Crossing over Crocodiles, Runaway Trains, & Birthday Wishes Updt 10/18

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by kathleen27, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. kathleen27

    kathleen27 DIS Veteran

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    We spent 9 wonderful days at Disney! We did some brand new things on this trip, which is always exciting. We also did lots of old favorites of course!

    We crossed a bridge out of Indiana Jones (crocodiles and all!), took a forbidden journey with Harry, celebrated my birthday, Dined in the castle, floated down a lazy river, Rode our favorite ride over and over, Had a princess makeover, met a few characters, defeated Zurg, and took lots of photos. No promises on the quality, but we got quantity.

    9 days was definitely not long enough! There was so much we didn’t do! Which just means we’ll have to go back, right!


    Here we are in AK: Me (Kathleen) and my two sweet, fun kids – Hannah and Jacob.
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    Jacob and I are both Disney addicts and can’t get enough Disney vacation. We see Hidden Mickey’s everywhere & are constantly reminded of Disney. It is really nice to have someone around to talk Disney with whenever I feel like it! Hannah once told me she likes Disney “like a normal person”.

    Jacob is now 15. He is a lot of fun to be around, and can always make me laugh. He likes to draw, which is one of the reasons he loves Disney so much. He really knows a lot about the history of Disney movies & parks. (He chose Walt Disney to do a report on for National History Day a few years back). He helped plan and write a trip report for our last trip in Sept. 2008. This year he’s been super busy with school – 10th grade with lots of honors classes - and I've been busy with work, so there was a lot less planning. He loves all sorts of rides, from the coasters to the classics.

    Hannah turned 13 a week before the trip. I sometimes call her “cute & crazy” because it describes her personality. She can get really silly! She uses her cuteness to get her own way. On our first day, when she started to unpack I commented that she had only brought one stuffed animal. She explained she would have brought more, but she wanted to have room for all the new ones she was going to be bringing home. :upsidedow Hannah rode her first roller coaster at an amusement park with a friend this summer, and we were looking forward to getting her on a few new rides. She was really into meeting characters & princesses this trip!

    Less than three weeks before the trip, Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes – an autoimmune disease. Her immune system had destroyed the cells in her pancreas that make insulin. She started insulin treatment, and we would be counting carbs, giving shots, and checking her blood sugar on the trip. This was a new challenge that caused a few stressful moments.

    Also spending a little time with us at the end of the trip were My Dad & stepmom who live in Florida. They are terrific grandparents!

     
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  3. kathleen27

    kathleen27 DIS Veteran

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  4. kathleen27

    kathleen27 DIS Veteran

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    We woke up much too early on Saturday morning after being up much too late on Friday night. Nothing like packing at the last minute! After all the snow we’ve had this winter, I was so happy to have a clear, mild day. We headed for the airport, and luckily had short lines at check-in and security. I was nervous about going through security with Hannah’s supplies – insulin (a liquid) and lots of needle. It was no issue. Once we got to our gate, I was surprised to see the plane was already boarding? Later I realized the reason – it was the first flight of the day – and the plane was there overnight. No Breakfast, not the best start. I was worried about Hannah – but she reminded me she was allowed to skip a meal, eat her meals at any time of day, plus she wasn’t hungry yet & she had some zero carb food with her – hardboiled egg & cheese sticks. She ended up having the egg, and some snacks that didn’t add up to enough carbs to need insulin.

    I didn’t take any photos in the morning, or on the plane. Just plain tired and hungry!

    But the kids did!

    One of Hannah’s plane photos:
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    One of Jacob’s plane photos:
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    We arrived in Orlando, and had breakfast at the terminal. When we headed over to the little monorail, one had just left. When the next one arrived, we entered the middle car, and had it all to ourselves! There were only 2 people in the front car and a family of 4 in the back car. I had to pull out my camera for empty monorail pics.

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    At the airport, we slowly made our way to ME. Stopping because Hannah wanted to take lots of photos!

    So excited about this!
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    Hi ya folks!
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    Hannah takes a lot of self portraits.
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    Hannah had never been on ME before! She was very excited. She was also amazed that we didn’t have to get our luggage. She (jokingly) asked if Mickey picked up the luggage himself, and I told her no Mickey’s in charge, he makes Donald pick up the luggage.


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    On the ME bus:
    Hannah liked the seats, but she thought they should have Mickey shaped head rests with ears!

    Notice the iTouch - They had them out constantly - and ALL their photos were taken with these. I have to admit I am slightly addicted to mine too.

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    On our drive we spotted the hot air balloon over Downtown Disney! Very cool to see!
    I thought we will be there soon!

    Then I looked up and saw the sign!
    I told the kids to look, and others on the bus started pointing it out too.
    The driver on the other hand never said a word.

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    Yeah!!! We are at Disney!!!
     
  5. Luvmepluto

    Luvmepluto "Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tr

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    Wow...Am I the first one???:cool1::cool1:

    I remember our first ME experience....and I still love it till this day. Can't wait to hear more.
     
  6. taylor91

    taylor91 DIS Veteran

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    great start, looking forward to reading more :goodvibes Love all the photos, especially the empty monorail ones, I've never seen it as empty.
     
  7. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

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    subbing :) I may have missed it, but what were the dates of your trip? I'm looking at early 2012, trying to figure out the best time to go....
     
  8. jessily

    jessily DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to reading along! How fun to be on an empty monorail:cool1:
     
  9. TanzUnited99

    TanzUnited99 DIS Veteran

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    I'm joining - loved reading so far and look forward to more! :goodvibes

    How cool to be on an empty monorail - it looks deserted! :laughing:

    I can't believe the bus driver never mentioned that the sign was approaching so you could get pictures - at least you noticed :thumbsup2
     
  10. jennyf2

    jennyf2 DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 I'm in :) Can't wait to read the rest .... I wish one of my boys would talk Disney with me---they think I'm CRAZY!!! :confused3 :rolleyes1
     
  11. kathleen27

    kathleen27 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome everyone & thanks for reading!!!
    The first day isn't too exciting, but Day 2 we will have an adventure!



    You are first! :cool1:
    She was really excited! She wanted to know if it was the bus with the character's in the back window. She loved the cruise line windows though!

    Thanks! We have another empty photo coming up very soon....:)
    The monorail back to the terminal at the end of our trip was pretty crowded though!

    We were there 2/19 - 2/28.
    That included the president's day holdiay. It was really crowded!!! :eek:
    We have been 3 times that same week (its our school vacation) and this year was definately more crowded than any other year. It was a little better the last few days.

    Lots of fun! It was a nice little bit of excitement to start off! :thumbsup2


    Thanks!
    It was cool to have the car to ourselves, all three of us took photos of it. :yay:

    I was so surprised to see the sign. Jacob & I had taken ME once before, and the driver made a big deal of it, and said anyone could come up front & take photos.


    Sometimes Hannah thinks I'm crazy! Maybe more than sometimes.
    Jacob & I are a lot alike, we definatley think the same way! On the trip I asked when he wanted to go back - and he said April vacation. :laughing:
     
  12. kathleen27

    kathleen27 DIS Veteran

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    We had a great ride on ME and arrived at Disney, there was a resort or two before us, and they started to show a Donald cartoon on the TV screens. The kids were really enjoying it. I was really hoping we wouldn’t reach our stop before the cartoon ended.

    We spent a lot of time trying to decide where to stay this trip. So many choices. Jacob and I stayed at Pop Century a few years ago and loved it. With 3 of us this time I wanted a little more space – and a bigger bed. On previous trips we have always stayed off site. My family (my dad) has owned two weeks at a timeshare in Orlando for over 25 years. Living room, kitchen, two bedrooms (3 beds) & two bathrooms. Lots of space. It really only gets used when we go to Disney, though I believe my Dad sometimes trades it. But we really wanted to stay on site so we could ride the buses (no rental car) & stay for EMH.

    We ended up deciding on the Beach Club, and were able to get the 35% off.
    I booked the room at the very end of December, a couple of days before the discount expired!
    We had a regular room, not one of the villas.

    When we arrived we were greeted by a very friendly CM, who walked us to the check-in desk, and chatted with us for a bit. When it was our turn to check-in, they tried to find us a room that was available now. That sounded real good. After a couple of calls, they determined a room was not ready. We sat down in the lobby, and started to reorganize our stuff to check some bags. Within minutes though we had the text with our room, so we headed off to find it!

    I never did quite figure out the Beach Club corridors. By the end of the trip, I would still make wrong turns if the kids weren’t with me.

    Here is our room- I took these right away, but not fast enough - the kids were in & claiming their beds by bouncing off it and dropping their stuff.

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    What I liked about the room:

    The room itself was a nice size. Comparing it to general hotel rooms it was pretty big.
    There was a lot of storage space, I don’t think the photos really show how much. Lots of drawers & lots of closet space.
    The beds were really comfortable, even sharing with Hannah. :cloud9:
    The vanity area was very roomy – we did like having two sinks. Much easier to all get ready.

    What I didn’t like-
    The bathroom itself was tiny. In fact, when you opened or shut the door, you actually had to push it past the toilet. It would bump right into it. Jacob commented, “You would think that would be a design flaw.” :confused3 I meant to take a video, it was just so ridiculous.
    The small size made it difficult to get changed in there, and the outside vanity was open to the room – no curtain or anything.
    The refrigerator was small, which is fine, but you pretty much had to lay the bottles of water down in a certain section or they’d roll out before I could shut the door.
    The balcony was tiny, & I couldn’t sit out there. ( I LOVE balconies). But I didn't actually request one, so I can't complain too much about that. The door would only stay open if propped, so I would hold it open with the desk chair. Often sitting on the chair so I could half sit on my mini balcony.


    I started to get settled in (I like to unpack a little – but at the moment just had time to get a few things organized) while the kids explored, crashed, & got ready for the pool.

    We were going to check out Stormalong Bay – one of the main reasons we had chosen the Beach Club.
    We thought the parks would be packed & we’d be better off waiting until night time.
    Would this be a good plan for a crowded day or not???
     
  13. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

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    This is one of the reasons I really didn't like the Beach Club. I always get up early, get ready and take a walk around the resort in the morning before the kids/DH get up. At the BC, I had to get ready in the dark, an very quietly so I didn't wake anyone up!

    I also wasn't thrilled with walking through the lobby/elevators with wet bathing suits after visiting SAB. BC is a beautiful resort, but it just wasn't for us...
     
  14. Luvmepluto

    Luvmepluto "Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tr

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    My cousin and his family stayed at the BC last year for 2 weeks and he mentioned the same thing about the bathrooms. It seems they would have designed the bathrooms a little larger.:confused3 Anyways, the rooms still look nice!

    Keep em' coming!
     
  15. TanzUnited99

    TanzUnited99 DIS Veteran

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    Love the pics of the BC room. Thank you for listing the what you liked and didn't like about the room! :thumbsup2
     
  16. kathleen27

    kathleen27 DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad to hear you say that, because I thought the same thing. For various reasons, I felt it wasn't the right choice for us ... at least not for this trip.

    It was a fairly big room, so they definatley could have come up with some other options in the same amount of space.
    I was thinking of the Carpenter's sayng "Measure Twice" :rotfl:


    Thanks!
    I like reading specific things in reviews, I know everyone has different preferences & needs.
     
  17. kathleen27

    kathleen27 DIS Veteran

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    A couple of Hannah’s photos that I missed:

    A towel Mickey head! Poor Mickey did not last long.
    I did try to recreate him on the desk though.
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    Mickey soap!
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    After checking out the room, dropping off our carry-ons, & changing, we headed outside! Well, after a quick stop at the Marketplace (the store/food shop at the Beach Club) for sunblock. I didn't have any small enough for carry on.

    I had received a text from my Dad, saying “Welcome to Sunny Florida”. :goodvibes It was nice to finally get outside and enjoy that sun! When we first walked outside, Jacob said, “Too bright…Can’t see!” I think my eyes were watering, but we quickly adjusted! Jacob asked to buy sunglasses later.

    We headed to Stormalong Bay. This pool is huge! And it’s completely fenced in with only a few openings. We had to walk around to find one! They check for room keys & give you a bracelet & towels upon entry. We had trouble finding chairs. The ones we did find were rows & rows back from any of the pools. Hannah went for a swim. Jacob rested until she came back and dragged him in. He needed to get hot enough to need to cool off. They went around on the “river”. I walked around for a bit, but then sat with our stuff when Jacob went in. We didn’t take any photos.

    The kids came out when we were ready for lunch. We had come in through Hurricane Hanah’s the pool’s quick service restaurant. We’d commented on the huge lines! But they seemed to have gone down, so we gave it a shot. We ordered fairly quickly, but it took over 25 minutes to actually get our food. There seemed to be issues with giving people correct orders. It was the worst food service I’ve ever experienced at Disney, and others there at that time I believe would agree. I was not feeling any magic. We had lunch at a table at the pool, and headed back to our room.

    The rest of our suitcases had magically appeared!!! I did a little more organizing & unpacking. We changed and got ready to go to the Magic Kingdom. I knew it would be really crowded since it was a holiday weekend (President’s Day), but we really wanted to go to the MK on our first day!
    I wasn’t expecting to get much done. Just hoping for a few rides, and we had an ADR at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner.

    We made another quick stop at the Marketplace so Jacob could buy a pair of sunglasses.

    On the way to the bus stop – another Hannah self portrait.
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    As we arrived at the bus stop a MK bus was pulling away.
    As soon as it did, another MK bus pulled up
    We got on the bus, expecting to be sitting there awhile. No, he waited less than a minute and pulled out. We had our own private bus to the Magic Kingdom.

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    Hannah’s first bus ride to the parks!
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    Jacob in his brand new sunglasses!
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    We are at the Magic Kingdom!!!! :yay: :yay: :yay:

    These are all Jacob’s photos-all taken with his i-Touch.

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    I did not take many photos tonight. I brought 4 cameras (all Canons) with me on this trip. I never used mySLR, it stayed packed away the entire trip - its pretty heavy. The SLR is a hand-me-down from my Dad, who loves photography. I mainly use it at home. I really need to learn more about it. My favorite camera is my S3IS. It’s over 4 years old now, but I still love it. It’s smaller than an SLR, but much bigger than a point & shoot. It has 12X zoom, which is why I bought it. It’s the main camera I used on my last two trips, and would be my main camera this trip. Tonight I simply brought the point & shoot – 590is which is technically Jacob’s. A birthday gift from my Dad, 3 years ago before our Halloween trip. Both kids had no interest this trip in anything but the iTouch. Then there is the New Camera. I will tell you about the new camera when I get to Monday when we take it out for some use!
     
  18. TanzUnited99

    TanzUnited99 DIS Veteran

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    :eek: on the Hurricane Hanna's lunch - doesn't sound very magical.

    Am glad you had beautiful weather and you sure seem to be having luck with getting empty transport! :thumbsup2

    Love Jacob's pics of MK and looking forward to seeing more and hearing about how you handled the heavy crowds :)
     
  19. Luvmepluto

    Luvmepluto "Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tr

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    The park looked PACKED! Also, lucky you on having the MK bus to yourselves. We normally have to stand.:scared1:

    I received a new Canon SLR for Christmas and I can't wait to use it at Disney!!!
    I can't wait to hear more.....
     
  20. sassyredhead

    sassyredhead DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing! It is so nice to read TRs with older kiddos! Love what I've read so far! :goodvibes
     
  21. RachelNinja

    RachelNinja Sometimes I'd rather live in VMK than in real life

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    Yay! I'm so glad you started your trip report!

    It really is so crazy that in 3 years, Hannah and Jacob have changed so much! It didn't seem like that long ago. I guess it isn't that weird though considering 3 years ago during my trip, Howard and I were not dating at that time.

    Awww, I'm sorry to hear that Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I hope you all were able to adjust and plan while still enjoying your vacation. From your morning situation at the airport and on the plane though, it sounds like Hannah's being very responsible! It really is surprising to see how some kids can handle these things so well. I have a 6th grade student who's severely allergic to a ton of things. She knows what she can and cannot eat and to immediately move away from other students who may be eating something that can trigger a reaction. I'm really amazed that at such a young age, these things can be handled. I don't think I would have had the maturity at 12 and 13.

    I love the pic of the two of them looking out the window. What a moment to capture!

    Does Hannah have to carry her supplies with her at all times now?

    I wish I had a DSLR to use on trips like this, but then I realize that like you, I'd probably leave it packed away because it's just so darn heavy! I do get to sometimes use Howard's, so that's the benefit there! It works out that he's willing to lug that thing around and I ALWAYS have a point and shoot with me. I'm silly, but I think that is just one of the MANY reasons why we work well together, hehe.

    I'm really looking forward to reading more!
     

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