2 kids, 2 dogs, 1200 miles: 2 weeks and 2 birthdays in Florida - COMPLETED!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by FreezinRafiki, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. DisneyFed

    DisneyFed DIS Veteran

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    You can have some of the lizards that have invaded my fence if you want them...(my wife has told me about them, they gross her out, and of course, I am not there to transport them to other areas:lmao:)


    Relaxing on a vacation---what a novel idea...wish I could get around to that:confused3:lmao::lmao:
     
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  3. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Thanks for joining in! :thumbsup2

    They loved it. And at 90° outside, so did I!

    DW hates snakes. That's what makes the Animal Kingdom day so much more interesting! Stay tuned for that..:upsidedow

    I'm not sure I could go from 22 hours in the van to 10 hours in a park and not get arrested. The "wind down" time really helps.


    You can probably find a collar for him... Ah, never mind. If you haven't left yet, enjoy your trip! I would love to read two TRs when you get back!

    We've gotten lucky with these two dogs - so far they haven't begged for food in the car. Don't get me wrong, if a crumb hits the floor they'll down it before you can blink, but they don't beg.:confused3

    Hey, just like me!:dance3:

    Welcome and thanks for joining!

    I've only been to Platteville once. It wasn't enjoyable, but it wasn't Platteville's fault. I had a friend who was a single mom of 2 young girls, and she was moving from La Crosse to Platteville. A friend and I helped her by loading up her Uhaul, driving it down, and unloading it for them. The Uhaul had no radio and the driver's seat had warn down to basically a 1" round metal pipe. I drove that thing 3 hours each way, and walked funny for a week :headache:

    Just call in the heavy air support! An AC-130 slowly circling overhead should scare those lizards away.
    That's why we planned 2 weeks! :woohoo: We're not going to be able to get away with that again for quite awhile!
     
  4. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Sunday rolled around and it was still hot. The kids were probably awake for about 10 minutes before they were in the pool. Bambi's parents had to work again today - their "vacation" didn't start until the next day. We had planned another low key, relaxing day. But we've been 40 minutes away from Disney World for the past 3 days, we couldn't just stay away completely. :yay:
    One of the "perks" of being DVC members is that we can "pool hop" or use the pools at other resorts. Yes, I realize that there are stipulations like you have to be staying at a DVC resort at the time. We would check-in in a week, so that's probably close enough. Besides, we were going to spend some money too so it all works out.
    I have read some pretty glowing reviews of the Coronado Spring Resort here on the DIS, so we decided to drive over there and check it out. On the way, we need to stop by Bambi's brother's house so I could fix his computer. (Ah, family tech support :surfweb:). His CD-ROM was not reading disks. I put a disk in and it worked. :wizard:
    So, we were on our way again. I had my reservations about this place, as is the conference center resort. But, wow, is it beautiful. Wonderful buildings, immaculate landscaping, and of course the friendly Disney service. Our first stop was the fountain where the kids each had to toss in a penny. Since Disney donates all of the fountain money to charity, can I deduct that on my taxes? :laughing:
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    We wandered around Panchitos gift shop for a while before deciding that it was indeed time to eat. We took a quick stroll down to The Pepper Market and were a bit worried by what we saw. It was right around noon, so we expected some people, but there had to be 15 people waiting around by the podium. This was confusing since I could see that easily half the tables were empty. Luckily, it was just a large party waiting for a few more people to arrive. We were seated pretty quickly and starting tying to figure out how to order.

    If you've never been here before, it works a bit different than most Counter Services places on property. You get a card to take to any or all of the food stations. You order and they stamp you card with what you had. You get your food, eat, and then present your card to the cashier on the way out.

    Bambi took the kids back to the kids station while I went to the main grill to order food for us. I got the quesadilla for me and the Philly Cheese steak for Bambi. I've heard great things about the cheese steak, but it seemed ouf of place to me. The entire resort is Mexican themed, yet they have a cheese steak sandwich as one of their "signature" items. Huh. :confused3 The grill is open so you can watch the chef prepare the food. He put the meat on the flat top, and then topped it with a litle bit of green chili sauce. Now it all makes sense!:idea: Bambi raved about it, and I tried a bite. Had my quesadilla not filled me up, I would have gone back and got one for myself.

    Evan had the Mac & Cheese, which he absolutely devoured. I snuck one while he wasn't looking, and yes, it was good.

    Madison had the chicken tenders, but there was small problem. We didn't get any dipping sauce. She loves her ranch dressing, so like a good daddy, I went back to the kid's station to ask for some. We also needed another straw, as we lost one already. There was no one in line, so I asked the chef if I could get some ranch dressing and a straw. He said the condiments were available through another station, and pointed to the one with a line that had about 20 people in it. :scared1: The straws could be gotten from our waiter. I love my daughter, but ranch dressing is not worth that wait.

    I got back to the table, and within 15 seconds the chef from the kids station came out with a cup of ranch dressing. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Disney knows how to treat people. He asked if we had gotten a straw yet and I told him that I haven't seen our waitress. He went behind the magic server station and emerged with a straw. It's amazing how the little things like that can really make you remember a place. So Mr. Pepper Mill Kid's Station Chef, If you're reading this - thank you! :thumbsup2

    Remember how I was concerned about this being a convention resort? Well, it showed here at lunch. For every table full of families having a good time on vacation, there were just as many sullen, downtrodden folks in business-casual attire with nametags and lanyards grabbing a quick bite before their next break-out session. I certainly didn't affect me or my vacatoin, but it does alter the mood of the place.

    After lunch we wandered around the resort a bit looking and admiring. We didn't see the alligator that has been spotted there, but did see a turtle swimming around.
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    A quick stop to admire the local flora
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    And it was off to the dig site for a dip in the pool.
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    I've got to give credit where credit is due, and Bambi took this picture. Again, one of my favorite of the trip:
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    This really is a fantastic pool area. A very large pool so you never feel crowded and the pyramid is very cool. Madison was a bit apprehensive about the slide at first, but I talked her into doing it. Bad idea. She got down the bottom scared to death. I asked if the slide was too fast. Turns out, it was the statue of a Jaguar about half way down that scared her. I tried to talk her into going again, but she wanted nothing to do with that slide again.

    We swam for a quite a while, but by this time it was getting pretty close to when Bambi's dad got off of work. He was going to meet us at Disney, so we got dried off and changed. We still had some time to kill, and Evan was dying to ride the monorail. We drove over to the Polynesian and jumped on. Let me tell you, riding past the Grand Floridian wasn't bad, but seeing Cinderella's Castle just a few hundred yards out the window and not stopping and getting out is quite perplexing to the brain. :confused3

    We got back to the Poly and still had a few minutes to walk around before Grandpa showed up. Disney sure does know how to decorate, don't they?

    Grandpa arrived and we set off for Downtown Disney to do a little shopping. Evan was quite tuckered out by this time and slept on me the entire time we were there, as seen here behind Madison catching up with some fowl friends
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    The rest of the day is pretty low key. We drove back to the in-law's place for dinner. Can't remember, but we probably went swimming.:rotfl2:
    We tried to get the kids to bed at a fairly decent hour, because tomorrow would be a big day - the Magic Kingdom awaits!

    Up Next - A day at the Magic Kingdom - characters, rides, fun - and one depressed little boy.
     
  5. dvczerfs

    dvczerfs DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 nice pics!! i like the one w/ dd and the flowers. when we join dd was only 6, she had to go to bwv to go down the clown slide. dd and i crawled up there, i went down the slide and she came down the steps. :lmao:
     
  6. trennr

    trennr DISDad #104

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    KatMark said they removed the Gator when she was there in September.

    I named this turtle Mavis over on the CSR FAQ thread.
     
  7. that's nice

    that's nice DIS Dad #330

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    We stayed at CSR in March and loved it. I liked how it wasn't overly crowded with kids, but enough for my DD to make friends- even if only for a little while.

    Glad you liked the Pepper Market. As you know here on the DIS, it is a love/hate relationship with that place. It was awesome that the Chef came out and gave you the ranch dressing!

    Seeing the castle and not being able to get into MK must of been hard. LOL :)
     
  8. GoHerd1028

    GoHerd1028 <font color=red>DDC 172<br><font color=green>"Inse

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    ok ok ok..I am late joining inhere. Now that I am back to work my post count seems to be slacking a bit!!!

    I am enjoying all the pictures with the report. I remember watching your facebook posts while I was there thinking....oh no...he is on the way which means my trip is nearly over !:rotfl2:
     
  9. praisehisname

    praisehisname DIS Veteran

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    I have had reservations about CSR for the same reason as you, but you're right about the pool looking amazing! Maybe one day, I'll give in and try staying there. Looking forward to hearing about your MK day!
     
  10. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Evan went up with us, but didn't even want to get in the slide. We walked down together.:hug:

    Yeah, I can see why they might want to remove a gator from a place populated with kids. :eek:

    Tell me about it. But we would see plenty of it in the coming days. Not enough, mind you. We did have to come home.:thumbsup2

    Oh, glad you found you way over here. I was beginning to think you were having too much fun at work to get back on line. Thanks for joining in the fun!:cool1:

    There's just something about being on vacation, but being surrounded by people that aren't that gives you an odd vibe. Then you realize that they are at Disney World on their companies' dime and you had to pay your way here. :mad::lmao:
     
  11. dvczerfs

    dvczerfs DIS Veteran

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    :lmao: nope, i was conned by a 6 year old. she said "you go first":lmao:
     
  12. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Facebook, Oct 12, 6:47am: Getting ready for a day in the Magic Kingdom. I guess vacation can start now!
    As good as it was having a few days with the in-laws and not rushing around, it was nice to finally head into one of the parks. We packed up the van with both kids, both grandparents, and all of our park gear. We arrived and were, as is typical, parked as far down the isle from the parking tram as is possible. But hey, we're probably going to walk 10 miles today in the park, what's an extra 1000 feet to the tram. :confused3
    Madison likes to make sure she remembers what row we are parked in. She repeats is several times as we wait for the next tram. Does she remember it at the end of the day? Of course not, she's usually sleeping.
    The TTC is always a debate, as Madison likes the ferry and Evan is a monorail fan. Just as we get through the ticket booths we see the ferry pull away so we head up the "highway in the sky", promising to take the boat back at the end of the day.
    We arrived a few minutes after rope drop and what do we find in town square? Characters! Madison loves meeting characters. Whether she has seen their movie or not (more than likely, she has). She has probably close to a dozen autograph books on her bookshelf at home.
    The rest of the group heads off to the restroom and Madison and I get in line for Chip, who is over near the firehouse. Very strange to see him without Dale, but Madison didn't seem to mind
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    We get inline for Daisy (easily 30-40 people long, but she's one of Madison's favorites) when Grandpa comes over and says that Snow White is almost alone over next to the Exposition Hall. Grandma says in line for Daisy and we head over. The overall theme of this vacation seems to be "growing up". Madison and Evan are both tall enough to ride some new rides, and for the first time, Evan is interested in Characters. He'll now run up to them, hug them, and chat with them. He made sure every one of them got a kiss, too.
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    That's not to say that he's risen to Madison's level of obsession with them. This was while Madison was getting an autograph from Daisy.
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    But he runs in for his hug, kiss and a picture.
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    Around the other side of the hub was Pluto, and after a quick "doggy biscuit" break, It was Madison and Evan's turn. Evan was very intrigued by Pluto's whiskers:
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    Some of the photopass photographers really like their jobs, and it shows. While each will take a picture with your camera if you ask them, not many ask you for your camera so they can. I like those guys.
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    By this time it's getting close to 10 when Toontown is set to open. Knowing that the line for the Fairies will get very long very quickly, I head over to get in line while the rest of the family get in line to see Pinocchio. Notice Evan's head - it's 9:45am and he's already drenched in sweat. Definitely need to stay hydrated today. (And no, I don't know what he's doing with his mouth, but he's doing it in all of the picture with Pinocchio. Kids. :rolleyes2
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    The line for the Fairies is already at 45 minutes, so the family takes their time wandering over. Eventually we make it into Pixie Hollow. The usual procedure is to be let out of the line in groups of about 15 and you are supposed to wait at a door, where you get the speech about being shrunk down to pixie size so we are able to see Tink and her friends. But the the people in the front of the line just walk right through the doors and we don't get the spiel. Bummer. :sad1: (Like I havn't heard it 8 times already!) Oh well, at least Evan had fun with the scenery.
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    The groups ahead of us were really flying through the characters, so Tinker Bell came over and joined us while Iradessa was signing the books. They had a nice chat with the kids.
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    Rosetta's wings are ticklish. Evan found out.
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    If there's one thing about the Fairies being there, it's that the Princess line seems so much shorter by comparison. I think we waited 10 minutes to see them.
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    After the Princesses, we walk outside the Judges tent and what do we see? That's right, Goofy's Barnstormer. Up until now, the roller coaster in which all roller coasters are judged against. At least in the kid's minds. Nothing compares. We ride it for the first time this trip. It will not be the last. :thumbsup2
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    After we rode it for the first time a few trips ago, Evan has been obsessed with it. We found a clip on YouTube of someone riding it, and he thinks it was him. Whenever he sees me on the computer, he asks if we can watch him on the Barnstormer again. Thus, if you look closely at this picture you can see Bambi and Madison in the front row, Evan and Grandma in the 2nd row, and me - your humble narrator and videographer - documenting the ride for future enjoyment.
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    A quick run around Tomorrowland Indy Speedway (Wait time: 10 minutes)
    Evan and Grandma:
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    Madison and me. She did all of the driving, I just pushed the petal as hard as I could. Of course, I wasn't pushing it hard enough because we weren't going fast enough. She's has serious thrill issues.:thumbsup2
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    Right next door is the teacups (5 minute wait!). We ride, but the pictures don't turn out. I do recall squeezing into one teacup with Bambi, Madison, Evan and Grandma. It was a bit tight, but that's what family is for, right? :crowded:

    As much as the kids love the Barnstormer, one of their other favorite rides - and just as thrilling - is "its a small world". I'm still playing with the camera settings to get good shots in here, but this turned out OK:
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    Next: Part 2 of Day 1 at Magic Kingdom
     
  13. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    In the past, we've spent the vast majority of our time a the Magic Kingdom in Fantasy Land and ToonTown. We make an effort to get over to Adventure Land and Frontier Land this time.
    Facebook. 12:43pm, Oct 12: Busy morning at the Magic Kingdom. Met 3 Fairies, 4 Princesses and assorted other characters. Rode the Barnstormer, indy raceway, teacups, and its a small world. Lunch a Pecos Bills now. Up next - splash mountain and big thunder mountain.
    Bambi's dad and I love places like Pecos Bill's and Cosmic Rays. A 1/2 pound burger topped with 2 pound of sauteed mushrooms from the condiment bar. Mmmm...

    We've never seen the Country Bear Jamboree, so we mosey on over there after lunch. Madison and Evan absolutely love it. I have a feeling we'll be seeing this show again on this trip.
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    And now is the time that one of us has been getting excited about for months, and one of us has not. Madison is finally tall enough to ride big rides like Splash mountain. Evan, even in his tallest shoes, is still 3/4 of an inch short. Bambi takes him back to the Barnstormer, Dumbo, etc. While Grandma, Grandpa and I take Madison to Splash Mountain. Since it's 91° out, a lot of other people have the same idea. We didn't get Fast Passes, but standby is only 35 minutes. I've never ridden this either, so at least I get to check out the decor in the queue area.
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    The further we went into the queue, the nervous-er (it's a word now) Madison got. We kept assuring her that it was fine and that is was just a ride.
    Meanwhile, Bambi was heading back over to Fantasy Land when she ran into Goofy and Donald. She snapped this while waiting in line.
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    Remember when I said Evan got over his fear of characters? Well, Goofy found that out. Bambi said this hug was as forceful as any she has seen Evan give in his 3 years.
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    Meanwhile, back at Splash Mountain, Madison is still nervous. Not only is the inside queue area dark, but we start seeing Brier Fox. She's not scared for herself, she's scared of what he's going to do to Brier Rabbit. Once we get to the load area, she starts worrying about how wet she will get. Uh-oh. We're tying to keep her first ride as happy as we can so we don't turn her off to these thrill rides in the future. Madison is sitting to my left in the 2nd row as we approach the first climb. We see the logs ahead of us getting splashed by the water shooting up around the logs coming down the drop to my right. I'm watching and see that its the tail end of the logs that take the brunt of the water, so we should be OK. But, as is our luck, our log is just a bit slower and it looks like the first two rows will get drenched. As the water is shot up above us, "dad" mode kicks in. I duck Madison down and lean over her as if shielding us from a bomb blast. My back takes a direct hit of about 12 gallons of water and she gets a little mist from around the side. As we sit up again, she's giggling that she got a little wet, I feel as if I just swam the English Channel. The things we do for our kids. :goodvibes
    The rest of the ride was OK. Madison was very concerned about Brier Rabbit and what Brier Fox was going to do to him. The big drop was a bit of a surprise to her, but she loved it. And by the time we got to the riverboat scene, Madison was dancing along and all was right with the world.

    Around this time, Bambi and Evan had ridden the carousel and were in line for Dumbo. I think this is Evan's favorite part of the ride:
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    After we finished Splash Mountain we cooled off with a Mickey Premium bar while waiting for Bambi and Evan to get back from Dumbo. We had a date with Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, and Evan was (again) too short. He wasn't as upset this time, though, because he and Grandpa were going to ride the Walt Disney World Rail Road from Frontier Land over to Toontown. That boy loves his trains.

    So Bambi, Madison, Grandma and I head up to BTMRR for Madison's first ride. The before picture. Note the excitement:
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    And the After picture. My wind blown hair and one happy little girl.
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    We met up with Evan and Grandpa in Fantasy Land for a little snack / cool off in Pinocchio's. We snagged a seat next to the its a small world boats, and Evan was enjoying the view (and the chocolate milk)
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    I left them there while I ran to get Peter Pan Fast Passes, but found the machines had already been covered and the standby wait was 45 minutes. I ran over to Pooh's honeypots to get Fast Passes there and got surprise FPs to Mickey's Philharmagic. Not like we needed them as the standby line was 5 minutes, but we used them anyway.
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    2 sets of 3D glasses. Does this mean she sees it in 6D?
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    The kids really like this show (so do I!). It's fun watching them grab for the floating jewels and food.

    By this time we could go over to Pooh and use our Fast Passes.
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    Before this attraction was Pooh's Honey Pots, it was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I'd never been on it as that, but if you look back to your left as you enter the first set of doors, you see a picture of Mr. Toad handing the deed to the property over to Owl. Interesting bit of Imagineering there.
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    After Pooh, we went back and rode Dumbo while Bambi waited in line for Ariel.
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    By this time it was still brutally hot and it was starting to drain on all of us. We watched the last few minutes of Dream Along with Mickey. Madison has seen this show a few times and listened to the soundtrack CD dozens more. Yet she is still afraid of Maleficent. But everything turns out OK, because the Kingdom is saved by the power of our Dreams! :wizard:

    The 5:40 "Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it Street Party" would start shortly, so we hung around for that. Evan was pooped and spent a good portion of the show sitting in my lap watching. Madison, however, found some energy to go and out to shake her tail feathers.
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    After that party ended, we headed for the exits. We did get to ride the ferry back, but by the time we made it to the van, but kids were just about asleep. If they fell asleep now, we'd never get any dinner into them. We needed something quick, so we went to the Golden Corral on 192. Food is already ready and there is enough variety to satisfy everyone.

    Tomorrow: Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios : Evan's first "big kid" ride and a Character Blitz at the Magic of Disney Animation!
     
  14. that's nice

    that's nice DIS Dad #330

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    Great pics!!!!

    I've always wanted to make RD but we never make it... maybe some day.:confused3 It's awesome that the lines are non-existent! Smart move doing the fairies first then the princess. You can see the joy on your kids faces meeting the characters.

    This was the same kind of heat we were dealing with too. :sunny::sad2:

    Last March while waiting in the line for Dumbo, DW & I saw a few kids licking that mirror. We looked at each other and were grossed out.

    I'm glad you DD liked SM. I hope to have mine riding that next time!
     
  15. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    HA! :rotfl:
     
  16. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Goodness gracious! I was a couple of updates behind. The pictures with the fairies and the princesses are adorable. And, it looks like Ms. Madison was busting some cool moves at the Shake It party!
     
  17. luckylady

    luckylady DIS Veteran

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    Great day you had. Love the daddy and daughter matching dress and shirt. Kids are cuties.
     
  18. Disneymoon09

    Disneymoon09 DIS Veteran

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    Great updates! :)
     
  19. praisehisname

    praisehisname DIS Veteran

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    Great update and pics! You got a lot done despite the heat. I'm glad Madison liked Splash!
     
  20. GoHerd1028

    GoHerd1028 <font color=red>DDC 172<br><font color=green>"Inse

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    Isnt it great how you can cram so much in such a short time during the off season when lines are less crowded? I am going to miss that next year!!!
     
  21. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    We've only made Rope Drop once, and it was at Hollywood Studios on our last trip. I've heard about the opening ceremony at MK and want to see it some day. It's always good to save some experiences for the next trip, right?
    :)

    That girl will dance to any type of music you play. Adding characters just makes it extra awesome. :dance3:

    Evan had one too, but grew out of it. That's actually Madison's 2nd dress. She outgrew here original, and then we found that one at a garage sale for $2. Score!:thumbsup2

    Thanks. Writing a TR is harder than I thought. I'm going solely off of memory, picture time stamps, my Facebook history and my online credit card statement. I guess taking notes would have helped.

    It helps that the crowds were down. Since you're not standing in line as much, there is more time for cool down breaks.

    I know. Bambi has already made it clear that she does not mind the kids missing a week of school for future vacations. Off season, here we come! :woohoo:
     

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