Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by Sooze, Feb 6, 2010.
great start to the TR, gotta love sugar packets for breakfast.
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Aw, look how excited they are!
FANtastic! And, based on this view...
hey sooze! Great start to the TR!! Your kids are soo cute...all excited! LOL! Can't wait for the next installment and to hear about your first ride on Soarin' as a family!!
I know, right?! She asks for them all the time. We finally gave in at Disney, of course!
I KNOW!!! I love that feeling of the whole trip in front of you!
You are GOOD, V! Yep... just a few short steps from the elevators. So far, THE best BWV locations we've had!
Aw... thanks! And you are in Disney as I type this.... so you'll hopefully have a few updates to read when you return!
We could hardly get our stuff unpacked before running out the door to Epcot. We had been looking forward to this Epcot moment ever since Shae hit 40 inches!! We had been pumping up Soarin' and Test Track for MONTHS!!! We have the soundtrack to Soarin' and we play it in our car all the time. So... off to Epcot we went... well, ran, practically!
Heading up the ramp from International Gateway:
Don't let the face fool you. She was very comfy in her stroller and ready to fly above California!
Our official stroller-pusher.. glowing that Disney glow:
We were here during the Flower and Garden Festival. This was the 2nd year in a row that we've gone at this time. I'm telling ya, if you go to Epcot when it's NOT F&G time... it looks so BLAND!! They should just keep all the flowers and topiaries up ALL the time... they are SOOOO stunning! In the above picture, on the left is a 'tea garden'. They had huge tea cups filled with different tea plants. Very cool!
Here are the boys with our ghetto hand gesture:
This was our gesture for the trip, as we had EIGHT glorious days to fill with memories!!
Not too soon after we walked in, the TRON monorail was zooming overhead. I had planned on getting more, and better pictures of this...
it was GORGEOUS!!! I know people have their opinions about Disney advertising this movie on the monorails, but I think it looks perfect in Epcot. Plus, aren't they ALWAYS advertising on the monorails anyway? This just happens to be for a movie!
We made it over to the Land. Shae was a bit more obvious about her excitement here:
And a cute sibling Soarin' pic:
We had already prepared ourselves for major Spring Break crowds, so when we went to get FPs and saw the 40 minute wait time, we decided "What the heck?" and just waited Standby. It wasn't really that bad of a wait. (So nice to have older kids who understand waiting... even Shae was a real trooper!) We had time for some pictures:
We were able to play some interactive games. Unfortunately, we always seemed to be BETWEEN screens when the games would start, so we'd have to squeeze ourselves in for our appendages to be worth anything!
When Shae would get tired, Matt and I took turns holding the princess. I had many flashbacks to our trip with Shae as a toddler. This was when poor Daddy couldn't help me at all, because Shae wanted nothing to do with him when she was cranky. How nice to have her old enough to wrap BOTH of us around her little finger!
Since we had a little extra time to wait (since we ALWAYS ask for the top row, center section) we had time for a family picture:
Our ride was absolutely perfect!! I am amazed everyday at the differences in my kids. Obviously, with one being male, and the other female, there will be differences. But I really noticed true personality differences on this trip in relation to experiencing new things. Shaelyn did not bat an eyelash at this Soarin' experience. Even when we got onto the huge ride, strapped her in, and started lifting high into the air. She was glowing and smiling the ENTIRE time. She never gave me that 'look' of fear and uncertainty. This happened during the whole trip, on every new ride she went on. It was so refreshing. Poor Tyson.. he's just more apprehensive about life. Not that that is a BAD thing, at all! It's kept him out of trouble many many times!! But for this trip, Shae's willingness to try new things without hesitation was magical!!
By now, we were all very hungry and ready for some Electric Umbrella. Shae and I needed to grab a restroom break in the front of the park. So we sent the boys ahead to get food, and we'd meet up with them. I grabbed a shot of Spaceship Earth as we made our way around Future World:
When we reached the Electric Umbrella, it was CRAZY!!!! They had all of the doors blocked, except one... where they were making everyone line up to get inside, then they were letting them in a few at a time. Well, Matt and Ty had already gotten in and were at the counter ordering. So I went to a back door, where some poor custodial CM was stationed. She was NOT letting me in, and barely spoke English. I was trying to tell her my husband was already in and ordering. I even pointed him out at the counter. She kept pointing to the line. Thankfully, some manager-type CMs came walking out. I looked at them in desperation, and they let me walk right in. I felt bad for the first CM, because she was obviously doing what she was told to do!! But don't put someone in that situation when they can't speak English.. sheesh.
We grabbed an outside table and soaked up the Epcot air:
Can you guess what's coming up after lunch?!
We were able to catch several 'fountain' shows while we waited and ate:
Soon, the boys were here with the food.... lots and lots of FOOD!!
As we were eating, Shaelyn spotted the souvie cart adjacent to our eating area. As if a light shone down from the heavens, with angelic choruses singing.... she spotted the princess mouse ears instantly... and started begging for them.
In my head "man, those are cute.. I should get them for her... we've never bought the kids Mickey ears..."
and then "wait a minute.. she will put those on, wear them for 10 seconds, then decide they are uncomfortable... NO!!"
and finally "ok.. she is four years old.. surely I can explain to her that if I buy them, she WILL wear them..."
So what did I do?!
And I'm happy to say, she wore those things ALL THE TIME!! She never complained about them. It was probably one of the best souvies we've ever bought! YAY!
As you can tell, the naps were a-callin'. Not just the kids, but Matt and me as well. We took a much slower, more atmosphere-inhaling walk back to our home.
And within minutes:
Where were our Band Geek friends, you were asking? They had a camper, remember? So their check-in and unloading process was a bit more elaborate than ours!! They took today as a load-in, nap, and hang out a Ft. Wilderness day! We'll meet up with them tomorrow, don't worry!
Up next... pool time and more Epcot!
It was great that Shae could ride Soarin' and was so brave about it. The princess ears look perfect on her. You are off to a good start.
Weird, isn't it? It felt perfectly fine until my first F&G Fest.
Oh my! Is she READY, or what?!
I can totally relate - Leo's very much that way, too. Let's hope it serves them well in their teen years, though!
I'm sorry - what did you say? I was distracted by that shiny, black device in the foreground. I'm like a bloody crow... "Ooo, shiny iPhone!!!"
It was SO great! It will be fun when she reaches the next height cut off and we can ride even MORE together!
We are so spoiled!
Thanks! She is a cutie! And she was certainly ready!!
That's what I'm hoping for! He has been such an easy kid, so far. I'm thinking Shae might not be so easy....
I love that you can make me laugh out loud from across the country!!
Absolutely!! Pool:30!! The tag fairy should add that to your tag, since you invented it! Pretty soon, everyone will be using it in their Trip Reports, and you'll lose ownership of it!
We woke up deliciously refreshed and decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. We got on our swim suits and headed to the pool. The air was actually a bit chilly... but I was a trooper for the kiddos and got in the pool!
Tyson spent most of the time going up and down that scary clown-faced slide. Shae and I just relaxed. Honestly, I have no recollection of what Matt did.. I think he slept a lot longer than the rest of us and made his way down to the pool just as we were wrapping things up.... figures
We took a few pictures on our way over to the little playground. Shae by the baby elephant:
Tyson by the baby elephant's rear end... yes... he is a nine-year-old boy, and that was just hilarious to him:
The next chunk of time is one I'll remember for a long time. I found a lounge chair in the playground area. The sun was warm. And my kids.... they were having the time of their lives together. There was no whining. No..."Mooooooooommmmmmmm... Tyson called me grounded!!" No sibling bickering. Just FUN! I LOVED IT!!
And my favorite two pictures:
More playground fun:
Looking back at those Electric Umbrella food pictures, it's hard to even imagine we could be hungry again! But the nap was long, and the pool time exhausting... so we headed out in search of food. We decided to get a pizza on the Boardwalk. PERFECT! Matt and I hung out at the table, while the kids explored the area around us. The pizza was actually very tasty, too!
Tyson took this of Matt and me:
And here is a farther away version, so you can see the fabulous Boardwalk behind us:
Patiently waiting for pizza (in the Princess ears, yay!)
Beautiful view from our table:
And, finally, we were on our way back to Epcot. This time, Tyson was ready to bail on the girls and make his way to the more 'thrilling' rides. So the boys headed over to the Space and Speed section of Epcot while Shae and I went to.... can you guess?! Yup.... NEMO. And, let me tell you, for the first time EVER... I had to WAIT in that queue. WHAT?! Every time I breeze through that queue, I always wonder what it would be like to actually have to STAND in it. Well, I learned. And it wasn't fun. The line did keep moving, ala Buzz Lightyear at MK... but it still couldn't believe I was waiting for this ride.
Oh well, Shae loved it, of course! Then we spent a lot of time checking out the fish:
I love the reflection in this one:
As we were walking out, the CMs at Turtle Talk were recruiting folks. The last time we did this, Shae didn't last very long, as it didn't hold her interest for some reason. But I figured she's older now, and has almost a full year of preschool under her belt, so maybe she'd get into it. We walked right in.. there was hardly anyone there! At first, Shae didn't want to leave my side, but the adorable CM running the show convinced her to sit by the 'tank':
I'm SO glad she did! Because Crush called her out right away!! I'm SURE it was those fabulous Princess Mickey ears that grabbed his attention! He asked her how she was, how old she was, if she liked surfing... which was funny, because I'm pretty sure she doesn't even know what that is! Then he asked who brought her today... uh oh.. I knew where this was going! Crush's next victim was ME!! Yeah.. I can pretend to be embarrassed, but I SO wasn't! I was very excited to talk to Crush!! I have all of this on video, but it'll be a while before I can load it on the computer and ATTEMPT to get it on Photobucket. Keep your fingers crossed.. it was so cute!!
It was already about time for Illuminations, so we headed over to Mexico to meet up with Matt and Ty. They were still on TT, so Shae and I took a boat ride through the country to try and find Donald:
Mommy and me picture:
We were able to find the boys at our normal Illuminations spot next to the ring carver's station at the edge of Mexico and Norway. We LOVE this spot because it is close to a speaker, and there is a firework launch right in front of you!!! Again, since the kids are a bit older, we were able to get to the spot almost 45 minutes before showtime and just chill and people watch.
Shaelyn was preparing herself. On our last trip, I ended up missing all of the firework shows, because she just FREAKED out when they'd start. We spent an entire year preparing her for this. I told her over and over, "if it's loud, just cover your ears. Then you can still see the pretty lights, but you won't hear the loud booms" She pulled through and was able to enjoy ALL of the shows this trip!
But this is what she looked like ten minutes before the show started:
Hey, whatever works, right?!
We thoroughly enjoyed our favorite nighttime show, as we always do, but this time, AS A FAMILY!
It was EMH hours at Epcot tonight, so we decided to hit one more ride before going home. Another Family First!!
Shae hopped right into the car and didn't flinch! The only time I felt any sense of fear was at the end, when the car just kept getting faster and faster... she got closer and closer to me...
Here she is, ready to go!
It was a WONDERFUL 1st day. We were completely beat, and ready to head into a new day with our Band Geek friends! Tomorrow was O'Hana night!! Time to get my stomach ready.. not only for the TONS of food, but for lots and LOTS of laughing!
What a great first day! It sounds like you had a fabulous time. Shae is adorable! I know it has to be delightful for her to be eager to want to ride with no hesitation. Love the princess ears! I am so glad she wore them. They are precious.
Looking forward to the next update!
I love the princess ears, I did not realize there was a veil in the back. Shae looked so cute in the picture were she is seating and the picture is from the back.
Your night at Epcot sounds wonderful and three more first for Shae, test track, turtle talk, and fireworks. She is getting to be such a big girl.
I look forward to the turtle talk video.
What a great first day! I am glad that Shae enjoyed Soarin'! Her princess ears are adorable. I can't believe how busy the Electric umbrella was!
Great update! The Boardwalk looks so beautiful, and the play area fun. We might have to have some pizza there this June too. I so know what you mean about the magic 40 inches... I cannot wait!
I love how you just wait so patiently at Disney... I need to get better at that!
Yikes on the Electric Umbrella mess... glad you finally got in though.
awesome day, and it looked like fun with crush, not many people in there it seemed.
very cool all the family can do the big kid rides now sounds like you might be having alot of firsts on this trip.
Yep, I know exactly what you mean, lol!
These are wonderful!
OT: where'd the Photo of the Day thread go? I lost it!
After all that swimming? I believe it!
Hey, I know that pose! I'm so glad she enjoyed the pyrotechnics this time!
Sorry I've been MIA again, everyone! Update coming soon! Thanks for hanging in there with me.
It was an AWESOME first day. I just love being there, having a ball, and knowing your whole week is still waiting for you!! And thanks... I think she's pretty adorable too... and the ears!
I think the veil was her favorite part... she always played with it, and found just the right angle to stand so that the wind would blow it just so. She is a princess through and through!
I haven't tried uploading the video yet.. we got a new iMac last summer, and I have tons of stuff on our video cameral... I just haven't found a moment to see if I can make them work together!
The funny thing was... there were plenty of tables, and the lines inside really weren't that bad. It was this silly process they were trying of having people wait in a line outside... it confused people and made them 'on edge'. We all just wanted to go get in line inside like we always do!
We just LOVE LOVE LOVE the Boardwalk. Such a great atmosphere.
How close are you to that magical 40 inches!? It has to be soon, no?
Disney patience... it's SO hard to do, isn't it? Keep practicing!
The crazy thing about this trip was how VERY VERY crowded it was.. but then we'd experience something like Crush... where there is NOBODY! Remember, I had just waited 15 minutes or so for the NEMO ride...huh? And then walked into an empty Crush. Just kinda confusing!
Hey V! Here is the link to the new PoTD thread. After they reach 250 pages, they always start a new one!
And who had the cover-the-ears pose? You, Leo, or Gramma!??
Just wanted to share with you why I've been so absent!! Wrapping up another community theatre production. This time, Oliver! Tyson and I were able to both be in the show together! It's been a LLOOOONNNGG and often frustrating rehearsal process (working with a new director... not sure if I'll ever work with her again), but we opened this weekend.
Here are a few shots of Tyson and me!
Here we are in makeup, ready for our dress rehearsal:
A long shot of our costumes:
Do we look pathetic enough? He is a workhouse orphan, and I'm a London ghetto citizen!
Tyson in his 'gang' outfit:
And this is my costume for when I'm the 'rose seller'... a little more 'up-town':
This is actually a costume made for Beauty and the Beast at another theater... I just want to sing... "Look there she goes the girl is strange no question, a most peculiar mademoiselle..."
Here is a shot of Tyson's 'gang' on stage during the song "Fine Life":
You can see him off to the left side of the picture.
Any way... that's what we've been up to!! Now.. on to the REAL update!!
We enjoyed a WONDERFUL night's rest, courtesy of Disney exhaustion, and woke up immediately at 7am so we could get to DHS for EMH this morning. We had the same plan-of-attack as we did last time we were here... The kids and I were to hang back and let Matt worm his way up to the rope. Then, he was off and running to get FPs for TSM.
Here is the crowd waiting to get through the turnstiles:
And here is Shaelyn in... her Princess ears!!
The kids and I chillin' while Daddy battles the crowds!
Instead of meeting Matt over at TSM, we decided to meet him at ToT so we could do a ride swap. It was great because everyone was flocking to TSM, so ToT was walk on!
We did some window shopping while we waited. Loved this Toy Story display... and I'm SO excited for Toy Story 3!!
Shaelyn and I sat outside the exit of ToT:
I never really noticed how beautiful this view is! I'm always walking AWAY from it! There was a coffee cart sitting there, and the smell was just intoxicating me!!! I gave in and bought a coffee. I think Shae was more excited about it than I was!!
How could I break her heart and tell her that Disney coffee STINKS!!!?
We barely waited 15 minutes, and the boys were out! My turn to jump on the elevator with Tyson. We had the ride swap FP, but didn't need it. It was SO empty!!
When we got off, Tyson was feeling a bit woozy! He said, "I don't think I should ride that twice in a row anymore!" I said, "Thanks for sucking it up for me honey!"
We still had time to kill before our TSM FPs, so we meandered and soaked up atmosphere, and found ourselves near the Muppet 3D movie. It had been a few trips since we sat through it, and there was, again, NO ONE there!
Doesn't Matt look thrilled!?
The movie was fine... I think it's in need of updating, though. Anyone agree?
We stumbled on these guys, with yet another small line, so we decided to say "Howdy":
And, a family picture:
We were enjoying the lack of crowds in the Streets of America. I found the famous umbrella (which I had NEVER explored before), so we spent some time with it. It took Tyson and I a few minutes to find the 'rain trigger'... which is so obvious once we found it!
We had put it off long enough, but it was time for that God-forsaken Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. Thankfully, it wasn't sweltering hot, and that makes a BIG difference, believe you me!
Luckily, the film canister slide made Shaelyn SO happy, that she spent the whole time there! I didn't have to chase her through tunnels.. hooray!
And against his "cool kid" will, I asked Tyson to humor me and ride the slide, too! Just so we could keep the tradition of this picture alive!
Cont'd in next post...
Here are a few more slide pictures of Shaelyn. I swear, she went up and down that thing twenty six times... at LEAST!!
And the dreaded rope web... ick... it smells.. and I can't IMAGINE all of the germs seeping inside of those ropes...
Matt was timing Tyson on his iPhone to see how fast he could go through the rope web. He could do it in under a minute. I couldn't help but think of all the time I spent in that web with Ty when he was Shaelyn's age. It would take us 15 minutes to get to the top, then another 10 to get down. My boys-a-growin'...
Here he is emerging from the web:
We STILL had time to chill, so we took a nice break. Tyson had a blast with the big Coke bottle:
And Shaelyn enjoyed playing around a light pole. Who knew?
FINALLY... it was time for some TSM action! It's amazing how fast the line goes when you have FPs!!
Quickly on our way downstairs:
To make it as fair as possible, Matt decided we should play as teams. Since he DESTROYED me the last time we were on this, he took Shae as a partner. That left Tyson and me as a team. We were going to put our points together to see who came out on top!
Sorry about the huge picture.. these are off of my phone and loaded differently than my camera pictures. I know... I'm such an amateur!
Ready to ride!!
My team's score:
Mine's on the left, Ty's on the right. I seriously was going FULL out on this, since we were trying to get more points combined... look how close Ty was to me.. and check out his accuracy!!! We ended up beating Matt and Shae, but obviously, Shae didn't help her daddy out too much!
We decided to wrap up our morning with two more rides... an oldie, and a newbie.
1st up, The Great Movie Ride... which, to me, is getting cornier than the Jungle Cruise...
And next, American Idol...
The singers were... ok... Better than the last time we were here, but nothing that blew me away! As always, we really enjoyed the show, though.. so hi-tech and exciting!
We had crammed a whole bunch into our DHS morning.. it was time for another family first... Lunch at SCI FI!!
It is great about Oliver I enjoyed the pictures.
DHS really looks empty, I agree it is fun just to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere.
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