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. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Awww. Thanks so much! I am missing my nice young men right now. They have been out of town at the in-laws for TWO WEEKS! Can't wait for them to come home today. The reports from father-in-law have been how respectful and polite they are. :banana:
     
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  3. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Welcome to the report. Thanks for reading.

    Hmm. The cameras were my iPhone and a Nikon Coolpix L110. It was less than $200 and I love it. It works great as a video recorder too!
     
  4. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for posting! I'm glad that you like it. I'm going to post another update tonight before Alex and Nick get home from their summer vacation.
     
  5. Abby's Dad

    Abby's Dad DIS Veteran

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    Like I have always said, it isn't necessarily the camera that makes great pictures, but the person who is behind the camera - and you do very well.

    Oh, and BTW - LynnieLou is my other half.

    Fred
     
  6. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    We left Epcot thru the International Gateway (e.g. rear exit). DSis's room is reached via 10 long, carpeted miles of hallway. Back in the room and OMG! It’s 8:30 at night! These kids are supposed to be asleep already. BAD BABYSITTER. Ok let’s have a Pizza Party Picnic and then it’s bedtime.

    If you want pizza, you have to sit on the couch. Look how cute they all are waiting for pizza.

    [​IMG]

    Poor Zoe. I fed her shortbread cookies earlier. Her Mom said that she’s allergic to pizza crust so I pull the cheese and sauce off of her pizza and feed her just that. I can’t believe it but I don’t have a clue how much she’s supposed to eat. How is it possible to forget how much to feed a small child after raising four of my own? She doesn’t seem that hungry anymore but she’s SUCH a good baby that she never cries or asks me for anything. I have no idea what to do! There’s no baby food or anything that I can find except for Pop Tarts so I tear open a package and give her small pieces of that.

    Matthew gets his coveted 2nd slice of pizza, eats half of it and crawls in bed to watch some Disney cartoons. Not long after, he falls asleep while Corey and Miss Zoe are still awake tossing and turning. Alex and Nick are sitting on the floor looking sleepy and bored.

    I’m thinking that maybe the little guys are feeling like they can’t go to sleep because they might miss fun with Alex and Nick. I send my boys back to the Dolphin to go to bed. I almost didn’t do this because I was so scared that they would get lost or worse. Woman next year Alex is old enough to DRIVE himself to Disney and you’re scared to let him walk from this hotel to the one right next door? I hug them like I’m never going to see them again and make them promise to stay on the main path and take the bridge into the door by the big fountain and go straight to the room without going anywhere else. After they leave, I dig out the phone book and find the Dolphin’s phone number. I wait half an hour then call the hotel to check on the boys. Please answer. Please answer. “Hello? Yes, mom. We’re fine. No problems. No we didn’t lock the top lock. See you later.” I knew they would be ok the whole time! And YOU were worried!

    I lay down on the side of the bed and pretend to sleep, hoping that the babies will follow suit. Nope. Not Zoe. I pat her back for a long time but she doesn’t drop off. I’m not her Mama. I understand. Every so often, Corey sits straight up to make sure I’m still here and then lays back down. He falls asleep eventually but Zoe’s still awake when her Mama and Daddy come in looking really happy!

    They had a great time and I’m glad that they had a nice anniversary! And I’m sorry that I fed your daughter cookies, cheese and pop tarts for dinner. Goodnight!!!! Click.

    DSis walks me out the side door of the Yacht Club which is literally on the other side of the trees from the backside of the Dolphin. I walk along the sidewalk that follows the little water inlets in front of the Dolphin and can’t help but wonder if there are any critters like snakes or alligators just waiting for a tourist to walk along. Of course, not too much later, there is rustling in the grass and I panic until I realize it’s just a rabbit. Silly rabbit.

    Back in the room, all is well and the boys are asleep. I called bell services to have the luggage brought up. It comes up just a few minutes later and the bellman is not taking my cue of speaking in a whisper. Suitcases are falling over on the tile floor in the foyer and he’s chatting with me but the boys don’t move.

    I set the alarm for early tomorrow morning. Guess why. Another Star Wars day is ahead of us! And we are going to make it before the gate opens this time. We’re right beside the park. We can’t miss it! Sure.
     
  7. Abby's Dad

    Abby's Dad DIS Veteran

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    You've got me on the edge of my seat! And while we laugh about your boys going back to the room, and your checking on them, I still want to know that DD27 is home safely - and she doesn't even live at home anymore. I guess it's just part of our programming.
     
  8. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    My DD's first year in college in Florida took about five years off of my life. She had to text me every night when she was in her dorm safe for the evening. Some nights she would forget and I would get alarmed. I guess I watch too much Nancy Grace. HA HA.

    You really never stop being worried about them I guess?
     
  9. Maggie.lobe

    Maggie.lobe Earning My Ears

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    Hi i like your TR very much... i almost never post a replay because my English is not that good but i like it so much i wanted to let you know.. cant wait for the rest of it :)
     
  10. mindondisney

    mindondisney Mouseketeer

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    Thank you thank you thank you for taking excellent care of the babies. They all had a great time. I realize that it did take three of you to manage their needs, but that allowed us to have a really romantic dinner at Vic & Albert's that cannot be duplicated. What a great night. And, didn't you know that toddlers can still grow on just air and water?
     
  11. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to another Star Wars Weekend day and the final Friday of our trip. We begin the day with a spirited walk from the Dolphin hotel along the Boardwalk to Hollywood Studios. We walked down the path, leaving a trail of Pop Tart crumbs as we made our way as quickly as possible to the front gates thinking that the boats and busses weren’t running at 7 a.m.

    We made the peaceful yet rapid pace walk over to the park. As we rounded the turn where the offsite buses drop off, we were getting warm and tired from walking and noticed a Caribbean Beach resort bus dropping off guests. Awww, really? There are busses running this early? Busses but no boats and the Dolphin doesn’t have a bus to this park.

    Today, our target for celebrity fastpasses was the human embodiment of Darth Maul – Mr. Ray Park. He is the star that we captured via Stalkerazzi last weekend. I really wanted Peter Mayhew but the boys wanted Park so that’s what we did.

    We were actually EARLY enough that we got to stand in line at the turnstiles and soak in the Star Wars vibe. This you might say is the sweet spot and is where the money that you spent becomes worth it. Goose bumps when you hear the Star Wars themed music. The little songs from the Cantina Band on the soundtrack. Storm troopers standing guard on the roof. You know that everyone here is a Fan and is standing around in nervous anticipation of today’s events.

    Waiting at the Gates
    Please open the gates!

    Today we forego our traditional running of the bulls to Toy Story Mania because Nick would like to make it into Jedi Training. When we promise not to tell anyone, the Storm Troopers open the gates and we race to the tables to get him registered for a training class. We walk-ran right up and got a purple slip of paper for his class.

    So far, so great! Guaranteed face time with the legendary Ray Park AND a Jedi Training reservation accomplished by 8:15. We tucked the paper away for safe keeping and walked towards Mania. Here is the line as we ventured away from the registration desk.
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    You really need to be quick as this event is survival of the fittest/fastest! We scanned the line for DSis but didn’t see her. She is attending today and wanted to get Matthew signed up as well. She texted me shortly thereafter saying that she couldn’t sign up Nick because he had to be with her to sign up. We’re good but thanks anyway! She got Matthew signed up for a very late class even though she was only minutes behind us.

    We had pretty much killed the list for meet and greet last weekend so today, we wanted to knock out all the seminars. We attended all three today "Stars of the Saga, Behind the Force, and A Visit to the Maul". The boys were enjoying it and I was fine with focusing on the seminars as it was 150 degrees today with the heat and humidity. There wasn’t much more that I wanted to do today anyway besides stand in the shade drinking $3 bottles of lemonade or sit in the air conditioning.

    We somehow ended up being in the right place at the right time after the Star Wars parade. We were on our way thru Pixar Place to redeem a Toy Story fast pass and ran into this amazing photo op.

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    They were making their exit from the parade and walked down the ramp on the way to Pixar Place. It was just the coolest thing to see this squadron walking thru the park like it was perfectly normal. Only at Star Wars Weekend!

    We then got stopped by a CM who was holding up traffic. We stopped and ended up seeing this….
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    And this.
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    And this.
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    Really too many pictures to post in this update.

    We jumped in the Clone Wars meet and greet to meet Commander Cody? I had no idea who he was but they boys did. The line felt really slow today while we waited for the Commander to show up. We had just missed the previous set so we waited in the line for the next one. We needed to be finished in half an hour because Nick had to report at least 15 minutes before his training session time or he would lose his spot to a wait list-er. So that stressor mixed with the heat made the wait oppressive. We developed a strategy as we were standing in line. They would pose with the characters, I would snap ONE photo and they would travel together with the little purple piece of paper to the Sounds Dangerous theater to check in. When the Commander (who was delayed for whatever reason according to the CM) did return to work, he brought with him an extra guest (Rex) which was our bonus today for standing so long in the heat. We went over directions to the theater with a CM so they were familiar with how to get there.

    [​IMG]

    The minute that I snapped that photo and the Photopass photog fired off a few, they took off. I took the time to put the lens cap back on, get the Photopass card scanned and hoisted the BPFH on, choosing to save time by hand carrying the light sabers and the trivia/autograph book instead of stuffing them back in the BPFH. What we do for our kids, right? It might not sound like a lot but it with the heat and time constraint, it felt like a lot and I looked like I was reaching the pinnacle of Disney he*&. :love: I exchanged knowing looks from other pack mule parents doing the same thing.

    I made my way and found Nick lined up with all the other padowans ready for class. Alex and I walk over to the stage and I ask a CM where I should stand if my child is in the next class. There is a roped off area that is reserved for ONE parent per child. I asked if I could go ahead and stand there and she said the other parent walking over with my child won’t be able to join me. I explained that there isn’t anyone waiting with me and she raises her eyebrow and scoffs and says “Usually, we have a parent waiting with the child.” He’s 12. There are other CMs babysitting the line. I’m not sure why I would need to hold his hand on the way over??? Maybe I missed the part about parents having to remain with the children when I had Alex check him in. Maybe it’s my inability to hear and follow directions. Maybe it’s the ringing in my ears from carrying all that stuff across the park in the heat. I don’t know.

    Continued with Jedi Training and our Meet and Greet with Ray Park
     
  12. mindondisney

    mindondisney Mouseketeer

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    Your trip report makes me think of the song at the end of the Hoopla:

    "If you really want more-- scream it out louder"

    popcorn::
     
  13. Abby's Dad

    Abby's Dad DIS Veteran

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    What a relief - I can finally quit holding my breath, ah, another wonderful installment. We need to take you with us in December so that you can write our trip report - you have a talent.!
     
  14. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Remember me? I'm going to get another installment up this week. I promise. :thumbsup2

    The rest of the story is worth waiting for.
     
  15. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    Oh I think you'll do just fine without me. :)
     
  16. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    I leave next week for another adventure - just Nicholas and I on this one. I really am going to finish this report before I leave!

    :banana::banana::banana::banana::banana::banana:
     
  17. Abby's Dad

    Abby's Dad DIS Veteran

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    I'll tell ya Bizee, your enthusiasm for Disney, your kids, and life in general certainly shine through in you TR - and in fact, this is uplifting for me, and I suspect for others. Thank you for your TR - and I'll be even more thankful when you finish it! :rotfl:

    Have a great time down at WDW - I'm only sorry that our trips didn't match up to be able to meet you in person. Hopefully another time!
     
  18. MomofMy2Princesses

    MomofMy2Princesses Earning My Ears

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    Oh Yeah! I really hope you do finish this one! Glad to see that you haven't forgotten us! :goodvibes
     
  19. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    When I last left you in a galaxy far, far away, we were waiting for Mr. Nick to learn the skills needed to defeat the Empire. The kiddos are escorted by the CMs that have been babysitting them and are divided into two groups when they get to the stage. Half get to battle Darth Vader on the stage. The other half battle another villain on the concrete in front of the stage. Last time we did the JedI training in 2005, all 3 boys participated and ended up in the ground group battling Darth Maul. This year, Nick ended up in the ground group again and battled Veentress. I had no clue who this purple lady was but I found out afterwards that she is featured in Clone Wars.

    [​IMG]

    He is definitely one of the oldest participants. I guess there’s no denying that next year, he will be too old for this activity. In case you are wondering, he’s the Padawan in the snappy Adidas.

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    What do you do with a Padawan to celebrate the triumph of good over evil? At Hollywood Studios, you visit ABC Commissary with your Mommy to get a cupcake as big as your head!

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    After cupcakes and light sabers, it was time to meet Ray Park. We queued up and it was HOT. Yes, I found a use for my guide map and I was cranky in the heat. So what?!!! :)

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    Yes, not my most flattering photo but I’m including it hoping that it will demonstrate how hot it felt that day.

    It wasn’t too long until we were meeting and greeting with Mr. Park. The boys were fascinated with him. He was soooo nice to us. I can only imagine how many people he has met over the weekend and yet he’s patient and respectful. Being quite cute with an adorable accent didn't hurt my opinion either. I was impressed.

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    We did some ‘normal’ Studios activities - like backlot tour

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    He looks awfully calm for a kid about to be in the middle of a large explosion.

    I took a picture of this sign.
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    It struck me as so funny. Say “Theater of the Stars” in your best show bizzy voice. THEATER OF THE STAHRRRRRRZZZZ. Restrooms. . THEATER OF THE STAHRRRRRRZZZZ. Restrooms. The contrast cracked me up and I just thought it was silly that they chose to share the space on this sign with two polar opposite destinations.

    Ok. Up to now you thought that bizeemom4 was really nice. Right? Yep. Ok so this confession may disappoint you. I took a picture of these people. I don’t know them. Their outfits were just bizarre! I saw the girl wearing the tutu and cowboy boots and thought weird but then when I saw her boyfriend, brother, friend, whatever also wearing a tutu, I just had to snap it.

    [​IMG]

    On the way out of the park for the evening, I passed the first ones in line for the park opening TOMORROW. Or, now that I think about it, she could have been there to rest up for the walk back to her car. I get how tired touring the parks can be in this heat!
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    Yes, that is a full sized blow up mattress!

    We took the boat back to the Dolphin and walked in to our room. As I cracked the door open, we could hear very loud voices discussing something inside the room. What is going on and who is in our room????

    Next Up: Our evening at the Dolphin
     
  20. Abby's Dad

    Abby's Dad DIS Veteran

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    Here I am, on the edge of my seat, bearly hanging on by my fingernails, and what - we pause for a commercial?!! No !!!!!

    Thanks for another great installment.
     
  21. bizeemom4

    bizeemom4 DIS Veteran

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    We took the boat back to the Dolphin and walked in to our room. We could hear very loud voices discussing something inside the room. What is going on and who is in our room? How did someone get in our room?

    Where are the voices coming from? Oh. It sounds like they are Star Wars characters. That makes no sense. We left that behind at Studios. I turn on the light. We didn’t leave the TV on. No one could get into our room anyway with the trap that bell services had left the night before (that we were apparently too busy to clean up).
    [​IMG]
    Somewhere out there, Alex is wandering the World in just one sneaker. :rotfl:

    We open the curtains and step out on to the balcony. It’s even louder out here. Aha. The staff at the Swolphin have moved my lounge chairs out from under the waterfall and replaced them with a large movie screen. They are showing the Phantom Menace! We can hear it from inside the room. Out on the balcony, it’s as loud as if you were at the theater. The building acts like an amplifier for the sound.
    [​IMG]

    Boys+Star Wars Weekend +Movie by the pool. Yeah. We had to go. We changed into swimsuits and headed down. The towel cabana was closed for the day so there was not an option that I could find for getting fresh towels and we didn’t bring them from the room. We nix the idea of getting in the pool because it would be a long, chilly walk back to the room through the lobby, passed the palm trees, along the bank of elevators, down the escalators, through the casino to our room.
    [​IMG]

    We sat for a bit and soaked our feet in the pool and watched the movie. I had promised ice cream tonight so when I suggested that we leave to get it, they agreed but were reluctant and continued to watch the movie while putting on their sandals. “This is a goooood part.” Like they had not seen that scene 100 times before???

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    Turtle Milkshake and Peanut Butter and Jelly milkshake. Nick got a kids sundae with sprinkles (not pictured here).

    We took our treats back upstairs to the room and they finished the movie from the balcony while I relaxed on the heavenly beds and watched it through the open balcony door.

    [​IMG]

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    I had no idea that this was going to happen. It was one of those unexpected awesome moments at Disney that doesn’t get planned for or listed on a spreadsheet but ends up making the entire trip that much more special. I think this was a top 5 moment for us. Maybe top 3. Definitely magical.

    Tomorrow we take the magic back to the Kingdom and then say goodbye to DSis and family.
     

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