An Extreme Couponer's Surprise Trip to Tatooine-12/4 Bringing the Magic Back

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by bizeemom4, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Mommy2BnB

    Mommy2BnB Mouseketeer

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    Joining in. I have a huge Star Wars fan in my house. We were there during SWW, but I neglected to tell him it was going on because I didn't want to fight the crowds or stand in M&G lines all day. ;) So I hope to become a pro from reading your TP so I will be more willing to try SWW next time.

    Sorry you had such a bad check-in/first night. That does stink. I don't blame you for not wanting to be in the 70's section. We love the 50's.

    I bet you were ready to strangle your Dsis for changing her mind about leaving/staying in the MK. She definitely didn't make it easy on you. :rotfl:

    I am totally amazed at how you were able to get out of bed and to the park in 30 minutes. That has to be a new record!!! And I am also amazed at all of the M&G's that you had. Your boys look pretty excited about it too.

    Can't wait to read more. :)
     
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  3. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    You really must try it! The lines seem to be longer than I remember 5 years ago. You have to sacrifice a whole day to Bounty Hunting but it's totally worth it.
     
  4. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    :)Thanks!

    Stay tuned for another episode this afternoon!
     
  5. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    We made it to Epcot before park opening.

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    This is was today's facebook Check In photo posted for the folks back home.

    As soon as we're in, Alex gets our tickets and he's instructed to go line up for Soarin'. "Don't go in and stop as soon as you see the crowd of people lined up. Lemmings group together as soon as they see the rope. Keep walking past everyone and you'll find empty spots at the rope." Nick and I amble our way through the park and see Alex in an excellent position poised ropeside. I must get that child on the high school track team. He can move!

    The Fab 5 come out for a quick meet and greet, the family of the day make their way in the test track vehicle and then....the imaginary firing of the Soarin' starters pistol.

    Nick and I lose sight of Alex because we are not racing with the crowd (a first for me not to be huffing and shoving with the leader). We make it into the Land and Alex is standing on the standby entrance waiting for us with 3 fast passes in hand. Really, Alex. Why are you not on the track team?

    If I had been here alone, I would have jumped in the standby line. The boys only want to ride it once so we turn around and leave and head to Test Track. We go on it together standby and then again single rider. Nick and I end up in the same car and Alex is in the one right behind us. Gotta love single rider! At this point, DSis texts that they have their Soarin' fast passes. Where are we? Just finished TT and heading over to Mission Space. DSis texts that she is headed that way. We think she means Mission Space so we go there and stand around. She meant that she's headed to TT. We find each other via text message and we ride TT together, getting a kiddie swap pass for DBil who sits out with Zoe. She's not ready for fast cars and freedom.
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    Next is "Memo" for the little guys then Soarin' with a FP without DBil and Zoe again. I love riding this with newbies. The family to my left had never ridden it and their reactions don't disappoint. I like listening to the ooohs and ahs and how happy people get on this ride. Alex runs off to Mission Space to get FP. I think he's out of the building before we all manage to get on the escalator.

    Time for lunch and another family tradition. We love to eat on the Yakitori House patio. It's so peaceful and we never skip it. On our way there, we stop in Morocco to get Nick a lamb gyro and a Baklava.

    We have a local Greek Festival one weekend every May. It is so popular that the lines are half an hour or more for each food section. We went for gyros this year and we were going to go back another day for Baklava but it rained the remainder of the weekend and we never made it back. Mommy guilt that I failed BUT when I started planning for this trip, I knew that I had a chance for Baklava and redemption.

    We carry Nick's lunch with us with us to Japan and DBil and I go in to get lunch for the rest of the crew.
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    Sippy cup not included.
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    Unfortunately, today's lunch will not be a zen experience. The table beside us has 5 very naughty boys around Nick's age who thought it would be great fun to harass and kick the ducks. My DSis finally had enough and said "Don't kick them!" We thought that they were unsupervised but DSis's comment gets the attention of one of the two women gabbing at a table behind them. She comments "What???" At this point, the boys start feeding the ducks broccoli and other food and the women become animated and laugh and encourage the bad behavior. Ladies - if you are reading this, shame on you.

    They run out of ammunition and move on to harass other poor helpless creatures and other tourists. We tried to conjur up the peace and serenity that we expect in this place although the behavior of that family really tarnished the experience and still hangs with us.

    Next Up: Kringa. Kring a luh. Kringal ah.
     
  6. tinytreasures

    tinytreasures DIS Veteran

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    The kids received these awesome shirts as part of the Big Give.
    Darth Vader and Darth Maul were in full character mode and did not want to have anything to do with my kids. Darth Maul even saw my kids at the parade and looked right at them like he remembered them. It freaked the kids out. The Rebels totally loved my kids. Chewbecca was so excited when he saw my kids. He was suppose to leave but came right down to them in their wheels chairs it was amazing. :lovestruc

    Sorry I have to mess with C's face he is not legally adopted yet and you are not suppose to post his picture online :rolleyes1
    You can see from the look on Ella's face he was in Character mode.

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  7. okw19

    okw19 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! :) Just caught up and I can't wait to read more. It was great to read about Star Wars weekend. popcorn::
     
  8. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Sorry for the delay in getting the next chapter up.

    In the meantime, for those that are thinking about taking the kids next year, enjoy this little video. This was from our meeting with Chewie on our first day.

    Chewbacca Meet and Greet

    You will want to turn your sound down. My camera records really loud. Sorry for being a loud mouth. :rotfl:
     
  9. mindondisney

    mindondisney Mouseketeer

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    Test track never disappoints. The single rider line is the best way to move right through. I can't wait until our kids are big enough to ride things that way!

    Just how tall is that Chewie anyway?
     
  10. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Ok so our lunch break didn't go as planned. Let's get out of here for a swim break to lighten our spirits. We all begin the exceptionally long walk from the back of World Showcase.

    As we are walking by Italy, I mention to DSis and family that they should see the Ziti sisters show if they have time. I saw it last year and thought it was funny. DBil reads the sign as we walk by and says to DSis "It's starting in 4 minutes..." She waves him off and we all keep walking. When you are hot and headed to the pool, 4 minutes is an awfully long time.

    It was so hot. We saw no shows. We saw no movies. We met no characters. We did get a fastpass on our way out for Maelstrom. I've never needed one but the crowds seem thick today. I pocket these just in case.
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    On the first monorail from Epcot to the TTC, I took pictures of Matthew. He stood up, he sat down. He laid down. At one point, he was holding on to the pole and hanging in a standing backbend looking at the boys. One of us wasn't tired yet.

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    We changed in DSis's room which took an awfully long time with one bathroom and eight people - three of whom were very excited people happy to run around with no clothes on in anticipation of another fun swimming break. No! It was not me, my sister and her husband! We skillfully averted our eyes by speaking while staring at the ceiling while my DSis and DBil wrangled everyone ages 7 and under into swimming suits.

    Returning to the park later after a nice respite, DSis took my boys to Mission Space while I went with DBil to the UK. They had dinner reservations at Beach Club at 5:20 so I walked with him to help get all the kids closer to the hotel. The Showcase Players are starting their show and we decide to watch. As I'm starting to sit down, DSis texts "Can you come to Mission Space? I need to leave for dinner." I walk to M:S but I don't see her anywhere. My boys always stop in the arcade to make a video in the little photobooths so this is the best place to wait for them. I make a video and I'm ready to start another one just as DSis and the boys exit the ride. DSis says that she decided to ride with them after all and she has to run! I could have stayed in the UK for the show after all. She races to the back of the park to meet up with her family.

    Alex, Nick and I hit Spaceship Earth then Imagination. There was no one in the Imagination Pavilion so we took our time walking in, taking pictures.

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    We rode the ride, holding our breath in the scent room and then played in the music makers. I was disappointed to see that they had removed the computers where you used to take pictures and email them.
    Fun with the Music Machines!

    We had dinner reservations in Mexico at San Angel - another new place for us. We walked to the restaurant and looked at the menu. The boys don't like the menu choices though so we pass on both eating here and doing the boat ride. Are the boys too big for a Donald Duck boat ride through pseudo-Mexico? I guess so.

    I must say that it's a nice option to walk away from a restaurant and not feel compelled to burn dining credits! We have had the dining plan on the last 4 or 5 trips but this time we don't. I'll opt in for Nick when it's free dining time and not worry about how little he eats. When I have to pay for it, it's not worth the money for him to get it. He barely eats more than what you get with an average kids meal but I have to pay for an adult plan. I can't help him out with his dining credits either because I can barely finish my credits without sleeping sitting up!

    We go next door and ride Maelstrom with FP. This is the line and the queue inside was FULL!
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    That's a first! I've never seen it busy. Gloating slightly, we walked on to the front row of the boat via the fast pass line without even pausing and cut through the movie just as it was starting when we got back.

    We split 2 sandwiches for dinner and get 3 school breads to-go at Kringla. I like the food here but I like going just to say the name. Kringla. Kring u lah. Kringa lahhh...sorry. The sandwiches were great. One was turkey, cheese and bacon and the other was ham and apple. Loved.them.both! DSis texts where are we? Meet us at Kringla. Yeah in Norway. Kring u lah. :) The boys were still hungry so they asked if they could share one of the schoolbreads while we waited for her. They were so good that they asked if they could each eat their other half. Well, I ate mine too. So much for to-go for tomorrow.

    DSis arrives with just her two boys. Zoe choked on some fruit during dinner and got sick all over herself and Cape May. DSis was thankful that the bathrooms at Beach Club have real washcloths for damage control.
    Schoolbread -
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    Mmmm. Kringla
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    We rode Test Track with a fast pass and call it a night. Fun on Test Track!

    We still had 3 fast passes for TT (and a rider swap for TT and Soarin) and as we were walking out, we pulled out the fast passes to regift them as the wait was
    [​IMG]. Yep - 70 minutes!

    We got distracted walking DSis to the monorail and ended up carrying them back to the hotel. We were going to give them to people waiting at the bus stop but somehow forgot to do that too so we took them back to Pennsylvania with us.

    See ya boring, old Epcot. ;)

    Next up: 10 hours at Animal Kingdom (was not enough)
     
  11. mindondisney

    mindondisney Mouseketeer

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    To be fair, I would say that the original plan was for the "big boys" to go on the Orange line of the Mission Space ride. As we got there, there was definitely some hesitation, even if they are big boys. That is the first time that the Orange line was waiting 15 minutes with a fast pass, whereas the Green was not waiting. Waa laa! I think that provided the "perfect out" for the older boys since we could ride green and I could still sprint across the entire park then arrive at dinner (sweating and red faced).

    Who ever thought the Orange line would be crowded? Most of the time people are avoiding that line like the plague!
     
  12. Mommy2BnB

    Mommy2BnB Mouseketeer

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    So Epcot is boring? My kids would agree. I meant for them to try a KP mission, but forgot to do that.

    The school bread looks yummy. I'm still kicking myself for not getting any when we were there. I was even standing outside the Norway pavilion thinking I should go get some and still didn't do it. Oh well, next trip, right?

    We loved Animal Kingdom, too. Can't wait to read about your day there.
     
  13. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! We have another Star Wars weekend planned at the end of the trip so stick around.
     
  14. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    And for those of you just joining, this is DSis folks. :flower3:

    Orange line. Green line. Guess which line I pick. No line. I think it's awesome that anyone is brave enough for this ride. For me, it was a Once in a Lifetime experience. As in, one time was enough to hold me for the rest of my life.
     
  15. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    We were just saying that after a weekend of chasing bounty hunters at Star Wars events, that Epcot was much more tame. We still loved it although we didn't really do much this time because of the heat.

    I love School Bread. I only tried it the first time because of reading raving about it on Disboards. Now we love it!
     
  16. princess_chloee

    princess_chloee do you believe in magic?

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    keep the posts coming mom! want to hear about the rest of your trip! :)
     
  17. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Animal Kingdom morning dawned after a nice, long sleep. We showered, dressed and left the room early enough (we thought) to make rope drop. I had to stop by the front desk to check out/in. We had a continuing reservation here and these were the 2 nights that DSis was paying for so I had a separate ressie for tonight/tomorrow. The computers were all down and they could not issue any new keys at this time. I was advised by a very smiley cast member to stop back again tonight when we return and we can get new keys. I certainly did not have luck on my side at the Pop this trip and would need to return later for my SIXTH trip to the check in desk on this trip. :sad2:

    We waited a longer than usual time for a bus. Lots of every park except AK buses until we got one. Bad key and bus karma this morning and we missed the park opening time! I'm stressed out because we were definitely supposed to meet sister for RD and now we're late.

    We text her when we get in the park and she texts that she is headed to Everest for Fast Passes. Can we get Kali FP and meet at the Safari entrance? They were a smidge after RD too so it's all good. Phew. Alex is off like the flash that he is to Kali and meets up with us as we are watching the African drummer near Tusker house. And we wait. And we wait as the crowds file passed us to get on Safari. We bought breakfast at the stand outside of Tusker house. I finally have to text her "Where are you?" They decided to jump on Dinosaur. The standby is now 30 minutes for Safari so we don't get in line to ride it. We walk towards Everest stopping to take a few quick pics -
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    The boys ride Everest Standby 10 minutes then 2 more times in single rider! While they were gone, I tried out the camera's Close Up button on this dragonfly.
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    When did I get so old that taking pictures of dragonflies is more exciting that riding roller coasters?

    We make our way to Dinoland and DSis's family is riding TriCeratops. The boys get a turn to spin on a triceratops.
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    All we need to do is round up the group and move on so we send DBil and Alex off to Africa for FP for Safari. We told them to meet us outside of the Pangani Trail after they get FP. As we are herding the cats together, we see Goofy walking towards the M&G line. We jumped over the chains and lined up right away and we are the second family.

    We also tried to get a cute random picture of the boys. Can't decide which one is my favorite -
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    Oh forget it. We'd better go. We rush our way over to the Pangani trail ready to apologize for the impromptu character pictures slightly detaining us. We arrive but Alex and DBil are nowhere to be found. A quick text and we find out that they went to the other trail - the tiger trail in Asia. Ooops. We wait for them, hitting the bathrooms and then the gift shop.

    While we waited, I bought a postcard to send home. Every trip, I always vow to send a postcard home on the first day. The first day slips into the next and sometimes, I'm mailing something home hoping that it beats my plane home. So here we are on Tuesday of the trip (5th day into the trip) and I've yet to mail anything. I select a cool Gorilla postcard but they don't sell any stamps. So I carry the postcard around all day. We are reunited and now DSis wants to get her kids a snack. We move the group closer to the Forest Trail and she and DBil head off for Jalapeño pretzels. I stand with the kids and entertain them by playing Disney theme park music on my phone.
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    "Play the Haunted Mansion one again Aunt Lala!" DBil and DSis return to the group huddled over my phone and I graciously wave my hand over the group and say "I've got everything under control." like I'm the Pied Piper of Parenting. DSis and family decide to sit out the Trail and enjoy their snack while the safari FP mature. Can I ask why they put the gorillas at the end of the trail? That's all that I want to see. We hurry thru the deer and the fish and the birds. We found one Timon standing guard and then head off in search of the stars of the show.

    Not too much happening today. We did find this guy heading off to take a nap with his blankey.
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    After the trail, we ride the Safari. Ok. Show of hands. How many repeat visitors ride the Safari vowing at the beginning not to take any more animal pictures? "We've ridden it plenty of times and always take the same ones. You'll just have more pictures to delete when you get home. Don't do it again this time." I say to myself. Well, as soon as we are off on our 2 week adventure, the lens cap comes off and I am animatedly snapping away.

    Rationalization - I'm having fun and last time I didn't have this fancy new camera with the sports feature that allows me to take 30 pictures in a row of the same giraffe.
    [​IMG]

    We made two more trips to Everest. I sat out as did DBil and their younger two. With 4 FPasses and a kiddie swap pass used now and another 3 FPasses for later, we head for Kali River. DBil took my boys and Matthew and got a kiddie swap. DSis used that to take Matthew and Alex and 1 FP for Nick. I enjoyed the downtime with a delightful Raspberry iced tea from the tea stand. It was $4 for a large tea but oh so good. In fact, it was so good that when we came back later for another round of Kali, I bought another one. They were 'Mrs. Cheapskate spent $8 on two iced teas' good.

    DSis got a set of Kali river Fast Passes for later and we went off on our own in search of lunch. We didn't go far and voted for A/C and burgers in Restaurantasaurus. Alex and I ordered a 1/3 pound burger and Nick got a Po boy sandwich to go with the Po Century resort (that still wasn't fixed from the other night by the way). Nick didn't care too much for his entrée - too much bread for him. Here's a picture of Alex's burger -
    [​IMG]
    Too slow. I should have used the sports mode. He inhaled it so I gave him half of mine which he ate along with all his fries. Too bad I couldn’t get the dining plan just for him!

    Not the best choice but we rode Dinosaur right after lunch.
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    Run, boys, run!

    We saw the parade after finding a spot at the rope. My boys didn't want to see it but we were right here and it was about to start so I made them watch it. We rode Kali with DSis 1 more time. I rode it this time with the boys and my pretty light and airy sundress became a cling-to-my-skin-and-show-the-goods dress that I needed to blow dry in the ladies room. NO photos for that 1. Sorry.

    My DSis left for dinner at Boma and the boys used their leftover Everest FP to push their total for the day to SIX times on Everest and 3 trips on Kali. We also saw Tough to be a Bug and went left instead of right at the exit and saw the big tortoise and some beautiful birds.

    The park was a bit congested today don't you think?
    [​IMG]

    We hit the Safari with our last set of Fast Passes that I don't remember when exactly we obtained them (the heat must have been getting to me, maybe we got them before the parade?) at 6:30. The last Safari departed at 7 today per the sign and the standby line was backed up. How does that work when the queue is full but the animals need to go to bed?

    The animals were on the move and before I knew it, the lens cap was coming down and off I went, snapping away.

    This time the giraffes were walking the other way. I should take a picture of that. 30 to be sure I got it.
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    The driver stopped the jeep and told us that if we were quiet, we could hear the lion roaring but we didn't. I did use the sports mode to capture a 150 semi-identical photo sequence of the male lion pacing around.
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    We stayed until just before the park closed and as we were leaving they were preparing the front area for something. We stuck around to see what was coming. It was the closing show for the park which I hadn't heard of or seen before.
    [​IMG]

    There we go - 10 hours in Animal Kingdom. We didn't see Fish Sticks (the name that my sister and I have given to the Nemo show) or Lion King. We only stopped to grab breakfast to go and a counter service lunch. Somehow we didn't fit anything else into 10 hours!!!
     
  18. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    I know that you've been just...hanging around....
    [​IMG]
    hoping that I would come back tonight at post some more great photos that I snapped on the Safari ride and around the park. :laughing:
    Thought so!!!

    The Timon - ok. I don't remember his species but I do know his stage name.
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    Betcha can't spot the fake bird in this photo series:
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    Don't let the vultures fool you. This rhino was merely resting on the Safari.
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  19. mindondisney

    mindondisney Mouseketeer

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    I do believe that if everyone combines their pictures, we could make a family album for the animals. It's like a family reunion with the animals every year. LOL:lmao:
     
  20. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    That's a good idea. Too bad they can't look at it like humans do. "Oh, Giraffe1. You look good in this one." "You don't think it makes my neck look short?"

    There was a thread awhile ago where people were to post a picture and if someone else had the identical picture, they posted it. I wonder how many duplicates we could get? I think I may start that.
     
  21. mrssmith06

    mrssmith06 DIS Veteran

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    Well I have sat here for an hour and read through your entire TR. Guess I'm enjoying it :lmao: Seriously, great report so far, Looking forward to more! ;)
     

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