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Old 05-10-2014, 09:39 AM   #1
worldtraveler996
Earning My Ears
 
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My Kingdom for a Slushy! An Apr2014 TR

Hello Everyone! I'm Emily and my family and I just got back from my wonderful vacation at Disney. Too bad it had to end, but now I can share my experience with you wonderful people!

Who? (pictures from 2012 trip)

Me(Emily) Age: 17
I am a junior in high school in all college classes, which made planning this trip very difficult. I also work as a waitress. I love disney! This will be my 11th trip. I love disney thrill rides and disney foods, but I do have my limits on both. My goal for every trip is to try a new snack in the park. When taking the disney side quiz, I got the "wild" side!



Jackson (Little Brother) Age: 13
The youngest in the family who acts like he is the oldest. His new growth spurt makes him an inch-ish taller than me and he acts like he is 5 years older than me. He's the sports kid in the family, playing football, baseball, track, golf, and basketball. He loves disney but is not much of a thrill ride kind of guy, like my dad. He is a very picky eater as well. When taking the disney side quiz, he got the "happily ever after" side.



Heather (Mom) Age: Forever Young (42)
My mom is the main disney addict in the family. This will be her 15th trip (both her and I have lost track). She loves thrill rides, like me, and loves shopping at disney. She works in retail which means christmas is off limits for us. When she took the disney side quiz, she got "wild" side.

Mark (Dad) Age: Forever Young (47)
My dad is a much more relaxed park goer. He likes calmer rides and is not one for taking pictures at all. My dad loves disney food and relaxing rides, but he says his favorite part is being with us. He is very unphotogenic so the only pictures we got of him for the most part are pictures he did not know I was taking. He is a really good cook, so he insisted that he would make all of the food for dinner during this trip. He is about to graduate college in May, so this trip is going to be a celebration for him. When he took the disney side quiz, he got "classic disney" side, which I think is very fitting.



Where:
Fort Wilderness Cabins at Walt Disney World
This is as close to camping as I will get . The cabins give us the space so that both my brother and I get our own beds and also allow us to cook dinner. This is the first time we have stayed at this hotel. We are renting a golf cart so we can get around the resort easier.

When:
April 27-May 2
This trip was sort of last minute because we started planning in February because we all felt like we needed a vacation. We decided not to go with the disney dining plan to save some money. My dad made our dinners because the cabins come with a grill, and my dad just could not resist. Most of us will probably eat kids meals in the parks because none of us except my brother can eat a lot.

The base plan:
April 27: Arrive at 9:30, Magic Kingdom while dad gets the groceries, and California Grill for dinner and fireworks
28th: Epcot with steaks and baked potatoes for dinner
29th: Animal Kingdom (all day boys) and Epcot (afternoon girls)
30th: Magic Kingdom
May 1: Hollywood Studios
2nd: Leave for flight in the morning

Added Bonus:
1: For some reason, disney gave us a $250 disney gift card that we can use. Because we got this gift card, my dad decided that we should go out to eat one night, and we chose California Grill.
2: We received a coupon book from our travel agency that contained gift cards for shopping, golf, and other things. The one that stood out was two coupons for completely free entrance into Disneyquest, which, apparently, is very rare. 3: One of my mom's former employees is now a photopass photographer so we will get to see her while we are down there and maybe get a few tips .


Be forewarned, there will be quite a few pictures of food in these entries, although sometimes we forgot to take pictures of the food.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:41 AM   #2
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Earning My Ears
 
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Posts:
Being Up This Early is So Worth It
Wow This Place has Changed
California Grill
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:16 AM   #3
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I'm in. I love California Grill it's one our favorites! We go on November 6th (14 of us!)
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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Can't wait to read all about your trip! I love that you posted what each of your family's Disney side is...sounds spot on! I was surprised that mine was Timeless.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:41 AM   #5
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Sounds fun! I definitely think you'll enjoy California Grill. We went last time and got to see Wishes from the viewing area up there, it's amazing!
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #6
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Sounds like a fun trip
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:42 AM   #7
worldtraveler996
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Being up this early is so worth it!

Here we go!! The day has finally come when we get to leave for disney world! Because we live in Green Bay, the there are no flights directly to Orlando anymore, so on Saturday we had to drive down to Milwaukee and stay overnight to catch our flight in the morning. It's only about a two hour drive so we just watched disney movies on the way down. During long drives like this, my family plays this "game" where we use the Disney app, or sometimes the touringplans app, to look at ride wait times and guess what they are. We have been to Disney a lot so we have are pretty close most of the time. For some reason my mom was spot on like 15 times, so she won the game . We were all shocked that the Frozen meet and greet line is usually over 200 minutes long . Our family has a limit of how long we will wait to see a character. Usually it is no longer than 45 minutes. However, we did wait 45 minutes to see Rapunzel, but not Flynn Ryder . So we watched nemo on the way down, quoting the whole thing (my dad, brother, and I are all really good a quoting movies). So we got to the hotel, got some Culvers (my favorite fast food place), and got ready to get up at 3 am to get a 6 am flight . But it is sooo worth it. The hotel is less than a mile away from the airport and secured parking for our car, so we would take the shuttle at 4 am.
*Sleep*
My mom was the first one up to get ready at 2:30 so I could shower at 3. So we packed what we needed to and left our room on time (which is surprising for us). We double checked to make sure we had everything and headed down the hallway to the lobby.


The shuttle was waiting for us outside the lobby, so we got on and headed to the airport. It was still really dark outside and no one was on the shuttle with us. Once we got to the airport, we checked our bags quickly since we did online check in with southwest and headed to security. There was absolutely no line and my brother and I got to go through quick checkin (we did not have to take off our shoes or take our electronics out). When my brother went through the metal detector, it went off for some odd reason. They then checked him and he was good to go. Apparently the machine randomly picks people to get further inspection and he was the one (he was super excited about that ). My parents had to go through the regular line, so we waited for them for a bit. Then they had to get their stuff together in the "recombobulation area" (that's what they called it on the sign and I have never seen something so Mid-western in an airport before ).
It was a while before our flight would take off, so we just waited for it. I tried to do some homework but the airport only gives each person 20 minutes of free wifi. Once they were boarding, we took our place in the number line (we were in the A group so we got to pick our seats first). We picked seats near the front of the plane and waited for everyone else to board. I sat next to my dad (he has flying anxiety) and my mom sat with my brother (he feels comfortable with her as opposed to me). This was the first flight in which there was no conflict with people not sitting next to each other, so we actually took off early.
I love the take off part! My dad...not so much. During take off his leg was shaking so bad, but he kept a calm face. At one point during take off I pulled out the barf bag just to be funny and he gave me the look that meant "haha funny... not really". I thought it was funny .

I caved on the plane and bought wifi for the plane ride to do my homework, which was a really good decision. We landed at around 9:30 orlando time (time change) with no real problems. Once I got off the plane I could already feel the heat and humidity. In Milwaukee it was 35 degrees when we left so I was in jeans and a sweatshirt when we landed. Good thing I packed a change of clothes (thinking ahead ). After I changed we then proceeded to the airport monorail, or as I like to call it (and I have said this outloud) "that...that "whoosh" thing" (toy story quote). I had said it on our last trip because I thought disney had copyright on the monorail title so I thought it had a different name but I didn't know what it was. Apparently it is called a monorail.

Apparently my parents did not read the sign of where we should catch the magical express (even though I clearly said "we need to go to B") so we ended up going to the wrong side. However, my dad needed to go there anyway to get a rental car to pick up the groceries for the week, so he did that and we went to the other side. We got to the magical express area and they asked for either a ticket or a magic band. We did not have ours on so we used the tickets. On the next check my brother had his on and when he touched his band to the mickey, I must say it was super cool. I was already excited.


There was no one else in our line and we did not have to wait long for a bus. When we were about to board, the bus driver, Mark, greeted us. He asked us where we were from and once we told him we were from Green Bay he got so excited. He showed us his tattoo of the Packers symbol and his mickey packer poster on the bus.

We were on the bus with Port Orleans Riverside (everyone else) so we were the last stop, which took over an hour. I did, however, get a good picture of the enterence to Disney (the best one I've taken ever). I was so excited for the week ahead!

Once we got to our hotel, we were suprised that my dad was waiting for us already. He had picked up the groceries and the golf car. The pictures of Mark are on my mom's phone so I will put those in when I can. So we went to our room. We were on loop 2400, near the lobby and the buses, so we were relatively close. We were also on the end so we had a short drive.
The hotel was really nice, to my suprise. I am the least outdoorsy person ever so this was great!



This is the end of this post!
Next Post: Wow this place has changed!
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:43 AM   #8
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Wow This Place Has Changed

After we looked at our hotel room, my dad went to go get the groceries for the week while my mom, brother and I went to Magic Kingdom for the first time. My dad tried to drive us to the dock to catch the boat, but we had a difficult time navigating around the resort. Eventually, we found it, although as we were stepping onto the dock the boat pulled away. But it wasn't a big deal; we were finally in DISNEY WORLD. We just waited for the next boat and took that. My brother has never been much of a boat person, but it was the only way to get to Magic Kingdom from our resort. The boat ride was suprisingly short and we were there in no time. Keep in mind that this is on a Sunday and we arrived at about 11:30 in the afternoon. This was our first time using the magic band system to get into the parks. I must say... it was so cool. I am a big technology person and this was really cool way to get into the parks. So when we got to the park, my brother suggested getting a picture of main street from the top of the train station, which made for a wonderful picture.
My mom has a more centered picture that I may add later. After that my mom wanted to meet her friend Courtney who is a photopass photographer in the parks. Courtney used to work with my mom at Best Buy. At this point in the afternoon, she was with the fairies, so my mom wanted to go see her (Tinkerbell is her favorite character too so it was an added bonus). Even though I wanted to see the fairies, my brother and I had not eaten all day and were starving. We were in Adventureland so our first instinct was to go to Pecos Bill's. But when we saw a mile-long line outside the restaurant, we decided against it (my brother is very impatient). For the first time while I have been at disney, the Diamond Horseshoe was open. I had never been there before so my brother and I decided to try it. There was a line but it was close and we were hot and hungry. We were able to charge on our magic bands, which would come in handy on later trips. My brother got the turkey sandwich while I got the portobello sandwich. There were no descriptions on the menu so I thought it was an Italian sandwich or something with like chicken or salami. I was completely wrong. It was a giant portobello mushroom cap with tomatoes on a bun . I don't like mushrooms and the tomatoes (which I hate too) gave the sandwich most of its flavor. But I had ordered it so I was not going to let it go to waste. It was not too bad once I put mustard and mayo on it. My brother liked his turkey sandwich except for the pink sauce on it (like I said...very picky). I got this picture from the internet because we forgot to take pictures at that moment.
Next my brother wanted to do the Sorcerers at the Magic Kingdom thing. I did not have my cards with me so he had to get his own. He actually got some pretty cool cards. I'll add pictures of those later. So we went to Main Street to battle Cruella, Adventureland to battle Yzma and Scar, and Liberty Square to battle Ratcliff from Pocahontas.

Our last mission of the day was in Adventureland where we saw our mom in line for a dole whip . Because our next fastpass was for the Little Mermaid, we agreed to meet there for our reservations. My brother and I, after the last mission, went to the ride to wait for my mom. When she got there we got in line for our fastpasses. Now, a few months earlier, I connected my mom's disney account with mine and my dad's, thinking that it would be beneficial. I was told that that wasn't a good idea because there were often problems with the system when people did that, so I was on edge, hoping it would work. When we got up there, my family entered with no problems at all . The ride itself was really cool. The attention to detail and all of the subtle things from the movie were in there. I must say, however, that I would not wait for an hour for this ride.



After the ride, we went to tomorrowland because my brother wanted to go on Buzz Lightyear. When we got there, after dodging many strollers, the line was outside the building and said 30 minutes! I really like the ride, but I don't know about waiting 30 minutes. But my brother really wanted to go on it so we just went in line and we got the red tag thing (my brother is always super excited when we get to have it for some reason). Lucky for us it felt relatively short and we were on the ride pretty quickly.

My brother and my mom rode together and I rode by myself. I got the controls to myself (NO SABOTAGE!). My mom, on the other hand, could barely score because my brother was shaking the car so much . None of us scored as high as we usually do, which was disappointing somewhat. My brother won out of all of us. I got 58000. The photo thing was not working so we did not get our ride photo. Then we went on the peoplemover (its one of our favorites) and it usually never has a wait. We waited 10 minutes to get on because two people in those EVC things had a HUSKEY with them that they were taking on the ride. I honestly don't know why they would have the dog if they were not blind (i'm not trying to be rude, and if someone would please tell me why in the comments that would be wonderful ). When we got to the loading area, they were trying to load the dog onto the car and the dog was trying so hard not to go in. The dog almost got his paws run over by the cart as they were moving; I was so scared for the dog. The ride was really nice and refreshing. After the ride we took the train to Frontierland to go on Pirates for our fastpasses. When we got to the ride, the line was 40 minutes long!! That is the longest I have ever seen for pirates! I'm assuming this was because pirates was going to be closed for the next week and people wanted to get on it before then. We were lucky enough to only wait 5 minutes to get on. I really like the mermaid addition to the ride; it is so creepy, especially because they play the mermaid song in the background, which scares me the most. I was also sitting in the middle during the cannon fire part, so I did not get wet at all (I think they increased the explosion size with bigger splashes). After the ride we went on Big Thunder with our last fastpasses. We waited no more than two minutes for that, which,compared to the 55 minute wait time, was awesome. My brother and I have this thing on the ride where we smash into each other on turns, which ends up hurting a lot. We decided to leave after the ride to get ready for California Grill at 9:10. It was a really good first day in the Magic Kingdom and California Grill is next.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:31 PM   #9
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Following along, great start so far. Can't wait for more updates
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:16 AM   #10
worldtraveler996
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California Grill

Previously, my mom, brother, and I explored the Magic Kingdom. I forgot to mention that while my brother and I were destroying Hydes and the other villains, my mom was standing in line for a dole whip, which is her favorite. It is her mission now to get one every trip since our trip in 2010 . Personally, I like them, but I'm not a big fan of pineapple in general, so I would take a hot fudge sundae or a slushy over it any day, but that's just me .
Anyway, once we leave the park we go on a boat to go back to our resort to get dressed for dinner. California Grill has a dress code, even though some do not always follow it. My dad picks us up in the golf cart from the boat launch to get back to our cabin. My mom and I road on the back because my brother called shotgun (it makes him feel more important, being the youngest an all). Our reservations are not until 9:10 so we have plenty of time, being that was only 6. We took this time to take in cable channels again. We got rid of our cable service in February because it was getting really expensive and we are all fine with basic channels and netflix and hulu. My family, except me, really missed Disney Channel for some odd reason. I just don't really like the new disney channel shows that they have. I miss That's so Raven so much . So we all get dressed and make our way to the boat launch again because there is a boat that goes to the Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge.
We got to the boat launch and a boat pulled up right away and we went to the California Grill. I have always loved the Contemporary Resort. When my mom and I mention staying there, my dad always says "Oh yeah! I have always wanted to stay in a room full of uncomfortable IKEA furniture!" But it is very beautiful.
Once we get into the hotel we check in at the desk at 8:50 and take our little buzzer. My brother also wants to hold this all the time (again, makes him feel more important). Our buzzer rang within a minute and we got to go up in the "special elevator" which is always kind cool. We got to the top and were immediately led to a seat. We started to pass the perfect open table right next to the window with the best view of the parks and in my head I was shouting "NOOOO! DON'T LEAVE ME " but then the waitress stops in her tracks and immediately leads us to the table I saw! It was absolutely spectacular! In my pictures, there was a reflection off of the glass so you might see blurred images of my family and random strangers.



Our server was very nice, although I do not remember her name. My mom got some sort of old fashioned (I have to serve those all of the time at work and it's tedious because EVERYONE wants one and there are like three parts to the order that can be personalized: the base alcohol (if wanted), sweet or sour(and something called a press), the soda they want in it (if they want), and the topping (cherries or stuff like that) ) and my dad got some sort of wine off of the wine list. We took the time to enjoy the view and each other's company. We haven't done many things as a family this past year. We have all been so busy with school and work and have not had time for each other so this was nice.
Once we had all figured out what we wanted to eat we ordered. The food came out rather quickly, which was nice because we were all hungry. I got an appetizer because I was not too hungry. I got the goat cheese ravioli.



My mom got the quinoa salad thing (watching her weight and she is diabetic)

My brother and my dad both got the bison steak thing, which I had a bite of and was delicious.



I loved my ravioli. I got the entree portion because, when ordering, she told me it only came with one and, in my head, I thought "That is not enough". But once I took a bite, I understood why there was only one, it was sooo filling. I finished both, but it was quite the struggle. My mom said that her salad was really good as well. After we all ate we all ordered one dessert so we could sample them. My brother got the chocolate cake pudding, I ordered the Lemon Cheesecake, I got the Chilled Strawberry Nage, and my dad got the Creme Brûlée. Once we ordered dessert, it was time for the fireworks. We went out onto the deck and took our spots. I got so excited when I saw the lights in the park get dimmer, but Jimeny Cricket's voice was not playing on the balcony. In fact, the sound was not playing at all. We were all confused at first and then the fireworks started and the music came on within 2 minutes. It was still really cool, but I wish they had the music the whole time though, it really makes a difference. Once the fireworks were done, our desserts arrived shortly after. I saw the huge strawberry and knew I would love it. My brother took a bite of his and liked it, but then he started tasting sea salt that was on it and was put off by it. He began scraping off the sea salt with his fork to get rid of it which was really entertaining. My mom and dad really liked theirs (they stayed within their comfort zone). During this part, we had debated about going to close out Magic Kingdom that night until 1 am. We all decided that it was not a good idea since we had been up since 3 and needed our sleep if we were going to make park opening for Epcot the next day. We all finished our desserts while my dad paid for the dinner with the gift card and soon after we left for our resort. On our way to the boat, we saw Peter Pan, not a kid dressed like him, it was a cast member, playing around with a family outside. This was at 10:30 at night at least and they were all having so much fun. It was a little weird, seeing a character outside the park and outside of a restaurant, but it was cool non the less. We got back to our room at about 11 and immediately fell asleep.
More photos will be coming soon as soon as I get my mom's photos off of her phone.
Next: Off to Epcot!
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:48 AM   #11
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It's been so long

Sorry everyone that it has been so long since my last post. I have been really busy with my dad's graduation, senior pictures, and finals. Now that it is summer I will have more time to update so expect some soon! I will also be posting pictures of those things soon as well to show you.
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