Flat Brody takes a Pick-A-Number DISUnplugged Podcast Trip!! Update 7/15-Day 5 Finale

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Tonya2426, May 28, 2008.

  1. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    Flat Brody takes a Pick-A-Number DISUnplugged Podcast Trip!!! Who says you can’t take your dog to Disney World?


    Who is Flat Brody, you ask? Flat Brody is my taped on foam-core and stuck on a stick version of my beloved dog Brody. You know, like the children’s book Flat Stanley. I got inspired from jordanyosh’s TR and his adventures with Flat Winkers. So I planned a trip and made a flat version of my dog - Flat Brody. Seriously, who can resist a cute dog enjoying all of the benefits that Disney World has to offer? Right? Right!


    How this trip came about. I was lamenting the fact that my Annual Pass expired on January 6, 2008 and I didn’t have any trips planned to Disney until October 2008. I have become self-employed in the last year and finances are tighter than they have been in previous years especially since I have to pay for my health insurance now. OUCH!!!. So, a Spring trip to Disney World seemed out of the question. But God works in mysterious ways and all that changed on February 12th.


    I wrote an email to the DIS Unplugged Podcast with a segment idea. It was about getting Will to start reporting on his adventure in the Parks so we could get a first timers perspective. (BTW, if you don’t listen to the DIS Unplugged Podcasts I would highly suggest it. But be forewarned, it is addicting.)


    A few weeks later, my email was read by Pete Werner himself on the 2/6/08 email show at about 49:22 minutes into the show. (You know Pete - the guy who hosts the Podcasts and owns the DISBoards.)

    I had gotten a heads up on that Monday about my brush with fame because Julie Martin had sent me an email telling me that my email had been read on the upcoming show and asking if I wanted my email prize to be a DIS Unplugged t-shirt or a pin and lanyard. It was soooo exciting that I got to contribute to the Podcast. I felt famous!!! And Pete even told me to "pick-a-number" from the prize envelopes. I emailed Julie immediately and picked "2"!!! Not sure why I picked "2" but it just seemed right to me.


    And I didn’t really think about what my prize would be. I was just excited about being "famous".

    But don’t you know that things got even better than being "famous" when on the 2/12/08 discussion show at about 11:10 minutes into the show Pete opened the envelope with my Pick-A-Number prize in it and I won a 3 day/2 night stay at the Swan/Dolphin just for suggesting a DIS Unplugged Podcast segment idea.


    It was so exciting!!! I was giddy and gleeful for days. The first thing I did was call my Mom and tell her the exciting news. I am not sure she exactly gets the whole Podcast thing or the DISBoards thing but we just brushed over that for now. Mom was just as excited as I was and said "so when are we going!!"


    After she looked at her calendar we decided that April 23rd - 27th would work best - my Dad would be out of town playing golf with his college friends so it was perfect. We wanted my sister and niece to go with us but Skatie’s (my niece’s) spring break was earlier in April and her school didn’t get out until late in May. I just couldn’t wait until May so we decided to just to go without them. Even having to wait until April was going to kill me though.


    My free trip was burning a hole in my pocket and I knew I had to use it as soon as possible.


    Cast of Characters:

    Me (aka Tonya) I am the "mom" of Brody and daughter of Mom. I am 29 at heart but 40 on the birthday scale. A lover of shoes, baking, and all things Disney.


    Mom (aka Carol or Meme) My Disney travel buddy, mother of 3 children, wife of Joe/Dad, and grandmother to 4 humans and one dog - except for when Brody chewed up her Bible and she disowned him. She loves Disney also and makes the best carrot cake in the world. And she is 67.


    A little of our Disney history first. I grew up going to Disney World. My grandmother (my dad’s mom) lived in Orlando and my family just made going to WDW a part of visiting my grandmother. When my grandmother finally had to move to an assisted living facility it was my mother and me who took several trips to Orlando to clean out her house. On the final trip, my mom and I decided that we would just have to come back in the Fall for a fun trip to Orlando since our previous trips were all work and no play. So, we made good on that decision and started our first in a long line of Mom and Me trips to Disney World. We don’t exclude other family members but I’m single and don’t have any children and Mom works for my Dad so we are the most flexible.


    Brody (aka Brody Baby, Sugar/Love Bug, Pretty Boy, Cutie Bootie) is a 4 year old Brittany who is full of life and often accused (wrongfully, of course) of being hyperactive. Brody is just energetic and playful. In fact, Brody is a highly trained and recognized bird dog. He loves finding himself some quail. Check out a little youtube video of Brody in action - but only if you aren’t opposed to bird hunting, please. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BdjnYu88Xc


    It is hard to leave Brody when I travel - so this trip I look him along on. I really wish it was easier to travel with your pets and wish there was a pet friendly hotel at WDW but I wouldn’t have as much fun if I knew Brody was in a strange kennel all day while I was enjoying the parks.


    Here is a picture of the original picture from whence Flat Brody came.

    [​IMG]


    Brody loves to chew things - even at 4 y.o. he is still chewing things up. (Remember this fact.) So in this picture he is chewing on a wrapping paper roll. But at least he doesn’t chew my shoes anymore. Or maybe I am just better at putting my shoes out of harms way. There was a period when Brody was much younger when he would go into my closet and open my shoe boxes in order to take the shoes out so he could have a new chew toy. But for some reason he only liked to chew on my VERY expensive shoes. Thank heaven for DSW Shoes and ebay!!

    Back to the trip

    We decided on our dates and I email Bob Varley (may he rest in peace) about booking our reservation. Our Mom and Me Trips have always been Wednesday to Sunday, so we knew we would have to pay for extra hotel nights since I had only won 2 nights.


    Bob got us a reservation for Friday and Saturday nights at the Swan but it was booked for Wednesday and Thursday and the Dolphin was available on Wednesday and Thursday but not Friday and Saturday. So we were going to have to move hotels no matter what we did.

    And there really is no way to put this delicately so here goes - Mom is cheap when it comes to hotel rooms.

    There.

    I said it.


    She isn’t cheap in general - although she’s never been that extravagant about clothes and shoes and such - but she just can’t grasp the price of Disney hotels. And I usually agree with her when the price goes over $299. But she typically wants to stay under $150. With those price parameters we were looking at a Value hotel for our 2 extra nights.


    Luckily, I snagged the last AP discounted rooms available (according to the CRO cast member I was taking to) which happened to be at All Star Sports. I think it was $78 a night. Not too shabby!!!


    We stayed at All Star Music last October and I stayed at Pop Century this past December so any of the Value Resort are fine. It is just the 2 of us and we aren’t that picky. But having said that, how does a family of 4/5 stay in those tiny Value rooms?!?! It must be like a clown car at the circus. More power to you if you can do it. I just can’t even imagine spending more than a few days being that close to that many people. I suppose that is why I have lived alone for most of my adult life. :confused3


    While on the phone with CRO, during the pregnant pauses in the conversation when the computer is doing that voodoo that is does so well, the CM started to chat with me. She asked if we drove to the parks or took the buses. I said I usually try the buses each time but always end up driving to the parks instead. The CM laughingly said "yeah, you don't sound like a bus person." I think she might have gotten the impression that I am sort of an independent type after I told her I didn't want the DDP because I didn't like making dining reservations too far in advance since I never knew where I was going to be on a certain day or when I was going to want to eat. Guess I just give off that kind of vibe. Maybe my family is right and I am not as sweet and lovable as Brody thinks I am.


    Since Mom and I don’t make ADRs, trip planning is really left to figuring out the Park times and what we really want to do on the trip. But this trip we wanted to see the Flower and Garden Festival so we knew Epcot was in our plans and we wanted to do a tour of some kind. But what tour? Have no fear, my trusty PassPorter and DIS are near.


    After much review, we narrowed our tour decision down to the KTKT and the Undiscovered Future World Tour. Since Epcot was in our plans we decided on the Undiscovered Future World Tour. I really wanted to do the Segway Tour but Mom didn’t sound really enthused about it so I didn’t press the issue.

    A girl has to pick her battles, right?

    Well, that isn’t really fair to say.

    Mom and I get along very well and are both go with the flow kind of people. In fact there are times when it is next to impossible to get us to decide which attraction to go to next. I’ll say "it doesn’t matter to me" and Mom will say "it doesn’t matter to me either." So eventually I will say "ok let’s go here first and then we will go there". We have to keep things moving or we would be standing in the middle of Liberty Square all day. The one good thing is that if either of us does actually care about something we let the other one know about it. So off to make the Undiscovered Future World reservations I went.


    I was a little concerned as I dialed the reservation number since it was a week before the trip. But guess what - the tour was open! :woohoo:

    The guy I spoke to was very nice but there must have been problems in the past because he told me about 4 times that the tour involved a lot of walking and to wear comfortable shoes. This is nothing new to me since I have read up on the tour but I suppose it could be a problem for people who don't do any research. (And if you ever do make a tour reservation, be sure and tell the CM you are talking to that you want the Disney Visa discount first or you will have to go through putting in all your information again. It must be a different computer screen section or something.)

    OK, we have hotel reservations, checked the park hours, and a tour reservation. Let the fun begin!!!



     
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  3. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    Day 1, Part 1 - Flat Brody Hits the Highway

    Well, it finally happened. April 23rd arrived and it was time to hit the road.

    Mom and Me Trips start at the Zaxby’s parking lot at Exit 104 on I-95 near the Savannah, GA airport. Mom lives in Augusta, GA and I live on Hilton Head Island, SC so we meet and drive one car to Florida.

    Getting me to Zaxby’s is always a chore. In my head I am very organized but in reality I am not so organized. I am always up until the wee hours of the night before any trip - doing laundry, trying to pack, cleaning the house, getting Brody ready for puppy camp. Every trip starts with me sleepless but hyped up on adrenaline. It is a good combination for the first day or so but can be a problem a few days into any trip. Especially combined with the fact that I rarely sleep the first night or two I am in a hotel room.

    This trip Mom decides that we are to meet at Zaxby’s at 2 p.m. And she tells me to be on time.

    In her head she has it that I am always late for our meet ups. Sure I was late a few times but synchronizing our rendezvous is an effort needing military precision.

    I ask you - how are two people coming from different directions supposed to meet at one place without one of the people having to wait a little bit.

    And besides, the last Mom and Me Trip I was at the Wal-Mart getting muffins and sunscreen for the trip!!!!

    So, I was determined to be early for our Zaxby’s meet up. This of course meant that I needed to leave the Island by 1 p.m. which meant I needed to drop Brody off at puppy camp by 12:30 p.m. which meant I needed to leave the house by 12:15 p.m. which meant I needed to have everything packed and ready to go by 12 p.m.

    Phooooof, I am tired already.

    But I did it!!!!

    I was at the Zaxby’s parking lot at 2 p.m.!!! A full minute and a half before my Mom!!!! WooooHoooooo!!!! General MacArthur would have been proud.

    Of course I hadn’t eaten lunch since I was rushing to leave the house and get there by 2 p.m. so I needed to get a yummy chicken finger snack meal to go and we both needed to take a potty break.

    We put all of my stuff in Mom’s car and we were off to the long-term airport parking by 2:15 p.m. and back on I-95 South by 2:22 p.m. It was a new Mom and Me Trip record.

    Look out Mickey here we come!!!

    Mom generally starts out driving and this trip was no exception. She set the cruise control and I set up the radar detector. Mom isn’t a speed demon really. The radar detector is more for my benefit during my time behind the wheel. Of course it is nice for Mom to know if a cop is ahead in case you get a Barney Fife type and wants to give tickets for speeding 7 miles over the speed limit.

    It was at this time that I brought out Flat Brody and showed Mom. She thought it was a little silly but she is all about fun on our Mom and Me Trips so she thought it was cute.

    Here is Flat Brody traveling down the highway enjoying the scenery of Georgia.
    [​IMG]

    "Be careful Meme there is a truck coming our way!"
    [​IMG]

    We are making good time and didn’t need gas so we decided not to take a break until the Florida Welcome Center.

    Flat Brody needed a break from the car also.
    [​IMG]

    Flat Brody likes to thumb his nose at authority. (He is a rebel at heart.)
    [​IMG]

    After out little bathroom/stretch break we switched drivers for the last part of the trip and I settled into the driver’s seat. One of the first things I do when I drive on Mom and Me Trips is to change the XM satellite station to the Disney Channel to get us in the mood. When it comes to the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana I am like a tween girl - don’t judge me.

    Mom always gets mad at me though because I will seat dance and take my hands off the wheel. It isn't the safest thing in the world but sometimes I just have to "pumpin' up the party!!"

    After a brief traffic delay just before the 95/10 split in Jacksonville, the drive was uneventful. But the longest part of the trip is between Jacksonville and Daytona. It just seems to take forever!!!!

    Whenever we get close to I-4 I always get excited and start the "we’re almost theres!!!" I am like a little kid when it comes to my Disney trips. I was after all the child who never slept the night before we were going to the Magic Kingdom and would wake up everybody at 5:30 a.m. saying "GET UP!! It is time to GO!!!"

    But as we approach Orlando I also think of my grandmother so it also makes me sad. We used to get off I-4 at the Altamonte Springs exit to get to her house and it is hard for the car not to automatically get into the right hand lane when we get close. I will always associate Disney World and Orlando with my grandmother. It’s just the way it will always be for me. Everyone always asks if we have gone back to see her house but we haven’t. I think I just want to remember the house as it was when Grandma lived there and not think that time has moved on without her.

    Anyways, we get through Orlando with almost no traffic and arrive to the WDW area at 6:35 p.m. This is a new record for us!!! 4 Hours 13 minutes!! And we even stopped to go to the bathroom!! And I didn’t even speed that much!!!! I promise. :rolleyes1

    But where should be go first? All Star Sports to check in? Shades of Green to buy my new Annual Pass? Get gas at the Hess Station since the light on the gas gauge just turned on? These are indeed the eternal questions of life.
     
  4. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 Condimentessa

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    I'm checking in! Flat Brody is adorable! :cutie: If you could buy AP at SOG, why didn't you stay there?
     
  5. whogirl'smom

    whogirl'smom <font color=royalblue>Any leftover grumpiness can

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    Brody is so cute! I'm in!
     
  6. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    WooooHoooooo!!! :yay: I am soooo excited!!! I have readers!! That was my biggest fear that no one would read my TR. So, thanks for getting on board the Flat Brody train! (I've told myself I was going to write TRs for my last 4 trips but I just couldn't do it. Flat Brody is my muse. :lovestruc )

    We didn't stay at SOG because the AP discount at ASSp was cheaper by a good bit. But if we didn't get that we would have tried SOG - although the online reservation system said Thursday was sold out but it is rarely correct. It was still spring break during the trip for a alot of schools. SOG really does need to work on their online system though. Hello, welcome to 2008!!! :laughing:

    The next installment should be up sometime tonight.
     
  7. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    Day 1, Part 2 - Did I take the wrong turn, again?

    We’ve arrived on Disney Property. Does anyone else get confused about what exit to take from I-4 to get to your resort? The signs direct you to the parks but not the resorts. Unless you know which park area your resort is in you just are left to picking one and hoping for the best.

    Have no fear though. I had consulted a map of WDW property before hand and knew not to take the Magic Kindgom exit to get to the Magic Kindgom. According to the old adage, the quickest way between 2 points is a straight line. So, I took the Animal Kingdom exit. It sounds really convoluted now but at the time it made perfect sense to me. :bitelip:

    But where should we go first? All Star Sports to check in? Shades of Green to buy my new Annual Pass? Get gas at the Hess Station since the light on the gas gauge just turned on? How does one answer these eternal questions of life?

    Mom and I had a quick discussion and decided to go to Shades of Green (SOG) first so I could get my new Annual Pass (AP) and then stop at the Hess Station to fill up on gas. I learned from previous trips that the Hess Stations usually had the cheapest gas anywhere close to Disney property.

    Mom was getting a little nervous though since the onboard computer was saying we only had 30 or so miles left before we were stranded on World Drive left to fend for ourselves. (She is one of these people who never lets the tank get below 1/4.)

    I tried to assure her that we had plenty of gas to get us to where we were going. You see, I have personal experience with driving her car when the gas gauge light turns on. And I knew we had plenty of gas left. :cutie: Besides, we had OnStar and everyone knows that every problem is taken care of with one little push of the blue button.

    But don’t you know, I missed the turn towards the Magic Kingdom. (This is not the first time I have missed a turn on Disney Property and had to make countless loops around roads following ambiguous purple street signs.)

    The sign to MK said turn left next light. But there wasn’t a left turn lane at the next light it was at the second light but there wasn’t another sign at the second light saying "turn here Tonya." So I didn’t turn. (This happened to me a lot last August when we kept trying to get back to Saratoga Springs. After the first 2 days we just laughed about it.)

    You would probably never guess that I actually have an excellent sense of direction. And Disney property is just about the only time I ever get lost. :confused3

    ***Take a hint Disney Executives and get better signs!!!***

    But as past experience has taught me, just drive long enough and you will find another vague purple sign. As luck would have it though, the next sign we saw was pointing us to the All Star Resorts. Being the ever clever person I am, I jumped on our chance to adjust our plans and go ahead and check in since we were so close to All Star Sports. No sense wasting precious time while at WDW. Mom agreed and off we went to the security gates to get into our home for the next 2 nights.

    Having stayed at an All Star resort, I knew we had to park across the street and brave crossing the street back to the lobby in order to check in. Am I the only one who has this fear of being hit by a bus when you cross this intersection? I stop and look and I know the bus drivers are looking also but it just seems like an accident waiting to happen. The buses just seem to be going so fast that it would be hard to stop if a child - or me - forgot to look from excitement of finally being at WDW.

    But guess what? Flat Brody was not afraid at all. He was very excited to finally make it to WDW.
    [​IMG]

    And look on the left hand side of the picture - you can get a glimpse at Mom in her DIS lime green pants - purely coincidence I assure you - making her way to the safety of the pedestrian crossing. She is a rules girl all the way. ::yes::

    Next stop - check in!!
     
  8. whogirl'smom

    whogirl'smom <font color=royalblue>Any leftover grumpiness can

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    I love that my car tells me exactly how many miles 'til empty--except it makes dh play that game of "how far can I really go when it says 1 mile left?" :headache:

    You're a very good reporter! We'll have to pimp your TR out on Jordan's thread!
     
  9. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    I try not to play the how far game often but I saw a 20/20 report saying you actually have another gallon of gas when the car says it is totally empty. So now I live on the edge on occassion. :scared: (The report also said that Europeans liked to know exactly how much gas was left but Americans liked to have an "unknowing" extra bit of gas.)

    And thanks for the compliment. I am enjoying the retelling of the details of the trip. I just hope my mom doesn't get offended that I called her cheap. :rolleyes1
     
  10. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    And thanks for pimping out Flat Brody!!! If he could type I am sure he would thank you himself. :dogdance:
     
  11. mouseaddicts

    mouseaddicts WDW - Here we come .... again!!! :)

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    Okay - we're in! :thumbsup2
    We too have been wanting/meaning to write TRs for our last several trips, but never actually taken the plunge. Maybe YOU can be OUR muse!!! ;) I took very detailed notes (I think) this time ........ we'll see what comes of it.

    Can't wait to hear about you, mom & Flat Brody! :surfweb:
     
  12. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    Thanks for joining in on the Adventures of Flat Brody, Mom & Me. And you definetly need to do a TR. You would be suprised of all the details you will remember.
     
  13. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    Day 1, Part 3 - "I'm sorry, what was that again?"

    Mom, me and Flat Brody all made it safely across the street in to the lobby of Disney’s All Star Sports Resort.

    We did pass lots of little princesses and pirates on the way to Mickey’s Pirate and Princess Party. I would have loved to have gone to the PPP but there was just no way to drive to Orlando, get checked in and settled in to the hotel and still get to the Party and not be a stressed out freak. Trust me that no one wants to see my Princesszilla side come out. It has taken me years to repress my inner Princesszilla and I don’t want to have to go into therapy over a PPP. So, we’ll have to catch another PPP on our next trip. princess:

    It’s time for our first queue of the trip!!

    It is 6:40 p.m. by this time and the lobby isn’t all that busy. There are probably 2 groups in front of us in the check in line. Mom and I wait our turn and use the time to get organized by getting my driver’s license, credit card, AP - in case they want to see it since we got an AP rate, and my confirmation number - in case there is a problem with the reservation I like to be prepared. I’ve never had a problem before but I am like a boy scout that way.

    Flat Brody waited patiently in line with us.
    [​IMG]

    You have to really be on your toes when you are next in line though. It is hard to see the Front Desk Cast Members and you need to be scanning all of them so you don’t miss the subtle eye contact and head motion that they are ready for you. If you look away for a moment you might miss the signal and then the CM has to do the arm flail movement that you just know they hate to do.

    Luckily, I was still hyped up on sleeplessness and adrenalin so I saw the signal. It was the CM right in front of the line. Very convenient. Mom and I moved forward and I say "we would like to check in, please" and do the preemptive hand off of the driver’s license and credit card. Like I said, I like to be prepared. ;)

    I have no idea what our CM’s name was because she had her long hair swept over one shoulder covering up her name tag.

    Can you see the name tag for the hair? :magnify:
    [​IMG]

    I didn’t think so. :laughing:

    But I did glimpse that she was from China - which would explain why I had no idea what she said at any given moment. Oh, and she was very soft spoken also.

    Well, if you have ever been in a Disney value resort lobby you know that they are noisy places. So even if I could have understood her I wouldn’t have been able to hear her. I am all for the international CMs but come on - the guests have to be able to understand them. After a few "I’m sorry what did you says" I gave up and figured I could catch enough of what she was saying to follow along. Now I know why they have you sign and initial your registration forms. ::yes::

    This is not the first time we have come across a front desk CM from China that we couldn’t understand either. It happened last August at Saratoga Springs Resort. The only difference was that at SSR the CM was a man and I could see his name tag. Oh, and SSR is much quieter than ASSp.

    Thankfully we are easy check ins - no room location special requests, no DDP to explain, no tickets to explain. Just give me my key, tell me where my room is, where I should park and I am go to go. Easy enough, right? Hold that thought. :rolleyes1

    Next installment - Is this the right room?
     
  14. mouseaddicts

    mouseaddicts WDW - Here we come .... again!!! :)

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    Mornin' Tonya! :surfweb: I dropped by for the latest installment ...... you really are going to be my inspiration! :thumbsup2 (I've always had the same fear as you ...... no readers! :eek: )

    Okay -- Off to town for a very important appointment (hair) :rotfl: I (we) will be checking back later to see what the gang is up to next!
     
  15. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    OK, I am putting on my muse outfit - a white diaphanous grecian-like dress with strappy sandals that lace up my calf and some Mickey Ears. :earsgirl: Now start writing your TR!!!!!! :goodvibes

    And I can't wait to hear how your important appointment turned out. There is nothing more important than a good haircut.
     
  16. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

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    Day 1, Part 4 - Well, This Is Building 10 Room 218, Right?


    Okay, so "she who can’t be named because her hair was covering her name tag" has finished checking us in, written down our room information on the map, circled where we should park and where our room is.


    And we’re off!!


    But as we begin to leave the lobby I pass by this guy and my brain does that "oh he looks familiar but I can’t remember from where" thing. You know - it happens within seconds and then all of a sudden it dawns on you where you know the person from. It looked like Corey Martin from the DIS Unplugged Podcast!!!!


    The guy was wearing a white visor and a blue shirt just like I had seen Corey wear in pictures before. He was the right height and build. He was even carrying a professional looking camera in his hand and walking like he had a purpose. Corey has been doing pool reports on all of the resorts and this guy was walking towards the pool. So it must be him!!!


    I even did a double take. I was convinced it was him but decided not to be a Podcast stalker and yell out his name in the middle of the lobby since at this point he was now 15 feet behind me and it was already hard enough to get my mom to not think I am crazy for being so DIS obsessed. So I left well enough alone and was happy with my now really upbeat mood - I was at Disney World and I saw a Podcaster. It doesn’t get much better than that.


    (Well, as it turns out it was not Corey. I emailed him when I got back home to see if it was actually him but he claims that he was not at ASSp that evening. I still am convinced I had a brush with someone famous though. Don’t judge me.)


    Outside the lobby now, Mom and I cross the "intersection of potential danger from being hit by a bus" with success and drive around the corner to the Touchdown section of ASSp.


    According to our handy dandy map our room is fairly close to the parking lot so Mom and I curb it and unload our luggage. This parking lot is smallish but the parking places are not close the our building at all. But no matter. As I always say "no one ever died from walking". (It is probably not true. I am sure that people get hit by cars and die of heart problems when walking but it helps me to feel good about parking further away from stores at Christmas time.)


    I’m not sure what Mom was doing. I think she was putting the back seats up or putting bottled water in a shopping bag to take to the room. Either way, she was TAKING TOO LONG!!! So I said I was going on ahead to take a load of our stuff to the room.


    With map in hand, I reread our room information that "she who can’t be named because her hair was covering her name tag" had given us and I quickly find the location. But something seems a little weird. As I approach the room’s window, I noticed little Cars toys in the window and the window sheers aren’t closed all of the way and the bathroom sink light is turned on. Having stayed in enough Disney Resorts, I know this is not the norm. But maybe Mousekeeping was doing things a little different or maybe they were in a hurry and just forgot to turn off the light.


    I double check the room information and then double check the sign on the building. Yep, this is building 10, first floor and room 218.


    So I quickly glanced in the window and what did I see??? A woman brushing her hair at the bathroom sink. Whoa!!! I back away quickly hoping the woman didn’t see me. Luckily she didn’t. And grateful she wasn’t naked. I would have hated to have been arrested for being a Peeping Tom on the first day of my trip. For some reason I just don’t want my first felony to be at WDW. :rolleyes1


    What to do?!?! I didn’t want to walk all the way back to the car with my luggage and then have to walk back the same way I had just come. So I waited a few more minutes for Mom to make it to me. I told her about the problem and said to just wait right there and I would go back to the front desk and get this all sorted out.


    Flat Brody in front of our fake room.
    [​IMG]

    I put my determined but calm non-Princesszilla hat on and walked through the X&O football field and past the pool bar and right back into the lobby. The whole walk I kept thinking about how I was going to bring this up without getting "she who can’t be named because her hair was covering her name tag" in trouble. Yes, it seems that it was her fault but mistakes happen and maybe it was just the computer and not her.


    So I get to the lobby and see that there aren’t any people in the check in queue so I decide to just wait there for the next available CM. I’m not sure how I would have handled if there had been people waiting in the queue. Are you supposed to wait in a long line when you have already waited your turn in line and it isn’t your fault that you need further assistance? :confused3 If the situation would have called for it I probably would have gotten the attention of one of the supervisor types roaming around behind the front desk. Thankfully, I didn’t have to answer this eternal question of life?


    What I really didn’t want to happen was for "she who can’t be named because her hair was covering her name tag" to be the next available CM. I am patient and understanding but the sleeplessness and adrenaline was taking its toll and my inner Princesszilla could have emerged at any minute if things took a turn in the wrong direction.


    What I did overhear while I calmly waited was surprising to me though. A guest at the counter was asking a CM about the Yacht and Beach Club. The CM couldn’t answer the question so one of the supervisor types came over and couldn’t answer the question either. I can’t remember the exact question but it was something any cast member should have been able to answer or simply look up. In fact the supervisor type even said "I have never been to the Y&B Club so I’m not sure." What?!?!? There was no "I don’t know but let me find out" or "Hold on while I call across the lobby to Guest Services for you." It’s was an honest answer but not the right answer. As a former CM I found it absurd that Disney doesn’t ensure that all of their CMs know about the other resorts and the parks. How is one of the first people you meet on your WDW vacation supposed to help a guest if they don’t know anything about WDW? I didn’t get upset at any of this it was just very disappointing at the lack of CM training. Shame on you Disney. :sad2:


    With the shameful guest exchange over, the next CM was available. And he turned out to be efficient in an "english is my first language" kind of way. I explained the situation and showed him the room information we had been given. He entered my information into the computer system and quickly determined that the room number we had been given should have been 219 and not 218. AHHHHH!!!! Turns out it was "she who can’t be named because her hair was covering her name tag"'s mistake after all.


    I said thank you very much and quickly and determinately walked back past the pool bar and through the X&O football field back to our room. But not before I saw my first wild bunny spotting of the trip. If reincarnation is true then I want to come back as a wild Disney bunny. Or maybe a Disney duck.


    I finally find Mom hanging out with our luggage and explain the wrong room number and we happily put our key in the correct door of our Disney digs. The room is just as we suspected - clean and cheerful yet smallish. Basically your normal Disney value resort room. All is right with the world - or at least in the World.


    Flat Brody enjoys his first towel creation.
    [​IMG]

    Next stop: Shades of Green
     
  17. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,891
    Day 1, Part 5 - Glazed Over From Hunger

    When I last left you, Mom and I and Flat Brody had finally gotten into our room at ASSp and spent just enough time in the room to make sure that the value resorts still used scratchy toilet paper and see if our hair was good enough. Besides our car was still parked at the curb so we needed to get moving.

    Next stop was Shades of Green. Mom’s AP was still good but I needed a new AP and if you are eligible for SOG tickets then this is the way to go for AP - no taxes!!! It saves about $40.

    And I am happy to report that I did not miss the exit to MK this time. But on our way to SOG Mom checked the onboard computer a few times just to make sure we were still low on gas. We were still low on gas in case you were insterested.

    You will pleased to know that the security at SOG is still strong and tight. Knowing in advance that my mother would need to show her military ID, she had it ready to show the guard. Mom is always prepared. What can I say? Like mother like daughter.

    Of course in addition to the preparedness gene Mom also passed on the annoying trait of hiccuping on the first bite of a McDonald’s hamburger. It sounds weird but it is true. The first time it happened to me I was in my car after getting a drive-thru Happy Meal on my way back to work. I was at a traffic light happily eating my cheeseburger - after all isn’t being happy while eating your Happy Meal supposed to happen - and I hiccuped. It took me by total shock and I actually spoke the words "I’ve become my mother!!!" Strange how these things happen. :)

    Anyways, I was in some way dreading the whole process of going to SOG to get my new AP. The last time we went to SOG for tickets it was early in the morning and we were directed to park in the parking garage. Being that this is the military I never argue - they have problems with open defiance for some reason. :confused3

    The SOG parking garage is fine but you usually have to drive up to the 3rd or 4th floor to find a parking place and it is quite a trek through the building back to the lobby - or any of the rooms we have ever been assigned while staying there.

    But as fate would have it, it was now about 7:30 p.m. and the security guard told us to park in the golf course parking lot since the golf course was closed. I had never even considered this before. It was fabulous!! You are practically at the front doors to SOG. I’m going to remember this little trick the next time I am there even if it means I will have to openly defy the SOG security guard who works on behalf of the DOD.


    Here is Flat Brody enjoying his first look at being in the military - even if it is at Disney World.
    [​IMG]

    We found the Ticket & Attractions desk where they left it the last time. Since we were having such good luck today, there was only one person ahead of us and he was almost done with his business.

    With my new AP voucher in hand, Mom and I checked out the PX next door to see if they had any souvenirs that we might be interested in but mainly to see if they had any Crocs for me. (My favorite pink Crocs had worn out so it was time for a new pair.) But the PX only had children’s Crocs so I would have to wait until later.

    It is getting way past dinner time by now and I can tell Mom is starting to wane slightly from hunger and lack of coffee and we still need to gas up the car. So we make the short trip back to the car and exit SOG to make our way to the Hess Station outside of the MK.

    Gas is only $3.53 a gallon. Woohoo!!! Did you ever think someone would be happy that gas was $3.53? These times are a changin’.

    As a general rule, Mom and Me Trips always start with a trip to Downtown Disney for dinner at Earl of Sandwich and some shopping at World of Disney. This trip was no exception.

    And I am happy to report that I found my way to DTD without any problems. I even remembered to turn into the correct parking lot.

    DTD has those electronic signs letting you know which parking lots are full and which are open. I ignore those signs. Call me a rebel if you will. But I ignore them because if you follow those signs you would be at the West End of DTD and have to walk a mile or so just to get to Earl of Sandwich and have to walk a mile or so to get back to your car. This is just too much walking this early in the trip. We need to save our strength for the Parks. (My walking never killed anyone saying does not apply to DTD.)

    And besides, I have always found a parking place in Parking Lot 1 - which the signs always say is closed.

    As luck would have it, today was no exception. A parking place was found in the third row will minimal stalkerish behavior.

    By this point Mom had almost completely glazed over so food was our first priority. We quickly made our way over to Earl of Sandwich which was packed. I should have suspected this since the PPP was that night and that means all of the people who were at MK and got kicked out at 7 p.m. eventually make their way over to DTD.

    But no mind - we are patient and wait our turn. It amused me to watch the table trollers and Mom and I needed to decided what to order.

    Decisions, decisions!! We usually order The Original 1762 and The All American and split them. But this trip was about trying new things so we decided on The Original 1762 and The Full Montagu.

    Go ahead. You can say it. These ladies are rebels ordering The Full Montagu instead of The All American!!!

    I know, I know. What can I say except that we are living on the edge.

    I am not sure what kind of bread Earl of Sandwich uses but whatever it is I would trade my first born for it - if I had a first born, of course. It is perfect bread and I could eat it everyday for the rest of me life. Yummmmmmmm.

    Even Flat Brody enjoyed the sandwiches.
    [​IMG]

    Next trip we will be going back to The All American instead of The Full Montagu. Nothing is wrong with The Full Montagu. It was a very nice sandwich but nothing extra special except for the bread and we can get the bread on The All American. Besides, I just love cranberries with turkey that The All American provides.

    Having scarfed down our sandwiches and caffeinated ourselves - Mom with coffee and me with Diet Coke - it is time to do a little shopping.

    Next installment - The Quest for Postcards.
     
  18. whogirl'smom

    whogirl'smom <font color=royalblue>Any leftover grumpiness can

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,258
    We do eventually become our mothers, don't we?:laughing: It must be the turning 40 thing! The sandwiches look really good. We started to eat at E of S on our last trip, but I couldn't stand the smell in there! Is that weird, or what?
     
  19. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

    Joined:
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    Becoming you mother does happen no matter how hard you try . No offense to my mother, of course. I just don't want to get older and every hiccup just reminds me that I am older. ::yes::

    Isn't that weird the EoS's smell turned you off? :confused3 I wonder if next time you could send someone in to order for you so you don't have to go inside and then you could eat outside. That way you could eat the sandwiches but not have to smell the restaurant. Seems like a lot of trouble just for a sandwich but The Original 1762 is that good - and I don't even like roast beef sandwiches. :woohoo:
     
  20. Tonya2426

    Tonya2426 <marquee><img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/dat

    Joined:
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    3,891
    Day 1, Part 6 - Are these the only postcards they have?

    Having been fed and watered, we had a renewed energy. World of Disney here we come!!!!

    WoD is the mecca of Disney shopping AND you get a discount with your AP and/or Disney Visa!!! Doesn’t get much better than that. :woohoo:

    But wait!!! Dad had made a request for pins to complete his collection. Neither of us really understood how a few pins would complete his collection but we said we would get him pins. But he only wanted limited edition pins. :confused:

    My Dad has is a hobby collector similar to the hobbies themselves. He has had lots of them over the years - stamp collecting, coin collecting, beer can collecting, building electronics in the 70's, Civil War reenactments (thankfully this one never really lasted), collecting Department 56, growing orchids which required that he build a greenhouse half the size of my house, and the list goes on and on and on. It doesn’t take much to get him interested in a hobby. It just requires a tiny bit of interest and he is off and running. The Disney pin collecting - he doesn’t trade, only collects - started on our Disney Cruise last year.

    So Mom and I stopped by Disney’s Pin Traders on our way to WoD to see what was available. We weren’t going to buy any pins there since we knew that we got a discount at WoD and that we would have several opportunities to buy pins the rest of the trip. We did find lots of pins we were interested in for Dad’s collection and for a few for ourselves.

    Even Flat Brody got into pin trading. Although I wouldn’t actually buy him the Official Pin Trading Badge since it was sort of expensive - and I don’t wear a lanyard so what would actually be the point.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    After doing our recognizance work at Disney’s Pin Traders, we felt free to do our own shopping at WoD. My little heart was all aflutter at just the thought at being in the Superstore of Disney where I even get a discount. It’s the little things in life that make life worth living. ::yes::

    But before we made it to WoD, we had to make a brief detour to the Ghiradelli shop to get our free sample. It was a peanut butter filled sample. Yummmmm!!!! The ice cream parlor was closed for renovations - which ruined my plans for some ice cream for dessert. Don’t worry, it was just God’s way of saying I didn’t need any ice cream and he was right.

    Flat Brody about to enter mecca. (Isn't it pretty and twinkly.) :bitelip:
    [​IMG]


    After taking 5 trips to WDW in 2007, there really were no souvenirs that I needed and I was trying to not spend too much money this trip. But I did need a new pair of Crocs. I had tried to get a new pair before I left on the trip but the Hallmark store on the Island didn’t have any good colors in my size. So I decided that it was time to get my first pair of Mickey Crocs.

    Can I just say the WoD has a really crappy selection of Mickey Crocs - and Jibbitz for that matter. I’m sure they sell out of things quickly but you can find better selections at most other stores on property. It’s always been this way - not sure why. Guess it just one of those things that is a mystery. :confused3

    After trying on several pairs I finally decided on the black Mickey Crocs with the red strap and put them in a hand basket. I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter since it was either the black ones or the white ones which remind me of nurse shoes - not the look I was going for.

    We went over to look for a latte mug that Mom had chipped and wanted to replace. But alas it is no longer available. And we only bought it this past October. That Disney Merchandise Department - they are always changing things up.

    We did find the rice krispy treats though. There weren’t any of the ones in fun shapes for the holidays since it was sort of in between holidays so we decided on the big bricks of rice krispy treats. Mom takes them back to the office for the staff. We decided several Mom and Me trips ago that people really don’t need knickknacks from a trip that they didn’t actually take - even if it was from Disney World - but that food was a very nice trip souvenir. It shows that you thought of them but you aren’t requiring them to use a pen with a crown and marabou cap on it.

    I do wonder what ingredient they put in those big bricks of rice krispy treats to make them so soft and chewy and wonderful. I wish the ones I make at home were as good. Just another one of those mysteries of life.

    Then on to the small selection of pins on display at WoD.

    Have I mentioned that the store is especially busy tonight? People were just milling around and blocking the aisles with strollers. And worse yet they were blocking the pin display area. Very frustrating, indeed.

    Finally after what seemed like an eternity of jostling for position, there was a parting of the crowd and we took the opportunity to be on the front row of the pin display. We even found a few of the pins we were looking for from our recognizance mission and Mom found a pin for each of the grandchildren’s pin collection. So, we are off to a good start.

    Now, off to find postcards for the grandchildren. I had remembered to bring stamps and the addresses were stored on my mobile phone. (We can never remember my sister’s zip code.) This should have been the easy part of our shopping excursion. But it wasn’t. There were probably only about 6 individual postcard and 3 postcard books to chose from. Hmmmmmmph.

    Don’t people send postcards anymore? I have to assume with the selection available at WoD (and all over property) that people don’t . This is a shame because it was always very exciting as a child to get a postcard from my parents or grandparents. I even like to get them now. It is nice to know that people on trips take time out of their journey to remember you.

    Back in the day when I was a CM we had about 50 different postcards to choose from. And I should know. It was my job to keep the rack in order and restocked. It was an enormous responsibility, I assure you. ;)

    Oh well, maybe it has something to do with the fact that postcards always show up after the trip taker has returned from the trip.

    We picked out two postcards and decided to find another one tomorrow morning for my youngest nephew. Most of the postcards were of princesses and we didn’t think my 6 year old nephew would appreciate it if we sent him a postcard of Cinderella.

    The original plan was that Mom and I would both write on the postcards and drop them in the mail tomorrow. More on that later.

    Since there were people and strollers everywhere it was difficult to tell who was in line to check out and who was just hanging out. But we finally found a cashier that didn’t have a line a mile long and paid for our loot. I think we saved about $20 with our WoD discount. :cool1:

    We took the long walk - about 1 minute - back to our car and easily found our way back to ASSp for our first night in the World. Don't be too impressed there really aren't any signs to follow from DTD to ASSp. :)

    Next installment - Follow the Rules or Be a Rebel
     
  21. whogirl'smom

    whogirl'smom <font color=royalblue>Any leftover grumpiness can

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,258
    Jealous, jealous! Five trips in one year! I like postcards, too. DD always sends them to grandparents whenever we're on a trip. We buy them the first day in hopes that they will beat us home.

    Your dad sounds like quite a collector! What pins did you finally decide on for him?
     

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