, as one reader commented on this trip report, as big as my head. Size was definitely something it had going for it. It was not the best cinnamon roll that I’ve ever had, though—very sweet and a bit doughy. I am glad that I tried it but doubt that I will again. The LeFou’s Brew was excellent as usual—sweet, icy, and refreshing.

We headed to Frontierland for the Country Bear Jamboree. When I was little, my grandparents took me to Disney World a few times a year. My grandpa had heart trouble, so rides which involved sitting down in air conditioning were a must throughout the day. The Country Bear Jamboree became a family favorite, especially since my grandpa and dad were both big guys named Al—insert Big Al joke here. I was excited to introduce DS to this family tradition, but, with a full belly, he fell asleep before we got out of Fantasyland.

We stopped at the Rapunzel bathrooms. I had to stop and take some pictures of the incredible detail. This mural, focusing on the healing flower from the movie, was inside the the ladies’ room.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

This was on the ceiling of the ladies’ room.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

No place but Disney would put so much time and detail into a bathroom. It’s really such a pretty little place both inside and out.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

And it’s good to know that DH’s favorite character from the movie is still getting work.


IMG_2060_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

It was beginning to drizzle, and DS was still sound asleep. We headed to Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. There is a quiet place with benches and shade behind the store where we waited for either a break in the weather or for DS to wake. When the weather broke, I ran to the City Hall to get a Fastpass to see Mickey. Would we finally get to meet the Mouse?
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #33
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Where’s Mickey? He’s Right Here, and Here, and Here, and There

Where’s Mickey? He’s Right Here, and Here, and Here, and There

The time had come. After two failed attempts to see Mickey on our son’s first trip to Disney World, we were determined to finally succeed. DS awoke, and after a quick trip to the baby center, we headed down Main Street to use our Mickey Fastpasses. On the way there, the nineteenth century women stopped us to meet DS. They and Smokey Miller, the fire chief of Main Street, sang him a little song.


IMG_2095_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

It was finally time to meet Mickey. I had checked the Fastpasses several times to make sure they were for the Mouse and not the princesses. We got in line and were soon ushered into what looked like a dressing room. And who was standing there? You got it-- the leader of the club that’s made for you and me, M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.

As with Minnie, DS loved Mickey’s nose. Mickey was patient and understanding.


IMG_2111_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

We also go a great family photo courtesy of the Photopass photographer. I think Mickey is performing some kind of magic.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

It was a great experience, and I left commenting to DH about how efficient it had been. We had been able to see Mickey so quickly and easily. But –SPOILER: NO KIDS SHOULD READ THE REST OF THIS INSTALLMENT—as we were leaving down a corridor lined with doors, another family came out of a room into the same corridor. Without their children hearing, I asked the father if they had just seen Mickey. “Yes,” he replied, smiling ironically as he realized that we had just seen Mickey too in another room. So it seems that the efficiency that we had been lauding comes at the expense of a little magic. Isn’t this a violation of one of Walt Disney’s cardinal rules—that a character should be in only one place in a park at a time to keep up the show? Or maybe Mickey is now like Santa, needing a lot of helpers to see all the children who want a visit.

Next, we headed for a ride on the train.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:54 PM   #34
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Laugh Floor Trifecta

Laugh Floor Trifecta


IMG_2151_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

DS was so happy on the train, and DH and I were getting tired, so we rode the train around the Magic Kingdom two full times, finally getting off at the Frontierland station to see the County Bear Jamboree. Of course, the parade was coming through at just that time. We could not cross the street so decided to save Big Al and the Gang for another trip.

But we couldn’t be in that part of the park without stopping for one of the best Disney treats ever. That’s right-- the Dole Whip. We usually get floats with pineapple ice cream and pineapple juice, but this time DH decided to mix it up with orange ice cream in his float. I thought he was crazy to mess with pineapple perfection—until I tried it. The orange ice cream is so refreshing that I will definitely be ordering it in the future. Yum!


Dole Whips by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

After crossing Main Street and heading to Tomorrowland, we took a quick ride on the Peoplemover.


IMG_2197_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

DS enjoyed the parts of the ride that were outside, but I had forgotten how much of that ride takes place in complete darkness. He was a trooper—no tears—but I think we were all relieved when the trek through Space Mountain was over.


IMG_2206_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

After the Peoplemover, we headed to our favorite MK attraction. We have a long history with the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. In 2009 on our Christmastime trip, DH was chosen as “that guy.” We put his “that guy” sticker on the back of a Tinkerbell ornament, so now every Christmas, we remember this experience.

Then, last year when I was six months pregnant with DS, I was chosen as the woman who “telepathetically” communicates the number to Buddy Boil. We had a long conversation before I communicated the number; it went something like this:
BB: Who is beside you, Laura?
Me: That’s my husband, John.
BB: John, you know there’s a room in this building named after you. Where did you meet?
Me: At college.
BB: What did you study?
Me: Education… and each other.
BB: You’re kinda stealing my jokes here.
BB: (to John) How long have you been married, John?
DH: Six years.
Me: Actually, it’s five.
BB: John, I bet you wish you were in that room with your name right now…

For the rest of the day, people kept wishing us a happy sixth anniversary.

Now, it was DS’s first visit to Monstropolis. The show was almost over. Marty Wazowski had delivered the jokes from the audience and was ready to close when he said to the audience, “Hey, do you want to see something real cute? It’s a human baby.” To our surprise, DS showed up on the screen! Everybody oohed and aahed. DS didn’t really know what to do, so he turned into my chest, which just made everyone ooh more.

Later, I asked DH what his favorite part of the trip was. He said it was this moment at the Laugh Floor—pretty magical.

It was almost dinner time, so we decided to head out. We checked into our hotel, the Extended Stay America just outside of the DTD entrance to the park, had a take-out dinner, and settled in for the night. Tomorrow would be the last day of DS’s first Disney adventure, and a SWW day, too. Exciting!
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:35 PM   #35
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All Good Things

I Am the Rebel Spy-- At Last

We awoke for our last Disney day and our last SWW day. DS had, as usual, slept poorly in the hotel, so I have to admit that I was glad we only had one hotel night this weekend. Still, fewer hotel nights meant less theme park time. We would have to leave Orlando today by 1:00 P.M. to get home by a reasonable hour. We ate the hotels continental breakfast and headed out to DHS.

It was Sunday, June 2, the day of Disneys annual ticket price increase. We were using the last day on our Discover Disney ticket, a deal for Florida residents, so we did not think that the rate increase would affect us. But I hadnt done my homework. Parking prices also increased, just by a dollar, but it was now $15 to park. Thats not really important, but it took me by surprise.

DS had his first tram ride, at least the first one he was awake for. He has always loved the wind in his face, so he had a lot of fun on the open-air vehicle.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

We got there soon after rope drop, so there was hope that we could get FPs for TSMM. Well, the FPs were for after our 1:00 cutoff date. We took those to give away as we left, but the line for the ride was less than 30 minutes. Yeah! We were going to ride Toy Story Mania!

DS would not wear the ride glasses.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

But he did have fun riding. I got my lowest score ever because he kept trying to help me. I cant wait until he can play for himself. He will have so much fun challenging his dad to see who can get the higher score.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

I always got a kick out of the oversize toys in TSMM. We as we exited the ride, we stopped for a picture at this book. The lines at the bottom of the page, The baby giggled! He was happy, reminded me of DS, whom it seems is always smiling and laughing, except, of course, in this photo.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Next, we had to do some SWW stuff. DH needed his Star Wars fix. It was still early, so the characters were not out in force yet, but we did find this Clone Trooper.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

For more Star Wars fix, we did a child swap on Star Tours.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

It was a big event for DH. When the ride reopened during the first SWW in 2011, he literally rode the it 20 times in that one weekend. (Really, we would walk off, then get right back in line over and over again.) We also went to the other three SWW that year and rode at least five times more each weekend. And we had visited the park and ridden another five or six times since. (You can tell that this is one of DHs favorite attractions.) On all of those rides, neither of us had ever been selected as the Rebel spy. We always hoped and always were just a little bit disappointed when it didnt happen. (Of course, the ride helped us quickly get over our disappointment.)

Well, this was DHs weekend. As the ride began, he broke out his best Down Under accent (like Boba and Jango Fett in Episode 2) and drawled, There better not be any Rebel spies on board. That must have made someone backstage laugh because, during his Millennium Falcon opening, his picture was posted as that of the Rebel spy. Back in 2011, we had vowed that if either of us was ever chosen, that person would get the I am the Rebel Spy tee-shirt. We finally had cause to make good on that vow!

After Star Tours, we trekked to Darths Maul for the Rebel Spy tee-shirt and a few more SWW goodies that DH could not live without. We got FPs for RnR (again for past 1:00 -- but they would go to brighten someones day as we exited the park ); the standby line was 120 minutes, and we werent about the try that, so a RnR child swap would have to wait for another trip.

It was getting on our 1:00 deadline. Lunch was in order. We chose the Backlot Express, which is something of a SWW tradition for usmostly because of its close proximity to Star Tours and the other SWW events. I know there are a lot of complaints about the food service choicesboth counter service and table service-- at DHS, and I generally agree with that, but we have always found that the limited menu at Backlot is at least prepared well, and we love the refills from the open soda fountains there. (I really wish that Disney would go to this model in all counter service restaurants, but I know that RFID chips in drink cups, limiting refills, are a more likely prospect).

Speaking of the soda fountain, this sign over the fountain always makes me laugh (DH's name is John, and his family calls him Johnny).


johnny sign by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

I had the nuggets, DH had the hamburger, and DS had Cheerios and baby food. We all left happy and with full bellies.


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


Untitled by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

And so ended our DSs first trip to Disney World. After a quick trip to the baby center, we found a young couple to give the RnR FPs to (they were so happy) and a mother and child to give the TSMM passes. We always try to do this if we dont use the passes; it spreads a little pixie dust. Then, we went through the gates the sad way. Thats how I always think of it when we exit the park at the end of a Disney tripgoing through the gates the sad way.

Of course, that just means we have to come back again soon and enter the happy way.

Last edited by glassslippergirl; 07-21-2013 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:41 PM   #36
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Great report! I have enjoyed this so much! Your son is adorable, and you have some fantastic photos.

I love how you hit the Laugh Floor trifecta! How cool that your son got on screen. And then to have your DH chosen as the Rebel Spy after so many tries! This is like the perfect trip!

I went in the spring with a friend who hadn't been on Star Tours before. When her face came up on screen as the Rebel Spy, she was afraid it meant something bad was going to happen to her - like she'd be in the ejection seat or something! I had to get her a T-shirt too.

I sure envy you guys living so close - your baby is going to be a Disney veteran before he's three!

TP
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #37
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Lessons Learned

Before this trip, DH and I had never traveled with a baby. I started planning by asking a bunch of questions on this threadhttp://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3069147. The information was invaluable. I took a lot of the advice. Here's what I learned from the experience.

1. Everyone, and I mean everyone, suggested going back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. We tried it, and it did not work for DS. We spent a really miserable hour trying before just going to the pool. I am sure we will try afternoon breaks again on a future trip when DS is older, but for now, stroller naps worked so much better.

2. We have never been regular on-property guests. We can save so much money staying off-property, and that means more trips. I thought that might change with DS's arrival-- that the convenience might trump the savings. After trying both, we remain in the off-property camp. Pop's room was smaller and noisier than our room at Extended Stay. It was easier to use our car than Disney busses, so no added convenience there. I do enjoy on-property theming but will trade it for the savings.

3. The baby centers are awesome. I had no idea there would be microwaves, a sink to wash bottles, a TV playing cartoons, high chairs, or big, luxurious changing tables. I don't know what I expected, but I look forward to using them again.

4. In my initial post with questions, I asked for the best character breakfast for character interaction. Cape May Cafe got the most "votes." It was great! Ohana came in second, and we can't wait to try it in the future.

5. The first haircut experience was THE BEST. They made such a big deal about such a little thing. I would recommend it to anyone. DH wanted to get his hair cut, too, but there was no sink for washing it after being sweaty all day. I think I will schedule a father-son haircut first thing in the morning on a future trip.

6. I wish we had tried staying for fireworks one night even if we watched somewhere less crowded like Poly beach. It might have kept DS out late, but he probably would have had fun like he did watching Fourth of July fireworks. What's the worst that could have happened? DS would be up late crying in the hotel? Oh, wait, that happened anyway.

7. I am so glad we took the advice to bring our own stroller and the baby carrier. DH is very protective of our stroller, so I bought a used one very in expensively on Craig's List. I fixed it up, but when I took DS for a walk, one of the inflatable tires went flat. It was irreparable, and the company no longer made replacement parts. With time running out, I bought an umbrella stroller at Target. When I tried it, oh my! I'm almost six feet tall, and the stroller was made for a shorter demographic. I had to hunch over to push it. And DS was even more uncomfortable. We made the last minute decision to take our own stroller which made DS happy and probably facilitated the good stroller naps. As for the baby carrier, I used it in lines and with characters.

8. DH's birthday present of renting an expensive camera lens was money well spent. DH got so many great pictures and had so much fun. And the rental company was good to work with. We will do this again.

9. DH's birthday gift of renting an expensive camera lens will probably be a very expensive gift in the long- run as he now wants to buy the lens.

Thus ends my trip report. It was a great first trip with DS.

Best wishes,

Laura
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