"So Do You Live at Disney World?" My Eight Months as a WDWCP-1700+ Photos!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by bellebookworm9, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

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    All caught up again. So far it looks like fun times. Wish I was at Disney now. I liked the Epcot shirt.
     
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  3. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for sharing the background on the castle picture taken from the garbage can. The reflection and story are really neat!

    Bummer about the Pecos Bill taco salad.

    Too bad you weren't able to get any autographs that afternoon, but what a cool way to spend time after work! I'm sure you will be more successful in future trips.
     
  4. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    I haven't forgotten you, dear readers! First it was finals. (I'm proud to say I finished my first semester of my doctorate program with a 3.25 GPA!) Then it was a trip to Disney. (I'm writing that trip report and dining review simultaneously with this one.) So I'll try not to abandon you all for so long again!

    Because I had gone to bed so early Tuesday night, I woke up ridiculously early on Wednesday at 6:30am and couldn't fall back asleep. Super frustrating. So I decided to go to rope drop at Epcot-which doesn't actually exist anymore, it's just an opening thing at the turnstiles. I arrived at the turnstiles around 8:30 and was the fourth person in line at mine. The two people immediately ahead of me were a mom and five year old boy from Arizona, so I chatted with them for awhile. After the opening ceremony, I power walked toward the Land. There weren't many people ahead of me and by the time I got to the Land, I was literally the first person in line for Soarin'! It was great!
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    We were led through the queue by a CM and soon we were heading into Concourse 1. I asked if I could have B1 and they let me walk over there and started putting everyone else in the A section. I sat next to some men who were there for a Segway tour and they asked me if I'd done Soarin' before. I said yes, several times, it's my favorite ride and somehow that led to me telling them I worked at Disney and we chatted about that for awhile. They thought the program sounded really cool, but they couldn't believe I was there on my day off!

    The ride started and it was pretty great, but there were bugs on the projector showing up on the screen, which was a little gross. After it was over, I said goodbye to the guys, got a FP for later, and headed to the Character Spot. The wait said 5 minutes, and it was indeed very short. I met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto and got some signatures for friends.
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    Then it was on to Future World East, where I planned to do single rider on Test Track...but the line wasn't open because stand by was only 10 minutes! And it was really almost a walk on. I reassured some small children behind me in line and then in my car about the ride, and the ones in the car LOVED it and were begging their parents to do it again!
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    I went next door to Mission: Space and waited only through the preshow. I was engineer once again-I've only been one other thing.
    At that point it was about 10am and I had another hour before World Showcase would open. So I stopped at an Espresso, Coffee, and Pastries stand and got a cheese danish and a mango icee.
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    I ate and drank on a bench in World Showcase Plaza, just people watching, enjoying the view across the lagoon and the sunshine.
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    Around 10:45 I started to head for International Gateway. Pooh and Friends would be meeting around 11. While I waited I took a picture across the bridge of France.
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    Pooh and Tigger came out shortly after 11. I let two small kids go in front of me, and the little boy was absolutely adorable. He was probably around 2 and very precocious. He and his sister had a great time with Pooh! And just as the parents were saying it was time to go, he looked at Pooh and said, "I would like a picture with you." Oh my gosh, it was just so darn cute! Then it was my turn, and they were awesome with me too!
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    Tigger danced and bounced with me and it was fun!
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    Then I headed over to France to meet Belle.
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    While I was in line, I met another CM. She works weekends at the Auto Plaza (collecting tolls) where I will eventually be cross-trained. Her grand daughter was adorable-she was very young and just kept saying, "Belle is going to come out?" Then when Belle did come out she kept staring at her, but when it was her turn to meet Belle, she was a little afraid. Next it was my turn. Belle and I had a conversation about books and if she'd read any good ones lately. She told me that she had just gotten one that morning to read to Beast, an adventure story, because that's what he likes.
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    Marie the cat would be meeting at 11:30, so I asked Belle's handler where Marie normally meets-I've been trying to meet her since May 2010! She told me and I grabbed a seat in France and waited.
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    When she came out, a whole flock of children went straight for her. Pretty soon I was at the front of the line. I asked her if she'd gotten into any fights with her brothers lately and she nodded, then pointed at her "fingers" to indicate how many. I asked if she'd started them and she shook her head "no", but when I asked if she'd finished them, she nodded "yes".
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    My final character stop for the morning was Morocco to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. While I waited I took some pictures of my surroundings.
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    When they came out a few minutes later I was first in line. My friend Matt from school wanted their autographs, so I gave them a postcard to sign. They wanted to know if he was my prince, and absolutely did not believe me when I said he wasn't. Really though, why wouldn't I just have said so? It's not like I know these people! Eventually I gave up and just let them believe it, but it was kind of ridiculous.
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    I finished with them then got in to the Friendship queue to take me back to WS Plaza. It took only a few minutes and I was back to Future World, where I went straight to the Land to use my Soarin' FP. Once again I asked for B1 and I had to wait for the next "flight" to accommodate my request, but it was worth it.
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    Then I headed backstage to my locker to grab my bathing suit because I was going to Blizzard Beach! I walked out to the buses and saw that Coronado Springs and BB were at the same stop, so when a CS bus pulled up 10 minutes later, I asked the driver if he was also going to BB and he said yes, but he was stopping at Coronado first.

    So I got on and we drove off. We circled the whole perimeter of the resort and I thought it looked nice but not somewhere I'd really like to stay (foreshadowing...), and about half an hour later I arrived at Blizzard Beach, ready for some fun!
     
  5. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    I was just getting off the bus at Blizzard Beach. We got into the water parks for free until February 27th, but only Blizzard Beach was open through then. It was just before 2pm, so I went in and changed into my suit. I had brought a PB&J to eat, but after spending all morning in my bag, it was more like mush, so I needed food, and Lottawatta Lodge was the first place I came to. The line to order was long and the wait was also long; the staff seemed disorganized. I asked for a plain hot dog with apple slices and a fruit cup. One nice surprise was that my 20% dining discount did work here! I found a table under an umbrella on the patio and ate.
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    The food was just okay. It was pretty much what I expected it to be, no more or less. There were some women and their daughters at the next table who kept feeding the birds and squirrels which was a little annoying, so I finished eating as quickly as possible to get away from them.
    To my surprise, there were a lot of empty lounge chairs under the shelters near Meltaway Bay. It was a pretty warm day so I expected the park to be busier than it was. I didn't want to do any of the big slides, but I did head for Runoff Rapids. I really, really hate that they force single riders to go through the enclosed tube. Next I hopped in Cross Country Creek and floated back to the wave pool, where I spent some time.
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    I was ready to leave around 3, so I called the CP Transportation line to request a pick up. Then I made a stop at the Mini Donuts place! I ordered a half dozen cinnamon sugar ones with white chocolate dipping sauce. Yum!
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    Then it was out to the bus stop.
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    The bus came in about 20 minutes and we stopped at the BB Cast Services, Coronado Springs Cast Services, and the Wide World of Sports before heading home. And of course, this is one of the odd routes where Chatham is not the first stop, so I didn't make it home until 4:30.

    I suspect I took a nap when I got home, then I called Cast Reservations. I needed to see about a discount for when Mom came in two weeks! We had booked Pop Century using the general public discount that was out at the time, but the cast website made it seem like if I showed my ID up to 10 days before Mom checked in then they could change it to my 50% discount. Not true, so it's good that I called. And as it turned out, there was absolutely NO availability at any value or moderate resort using either the standard 50% or the holiday 60% discount...except at Coronado Springs. And using the 60%, a water view or preferred room at Coronado would be $12 less than the current room at Pop. So I conferred with Mom, and after looking at pictures on allears, we decided to cancel Pop and book Coronado.

    At first we were going to go with the water view, but then we picked Preferred instead. However, Mom decided that she kind of likes the Cabanas area better than the Casitas, which is where the preferred rooms are. Whatever, we'll deal with that later. It's only for 4 days, after all! So in conclusion, when Mom came to visit in 12 days, we stayed in a Preferred room at Coronado Springs (I had all 4 days off) and had ADRs at Rose and Crown, Sci-Fi, and Yak & Yeti, all new places for us!
     
  6. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

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    Great character meets.
    CSR is a really nice resort. Big though.
    Nicer pics at BB.
    Donuts looked good.
    Can’t wait to hear of CSR.
     
  7. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Thursday was a planned day for rope drop at Hollywood Studios, and Casey was coming with me. We caught a bus that got us there just before 8:30, and the crowd at the turnstiles wasn't too huge.
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    As expected, they opened the turnstiles at 8:45 and we headed in to the park, expecting to see the rope and experience the little opening show...except there was no rope. So we looked at each other and then power walked to Toy Story Mania, where, to our delight, we saw that the FPs were for 9:30, so we grabbed those before getting in line. There was only a 5 minute wait (really, a walk on) but this was also at 8:50.
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    I was yellow, Casey was green. When we got off, we checked the standby again, but there was no indication of time, so we got back in line, thinking it would be a short wait. It moved steadily, but was about 20 minutes.
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    I think the queue is just so awesome! I didn't even mind the wait, because I got to look at all the cool stuff. And we both improved our scores this time around. Once again, I'm yellow and Casey's green.
    It was around 9:30 now and our FPs were good, but we decided we'd use them later and move on for now. Voyage of the Little Mermaid was starting soon, so we got in line for that. Casey warned me that it was kind of a strange show and that the whole movie is crammed into 15 minutes. I thought these items in the holding room were cool.
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    And here are some photos from the show.
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    It was a bit of a bizarre show-especially the video montage that crammed about 80% of the movie into about 3 minutes or less. But I'm glad I finally got to try it! After that we headed down Sunset Boulevard to Tower of Terror to get a FP, then on to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Single rider line was closed and the stand by line was only 20 minutes, so we got in line. Over the first two weeks, I went through the stand by lines for Space Mountain, Soarin', Test Track, and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster for the first time!

    Upon boarding our limo, I was a little nervous. Casey told me I had to keep my eyes open for the launch because it's much better that way. We launched and I did keep my eyes open; the whole ride was less intense than I remembered, and I'll take that one over Space Mountain any day! We stopped at a bathroom and then went to use our ToT FPs. I love FP so much because we were able to walk right into the library, and then had a short wait for our elevator. I was freaking out a little bit before we started dropping, but once again, it's never as bad as I think it's going to be.

    Beauty and the Beast was going to start at 11:30 and it was about 11:15, but I needed a snack and Casey was hungry too. We stopped at Anaheim Produce and I got a pretzel and she got apple slices with caramel dip. Then we headed over to the Theater of the Stars just a few minutes before the show started. We were seated towards the top on the right facing the stage. I tried to take a few pictures but we weren't in the best location, so I stopped, but here are a couple.
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    Oh I just love that show! And Beauty and the Beast is Casey's favorite musical ever, so she loves it too. Now it was around noon and we had done almost everything we wanted to, so we walked back to Toy Story Mania. When we showed the CM our FPs (window from 9:30-10:30) he said, "You know you're really late". I have no idea if he was kidding or not, but Casey and I both said that we know they are valid all day, and he let us through. (This was before they started enforcing return windows.) There was literally no wait until we got to grouping, where we're pretty sure a new CP was being trained because he kind of forgot about us and was only taking people from the stand by line. But after a few minutes we were on our way. This time I was green and Casey was yellow.
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    My last request for the day was to go to Writer's Stop and get a carrot cake cookie. So that's where we went, and Casey got a gingerbread Mickey.
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    The cookie was so much bigger than I was expecting! And it was heavy! But oh so good. I only ate half, and I'm a little ashamed to admit I had the other half for breakfast the next day. Casey also enjoyed her gingerbread. There was a bus coming soon, so we headed out and saw that it was at the stop, in the charter lot. But of course there are fences and cross walks so we were running, hoping the driver wouldn't leave...and thankfully he didn't, but that was our exercise for the day!

    The cookie was so much bigger than I was expecting! And it was heavy! But oh so good. I only ate half, and I'm a little ashamed to admit I had the other half for breakfast today. Casey also enjoyed her gingerbread. There was a bus coming soon, so we headed out and saw that it was at the stop, in the charter lot. But of course there are fences and cross walks so we were running, hoping the driver wouldn't leave...and thankfully he didn't but that was our exercise for the day!

    Upon returning to the apartment, I took a nap and Casey went to WalMart. Then we decided to head out to Magic Kingdom and catch the 5pm bus. We didn't realize that their was an International College Program (ICP) graduation, but coming out of Chatham there were a ton of people dressed up and wearing graduation mouse ears. And of course they all got on our bus. Plus it was rush hour, which we didn't think about (it's Disney, who can be bothered with such mundane things?) and therefore the bus got stuck in the I-Drive/535/536 traffic (if you've ever experienced it, you know how bad it can be). Thankfully a lot of the ICPs got off at Vista, and then we continued on to MK-once we hit Disney property the traffic wasn't nearly as bad. We took the monorail from the TTC and entered the park, deciding to do a circle.

    One of our neighbors and another friend of Casey's both worked at the Tomorrowland Speedway, so we went over there to see if they were greeting, but they weren't. The line was 30 minutes, but that was longer than we wanted to wait, so we headed into Fantasyland. Pooh: 40 minutes. Snow White: 15 minutes. We got in line and it was more like 5 minutes. Continuing on, Peter Pan: 40 minutes. it's a small world: 5 minutes. Let's go! We basically walked on.

    Since I didn't get to eat at Columbia Harbour House a few nights earlier and Casey enjoys it as well, we decided to go there for dinner...only to find that it closed at 5. We had already passed Pinocchio's so it seemed like our next option was Pecos Bill's. Ugh. So in we went...to find that only two registers were open and there was a humungous crowd of people. It seriously took like 15 minutes to get up to the order podium. Then the CMs distributing the food were very confused. A lot of the sections were already roped off for the night, but we did manage to find an empty table...with ketchup smeared on it. Gross. The pulled pork sandwich was just okay, and the fries were gross-limp, but not cold.

    After that disaster, we walked over to Splash Mountain to find a 5 minute wait. While it wasn't chilly, it wasn't 80 degrees anymore either, but we got on anyway and ended up in the back row. There was a logjam (pun intended) several times throughout the ride, which quickly got annoying. As we descended the first small drop, we decided this was probably a bad idea and prayed we would stay dry. Casey did get a little wet on one of the small drops, but because ducked and covered on the big one, we did stay mostly dry! When we exited and saw the ride photo, you couldn't even see us because we had leaned forward so far!

    Casey wanted to walk by Pirates to see if anyone she knew was working and to find out why it had been down all day. Well, there was a safety issue that required half of the ride to be drained for it to be fixed-not cool. It was quickly nearing 7:45 and The Magic, The Memories, and You would be starting at any moment-Casey's favorite Disney show and something I'd never seen. We ran to Main Street and grabbed a spot just as it began. I really liked it and thought it was awesome. Between it and Wishes we got Mickey ice cream bars/sandwiches from a nearby cart and then reclaimed our spots. I put my earplugs in and we watched Wishes-first time this trip watching from inside the park and my first time ever watching it from the Hub area. It was so awesome! Wishes comes in second only to IllumiNations as my favorite fireworks show.

    Knowing that the crush of people would soon begin, I turned and began heading for Casey's Corner to go through the stores and out to Town Square. Casey didn't know the restaurant connected to the stores, but was pleased to find out it did when it helped us avoid the huge crowds. We decided to take the ferry boat back to the TTC, which seemed like a good idea until we saw all the mosquitoes everywhere. We braved them and soon we were back at the bus lot, waiting for our bus. They sent out a fifth bus that doesn't normally run to pick us up; they must have known the ICP graduation was that day, along with the fact that new CPs had just arrived.

    We arrived home shortly before 9:30 and headed to bed by 10:30.
     
  8. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Congrats on your excellent grades! Definitely something to be very proud of and a great excuse for taking a break from updating your report.

    Loved your morning at Epcot! First on Soarin- AWESOME!!!

    I see you didn't waste much time putting your new shirt into rotation!

    You met a lot of nice guests and a bunch of great characters that day! I'm so glad you got your autographs without much of a wait.

    Sounds like you had a nice time at Blizzard Beach. I prefer Typhoon Lagoon, but the family ride at BB is much much better!

    A very very great day at Hollywood Studios! You hit the headliners hard! And saw a couple of interesting shows. I have only seen B&tB and Little Mermaid once, because, well, I have boys! I have to escape and watch these shows solo while the boys are at Indiana Jones, then we meet back up.

    And another great night at the Magic Kingdom!
     
  9. cheekypoppins

    cheekypoppins DIS Veteran

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    Disney+Grey's my 2 faves ahhhhhh heaven!!!! BTW I love your epcot balloon shirt do you know if it's still available?
     
  10. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    And in contrast, I've only seen the Indy show once. :rotfl:


    I'm not positive if the shirt is still available. If it is, it's something only in the parks because I couldn't find it at disneystore.com.
     
  11. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Friday after work I went to have some fun! I got off at 4 and took the bus back to Cast Services to change into my normal clothes and exchange my costume. Then I took the bus in the other direction to the International Gateway. I was going to catch the boat to the Studios, but just my luck, it pulled away right as I got there. I knew that it had to stop at the Boardwalk, and if I walked to the Yacht Club dock it would get there at the same time I did. Sure enough, it worked and I took it the rest of the way.

    When I entered the Studios I had a really bad sinus headache since the weather was all over the place during the day, so I wanted to do something quiet. There isn't much quiet at the Studios, but I had wanted to do the Animation Academy drawing class for quite some time, so that's where I went. I had just missed the start of a class, so I waited 20 minutes for the next one. Our instructor didn't tell us who we were drawing, but encouraged us to guess as we went on. It turned out to be Chip, as in Chip and Dale.
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    Perfect? No. Recognizable? Yes, I think so. After that I had some time to kill so I went back to Writer's Stop and bought the newest Kingdom Keepers book and a strawberry muffin. With my 40% discount, total cost was about $12. Score! The CM working the register was a CP as well, so I chatted with him for a few minutes, then I took my book and snack to the outdoor tables at Backlot Express and just sat and read for awhile.
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    The muffin was delicious. Writer's Stop might be my new favorite snack place on property. As it got close to 6:30, I moved over to 50s Prime Time. All six of us had the night off and we had a reservation for 6:50pm. I checked in and eventually everyone arrived. It took us until about 7 to be seated, and we were put in the very back corner room. We had cousin Robb as our server and cousin Patty in our section as well; they were awesome, just the type of servers you want at this restaurant. In the room as well was an 11 year old celebrating a birthday (the whole room sang happy birthday to her and signed a card), a group of girls who had done the CP five years ago and were there for a reunion (at the time we were pretty sure that would be us in five years) and a family with a grandfather who wouldn't smile so Cousin Patty named him Grumpy. And of course, every time someone did something "wrong" the whole room would shake a finger or two at them and go "shame, shame, shame!"

    I ordered the PB&J shake and a water.
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    This was great! Definitely worth the hype. It was more peanut buttery, with a slight jelly after taste. For our entrees, Courtney and I got the meatloaf (she subbed corn for the green beans); Jessica, Marissa, and Christina got the pot roast (Marissa asked for no gravy and corn instead of the other veggies) and Casey chose the sampler, consisting of meatloaf, pot roast, and fried chicken. It took a while for our food to come out, but we enjoyed some shenanigans in the mean time.

    I had heard some commotion elsewhere in the room and heard Cousin Patty say, "Didn't I tell you to stir and then pour?" I had no idea what that was about...until I poured the shake that was in the metal cup into the glass cup and a large clump of solid shake fell out onto the table. Whoops. Thankfully Cousin Robb brought me some napkins and a damp cloth to clean it up. Jessica was feeling particularly sassy, so Robb had a lot of fun with her.
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    When our food arrived, I took a picture of my plate and Jessica's plate.
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    We all enjoyed our meals and it seemed that the pot roast was the winner of the evening. I finished my potatoes but thought the gravy was weird, and brought half of the meatloaf and green beans home in a container. Casey does not like vegetables and had subbed corn for the green beans, but nothing for the southern greens. Cousin Robb made her eat some of them and then Jess and Casey hid the rest in a napkin.

    For dessert, Courtney ordered the s'mores, Casey had the Boston Cream Parfait, Christina and Marissa chose hot fudge sundaes, I had a strawberry sundae, and Jess was happy to discover that they had a gluten free brownie. Here are the smores, my sundae, and the parfait.
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    We also had Cousin Robb take a picture of us and then took some pictures of each other.
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    We were surprised to see that our 20% discount was approved, since our reservation was during a time when it's not in effect (6:30-8pm). But since our meal finished so late, we think that is why it was okay. Because we have a discount, there's an automatic 18% gratuity added, which was fine, as Cousin Robb was fantastic and deserved every bit of it. We even took a picture with him on the way out.
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    Since the park had closed an hour and a half previously, there was NO ONE on Hollywood Boulevard except for a lone cast member who kindly took our picture in front of the hat.
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    We caught the tram right before it left, and only a few people were on it. They all got off at the first stop, leaving only us for stop #2...which was really close enough to walk. The spieler had a great time with us, but was really confused as to why we hadn't done any rides. Jess pantomimed eating dinner to him, but I guess he didn't get it.

    We all arrived home after a bit of a race (which Courtney and I won!) and just hung out for a bit. It was a super fun night and I'm glad we did it.
     
  12. Mommy2BnB

    Mommy2BnB Mouseketeer

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    Subbing! I've enjoyed reading about all of your fun at Disney! :)
     
  13. pascalstongue

    pascalstongue DIS Veteran

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    Another late comer here. Your experience sounds amazing so far. I wish I had done something like this when I was younger.
     
  14. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

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    Great update and pics.

    I love 50 PTC. That shake is the best.
     

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