Holiday Dreams Do Come True with Pooh-Pooh Too! Family of 14 at WL (COMPLETED 3/23)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by exwdwcm, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12th

    So after a well deserved night’s sleep, we were up and at ‘em early again. Our group was splitting up some again today. Wowo and her family had scheduled some extra meals, mostly breakfasts and they had one this morning. Everyone except us (Alan, Pooh and I) were taking part. They were doing breakfast at Trail’s End Buffet at Fort Wilderness. We had all heard great things about Trail’s End. I am not a big breakfast eater, so we passed on these extra meals- it is hard enough to get Pooh to sit through one sit down meal a day. The meals we did do were hard enough, so I am glad we passed on some of these extras.

    The rest of the family raved about the meal though.

    So we were up by 7ish and out the door to Epcot this am. Auntie and Chase actually came with us this am instead of doing breakfast. My plan was to hit Soarin or TT for fastpasses and maybe try and catch Turtle Talk with Crush. This is not what ended up happening, but remember, I was trying to be more flexible! Lol….actually it wasn’t too bad, flexing just a bit! So our little group did the usual parking, walking, security check dance and were through the gates. I have to say, Epcot is one of my favorites parks. I really love it here. We took a few minutes to enjoy the holiday topiaries and Pooh checked out the fountain- he loves water. Water, lights and trash. What more could a kid want?

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    So we were at Epcot just after opening of 9am. We headed over to Soarin immediately. We had missed the rope drop stampede, so it wasn’t too bad. We parked the stroller outside and headed in to grab fastpasses. Standby wait was only 15 minutes and FP return was for like in 45 minutes. So we grabbed fastpasses for all of us, including Pooh, even though he couldn’t ride. We knew we could use his for another family member. So now, who was to ride first, while someone sat out with Pooh? We went up and got a child swap pass too. So I figured maybe Auntie and Chase could go first, but he said I should go with her, so Auntie and I rode together and just got in the standby line. We had a short wait or so, it actually seemed a lot longer than it actually was. We finally made it down and boarded our flight over California. I had been listening to this soundtrack for over a year and now I was finally hearing it live on the attraction! We enjoyed our flight and next Chase and Alan rode together while Auntie and I sat out with Pooh- they used the child swap pass, so we still had all of our fastpasses intact. Pooh was getting pretty restless by now. I took him over to the Sunshine Season food court to get something to snack on. Of course he selected some ‘bips’ (chips) at 9:30 in the morning. Hey, it is vacation, why not. So we went back to sit down and entertain him with eating some bips. By this time, it was nearing 10:30 or so, and the rest of the family was arriving at Epcot finally. So we met up with everyone and handed off our leftover fastpasses, which totaled 5. So of course, 5 fastpasses were not enough for everyone. My parents, Nene, Jeff and Nancy ended up going. That left Mike, Wowo and the kids with no FP. Mike decided he wanted to go so he went ahead and got in the standby line with Princess. I think it was over 35 minute wait or so now.
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    So Wowo, Mikey, Auntie, Pooh and I headed to Living with the Land- the boat ride. Alan and Chase had gotten a drink (coffee) and decided to sit this one out to enjoy it. We enjoyed our boat ride through the gardens and took tons of pics. The huge 10lb lemons were so cool. We found a hidden mickey in the fish tank. And they had decorated some of the hydroponics with ornaments hanging from them etc. very cute!While this ride is nothing spectacular, it is always fun.

    After our ride, we decided to head over to the Journey into Imagination pavilion to see if my old roommate who works there. I worked on the Walt Disney World College Program (WDWCP) back in the fall of 1996, during my senior year of college. I worked at the then Disney-MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) from August 96-Dec 96. It was one of the best times of my life. Don’t get me wrong, the work was hard (bussing tables, cashiering and even serving food cafeteria lady style), but it was a great time and awesome program. I had 5 roommates (6 per apartment) from all over the US- PA, AZ, NY, MI etc. We all still keep in touch, with the exception of one who was much younger and never clicked with the rest of us who were a bit older. So anyhow- I worked at Hollywood and Vine which at the time was a cafeteria serving only breakfast and lunch.

    I lived in an apartment with all the other college program students (from all over the world- INTL ones worked in Epcot World Showcase). Then we attended classes each week to learn about how Disney operates, from finance, to HR, to Marketing, to engineering. It was a great experience. So while my job was not exactly fun, my actual roomie was ‘friends’ with the characters at the Studios and was in the parade each day (Toy Story at the time). Anyhow- my old roomie had worked in entertainment for years- she was in the Hunchback stage show, many parades and other venues. She had settled down in Orlando for good with her mom. Heather now worked at the Imagination pavilion in the Kodak area when you exit the ride. You know the big camera there with a mad scientist looking character that does a little camera spiel? Well she does that. She actually contracts out with Kodak, not directly with Disney (who doesn’t pay very well). She has worked for the mouse since 1995 now!

    [​IMG]Heather and I in 2004.
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    I knew Heather was working that day- she had called and left me her work schedule so we could meet up. Heather belongs in entertainment! She is purely hysterical, everything is a show to her. When we lived together on the WDWCP, she was constantly playing ‘dress up’. She would come out of her room dressed as princess lea or a waitress wearing my apron from work. It was always entertaining around her. So I was hoping I would catch her working and not on break. So we boarded our ride through Imagination and had a good time. Of course it is nothing close to the original. But what can you do? Of course there was no line to speak of. Is there ever? Once we exited the ride, there she was!!!!! We gave each other a big old hug and caught up a for a bit. She had just finished a ‘show’ and was about to go on break. We took a few pictures and she got to meet Pooh- who she had not met yet. We spent some time chatting it up and then had to head out for a lunch reservation at Coral Reef. We said good bye to Heather with plans to meet up later in the week before she was off on vacation.

    Upon exiting, it was time to change Pooh, so I rushed to do that. I missed one of our favorite things to do- take a photo with my sisters in front of the jumping fountains back near the 3D movie area. In rushing to change Pooh, I totally forgot and missed it. Darn it. We have pics of us there as kids and adults, almost every trip. It was not to be this trip I guess.

    So apparently, as we were chatting with Heather, the rest of the family had come over and saw us through a little window before they boarded the ride. We didn’t see them though. So we all headed over to the Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion to check in for lunch. Our lunch ressie was at noon. So we had managed to do Soarin, Living with the Land, Journey into Imagination and chat with Heather and play in the Imagination area for a bit in those 2.5 hours or so. Not too bad. We checked in at Coral Reef and sat outside to wait our turn. The kids ran around and burned off some energy. I listened to the gulls call “mine, mine, mine’ over and over. I love that. Coral Reef was a first time restaurant for all of us. I don’t eat seafood, but I knew they had a great menu with other selections. I wasn’t sure if we would be seated together due to our party size of 14. So after a 15 minute wait or so, we were called and headed back.
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    We were seated in a huge curved booth along the back wall which seated 10 of us. The other four were seated at a table just across from us. The view was great- we really enjoyed watching the sea turtle (huge!) and fish throughout our meal. There were even divers doing some cleaning down there on the coral too. While we were sitting far away from the aquarium, we could still see fairly well. Service was a little slow here, but overall good. We all ordered a drink and a few of us decided to have an adult beverage! The kids got a drink with a glow in the dark tinkerbell or car on it. And yes, a few of the adults thought it was so cool, they got one too (Wowo, Mama…….lol). The menu offered a good selection from fish to steak to chicken and vegetarian. I ordered this:
    Seared Chicken Breast - served over spaetzle finished with Applewood smoked bacon - chicken broth $20.99
    Alan had this:
    Grilled Mahi Mahi - topped with a spicy pineapple chutney over cashew-jasmine rice finished with a coconut rum beurre blanc $20.99

    We ordered Pooh the kids plate where he picks an appetizer, entrée and dessert- so he had the lobster chowder (which Alan ate and enjoyed!) and then the mahi mahi with broccoli and mashed potatoes. He had a sundae (build your own) for dessert. It was a lot of food! Pooh enjoyed his food too. He loves broccoli.

    I know my mom had the wild mushroom lasagna and someone had the steak. I knew I would be eating steak later this trip, so while I am a huge steak fan, I went with the chicken. The chicken was very good- large portion, juicy and not dry. Overall, I was very pleased. Alan enjoyed his as well. It seemed everyone really enjoyed their food and the atmosphere.

    For dessert- I had the butterscotch crème brulee, it didn’t have much of a butterscotch taste, but was very good. I shared a bit so I could have some of Nancy’s dessert- the infamous chocolate wave! Yum! Alan had Bailey’s and Jack Daniel’s chocolate mousse. I did not try it, but it looked good. He said there was a huge shot of Jack at the bottom. Our meal for the three of us (including child) probably would have come to about $75 for lunch. Pretty good deal considering it was all free to us with free dining! Overall, I would recommend Coral Reef for lunch. We enjoyed the atmosphere, theming, service and food. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve read both bad and good reviews here. Originally we were hoping to have the customized menus and the diver with a sign, but they stopped offering that earlier in 2009. Still a great meal and we will probably go back in the future.
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    Once again, we struggled when it came time to pay. Having five separate room accounts to deal with made it difficult for our servers it seems, every single mealtime. I had to walk Will out while Alan waited on the bill. I really feel for the CM’s now having to print out a check for the meal (to be paid with the KTTW card for free dining) but then also one for the tip, which most of paid with cash or charged back to our rooms. It meant a lot of paperwork and receipts every meal. Quite the hassle. Oh, to remember the days when tip was included on the dining plan.

    So after our big lunch, we were pretty stuffed. Pooh was almost in meltdown mode. We had been going since about 7:30am that morning and it was now nearing 2pm. The rest of the family stayed to check out the Nemo pavilion, ride the ride and do Crush. We simply couldn’t- Pooh wouldn’t make it that long without a complete fit. And who can blame him. As much as I would have liked to stay and get more accomplished, I knew I had to bend to his schedule and Alan and I both knew it was time to take a break. So we headed back out of the park. I think Nancy and Chase came with us. Her foot usually would swell up and she needed to get it on ice for a bit before starting out again in the evening.

    We headed back to the car, which was not a long walk since we had a pretty good parking space near the front from arriving so early. We were back in the room by 2:30 or so- stopping to fill our refillable mugs with something to drink. We had water and juice and milk in our fridge for Pooh that we had ordered through garden grocer.

    We got back to the room and let Pooh nap. He was pretty good about going down for his nap. Alan headed off to the gym at the wilderness Lodge to work off some of his lunch! I stayed in the room with Pooh- straightening up the room a bit more and watching some tv. I didn’t ever nap the whole trip, but did rest a bit. We had planned to take a 2-3 hour break each day. I know this is a great debate among many, to take a break or not to take a break? Pooh usually naps at day care from 12pm-2pm each day, so we were pretty certain it was a must for us. Otherwise, he would be a complete monster in the evenings. So break it was. He won’t sleep in his stroller for long, so that wasn’t really an option for us to keep going and wait for him to fall asleep in the stroller. Even when we travel sans children, we almost always take a midday break- it just gets us out of the parks in the height of the rush and heat (if there in the spring/summer) and we can come back refreshed and stay until closing.
    [​IMG]fireplace at WL
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  3. ladybugmom

    ladybugmom DIS Veteran

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    Thank you sooo much for taking the time to answer my questions!! I really appreciate it!! You are exactly right about scouring the boards for December trips!! :goodvibes I want as much info as I can find!

    Love your Epcot update!! I love Epcot as well! The food at Coral Reef looks soooo yummy! That creme brulee especially!! And how neat that you used to work at WDW!! My DH's cousin worked there when she was in college as well. And your friend still works there--fun!! :goodvibes Can't wait to read more!
     
  4. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    no problem- glad to help. You will have a blast next December, it is such an amazing time to go!!! Where are you staying?
     
  5. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    Ack!! :scared1: How did I miss the start of this TR?! I am soooo behind on things---the holidays really screwed me up.

    So, I'm signing on for this one. Haven't had a chance to read all of the entries yet, but will be headed back to catch up after this comment. So far, looks like you guys are having a great time.

    My TR is started, although it is nowhere near as complete as yours so far, I am only through part of our second day I believe. :guilty: We ended up having to cut our trip short due to a death in the family, but I've still got 5 days of TR to write, so hopefully it'll be worth reading. popcorn::
     
  6. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    So sorry to hear about the death in the family, that actually happened to my sister and I on a trip years ago. :hug::guilty:

    Consider me signed on to yours too- can't wait to read!!!
     
  7. k_reile

    k_reile Slowly converting my son into a Disney lover!

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    michelle---how did you use a ticket for will to get a fast pass?? Wasn't he free?? so how did he have a ticket??

    We are going to have to take breaks in the middle of the day too...Caleb does not nap well in a stroller and my nephew still needs breaks or naps too!
     
  8. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    duh, you caught me!! you are right, we didn't have a ticket for Will. i don't know what i was thinking, no we didn't have a FP for him. We were using Mikey's ticket (he did pay for one) for FPs even when he couldn't ride due to height, so i was thinking of him for some reason. it was only the child swap we were able to get for having Will with us. LOL :confused3:rotfl:

    i so wish Will would nap in the stroller and he will for short breaks, but not for the longer break like he needs. Sorry to hear Caleb won't either. but a break isn't a bad thing, it is nice to enjoy the resort a bit too. Alan and I would take turns staying with Will- either alan would head to the gym while i stayed in the room or he would stay while i wandered the resort or just enjoyed a coke and snack sitting on the patio by the pool. And we did swim one day during our break which was fun.

    okay, so Alan was looking through the DVC books and papers again tonight ............i am hoping it is a good sign, he's looked through it a few times now and our DVC guide we toured with already called once. here's hoping Alan decides to sign on! he already said BLT is his choice due to the monorail/MK proximity and lower maintenance fees. totally NOT our style at all (we like very traditional, old world style- not contemporary at all), but yet the BLT model was very nice. we'll see. i'll keep my fingers crossed that we might be DVC owners sometime this year!!:wizard:
     
  9. ladybugmom

    ladybugmom DIS Veteran

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    We'll probably stay at the Poly again. We stayed there last May and are staying there this May as well--we fell in LOVE with the Poly!! :lovestruc
     
  10. k_reile

    k_reile Slowly converting my son into a Disney lover!

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    thats cool...keep on pressuring him! LOL! I would like to do a tour...but I know my husband will never do it since he is a closet disney fan. i he likes it but hates crowds and people in general and would like different vacation places than one spot. I know you could use it for other places but who really does that? LOL! Maybe I need to convince my parents to come on the tour...LOL!! If they want to keep bringing the whole family every couple of years it might be beneficial to them. WE seem to keep growing in size! LOL!
     
  11. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    so jealous. have never stayed there, although visited many times and eaten there many times. we will have to try it out sometime- gotta love the monorail access!:thumbsup2

    would he be more willing in order to get the incentive (like for us it was a $100 gift card)? DH is the one that actually recommended we do it, to say i was shocked, is an understatement. so towards the end of the trip, walking back in from the MK for a break, we stopped by the DVC desk in the WL and asked how long it would take for the tour. They got us a van right then and we went. i figured it was now or never. DH asked lots of financial questions, since he works in real estate on the finance side. We probably would not use it for other places, maybe to hit DL, but that is probably it and we might go only every other year and bank points to do a longer stay in a bigger room. ONce we looked, he was more interested. if you can get him in there, you might be surprised! :rotfl::confused3 We would defintiely love to be able to bring family or friends too, his family really can't afford to go, so it would be a way for him to take them. that might also help swing his vote. We will see! :thumbsup2
     
  12. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    the rest of day 2 is coming later today, i promise!!! I will also have some additional pics to post this weekend once i get pics from my parents and sisters too! including one of us on dumbo on day 1 that is too cute!
     
  13. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12th- DAY 3, part 2
    So our break lasted until 4:30 or 5. I think we all met in the lobby again around 5pm to head over to the Hollywood Studios for the evening. We had BIG plans tonight! That is why a break was so important today. The rest of the group ended up staying at Epcot a bit longer and didn’t really have a break.

    So we all headed over to HS in our individual cars. The plan tonight was to get in a viewing of the Osborne Lights first, then possibly ride a ride or two before dinner at Sci Fi at 7:10pm. Then we had tickets to a private party (DIS-apalooza) that was from 9:30pm-midnight.

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    So what the heck is Dis-apalooza, you might ask? Good question! This was a party was hosted by these message boards- the DIS- more specifically by the DIS Unplugged Podcast. If you haven’t ever listened to the podcast here, you should. Lots of great tips, reviews, debates, restaurant discussions and updates on the latest news. Wowo turned me onto the podcast almost 2 years ago. I’ve been listening ever since. They have started hosting more listener events of late and this was going to be one of them. Typically in early December, WDW played host to “Mousefest”, a casual gathering of Disney online communities- or fans of websites like this one. While Mousefest typically hasn’t been a huge event, it is fairly large with a short little expo showcasing some of the different sites in a ‘tradeshow’ like setting. There are also many casually arranged ‘meets’ throughout the weekend- where folks gather for a dole whip together, a quick ride or a meal. This year, Mousefest was no longer taking place- the original organizers decided to take a break. The DIS unplugged podcast decided to host their own private event in lieu of the usual Mousefest for its fans. So Pete Werner, Jon of Dreams Unlimited and their team hosted and coordinated this party. If you had booked your trip through Dreams, you were automatically given a ticket (if requested) for entry. If you had not booked through them, you could register, but it was limited and had a small fee. This party was to be the official event for the Dis-apalooza weekend. The DIS also hosted a live recording of their podcast on Sunday, as well as hosted an amazing opportunity to hear Marty Skylar (yes, you have seen him on all the Disney travel shows- original imaginer who worked with Walt directly) as well as Lee Cockrell, former Executive VP of WDW Operations and author of the book “Creating Magic”. I had heard Lee speak on the DIS unplugged podcast cruise in May. I would have loved to hear Marty Skylar- a once in a lifetime opportunity, but he was speaking on Friday and that was our first day at Disney and I really thought time with my family and son took precedence.

    So back to the party- after much anticipation, it was announced that the DIS would host a private event at Pixar Place at the Studios, like it had done the year before- but this year on a grander scale. Basically we would get to ride Toy Story Mania over and over all we wanted with minimal lines from 9:30pm-midnight! The park closed at 8pm, so it was only for us! Plus there would be a street carnival theme with entertainment, characters and food. So we were looking forward to this special party- labeled as TSM 2.0 or Toy Story Mania 2.0 (since TSM 1.0 happened in 2008).

    So back to story………….We arrived at HS and did the usual bag check and headed in and noticed it was fairly crowded. Since this was our first time at HS on this trip, we took in the great view of the park from the entrance. We decided to head back towards the Osborne Lights to see how crowded it was back there. We made our way towards the back, but they had the Streets of America blocked off- they were controlling the flow of folks in and out of the lights area. That was new to us- our last trip in 2005, it was a madhouse- people coming and leaving every which way and crowds so large it was scary in there.

    So it was sort of nice to see them controlling it a bit better, at least the ‘flow’ anyhow. However, this meant we had a long ways to walk. Once we saw the area, we realized how crowded it was and decided to do something else and try and catch the lights after dinner or another night. We would be back at HS the next night for EMH.
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    So instead, we were back near the Muppets and opted to do it. We walked in with perfect timing- only waiting about a minute before the show started. Pooh did pretty good in this show. It may be an oldie, but is a goodie. We enjoyed it as always. Upon exiting, we happened to catch Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen with a short line, so we got in line for a pic. They closed the line down right after us.
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    We got a few pictures and then headed over towards the Sci Fi- it was nearing time for dinner and we wanted to try and check in early. Sci Fi usually runs behind, even for ADRs, but we thought it was worth a try. It was CRAZY trying to get over to the restaurant. The controlled ‘exit’ area for the lights was right on that walkway near Sci Fi and the book store. We could hardly get across the crush of people exiting the lights. We finally got over and I checked us in. I actually had made this ADR with all our others originally by phone at 90 days out. However, once the party was announced, I tried to get our time bumped up a little earlier with no luck. I finally kept checking back online and was able to get two separate reservations for 7:10pm. I couldn’t book it as one, since the online system won’t let you do one for 10 people or more. So we all waited outside for a bit and could see some of the lights and hear the music. We finally were called in- well at least one party.
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    Alan, me, Pooh, Nancy and Chase all went in and shared a car. Alan and Pooh sat in back, I sat in middle and Nancy/Chase in the front. Pooh seemed to really like this setup with the dark theatre atmosphere and car. Shortly after we were seated, they seated Wowo, Mike, Princess, Mikey, Mama, Papa and Auntie. Nene and Jeff were not joining us this night- they had made reservations for a nice romantic dinner at Jiko at the AKL. Sci Fi is a favorite of my dad’s, so we usually try and eat here. While the food is not stellar, the atmosphere and is pretty fun and we are all sci fi nerds- well at least my dad, Wowo, Alan and I. And I love the old drive in concession stand commercials. And yes, I do remember the drive in- I am old enough. I remember my parents taking us 3 girls in the station wagon and we could sit in the back with an ice chest of snacks and drinks. I saw the original Indiana Jones at the drive in and remember it. That was in 1981 and I was 8!
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    Anywho- we had a pretty good meal here. I had had the BLT soup before and it was actually delicious, but I decided to pass on it since we would be having snacks at the party later too. So I ordered the:
    Smoked St. Louis-style Ribs - Basted with barbecue sauce served with cole slaw and a choice of cucumber-melon salad or french fries $21.99
    And Alan had the:
    Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwich - With bruschetta topping served on a Kaiser Roll with cucumber-melon salad or fries $13.99
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    I think we just gave Pooh some of our food instead of ordering him a meal (he wasn’t covered on the dining plan since he was under 3). It was nice having a meal where Alan handled Pooh almost the whole time. My ribs were okay, nothing off the charts. Nancy really enjoyed her burger. Btw- there is not a burger on the menu, but you can order one. I had the hot fudge sundae for dessert and talk about yummy. I had not had one in ages, so it was divine! I think everyone loved dessert. Alan had the cheesecake which comes with caramel popcorn, m&ms and caramel sauce. Talk about sugar overload! Pooh isn’t much on sweets, but loves M&Ms, so he ate those up! Surprisingly the restaurant didn’t look full or super crowded. I guess because the park closed at 8pm. We probably wrapped up dinner around 8:30pm or 8:45pm. With our tables split up, the bill didn’t take quite as long.
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    After dinner, Alan and I headed to the Osborne lights- Auntie and Pooh too. I don’t remember where everyone else went or why they didn’t join us. I think maybe my mom was going to the front of the park to see about renting a wheelchair for the party or something. I can’t remember, or maybe they were still eating. So we had a nice time viewing the lights. By this time, the park was actually ‘closed’, but the lights were still on and there were still people around. But we really enjoyed it since it wasn’t crowded! We even got a photopass pic, one of my favorites of the trip. We spent a good 20 minutes in the lights, just enjoying and letting Pooh catch the snow. That was his absolute favorite part.
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    Then it was time to head to the front of the park to get ready for the Toy Story Mania Party! We were supposed to meet up front by 9pm to be escorted back into the park turnstiles by the green army men! So we headed towards the front and ran into the rest of the family. Mom wasn’t feeling very good and not sure she could stay through the party without a wheelchair. Unfortunately, the wheelchair station was closed. She debated it quite a bit, but finally decided to leave the park and call it a night. She had looked forward to this party, but just wasn’t feeling well enough. I really felt bad for her.
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    Nene and Jeff called and were done with dinner and wanting to come over to the party. They misunderstood and thought it was extra magic hour night and that they could get in. We had not ordered them tickets to the party, since they were doing their own dinner separately and she had said they would pass on the party. But they had finished dinner early and were wanting to come over. They drove all the way over only to realize they couldn’t get in. As they were driving away is when my mom decided to leave the party, so we called and told them to come back and use my parents tickets, but they decided not to.

    So it was Alan, Pooh and I. Plus Wowo’s family. Mikey and Princess were pretty beat, as they didn’t have a break really today. Mikey was passed out in his stroller. Auntie had also left with my parents. Nancy and Chas were still with us. So we waited, and waited and waited. Seemed like an eternity (doesn’t everything with a restless toddler?). I saw many of my old online friends I met on the podcast cruise, but I was too busy keeping Pooh occupied to go socialize. So all of us were waiting in the huge crowd outside the turnstiles. Folks leaving the park kept looking over wondering what was going on, so it was pretty cool to be part of a special after hours event like this! Finally at about 9:15ish or so, they started letting us in. The green army men welcomed us and led us back to pixar place. We were so far back in the crowd, that we didn’t see them. But once we arrived at Pixar Place, we got some pics with them. There were quite a few around and available for pics. They had tables set up with tons of food- including sausage and peppers, nachos, cotton candy, funnel cakes, apple slices with caramel sauce, popcorn and more. It was all free, but we did have to pay for drinks. A tiny bottle of water was $4. I am talking a small small bottle. So that was a bummer and we were dying of thirst! We split off from everyone to change Pooh’s diaper. Finally we got in line for the ride. It was a short line, like 5-10 minutes max. It was actually sad to miss some of the great themeing in the queue line. We had a blast riding, it was our first time. Unfortunately, I did not score too high, as Pooh was helping to operate my gun. Alan really enjoyed the ride too.
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    After riding, we found Nancy and Chase. Wowo and her family were getting tired and heading out. We found a table together and got some food. I know- more eating? How could we possibly? Well Chase had room apparently- he ate a ton! Lol next I took Pooh to get a pic with Buzz and Woody. Only one person in front of us in line. Sweet!
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    We saw a great balloon artist doing Disney themed balloons animals. But the line was too long for him. So after having a few snacks, we rode again. This time, the wait was almost nothing, as we went with Nancy and Chase. Since she has the boot on, they let her go on the FP line which was shorter and didn’t require going up the stairs.
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    We had another fun time playing. I really wanted to go a third time, but Pooh was getting pretty fussy by now. It was 11:30pm. Nancy and Chase rode like 3-4 times and had a ball. So we all decided to call it a night. I got to say hi to a few friends, but not as many as I would have liked. Most of them were there alone for just the weekend, not with their entire families like me. So I felt a little oddball. I was so busy watching Pooh that I couldn’t chat up with everyone. Oh well. This vacation was all about Pooh and this party/Disapalooza only was announced later after we had planned this family vacation. So I kept my focus on Pooh. It did look like all my DIS friends were having a blast though, I was sort of jealous!

    It was a great event and the DIS team did a fantastic job with it. Now we wouldn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and fight the hordes of people to run to the Toy Story ride one morning, since it is the most popular in all the world it seems. Now we could mark it off the to do list. So, really tired, we marched our way out. It was fun exiting a nearly empty park. We got a few pics of the empty streets! By the time we got in bed, it was well after midnight. But fun was had by all! Success! Once again, we had a good, but packed day.
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    We had managed to ride Soarin, Living with the Land, Imagination, Muppets and Toy Story Mania 2x. Plus saw the Osborne Lights, ate 2 sit down meals and visited with some friends. Not to mention a 3 hour break!
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    SANTA’S NICE LIST
    *Osborne Lights- amazing!! Pooh loved them.
    *Coral Reef- surprisingly good meal
    *Toy Story Mania Party- awesome!
    *Chocolate wave at Coral Reef
    *Seeing Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Buzz and Woody
    *Watching Pooh catch ‘snow’

    SANTA’S NAUGHTY LIST
    *huge crowds at Osborne Lights initially
    *Mom getting sick

    MEAL REVIEW
    CORAL REEF- EPCOT- A delicious surprise! Loved the atmosphere, even though are seat wasn’t perfect. The theme is great and carried through the entire restaurant and check in area down to the littlest details. Service was standard, but the food was pretty good. Almost everyone in our party of 14 enjoyed their meal and most cleaned their plates! Servings were generous and everything was served hot. My son’s kid’s meal was extremely generous in size and portion. Restaurant was not too loud. Only complaint was the wait to get in, even with an ADR. Will recommend lunch here to friends and plan to visit again! I’ll give it 4.25 out of 5 mickey heads!

    SCI FI DINE INN-HS- An oldie but a goodie for us. We’ve all eaten here many times. We realize the food isn’t the draw for us, but the theme and atmosphere. We all love the old movie clips and sitting in the car. Food was slightly above our ‘low’ expectations. Service was actually swift and delightful. Our server offered to take our picture for us multiple times and was very attentive. Dessert was really good! We might skip this next time in order to try another restaurant, but it will stay on our list as one to do again and again. I would recommend to friends that like ‘sci fi’ with the caveat that the food is pretty standard fare and nothing spectacular. We went in with that expectation and were pleased. I give it 2.5 out of 5 mickey heads!
     
  14. ladybugmom

    ladybugmom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,785
    This might be a REALLY dumb question but how do you listen to the Podcasts? Where do you find them? How often do they do podcasts? Are they live? Can you go back and listen to previous ones? I know nothing!! ;) Do you know if they're planning on having Dis-apalooza again this year?! It sounds like such a fun night!!! :goodvibes
     
  15. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    not a stupid question at all- many folks don't know what a podcast is. it is like a radio show (some daily, some weekly etc.) that you can listen to on your computer or download to your ipod or other media to listen to later.

    if you go here:
    http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/
    You can click the 'listen now' button on the left (down near hte center) of the page. It will bring up your media player and you can listen to the show. Or you can download it to your itunes account and then upload it to your ipod if you prefer to listen while taking a walk or something. I always just listened on my computer and plugged my headphones into that (as not to disturb others). If you have speakers on your computer, you can listen that way. They have a weekly discussion show and sometimes also an email show where folks can email in questions and they answer them on the show for you. It is always fun and interesting. There are other podcasts for disney out there too on other websites as well. I only have time to barely listen to this one, but I hear there are other great ones too. They will discuss all the newest things, changes in disney mgmt, new movies, new attractions, restaurant reviews etc. Folks call and email in with great tips too. They are not live, but pre-recorded usually the day before so they can edit as necessary for a streamlined show.

    as for another disapalooza next year, i assume they will have one again. The first real official party was in 2008, but I know they have had other meets before then too in 2007 and maybe even 06. There is also the DIS unplugged message board much like this one- it is where a lot of the folks that listen to the show post about the show or other things. It has become a tight knit group, but don't be afraid to go over there, they don't bite! They also hosted the first ever DIS UNPLUGGED Cruise this past May on the Disney Wonder. Dreams Unlimited offered special packages and the cruise was filled with fans of the show as well as the hosts themselves that we listen to each week. They held a live taping (with audience) of hte podcast on the ship, had a welcome reception, party on castaway cay, private presentation by Disney Institute and more. Lots of special events, including a wine tasting, martini tasting and other get togethers. it was a lot of fun and I got to meet some of my 'online' friends in person. They are now planning another DIS unplugged cruise (2.0) for December 10-14, 2010. I am not sure if they will do disapalooza due to the cruise- and if they do, it might be at a different time, I just don't know. We will have to wait for details. you can check the dis unplugged forum often for any updates throughout the year. I also recommend booking with Dreams if you are not DVC- they have always provided great service to us. Booking with them also usually guarantees you placement in any special events they will be hosting during your stay.
    here are the boards:
    http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=158
     
  16. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    Day 3 coming up hopefully later today or tonight! Stay tuned. in the 20s here today in Dallas and they are saying -5 windchills tonight. lovely! time for some tortilla soup tonight. :thumbsup2
     
  17. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,438
    I absolutely LOVED your update! I would love to attend some sort of Dis gathering in my lifetime. I only met one Diser on my last trip in Dec 2008 for a stroller swap and she was really sweet. I saw another Diser at the BWV's come and go but I was too shy to approach her.

    TSM is such fun! Can't wait for our family trip this year (it will be the first visit for my 2 youngest sons and the first for my oldest 2 sons' girlfriends so this should be a fun trip!)

    Your son Pooh is so adorable - I loved the pic of him sitting in the back seat at SciFi. I haven't eaten there since 1997 so it definitely will be on our list of ADR's next trip!
     
  18. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    meeting other DISer's is so fun. The DIS Unplugged Podcast forum really tight knit. Over the past 2 years, they have formed a pretty close community. Heck, some of them have become long distance best friends, and call each other often. Some have discovered they live nearby each other and they get together for meals or something disney related- liek the doorway to dreams in chicago etc. I even had one disers on that board that was travelling through Dallas and me and 2 other local Dallas Diser's met up with her at a local rainforest cafe (had to do something disney related!) for dinner. We had never met before, but had a ball at dinner. so many great folks out there. check out the DIS unplugged board and 'insert yourself'----you will find many wonderful folks and many that actually do meet and become friends in real life. nice having someone that shares the disney passion!

    i did the DIS podcast cruise in May and I am pretty shy. I went with just my parents and my cousin. Left Alan and Pooh at home. I had a blast with my DIS friends. I am not that outgoing, but they were so sweet. here are a few pics of the great people I met and hope to meet again someday at another event. I saw many at the TSM 2.0 party, but didn't have time to chat it up.

    breakfast at Cape May with DISers before cruise
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    at the private party on Castaway Cay!
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    we even gathered for a group photo in the lobby of the ship.
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  19. Pollito916

    Pollito916 <font color=deeppink>Some day my Prince will come

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,109
    Yay, crossing my fingers for you too!

    And I love Will's Potato Head shirt - where did you find that?
     
  20. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    we actually found it at Old Navy!!! i grabbed it immediately, it is one of those that has the 'undershirt' sleeves built in already. i should have gotten a pic of him next to mr. pot head in it! :goodvibes

    getting pics from mom and sisters tomorrow from the trip, so I will post the next update then. I have the next day all written, just need the pics to add. so stay tuned tomorrow!:thumbsup2
     
  21. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,438
    Thanks for sharing your pics of Podcast cruise (I recognize quite a few Disers!) I was hoping to go on the December '10 cruise but decided to spend the bucks on a family vacation at WDW instead. I think I signed up for the Podcast community but that was it. I have listened to a few podcasts and really enjoyed them. I will break out of my shy shell and make some new friends (I hope). It's been pretty lonely being a widow for 15 yrs now (my hubby died of a heart attack in 1994 on our first visit to Florida at Christmas time and sadly he never got to see WDW) and I've been busy raising 5 kids so am so grateful for the Disboards to meet new people who share the love of Disney :grouphug:
     

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