Funny Faces and Haircuts:The Princess and The Duck-First Trip*3/9 Earning Our Ears

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by PrncessA, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. klacey1

    klacey1 DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing to catch up later!!:)
     
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  3. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    Yay, welcome!

    Next update is almost done!
     
  4. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    To say that we were exhausted would be an understatement but the wildlife at Disney had other plans for us that night than to let us sleep! I am not sure what time it was but in the middle of the night that night it sounded like a siren started going off in our room! It was LOUD and both DH and I bolted out of bed and were freaking out. Eventually we narrowed it down to our patio door and DH slammed it shut and the siren stopped, finally.

    Now being born and raised in the south in the middle of nowhere I am very accustomed with the noises of the woods and I recognized the sound as a katydid but let me tell you that 3 days of Disney and waking up to one of them echoing in your room is an experience I will never forget! I am positive that it wasn’t as loud as either one of us remember since the kids didn’t even roll over but in our memories it was like a fire truck next to the bed!

    We woke up at around 8:30 the next morning and both the kids were still passed out. I was in serious pain with my throat and was losing my voice at this point! Since this was one of our off mornings we were going to let the kids sleep in a bit but as soon as we started moving around the room at around 9:00 our resident alarm clock woke up. They were happy to find that Tinkerbell had added to their growing collection of toys.

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    These pictures show how tired DD must have been since she NEVER sleeps with anything in her hair!

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    Our plan for the day was to take the morning slow, have breakfast downstairs at the Whispering Canyon Café at 9:40, explore the WL and head to the MK for the late afternoon and evening. I figured that scheduling us time “off” was a good idea and it would restore us for the rest of the trip.
    DH ran down to the RFC to grab some coffee and I dunked the kids in the bath and got them dressed. We tried our best to take our time and we managed to get downstairs only at 9:30. This was a feat as the kids were bouncing around ready to GO and once they are awake it is hard to slow them down!
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    We checked in for our ADR and I was surprised to find the dining room was practically empty. We were seated pretty close to the kitchen entrance near another large family and a table with two college age guys who left both left about 5 minutes after we got there. The only other people in the restaurant were 3 or 4 tables at the other end of the restaurant. I had told DH nothing about the atmosphere here so he had no expectations and although I read a bit about the restaurant I really didn’t either.

    We did however have expectations about the food and about the service. We had had nothing but fantastic servers at every meal so far and every CM we had encountered at the WL had been wonderful. Also since I am from the “country” I am all about southern breakfast food and both DH and I were looking forward to digging in to the all-you-can-eat skillet! We noticed that a there was a bit of excitement at the other end of the restaurant and DS was excited and waiting for it to come his way!
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    Notice this is the last picture I took at this restaurant! Our waitress showed up and the fun was over!
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    We sat for quite a while (every other table around us had left) before we met our waitress. She did not smile or greet us and that right there should have tipped us off! She looked at DD playing with my coffee cup and said “Well I guess I can’t put your coffee in that now.” I told her I didn’t want any coffee and she rolled her eyes at me. We ordered our meal and drinks and she left. DH was ready to leave already and to be honest so was I. It was so quiet the kids picked up on it and sobered as well. There was excitement going on at the other end but we were so far away and they never came toward us.

    I will not go into ALL the details about how bad this waitress was but it was bad! We hardly ever saw her when we ask for refills she literally huffed out loud and when I ask for more gravy and bacon she rolled her eyes again and said “I guess.” It was BAD! I have had my fair share of servers in my time but this was the worst. She was HORRIBLE and not only did she make us uncomfortable she made the kids uncomfortable and that is something that I think is inexcusable at Disney! DH took DS to the restroom while I ask for the bill and when I told her we were on the dining plan she said “Of course you are!” and took my KTTW card. I was near tears at this point!

    When she brought back the receipts I was very upset and I was NOT going to tip her the way we normally would have tipped. I did tip but I will be honest it was only 10% and I thought that was generous considering she almost had me in tears! I signed the receipt and grabbed DD and we headed out. All the sudden our waitress was chasing us down in the lobby of the hotel and yelling that I forgot to sign the receipt for the tip. She comes up to me and says “You forgot to sign the receipt for the “tip” you think you left me.” and she rolled her eyes. I signed and by the time DH found me I was in tears. I was so looking forward to this meal and she had ruined our entire morning!

    DH is not one to complain to managers but he was fed up and left me with the kids in the lobby while he went back to the WCC to talk to a manager. I let the kids explore a bit more while we waited and eventually they found the cartoon area again.
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    When DH came back he said he had talked to a cook since all the managers were in a meeting and the cook said “sorry” that was the extent of it. We didn’t push farter because really what would have been the point. It was a shame though! This did cause us to cancel our ADR for lunch the next day because we didn’t want to chance having her as a server again. I regret this because we really liked the food and the style of food.

    We decided to cool down and explore outside a bit and I will let the picture speak for themselves:

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    We loved the WL and it’s ambiance inside and out! It is such a beautiful place! I wish there was swimming in the lake but I can understand why there isn’t!

    We explored until we got too warm and headed back up to our room to find that Mousekeeping had already come and left this for us:
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    I just want to note as well that we left Mousekeeping tips in very well marked envelopes everyday and set them very they were seen very easily everyday. Mousekeeping never took one of them!

    Now if there had been any day to take a nap this would have been the day and I do think we actually got a bit of one but I can’t remember how long! I know DH kept asking me “When are we going to the MK??” “Is it time to leave yet?” and I think that at some point DH or I ran downstairs and grabbed sandwiches for the adults. This will teach me not to take daily notes! LOL

    Now I have to regress a bit because I forgot one of the cutest stories that happened on our first night. When we got back from Epcot our first night the kids were a little hungry so we decided to make them a PB&J sandwich but we realized we didn’t have any utensils to spread the pb or jelly. All the ingredients were on the end of the bed and DH made a joke that “We should scoop some PB on our finger to eat then he would squirt some jelly in their mouth and then they could take a bite of bread.” LOL We didn’t think anything of it and we continued cleaning up before we made them sandwiches. Next thing we know DS says “Okay Daddy I’m ready for my squirt!” he had opened the PB and had a finger covered and a scoop in his mouth. It was hilarious! We remembered to grab a few plastic knives the next time were downstairs, lol!

    We all dressed in our newly made tie-dye Mickey shirts and I discovered that mine was stretchy and “enhanced” Mickey, lol. Nothing I could do at this point! We headed out at around 1 or 2 I think and we made the kids PB&J sandwiches with goldfish crackers and put them in a baggie to take with us. We headed down to the docks to catch our boat…

    Next up: First Haircuts and a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!
     
  5. MarriedToAPrince

    MarriedToAPrince DIS Veteran

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    Great trip report! I had no idea that you could do a Playhouse Disney dining with characters! We are going to have to check that out in May with our DD. Your kiddos are adorable! Looks like they love Disney!
     
  6. MarriedToAPrince

    MarriedToAPrince DIS Veteran

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    I wanted to add that your service you received for breakfast was unexcuseable and I honestly would have complained at the front desk. They should have refunded you the dining credits and tip you gave. I am sorry but that waitress didn't deserve anything! If a customer leaves in tears, especially at WDW, then something is seriously wrong!
     
  7. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    Thank you, I agree completely. I regret not handling the situation better (and keeping our next day ADR) and talking to the front desk. We had such wonderful servers and service everywhere else it was a bit of a shock to us in the moment.
     
  8. GreatBiscuit

    GreatBiscuit Golden but never flaky

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    Okay I had this nice long reply done and when I went to paste it back, I click on the wrong Browser window and replied to your TR on my TR. Which was humorous, but would be quite confusing. So I got rid of quickly and somehow lost my clipboard and well....long story short it is gone.

    I'll see if I can piece it back together though.

    Loved that you were able to sit and chill a bit at Holywood Studios.

    The parade interaction was a neat moment.

    The Brown Derby magical moment was odd.

    Glad you loved Fantasmic.

    Sad you missed Indy.

    The bad waitress in WCC stinketh. The fact that the managers were absent stinketh even more.

    The PBJ story had me cracking up, as did the midnight howler out on the patio.

    There. I think was pretty much it.

    Enjoyed the updates!
     
  9. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    The update has been done for a couple days it was uploading the pictures that was the headache. I am going to have to break it into at least 2 parts to fit all the pictures in...

    We headed down to the docks to catch our boat and the kids munched on their sandwiches and goldfish. Looking at the pictures we have I am guessing that the kids did take a nap because Ethan looks grumpy and he is usually grumpy when he wakes up from a nap! LOL

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    We attempted to get a few photopass photos before heading into the park.

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    I am telling you I have a lot of friends who complained to me before I went to Disney and told me that they never found any characters in the parks but nearly every time we walked through the front town square there were half a dozen characters scattered around. That day we saw Daisy but we there was a line and we weren’t sure if DD would actually go up to her or not even if she is one of her favorites.

    We headed over to the obscure little barber shop in the corner of the town square and boy do hide it back there! If you didn’t know where it was you would walk by it a hundred times without giving it a second glance. We headed in and found the place nearly empty. There were two CM’s working and they both had grown men sitting in their chairs getting a trim and said it would be about 5 minutes. Yay almost time for DD’s first OFFICAL haircut!

    When we had walked in DS had noticed Chip and Dale outside the barber shop and wanted to see them. We KNEW DD wouldn’t go near them and there was no line so DH took DS out to meet them and I waited inside with DD. The pictures are too cute although DS seems to be squinting; I think the sun must have been in his eyes.

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    DH was pulled into the picture by Chip and Dale and the character handler took a picture.
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    By the time DH and DS were done it was time for DD to climb up in the chair. I was very unsure about how she was going to act having someone mess with her hair. She HATES me messing with it! Our CM was Norma and she was great. We tried a few things to distract DD before we found the one that worked.
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    BUBBLES!
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    DS was a trooper but he was bored and another CM (who thanks to princess momma’s TR I recognized and know was named Janet) noticed and pulled out some bubbles for him to play with as well. I just love the CM’s at WDW!
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    Before we knew it DD was finished and receiving her ears….
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    It was a very fast process and Norma worked quickly! She ask me if I wanted pony tail and pixie dust and I said “YES!” I have NEVER seen my daughter sit this nicely through someone messing with her hair especially putting in a pony tail! I don’t think she even noticed until Norma sprinkled the pixie dust on her hair.

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    Notice the Hidden Mickey on DD's cheek... lol.
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    And here is my favorite picture from the experience!
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    This was all for $14 plus a tip and we got her first Mickey Ears, the experience and a certificate! It was great and I recommend this to EVERYONE! I am hoping we can hold off on getting her hair cut again until our next trip but her hair has been growing fast and is getting pretty long. DS I would love to get the hair gel colors and pixie dust but I just don’t think he would go for it. He is pretty low key with his hair and hates haircuts. I was thinking about the Pirate League for our next trip for DS but he is so picky about things like that I don’t think it would be a good idea.

    I charged everything to our KTTW card and we headed outside into the excitement of kids hula hoopin’ everywhere. I am thinking it was near parade time since they had roped off parts of Main St. but we had a date with a certain Space Ranger that could not be passed up!
     
  10. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    We fought the crowd up Main St. and cut in front of the Plaza Restaurant where I stopped to confirm our ADR for 6:20, I wasn’t sure of the time. We walked through the tunnel (is that the Noodle Station?) and entered Tomorrowland!
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    First up was a trip to defeat the Evil Zurg!
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    The park was pretty crowded but the line was only 15 minutes I believe and we were on pretty fast. DD and I rode together and DH and DS shared a car. I have to admit after riding TSM this was a bit of a letdown but DS loved it none the same. DD on the other hand did not! I had assumed that she would like the control over the car but it was way to jerky for her and she refused to touch the gun. Oh well. She wasn’t afraid so she just watched the scenery go by.

    DD would not get anywhere near the bars...
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    We thought about riding again but the wait had gone up and we had spotted our hero right across from us!

    We got in line when DS announced that he had to go…. NOW. So DH left me and DD in line to wait and he ran off with DS to find a restroom. During this time DD was not happy that DS left without her and I snapped a picture of her pouting, one of MANY that we have accumulated.
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    She loves to pout and we have a firm decision to ignore her when she does. I have to share this picture to prove that she will pout anywhere and everywhere. The photographer had arranged the boxes for her to sit on the purple one and put her feet on the green one. We placed her there and she stood up turned around did the opposite and pouted. It is one of my favorite pictures since it shows her personality to a tee.
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    DS and DH made it back in plenty of time since the line was pretty long and slow moving. The kids were doing pretty well with the wait but some of the other kids in line were not. There was a mini war that broke out between a brother and sister in front of us. Does this ever make anyone else feel better when they see other families having the same problems you have? It makes me feel more normal, let me tell ya, and I don't often feel normal, lol.

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    When we were next the Character Handler stopped us and said Buzz had to leave for a moment on Space Ranger business but he would be right back. True to her word she arrived only moments later with a slightly shorter Buzz, lol. It was then DS’s turn (DD refused to go as we had expected) and DS rushed up to meet his Pal!

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    The interaction was completed with a “pound”:
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    While standing DH and I had discussed what to do next and I wanted to ride the Carousel of Progress and DH was up for anything. We headed into the CoP with no wait and took our second row seats. By the time the door closed there was only about a dozen people in the seats. I had NO idea what this ride was only that it was classic Disney and I love classic Disney.

    True to form this ride delivered for me and surprisingly DS who LOVED it and watches it on YouTube now. DH was more than impressed with the animatronics and DD just continually got in and out of her seat. LOL I loved the ride and would have rode it again if DH hadn’t requested riding the TTA next.

    We headed over to the TTA and found ourselves in line…. For a while. This was a little strange since most reports I read say there is never a line and they ride it continually more than once. While in line DS spotted this guy and HAD to have his picture taken with him.

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    We finally headed up the moving sidewalk which freaked me out to let DS stand alone on and before we knew it we were on a peaceful ride around Tomorrowland. And boy was it peaceful we could have rode again happily! DH took photos as we rode:
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    Space Mountain area:
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    We thought about the Astro Orbiters as we left but there was a LONG wait for them and the kids hadn’t ask to ride them so we didn’t mention them. Instead we headed to Monster’s Inc. Laugh Factory. The wait was longer than will wait for it again for sure. While in line the kids got a little grumpy and what is the cure for grumpy kiddos in this family?

    Funny FACES!
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    That kept them happy until we got to the pre-show room. OMGoodness could they drag it out any more was our thoughts. LOL The show was funny and we were entertained but the kids lost interest fast so the majority of our attention was on them. The technology is fantastic though!
     
  11. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    Since we had no interest in Stitch (and DD was too little) or the Speedway again we grabbed some chips and pop and headed to Toon Town to the kid’s favorite ride!
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    The line queue here is so deceivingly long but again we only had a short wait so we rode again of course!

    Next up was Mickey’s house and we were very disappointed! Minnie’s house is so interactive and the kids were able to touch everything. Mickey’s house was more like a cartoon museum and we were in and out FAST due to the constant stream of movement you get caught in. We headed out through Mickey’s garage as we had already seen the main Mouse and had another appointment with him in a couple of days. At this point we had no direction and we weren’t sure what our next adventure would be.
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    It was HOT and the kids only wanted to eat their chips and we didn’t feel like walking for a while and all the sudden the train appeared! All Aboard! And that is what we did. We hurried and parked the stroller and made a mad dash toward the train. We made it and in no time we were headed toward Frontierland.
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    DH and I were suffering from low blood sugar and hunger as well and we were being quite snippy with each other. When I suggested we get off the train in Frontierland and get FP’s for Splash Mt. he was NOT happy. I have to admit if I had seen us at that moment I would have thought “Wow, that’s not very Disney like.”

    None the less we unboarded at the Frontierland station and with enough arguing to embarrass me even now we got our fast passes. We were all very grumpy and DH was mad that now we had to get back on the train to go back to Toon Town to get the stroller. Humm I would have thought the half a day off would have made us less grumpy! By the time we made it to Toon Town we had cooled down and calmed WAY down. We had almost an hour until our ADR and we decided we were not going to make it. I didn’t have my cell and neither did DH so I hate to admit it but we decided to be a no show for our ADR. We needed AC and quick food and we needed it now…

    That was of course until we walked by Mickey’s Philharmagic and saw 0 wait and DS said he wanted to go in. This turned out to be one of our favorite shows in WDW and the kids still refer to it as Donald’s movie. They love to watch Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and dance to the songs from Donald’s movie.
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    We really needed food at that point and although we were closer to our ADR time we had decided quick and easy was our course of action that evening. We headed in to Pinocchios’ and after we made the decisions on food I sent DH to hopefully find a window seat overlooking IASW. I got pizza and salad for DH and me and a PBJ and two sides of grapes for DS and DD to share, drinks, desserts and an extra drink for DD (snack). I think I also added an order of french fries as a snack as well. A CM was nice enough to help me carry the trays back to find DH.

    He had set at a table close to the windows but all the window seats were taken. Just then a family got up to leave and we moved over. DH wasn’t sure why I wanted to sit there but I knew the kids would love it and they did! I think this was one of the best meals of the trip. The kids ate part of my pizza since I was really after the salad and we all ate happily and waved to the people on the ride. It was a very relaxing meal and I am glad we decided to skip the Plaza (even if I felt bad cancelling).
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    After we all filled our bellies and were happy once again the kids decided that we needed to ride IASW so we did. The kids just loved this ride as expected and they sat on the same sides as the first rides.

    We headed toward Frontierland and decided a ride on POTC would be nice, so we walked on. I almost regret not having a few lines in rides like this to appreciate the theme of the queue, but I was not complaining!

    DS and I were looking forward to Splash Mountain but DH didn’t like that type of ride (silly boy). People were starting to scope places out for Spectromagic so DH said he was going to look for a good place to watch. If DS and I made it back before the parade we would find him if not we would wait till after the parade and meet at the corner of Splash Mt. DS and I were super excited to get our splash on and we headed toward the FP entrance.

    In no time we were climbing the stairs and weaving our way to the front of the line. We again practically walked right on and we were immersed in the world of Brer Rabbit. DS LOVED this ride and you can see his excitement here:

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    I didn’t take but two pictures because I got worried about getting the camera wet and I wanted to concentrate on DS. Everytime we would climb to drop a bit he was literally bouncing with excitement. I ask him if I could put my arm around him, to tell the truth I was afraid he was going to fly out, but he said “No, I am a big boy.” Then my handsome little boy said “You can put your hand right here if you want.” and indicated his knee. I had tears in my eyes. He knew I needed that and let me have an inch even if I wanted to hold on to him tight and that was enough for me.

    Splash Mountain was ended with a ton of “Can we PLEASE go again?” and to be honest with you I thought about standing in the standby line to ride again since it wasn’t too bad but I didn’t want to worry DH. We headed down the street to find DH and surprisingly found them walking toward us, DD holding a new Tinkerbell light up toy. DS was all a flutter telling his daddy about how the boat fell. DH said he had found a nice spot for the parade but a woman had literally pushed him over and he decided she wanted the spot more than him so they came to find us. LOL

    We let DS pick out a light up toy for himself and we headed through Adventureland to find a place to sit and relax for a while. On the way we passed a little snack shack that seemed awfully busy… could it be… yep it was… Dole Whips! DH had no idea what these were but I was not passing them up. I LOVE pineapple and pineapple juice so a float was coming my way! DH had to see what the deal was so he got one too. We headed toward Main St. with our dole whips and found a nice little area with benches that wasn’t crowded at all. We parked and set and relaxed and ate our Dole Whips.

    To be honest I liked the Dole Whip but it wasn’t as fantastic as I thought it would be. It was a little over poweringly sweet for me and for DH (who loves sweet) but they are still on my “to do” for the next trip. The kids like them and ate some of both of ours. While we were sitting we realized that Spectromagic was turning the corner and we had a great (if not far) view of it and we moved a bit to watch it. We also realized we had a great viewing of Wishes if we stayed put!

    I pulled out some glow sticks for the kids and DH went to find a drink for us since the Dole Whips had left a sweet aftertaste. The kids and I sat comfortably and waited. I let them walk around a bit until it got crowded and then I herded them back into the stroller. [​IMG]
    I am surprised we don’t have any photos after this point, but DH videoed Wishes and that was that, lol.

    A nice family stopped behind us and DS and DD shared their glowsticks with them. Before we knew it the fireworks were starting and that is when I smelled DD. It was BAD and there was no way for me to fight my way through the crowd that had descended behind us. I did the best I could and changed her in the stroller. The grandpa from the family behind us held the stroller still for me so it would move, what a nice family!

    The kids get fidgety during fireworks at home and they didn’t care for Illuminations so I am not sure why I thought Wishes would be different but since DH was videoing I had my hands full with the kids. I did see Tinkerbell fly and some of the fireworks but I wasn’t able to enjoy the story or the emotion behind it. Next time!

    Since the kids were grumpy after Wishes we decided to call it a night with everyone else. We joined the herd of people and made our way SLOWLY down Main St. If you ever see me at Disney world and think that following me out of a crowd is a good idea, it isn’t. Like checkout lines I am the worst at choosing who to follow. As soon as I get behind someone they will stop even if they had been the fastest moving people around me. Then I swerve and get behind another crowd of moving people, they will immediately stop, this continues forever until DH takes the stroller then we magically move forward. It is weird!

    When we finally exited we saw that the boat line was pretty crowded so we decided we weren’t in a hurry and we grabbed a bench and sat. We kept the kids moving and within minutes they were asleep. We sat on the bench for a long while just discussing our day and letting the crowd die down. I think just sitting and people watching that night was our perfect ending to the day.

    Finally we decided to head to the boat line and we were on in no time. We made it back to the WL and to bed with no excitement and we were all in bed and asleep before we knew it. Our next day was our OFF day and we had a lot to do…
     
  12. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    :laughing: Sounds like something I would do.

    I agree the Magical Moment was odd, when I tried to explain to DH where we went and why he was completely confused at the entire thing.

    I think some of our "chillin'" moments are some of our favorites. We were able to chill at the end of day 4 as well and it was fantastic!
     
  13. tigerdragon

    tigerdragon DIS Veteran

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    I'm lovin' your TR so far! Your kids are adorable!

    I want to add that our experience at WCC three years ago was not so great too. We were there for dinner and it took forever. We were a large group but it literally took 3 hours from the time we arrived at the podium to the time we left. We were not happy. The waitress was okay, not very attentive though. She was one of the reasons it took so long. She never checked on us and she was always missing. I'd try it again myself and hope for better service next time.

    Can't wait to read more!
     
  14. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    Thank you and Welcome!

    We will probably try WCC again when we are there this year but maybe an earlier ADR so we have more lively experience. I didn't think 9:40 was late but I guess it was.
     
  15. Khill

    Khill Mouseketeer

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    Just read your entire trip report this morning, only ytook 4 hours between calls.:rotfl:

    Thank you for all the insite, and have really enjoyed ready it, and look forward to more.
     
  16. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday was supposed to be our “off” day from the parks but as it turned out it was one of earliest days out of the hotel. We had a surprise “cruise” for DS at 9:30am and we needed to get to our 1900Park Fare ADR by 8:00. When I booked his surprise we had originally wanted to feed him breakfast with snack credits, send him on his cruise and the rest of us eat at 1900 Park Fare. Unfourtunaltly we couldn’t get a later ADR than 8:00 so we stuck with it.

    That morning we defiantly had to wake the kids up although I felt HORRIBLE and didn’t want to get out of bed myself. I am not stretching the truth to say HORRIBLE, I felt like a stay in the hospital would do me well. I had completely lost my voice and my throat was BAD, I am sure I had a fever. However I was very excited to see DS’s reaction to his surprise so I dragged myself out of bed.

    We have great video of DS waking up but since he slept in his shirt and underwear I don’t really feel comfortable posting it online, but let me tell you it is cute! What wasn't cute is my attempt at talking that morning, my voice was GONE. DS was half asleep but the first thing he noticed was his new Tinkerbell surprises of Wall-E and a few of his “friends”. Then he was simply amazed that Tinkerbell brought herself to DD. It was adorable. You can tell in the photos that they didn’t wake up as quickly as usual this morning, but it didn't stop them grabbing their new surprises, lol.

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    We dressed pretty fast and dressed them both in a bit of a “tropical” feel. They looked so adorable! I was feeling really rough so DH suggested I take one of his EXTRA strength Tylenol from his surgery that he had brought and I tell you it helped me get through the morning. I also had some tea with honey that DH ran down and got for me and I was starting to feel a bit better.

    We took a cab to the GF since we just didn’t know how long it would take us to get there that early any other way. We could have taken the boat to the CR and then the monorail to the GF but cab was much faster and easier. By the time we got there the kids were in great moods:

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    Although the GF doesn’t really fit our family comfort style I LOVED it and I am really working on DH to stay here when we finally take a “just the two of us” trip. It is so beautiful and elegant! I could sit in the lobby all day and be perfectly happy, I just loved it! I took pictures but it would put me over the image limit so I might post them later.

    We went to check in for our ADR like a few other people but they were not open yet so we made some pennies and relaxed a bit:
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    Right before 8:00 we checked in and were moved to another line, then we were moved to an outside line and the kids were getting restless and grumpy. By the time we had our photo taken DD was crying and DS wouldn’t look at the camera. Needless to say we didn’t get the photo, lol.

    We FINALLY got to the table and ordered our drinks. OJ for me of course!!! The kiddos had chocolate milk (remember this) and DH had coffee. The buffet here seemed very small but included really everything we needed. I loved that they had yogurt since the kids actually ate that! They also ate a bit of cereal and pancakes but they did not care for the muffins here surprisingly.

    This restaurant seems a lot smaller than many we went to so the characters seemed to come around fast. Which was good since we were on a schedule to get down to the docks by 9:15! First up was Tigger and he was fantastic! I just loved both Tiggers that we saw during the trip, they were bouncing around and DS had a lot of fun with them. He still talks about this Tigger and tells the story about how Tigger drank all of HIS chocolate milk!

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    Pooh was next and he didn’t really seem into the interaction and neither did DD:
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    DS however was a seasoned Character Meeting vet and when Pooh started to walk away before the obligatory posed photo DS pulled him back and said “Wait I need a picture.” LOL It was hilarious.

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    Mary Poppins was next and I was hoping that DD would warm up to her but she was terrified of her. I have to say our Mary Poppins was a little standoffish and didn’t really do much too warm DD up to her either. DS didn’t notice and was all about talking to her and I think they discussed toys or games before they posed.

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    Next up was Alice and how cute was she! Neither of the kids had ever seen Alice in Wonderland (I tried but they couldn’t get into it) but they didn’t care they both loved Alice! Even DD allowed her to hug her and get a picture in!
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    Now the reason I had wanted this ADR is because of all the great things I hear about the Mad Hatter and how fun he is. DS LOVES being goofy and funny so I thought what a great character for him to meet! I prepped DS a bit before he reached our table and told him to tell the Mad Hatter about his “funny faces” he likes to do.

    When the Mad Hatter arrived the interaction went great the Mad Hatter ask Ethan a question about what he liked or something and Ethan said he liked making funny faces. The MH asks him if he showed Alice and DS said no and this is where it got FANTASTIC!

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    The MH started screaming at Alice who was on the other side of the dining room saying “Alice, ALICE, Ethan is distraught.” Then he grabs DS by the hand and leads him over to Alice and tells DS to show Alice his funny faces and Alice began making the same ones back. It was such a wonderful Character interaction and made waking up early totally worth it!

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    They came back we tried to get DD to look at us for a photo but she wasn’t taking her eyes off the MH behind her so all we got was MH and DS:

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    We finished up, paid our bill and headed out. We stopped at the front desk to ask which way to the docks at DH’s suggestion although I thought it was obvious. There was a bit of construction going on in the lobby that we made our way around before making it outside and down to the docks to send DS off to be a Pirate!

    I had worried if “surprising” him with this was the best way to go since he would be going alone and I wasn’t sure if he needed time to prepare to be without us. He is a very outgoing kid and although he is very conscious of where we are at all times he adventures out by himself easily. He has NEVER had a problem being left with babysitters or daycare so we took a chance.

    We broke the surprise to him and he was excited!
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    I went to check him in at the boat house and DS headed over to become a “pirate” complete with tattoo, bandanna and life jacket, lol. He was by far the smallest one there, but that doesn’t mean he was the youngest he is just so tiny. He looked a bit overwhelmed so I went to talk to him and ask me if I was going to be here when he got back, awww.

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    I started having second thoughts about sending him but DH went and talked to him and had a man to man talk and reassured him more. He seemed to be very content after that.

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    The kids were paired up in groups and DS was paired with “Jack Sparrow” as DS called him and although he was the biggest kid on the cruise I hoped DS wouldn’t get forgotten, lol. After they boarded the boat I heard the kid say something about the cruise not really being “real” and I was a bit disappointed in DS’s partner but there was nothing I could do. As they moved away the captain had the “pirates” scare us parents away by saying “arrrgh”. It took them saying it about 4 times before we all got the picture and left, LOL. It was hard watching my baby sail away by himself but I knew he would love it!

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    Now DH, DD and I had 2 hours to spend… what would we do????
     
  17. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,149
    Welcome! You sound like me! I love trip reports!
     
  18. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,149
    A few extra Grand Floridian photos. I honestly can't get over how beautifully elegant it was. When I was little my grandparents use to take me to visit Opryland Hotel every year around around Christmas and I loved how elegant it was and my favorite room was the atrium. For some reason the GF reminds me of my childhood and that atrium.

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  19. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,149
    After watching DS sail away we didn’t have any solid plans to do anything. DH needed a restroom break so DD and I headed into the TINY gift shop at the GF to wait for him. It made the WL gift shop look HUGE! When DH found us we decided to hit the monorail and explore the Poly for a while. We went upstairs and first explored the larger gift shop and began looking for a specific plush for DS. He had been enamored with the “baby” plush characters at all the parks and we were on the hunt for a “baby” Donald. We found nearly every baby character in the parks and gift shops including Goofy if I remember correctly but no Donald.

    After our search turned up fruitless we headed to the Monorail platform and had no wait since it was just pulling up. Now thinking back it would have been simpler and faster to walk to the Poly but it was HOT outside and I didn’t even suggest it to DH. We arrived at the Poly with no real plans other than to explore since we heard how beautiful it was. We spotted Lilo and Stitch as I made my restroom stop and DH and DD saw a parade. We headed downstairs and took turns admiring the beautiful artwork in the shop. DH and I love this type of painting (where they capture the light), if only we could afford it!

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    DD was being very good so we decided to let her explore out of the stroller.
    She was in a mood to hamm it up for the camera so we let her:
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    She was afraid of this guy till I held her:
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    I’m telling you she is a born actress! She loved all the attention and a few people actually stopped and ohhed and awed for her, lol. I think DH was calculating in his head how long he had to worry about how long he had before boys began ohhing and awing at her, lol. We moved outside to walk the paths around the buildings and DD discovered flowers as big as her head!

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    It really is amazing how Disney can create such vastly different worlds in their resorts. It is hard to imagine that the WL is so close but it feels like you are in a completely different world. While the WL is earthy and relaxing and homey, the Ploy is fresh and pristine and refreshing. I added another resort to my list of “PLEASE can we stay here?” On our next trip I want to visit a few other resorts and I have a feeling I will say the same thing, LOL.

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    Before long it was time to head back to the GF to be ready to see DS return. It was a bit early but I had read reviews of the cruise coming in early and parents not being notified and we didn’t want to scare him if he arrived and we weren’t there to greet him. On the monorail I saw Tinkerbell “sitting” on the back of the stroller and it looked just like DD to me. I think DD had a bottle of Tinkerbell Pixie Dust dumped on her the moment she was born! She may be a “Princess” but she has the attitude of a PIXIE!
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    DD was defiantly missing her big brother and was holding on to his new Wall-E toys. She kept asking “Where’s Ethan?” It was adorable. We caught the Monorail back to the GF and by the time we reached the docks DD was asleep clutching DS toys. We sat down and waited for DS to arrive and finally we see the Pirate Ship approaching.
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    I have to admit although it was fun to let him go on this adventure it was very scary to let go of him. This is the FIRST time he has ever done anything like this and I admit I was worried the entire time! We hustled up with the other parents to the railing to catch the first glimpse of our Jr. Jack Sparrows and were greeted with a ship full of tired looking children, lol. Seems being a pirate takes a lot out of you!

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    DH stayed put while I moved nicely down to the exit of the docks to meet DS, meaning I ran like a woman who had just sent her baby off and wanted him back NOW. The Captain opened up the “treasure box to distribute to the crew. Then they called out names and I think checked ID’s from the parents standing at the railing before giving the child their booty and making them walk the plank (or exit their choosing).

    What happened next I am not sure since I was at the far end of the docks waiting for DS but according to DH, DS was called and received his booty. He had his lunch, bandanna and booty in his arms and when he stepped out of the boat he didn’t step high enough and he took a nose dive onto the dock. I heard everyone gasp all the way at my end but by the time I could see he was already upright and seemed okay. DH said he didn’t let go of his loot for anything, lol. What a pirate!

    After he fell he calmly walked up the dock and to me waiting. I felt like I could cry, he was such a big boy!

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    I was very close to flinging myself on him and smothering him with kisses but I held myself back and was content with a quick hug and kiss. He was very excited to see his loot but I convinced him that he needed to take off his life jacket first, “awww, mom”. We headed back to join DH and DD (who was still snoozin’) before ripping open the treasure!

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    I know there is a lot of variations of “loot” that gets distributed on the Pirate Adventures so here is what DS received:
    1 Small (2 inches or so) Plastic Parrot (This has lasted and still is played with a lot.)
    4 or so Pirate Gold Coins (Still turn up around the house.)
    2 Plastic Rings
    2 Beaded necklaces a red and a black
    Play Eye Patch (better quality than the ones he has gotten from Chuck-E-Cheese in the past)
    And a Treasure chest to keep it all in.

    He also got “lunch” with his adventure but I think my pint size pirate either swiped someone else’s lunch or someone gave him extra because he had 2 of everything in his lunch bag. One uncrustable was opened and a bite taken and one pack of goldfish was empty but he had two unopened rice crispie treats. I tried to ask him why he had two but all I got was “argh”, lol.

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    We were all ready to head back to the WL and we had planned on eating at the WCC but had cancelled after our experience the day before. I am trying to remember how we got back to the WL but I am drawing a complete blank. I know we took the monorail away from the GF and I THINK we got off at the MK and grabbed a boat back to the WL or we went to the CR and grabbed a boat. I am not sure but I know I was exhausted and was not feeling well at all.

    We stopped at RFC and grabbed lunch (nothing special) and headed upstairs. We didn’t have solid plans until 5:00pm that evening! I needed to do a load of laundry and wanted to try and take a nap with DD. I banished DH as he tells the story… which I will let him do. DD and I gathered the laundry, changed into our swim suits and headed downstairs to the laundry room, when I left the elevator DD however didn’t and if I had not have quickly stuck my foot in the door she would have been left inside, lol. Her face was priceless with shock, lol.

    I was so exhausted that I started the load of laundry and had no intention of sticking around. I believe our plan was to swim until DH and DS came back and swim a bit with them then go upstairs to get ready for the evening. After about 15-20 minutes of swimming I was not feeling well at all, I felt like I was about to pass out and it was HOT.

    We headed back to the room and after changing DD and hanging the DND sign on the door, I put her in the Pack and Play and I collapsed on the bed. I was EXHAUSTED but I think it was mostly from being sick. I just kept thinking “All I need is an hour! Just one hour and I will be fine.” DD put up a mild fuss but was out pretty quick as well. I don’t know how long we were out before DH and DS came back and I groggily ask him to move the laundry to the dryer and again “banished him”.

    Would we make it to our ADR? Would I be able to pull myself out of bed?
     
  20. ethansmommy

    ethansmommy Disney Planner

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    384
    Oh no I hope your not getting sick on your trip!!! I cant wait to see if you feel better. I am considering letting my little one (also an Ethan) go on the pirate cruise when we go back in November and reading about how your experience was is helping me decide that I can let go and be brave for him to do it on his own. He will have just turned 5 on our next trip so Im hoping he will be okay doing it on his own. Im glad to see your son had such a good time, but that sure is a mystery how he ended up with two lunches?? When you booked the pirate cruise what number did you call and is it 180 days out or 90??
    ~Jen
     
  21. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,149
    Since we only decided to take a trip about a month before I only had a month to make all of our ADR's and plans. We were VERY lucky and I was able to book every ADR minus one or two that we wanted at the time we wanted. I called to book the Pirate Cruise on the same day and it was about a month before we went.

    Ethan really loved the Pirate cruise and he still talks about it and wants to do it again. I would give more details about what they did on the boat but in the words of a four year old "We found treasure with a map." and that is that. LOL
     

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