Crazy From the Heat..an August 2011 Trip Review **UPDATED FEB 28th!**

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by BigTikiDaddy, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    Okay, I need to get at this sooner then later, before I forget more and more details. My name is Brent, and this is my first attempt at a trip report.

    The cast: Myself, a 37 yr old LCBO employee from Mississauga, Ontario , Canada(I sell liquor). This would be trip #5 for me

    My DW Jodi, "younger then me, all that matters"her 6th or 7th trip...

    DD1 Amelia, 6 years, closer to seven, her 4th trip

    DD2 Audrey, 3 years, her second go at this...


    Okay, really that's all we need to know...



    The genesis of this trip can be traced to March 4th of this year.I was working nights, and doing what I always do the morning before work. Wasting time on the laptop. I had gotten a Disney Destination email about a Free Dining Promo and thought "meh".This was not supposed to a trip year, and had already booked my vacation time at work. It did not fall on the dining dates, so that was that. I played around with the trip booking, but did not think much of it. August 2012 was the next planned trip.

    Then I got that fatefull phonecall....

    Jo called to see what I was up to. (I was likely supposed to be cleaning or something to that effect.) She also had some good news: thanks to all the child care $$ we pay, we were getting a ....nice... return in our taxes! I commented on the dining promo and next thing you know, we are looking just a bit harder at it. Would it be feasible? Well would it?

    By the time March Break rolled around a couple weeks later, we decided to give it a go. We set up a rough schedual based on my time off booked, and went and booked the ADRs for dining, figuring we'd book now and hope for the best. Then went off to visit Rosemarie at CAA, our preferred travel agent. She got us a nice deal based on their "Kids Stay and Play Free" promo and on March 17th, we put down the deposit. We were heading again!

    I played around my options for the flight, because if you were not aware, it is stupidly expensive to fly in Canada. We wated to check our flight options from the US of A. Buffalo or Detroit? Buffalo is an hour or so away from here, Detroit roughly the same from Jo's Mom's house in Sarnia Ontario. So after much deliberation, I went with......FLINT MI!

    Why Flint? Four reasons stood out. One: only an hour and a half from Sarnia, so can be close. Two: NICE prices. Three: It was a smaller airport, and Four: The flight times were very nice. (Morning Flight in, evening Flight out) By the end of May, it was all paid off, and we got most of our spending cash when the dollar rose higher then the US's meaning we saved a bit! It was all falling into place.....
     
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  3. twokids0204

    twokids0204 DIS Dad #561

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    I will follow...

    (which reminds me, I need to start my 2012 pre-trip report)
     
  4. scott2997

    scott2997 DIS Dad #543 Northern Ohio

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    Sign me up Tiki! :thumbsup2
     
  5. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Never mind the Kool-Aid…Don’t drink the Beverly!

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    Since you went to all the trouble of shamelessly plugging it on the DDC, the least I can do is follow along.

    I’m in :thumbsup2
     
  6. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    I'm in too!
     
  7. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    Years of watching professional wrestling have helped me perfect the art of shameless plugs:rotfl2:
     
  8. Disney Commando

    Disney Commando <font color=red>DDC<br><font color=purple>Disney F

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    Brent I'm in:cool1:
     
  9. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    Sorry for the delay in all this, I had actually typed up some of this last week, but kinda deleted it accidently, and never had any real time to re-do it.


    Day 1: (In which no Disney in involved)


    The Game Plan: Head to In-Laws In Sarnia Ontario in the late morning and rest up for the early morning flight in Flint.

    What Really Happened:

    We did not set the alarm this morning, figuring we'd get up when we were ready, there was no rush on the day, as long as there was time to get to bed fairly early that night. I didn't need an alarm anyways, Audrey is very... routine oriented and is used to getting up around 6am for daycare, so this was no exception. So up I went and I sat with her while she played, puttered on the computer, and made sure the place stayed clean and tidy.(No mean feat when Audrey is involved). After a few hours Amelia and Jo woke up, and the three of them were off to the shower while I started to load the van up with the suitcases and carry-ons, and our overnight bag for Sarnia. We all finished up at the same time, and while they made sure all was ready , I got myself cleaned and ready to hit the road.

    First stop though, was my parents. Dad just the week before had some cancer surgury with 75% of his intestine removed. The day before we were told he was being released, and we ended up getting to my parents less then 5 minutes behind them getting in. I was happy he was home, and the kids got to see him, and after short visit, headed up to Denny's for brunch (more like lunch by this point), and finally off to Sarnia, a long 2 1/2 hour drive.

    After arriving, Jo and kids visited her mom and step dad, I went and had a nap for a couple of hours, being woken for an early dinner, before all going down for the night, it was a VERY Long day ahead.
     
  10. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    DAY 2 :

    Jo and I woke up around 1:30am. Jo went down to use her parents computer for a bit making sure all the bills were paid, I stayed in the upstairs area while the kids slept a bit more, watched some tv, got myself dressed. We finally woke the kids and got them dressed, cleaned up the room, and Jo's stepdad helped see us on our way (He doesn't sleep well, so is usually up for spells in the middle of the night. We headed out around 2:30 am, stopping at Tim Hortons for my wife's coffee fix, and headed for the border.

    EASIEST BORDER CROSSING EVER!!

    It was nice to get to the Bluewater bridge and have no one waiting to cross. I was the navigator, Jo drives. I had pre-fed the info into the GPS, so no issues there. It was a 1 1/2 hour drive, with no traffic, kids semi-slept in the back, and I watched for deer (they are EVERYWHERE in Miichigan), and we played with the radio for background music, flipping station to station laughing about the poor quality music at 3am. Also watched a storm way in the west as we went, hoping it would not dely the flight any. At last we arrived, and found the park and fly no problems. As we parked, a shuttle bus came right up to the van and helped us load up, got the van secured and made the short drive to the terminal.

    By now it was just after 4am, 3 hours till flight time. Yes, we were very early, but we were used to Toronto's chaotic long lines so waited till around 5 when the airline desk opened and got checked in. We headed to the TSA line and was waved right on over by the bored officer, and got through in minutes. We made our way to the gate and grabbed breakfast. Played the waiting game while the girls watched planes take off. Soon enough we boarded and were on our way! Flight was good, but mostly uneventfull. I got into a new book on a Ghost Investigation at the Canadian Exhibition Grounds, and made it go by fast. Girls were quite good too. Flight ended with a bit of drama, a woman 4 seats ahead of me was complaining of not feeling well and almost passed out. We waited for her to be treated by some EMS personel once we landed and were soon off the plane. Got our stroller and headed to baggage, got ours quickly (last time they were like last off the plane, this time, within the first minute of waiting. Checked in with Magical Express and the bus was there waiting! Boarded and soon we were on our way!:thumbsup2
     
  11. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    DAY 2 CONTINUED


    Sat with Amelia on the bus, she just wanted to watch the video, I kept trying to distract her just for kicks. Stopped first at Carribean Beach and dopped off their guests, and took a service road and ended up at the POP! We never knew about the service road, and brought into perspective how close CBR was to us. Kids headed to the kids waiting area where Amelia could feed her TV additction:rotfl2: and I got into the slow.......moving....line...... holy smokes, it was never this bad previous years. Took forever to get to the check out, and by this time the girls started fighting with each other as kids do, and Amelia stayed guard of the luggage while Jo checked on our progress. I had requested the 70's earlier, the only decade we hadn't stayed in, but they had selected building three, 50's facing the lake. I decided to stay with it., "Go with the Flow", I liked the quiet area and later on proved to have an added benefit.

    We unpacked and settled, letting family know we were there and safe. It was lunch time, so headed to the buses and headed to Downtown Disney. Quickly checked about the Christmas Store and headed for the Earl of Sandwich for lunch. Managed to land a seat inside , we were already noticing that it was WARM. We love the Earl, and I wanted to try the jerk chicken, I was going to last year BUT, back then they had the holiday sandwich...mmmmmmmmmmm, so this time I got what I wanted (and a cherry coke). We ate, not stuffed and wandered to the World of Disney and poked around for an hour or so, made a minor purchase that escapes me (something for the girls). We then headed to Ghiaradelli's for ice cream, again grabbbing a seat inside!:yay:. We split two banna splits for the four of us, kids got the grab bags, and we were full if not cooled off a bit. The sun was just brutal! Headed for the buses and noticed a lot more geckos then we were used to, the girls loved it. Headed back to the room and hit the pool. I was last to get in, and before I did Jo apologized....for what? She knew I hate warm pool water, and man it was warm! Not overly cooling, but we made the best of it, and swam for while, and then headed back for more rest. Headed to the food court for dinner, got our mugs and sat by the window close to the Hippy-Dippy pool, watched the sky, it was getting darker and darker, and a bit of rain. Thought I saw lightningm, and yup, people exited the pool area moments later, storm hit. Finished dinner and browsed the shop, and made our way in the rain back to the room. It was still fairly early, and we crashed for the night, it had beeen a very long day, long flight, and the heat made us weary. Plus wanted to make DHS rope drop the next morning. Fell asleep listening to the storm trail away in the distance.
     
  12. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Hey Brent, found your TR and I'm in!

    :woohoo: for easy border crossings and flights!

    :woohoo: for Earl of Sandwich!

    :headache: for long check-in lines...
     
  13. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    Day Three opened up with me waking up at 5am...:scared1: I guess adrenaline was going good. I snuck out of the room without waking the kids, DW kinda heard me, but she can sleep in a snap. Took the mugs out with me and walked around Hourglass Lake, and up the Generation Gap bridge as far as I could go, checking out the Art of Animation resort progess. Kinda eerie, looking right into the buildings with the lights on, seeing the hallways etc. Sauntered to the Everything POP at the 6am opening and looked around the gift shop a little, then grabbed drinks for everyone and made my way back, finally waking the family up around 7. Cereal bars for a light breakfast and showers, wanting to head out for 8 to the Studios for our first full Disney Day. Bused on over, and waited to get in. We werelet in with the masses at 8:30, where I got to experience my first ever ROPE DROP!:scared1:

    The goal was simple, join the running of the bulls for TSM Fastpasses, maybe get into the line for a ride as well, and move on. We stood with the mass of humanity for a good 30 minutes with the sun already beating down, humidity on high, it was HOT. I admit never feeling anything like it before. I tried to immerse myself in the theming looking around, but all I could note was the traffic "light" was broken. The Stop sign never fully raises up. I had all the fastpasses so when we were finally let through, I went ahead and got into line for the FPs. DW caught up and watched the progress, heading to see where the line for the ride itself was when I got close to the machines. She got into line a mile or so away, and after scoring 11-12 time window, we decided to explore rather then wait in line, mainly due to an 11:30 ADR for Sci-Fi. We looked around Pixar Place and found the Woody and Buzz M&G, so went for it. (AIR CONDITIONING!!) Got our pics and Amelia was a bit shy, but Audrey jumped right in with Buzz, although she wanted nothing to do with Woody. WHile in line chatted up with another family of four with later fastpasses, and we swapped with them, since we wanted to wait till after lunch to go, and they really wanted an earlier time. (We had used FP many times before, but were not aware of the "Anytime after" policy, so we were sticking to the windows as much as possible. A CM later on explained it better to me).After Buzz and Woody, headed towards SCi Fi in a slow, round-about way, doing the Monster Inc and Cars M&Gs, passing on Phineas and Ferb for now. Made it to Sci Fi around 11, and checked in early, opting to sit out a bit in the AIR CONDITIONING, well, DW and Amelia did, I stayed outside with Audrey playing in the car out front. Finally I talked her into going in, and not long afterwards, we got seated up front, left hand side, awesome clear view of the screen. Kids got the pizza meal, DW and I got burgers, being some of the best in WDW. I got a Cherry Coke natch, Jo found out the shake was available grabbed it. Girls didn't like the pizza, rest of the meal was fantastic though, and we did eat our fill. I didn't finish my shake for dessert though, too full. After a pit stop, we headed out and grabbed FPs for Star Tours, and went to TSM. Jo kicked my butt, after doing well on my first ever ride, which kept my bragging rights in check(I got revenge though), and went to Muppets. Big test here, as Audrey cried on this last time, but she kept her glasses on, and enjoyed it!:yay: The ride phobia appears to have ended.

    Back to Star Tours where I covered the stroller, looked like rain. We checked Audrey out but she was JUST too short, it was CLOSE. Headed into the gift shop while we waited for the last 10 minutes of our window to open. Jo and Amelia took round one while Audrey and I waited and browsed. She loved playing with a Darth Vader plush, I made a mental note of it. I then noted a LARGE group of lovely young ladies all wearing indentical Tshirts exiting the rides, with a cameraman in tow. At first I thoought large wedding party/bridal shower till I read the shirts: Miss USA or Miss America contestants! (I did not have camera ready, sorry), they must have been filming a segment for it. Jo and Amelia came out after and we swapped. Since Audrey couldn't ride, I took Amelia (she won big time with this system), and like the new queue, spotted Captain Rex and the voice talents of Patrick Warburton. We had the Admiral Ackbar opening (No it's a trap!?!), Hoth and Courasent, and loved it. Amelia had a blast, as her BFF introduced her to Star Wars, even if she hadn't seen the movies yet other then snippets. We got the girls their Darth Vader plushes, and a birthday gift for Amelia's BFF. Headed towards the animation building, we wanted to seee the characters that show up in the late pm (training shifts). First we stopped at the Great Movie Ride, and lined up, it was only a 15 minute wait. They were running two lines, but it moved very fast. I asked the CM if they were running the cowboy senario, as we have always rode gangster, and as it turned out the other queue was riding that, but they let us by with that group, and we got to see it at last!:woohoo:

    In Part 2, we'll see what else happens! Rain! Pain! Characters! OH MY!
     
  14. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    Does anyone know how to update the thread title? Sorry for being DISignorant:lmao:
     
  15. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    God Bless the Earl. I want back in the holiday season for the Holiday Feast Sandwich though:woohoo:

    I have never seen the lines so nuts though. I had to go to the check-in in order to correct an issue they left a message about the fridge, it took me 30 minutes of lines to get through, 1 minute to correct! Check out was worse, but the manager was trying to intercept folks from adding to the lines for no good reason, and since I didn't charge anything to my room, was tld I was good to go without waiting. whew.
     
  16. twokids0204

    twokids0204 DIS Dad #561

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    Sounds like you had a blast.

    We are going the same week next year (and last year). I am starting to worry about the heat, I am trying to talk DW into changing our trip to last weekend of September (ending on the CDN Thanksgiving) but so far she wants nothing to do with that. She doesn't want to pull the kids from grades 3 and 5.

    Anyways, to update the title, just edit post 1, then hit the GO ADVANCED button.
     
  17. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    It worked, much thanks....

    Yeah, we are pretty sure the next trip, when it happens, will be October again, maybe Thanksgiving weekend. We are reluctant with Amelia's struggles, but if she pulls through like it seems to be happening, then it shouldn't be an issue. She'd be in 3, Audrey in Junior Kindergarden..
     
  18. keholman15

    keholman15 Mouseketeer

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    I AM HERE NOW:goodvibes[​IMG]
     
  19. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    Glad to have you aboard!
     
  20. BigTikiDaddy

    BigTikiDaddy DIS Dad #574 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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    Here are a few pics that relate with the previous posts...

    Sign says it all....

    [​IMG]


    I was wrong about the sign/stoplight, GO does not work
    [​IMG]

    Amelia is not sure which one is Stinky Pete
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not sure which is better...Ducky MoMo or the Giant Floating Baby Head in the background..
    [​IMG]

    I didn't realize at the time I had two huge Star Wars fans...
    [​IMG]

    Audrey holding "The" Darth Vader
    [​IMG]
     
  21. twokids0204

    twokids0204 DIS Dad #561

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    Nice pics Brent.

    Where's they move Lightning and Mater, last time I saw them they were at the Garage in Radiator Springs.

    [​IMG]
     

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