A Gaggle of Band Geeks on a NYE Dream FINISHED! 2/28

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Sooze, May 12, 2012.

  1. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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  3. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    Once upon a time, there was a group of friends. These friends had something very special in common... they were all musicians who were big-time drum and bugle corps fanatics. Throughout the past few decades, these friends worked with some of the world's best drum and bugle corps. Some of them were entered into the DCI Hall of Fame, while others are future DCI Hall of Famers! (Google it!) These friends slowly realized that while drum and bugle corps was a passion they shared, they also shared another passion... a passion for a MOUSE! Soon, they were all DVC members, and could be seen vacationing together at different times of the year. When they weren't together, they were taunting each other via text groups about their Disney whereabouts and adventures.

    One day, a member of the group (whom we shall call DVD) came up with this brilliant idea: "What if all of us planned a Disney cruise together? We could take our wives and children and have the time of our lives?!" A week later.. it was booked and this Gaggle of Band Geeks had themselves a cruise vacation to look forward to!

    Well, after almost two years of waiting, the cruise vacation of a lifetime was finally here! Coming up, you will see MANY pictures of their adventure, narrated briefly by one of the 'wives'... ME!! princess:

    Since the group we traveled with was 14 people strong, I will spare you the meet n greet. If you have followed my TRs before, you might know a few of them, as they have popped in and out of many of our trips! Just know that the men in this group have been the best of friends and drum corps colleagues for many years. And the wives? We have become pretty close too!! How could we not? We all agreed to let our husbands leave us for weeks at a time to educate young people all summer!

    So sit back, relax, and enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions, since I won't be going into TOO much detail!
     
  4. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    Our trip began Christmas Day with a limo ride to the airport. Dean, Adrianna, and Abby live very close to us… so Matt(DH) and Dean surprised us all with the fancy transportation! The heavenly trip began the second we pulled out of the driveway!!
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    Dean is on the left, Matt on the right:
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    Dean’s wife, Adrianna, and their daughter, Abby:
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    Me and the kids, Tyson and Shaelyn:
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    Soon we were on the plane and headed to our Happy Place:
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    (Sorry about the glasses reflection!)
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    When we arrived, we headed to ME, and had ABSOLUTELY NO WAIT!! YES!!! Then, as we walked out to our bus, we saw that we were being put on a plain ol’ Yellow Mears Bus. BOO!! Very unmagical!
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    The bus was full of people, who had probably been waiting for a long time. We were forced to sit all the way in the back, which was probably a good thing, since we are trouble-makers! As soon as we sat down, the bus pulled away… VERY magical, indeed!
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    Disney Crazy!
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    We wasted NO time. As soon as we checked into Pop Century (we stayed there one night as a last minute add-on, so we could get cheaper Christmas Day flights), we were off to Hollywood Studios.

    I love this shot of Dean, Adriann, and Abby, since she’s a teenager… and these moments are quite precious!
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    So happy to be here!
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    We had NINE DAYS of vacation ahead of us!!
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    We enjoyed some seasonal window displays on our way into the park.
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    First stop was Tower of Terror!! Dean is a big ol’ baby when it comes to scary rides, but he still rocks it out! Love the ride picture (tho’ Dean’s excitement blocked my face.. nice, I know!)
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    We wanted to take in the Christmas atmosphere (since it WAS Christmas, after all!) so we headed to Osborne Lights.


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    Matt and I had a quiet moment:
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    After taking in the Christmas lights, for a long time… Shae and I decided to wait out the Toy Story Mania line, while the rest of our clan tackled the Rock n Roller Coaster line. We were expecting HORRIBLE crowds, but DHS was very reasonable! Neither group had to wait too terribly long!

    Shae having a somber TSM moment:
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    After whetting our Disney appetite with time at DHS, it was time to head to bed. All of us were transferring to new resorts in the morning. We were off to AKL (Kidani) and our friends were staying at BLT. (We are all DVC members.) I grabbed some fun shots of the 80’s shadow boxes in Pop Century’s lobby. I could look at these things all day! So many memories!

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    I don’t even remember much more about this evening. I think we truly ‘hit the hay’ and fell quickly asleep! We were dreaming of all of the adventures that lay ahead of us, starting with showing our friends Festival of the Lion King for the first time!! (Gotta love that!)
     
  5. howlongtildisney

    howlongtildisney Mouseketeer

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    I've lurked for a long time on your reports, so I thought I'd come out of lurkdom to say hi! Can't wait for more!
     
  6. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:
    Well, welcome!! I'm so glad you came out of lurkdom!! Hoping to get this one done in a more timely manner than... well.. than ALL of my other TRs!:rotfl: 10 more school days and I'll be on summer break, so I'll be able to get this done in a jiffy!!
     
  7. micandminforever

    micandminforever DIS Veteran

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    Signing up for the cruise with the Band Geeks.

    I love Shae's Minnie Shirt. Pictures on TOT are the perfect way to start a trip report along with ending Christmas day with the lights.
     
  8. jwwi

    jwwi DIS Veteran

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    Just finished your other report, and on to a new one. Don't you just love all the Christmas decorations. So pretty and magical all at the same time.
     
  9. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    Thank you both for being such consistent readers of my TRs! I love having you along!
     
  10. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    All right! Another trip report already! :cool1: Yay for DVC-loving band geeks. :thumbsup2

    I notice that Tyson is still rockin' his "Got Hobo?" shirt. :lmao:
     
  11. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    I am SO behind, Glenn!! I'm hoping this one is done by the time we take our October trip.... ;)

    Good eye on the Hobo shirt!! :thumbsup2

    Thanks for joining in on yet another Sooze report! So glad you're here!
     
  12. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    As I look back at my pictures, I am reminded of how LAID BACK this trip was. I definitely did NOT take a lot of pictures during the first part of the trip, as I was saving my photographic energy for the ship. But this day was a great example of how slow we took things.

    We slept in at Pop Century, then packed up our luggage and had it transferred over to AKL, where we were staying at Kidani for one night. Soon we were on our way to AK for some favorite rides and attractions. Here we are, happily on our way on a Disney bus!

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    As soon as we arrived, Tyson and I were off to Everest:
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    We took full advantage of the single rider line, and rode 4 times in a row! LOVE that single rider line!

    Matt took Shaelyn to the Dino area, where she enjoyed some time in the Boneyard. Tyson and I strolled over there in time to play some more.
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    It was nice just sitting and relaxing while the kids played away:
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    Afterwards, we were strolling through the Dino area, and Tyson noticed that BOTH sides of Primeval Whirl were operating! The line was moving so much faster!! So we hopped in, leaving Matt and Shae to enjoy Triceratops Spin. Well, no sooner had we gotten in line… one side broke down. We figured we’d just tough it out and wait… BIG MISTAKE!! It took almost an HOUR to get through that line. Blah! The ride was fun, as usual, but definitely NOT worth that wait! Matt and Shae had ridden Triceratops Spin MULTIPLE times… there were very sick of waiting for us.

    We enjoyed our favorite show, Festival of the Lion King, and were quite surprised at how manageable the crowds were. Both Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom were fine! Not any worse than Spring Break. We were beginning to wonder if this rumor about the week after Christmas was a false one! (Stay tuned for more on that!) :eek:

    After milling around Animal Kingdom for a few hours, we decided to make our way home to enjoy the rest of the day at Kidani. Fortunately, the pool area was pretty empty. And MORE fortunately, they had an AMAZING little slide that Shae just adored… and they had swim vests that made her feel completely safe. So guess what?!? I got to RELAX BY THE POOL!! WHAT?!?! First time in 11 years, thank you very much!
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    That night, we ordered room service, and just enjoyed our beautiful studio villa!

    The next day, things were going to start getting crazy! Another band geek family, whom we shall call Beauty, Beast, and Chip, were arriving from Massachusetts. And another band geek family, hereby known as Uncle Ralphie and Dez, would be arriving from Colorado. We all had reservations at Via Napoli, and reserved seating for the Candlelight Processional. Oh yes… a gaggle of band geeks sitting right in front of the herald trumpets!? That can only mean fun is in store!
     
  13. hcoker1

    hcoker1 Mouseketeer

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    Band Geeks unite! :cool1: (high school music teacher here...my husband is the music spouse!)

    Looking forward to reading your trip report (and jealous that you guys are almost finished school, we are done until June 30 :faint:)
     
  14. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:
    I love it when Band Geeks join my TRs!!! Welcome!!

    June 30?!?!?! :scared1:


    But here... I'll make you feel better. Would you like to know when I go BACK to school!?


    AUGUST 1!! Then you can laugh at me! (we are doing a modified year round calendar.... so I'll get some nice breaks throughout the year.)

    Again, thanks for checking in!
     
  15. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    The next day was another sleeping in day! We took our time packing up (again!) and getting ready to move to yet ANOTHER resort! This time, we were joining our friends Beauty, Beast, and Chip in a 2-bedroom villa at the BLT! We had never stayed at the newest DVC resort and were looking forward to it very much!

    Beast called and said they were all checked in at BLT. We took up his offer to come get us and personally escort us ‘home’. Here we are waiting for our ride:
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    One more glance at Kidani… I really have grown to love this place!
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    We were soon scoping out our digs at BLT. We had a ground floor villa that overlooked some landscaping and sidewalks. It was actually not a bad view! And the villa?!? WOW! It is HUGE! I know you are NOT going to believe this, but I took NO pictures of our villa. How embarrassing!!!

    We dumped our luggage, looked around for a bit, and soon found ourselves on a monorail… heading to Epcot!
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    Surfin’ on the monorail!
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    Our first stop in Epcot was seeing Voices of Liberty (those of you who know me are saying, “Well DUH!!!”) Shae and I took a moment to rest while waiting:
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    Not sure?
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    Our favorite lady was leading the vocal ensemble.
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    And our favorite alto was here, too!
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    The kids wanted to explore the miniature train. I took the time to enjoy their love for each other.
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    The day went by quickly, as we explored Epcot and waited to join a big chunk of our band geek friends for the official kick-off of this vacation! Soon, we were checking in at Via Napoli with a table for 12! The meal was amazingly delicious, but very slow! Towards the end, we were realizing that if we didn’t get our dessert soon, we wouldn’t make it to the Candlelight Processional!!

    To ‘help’ us out, the wait staff at Via Napoli put our desserts in Styrofoam containers and sent us on our way. We had to open them up once we got to our seats at the Candlelight Processional. It was a bit crazy! See? Here is Abby, Chip, and Tyson:
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    Beauty and Beast, all the way from MA:
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    Our travel buddies, Dean and Adrianna:
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    Uncle Ralphie and Dez, all the way from CO:
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    Shae and me:
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    Because we were later to our ‘priority seating’ window than we wanted to be, we ended up WWWAAAAAYYYY stage left, right in front of the herald trumpeters.
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    You can imagine a group of band geeks sitting in front of these guys. I was hoping none of them gacked(played a rough note) because I was worried our group could get evil about it. Luckily for us, they were spot on tonight! We LOVED being right in front of them!
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    We also had an incredible view of the hearing-impaired interpreter. I was worried that she would distract me, but I ended up really enjoying her. It was like she was performing modern dance… her movements were so fluid and musical!
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    After the processional, we decided to give the ‘preferred viewing area’ for Illuminations a try. It was located right at the entrance of World Showcase, as you leave Future World. It sits right between the two shops. It was a decent view, but it was extremely crowded! Since we were with a large group anyway, we just went with it, and enjoyed ourselves!

    Soon, we were heading back home to our BLT. We got to ride the monorail quite a bit, and fortunately for us, it was empty! So we got to party on the monorail! Literally… Chip and Beast started this crazy song, that just got more and more crazy, along with our antics!
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    Getting sillier:
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    Laughing at the craziness:
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    Then things got REALLY crazy:
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    Yes, that is my crazy husband, on the ceiling of the monorail. I’m surprised we weren’t kicked off the thing!

    We spent some fabulous time back at the villa, hanging out with each other and building the excitement for the cruise!!! We had one more full day at Disney. Our last set of band geek friends were arriving tomorrow and we were going to ALL be together for dinner at O’Hana!!

    But first… we had to find those record-breaking crowds I had heard so much about. Oh yes… we found them!!
     
  16. jwwi

    jwwi DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like you really enjoyed your candlelight processional performance. I know nothing about music, but do enjoy listening to it:rotfl: I love VOL, now that you have raved about them for years! The pictures of the kids just enjoying their time at Epcot are so sweet.

    I stayed in a studio at BLT Nov 2011, and loved it. My sister and I had a beautiful lake view room on the 14th floor. So pretty. I know that the 2 bedroom villas are quite large, I'm sure you enjoyed the extra space. I almost think the studio would be tight with a family of four. (compared to OKW or VWL, which are the other two vacation club resorts I have stayed at) Too bad you have no pictures to share with us. But I can't wait to hear how you enjoyed the cruise.
     
  17. mermaid764

    mermaid764 DIS Veteran

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    Yay for another Sooze trip report!

    I was so excited to see another and am definitely here to follow along:goodvibes
     
  18. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    Well, I'm glad you are still coming along on this band geek report, whether you 'know about' music or not!! So glad you enjoy VoL too!

    I am so sorry I didn't take pictures!! The 2BR was HUGE! How are the studios at VWL?! That is one of the few DVC resorts we haven't visited... but are hoping to soon!

    One more day til the cruise!

    :cool1: :cool1:
    Thanks for coming back for more!!
     
  19. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    Since we were staying at a monorail hotel for the first time, it made sense that we would hit MK today. What didn’t make sense was that we would STAY at MK… Why? You ask? Well my trip report-reading friends…. WE FOUND THOSE HOLIDAY CROWDS today! WOW!

    As soon as we hit the park, we realized we were in trouble! The boys quickly headed off to find something fun to ride. Shae and I headed to Tomorrowland to see if Buzz Lightyear was good to go. And… NO, it wasn’t! The line was an hour long. YES! An hour! We headed to the Peoplemover, which also had quite a line.. YES! A LINE for the Peoplemover! It moved very quickly, though, and soon we were on board. As we zoomed above Tomorrowland, we just couldn’t stop gawking at how BIG the crowds were!

    Shae was just happy to be riding something:
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    Me too:
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    Enjoying our ride:
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    After riding, we fought the crowds around to Fantasyland. Shae’s only request was to ride the carousel. This made me nervous because the past few times we had ridden, it had been during EMH so we walked right on and were able to snag Cinderella’s horse every time! So she was already talking about riding Cinderella’s horse. Eek! I talked extensively about how difficult that would be with these crowds, and felt like she was prepared, but I was still dreading that moment when she saw somebody else get on ‘her’ horse!

    Well, the pixie dust was flying for us that crazy crowded day! We somehow ended up being right at the gate when they closed it. We had to wait through a 3rd round, but since we were the first ones out of the queue gate, we went straight for that ribbon! And here is Shae’s reaction when we actually got the horse:
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    Do you know what the ribbon looks like? I decided to take a picture of it, just in case nobody knew what to look for!
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    After riding only TWO things, we were DONE!! I’m not kidding… the crowds were awful! Here is our view on the way out:
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    I snagged a few nice shots on our way out and back 'home':
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    We decided to take advantage of the BLT! We got home and while most of the adults hit the beds for a nap, I was the lucky one who got to take the kids to the pool! (This became a theme for the next day!)

    The BLT pool is beautiful… but I have a major complaint! As soon as the sun starts to make it’s way to the west, the big, tall BLT blocks the sun from the pool!!! The pool sits in the shade of the tower!! Now, in July, that might be fine! But at the end of December… it was COLD!!!

    There was NO ONE in the pool. All of the kids who were there were crammed into the hot tub, because it was still in a spot of sun. Shae was insistent on swimming, so she still got in. I shivered on the side of the pool waiting for her to get cold and get out. I think she swam for 30 minutes. It was the longest 30 freezing minutes ever!
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    Tyson and Chip spent most of their time with the CMs running the pool games. Good thing for the CMs, because there was nobody in the pool!
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    Here’s a view of the sun-blocking tower:
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    And the slide that no one used because it was so darn cold!
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    Finally, after practically BEGGING to get back inside, I got the kids to go. We took long, hot showers, and started getting ready for our BIG meal at ‘Ohana!! This was going to be the first time our WHOLE group was together!!

    But first, I had a little mission to accomplish. My little princess had lost her first teeth just a few days before the trip. She wanted to take her teeth with her to WDW, so that Tinkerbell could be her tooth fairy! I left before the rest of our clan and headed to the concierge desk to see if they might be able to assist us in our very first Tinkerbell tooth fairy experience.

    Well, let me tell you… those CMs at the concierge desk were the epitome of Disney magic in action! When I told them about Shae’s teeth, I simply asked if Tinkerbell might be able to leave her a note. They were appalled! They said, “A very first lost tooth is worth much more than a NOTE!!” Then they took off, brainstorming all the things ‘Tink” could do!

    I let them know we’d be out of the villa for then next few hours and they said, “Leave it to us!”

    And they did not disappoint! Come back to see what Tink left for Shae!
     
  20. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for posting that picture of Cinderella's horse's ribbon. I'd read that there was a ribbon, but had no idea what it looked like. Not that I'll likely ever be on a mission to find that horse, but you never know!

    Ooo, I can't wait to find out what Tink left Shae for her first toofers!
     
  21. micandminforever

    micandminforever DIS Veteran

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    I wait to read about what Tink brought Shae and the dinner at Ohanas, so hurry back.
     

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