Curioser & Curiouser... Jan. 28-Feb. 4, 2008 (Last Day Posted!)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by pixleyyy, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    These trip report entries were actually written while at WDW. Each evening we would come back to our hotel and after everyone was asleep I'd type up a report for the day. I hope you enjoy them. :)

    Cast of Characters:
    Me - :ccat: Annette, 33. Been to DisneyWorld 3 times (this will be #4) and Disneyland 3 times. I LOVE Disney and have never taken a vacation anywhere else.

    DH - ::cop: Brian, 33. Loves sharing Disney with us all. Crazy for the good rides (we LOVE ToT) as well as all the churros and ice cream he gets to snack on.

    DS11 - :mickeyjum Chase, our certified Disney freak of the house. He knows almost as much as I do about Disney and is really fun to have on the trip. He'll throw out Disney trivia or info anytime it comes to mind.

    DS9 - :stitch2: Tristan. Loves the good rides too... Splash Mountain is his favorite and he's so sad it's going to be closed when we're there. LOVES Stitch and will be pin trading for only Stitch pins again this trip.

    DD6 - princess: Carissa. Will turn 7 during this trip:cake:. So excited that she's big enough to ride all the rides this time. LOVES the Princesses and everything girly.

    MIL - pooh: Marsha, 50-something. Had double knee surgery so will be using an ECV this trip. Likes to sit out on a lot of the rides, which is good for whatever kid isn't interested in riding. This is her 2nd Disney trip with us.

    FIL - :goofy: Bruce, 50-something. Big kid at heart. Loves sharing this all with his grandkids and still remembers his magical Disney moment with DD during Wishes on our last trip to DL together.


    From my pre-trip report:

    Flying the red-eye from Oregon to Florida. We'll see how that goes ...

    Staying offsite in a Mariott Timeshare that my Mother gave us. We're excited about staying in such a huge room that can actually sleep us all.

    Will be eating lots of CS since we have so many picky eaters. We'll have a few sit down meals but nothing much special planned.

    Have some little birthday things organized for DD's 7th birthday on Jan. 29. BBB in the morning and dinner at 1900 Park Faire.

    Besides that we'll just let the Disney magic take us where it may.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Disney Day 1: The good, the bad and the tired.

    Hello from sunny Florida! We have arrived safe and sound here in Orlando and have weathered our first Disney day. It's been quite an adventure already.


    Our day acutally started late Sunday night when we boarded a plane bound for Florida. We decided to try the red-eye this time. A straight flight, lower airfare (always important when you're paying for 5 tickets!) and we don't waste a day of our vacation flying. Perfect scenario, right? Then again, maybe not.


    I've never taken a red-eye before and I was not quite prepared for all that flying at night meant. In my mind we would all board the plane, curl up in our reclining seats with our blankets and pillows and fall fast asleep, only to awaken the next morning in sunny Florida. That's not exactly what happened. Yes, we boarded the plane and curled up with our blankes and pillows to sleep. We reclined our seats ... all of 2 inches back! Ugh. OK, so now we just have to sleep sitting up. No problem, right? Well, it actually is sort of a problem. I couldn't get comfortable at all and neither could anyone from our group. Carissa actually slept most of all - about 3 hours total. The rest of us got about 1 - 1 1/2 hours total, on and off all flight. It was pretty miserable. The good news is that we had an awesome tail wind and arrived at Orlando 40 minutes early. Then again, the baggage was 1/2 an hour late getting to the baggage claim so we didn't really save any time. However once we got all that in order we headed to our hotel.

    Huge props to my Mom on this one. She really set us up. This place is GORGEOUS. I would never be able to stay here on my own so Mom's gift of this week at her timeshare was such a blessing. The room is huge - 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, hot tub, outside screemed patio, etc. They were even able to check us in early - at 7 in the morning! They rock. We came to really love the place we stayed, so spacious and homey. (Unfortunately it was 10 miles from WDW, which added 30 minutes driving time to the start and finish of our day. But that is the ONLY thing I have to complain about.) So we came to our room, unloaded our stuff, took a few minutes to poke around and then headed our way to Disneyworld!!!


    We knew today was going to be a short day at Disney because we would all be tired from our flight. I think we underestimated exactly HOW tired we would be, because we were all just dragging. This meant a bit of petty bickering on the part of all parties. But we got through it all and enjoyed our time at Epcot.
    [​IMG]

    As soon as we arrived we stopped for a bit to eat. We were starving and, not knowing the area, didn't find anything to eat on the way. So a quick trip to the bakery (*drool* chocolate croissant!!!) and we were good to go on our first Disney day.


    First we headed to see Soarin', one of our favorite rides from California Adventure. It was great, as always, so we grabbed Fastpasses so we could see it again later.


    Next we went to The Land ride. This is one that I remember vividly from my childhood, especially the John Denver "Listen to the Land" song that went along with the ride. The song is now long gone but the cool agricultural stuff remains. My faves were the Mickey head melons and pumpkins. How I would LOVE to have one of these to carve for Halloween!!!
    [​IMG]

    After The Land it was time to use our fastpasses for Soarin' and this time we requested to be seated in the front row. We had to wait an extra 5 minutes or so, but it was SOOOOO worth it to be seated up front. A clear view of the screen and no feet hanging down into your idyllic view. It was absolutely awesome to sit up front. Having done it once, I can't imagine ever being in the back rows again!


    We headed to the Living Seas next for a ride on Nemo. It was a new ride for us and we thought it was all pretty cute.

    Next was Turtle Talk with Crush. This is an interactive show with Crush, the totally tubular turtle dude from Finding Nemo. He was so cute and funny! Chase, or as Crush called him "the dude with the black striped shell on his head" (his hat) got called on to ask Crush a question. He chose to ask how old sea turtles get. I thought that it was ironic that he chose to ask the question that was actually in the Finding Nemo movie, but whatever. Cute anyways.
    [​IMG]

    We decided to ride Spaceship Earth next. That's the big huge golf ball looking thing in Epcot. It's recently undergone a renovation and I must say that I love the changes. Much better than the old outdated version I remember from previous trips.


    By now we were all famished again. Somehow having pasteries for breakfast doesn't really fill you up. We had some not-great counterservice food at the Electric Umbrella (eewww ... they even served us outdated and dried up carrots for the kids!) but it was filling and we were too hungry to complain too much, though I did complain about those carrots.


    After lunch we headed over to Innoventions West to take advantage of one of the benefits of having a Disney Rewards Credit Card - a free, private character greeting daily at Epcot. We got in line and waited. And waited. And waited. We didn't realize it was quite so "private" until we got closer to the front and saw that they let only one family in at a time. After waiting a ridiculous 30 minutes we finally got our chance with the characters.


    Mickey and Pluto were there to greet us. They jumped out at the kids and started interacting with them right away. I will say that, despite the wait, it was fine to have that private time with the characters. No other families staring your down and silently cursing you for taking so long with the characters. This was just us and Mickey and Pluto enjoying a little time together.


    Since this was the kids first character greeting this trip they weren't so into it in the beginning. They weren't sure what to do so sort of stood there and waved at them. LOL Eventually they got into it and started playing with the characters. I have more photos on the way but right now here are a few to share from that greeting.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next up was Test Track. This was probably my favorite ride of the day. Not because it was such an excellent ride - it's only good in my opinion - but because of Tristan's reaction. He LOVED it! We were sitting in the back seat of the car with the kids in the front seat and the whole ride we could hear Tristan screaming and laughing with glee. I couldn't help laughing myself, especially when he thought we were going to collide with an oncoming truck. This ride is worth the wait if only to hear Tristan's excited laughter. Quite awesome!!!


    We really were ready to head back to the hotel by this time, as it was 2pm and were losing steam quickly. But we had told Carissa about pick-a-pearl and she was determined to get it done TODAY. We walked all the way to Japan ... quite a jaunt when you are tired and grumpy already. We planned to take a nice, leisurely boat ride across the lagoon but they weren't running at the time we were there. :( So we walked ... and walked ... and walked. I forget just how long it is to get around the lagoon. We could seen Japan so clearly from the other side, but we spent 1/2 hour each way walking to Japan for Carissa's pearl.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    She and I both chose a pearl from the tank and had them opened. Mine was a beautiful little 7mm pearl. Hers was the biggest one we saw in the 45 minutes we were there - 8mm. She was, of course, thrilled with her big pearl and had it set in a nice butterfly necklace. I had mine set into a horseshoe and it looks beautiful. We both can't wait to wear them tomorrow!!! The one on the left is MIL's pearl, a 7 1/2mm set in a cage.
    [​IMG]

    Of course, while we were in Japan the boys found the one and only stash of Pokemon items at WDW. They both bought one Pokemon item with some of their money. Go figure ... even at WDW I can't get away from it! LOL


    By now we were just done. It was already after 4pm and we had really planned on leaving the park no later than 3pm. We made the long trek out of Epcot and back to our hotel. All 3 kids fell asleep in the car just minutes after they sat down ... quite a feat since they almost never sleep in the car.


    We came back to our room and had some pizza for dinner. A few baths in the hot tub and 3 birthday presents later (her two costumes and her Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique invitation... more about this tomorrow) and the kids were ready for bed. It was only 8pm here ... 5pm Pacific time ... but they were out like lights. It's a good thing too, as we have to up at 6:15am (3:15am Pacific) to get her to the Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique tomorrow. I hope we make it on time!


    I am now the sole wake being and ready to head to bed myself. Goodnight all ... see you for the fun of Carissa's birthday tomorrow.
     
  4. Phedre

    Phedre <font color=royalblue>I only like to blink while t

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    559
    Oooh I like the idea of writing everything up while you are there. That way you can't forget any of the important details :D Great start!! :D
     
  5. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    We went to bed early last night, but we still weren’t ready to get up at 6:30am. However, today was Carissa’s birthday and that required some extra special treatment! After a quick breakfast we made our way to the Magic Kingdom for Princess Carissa’s reservation at the Bibbidi Boppity Boutique.


    Now, the wonderful thing about having an early BBB reservation is that you get into the park before opening, before the general public, before it gets loud and busy. When else would we be able to get a family photo in front of Cinderella Castle with no one in the background.

    And Princess Carissa was able to quietly lead us up the castle walk with no one in her way.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    That almost made getting up early worth it. It was very neat to experience the Magic Kingdom while calm.

    We made our way inside to the BBB, where Carissa's fairy-godmothers-in-training spoiled her with all sorts of lavish attention.
    [​IMG]
    She got her nails painted, her makeup done and a very special princess hairdo, complete with glittering tiara and sparkling Mickey head barrette. Carissa was in heaven with all the extra special attention. It was quite a special occasion for her.
    [​IMG]
    After Carissa’s makeover was complete we stopped by City Hall for a birthday button. Carissa wore this and her “Birthday Princess” sash all day long, and right after receiving it she had her first special birthday moment. We were waiting at the rope drop to Tomorrowland so that we could be one of the first on Space Mountain. However, once they realized that it was Carissa’s birthday they decided to let our party in early. So a few minutes before it officially opened they led us through a deserted Tomorrowland and right inside Space Mountain! [​IMG]
    I don’t think Carissa realized just how special it was to get that little treat. And she was officially the first rider of the day on Space Mountain!

    After our special ride we headed to nearby Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger spin where Brian beat us all in this arcade game ride. He kicked our butts really. He had 300,000 while I had just 35,000 and the kids had somewhere around 2,000 each. OUCH! But on our way out we got to see Stitch who also made a big deal about Carissa’s birthday pin.

    [​IMG]
    In keeping up the momentum of the day we rode Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    before heading for some rides in Fantasyland. Here the kids and I enjoyed a very spin-y adventure on the Mad Tea Party. A big *bok, bok, bok!* to the rest of the group who didn’t want to ride. CHICKENS!!!
    [​IMG]

    Up next was an attraction none of us had ever been on before – Mickey’s Philharmagic. This was AWESOME! Lots of wonderful songs and cameos by several popular Disney characters, but the best part was all the 3D effects. The kids weren’t the only ones who found themselves grabbing for what was seemingly “in reach”. I just had to try it too. Best of all is that EVERYONE absolutely loved it. It was the highlight of Magic Kingdom for both Brian and myself and one thing that we will be repeating in upcoming days at the Magic Kingdom.

    We hit a few other Fantasyland rides, the first being Carissa’s “It’s a Small World”. I call this her ride because if not for her we probably wouldn’t have ridden it. It’s just one of those rides that doesn’t change over time so riding it once or twice ever would have worked for me, but Carissa wouldn’t even think about passing it up! So we all went along with her and listened to 10 long minutes of “It’s a Small World,” which is still running through my head some 12 hours later. Amazing.

    We flitted around Fantasyland for a while where Chase tried to pull Excalibur from the stone. He was excited that he could wiggle it, but he wasn't able to pull it out. ;)

    [​IMG]
    Last off in Fantasyland was Peter Pan. We stopped for a quick bite at the Harbour House where we had chicken strips and fries - our most common counter service meal during the trip.

    After lunch it was off to a ride we hadn’t ridden in Disneyland, Haunted Mansion. This was the first time for Tristan and Carissa, as Chase had ridden when we visited Disneyworld in 2001. He was only 5 then, but he rode it with me anyways, despite how scared he was. Now at 11 not much scares him – certainly not some computer generated ghosts in a Disney ride. LOL Despite the younger ones fears, it was not at all scary and they rather enjoyed it, especially Tristan who wanted to ride again.

    While we would have loved to ride Splash Mountain after Haunted Mansion, that just wasn’t possible. Much to our displeasure, Splash Mountain is closed for it’s yearly refurbishment. So sad!!! Instead we opted for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, another favorite of us all. I was actually surprised with how much I liked it this time. It was great.

    A short trek and we were in Adventureland, where we visited Pirates of the Carribean and saw the new updated version for the first time. This time there are sightings of both Barbosa and Jack Sparrow in the ride as well as a very neat vision of Davy Jones. What a fun addition!

    We jumped in the short line for the Aladin's Magic Carpet Ride
    [​IMG]
    before heading next door for the long awaited “The Tiki Room - Under New Management” show. The boys have been listening to the “Tiki Room” song since we returned from Disneyland, but we had never taken them in this theater. It was a fun little show! Certainly not as good as Philharmagic, but it let the boys finally see what the Tiki room was all about.

    By now things were getting a bit more crowded and we were all ready to take a bit of a break. We staked out a spot along Main Street to wait for the Dreams Come True parade to start.
    [​IMG]

    I bought some Mickey head ice creams for the kids (Nestle Crunch ice cream for the rest of the party). It wasn’t too long before Mickey and some of his friends came down the street for the parade.
    [​IMG]
    Carissa stood up, dressed to the 9’s in her new Aurora costume and with her hair and makeup all done, and waved at all the passing characters.
    [​IMG]
    Well, maybe not ALL the characters. She absolutely refused to wave to anyone from the villain float! Several times the characters saw her birthday button and pointed to her and blew her kisses. It was just so cute!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    It was a quick parade but a great time and place for some down moments and special birthday wishes for Carissa.

    We had thought about leaving after the parade, but a mass exodus began and we decided to stick it out a little while longer. We decided to stop at Toontown, the only land we hadn’t yet visited. We were on a mission to meet some characters and we did just that in the Toontown Hall of Fame tent. Here Carissa met Aurora, Belle and Cinderella
    [​IMG]
    Next was the boys turn, but after Carissa saw who it was she wasn’t going to be left out! So all 3 of them got their photos taken with Pluto, Goofy and Donald. FUN!!!
    [​IMG]

    A ride on Goofy’s Barnstormer finished out our ride day
    [​IMG]
    so we got on the train for a nice leisurely jaunt and made our way back to Main Street. We split up for some shopping on Main Street. We went to the Exposition hall so Carissa could got her adorable princess photos.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    She did a great job and it wasn’t too long before we were shopping again. We hit a few shops and didn’t buy much to speak of but we had a great time anyways. An hour later we were on our way back to the Ticket and Transportation Center and out of the parks, enjoying the beautiful sunset from aboard the boat along the way.
    [​IMG]
    We had some dinner at Denny’s … not exactly what we wanted for a birthday dinner but we couldn’t get any Disney dining reservations that night either. So we opted for Dennys’ and then headed back to the room.

    Princess Carissa got to open all of her birthday gifts! She got some nice, soft PJ’s, a jean jacket, snowglobes and several other Disney-themed items. We enjoyed a nice, sweet piece of Carissa’s “Enchanted” birthday cake. It was so cute! We demonlished about half of it today and will have the other half to snack on during the week.

    All in all a nice, long, productive day for us all. Several times Carissa enjoyed birthday niceties from those around her at the parks. It sure made for a fun and interesting birthday!
     
  6. reelmom

    reelmom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    5,629
    Great report so far. You have a beautiful family. Can't wait to read some more.
     
  7. AlohaAnnie

    AlohaAnnie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,743
    Great Trip Report So Far, I am enjoying reading it.

    I have a question ? - Did you go to Exposition Hall because of BBB photo package or can you go get Photos done here for Photo Pass?

    Thank you :)
     
  8. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    10,946
    Great report so far! Can't wait to read more. Your DD certainly is a princess princess: .

    We too have done the red-eye once, from California. And we too found it nearly impossible to sleep on the plane (Wish I had taken some Simply Sleeps!) We left LAX at 10 p.m. and arrived at MCO at 6 a.m. Luckily for us our flight was mostly empty and the flight attendant told us that as soon as we took off, we could move around to different seats so DD (then 5) could sleep, lying down. She did, for about, maybe, a total of 1-1/2 hrs. My DM and I only grabbed about 45 min. sleep. We too got a great price ($180/rt) and flying on Song (now completely merged with Delta) was awesome. Of course, those screens in the seats in front of us were part of the problem-who can sleep when you can watch t.v, play trivia, and are on your way to WDW?

    Luckily, we too were able to check into our room early, about 7 a.m. (Thanks POP) but the first thing we did was grab some zzzzzzs. We made it into the park about 2 p.m. that first day, and had a problem with our rental van (I will claim here that it was sleep deprivation that caused the problem, I'm normally not that stupid). :scared1:

    Anyway, I don't know if we'll do red-eye again since it didn't really gain us any extra time, but I did like flying direct to MCO from LAX. Our airport of choice is ONT but there are no direct flights to MCO from there. We usually arrive about 4 p.m. at MCO unless we take the later flight which gets us in at 10 p.m.

    Hope I didn't hi-jack your TR, waiting for more! :goodvibes

    Great pix too!
     
  9. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    No, we didn't buy the big BBB package that includes photos. We brought our own dress and had them do her hair, nails and makeup. We went to the Expo Hall just to get some more professional looking photos taken and put on our Photopass CD. I highly recommend it even if you aren't doing the full BBB. Didn't take much time out of our day (less than 30 minutes, even though 2 people were in front of us) and those pics are so adorable!
     
  10. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Disneydaz-
    Maybe if we had gone into this thinking that we wouldn't go straight to the parks but sleep some instead things would have worked better. As it is it didn't work particularly well. Lesson learned.

    More days and moments coming up, including all of our lost items - some found, some not- some magical moments and some absolutely BEAUTIFUL weather. Just waiting for time to edit the pics first to add to the postings before I post them.
     
  11. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Disney Day 3: Over and Over and Over ...

    Today was our trip to the newly named Disney Hollywood Studios. While the kids still didn’t want to get up this morning, they did finally get motivated and we made it into the studios before rope drop. As soon as the rope dropped we made a beeline for Rockin Rollercoater, staring Aerosmith. None of us had ever ridden this before. They don’t have it in Disneyland and the kids were all too young to ride when we visited WDW in 2001. So it was all a surprise to us.
    We walked right into the preshow room and then in a short line to get into our super strech limo. While in line we were finally able to catch a glimpse of the ride in motion. Oh my goodness. You sit at a dead stop and than rocket off into the darkness. We were all so excited to go! I must say that this ride didn’t disappoint us. The takeoff was fast but smooth and you went right into a loop that had us screaming our heads off. A few more twist and turns in the darkness and then you get to the corkscrew … so awesome! The kids all thought it was so cool and, I must admit, Brian and I did too. Carissa's comment was “I could live on this ride.”
    [​IMG]

    Rockin Rollercoaster is only 90 seconds long but so worth the wait in line. We loved it so much that we decided to ride again right away. The lines were short again so we got on fairly quickly. And after that ride we decided to grab some Fastpasses so we could ride again later in the day.

    While we could have gone on riding this all day long we let Tristan lead the way to the Tower of Terror.
    [​IMG]

    We LOVED this in Disneyland and rode it so many times while we were there, yet when it’s sitting next to Rockin Rollercoaster it just isn’t quite as good. Sure, we liked it a lot, especially since it pushes the cars horizontally into the elevator shaft - quite a different effect than the Disneyland version. Tristan, who was very apprehensive about riding ToT, since he didn’t like it at Disneyland, decided he’d give it one more try. He was scared from the beginning but he ended up absolutely loving it. Go figure.

    We had spent enough time down Sunset Boulevard so we decided to find some other entertainment. We got there just in time to see High School Musical 2.
    [​IMG]
    Carissa absolutely ADORED this. You can just tell by the look on her face.
    [​IMG]

    Thankfully she has a really tall Daddy though, as the place we chose to sit (up top near the big sorcerers hat) was the BACK of the show and you couldn't see a darned thing from there. So Brian just put her up on his shoulders and found a place to stand behind the hoardes so that his daughter could see. What a Dad!
    [​IMG]

    We only watched part of the show but were put off by the crowds so we decided to head to the nearby “Great Movie Ride.” Well, let me tell you, we didn’t think it was so "great". *yawn* ‘nuff said.

    Next up we were ready for something unquestionably filled with Disney magic, The Little Mermaid. Unfortunately, the Little Mermaid show was having technical difficulties and wasn’t currently open. We did shop a bit at a nearby store filled with girly things, where Carissa bought an adorable charm bracelet for herself.

    After the disappointment I bet you can’t guess where we went. Back to RnR, of course! We used our Fastpasses and had another thrilling ride.

    Lunch time was here and we were going to try to grab it and catch the next “Lights, Motors, Action” stunt show. We picked up some tasty pizza from Pizza Planet but never quite made it to the stunt show. We found some seats outside and just sat and soaked up the wonderful sunshine while we went through our scheduling options for the day.

    After much debate and decision making we decided to forego the car stunt show and instead go to the Indiana Jones stunt show, which the kids all wanted to see. But first we hit the nearby Muppetvision 3D.
    [​IMG]

    Not as good as Mickey’s Philharmagic, but cute anyways.

    Next was the Indy stunt show, however I don’t quite think choosing this over the car stunk show was a great choice. Indy was an ok show but really rather slow moving with only 3 short segments of action. Another *yawn* for this one from Brian and I, though it was one of Chase’s favorite parts.

    Brian and I actually snuck out of Indy early with Carissa and staked out spots for the soon-to-be-defunked “Stars and Motor Cars” parade. This was quite the task. When we sat down no one was there and it was easy to save seats, but then Brian left to get some frozen lemonade (yum, yum!), people started showing up and Carissa and I had to defend the sidewalk ourselves. Not an easy task, especially since she wanted to pin trade with every castmember who walked by. (She even traded with a dream team member who gave her a free pin for her birthday as well as a birthday card signed by several Disney characters. How cute!). But we were able to secure our spot and wait for Mom, Dad and the boys. And wait we did … and wait some more … and wait even more. The parade was about to start and they still hadn’t arrived. After Indy they had gone on a quick ride on Star Tours before making their way to our carefully planned parade spot. Unfortunately they couldn’t find us. First they were too far up the street, then they were too far down. By the time they finally reached us the parade had just about reached where we were sitting. But at least they made it in time.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We enjoyed seeing all the characters in the parade. Check out Tristan's face when he saw his favorite Disney character, Stitch, in the parade. Priceless!
    [​IMG]

    I was a bit disappointed that Giselle from Enchanted wasn’t in the parade, as she had been found at the parks only in this parade. Thankfully I hadn’t mentioned this to Carissa who would have been sad to miss out on her favorite princess.

    As I said, our choice of parade viewing spot was very strategic, as we had to hop right over to the Beauty & the Beast stage show right after. I must say that this was one of those instances when having a handicapped family member was an asset. We got seated in the handicap seating right up front in the 2nd row. Wow! What great seats. The show was a broadway-style production and was just awesome. The costumes were so wonderful, the movie was carefully reshaped into a 30 minute show and the wonderful songs were kept intact.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I really, really loved it and teared up while watching. It was just so magical and powerful.

    By now we were running out of steam and I knew it was only a matter of time before we needed to head home. But we couldn’t go home until we’d ridden RnR one more time. So Brian ran to get us Fastpasses and then we all took some leisurely shopping time. Brian bought himself a hat, I bought a shirt, the kids bought some little trinkets too. Of course, shopping means stores and stores means lots of people working there with lots of pin lanyards. The kids had a hayday pin trading with everyone they came across. Chase was lucky to find many, many hidden Mickey pins, which is the only thing he is trading for. Carissa found a plethora of various princess and girly pins. Tristan showed remarkable restraint as there wasn’t much of a selection of Stitch pins to choose from.

    While shopping Carissa and Tristan were both asked to send special letters to their favorite chararacter. Carissa wrote one to Belle and told her she was beautiful. Tristan sent one to Stitch telling him that he was cute and fluffy. Then they were given Magical Moment certificates to commemorate the experience.

    Not 10 minutes later Carissa, who was wearing her birthday button, was given a set of special Tinkerbelle pins.
    [​IMG]
    These are pins that cast member give out with very specific instructions: Keep one special pin for yourself and give one special pin away to another guest. Carissa was so excited to get it. She hasn’t yet given the other pin away but I’m sure it will happen soon.
    [​IMG]

    After we’d had our shopping fill we took our last trip of the day on Rockin Rollercoaster. Again, what an amazing ride. I loved it more this 4th time around than I did the previous rides. I keep thinking I know the track and I know what it’s going to do next but it seems like I never do. It always surprises me, even after 4 rides in one day.

    Disney Hollywood Studios didn’t really have a lot going for it in our opinion. Maybe it’s because we didn’t hit all of the shows (we’re headed back in a couple of days for more rides on RnR and ToT as well as The Little Mermaid show and maybe to even catch a showing of Lights, Motors, Action). Maybe that will change our mind. But the two awesome rides are worth the trip to DHS. Even if it is to just ride those two over and over and over again.
     
  12. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Just as a side note to this posting - Carissa never did give away her 2nd pin. I carried it around in my fanny pack day after day and just forgot about it. When we got home there it was, sitting on the bottom of my fanny pack. So we've got it put aside for our next trip to Disney and hope to share the magic then. pixiedust:
     
  13. stagemomx3

    stagemomx3 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4,288
    Great trip report so far! You do have me scared about the red eye flight we are taking in two weeks. :scared1:
     
  14. ampc3

    ampc3 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,609
    great trip report, thanks for sharing.... we also have a BBB early for our girls, that is why I booked it so early I heard how great it is to be in the park, also thought we might have a better chance at waking up tink :)
     
  15. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    If it's any consolation, I think a few minor changes would have made all the difference. We would have checked into our hotel early (as we did) and then NAPPED for a few hours before going to the park. I hate to lose park time, but we would have all been in much better spirits with some sleep first. Plus, it might have helped with the jet lag. So consider that when you fly red eye.
     
  16. stagemomx3

    stagemomx3 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4,288
    :thumbsup2 Suggestion noted!
     
  17. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Yes, that was our thinking too. Getting into the park early was great and as you saw we got some pics of us with the castle and no crowds behind us.

    Another suggestion for you: if you have to go to the TTC center before going to MK then you will want to leave extra time. That early in the morning the express monorail to MK wasn't running so we had to take the resort monorail that stopped 3 times before going to MK. That took about 15 minutes longer than the express would have, so just plan for that.

    Have fun and enjoy the BBB!!!
     
  18. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    This morning I woke up before the clock even rang. I guess I must be getting used to the time change finally. The rest of the family must be too because they all got up much easier this morning.

    We had breakfast and headed out for Animal Kingdom. We arrived just as the rope dropped and joined the horde on the way to Expedition Everest. Now, I had seen shows on this ride and thought I really had an idea of what it was about, but it was much better than I even anticipated. I think this could have something to do with the fact that Tristan and I were in the front car and had a clear, unobstructed view of the entire ride. Wow, that just makes it awesome!!! We loaded very quickly and started on our way. The first section was wonderful, but what I really loved was the view from way up there on top of Everest. AMAZING!!! Probably the best view of any in the whole of Walt Disney World. While we knew we would be going backwards, we didn’t know that it would be so quickly into the ride. I must give a huge shout out to the Imagineers at Disney who had us going backwards and upside down in the dark. My stomach always takes it a bit easier if it’s dark and I can’t see anything to judge exactly how we’re moving. After the backwards portion Tristan and I got a birds eye view of the track flipping over to send us on our way forward again. How cool! Soon we were on our way down the mountain, twisting and turning and just having a grand time screaming together. It was all wonderful!
    [​IMG]

    While we would have loved to go again right away we all knew that our stomach’s weren’t sure about a second go round so quickly after the first. We decided to head on our way to see more of Animal Kingdom.

    Up next was Dinoland USA. We headed into the fun little carnival like area first. This was being built we were here in 2001 and I clearly remember the big wall closing it off and the top of the dinosaurs head peeking up over the top. Now we were able to walk right in and see what we had narrowly missed during our last trip.

    One of the most exciting rides of this area is the Primeval Whirl or, as it’s called online, Primeval Hurl. I can see exactly why it’s called that. It’s a narrow, twisty coaster, which is bad enough in and of itself. But add to that the fact that each car spins around and around during the course of the ride and you’ve got a big problem. I would NOT last on this thing and none of the other adults were interested in riding for the same reason. Thankfully the kids were allowed to go on together. Wow! Their first solo ride.

    [​IMG]

    They rode once and jumped right back in line to ride again. They really enjoyed it. Next was the Triceratops spin, one of those dumbo-like rides where you go up and down.
    [​IMG]

    This was obviously not high on the excitement factor, so we decided to sit down and make a bit more exciting plan for the day.

    We let the kids play in the boneyard while we planned. The boneyard is infamous in our family Disney history as the place where 3 year old Tristan got lost during our 2001 trip. He was walking the play structures with Chase and went down the blue slide when Chase went down the yellow slide. Needless to say Chase got worried that his brother didn’t come to the same place he did. Chaos insued and we all went crazy until we found Tristan who was oblivious to the fact that he was indeed lost. Ever since Tristan heard that story he’s been wanting to return to the boneyard to play. They enjoyed a nice little chunk of playtime while Brian and I planned. By the time their play time was up we had come up with my “Nazi Regimine” (so called by Brian because of my tendancy to be pushy and rushing people along). We were on a tight schedule so we finally got down to business.

    Next up was Dinosaur. OK, I don’t like scary anything. Roller coasters are not scary to me, no matter how many dips or turns they take. But this ride was scary to me. So scary in fact that I ducked my head a few times, including the time when they took the picture.
    [​IMG]
    It was definitely not my kind of ride. MIL liked it a lot though and the kids thought it was pretty neat. Carissa was concerned about the dinosaur we had let lose during our trip to the past. But we all got through it.

    Up next was the Finding Nemo stage show. Another wonderful, magical Disney stage show.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This one was probably even more special than the others because of the puppets. They were made my Michael Curry, a puppet designer based in our little hometown in Oregon. I’ve been for a tour of his workshops and are just so thrilled by all he does. WOW. Oh, and the Emmy on the wall helped to impress a bit too, ;) Anyways, the puppets in this show were really awesome. All the seaweed and plants were costumes, as were the fish and other characters. It was SO wonderful!

    The only unfortunate part was the realization that Carissa's brand new beautiful pearl necklace that she had long coveted was missing. The chain itself was still on her but the clasp on the pendant part of the necklace must have opened because the butterfly and pearl pendant were gone. She was devestated! We looked all around where we were sitting with no luck. We stopped at lost and found both here, at Animal Kingdom, and at the park we were at the day before, Hollywood Studios. Again, no luck. I can't even tell you how much Carissa was saddened by this all.
    We did have the rest of the day to look forward to though so we went on with our plans, which were to use our fastpasses for Expedition Everest. I loved it yet again.

    Next was one of Dad’s favorite rides. … Kali River Rapids. He’s a junkie for water rides and couldn’t wait to go on this one. I was a bit more pragmatic about water rides and suggested we wear ponchos to keep from getting too wet. Dad would have none of that. And he could be relied upon to get the kids on his side. It wasn't a big issue to me so I didn't push it, but I had a bad feeling about exactly how wet we were going to get.
    Now, the thing about this ride is that whether you stay dry, get wet, or get really, really wet is all determined by how the raft spins and who hits the waterfall first. The first ride worked out fairly well for me and I was only a little bit wet, but since there was no line we all (including the family from Michigan who was sharing our raft) decided to stay and go on a second trip. This time I got even more wet. Worst of all was that Carissa was thoroughly soaked. And that poor little girl doesn't have an ounce of fat on her so she gets cold easily. By the time we got off the ride she was shivering. Thankfully a nearby vendor had dresses for sale and Carissa got a new one to wear.

    A quick (and wet) trek to see the giant fruit bats and the hippos and such
    [​IMG]
    we were ready to take a break for lunch.

    Unbeknownst to us, the lines for food were 30 minutes long. Ugh! Seriously?!? No lines for the ride but 30 minutes to eat? Grrrr. Anyways, some chips (Cheetos, given to her for her birthday by a vendor) an apple and an orange helped sate the kids hunger until we could have dinner.

    By now we were feeling the pinch on time. We took the Safari ride and got to see some wonderful animals, but had to hurry on our way to see Mickey and Minnie in Camp Mickey Minnie. Thankfully we were able to finally see Mickey alone (without Pluto I mean) this trip.
    [​IMG]

    We got a chance to see Minnie too. Check our Rissa posing with Minnie and sporting her new dress.
    [​IMG]

    Next up was “It’s Tough To Be A Bug”. Tristan didn’t want to ride this so he and I sat out and shopped a bit. As soon as everyone was done we hightailed it back to Camp Mickey Minnie for the Festival of the Lion King. I had seen some clips of this show on someones trip report and I had shared them with the kids so we were all very excited about seeing it. We were there early but thankfully there were lots and lots of pin trading cast members to occupy their time until the show started. Once they had traded several times they came and sat back down with us to wait. One of the CM’s came over and asked if they would like to help him out. They were up for it so he taught them the "hand jive" and had them teach the audience. While they hadn’t exactly perfected it themselves, they sure had a great time being in the limelight and showing others how to hand jive. The CM took them backstage and made them “magical moment” certificates to help them remember their special moment.
    [​IMG]
    The show started and I must say that it was awesome.
    [​IMG]

    The tumble monkeys were great, as were the other performers in the show. But I must say that my favorite performers were my own children. Once again, the kids were picked to take part in the show, this time in the finale. They circled around the room with shakers and followed the 3 rules given to them: have a big smile, make a lot of noise and have fun.

    [​IMG]

    They did just that and were so wonderful. It was a truly special occasion for them and a fitting way to end our day in Animal Kingdom.

    After the Lion King we had to rush to Rainforest Cafe to get their in time for our reservation. We were late but they seated us anyways. They were pretty slow so it really wasn't an issue. Now, let me preface this by saying that we are, generally, fans of Rainforest Cafe. I love some of their food and DH loves the ribs so we make it a plan to go once during each Disney trip. Unfortunately, this time they might have ruined it for us. The whole things was just horrible. The food took nearly and hour to get to our table, despite the fact that at least 1/2 of the restaurant was completely empty. They made a mistake on mine and had to go fix it. It took about 20 minutes, so I didn't get my food until after everyone else was nearly done with their meals. Then when the waitress delivered our food we asked that they get started on the Volcano that we had ordered as part of Carissa's birthday celebration. Time goes by. Everyone else is done with their food. Everyone needs drink refills. I'm done with my food. And we wait. And wait. And wait. 1 hour and 30 minutes after arriving at the restaurant we flag down a random waitress and ask that she send our server over immediately. We are fuming to say the least. We inquire about our volcano. Our waitress has no idea what's taking so long. We then say that we aren't willing to wait any longer and that we want to pay our check and leave. We're told that she has to void the item from the check and will be right back. 15 minutes later she finally returns with a corrected check. We hightail it out of there very upset about it all. I finally find a manager (I have been looking for one for the last 1/2 hour) and complain to her about all the has happened. She apologizes but hopes that we will still come to visit them again. Are you kidding me? Are you high? After the shoddy service, the rude and innatentive waitress (which we still had to pay a mandatory 18% gratuity to, since we are a party of 7) and the missing volcano that never arrived for my daughters birthday there is NO WAY we will be returning to Rainforest Cafe. How sad. This was the one really negative part of our trip. After this all we were ready to just go home and get to sleep... so we did.
     
  19. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    10,946
    Glad to hear you had a great day at AK. It's our (DD8 and mine) favorite park. Sorry to hear about Carissa's lose. :confused3

    As to RC-I've never been a fan of it anyway, but after your experience I would totally understand why you wouldn't plan on going back. And what was with that manager? "Hope you return." That's it, nothing more. :confused3 Don't think so. I'm sure your DD had a wonderful birthday even without having the special volcano, but how frustrating to use up so much of your precious vacation time waiting for something that you had planned for, in advance.

    Waiting for your next report :listen:
     
  20. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Disney Day 5: Experiencing the Magic, Part 2

    There is just something about the Magic Kingdom that is more magical than anywhere else in Disneyworld. So I always expect something a little more. Today was exactly that.

    First off, I want to say that today was the most stress free day thus far. That’s because last night we sat down with the map and decided what we still wanted to see. Then I made an agenda and we stuck with it. I must say, that made all the difference in the world …

    We woke up the usual time and made our way to Magic Kingdom. We arrived just in time to see Mickey and friends arrive on the train and open Magic Kingdom.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    We tried to make our way quickly back to Fantasyland, but that’s hard to do when there is a horde of people with strollers and children everywhere. By the time we got back to Fantasyland our scheduled first ride, Dumbo, was packed. As much as I wanted to ride Dumbo this trip, I also didn’t want to spend an hour in line waiting to do so. The kids saw the nearby carousel, which was empty, so we decided to ride that instead.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then we went in to see another showing of Mickey’s Philharmagic. It was great again! By the time the show got out things were looking much better at Dumbo.

    While we were waiting for Dumbo we realized that Ariel was in her Grotto. We had been dissuaded from seeing her previously because the line was always unbearably long, but not this morning. So I left Brian in line with the boys and Carissa and I zipped over to meet Ariel. She was beautiful, as always, and Carissa enjoyed meeting her.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We got back in line for Dumbo, much to Brian’s relief. He really didn’t want to ride that with the boys! Well, no worries there as the line was moving so slowly. We waited … and waited … and waited. Finally it was our turn. Carissa and I rode in a (surprise!) pink Dumbo and the boys rode in a blue one. We did the obligatory up and down routine and Carissa valiantly attemped to keep Brian from getting any pictures of her on the ride. She would go all the way to the top and sit there. I would distract her and move us down, but as soon as I moved my hand off the control she would do it again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    We said goodbye to Fantasyland and made our way to Toontown for more character greeting. We had seen Mickey but only at Animal Kingdom, where he was decked out in safari gear. We took a quick trip over to his house and finally got the chance to meet him in his traditional attire. Snap, snap, snap and the pictures were over.
    [​IMG]

    We tried to go to Minnie’s house next but the lines were really long to meet her so we just let Carissa explore for a few minutes
    [​IMG]
    before take a quiet, almost deserted back path to Tomorrowland.

    You can’t leave the Magic Kingdom without having ridden Space Moutain, so we did just that. Then we shot on the Buzz Lightyear ride where Brian, once again, kicked our butts. I think it’s just unfair advantage, him being a trained professional and all. LOL ;)

    Next was Monsters Inc. laugh floor. It was funny and entertaining but no one from our group got picked to be on the big screen.

    We headed back to Space Mountain for one more ride using the Fastpasses that we had, but it was closed for the moment so we opted to stop at Cosmic Rays for lunch. This was probably the best counter service meal we’ve eaten thus far. It was nice that they had so many selections to choose from and we all got to eat something we wanted.

    We were ready to leave Tomorrowland but decided to stop one more time to see if Space Mountain had opened. It had so we rode it one more time before heading to the other side of the Magic Kingdom.

    Next up was Adventureland, where the kids got to visit the Swiss Family treehouse. We didn’t go up with them but relaxed near the exit while they explored to their hearts content.

    We grabbed fastpasses for the Jungle Cruise before heading over to ride the riverboat around Tom Sawyer Island. It was a nice relaxing ride but we were ready for something more so we found Big Thunder Mountain RR. Since MIL is in a wheelchair we were able to get on with very little wait. We got to ride twice in a row, as we had to wait until our car ended up on the same side of the ride as we got off on. Bonus! Of course, the kids did the obligatory hands-in-the-air riding that has become routine since we came to Disneyworld.
    [​IMG]

    Next up, it was FINALLY time to explore Tom Sawyer Island. For some reason, we just really haven't made it to the island on either of our last trips. Chase had been reading up on it and was anxious to go explore so we took a raft over and spent an hour just playing around and enjoying the scenery and the serenity.
    [​IMG]

    We had wanted to go to Haunted Mansion one more time, but the lines were huge and we just didn’t think it was worth it to wait all that time. And the parade was on it’s way so we knew we would be stuck in the area if we didn’t get somewhere else rather quickly. So we crossed back over to Adventureland for a ride on Pirates and to use our Fastpass for Jungle Cruise. When we arrived at Jungle Cruise we found out that we didn’t need our Fastpasses since we had to ride in a special boat with MIL, so I took our 7 fastpasses and handed them out to two families in the LONG line for the Jungle Cruise. It was sort of nice to share the joy with others who were thankful for what we couldn’t use.

    By now the day was getting late and we decided to try to find a place to eat dinner. We decided to try The Plaza restaurant. After a short wait we were seated and ready to eat dinner. This was a great meal. It was relaxing to sit down and eat for a change and the food was very good.

    Upon leaving The Plaza about 6:15pm, we realized that the parade route was already packed with people. There wasn’t a speck of curbside space available, even though the parade was still 45min away. We looked and looked and finally noticed a place restricted for handicap guests and their parties. So Mom took us in there and we were able to get a nice, albeit somewhat uncomfortable (on the cement!), view of the Spectromagic parade.

    While we were waiting for the parade to start the kids decided to buy some light-up baubles for themselves. Carissa bought a conservatively priced light necklace and Chase bought a swirling Mickey ears light up. Tristan had been eyeing the Stitch light up toy since we arrived and he finally got one for his own. Boy, did he love that!

    The parade started right on time and it wasn’t long before it made it’s way to where we sat on the Tomorrowland side of the hub. I can’t remember seeing this parade any of the last few times we were here, so it was new for us all. I must say that I really liked it. The music was good, the lights and floats were good and the characters were great. It was wonderful!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    As soon as the parade stopped we moved for a bit better view of Cinderella Castle. From here we could clearly see the sky above the castle. We were all set for “Wishes” fireworks. This time Carissa sat on Brian’s shoulders. He talked with her about wishes and told her that if she wished very hard she just might be able to see a fairy. Lo and behold, a few minutes later tinkerbell flew by. Carissa raised her arms up and tried to reach for her. So cute!!! I stood with my arms over the boys shoulders, just enjoying the moment with them. It was such a wonderful show, as always. So magical, so happy, such a reminder of how special and wonderful this time with our kids.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wishes left us with that warm, fuzzy feeling we always get at Disney and we weren't really in a hurry to leave. Besides, we didn't want to contend with the hoardes headed out of the park so we took our time. We had some photos taken with the illuminated castle
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    and then slowly meandered down main street, stopping at the bakery for chocolate croissants (YUMMMMMM) and cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow morning. We browsed a bit and enjoyed the beautiful lights
    [​IMG]
    on our way home from this wonderful, magical day.
     
  21. Honeymooner04

    Honeymooner04 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
    571
    Great report so far! Can't wait to read more!
     

Share This Page