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Old 04-11-2014, 08:32 AM   #46
ArwenMarie
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Found your trip report, can't wait to read more! You and your daughter are so cute What a great bonding experience to travel together.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:50 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by petals View Post
Not sure yet other than hitting the outlets and doing a tour of LA/movie star homes.
That sounds fun too. We visited Hollywood and did the walk of fame on our first trip west in 2005.

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Originally Posted by missangelalexis View Post
I like your Starbucks motto Nice treat for Katie to start the vacation though!

Cute pics of Katie in the Las Vegas airport!

The beach ball pillows in the room are so cool, nice touch! And I guess they came in handy when Katie got bored
Thanks! I was just happy Katie could hang out for a while while I slept. I was beyond tired and would never have had the energy to enjoy our evening without a nap. If that meant solo beach ball pillow volleyball, then so be it!

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Found your trip report, can't wait to read more! You and your daughter are so cute What a great bonding experience to travel together.
Greetings fellow FP+ lover!

So glad you found us. And thanks for the kind words. It really was a great time with Katie.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:08 PM   #48
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I'm ready to read along! Can't wait to see which characters you hunted down.

I'll be in DL in about 2 months so I'm going to use your trip report to get excited for my trip
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:14 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
Greetings fellow FP+ lover!

So glad you found us. And thanks for the kind words. It really was a great time with Katie.

I'm in...! But seriously, if this is a meeting, where are the cookies....?

Great start, great pictures, and we're in for the long-haul
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:10 PM   #50
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Anxiously awaiting more posts to enjoy while hunkering down today, it is a dreary MN Spring day... At least not snowing though! Yet!

We just returned from FL for Spring break. Our first trip to FL in 8 years without going to WDW. Surprised I managed as well as I did but news of SB crowds and FP+ paired with a relaxing week of gulf coast keys and beaches made it bearable!

HUGE thank you for the Sanibel TR which inspired me to investigate kayaking through Mangroves in Sarasota. We found great kayaking on Lido Key (who knew? the inlaws just don't hit those type of venues so we had never known after many visits) through Mangrove tunnels which were absolutely amazing. So incredibly cool. And we saw a dolphin as well as many birds and urchins and sealife. The kids LOVED it as did we. Thank you!

Cannot wait to learn more about DLR from you. And after helping my DH colleague through an on site "FP+ Emergency" over email this week I also can't wait to get back to WDW even though I disliked FP+ in Oct and do more so now with its greater limits and impacts.

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Old 04-12-2014, 08:28 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
I'm ready to read along! Can't wait to see which characters you hunted down.

I'll be in DL in about 2 months so I'm going to use your trip report to get excited for my trip
So glad you joined in! And how exciting that you'll be heading west yourself so soon! I see you've been west before. I looked through your photos and felt like I had stepped back in time to some of our earlier trips to the southwest. I love that area and can't wait to get back again. It doesn't look like you went to DL on that trip. Are you doing DLR only on this trip?

I also saw the photo of the "Over the Edge" book. Did you read it, or just look through it in the shop? I actually bought that book on the train to the Grand Canyon. Read it cover to cover. Then bought "Death in Yellowstone" the next year for that trip. They are fascinating companions for these trips.

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I'm in...! But seriously, if this is a meeting, where are the cookies....?

Great start, great pictures, and we're in for the long-haul

YEAH! Someone dig out the cookies. clsteve is here and we can start the meeting! We'll save the super top secret FP+ haters stuff for later in the meeting though.

You can corrupt me into possibly shunning WDW for US one day, so maybe I can corrupt you into shunning WDW for DLR!

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Originally Posted by Sydnerella View Post
Anxiously awaiting more posts to enjoy while hunkering down today, it is a dreary MN Spring day... At least not snowing though! Yet!

We just returned from FL for Spring break. Our first trip to FL in 8 years without going to WDW. Surprised I managed as well as I did but news of SB crowds and FP+ paired with a relaxing week of gulf coast keys and beaches made it bearable!

HUGE thank you for the Sanibel TR which inspired me to investigate kayaking through Mangroves in Sarasota. We found great kayaking on Lido Key (who knew? the inlaws just don't hit those type of venues so we had never known after many visits) through Mangrove tunnels which were absolutely amazing. So incredibly cool. And we saw a dolphin as well as many birds and urchins and sealife. The kids LOVED it as did we. Thank you!

Cannot wait to learn more about DLR from you. And after helping my DH colleague through an on site "FP+ Emergency" over email this week I also can't wait to get back to WDW even though I disliked FP+ in Oct and do more so now with its greater limits and impacts.

Sydnerella's Mama
So glad you found us Heather!

Sorry you're having dreary weather today. We had a great spring day, but from what I hear, rain is moving in tonight with snow on the way for Monday. Spring was good for that one day that it lasted!

I'm so glad the Sanibel trip report spurred some thought about doing a kayak tour of the mangroves! We still joke about that here. My husband (who had Katie as a kayak partner) swears never again. I (who had the athletic 18 year old as a kayak partner) would love to try it again one day. Go figure! But rowing out over the manatees that day really was the highlight of the trip for all of us. How cool that you got to see a variety of sealife, including a dolphin.

With the Mine Train getting closer to opening, and after seeing jenseib's amazing parade photos, I'm sort of itching to get back to WDW myself. So I'm guessing we'll have to head east in 2015. Hopefully by then they'll have the kinks worked out on FP+. I'm still not going to love it, but a bad system that at least works properly is still better than a bad system that is paired with a bunch of glitches.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:35 PM   #52
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I constantly was checking to see if the Mine Train would have a preview while I was there, but sadly it didn't. But my Dad did say he saw the train running empty. I missed it however. I did take a few pictures of the tracks though.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:02 PM   #53
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December 4, 2013 Continued:

There was just enough time to freshen up and organize my camera bag before heading out for dinner at Goofy's Kitchen. Down in the lobby I finally got my first night time view of the Paradise Pier Christmas Tree. I know Sherry (who runs the DLR holiday thread) was not a fan of the changes to the tree this year. But being a huge fan of blue lights and decorations, I was absolutely in love with the tree! I looked forward to seeing it each time we went through the lobby over the next week. I do see Sherry's point though and would have loved to see it without all that oversized clutter at the base.


IMG_3427 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3428 by mom2rtk, on Flickr



We got there a little early and thankfully they went ahead and checked us in. I asked about redeeming our Photopass Plus, but they could not do that there. They said I could get our photos printed the next day at the photoshop in Disneyland when I redeemed our voucher.


IMG_3430 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3435 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3437 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

Anyone ready for a little DLR flashback? I can't look at these photos with Goofy and not remember our favorite visit there in 2010. Katie had a ball that night:


Goofy's Meets His Sous-Chef! by mom2rtk, on Flickr




OK, back to 2013:

I love the tree in the lobby at Goofy's Kitchen. It looks like something out of Whoville:

IMG_3440 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3441 by mom2rtk, on Flickr


We had barely sat down when Alice and the Mad Hatter came by our table. It was fun that they came by as a pair. I imagine they only did that because it was a fairly slow night. They enjoyed looking at the Alice character pages in her autograph book and suggested recreating one of the poses there (which is why Katie is holding out her skirt). Here's the photo in the book from 2008:


Little Alice by mom2rtk, on Flickr

And their recreation:


IMG_3445 by mom2rtk, on Flickr


Minnie and Dale also came by our table. We had met Goofy on the way in, so that was a total of 5 characters. I think Chip was in the restaurant somewhere but we didn't wait for him. Dinner was good, and it was a great way to kick off our trip.

IMG_3451 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3454 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3457 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

And the first of many fun selfies from this trip, although not my favorite. I think you'll know my favorite when I get to it later.

IMG_3461 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

While I went in search of the restroom, I made the mistake of leaving the camera with Katie. I didn't get a bunch of duck photos like I usually do, but only because we were indoors and there were no ducks handy. Still, uniquely Katie's brand of photography:


IMG_3465 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3469 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3470 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

IMG_3471 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

Nobody was swimming, but it was still cool to see the monorail pool on our way back through the DLH property:

IMG_3476 by mom2rtk, on Flickr


We finished unpacking when we got back to the room, and put up the Christmas tree and window lights. We then settled in for our first installment of the ABC Family 25 Nights of Christmas. This night's show was "Deck the Halls" with Danny DeVito. I hadn't seen it in a long time and I enjoyed watching, although Katie passed out fairly quickly. It had been a very long day.

Last edited by mom2rtk; 04-13-2014 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:04 PM   #54
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I constantly was checking to see if the Mine Train would have a preview while I was there, but sadly it didn't. But my Dad did say he saw the train running empty. I missed it however. I did take a few pictures of the tracks though.
I would have hunted you down if I had heard any scoop on the DIS about guests getting to ride the mine train while you were down there. I'm really surprised they are just a few weeks from what is said to be the grand opening, but no guests have been on it yet.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:36 PM   #55
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Those before and now pictures are just so amazing. I said this on your WDW report on how much she has grown but it really is amazing. This is so much fun reading your trip report on Disneyland. Really enjoying all the photos. Can't wait till we get started in the parks!

How would you rate the food at Goofy's Kitchen? We walked in one morning and looked the breakfast selection and quickly left. It just didn't look fresh and didn't want to take a chance. So we went off to Storytellers and had a great breakfast.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:40 AM   #56
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Subbing in. Great pictures! Your DD has certainly grown up.

I always like a good Disneyland TR; especially when there is defection involved.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:01 AM   #57
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Those before and now pictures are just so amazing. I said this on your WDW report on how much she has grown but it really is amazing. This is so much fun reading your trip report on Disneyland. Really enjoying all the photos. Can't wait till we get started in the parks!

How would you rate the food at Goofy's Kitchen? We walked in one morning and looked the breakfast selection and quickly left. It just didn't look fresh and didn't want to take a chance. So we went off to Storytellers and had a great breakfast.

The food was OK Mike. Not spectacular, but OK for what it is. Probably on par with what we find when we go to Chef Mickey. Katie is not a very adventurous eater so buffets are perfect for us. She's a grazer, and loves to do buffets for all the fruit and salad. We did do Storyteller's later in the trip and liked the food more. But I did like the character selection at GK better.

I'm glad you're enjoying the flashback photos. I'll try to remember to add more as we go. I couldn't believe when I looked at the photos with Alice. It looks like she's taller than Alice now!

Park photos just around the corner!

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Subbing in. Great pictures! Your DD has certainly grown up.

I always like a good Disneyland TR; especially when there is defection involved.
Greeting PIO! So glad you're along for our defection! Everyone has such strong feelings about FP+ (not the least of which is myself), it sort of felt like cheating to duck out of the issue completely and head west.

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Old 04-13-2014, 08:36 AM   #58
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I am loving the christmas decor. I didn't even think about how the resorts would look with Christmas displays! I really need to win the lottery so I can travel around the holidays!
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:55 AM   #59
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I am loving the christmas decor. I didn't even think about how the resorts would look with Christmas displays! I really need to win the lottery so I can travel around the holidays!
You would love photographing the Christmas décor. You're so much better at getting every little detail than I am. My greatest fear as I go through this TR is that I'm going to realize just how much I missed photographing!

And now that you have survived spring break at WDW, you could surely survive holiday time at DLR? Just go early December so it's not quite as pricey!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:41 PM   #60
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Helllllooooooo, Janet!

I didn't realize that you had started a TR, but I must have sensed that my name was written because somehow I was drawn to the TR section today -- and I found you!

Since you mentioned that I wasn't a fan of the PPH tree, I should clarify (to anyone out there who hasn't followed along with my DLR Christmas/Holiday Season Superthreads and read my comments) that I, too, absolutely love the color of the tree. That warm, blue-greenish glow has me transfixed every time I see the tree in person. I literally stand there and stare at it, hypnotized. I prefer the PPH tree over all of the other trees at the other hotels, specifically because of that color.

But, alas, you're correct -- I don't like the changes that were made to the PPH tree in 2013. I think there are a few of us PPH tree vets who don't like the changes (Cheshirecatty included), but I can totally understand how someone who is seeing it in person for the first time would love it! It went from being a fairly uncluttered tree to a cluttered tree. All of that stuff around the bottom of it cuts its length down (visually), and the assorted oceanic trinkets dangling from the branches make it busier than it had been.

I just think that in the case of the PPH tree, the actual lights and color were the stars of the show. As for ornaments, they (the hotel decorators) probably should have gone with a 'less is more' approach. I am curious what the tree will look like this year -- and you know I will be inspecting it closely!



Anyway, on to your TR... Your photos are so wonderful! They're so crisp, bright and clear -- every single one of them! The pictures from the plane are breathtaking. Your Goofy's Kitchen pictures made me realize how much I miss eating there (I used to eat there on every DLR trip).

And I have a feeling you didn't overlook nearly as many details as you think you might have overlooked during your trip -- you captured the close-up of the wacky, pointy ornament on the Goofy's Kitchen tree, and that has always been one of my personal favorite details about that tree!

Even if it turns out -- for some reason -- that you didn't capture details that you wish you had captured, it's okay! There will be another holiday trip. Everyone tours DLR differently -- and some folks are more prone to stop and photograph every little detail (to the point of skipping rides and other activities), while others have a nice mix of activities and photo-taking on their trips. Some folks are just not detail-hunters when it comes to photos in the first place. Some folks are just not photo-driven at all. Everyone is different, and everyone's priorities are different on trips.

I saw a mention of a Sanibel TR? I have never been there, but one of my close friends makes -- or used to make -- a yearly sojourn to Sanibel because she fell in love with it. I have a feeling I would love it too!

When I finally update the Trip Reports/Reviews post on page 1 of the Superthread, I will surely add a link to this TR so folks planning their holiday trips can enjoy it and all of the stunning images you have shared/will be sharing!
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