How EMH saved our trip-Doing the World on West Coast Time! Completed. Stop by my PTR!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by eandesmom, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. carissanboys

    carissanboys DIS Veteran

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    I've had a deep tissue massage three times and I LOVE them. I have issues with my neck and shoulders so I wish I could have one every week. I could so use one right now! I think I need to plan one for my next Disney trip. :thumbsup2

    Looking forward to hearing about HDD!
     
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  3. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    I have been reading for what seems like an eternity and I am only up to page 8. This TR is just packed full of little goodies and side bars. I don't know if I can even begin to remember everything......

    1. Nice meal at DTD!

    2. Sorry HS was so crowded on your first afternoon visit. DS is always crowded when the attendance is high.

    3. I love Teppan Edo. Your waiter sure was entertaining. Sorry you missed illuminations, AGAIN! Another reason for a redo.

    4. Great misinformation about the bus to MK - bummer!

    5. Loved your son's birthday party pictures. I hope there are pictures of the new kitty and I just haven't gotten there yet.

    6. Thank you for the lovely pictures of Wyoming. DH and I skied in Jackson Hole (prekids) and loved it there. We snowmobiled at a placed called Towattee Pass (not sure about the spelling) and it was probably the most gorgeous place I have ever been in my life. We also loved seeing the grand Titans. amazing!

    7. Your DS 16 sounds like my DS14 in terms of sleeping. This kid can NEVER get up. It is sooooooooo frustrating. And it gets really bad in the summer. He stays up to 3am, sleeps until 1pm.

    I know there is more, but I can't remember what. Be back soon!
     
  4. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Me too on the airfare watch! We did miss the better return flight waiting to make sure the xmas gift was a hit with the skids but got an amazing fare...$224 I think! I can only hope that happens next year, in 04 it was kids fly free. I miss that! We postponed Nov to feb due to the airfares...it was almost $700 each if we'd have gone then.

    Funny, sometimes it's cheaper for us to flu out of YVR. I've not done it but DH has. I like that 6:30 pm one back...if we go in August an 11pm arrival home would be completely doable...it just wasn't on on a school night lol!
     
  5. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    I wish I could have one every week too! Hopeing to squeeze one in this week...or a facial. I can't decide which one I need more :) I'll do one on the next trip for sure...at SSR if we are at THV as currently planned!
     
  6. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    aww thanks!

    thanks for making it to page 8!!

    :)
     
  7. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Ok...before I get to the Hoop De Doo review (and there was a LOT Of Hooping....Whooping...) A side trip to a little unexpected, unplanned Disney magic.

    Last week I got the Nov/Dec FD Pin Code in the mail. Sadly we looked at and put it away (just in case, I dunno....I win the mega millions). Oh wait, I would have to buy a TICKET to win the mega millions. Hmmmn. Not going to happen.

    A few days later, in with my usual weekly Disney trying to sell me something from somewhere emails that I get....I got...this....

    [​IMG]

    Hmmnnn

    what could this be? Did it matter?

    It was FREE

    It was here

    and since I was suddenly no longer gainfully employed...

    why not? Friday was WIDE open as far as I could see.

    So without really knowing squat about it...I forwarded it on to my sister. Aka "Aunt Mel". Far cooler than I am (according to my kids). My nephew Q used to be obsessed with trains and while he no longer is, we are all pretty obsessed with Disney and it just seemed like a fun thing for a summer day.

    They had swim lessons to hit in the am and then our plan was to meet up and head down there. We chatted early in the am and since the train was open basically all day we decided to make a day of it. Doing what, we weren't sure!

    She called in the am to confirm and we discussed what to do about lunch. For some reason the idea hit me to head to the complete other side of town from where we live and get fish and chips and eat at the beach. Why, I've no idea. I hadn't been to that beach in years and while it is an amazing fish and chips chain, there are two closer locations. My kids had never been to that beach and for some reason, on this very hot day, it seemed like a good idea.

    She loved it. Even better, our other sister lives on that side (the dark side we call it) so a call was placed.

    The pre-train outing

    fish and chips (Wall-E and his cousin Stitch)

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    beach and sand

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    cousins

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    Goofy with Stitch and Stitch's big brother Q. Stitch's t shirt cracked me up. Stitch cracks me up but that's another story.

    the view from our lunch spot...rough I know.
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    :)

    after a side trip for some AMAZING homemade ice cream at a nearby deli (thanks to the dark side sister knowing where to go on the other end of the earth)

    we were off!

    Disney magic hit us when we arrived. We found street parking right away, started to walk to the pay station and someone was pulling out and still had an hour on their parking ticket so they gave it do us. So cool!

    And sure enough.. there was the train!

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    And carolers (they had to be DYING in those outfits, it was HOT out!...everyone but me got a little pink at the beach)

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    CM's were everywhere directing traffic. We were given train tickets and then they were punched. With a mickey head punch. Of course!

    [​IMG]v

    next...

    ok cool...but what's INSIDE the train? What does it have to do with a Christmas Carol?
     
  8. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Upon entering the train we were encouraged to take pictures but warned that we couldn't use flash on the cases.

    Why, I wondered? Then I looked in the cases...

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    I could have spent quite a bit more time looking at the papers but the kids were moving on and if I'd have been a 8-11 year old boy...I'm sure I would have been moving on too.

    The first car was a gallery of Dickens items and full of wonderful information. Costumes that served as inspiration and a wall gallery of the characters filled the car.

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    The cast.

    Jim Carrey as Scrooge

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    Robin Wright Penn as Belle

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    Gary Oldman as Tiny Tim

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    and as Bob Cratchitt
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    Pictures of concept art

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    Models

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    Detail models of locations

    Big Ben (too big to get in one shot, I need to edit these together)

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    Scrooges office
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    Ok...at this point it was interesting but kind of...huh. Kind of like going to a museum of artifacts for a movie that hasn't been made yet. Or at least one you haven't seen. It was a little wierd and the kids didn't quite get it. Not bad wierd but none of had an emotional connection to the movie so it was hard to get "too" into it.

    next...the "cool" stuff
     
  9. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    we moved into the next car and were greeted by this

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    okay...what is this?

    Well apparently it's what the actors wear when they are making an Imax/Disney 3D movie.

    It gets better

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    they put all those dots all over their faces to catch all of their movements and then take the real life actors every move and put it into 3D animation.

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    tons and tons of tiny cameras catching all of these movements

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    From this, they turn it into this

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    and then this

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    to this
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    and then to this!

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    This was a very cool car. So much to look at and watch. Interviews with the actors, producers, all the technology folks. Very very interesting, the kids were fascinated.

    in the next car there were lots and lots of screens. What did they do?

    Well...they took your picture. And then morphed you into one of the main characters! We supposedly emailed them to ourselves (courtesy of walgreens?) but I've not seen a notice that they are ready for downloading yet. They were HYSTERICAL!

    At the end of the car there was of course, a Christmas feast. And it smelled like gingerbread. No joke.

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    From here you headed out to a blow up 3D movie theater (no joke) for a 12 minute preview.
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    the 3D was AMAZING. The kids were hysterical, OOOOHHHH AAHHHHH

    and that was just the Disney logo.

    All in all, a very good, magical day.

    Now. Back to our regularly scheduled report. HDDR coming up next!
     
  10. TarzansKat

    TarzansKat Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.

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    WOW! What a great treat for everyone! I saw that e-mail as well, but it was nowhere near us. I'm so excited that you went and took all these great pictures so I can live vicariously through you. :goodvibes
     
  11. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Great pictures!:thumbsup2 It looks you guys had a lot of fun!!:goodvibes Can't wait for HDDR!!!
     
  12. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    After the teacups we heard from the big boys. They'd arrived!

    We still had maybe an hour before we needed to head back to the Fort, probably less and of course we took more! We hooked up with the guys and headed to...

    BTMRR.


    Again. :)

    We'd had some amazing karma with this ride, walking right on more than once and with the still crazy crowds, we decided to try it again. Briefly we contemplated SM but no one really wanted to get wet. Besides Goofy. And I just wasn't up for letting a 9 year old go by himself. Scrooge however REALLY wanted a snack and remembered that we'd been able to use snack credits for popcorn the day before at DHS.

    So first, we had a mission. Popcorn for Scrooge! We found a cart in Liberty square and despite the absence of the little snack credit logo (the man didn't trust me!) sure enough, he could get popcorn.

    Since popcorn and BTMRR was not really a good fit, we strolled through Liberty Square and into Frontierland, taking our time and doing a wee bit of browsing. This was somewhat bittersweet for me. At this point in the trip we'd been to the MK what, 3 or 4 times and I felt like we'd never really gotten to just enjoy it due to the crowds. Not enough hours in the day. When I add it up all we really did in MK was

    • BTMRR 3x
    • SM 4x (for some, 3 for most)
    • Teacups
    • Pirates 2x
    • Haunted Mansion
    • Speedway and Buzz lightyear (the night I didn't head over so I could put Wall-E to bed)
    • WDW railroad (boys with Scrooge, waiting for Tink and I)

    Not a single show aside from the Celebrations parade that we couldn't escape. I'd used the crowd calendars to plan, I'd used EMH. Other than giving up our lazy days or heading over early sans teenagers, I'm not sure there is much more I could have done but still, heading into the end of what I knew was our last day in the MK I was saddened by all we hadn't done.

    But here's the thing...it was only ME that was saddened. Burdened with what could have been.

    No Jungle Cruise
    No Swiss family treehouse
    No Small world and the rest of fantasyland
    No SM.
    No Tom Sawyer Island and Country Bear Jamboree
    No Spectromagic and wishes had been from a boat
    No laugh floor


    And yet...upon polling, every kid stated that MK was their favorite park.

    Hmmn. How could that be? For each, their favorite ride was elsewhere (a split between RRC and EE). We'd been rushed, pushed, crowded and stuck.
    We hadn't shopped there (much), we hadn't eaten there (sit down anyway)

    But it was their favorite park. Hands down. All of them.

    Disney Magic.!


    Meandering around and lost in my own thoughts, Scrooge spotted something and got that gleam in his eye.

    Who knew. The man likes to shoot 'em up.


    Anyone know where we are?
    [​IMG]

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    Poor Wall-E could NOT hold the gun up to save his life, those things are heavy!

    And then it was time. Our last MK ride.

    Fittingly, it was getting dark. The first time we'd ridden BTMRR on the trip had been in the dark. It is really really pretty in the dark, clattering through the ride and seeing all the lights.

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    Afterwards it was time. Time to leave the MK. We did not go quickly, soaking up the atmosphere but as we neared main street we did realize it was time to pick up the pace. For 2 reasons. One, most of the teens and adults really really wanted/needed a shower before dinner. Two, spectromagic was coming and we didn't want to get stuck!

    Run run to the boat!

    Aackkkk!

    The boat is pulling away!


    Now the beauty of FW and MK is the boats (one of the many beauties of the Fort). While there is a direct boat to the Fort, there are also many other ways to get there either from the Contemporary or WL if you take a different boat (to WL or Contemporary) or the monorail to the Contemporary. For that matter I guess we could have walked to the Contemporary and caught the boat from there as well.

    We debated, and debated, and decided to wait for our "regular" boat. Which was a good 20 minutes. Upon landing at the Fort it was a bit of a wait for an internal bus as well. We'd planned to have at least an hour, hour and a half at the fort for decompression and showering and ended up with closer to 45 minutes.

    And one tween who shall remain nameless who completely hogged the one bathroom. This, for me was the only night that the one bathroom was really a problem. I'd had a massage (think massage oil in the hair), then out in the sun by the pool (sunsncreen) and then had been somewhat hot and icky in the MK due to being over dressed in those darn jeans. I really wanted a shower!

    But it was not to be. I was able to wash my face. Oh well.

    It had REALLY cooled down so we all dressed warmly and headed out to the bus. It was pretty darn cool to be eating at our own resort for once, knowing transportation would be simple and quick. We were really looking forward to it. Had our lazy day actually been at the Fort I think we'd have explored a lot more than we did but the slide (and excuse to play at WL) had trumped the many cool things at the Fort. We will go back, there is no doubt. We had not had a bite to eat yet here, the only exception being that I'd filled up my coffee cup there on the way to WL that morning, that was the extent of my exposure to the food offerings before the Hoop. One of the big complaints people have about the Fort is the lack of a CS offering. And I concur. We would have used it more than once, had there been one. I think that the feeling may be that since the majority of guests are camping and the cabins have kitchens that no one needs CS. Just b/c we "can" cook doesn't mean we want to! We're on vacation! So while the mercantile was stocked with better than average grocery selections (I think), I do think they are really really missing the boat without a CS offering that is actually on the dining plan.

    Crockett's tavern has plenty of room! A CS espresso bar....that's what they need, right on the porch. Giant muffins and old fashioned scones. Fruit. It would be so easy! lol. We never did sit in those porch rockers, yet another reason to go back.

    Upon arrival we saw the huge line and got in it, not really having a clue what we were doing. Thankfully a CM directed me inside to pick up our tickets and we got our table assignment.

    First we did the obligatory group shot. Which turned out surprisingly good (with the exception of Wall-E's VERY pink cheeks!).

    It was COLD! I had my parka. I took it off for the picture but I was so glad I had it for the bus ride before and after. Scrooge made fun of me, as it usually does, calling me Nanook of the North but it was cold! I was happy I'd packed my scarf, that's all I knew :)

    [​IMG]

    That done we had about 15 minutes to poke around outside.

    Pin kiosk!!!! Sadly there wasn't a FW pin that we all loved. But there was a very cool mickey wings pin. As in pilot wings. For scrooge. It still lives on the jacket in this picture, that he put it on that night.

    And then it was time to go in. I'd read reviews, I had a general idea of what to expect but found it hard to explain to the kids. I don't think they all cared much at this point. They were hungry and loved the sound of the menu.

    But....would the tween and teen think it was cool? Funny? or be mortified....that was the real question.

    Scrooge was just excited that the menu INCLUDED beer, wine or sangria.

    It's the little things sometimes :)
     
  13. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    It was a ton of fun. I am doomed now though, having seen the preview in 3D there is no way we will escape seeing the real thing in 3D...i.e. paying more for it. We are going to make it a group event though so that should be fun. The only part I didn't like was the ghost of Christmas past, I do not like the animation they chose for it at ALL. Just plain weird if you ask me.

    We did!
     
  14. cjackearl

    cjackearl DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the train tour pictures. What a perfect summer adventure.:thumbsup2 I agree, I could poke around with the old books and papers for a long time. I majored in English in college and love Dickens.:) I can see why the boys were so anxious to move along, though. Wow, you saw some amazing stuff! I bet it will be especially fun to see the movie in November, knowing some of what went into its production.

    That last day at the MK is sad, isn't it? How great that your gang enjoyed themselves despite the crowds. I think it behooves us uber planners to remember that our families expectations are not nearly as high as our own. You did a wonderful job listening to what your family really wanted to do and made time for them to do those things.:goodvibes

    Your group photo at HDDR is really nice. We ate there too, so I'm looking forward to hearing what you thought.
     
  15. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Awwww....thank you so much! I was quite a bit mollified by the teacups. It really really is the little things and those spinning cups made me very happy. I actually could have left the park then and been ok. Sad, but ok. I didn't need BTMRR again, much as I like it (I'd probably have taken the shower over it lol). I think I was more just....surprised, shocked even, that we'd done so little. But what we HAD done was perfect and fabulous and magical. And of course, I kept those thoughts to myself.

    Scrooge and I went into the trip very strongly stating that it wasn't about us and what WE wanted to ride or see, it was whatever the kids wanted to do. And I think we did a decent job of holding to that, even if it made me silently crazy at times:lmao:

    But....there are a COUPLE of things that are must do's next time and that's ok. That's why there is a NEXT TIME!

    hee hee:thumbsup2
     
  16. TarzansKat

    TarzansKat Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.

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    Was it that really ethereal looking one, very wispy in one of your pictures? Just curious. :goodvibes

    Hey, what a great update! I know how you feel. I think on every trip I leave one park with a...dang, I didn't do that feeling. I'm working on not doing that to myself, because as long as everyone's having fun (much like your kiddos were) it just doesn't really matter what you didn't do.

    It's like one of those huge life lesson type metaphors. If we always focused on what we didn't do, we'd never get anywhere.

    And that concludes my "yes, mom" lesson for this evening. :lmao:

    I can't wait to hear what everyone thought of the Hoop De Doo Revue. I haven't been in years, but I remember loving it as a kid.
     
  17. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Wow - Thanks for all the updates today! The train tour looked super cool. What a way to promote a movie. Nothing like going all out.

    I missed a couple pages of your TR. I think I got to page 10 last night and then hoped over today for the latest installments. I love Hopdeedoo. So much fun. Hope you guys liked it.
     
  18. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN DIS Veteran

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    Really enjoying your trip report so much and when I read your dining review I loved that also!

    Thank you for posting the train tour information. We have lived in Texas for about 2 years now and haven't been to San Antonio yet, so we will try to catch it there!

    Did I read somewhere that you are going back to WDW in September? We will be there from the 20-29th.
     
  19. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Just caught a few pages. Will be back tomorrow to read the rest, TOT:laughing:, what a story!!! And I read your lament on the family vacation conflicts, sounds frustrating, but I know what you mean, you just deal with it, but it is nice to just get it off your chest!

    CAN'T do TOT. Didn't, won't, no way!!! ONLY once. five years ago!
     
  20. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Yes mom :)

    No it wasn't the ethereal looking one, that's actually Marley and I liked him. It's the wierd dude with the flame on his head. I must be missing something in the symbolism.
     
  21. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    We did! update coming today, running behind...you know...soccer tournaments lol!

    thanks for reading my dining review :) I hope you enjoy the train as much as we did, it was really neat. I WISH I was going in Sept. Right now the plan is next August which is a LONG ways off!

    Hi! ToT was pretty humorous, I have to say. I'm impressed you are reading TR's when you just got back! Things happen for a reason, y'know? I needed to vent but DSD did get into the camp, which is a really really cool thing for her and financially we just can't justify anything, anyway so in a way, it lessens the pain of that :)

    Generally speaking I am a half full kind of gal, I just needed to vent.
     

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