Cast Of Characters Julia, 38 DL trip planner Brian, 41 A longtime Disney fanatic (much more so than me!) Michael, 8 ÃÂ½ Emily, 6 Thomas 3 ÃÂ½ Kevin, 40ish friend of the family (and professional photographer) Day 3 (12/17/00) ItÃ¢ÂÂs our last day at DL, and since itÃ¢ÂÂs a Sunday, there is no EE at the park, which opens at 8am. I would like to get there right when it opens, but the kids are really tired and we need to pack the car. Brian gets up first, and I drag myself out of bed at 7:20. We quickly pack the car, check out and head for DL and arrive about 8:30 (not bad, I think) At check out, I let the manager know about our very frustrating experience with receiving phone calls and messages (IÃ¢ÂÂll talk more about this in the summary) Anyway, we havenÃ¢ÂÂt yet seen Toon Town, so we take the train over and ride small world-the sign says 5 minutes wait, but we were on as fast as we could get on a boat. We walk to Toon Town and Mickey is in the doorway of his house (not inside) We get in line and are the last family to get pictures like this-cool. We pop over to GadgetÃ¢ÂÂs Go Coaster, which all the kids love (even Emily) and ride, only waiting a few minutes. Because the line stays so short, we ride another 4 times, each time only waiting the length of time for one or two coaster cycles. When we leave, the line suddenly gets a lot longer, and we suggest to the kids to try the acorn crawl. Well, thatÃ¢ÂÂs not open, so we head over to the Bounce House, and the kids get to go right in. Since Toon Town can be SO congested, we figure we have done pretty well! We head over to Fantasyland, to ride he Storybook boats-the line is pretty long, but about halfway through our wait, about 4 boats are added, so it goes quickly (just the time it takes to load the boats) I like these boast, and prefer them to Casey Junior, which the kids have finally outgrown (and I donÃ¢ÂÂt care!) Brian pops over to the Autopia, to get once again another FP, while I take the kids on Alice. Since our fast pass time is 11-12, and itÃ¢ÂÂs now 10:40, Brian then head over to Thunder Mountain for FP, which he can get at 11. We meet at Autopia and ride, and then Brian and Michael go to Thunder Mountain, while I let Emily and Thomas have some popcorn, while sitting in the Mexican restaurant area. It wonÃ¢ÂÂt open for awhile (2/6/01), but you can use the seating, and there is someone assigned to clean it up (sweeping, wiping tables, etc) which I think is nice. Brian and Michael come back, and then I head over to Thunder Mountain wth Michael, while Brian takes the other kids to Bear Country Jamboree. They really like the Xmas show. Michael and I ride Thunder Mountain (love that FP!) and get in line again. We are 4 people away from riding when it shuts down. Everyone is asked to leave. Michael is disappointed, but I remind him how lucky he was to ride twice in a row, without waiting, while the other people didnÃ¢ÂÂt get to ride at all, and he is a good sport. We take the train again, to New Orleans Square, and exchange the spyglass we bought. It broke less than 5 minues after we bought it. I know itÃ¢ÂÂs not that great (I mean, it was $1.95 at DL!) but I did hope it would last longer than our trip. I bring it back, and the CM very nicely lets me exchange it (I also still had my receipt) We get a Fast pass for Pirates, which the kids want to ride yet again, and then take the train back to Tomorrowland, to eat at Redd RocketÃ¢ÂÂs. Michael really wants to eat here, and we never have so decide to try it. It was a bit chaotic at first, especially since we need to be in three different lines (salad for Brain and I, pizza for Michael and pasta for Emily and Thomas), but we figure it out. Brian has Thomas and is looking for a table. Lunch is $36-more than we planned, but I am glad to not be eating burgers. Brian found a table and the kids like their lunch. Emily and Thomas love their plastic plates shaped like Mickey (the kind of plastic you would find with a lean Cuisine package) and I ask a CM for a bag, so we can take them home. Normally I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt do this, but we have one more ride, and are heading home in the car, so itÃ¢ÂÂs not any trouble. He gets me one and we leave to ride Pirates. After Pirates, we head down through Advebtureland, looking in shops. I decide, since the kids have been so good this trip, to treat them to a t-shirt (I should also add, that both Michael and Emily really need some t-shirts-they have outgrown everything) Michael gets an Indiana Jones t-shirt-Thomas wants one, but there is not one small enough. We find Emily a 45th anniversary shirt on Main Street, as well as a shirt with Mickey in a canoe for Thomas (since he paddled in the canoes-last time I would let him) We head out the Main gate, and back to our car at the hotel (the manager let us keep it there today) Its about 3pm, and we hit a lot of traffic in LA, and donÃ¢ÂÂt make it home until 10:30 (and we are tired!) Final Thoughts/Summary I like being at DL at Xmas. I love the decorations and the holiday feel. I was a bit frustrated with our hotel, but I would definitely stay there again (I mean, mistakes can happen anywhere-even at the Grand Floridian) For $49 a night we had decent beds, a microwave and fridge and an extremely short walk to the park (walking with three kids, ages 3-8, took 8 minutes from our room to the main gate!) I cannot stress how important it is to arrive early. We got so much done during those early hours. We didnÃ¢ÂÂt ride Space Mountain (Michael was scared and Brian and I didnÃ¢ÂÂt care too much-weÃ¢ÂÂve ridden it lots and will again) or Splash Mountain (last year when we rode, Emily and Michael got slammed into the front seats-Michael jammed his chin and Emily bit her lip so she bled, so our kids had NO interest in riding this!!), but oterwise, we rode the major rides frequently with Fast pass-a great invention! If you travel with small children, FP can also let an older child ride multiple times, which was great for Michael. If you travel with kids, or more adults, walkie talkies are great. I never mentioned it, but Brian and I used them a lot. We would separate and know whether to ride another ride, or how to meet. Ours were the cheap kind, with just 14 channels. We plan to buy a better set (with the sub channels) but these still got the job done. I packed the clothes for the kids in ziplock bags (I used the 2 gallon size for MichaelÃ¢ÂÂs) and I plan to do that all the time when we travel. Each child just pulled a bag from the suitcase, choosing the outfit they wanted. What I thought was rather funny was that Michael chose his clothes based on the t-shirt inside, while Thomas (the newly potty trained 3 year old) chode based on the underwear (do I want Star Wars or Pokemon or Pooh Bear?) It was cute. Finally, if you travel with kids, 3 days is not too much time. It allowed for arriving early each day, and riding popular rides multiple times without a wait. It also allowed for a mid afternoon break. I canÃ¢ÂÂt wait for our WDW trip!