Losing our jobs... but still went to Disney! A Halloween 2009 TR - FINAL Update 3/1

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Simba22, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    I've seen more and more people going to Mama Melrose's....I may have to make a return trip there.......

    Was the woman in the pink tights Winkers...;)
     
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  3. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    We've always had a good meal at Mama's but a lot of people still complain of mediocrity... I'm not in WDW to dine at 5 star restaurants so as long as the meal isn't horrible, I'm satisfied. And that martini was quite good :thumbsup2

    Poor Cherie! She's not even here to defend herself! :rotfl2: But it definitely wasn't her! This woman actually kind of looked like Mick Jagger :confused3

    PS: I hope you enjoyed the 7 Day Dance I left for you :woohoo:
     
  4. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to let you all know that my grandfather passed away Saturday night. He went in his sleep so at least he was at peace. He and my grandmother live in Port St. Lucie, FL. My dad went down today to get everything together. We don't have any other family in that area so are not sure at this point what's going to happen with my grandmother...she has advanced Alzheimer's...she was living at home with my grandfather who took care of her for the last several years from a wheelchair as he was a double amputee. She was able to spend last night in the hospital but they are probably going to have to release her today. Because of her state of mind, she tends to get violent and just downright out of control when she's in strange situations, so they know they can't drive her back to CT...but they aren't quite sure right now how to get her on a plane, either.

    Thanks to those of you lurking for sticking with me. I only have a couple more days to write about and things just keep coming up so I'll get them done ASAP.
     
  5. amosser

    amosser Earning My Ears

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    So sorry to hear about your grandfather :hug:
     
  6. ILMICKEY

    ILMICKEY DIS Veteran

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    I'm so sorry Ali :hug:. Take your time. We aren't going anywhere.
     
  7. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, guys! :hug:

    I'm actually working on my next installment now. I'm anxious to tell you all about the Backstage Safari!

    Hey Nik, you getting snow tonight? They're predicting 8-12 inches for us. It's supposed to start at 11pm tonight and end at 11am on Thursday! :scared1: I really wish I bought a shovel at Walfart the other day! :sad2:
     
  8. ILMICKEY

    ILMICKEY DIS Veteran

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    Yes, according to the news we got 9.5 inches. I have a snow day!! I feel like a little kid watching the news to see if it was cancelled.:yay:

    Good luck with yours!
     
  9. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Well it didn't actually start snowing until sometime after 7am this morning (8 hours late!) but they did close my job for the day so I got a snow day, too!

    I see you have a ticker!!! :woohoo:
     
  10. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    We got up at 6am so that we could get up and out to AK by 8am. We had to meet up with the Backstage Safari group by 8:15am and I wanted to make sure we (and by “we” I mean Lumar) had enough time.

    Our guide was Paula and she was super nice and super fun! The tour itself was also a LOT of fun! They give you name tags and a little headset so that we could all hear her as she was talking. Despite the fact that they sell this as a 3 hour “walking tour,” there is very little walking at all. We used a nice air-conditioned van to get around so really the most difficult maneuver is getting in and out of the van.

    We weren’t allowed to take pictures in any of the backstage areas, but we got to visit the elephant barn (although we just stood outside and didn’t go inside but there was a large male elephant outside with us the whole time. We weren’t close enough to touch him or anything but he put on quite a display for us. Paula told us all about the breeding program that they participate in, and then we headed over to the clinic and the kitchen where they prepare all of the animal’s meals. They were working on a baby African Crowned Crane when we visited the clinic and we were able to talk to a bunch of people who work on elephant communication programs. They even played some elephant audio for us, including a new elephant sound that they just discovered recently. They basically have high tech microphones built into a man-created piece of tree trunk, then sedate the animal and tie it around the neck like a collar. The microphone is then sitting right next to the elephant’s throat, so it picks up every sound the animal makes. You would not believe the range of noises they create!

    We visited the storage area where they keep all of the dry animal foods, such as pellet foods and hay, and then we headed to one of the staff buildings where we took a break and watched a short movie and had a snack. We also got to chit chat for a little while about ourselves, and before we left for our own private safari ride, they gave us souvenir mugs!

    The cool thing about having your own private safari, is that your group leader (Paula, in our case) does all of the talking and the driver is able to go a little slower than the standard safari since there is no story line going on.

    Here are some pictures from the safari:

    Paula
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    The rhinos were sleepy:
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    After our tour ended, we walked through the Pangani Forest although some of my pictures came out really blurry. This is the first time I really used my new camera and I’m a little disappointed that it’s not as user friendly as my old one. There are a million little options and if the setting isn’t right (according to what the camera thinks) it won’t even take the shot at all. I had it set to manual focus and it kept trying to autofocus…it was just annoying me. I really need to work with it more before we go back.

    Anyway, here’s an adult Okapi with a new(ish) baby:
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    Some bird that I was hoping would not poop on me as I walked under it –thankfully it didn’t:

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    Definitely not as good as the pic I took last year in this area, but you can still see a hippo out there:

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    We headed back to Discovery Island for lunch at Pizzafari. Here are some pics I took on the way:

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    This is the part that sucks – I realized when we were at Pizzafari that I had forgotten to take some of my meds for the last few days. I remembered stuffing them in one of my drawers earlier in the week and I quickly realized that was at least 3 days ago but most likely it was 4. I told Lumar we had to go back to the resort and we could come to AK right after. So we left and got back to Pop right after 1pm, where I promptly discovered that it had, in fact, been 4 days. So I took 4 pills. Which was DUMB. Probably one of the DUMBEST things I’ve ever admitted to doing. I got so sick to my stomach within 10 minutes that I could barely move, I felt so horrible. Thankfully, severe nausea is really the only bad side effect of taking too many of these.

    Lumar, of course, just had cheese pizza for lunch so I had to sit around and wait for him, which ironically was a good thing. If we had left immediately after I took those pills, I would have been very miserable at AK when we got back. I laid down to rest for a while and woke up at 4:30! I had wanted to go back to AK to take pictures during EMH that night, but at this point we were both hungry (I still felt sick but I knew I had to eat something to feel better) and there was no sense in going all the way back to AK for 2 hours, then coming all the way back to Pop just to get on another bus to get to DTD.

    So we showered and changed and got on a bus to DTD at 7:30. We had dinner reservations for T-Rex at 9pm and the food was so good! I was totally blown away because I was not expecting it to be so tasty!

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    Lumar had chicken fried steak, which was huge!

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    I had the T-Rexadillas (Chicken Quesadillas) which were also HUGE! There were 6 slices on the plate but each slice was about the size of my hand. I ate 2.5 slices (and had 2 strawberry-banana smoothies – don’t judge me! My tummy hurt!)

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    I tried to get pics of the inside but it’s dim lighting so without my tripod, they came out kinda blurry:

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    After dinner, I felt a TON better but we decided to head back to Pop. Tomorrow would be our last day and we had breakfast at Ohana at 9:30am. I was determined to NOT be late!
     
  11. eliz991

    eliz991 Mouseketeer

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    I think your pictures are great! I would love to do the backstage safari someday.

    I've made that mistake with meds before. For some reason it's hard to remember to take pills on vacation. Now I remember not to take more than 2 doses at a time. :) Glad dinner got you feeling better!
     
  12. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I love taking pictures at WDW!
    We got a discount on the Backstage Safari through the Disney Visa. That was the only way we could really afford it. I want to do another tour this year, but Lumar wants to go watch La Nouba (again) so we'll see. I'm trying to convince my brother to come with us so I have to keep the costs as low as possible!

    Taking 4 at once was sooo stupid! I KNEW I would get sick but I took them anyway! :headache: Glad I'm not the only one, at least! That makes me a feel a tab bit better! :hug:

    Thanks for reading!

    ETA: I see you're leaving in 3 days! Have a GREAT trip!! I'm very jealous!
     
  13. amosser

    amosser Earning My Ears

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    Great review of the backstage tour. We are thinking about that this year. We did T-Rex last year and it is a must do for our DS this go around. We loved the food it was just a little loud for us.
     
  14. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    The safari tour was definitely worth the money (although I did cheat and get a discount! LOL) and I'm considering doing the Wild By Design tour when we go back this year. I'll have to see what we can afford after the trip itself is booked.

    We loved T-Rex! I don't remember it being all that loud when we went, but I was heavily medicated at the time :rotfl2: We are going to try out the DxDP this year though (at least that's the plan) and T-Rex/Rainforest Cafe don't participate so we won't be going there.
     
  15. ILMICKEY

    ILMICKEY DIS Veteran

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    Great update Ali! I loved your safari. How cool. Your supper at t-rex looked really yummy. I didn't have a very good experience when I wen there. I would still go back though. FOR THAT COUNTRY FRIED STEAK!! Yummy.

    Silly girl. You could have ended up in the Hospital young lady!! (that was a mom moment) Glad you ended up alright!! How scary.

    Yes, that is a ticker. Not real sure of things as of today though. I found out I only have 8 more weeks of unemployment. Sooooo, I may have to quit going to school and atempt to find a job. Though there aren't any jobs around here that pay anything.
     
  16. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Good luck on the job hunt! It sucks out there from what I can see. We have an all-associate meeting on 2/24, where the president of the company is supposedly going to give us some details on when we can expect to get our 60-days notice. The told us last week that they aren't renewing any more commercial contracts after June, so as of 7/1/11 we won't have any more commercial business...but as of 7/1/10, our members will start decreasing therefore our staff will start decreasing. Our Medicaid plans are switching over to the new company effective May 1, 2010 and Medicare is switching over on 1/1/11. So it looks like I could have anywhere from a few months to maybe another year. If I could make it until November I will get months worth of severance pay so we'll see....here's hoping.
     
  17. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    That Safari looks awesome! Thanks for the insights on this tour!

    Yeah, 4 pills at once probably not the smartest thing to do....but lesson learned!

    T-Rex...hmmmmm.......
     
  18. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    welcome back! :yay:
     
  19. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    It was our last day in WDW and although we're never happy to be leaving, we had somewhat of a stressful trip and were almost glad that things were winding down.

    We got up and headed right to the bus stop at 8:45am. We had breakfast ressies at Ohana for 9:30 so we got in line for the MK bus.

    The line was crazy long. There were two wheelchairs waiting to be loaded and a ton of people in front of us. We would never make it if we had to wait in that line, so we hopped on the nearly empty Epcot bus instead.

    We arrived at Epcot, went through security, and got on the monorail to the TC. As soon as we got in line for the MK monorail, the monorail arrived! SWEET! The Poly was the first stop (even sweeter!) and we got there at 9:25am with NO LINE to wait in to check in! We were seated by 9:35am and our breakfast was quite yummy.

    This was our view of the castle from our seats (sorry it's kinda blurry):

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    And Lumar enjoys the juice:

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    We didn't stay to wait for the characters to come around so right after eating we were back on the monorail to MK!

    Our first stop was at Pirates. I took these pics on the way:

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    I think I took this one while we were waiting in line:

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    After Pirates, we headed through Frontierland to Liberty Square for a spin on HM.

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    Aww, someone put a flower on Master Gracey's headstone today:

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    At this point, I pretty much just stopped taking pictures until the Halloween Party, so here's some boring chatter about what else we did on our last day ;)

    We left HM and went to the Hall of Presidents 11:30 show. I didn't know they were changing the whole show when they added President Obama, but it's still fantastic and makes me want to cry.

    We went to Cosmic Rays for lunch and both had cheeseburgers. Everytime we eat here, I just get more and more disappointed. Honestly, I had a better cheeseburger on the ferry to Port Jefferson, NY once. Seriously. When ferry food outranks WDW food...there's a problem. We sat outside to eat which was nice...the heat wasn't too unbearable at this point.

    We went on the TTA and then BLSRS. I actually beat Lumar by like 4000 points! We headed to Frontierland and got FPs for Splash, rode the train all the around once then got on BTMRR for a spin before our return time to Splash.

    We hit up HM once more then left MK around 10 after 4 to head back to Pop to change. We showered and put on our costumes. I had brought a little sewing kit with me that had the most useless pair of scissors I've ever encountered. They were made of aluminum or something because they bent completely in half and the little thumb things just fell right off.

    For those of you wondering why I needed scissors....Lumar's costume was a body suit. We discovered a few days before we left that there was no way for him to use the bathroom while wearing it. So I tried to be creative and just cut a little hole in the seem for him. It didn't work. His costume was such a PITA - it took FOREVER to get it positioned the right way and then I had to safety pin the daylights out of it to hold it in place. I told him he'd have to hold it, unless he was taking the costume off for the night.

    I went as Wonder Woman and Lumar was the Green Lantern. In my infinite wisdom, I opted for the boots with the 5 inch platform heels.

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    By the time I got off the bus, my feet hurt. By the time I reached Toontown, I was near tears. Thank all that is holy that I brought flip flops.

    We beelined for the teacups because I really wanted to meet Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. The line was already 2 hours long and it was literally 10 after 7. So we waited in line to meet the White Rabbit:

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    And then we headed over to Minnie's house. The plan was to meet both her and Mickey.

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    Lumar took a picture of my boots for me:

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    As soon as we were done with Minnie, the hair went up into a ponytail (BTW, I left the sweet headband that came with the costume at home), and the boots went into the backpack. I was sweating, I was in severe amounts of pain, and I was getting hungry.

    We went and rode HM, and got in line to take pictures in front of the carriage. Of course, I blinked and my eyes were closed in the picture. :sad2:
    The ride itself was down. We went to Casey's and got some food and found a table to watch Hallowishes from. At this point, I changed completely into real clothes, as did Lumar.

    We stopped and got Lumar a Dole Whip on our way to ride Pirates, then went back to see if HM was up and running, which it was. We finally headed to the bus around 11pm.

    There were SO MANY PEOPLE at the party tonight it was INSANE. They were using 3 bus stops just for Pop Century. I took this picture while waiting in line. If you can see people, they are in line for a Pop bus.

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    We got home and I packed my hiney off then we went to bed (passed out) at 1am. Hooray for daylight savings which gave me an extra hour of sleep!


    So that's the end of my TR. I'm sorry I was lacking on pictures and funny stories this time around. Lumar's mom being ill really just took a toll on us and we didn't quite realize it until the end of the trip. I can say now that I officially hate Pop Century, though no fault of it's own. I stayed at Mods two years in a row and going back to a Value just didn't cut it for me. I missed the coffee maker (I did participate in a swap but it was just a pain), I missed the little tram that would pick me up and bring me around, I missed the quiet cafeteria and the non-crowded buses. It just didn't work for me.

    Oh and I did learn that if you make coffee in the room - it doesn't matter what brand of coffee you use if you use just regular tap water. Use bottled water to make your coffee - it makes all the difference in the world.

    I did book our 2010 trip today though! I got a PIN code for 25% of a Moderate package so we'll be at Coronado from 10/19 - 10/29. I'm hoping my brother can come with us but we'll see. Right now it's just me and Lumar but that's OK with us. We need a bounce-back trip. :thumbsup2
     
  20. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    New Trip!!!!!!:thumbsup2

    LOVE the costumes!
     
  21. eliz991

    eliz991 Mouseketeer

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    The costumes look great and congrats on getting a pin for a new trip!
     

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