Lace up your sneakers for Christmas week til New Years if you think you can keep up!!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Purpleblanket, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Well I've decided that perhaps I will give this Trip Report a go!!:goodvibes
    So bear with me as I figure this all out!
    I'm trying to adjust font size and color and to add photos but it will be a learning process as I go!

    First off, let me introduce the gang. I am Debbie, DH is René. We have 4 adult children ranging in age from 18 to 24. We have 3 boys and 1 daughter.
    Eldest son just got married in September /10.
    On this trip, DD 23 (Chloé) and DS 18 (Jamie) will be joining us. :thumbsup2
    Edest son (Jesse) plans to do his own thing for his honeymoon and middle son (Ben) would rather do his own travelling. He climbed the real Mt. Kilimonjaro this past summer in Africa and when we invited him to do Kilimonjaro with us in Disney world just after Christmas, he gratefully declined!! hmph.... the nerve of him! :confused3
    Well, that leaves the 4 of us!

    We leave for our adventure on December 26th at 3 pm. DS Ben drives us to the airport.

    I'm going to try to insert a photo of the gang here. So cross your fingers for me![​IMG]
     
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  3. loganpaulsmom

    loganpaulsmom DIS Veteran

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    Ur family is beautiful.. can't wait to read about your trip!
     
  4. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Woo Hoo!! The photo Worked!!! :thumbsup2

    OK !! Well that will make things for fun!!!
    Now I'll have to go put more photos on Photo Bucket so we can get this TR going!!! :woohoo:

    In the meantime, just picture us leaving the cold to get to Orlando where it's um .... Cold???!!!
    At least there won't be snow!!!
    So we settle in on our flight to Toronto where we will be switching planes!

    Oh... but just a little history first.
    We started to plan this trip in October 2009 so it's been a long wait and let me tell you... I have been preparing and doing my homework for a long time.
    I spent all my holidays sitting on the beach last summer with Disney books in hand and I've read everything and anything about Disney I could get my hands on. DH and I went on a cruise after this trip on Jan 1st and through the cruise site I met some other Disney Fanatics who gave me lots of advice about this trip and guided me to this site as well as some other sites. :yay:

    So... just wanted everyone to know how much time and work and prep I've put into this trip. I also used the ridemax site and prepared some really good itineraries for our trip since I knew we'd be there at the most busy time of the year and I did not plan to spend time waiting in lines!!!
    My TA has been teasing me that I should be the TA!!!

    Anyway, moving on!!

    We are on our way to Toronto via Westjet enjoying the flight and dreaming of Disney!!
    We get to Toronto and YIKES!! We barely have enough time to make the connecting flight and this is where trouble begins!!!
    So stay tuned because I need more than a few minutes to write about this next part!!! :scared1:

    Debbie
     
  5. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!!! I can't believe someone actually wants to read about our TR!
    but thanks for stopping by!!!

    Debbie
     
  6. Belle1107

    Belle1107 Earning My Ears

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    Excited to hear about your vacation! :)
     
  7. francis6306

    francis6306 DIS Veteran

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    We were there earlier in the month! Weren't the decorations beautiful??!?! I just started my TR, I've been writing it offline, but finally feel like I can start posting it on here!! :rotfl: Can't wait to hear more about your trip!
     
  8. NMW

    NMW DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing
     
  9. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Yes... we loved the decorations. The parks were just beautiful!

    Here is the family again as we prepare to leave for WDW!
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    Having a drink at airport before leaving
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    This is sad son Ben who is not coming but drove us to airport
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    This is us getting settled for our first leg of the flight. Notice how relaxed and happy we all look! ;)
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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Well I see I'm already having troubles with this photobucket thing. It would only post the one photo so I'm not sure what I did wrong.
    I think if you click on the link you'll see the photos though!!

    Anyway..... enough of that. Let's get this story going so we can get past the bad part and move on to Disney!!!
    Do I sound like I'm procastinating?:confused3 Actually, I'm not sure I'm ready to relive this yet!! :sad2: But anyhow..... here goes!

    I left off when we were on our way to Toronto. It was an uneventful flight an everyone was relaxed.
    We get to Toronto and we don't have lot of time between flights and it didn't help that our flight arrived a bit late as well. So we follow the crowd to the luggage carousel and while we wait for our luggage we are frantically trying to find the customs form and get that filled out. All of our luggage comes off the rack and you saw how much we had!! There are no luggage carts around so we have to just make do. At this time, DD is starting to complain that she's not feeling well and we are worried that maybe she is feeling dehydrated and hungry since we left home at 3:30 pm and it is now 7:40 pm
    and she never ate anything since we left home at about noon that day.

    However.... we manage to get our luggage over to the customs area. The customs officer that we had was just plain rude. I had missed a couple things on my form and he circled them in big red ink and yelled at me that I missed things. He treated me like this was a high school quiz that I was failing and it's not a form that we are familiar with. Anyway, once that was out of the way we gave him our passports. Well, just before this I realized I hadn't got DS to sign his passport (This is the first time using it) and he quickly signed it.
    The Customs officer then shows DS's Passport to DD and asks her if she thinks the signatures match. Well what's she going to say? She says "yeah, I guess so!" and then the CO shows me and asks me if they match and I just said "Jamie, what did you do? You can't just scrawl your name like that"
    What was I going to say? They didn't match... so I acted like mad mom.
    But this CO was sounding like he wasn't going to let us through. He lectured DS about how does he know who he says he is etc... etc... (which was probably not a bad thing for son to hear)
    So then I told DS to show him his drivers license and I proceeded to explain that he's a stupid 18 yr old kid that doesn't ever sign his name on anything as he doesn't have credit cards and everything at school is done on computer and he doesn't really have a signature.
    CO finally relented and told DS to get a signature and stick with it.
    So there.... we finally get through customs and and the plane is already boarding so at this time we are quickly getting to the conveyer belt to put the luggage down. I purposely put my carryon further away beside DD's carry on and I was struggling with a strap on my big carry on. As I was done, I turned around and said "Where's my carry -on" and quickly turned my head to see it go through the flaps on the converyer belt!! :scared1::scared1:
    I yelled "stop" - my carry on's going through. I would have thought they had a button to press because I could have reached through and grabbed it!

    OMG!!!! My husband accidently put my carry on on the checked luggage.
    I panicked!!! EVERYTHING!!!!! AND I MEAN EVERYTHING of importance of our trip is in that bag. The hotel documents, the travel documents, the cruise documents and luggage tags, all my RIDEMAX PLANS that I had made in triplicate. the Magic Express Bus Tickets, and most importantly, the theme park tickets.
    The luggage guy said radioed down to see if they could retrieve the luggage but that was useless.
    At this time... the family continued on to get on the flight as it was now about 7;55 pm and the flight leaves at 8:15 pm.
    And I go out and around into the main terminal again back to the luggage carosel to see if the guy sent it back up.
    BTW.... never just trust these luggage guys.. they haven't got a clue what's going on.
    So as I'm standing at the carosel waiting and it appears that the guy is radioing back and forth with someone about my luggage it's going on ten after 8 and I ask him if my plane will wait when it's supposed to leave in 5 minutes.
    So at this point, I just decide to go over to the West Jet counter.
    Thank goodness I did that.
    When I get there, this one west jet guy immediately asks if i'm Debbie and that the plane is waiting for me. He radios the plane to tell them he has me and is sending me down. He quickly explained the situation that luggage that is not tagged as checked in will go to dead luggage office and it will take him 3 hours to find my luggage and will do everything in his power to find it and get it on the next flight to orlando in the morning.
    All I can do is trust him. And he also said I could have the family taken off the flight or get on which would be cheaper for us and probably wiser so I agreed.
    He then helped me fill the customs form again for me and escorted me through. When I got to customs again.. I had a lady who nastily said" Where's your luggage mam?" and i was flabbergasted and asked the west jet attendant if he could help me explain and she replied "No, Mam... how about you tell me where your luggage is?" so I quickly went through the whole story and she looked at the WJ escort and asked if I was with him and he said Yes and she said "Just Go"
    Then through security and they made me take my shoes off this time and spent time examining my toothpaste in my liquids bag.
    I made sure the west jet guy knew my luggage was bright fuschia pink and he said that would be really helpful and that if you just unzip the front pouch then, all my info would be there. He assured me he would do his best.
    He then told me my gate was the last gate and they were waiting and i should RUN! I felt like I was on the amazing race.
    Finally, I get there, get on the plane apologize to the flight crew and slide into my seat by the window.
    I can see my family staring me down and I couldn't even look at any of them I was so mad.
    My husband then dares to ask me "where's the luggage" and I respond with
    "they don't know" and "I can't talk about this right now" and for him to not talk to me or I knew I'd lose it.
    He's about to tell me he didn't do it on purpose and the thing is.. I know that
    so it's best if they all just let me "decompress"
    As soon as we are in the air DD heads to the bathroom because she is still not feeling well. Once back in her seat.... this is not good :sad1:
    She's going for the barf bag. DH got the attention of the steward and they brought her more garbage bags. We were all in the same row with the kids having window and middle seat and me and DH with window and middle seat on the other side. So DH asks the guy on the isle seat with the kids if he'd like to trade seats. So there were the 3 of my family on the other side with DD throwing up for 2 and a half hours to Orlando and me "stewing" over on the other side staring out the window!!

    OH... this is going to be such a happy trip!!!

    I'll let you know how it all turns out next installment!
    Debbie
     
  11. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Oh... and one more thing. Before the flight lifted off I was able to send son at home Ben at quick text message saying Dad accidently put my carry on on the checked luggage and I need you to go on computer to my Disney file and send me anything and everything of importance especially the name of the hotel we were staying at that night (as we were just staying at an airport hotel and were planning to return to the airport on the hotel shuttle in the morning to catch the
    Disney ME Buss)
    Ben is not a stupid kid and immediately he understood that that meant I didn't have any of my documents and luckily DD brought her laptop.
    so now we just wait to get to Orlando!

    Be Back Soon

    Debbie
     
  12. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Well continuing on:

    After a LONG (or so it felt) flight to Orlando, we finally arrive.
    We are the last ones off the plane as DD has taken up residence in the airplane bathroom.
    During this time, I explain to the flight attendant what happened to my carry on luggage and she tells me that she is really confident West Jet will find it and we'll get it tomorrow.

    In the meantime, as soon I put my phone back on, Ben has already been texting..
    He found the info about the hotel and as soon as we got off the plane and got our luggage and I talked to the luggage department at West Jet in Orlando
    we phoned for the shuttle to come and get us.

    At least... the plan was to stay near the airport and go back to the airport in the morning for the MagicExpress Bus so now it meant we weren't going back as early as we wanted but at least the plan was to go back to airport so we weren't put out that badly. It's not like we were going to go all the way to disney and then have to go back to airport next day.

    It felt like we waited forever for the shuttle to come get us and during this time I was telling some lady working at one of the shuttle booths outside what had happened. At one point one of the kids made a comment to me asking if I have to tell everyone what happened and all I said was that I needed to vent to someone and I couldn't talk to you guys or I'll lose it.

    So... we get to the hotel and thankfully discover that there is free wi-fi and free printing. Ben at home had emailed all my documents and even sent me a bunch of ridemax plans (I had so many different itineraries on the computer back home) He also phoned the west jet office in Toronto to make sure someone was looking for the luggage.
    Jamie was going down to the front desk computer to retrieve all the printed material and by 2;30 am I had duplicate copies of everything except of course our theme park tickets.
    Ben phoned disney and they told him that the Magic Express tickets wouldn't be a problem and they would let us on the bus. They also told him that we could go to the conceirge desk and possibly they may be able to do something about the lost theme park tickets but no promises. and that I should have photocopies the back bar codes which I did, but they were still together in the carry on!!
    Finally, fell asleep after 2;30 am. DH was already sleeping. I think he knew he just needed to stay quiet. I knew he felt bad. He apologized to everyone and promised he would rebuy the theme park tickets if need be.

    I woke just after 6 am and was calling the number in Toronto that Ben had found for me and by about 10 am Ben texted to tell me that he was in contact with someone in Toronto and the person said they found the luggage and recalled someone putting pink luggage on the 9 am flight bound for Orlando and he even got a claim number and it would arrive by 12;30 pm.
    What relief! but it still wasn't in my hot little hands!

    So instead of going to the airport early to get the MEB, it meant we just relaxed til noon and DD really needed to sleep after being sick all the way there. (It was a 24 hour bug that cleaned you out and then made you weak and you needed to sleep) :sick:

    We arrived back at the airport at 12:15 pm. I let West Jet know I was there and me and DS parked ourselves in front of the luggage carousel. Meanwhile DS at home is texting wanting to know what was going on.:rolleyes1

    This was worse than any suspense movie. He also texted and warned me not to get worried if it didn't come out right away as it was probably put on last!
    Good Thinking!!! :eek:

    And then the luggage track stopped and we waited some more. Finally, it got moving again and I was getting a little nervous as I saw some pink luggage and it wasn't mine. And then there were less and less people!!!

    BUT FINALLY, SUCCESS!!!!!!!!! IT CAME THROUGH!!!! :worship:

    I quickly went over to the west jet luggage office and told them it came and at this point I started to cry. I was so relieved.

    So now with this nightmare out of the way... Ben texts from home and says you need a drink now and go have fun in Disney!!!

    So next up:::: Catching the magic express bus!!!

    Here's us at the airport waiting for the shuttle
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    I hope you're bearing with me as I figure out this photo thing!

    [​IMG]

    This is me texting with Ben back home:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    And can you believe that after all this.. DH asks if I'd like him to pull my luggage!!
    Sorry dear, but it's too soon to joke about this just yet!!
     
  15. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    I'm going to try this photo thing again and see what happens. I'm trying to post a picture of me waiting for the luggage![​IMG]
     
  16. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Now, if I could just figure out how to post more than one photo at a time!

    Ok! So with the nightmare out of the way... We can move on to Disney World!
    Next stop is the Magic Express Bus to take us to Pop Century :banana:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    By this time, DD is feeling much better and needed the extra time to sleep. Our first plan of the day was to get to Dis early and then go to The Coral Reef for ADR for 1:30 but since we didn't arrive at Pop Century til 1;30 we missed this ADR but the good news was that our room was ready and we just went for lunch at the hotel and took time to roam around and take photos before heading out to Epcot for the evening.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    On our way to PoP!
    [​IMG]

    Around the hotel:[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A friendly face in the window:
    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Notice in this next photo how I still haven't let the pink suitcase leave my side![​IMG]

    If you've just joined in at this point.... you may want to skip my intro!!! (nightmare) but I have to say.... it was very therapeutic for me to write about it here, so if you did read... thanks for taking the time!

    Coming up: more photos of our room and our first night in Epcot.:yay:
     
  18. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Around Pop Century[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So after we are settled we head over to Epcot for Day 1 in the park.
    We arrive before 6 pm and we have a 7 pm ADR at San Angel Inn
    First thing we do is get a fast pass for Soarin and then make our way over to world showcase for dinner.
    We check in and she says there will be a 15 minute wait and so we head over to the 3 caliberos ride and it's a walk on... so this will be our first ride at Disney.
    Nice start to the evening.

    San Angel Inn in Mexico:
    [​IMG]
    Looking around the Mexico Pavillion:
    [​IMG]

    We enjoyed a few appetizers and drinks and just took a slow start to the evening.
    After dinner, we walked over to Norway and immediately rode on "maelstrom"
    From there, we went over to "the land" and we rode "Soarin" This was just amazing and we even got the front row of section "B1" !
    After Soarin we walked on to Living with the Land Boatride.
    I was wondering where all the lines were as this is Dec. 27 and I've been warned it's going to be so crowded but, hey, I wasn't complaining.
    We then wondered around a few stores and decided to call it an early night as we had such a rough start to the day.
    We headed back to our hotel around 9:30 pm and hit the sack early as tomorrow was going to be a big day!
    EMH hours started at 7 am at the Magic Kingdom.
    So now with my Ridemax Plans in tow... we were setting our wake up call for
    5:30 am.

    Stay tuned for DAY 2 - The Magic Kingdom

    Debbie
     
  19. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    Oh Debbie I felt so bad when you lost your carry on. From one planner to another I know the countless hours of research that was in there. So glad it all worked out and I look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.
     
  20. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    ya... I couldn't believe it. All I could think of was all the time I spent making all these itineraries and now I don't even have them!!

    BUT.... In the end.... I had them... and I can tell you, it was worth it. They worked like a charm. We were always about 5 to 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

    and next up is Day 2 in the Magic Kingdom

    Debbie
     
  21. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    DAY 2 - DEC. 28 MAGIC KINGDOM

    There were EMH hours this day at Magic Kingdom so we set the alarm for Mickey to wake us at 5;30 am.

    DS and DD grumbled about this and I said they don't have to come if they don't want to but I'm following my plan and my plan does not include waiting in line for more than 20 minutes for anything!!!

    So off we go into the dark morning and arrived at MK. It was freezing out so it's a good thing we brought warm jackets and mittens from home. It was below freezing that morning.

    We watched the train come in and Mickey and the gang arrive and watched their morning show. This was worth waking up at 5:30 am for!!
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    As soon as rope dropped, I warned the gang.... we are on our way and we will come back later to take photos and "smell the roses"!!
    We did stop for a few photopass pictures on the way (however I don't have them yet) over to Tomorrowland.
    The first thing we did was get a fast pass for Space Mountain.

    Then we rode the Tomorrowland Speedway. This was pretty funny as the seats were all frosted and it was a pretty slow ride and we were the only ones on it. We had a good laugh and so it was a fun first ride.
    [​IMG]

    After that, we went over to the Mad Tea Party and again, we rode all by ourselves. DD is saying "what's the point? - this would be more fun with other people!!" But it was so much fun flying around the teacups and the CM running the ride told us we could ride again! So what the heck... sure, we'll stay on for another spin! Again, it was so cold and the tea cups were frosted!

    [​IMG]
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    After we got off the tea cups we met "Mary Poppins" !
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    By now, it's just about 7;30 am and we head over to Winnie the Pooh and as we just walk on this ride DD is again grumbling that we are missing all the stuff in line - I told her she can come back later and stand in line by herself and take it all in! (remember.. she's 23 yrs old!! ) lol
    And of course, as every ride ends in it's store... she wants to shop!!! I have to drag her away everytime telling her she can either shop now or stick with the plan with the rest of us and come back to shop later!!
    She drags her heels... but stays with us!

    We then walk on to the next series of rides:
    Snow White's scary adventure:
    Peter Pan's Flight:

    It's a small world:
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    Big Thunder Mountain:
    Pirates of the Caribbean:
    Jungle Cruise:
    [​IMG]


    We spot Alladin and Jasmine with no line up so we go for a few photos with them;
    [​IMG]
    ht
    [IMG]http://i771.photobucket.com/albums/xx355/tenthavenue1/IMG_0280.jpg


    Alladin's Magic Carpets (with the frost once again - it was so cold!)

    It was time for another fastpass so DS went to get FP's for splash mountain and he couldn't figure it out when more fastpasses came out! I've heard of this kind of Pixie Dust happening and we got fastpasses for the Carosel of Progress. This ride wasn't necessarily on our plan so that worked out great!

    Then we did the Tiki Room under new Management;

    and on to the Country Bear Jamboree:
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    and the Haunted Mansion:

    After that, it was time to use our FP's for space mountain

    and the carosel of progress.

    Can you believe we've done all of this with a bathroom break by 10:45 am?
    Time for coffee and a snack in adventureland and take a photo with Donald Duck! (DD got to smell some roses during this time)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We grabbed 4 more FP's for space mountain to use later in the day and then found a spot for the Dream along with Micky Show to start at 11:30 am
    After that we watched the Christmas Parade (again, this made DD happy to stand and just observe and take it all in) (i'll insert photos with next installment)
    After the parade at about noon, the park was crazy busy! DD announces that now is the fun time to be here in the crowd!! I thought she was crazy!!
    We told her if she'd like to stay she could, but we were going for a break!!

    She once again came with us and we took the monorail over to the GF to check out the hotel and the decorations and the Gingerbread house.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After that, it was back to Pop Century for some lunch and a shower and a nap. We had a big evening coming up back at MK and ADR's at CRT for dinner!!

    Next installment I'll post a few photos I missed putting up here.

    Debbie
     

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