Disney Dreaming by Land and Sea March 7-15 -UPDATED 10/06

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by disneybound08, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    Welcome to my first trip report. Our cast of characters includes my husband Gerry, myself and our six year son Cameron.

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    I've always had a love for Disney and I think I'm doing a great job installing this love in my son as well. My DH loves our trips to Disney but will often say "aren't there other places you want to go?" But he never takes much convincing to take another Disney trip.

    Our last trip to Disney was in 2010 where we stayed eight nights at the All Star Sports resort. My stepson and stepdaughter also came with us on that trip. This would be the first time we would take a major trip without them, as jobs and friends become more of an important part of their teenage lives.

    On this trip we stayed one night at the Holiday Inn Express in Syracuse before our flight, followed by three nights at Port Orleans French Quarter. After that we set sail on the Disney Dream for four incredible nights. Once our cruise was complete we stayed one night at Pop Century before catching our flight back to the cold land of Canada - although I will mention our time in Orlando was quite chilly. We were fortunate to travel (or unfortunate depending on your perspective) during a wonderful cold snap. Overall we didn't mind it, it was much warmer than home and we appreciated the cooler temperatures compared to our 2010 trip which was taken during the end of August. I hope that you will have fun following along with our trip. We had a wonderful trip and I can't wait to share it with some other folks who are just as crazy about Disney. Continued in next post.
     
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  3. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    As a teacher we were forced to travel during our Spring Break, which we refer to here in Ontario as 'March Break' I ended up booking off the Thursday and Friday before March break as personal days so that we could beat some major crowds down to Disney World. We had dropped our dog off at my sister-in-laws the evening before, so we left for Syracuse right after work was finished on Wednesday. I picked up Subway for dinner and after a quick bite we were on the road by 4:30.

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    After a quick and easy crossing at the border we were on our way to Syracuse. As we were driving down Cameron starting talking about a Disney Cruise line commercial he had seen where the kids kept saying "ice cream break" and he asked if we would ever go on a Disney Cruise. Gerry and I replied that maybe some day we could go. Cameron would have a very big surprise in a few short days. We kept our cruise on the Dream a secret from him, and it was such a fantastic surprise, but more on that later.

    We had booked a park and fly package at the Holiday Inn Express at the Syracuse Airport location. We arrived and were checked into our hotel by 7:30. We decided to head across the highway to have a quick snack at Taco Bell. We also grabbed some milk for Cameron at the gas bar because we forgot to order Cameron a drink in the drive thru. Gerry also couldn't resist beginning the trip with a king can of beer.

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    It was so cheap compared to what we pay here in Ontario. On the way back to our room we also grabbed a couple of the delicious complimentary white chocolate macadamia nut cookies from the front desk. We watched a bit of TV and then retired for the evening because we had an early flight the next morning.

    Continued in next post.
     
  4. gummdrop87645

    gummdrop87645 Earning My Ears

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    following along
     
  5. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    Welcome and thanks for following along!
     
  6. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    Our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:40am so I had the wake up call set for 4:45am. Of course I slept horribly and by 4:30 I just decided to get up and get my day started. Last night when we checked in we had signed up for a shuttle time to the airport. We had signed up for 6:00am. As a side note we also had to move our car to the lot closer to the highway since we were leaving our car there for the duration of our trip.

    After we showered and dressed we gathered all our luggage and headed down to the lobby to grab some complimentary breakfast. Breakfast was good, sorry I didn't take too many food porn pics during the trip. I always feel like such a goof taking pictures of my food. We ended up finishing breakfast early so we grabbed the 5:45am shuttle to the airport since it was ready to leave and there was room.

    We arrived at the airport and breezed through security with no issues. I had loaded up my old iPod with Wreck it Ralph before we left so Cameron passed the time watching it. As our flight time drew closer we began to get a bit anxious. Finally an announcement was made. Our flight was experiencing difficulties with the electronic equipment!!! A technician was currently on board trying to fix the problem. Yikes, we had planned to drop our bags at the resort and catch the first bus to the parks, now my precious Disney time was slipping away. Finally at 8:20am we boarded our flight. The announcer stated that sometimes planes just have trouble starting up in this cold weather?!?! Anyways our flight boarded and taxied to the runway quite quickly and we were off.

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    We actually ended up landing on schedule at 10:40am! Woohoo no precious Disney time lost! We made it down to the Magical Express and checked in with no difficulties. We had to wait about 5 minutes for our bus to arrive and another 10 minutes on the bus before it departed. Soon enough we were on our way.

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    Unfortunately we didn't get great seats so I couldn't take the trademark picture of passing under the Disney World sign that I have seen on so many trip reports. We were stop number 3 of 4 that day. We stopped at Old Key West and Saratoga Springs (I think) before arriving at Port Orleans French Quarter.

    We were so impressed by the beauty of this resort. I had completed online check in so when we arrived our package was ready along with our room! I did not expect our room to be ready. During the online check in I had selected upper floor and close to transportation. Our room was a corner unit on the second floor right across from Sassagoula Floatworks! We were so excited to be close to the food court and bus stops. When we stayed at All Star Movies our room was in the Tennis section and it was such an incredibly long walk. I worried a bit that it would be noisy given the location of the room but we never heard any outside noise our entire stay.

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    After dropping off our bags to our room we headed off to the bus stop. Where were we headed? We were going to Hollywood Studios! After about 5 minutes our bus arrived and we were on our way. Our bus stopped at Riverside to pick up guests as well adding some time to our trip. We found that the buses seemed to be shared with riverside in the afternoons on the way to the parks. We never shared in the morning or evening or when returning from the parks regardless of the time.

    Next up arriving at Hollywood Studios.
     
  7. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Following along! We are doing our first cruise on the Dream in June so can't wait to hear all about it!! G
     
  8. marquislaura

    marquislaura Mouseketeer

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    Following along. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip. We are going on the Dream for the first time in March 2014.
     
  9. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    It was our first cruise ever! I'm certain that you will love it!
     
  10. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    I wish that we were going again next March.
     
  11. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    We arrived at Hollywood Studios and passed through the turnstiles at 12:30pm. I thought we made excellent time considering that we had only landed at the airport at 10:40am. I ran up ahead of the boys on the long shot that some fast passes just might be left for Toy Story mania but no luck :( I met the boys at Starring Roles. We were starving since we hadn't had anything to eat since our free Jet Blue snacks on the plane. Gerry ordered the turkey sandwich with chips and a coke. I ordered the ham sandwich with a chocolate milk that I gave to Cameron. Since we were on the quick service meal plan our meals also came with chips and dessert. We chose a muffin as one dessert and Cameron ate this as his lunch. We also got an m&ms brownie to share as a family. It was delicious!

    After I was finished eating I went to grab some fast passes for Tower of Terror. Once Cameron was finished eating we headed to the Great Movie Ride. After that we had our picture taken by the photopass photographer.

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    By this time our fast passes were ready so we headed to the Tower. This would be Cameron's first ride. On our last trip Cameron had just turned four so we didn't take him on the Tower even though he met the height requirement. As we were waking up to the queue someone pixie dusted us another set of fast passes! Cameron did very well, although the look on his face during the first drop was sheer terror. Once we were off I asked him if he wanted to ride again. He said not right now, so pixie dusted the extra passes to another family browsing the gift shop.

    We then decided to make our way back towards Toy Story Mania. We really wanted to ride because on our last visit to Disney this ride was down for refurbishment. I knew that we probably only had two options for shorter waits, lining up just before the parade or just before close. The studios were closing that evening at 7pm but I still wasn't sure if we would make it that long given that our day started so early back in upper state New York. Gerry went to grab fast passes for Star Tours while Cameron and I rested on a bench. Then we got in the standby line at 2:40pm. The wait time was posted at 85 minutes but we were on the ride within 40 minutes.


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    After that we used our fast passes at Star Tours, grabbed another set for later and then we caught the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. After the show we rode Star Tours again. From there we grabbed some dinner at Pizza Planet. Normally we love this meal but it just wasn't that great this time. I think because it was getting closer to closing time the pizza wasn't fresh. Then we decided to wrap up our evening with the Muppets 3D.

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    I just LOVE that show. So much fun! After that we headed out of the park. I believe it was shortly after six.

    After returning to Port Orleans French Quarter we had a snack and did a bit of resort exploring. Of course we had to try the beignets. Words cannot even describe how much Cameron and I adored the beignets! They were heavenly.

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    If anyone from the Ottawa region knows where I can get some of these closer to home please let me know. We traded some pins in the lobby/store and then took a stroll towards the pool.

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    We had an amazing first day, but we were exhausted. Time for bed because we were off to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow.

    Continued in next post.
     
  12. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Cameron is so cute! I love your family picture! I can hardly wait to hear what he thinks when you surprise him with the cruise! I have always wanted to pull off a surprise like that but man I am just not good at keeping secrets when I am so excited myself!

    I love the nighttime POFQ pictures too. Makes me remember how much we loved that resort back in 2006. And oh the beignets... now I am hungry!!!
     
  13. kalel29

    kalel29 Dis Dad #101

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    No Question!!!! :thumbsup2
     
  14. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    We woke up and quickly got ready for our first morning at Disney. We headed over to the food court for breakfast. Gerry and I both ordered the breakfast platters and Cameron had the kids waffle breakfast. We all had some delicious chocolate milk to wash it all down. While eating breakfast we had some more pixie dust bestowed upon us. A little boy with his mom walked up to us and said that they were leaving for the airport and couldn't take their balloon with them so they generously offered it to Cameron.

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    We thanked them and headed back to the room to stow away our new balloon and our mugs. After a tasty breakfast we headed down to the bus stop. After a short wait our bus arrived and we were soon on our way to the Magic Kingdom. We arrived shortly after 8:30am and made our way towards the centre for a few pics before the crowd gathered.

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    We ended up standing towards the right hand side to watch the opening show. Can I just say how much I love that show. It's so exciting to hear the whistle blowing on the train and see all the characters pour off after it pulls up. I also adore the dancing at the beginning of the show, so magical. After the gates opened we headed towards Tomorrowland. We had a date with a very important space ranger. I rode with Cameron, then I left to grab fast passes for the new Little Mermaid ride while the boys rode a second time. We had made plans to meet at the Tomorrowland Speedway. Even though the line was not big it took forever to get on this ride. They did not have all the cars running and operating first thing in the morning. It was actually quite nauseating standing up on that bridge breathing in all that exhaust. The only thing that made it tolerable was knowing that we weren't standing here in the crazy humid weather of our previous August trip. But it was all worth it to see the smile on my little boy's face. He was so excited to 'drive' that car.

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    When we finished our leisurely spin around the track, we headed towards Fantasyland. A spin on the teacups was up next. I would have to say that as I get older those teacups are really starting to bother me. In my younger days I could ride without a worry in the world. Now the spinning is starting to bother me a bit. Anyways we had a blast, and I love the pictures we captured. For those of you wondering what's up with my husband, he's making his best 'dizzy' face. He sure does make me laugh.

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    Our fast pass window was open so Gerry went to go grab us a set for Big Thunder Mountain. While he did the run, I took Cameron for a ride on the carousel. I know that the time will come quite quickly when this ride won't hold the magic or bring the smiles that it currently does for my little boy. So we rode our beautiful horses and I cherished every smile, giggle, and glance.

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    We sat down by the gates to New Fantasyland and waited for Gerry to return with our fast passes. Then we walked into New Fantasyland!

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    The theming here really is quite beautiful. They certainly included a lot of details. We then took a ride under the sea with my favourite mermaid. Growing up I loved watching the Little Mermaid. I watched it so many times, and sang my heart out each and every time. Of course riding this ride was no different, I sang my heart out on the way through all the scenes.

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    This ride is just so cute. Cameron liked it too, but hadn't watched it for a long time. I wish we had watched it again before our trip but I was more focused on watching some of the movies that the cruise ship shows were based upon. Anyways he still enjoyed it so that's all that really matters. We then decided to make our way towards Frontierland, stopping along the way to ride Its a Small World. Gerry said that he was glad this ride was down for reburbishment on our last trip. After that we continued towards Big Thunder Mountain. Along the way we stopped to use the restroom. Normally I wouldn't comment about the restrooms, but today was the first day the Rapunzel area was open. We of course didn't realize this until we returned home.

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    Anyways on to Big Thunder Mountain. It was Cameron's first time. He was a bit apprehensive but ended up loving the ride.

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    We were getting pretty hungry by this point so it was time to grab some lunch. We headed to Sleepy Hollow for some delicious waffle treats. Cameron and I shared a waffle with Strawberries and whipped cream, and Gerry had a waffle with fruit and Nutella. I couldn't believe how much Nutella was on his waffle. I swear they used a entire jar! The waffles were delicious!

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    Our plan was to head back to the resort to swim in the afternoon because Cameron was dying to slide down the dragon slide. I thought we could maybe squeeze in one last ride. We took a peek at the Haunted Mansion but the standby line was just too long. So instead we decided to catch Philharmagic. I think that this is my favourite 3D, I mean 4D attraction in all of Disney World. I LOVE it! After that we grabbed a quick pic by the castle.

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    Then we decided to trek back to the resort for a much deserved swim and rest.

    Continued in next post.
     
  15. tzeitel

    tzeitel Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda

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    Really enjoying your TR :goodvibes We stayed on the Riverside side and every time we took the boat to DtD I told DH how we should stay on the FQ next time!
     
  16. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for following along. We loved the compact size of FQ, everything was so close, and we loved the boat ride to Downtown Disney. I should be posting another update later this evening.
     
  17. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    After spending an amazing morning at Magic Kingdom we headed back to our resort for a mid afternoon break. I had forgot that as we were walking out of the park the parade had just started so we grabbed some popcorn and cotton candy and stayed to watch most of it. Here's a few pics.

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    Cameron had been dying to go for a swim in the pool. We got changed, filled up the mugs and headed down to the pool. Cameron was so excited to swim and more importantly to slide down that serpent tongue. He loved it! Cameron takes swimming lessons every summer but still isn't a big fan of going underwater. It was the perfect slide for a rookie swimmer. It's entry into the water is quite calm so it was just right for him.

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    He went at least a dozen times in a row. We also swam around the main pool to the other water features. After swimming we headed back to the room to shower and change. Cameron has super sensitive skin so he has to shower off all those pool chemicals right away or he'll develop a nasty rash. We then relaxed in the room and watched a bit of Stacey. I think Cameron likes watching Must Do Disney even more than me, he refuses to watch any other channel. Our plan was to head back to the Magic Kingdom for the evening to watch Wishes. We had to decide if we should eat at the resort or the park. Cameron wanted more beignets so we settled for the resort. Cameron got the kids spaghetti. I can't remember what Gerry and I ordered except that I got beignets for my dessert to share with Cameron. Everything was good and messy as you can see.

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    After that we headed to the bus stop to return to the Magic Kingdom. Again our bus stopped at all the Riverside bus stops. I believe this was because we weren't travelling at a peak time. Once arriving we headed to the Haunted Mansion. This would be Cameron's first ride. On our last trip my step daughter didn't want to ride so Cameron and I stayed with her. After about a 15 minute wait we entered the stretching room. I thought Cameron might get a bit freaked out but he was fine. I really love this ride. We all shared a doom buggy and off we went. Unfortunately our ride got stuck! We were stuck right beside the coffin/funeral scene. So the coffin lid kept lifting up on one side of us and the doors knocking/shaking/rattling on the other side. Cameron was fine though and was quoting the technical difficulty line that came over the speakers for the rest of evening. After our ride we headed towards Adventureland hoping to ride the Jungle Cruise. The wait was pretty long though so we took a tour of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

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    Then we caught the Tiki Room show because it was just about to start. I'm glad they returned to the original show, I didn't like the one with Iago very much. After this we walked towards Casey's to grab a spot for the parade. A very nice family invited Cameron to grab a seat on the curb with them.

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    After the parade we headed to grab a spot over by the Crystal Palace for Celebrate the Magic. It was so incredible! I loved the show, especially the lanterns scene from Tangled. I tried to take some pictures, but I couldn't figure out the proper camera setting. So I won't post many pics from this night.

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    Unfortunately we couldn't stay in our spot for Wishes so we had to move further down towards Adventureland. It wasn't a great view, but I didn't want to be stuck in the crowds on Main Street. Oh well, we still enjoyed the fireworks and they were nice and early for Cameron. After the fireworks we headed out of the park, cutting through the shops to avoid some of the crowds. We caught the bus back to the French Quarter and got ourselves off to bed quickly because we were off to Epcot the next morning.

    Continued in next post.
     
  18. YouCanFly09

    YouCanFly09 Earning My Ears

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    Following along! Cameron is such a cutie! Can't wait to read more!
     
  19. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    On Friday morning we woke up and got ready to head to our favourite park. Can you guess which one? It's Epcot! This has always been my favourite park, and it also happens to be Gerry and Cameron's favourite too. Since we only had limited park time because of the cruise we definetly had to adjust from our usual touring plans. But we still had a fantastic day! We arrived around 8:30 and there was already a huge line at the turnstiles. I however had read on Josh's Easywdw website that the new RFID turnstiles were installed over at the far right. I left Gerry and Cameron to go and check. Sure enough they were there and they only had two other families in line. Gerry was so happy that I obsessively plan our trips reading these boards and sites like Josh's Easywdw. We lined up in front of an empty RFID scanner and we were thrilled to be first in line. We were let into the park at 8:45am and we walked quickly towards Test Track. Yes, we walked quickly, but given that we had a pair of tiny six year old legs with us I figured it would take us a bit to get there. Surprisingly enough we were the first ones there! Gerry ran up to grab us some fast passes to use later and then we went inside. We went straight to the design stations and got to work. Cameron loved designing his car.

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    Then we hopped on the ride. Cameron was thrilled to see the results of his car. Overall I'm unsure if I really like the new test track. Although its cool to design and test your own car, I really miss the old crash test dummy theming of the previous ride, and the extreme heat/cold testing portion. Anyways it wasn't hard to imagine that my tech obsessed boy declared the new Test Track to be his new favourite ride. A large change from our last trip where Journey to Imagination took the top spot in his heart. After our ride we breezed through the games/activities ( planning to hit those later after with our fast passes ) and we headed towards the Land.

    We rode Soarin with less than a 10 minute wait. Gerry and Cameron sat in the front row. Nothing beats the view from the front row. We checked our watches and it was time to grab more fast passes. This time we grabbed a set for Soarin. Can you believe it wasn't even 10am and we had rode both Test Track and Soarin plus we had fast passes for both! After our magical flight over California we headed towards the Imagination pavilion. As we were boarding the CM was asking us if this was our first ride of the day. She was shocked to find out that we had already rode Test Track and Soarin, plus had fast passes for both. I adore Figment, and love that ride. Cameron still thinks that every time we pass through the smell lab that a different smell might be picked. He was reading all the different labels on the tanks, and saying maybe next time the skunk won't win. Don't we all wish this would actually happen.

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    After singing our hearts out with our favourite purple dragon, we headed back to use our fast passes at Test Track. We stopped for a couple pictures along the way and cut through Radiator Springs done up Flower and Garden style.

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    Once we arrived at Test Track my husband was very happy with my planning when he saw the time posted for the standby line for Test Track was already 45 minutes. We designed another car, although from what I've read on the boards this doesn't usually happen when you use fast pass. This one had a law enforcement theme and we rode again.

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    This time we explored all the games and things afterwards. We still had some time to kill before our Soarin fast passes were valid so I decided to take the boys to Ellen's Energy Adventure. I know, a strange choice but I was really looking forward to just sitting for a while. It was funny to hear how many times the CM mentioned the length of the attraction, saying over and over that once you boarded the vehicle you could not leave. Anyways Cameron really enjoyed the attraction. As I've mentioned, he loves science and technology and was learning about different forms of energy at school, so he really liked it. Plus we love Ellen, even though the attraction is horribly outdated. Yikes they really should do something about this attraction. Gerry said he had a nap although I'm not sure I believe him.

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    Cameron was hungry so we grabbed a donut from the stand outside and then we walked over to Soarin. We took another flight over California, this time we had back row, and then we were ready for lunch. Where would we eat? Sunshine Seasons of course! I had the salmon, Gerry had the pork chops and Cameron got the chicken leg. We got carrot cake and chocolate mousse cake to share between the three of us. Mmmmmm I love that chocolate mousse cake. What adventures would we explore after lunch?

    Continued in next post.
     
  20. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks, I think he's pretty cute too, but as his mother I thought maybe I was a bit biased.
     
  21. disneybound08

    disneybound08 Mouseketeer

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    Only one more update and then I will be posting about the big surprise. It was such a great surprise! Can't wait to share it with you guys!
     

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