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PTR; Joshua and Samantha's 1st Trip (Sep 17-26 '09) [Train Tour Pics!]

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by crocko, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    The secret is mostly intact.

    I was looking over my planning spreadsheet for the November trip with Bridgette and she noticed that on the notes for the last day it said something about needing to get back to OKW by a certain time (initials actually used).
    So..she asks me where are we staying at again?
    Uh...All-Star Music
    Oh...then, what's OKW?
    Huh...not sure, who knows what I was thinking...I'll change it to say get "ME for Magical Express"
    Okay.

    (ACH...I knew I had blown my cover at that point...and for the next day or two, I had planned on just going ahead and revealing the secret)
    I've steadied my hand so far, though.

    On Sunday, I believe...we were talking about the All-Stars and how I couldn't remember which one got first bus pickup...and she was talking about the location of the food court. So....she either doesn't know what the OKW was about and I'm good...she's curious, but is just trusting me...or she thinks I'm up to something and is just playing along.

    So...as for now, the Old Key West part of the trip is still a secret as far as I'm concerned. [Stupid notes!]
     
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  3. jenny105

    jenny105 DIS Veteran

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    I'm guessing she doesn't use the DIS? Any of us would have guess what those letters meant in a heartbeat. ;) Don't leave those notes laying around!!!
     
  4. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Day 9 (Kids Day)

    The 9th day of our trip (and final full day) will be a split-up day. Bridgette, Joshua, Samantha, and I will get up early so we can make it over to Hollywood Studios for an 8:05 reservation to Play 'N' Dine. Meanwhile, my sister, mom, and dad will head over to the Polynesian for an 8:20 reservation at Kona Cafe (good chance some Tonga Toast will get eaten).


    On our side of things, we'll hopefully have a scrumptious, fun, and laid-back breakfast with JoJo, Goliath, and a couple Einsteins to start our day. Once we've finished Playing and Dining, time to have some REAL park fun. I'm very excited about this day for 2 reasons:
    1) It's just the 4 of us. We will have survived 8 days of very close quarters with my parents and I have no doubts that my nerves will be strung tightly at times during the trip. I'm hoping that Disney :wizard: will help alleviate some of the normal tension that arises from spending excess time with the grandparents.
    2) This day is all about what the kids want to do. The night before and this morning, we'll query the kids on what their favorite parts of the trip have been and what they would MOST like to do again before having to head home on Saturday. What THEY want to do is what we will do! Bridgette and I will just help out by categorizing the list to make the day more strategically successful.

    So, since we'll already be at HS, anything the kids want to do there will get done first. Then, off to the rest of the Disney World to hit the other favorites. Will we hit all 4 parks on this day? I don't know...it could be possible. My predictive assumption is that of the other 3 parks, Animal Kingdom will be least likely to be visited...Epcot will have a pretty good shot...with Magic Kingdom being a 95% chance of visitation on this day.

    Other than that, not much else to plan on this day...so, I'll use this post to get in the future brains of my children to predict what will be at the top of their favorites lists:

    Dad's prediction for Joshua's Top 5 List
    Toy Story Mania
    Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
    Star Tours
    Tomorrowland Transit Authority
    Dumbo

    Dad's prediction for Samantha's Top 5 List
    Winnie the Pooh ride
    Dumbo
    Finding Nemo ride
    Star Tours
    Peter Pan ride

    Oh man...I can't wait to get there and find out how they will react to every ride. popcorn::

    Meanwhile, what will my sister and parents be up to? I'm not completely sure, but I have a general idea. As mentioned above, they will start the morning with a very nice breakfast at Kona Cafe. Other than that, the 2 biggest scenarios involve them
    a) doing some shopping at DownTown Disney and
    b) visiting Epcot for Day 1 of the Food & Wine Festival



    Potential punctures in the plan:
    -- Gigabytes. Assuming the kids aren't completely dead from exhaustion and that they've enjoyed at least some of the trip...not many hiccups to worry about on this day. Except for maybe Gigabytes. I have absolutely no idea how many pictures we will take, but I expect Bridgette and I to do a lot of snapping away during the previous 8 days. Will we have enough GB's left on our cards to continue taking pictures on this Super Fun Kids Day!? (Hint: we should)

    Most moveable mission:
    -- Hollywood Studios attractions. If for some reason, we get out of Play 'N' Dine slowly and the Studios has already gotten extremely busy, it would be very easy for us to go ahead and move on to another park. Why? Well, on our final day (leaving day), HS has early EMH, so we could hit it up that morning to get some favorites in the bag.

    Adventuresome ad hoc add-on:
    -- 4 parks? HS to Epcot to MK without a bus? Fun way that this day could go down...we start at HS and then get on a boat to enter Epcot via the International Gateway. Then, when done with Epcot, get on a Monorail, take the loop around the park and then head off toward the MK area. 4 parks? If we can get through our HS, Epcot, and MK goals by about 5pm, we could still try to scramble over to the Animal Kingdom which will be having late hours on this day (so open until 8pm). :wizard:
     
  5. jenny105

    jenny105 DIS Veteran

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    Day 8 sounds very ambitious of you! :thumbsup2 It's great you're having a 'kids choice' day.
     
  6. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Luckily, she doesn't use the DIS....thus, hoping that means a "lesser" known place like OKW didn't quickly register with her.

    Yep, excited about having a day with just the 4 of us and all about what the kids want to do. :banana:
     
  7. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Another Thursday is here :yay:

    Which means.



    ONLY 5 MORE WEEKS UNTIL DISNEY WORLD!!!



    Letter V
    Ride - Voyage of the Little Mermaid (show...close enough. Samantha should really enjoy this one, I'm thinking)
    Non-ride - Villains in Vogue (cool displays in here that the kids might think are neat...plus, a candy counter at the end of the store)
    Characters: Violet Incredible, Vanessa (Phineas & Ferb), Victor (Hunchback), Vinny (Atlantis), Vitani (Lion King 2)

    [​IMG]





    Woohoo....getting close. I'm so ready to be there!
     
  8. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Day 10 (Departure Day)

    The 10th and final day. :eek: Plane leaves at 6pm, which means get ready for Magical Express by 2:30-3:00pm, which means....PLENTY of time left to party in Walt Disney World! :woohoo:


    Not sure what we'll do this day, BUT...Hollywood Studios has early EMH, so starting the day off there is a definite possibility. Could try and get one more spin on the old Toy Story Mania. OR...maybe we'll hit Magic Kingdom for a couple hours to get in a few more great rides.
    Will there be a last-minute excursion to Downtown Disney to make any last-second purchases that have been nagging at us all week?

    This is one day where I pretty much have no idea what will happen, except that I hope we can EEAAKK!! out as much more Disney magic as we can. :3dglasses

    As the clock gets close to 2:30pm, though, we'll have to make sure and get back to Kidani Village to await the Magical Express bus. The bus back to MCO just isn't as fun as the one we'll have been on 9 days earlier.

    So, then....back to the Orlando airport. I'm thinking maybe grab a snack before getting on the plane, which should depart at about 6pm. We'll have a 1 hour 42 minute layover in Houston, so should be time to grab some dinner while we wait. Then, back on our last plane at just after 9pm and hopefully arrive back in Oklahoma City at about 10:30. From there...back to our wonderful home and beds.

    As for my family, they leave Orlando around the same time on a direct flight to Dallas. My parents and sister will pick up their pets on Sunday, I believe and then head back Monday morning (if my memory serves me right).

    Ah...the last day, but wow...should be a great trip!




    Potential punctures in the plan:
    -- The clock. We'll still be trying to get more fun accomplished this day, but the ever-ticking clock could make us halt to our tracks sooner than expected (especially since my parents will be staring at their watches to make sure we get back to the hotel with acres of safety time) :mad:

    Most moveable mission:
    -- The flight. Let's just move it back another week. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: I wish. I would say that a last trip to do some shopping is most moveable. If it comes down to it, I'd rather the kids get more play time while they can, since Bridgette and I will be back only 7 weeks later.

    Adventuresome ad hoc add-on:
    -- Another character breakfast? It would be fun to possibly sneak in one more character breakfast this day. The problem will be finding any availability. But, if the family likes the idea and something should slip open....just maybe! :wizard:
     
  9. hhockman

    hhockman DIS Veteran

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    Day 9 is amazing. I love that you're going to let the kids just do whatever they want. A kids dream: to do whatever they like at Disney World.

    I'm glad you'll be able to get in a little more "play time" before you have to leave. We're doing the same thing on our last day and the more I think about it, the more I wonder what time we will actually leave (we're driving). It's almost better to know you HAVE to go back at a certain time. Even if it is sad.

    Only 5 more weeks! Then you can just worry about Day 1 and not think about Day 10 till it gets here. :thumbsup2
     
  10. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Definitely! Beforehand, I'm trying to wrap my head around a big 10-day schedule and perfectly plot things out.

    Once we get there, though, it's all about being in the moment.

    (Well...in theory...I'm an accountant, so my analytical mind will always be processing, i.e...well, that line's long, but we'll be back here at such-and-such time and I'll mentally pencil this ride in for x day, x time.) :laughing: :laughing:





    -----------------------------------------

    Our new worry is a kid camera.

    Kid camera? "Didn't you guys just get a camera for the kids?"

    Well....yes. BUT...it was a horrible piece of junk.
    1) Don't buy Polaroid digital cameras
    2) Don't buy "packaged" digital cameras. Buy a nice enough camera that you can atleast "try out" at the store first.

    I expect pictures taken by Joshua to be blurry sometimes and crooked sometimes...that's fine. But when Bridgette or I mess with it, we should be able to get some quality pics. Not a single picture taken by this camera was quality. THANKFULLY!!! Target was very good about letting us return it (Whew!)

    So, we're keeping our eyes open for good deals/ads on digital cameras. The horrible Polaroid camera cost $80. We saw a 10MP Canon (I believe?) that was $99...Bridgette took a few test pictures and they looked good. So....hopefully we can get something decent for $100 or less maybe. [If you see any good deals going on, let me know!!]

    Also, put the 8GB card in my camera last night. At "High" quality pictures it should hold about 3,100 pictures. Nice! :thumbsup2
     
  11. stacikristine

    stacikristine DIS Veteran

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    Days 9 and 10 sound SO great! I love that day 9 is dedicated fully to your kiddos. And that it's going to be just the 4 of you. I'm sure you'll just LOVE this day! :thumbsup2 And even though Day 10 will be sad, I'm sure you'll have tons of fun during the last little bit!

    I read about your OKW note! :eek: It's a good thing she didn't put two and two together--or she's playing along. Hopefully it's the former.

    And sorry the kids camera was junk. I have a little Cannon and I love it! But it was about $250. Have you checked Sam's? I've heard they have good deals on cameras...
     
  12. Lynn5700

    Lynn5700 <font color=darkorchid>WOO HOO I will be there<br>

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    Oh boo, I don't like the dreaded last day. Glad you will still have time to have fun in the world though. We always book a late flight on our last day, lol.

    You're almost a month away! That's awesome.
     
  13. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    Sorry the camera you got for the kids didn't work out. We got DS8 a Kodak Easy Share from Sam's for Christmas and it's a great camera for him, takes decent pictures, we've had no complaints. There are several different models, and they start around $85, I bet there is one that would work for you.
     
  14. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Checked at Sam's....least expensive at the moment is $120. That's okay....we'll "try" to be patient and watch the ads.

    Yes....when flying, we've been trying to book late return flights....might as well squeeze all the :wizard: out of a trip that you can.

    It's okay...very happy that Target let us return it.
    I'll keep that camera in mind as we look around. :thumbsup2
     
  15. jenny105

    jenny105 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry the camera didn't work out. My first camera was a Kodak Easyshare and that was around $100 a few years ago so I think it'd be even more reasonably priced now. Keep an eye out for those!
     
  16. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    I want to say 3 things before the weekend comes.

    1) Hope that everyone has a great weekend! For those following along that have trips coming soon. We're getting closer!!


    2) I'm headed home soon and we're going to be heading down to Plano, TX to stay with my sister for the weekend. We'll hit IKEA tomorrow, go to a Disney store, hit the Central Market. Should be fun!
    Plus, our Magical Express package came in this week, so we'll pick up our items while we're at her house.


    3) I have another Disney trip secret to share with you.
    On my Day 10 Gameplan, I mentioned that I might try and get a breakfast ADR scheduled. Well, yesterday, there was NOTHING available. I looked again today and managed to find a 10:55 breakfast reservation at the Lilo & Stitch Breakfast at 'Ohana. Score!! This one is not on our schedule yet, but we had previously considered it. So, without asking anyone, I just went ahead and made the reservation.
    For now, my plan is to keep this a secret....and just bring it up as the trip progresses and see if everyone wants to go or not. If not, no biggie...I'll just cancel it.
    But, it would be a perfect "brunch" time to eat and let us see Lilo & Stitch during that final day.



    Yay! :3dglasses
     
  17. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    :thumbsup2

    You're the 2nd person to suggest that camera. Guess I'll definitely have to keep my eye out for one.
     
  18. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Trip was fun!
    Took about 60 pictures....will try to get a mini-TR reported this afternoon if I can.

    by the way.

    1 MONTH UNTIL DISNEY WORLD!!

    :cool1: :banana: :wizard: :cool1:


    Yeehaa.....I'm so excited!
     
  19. my2disneyboys

    my2disneyboys DIS Veteran

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    Hi!
    I was reading through your plans for each day and on your Epcot days I didn't notice Kim Possible! Did I miss it or are you not planning for that? We had such a fun time with it. The kids LOVED it!!

    Everything else looks great! I am sure you will have a wonderful time:-):thumbsup2
     
  20. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Not necessarily planning for Kim Possible, but that doesn't mean we won't give it a try. Sounds pretty fun, though.

    You think it'll be good for a 5 and 3-year old?
     
  21. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Plano, TX August 2009 Trip Report

    So as I had mentioned on Friday, this weekend we drove down to Plano, TX where my sister lives and spent the weekend with her.


    On the drive down, the kids did very well, especially for a 3-hour drive. We started at Sonic (half-price slushies) to get them started. We had more snacks for them later down the road and we brought our travel DVD players as well.


    [​IMG]

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    We made it to Mary's house in good time and then went to eat at Mr. Gatti's Pizza in McKinney (about 10 miles north/northeast of Plano). Before leaving, the kids got some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse temporary tattoos from a machine (more on those later)
    On the way back, we stopped at the Allen Outlet Center to hit two stores. First, the Children's Place where we loaded up on some cute clothes for the kids for the fall. And then, Bridgette popped into Carter's to get a gift for a friend.
    Then, back to Mary's to relax for the rest of the night.


    Saturday morning -- got up, got dressed, got some doughnuts at a place called Shipley's Donuts. They were pretty good.
    Then, time to head over to IKEA (a must-do anytime we come down to see Mary).


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    Here's a cute story that I believe relates to the children's play area that IKEA has....

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    That said, the insect problem at IKEA has definitely gotten way out of hand.


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    Now that we're in the store, time to head up to the cafeteria (since we were there about 30 minutes early). While waiting, Samantha decided to check out Aunt Mary's Winnie the Pooh earrings.


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    Once we started shopping, we of course, found lots of great things that we mostly couldn't afford or didn't have room for.

    We did see this, though, and Bridgette made me take a picture so we could potentially duplicate at some point


    [​IMG]


    The kids found some chairs they really liked and very quickly noticed a play area when we came upon one


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    In the above photos, you can see Joshua showing off his temporary tattoo. In her chair picture, you may notice Samantha's on her leg (she liked to call it her "tic-tac-toe")

    Well, we finally managed to make it out of that wonderful store....and here was our haul

    [​IMG]



    Then, over to the Stonebriar Mall for a food court lunch and a stop at (of course) The Disney Store.....where we were happy to see R.J., the store manager there. Bridgette used to work with him when they were both at the Disney Store in Oklahoma City (some 6-8 years ago). After the mall, the kids wanted to get back to Mary's house, but we stopped at one more place....The Container Store. Some good stuff in there, but some of it is WAY over-priced.

    [​IMG]

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    We then took a couple hours just to relax at Mary's. Joshua got his birthday presents from Mary on this day (since she wasn't able to come up for his party). The first gift was Jenga...I didn't think Joshua would be old enough to handle this tricky game, but he surprised me....he was much better than I expected. Meanwhile, Bridgette read her current Nicholas Sparks book and Samantha spent a little time on brother's Leapster.


    [​IMG]

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    Around dinnertime, we headed back out and drove-thru Wendy's to get the kids some nuggets. Then, off to Central Market (no pictures here unfortunately....my camera battery died during the afternoon......oops!) We LOVE this place. Because of Oklahoma laws, we don't get a supercool grocery store like this....so, we have to wait until Plano trips to get to visit. Mary, Bridgette, and I ate dinner here and then let the kids spend a few minutes having fun on the playground.
    Then, off to shop for some fresh and organic foods.

    Once done, we headed back to Mary's again....and the kids (after a very long and busy day) went to sleep VERY easily.

    [​IMG]


    Then...Sunday morning. Sunday was the 90-day mark for our November trip, so I had plans of getting up extra early to get ADR's set. I was hoping to do 5am online reservations, but apparently my sister's internet has not been working for a week. So, instead....6am phone reservations. I slept fitfully during the night (I'm typically a very sound sleeper) because I was constantly fearful that I had slept in past the 6am time. LOLOLOLOL
    But, woke up on time, called in and after waiting on hold for about 10 seconds, got a CM. We quickly got my ADR's booked (details to come later) and then I just read for awhile.
    Went off to church a little later....afterward, got packed up and left Mary's....knowing that the next time we see here, we'll be in Florida!!!!

    On the way out to get in the van, I look and see Samantha....across the little side street, peacefully sitting on the curb. (So pretty!)

    [​IMG]


    Joshua ran over and I snapped one of both of them


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    Before leaving Texas, we went back to IKEA one more time :-)
    The kids had a great time entertaining each other. I managed to snap a picture of them while playing that they were "glued together"

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    After that....back to Oklahoma. It was a fun weekend.
    The kids were good on the way back, but sadly for them, the DVD players didn't work. Oh well....they are good at entertaining each other.
     

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