Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by cjhinch, Jun 9, 2008.
Welcome back! Anxious to hear all about it!!!!
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Can't wait to hear about your trip!
Welcome back! We're just arrived back on Sunday night also! It sure was hot!
Welcome all to my very first Trip Report! I know I'm excited, and I hope you are as well!
For those of you just joining me, I did do a PTR that can be found here:
If you don't want to go back and read all of that, I will make some introductions here just so you know what you are getting yourself into!
First, we have MOI.......cjhinch......aka MOM. I am a 36 year old, not working at the moment, mother of 3. I didn't take my first trip to The World until I was 30 years old! But let me tell you, it was love at first sight! We have been back 2 more times since then, and this will make my 4th trip in 6 years!
Next we have the Daddy.....he's the "c" in cjhinch (I'm the "j")LOL. He is a 38 year old CRNA who likes to pretend that he doesn't love Disney just as much as the rest of us....but we all know the truth! How else would I have gotten him to agree to another trip to Disney, less than 12 months from our last trip, and only 2 weeks after we returned from our "real" summer vacation to the beach? See, he can't hide his love!
Our oldest is DS10. In all actuality, I think he is the biggest "kid" of all. He loves Disney, and even still loves the characters. It took a little longer on this trip for his love to come to the surface, but it was still there, buried underneath all that pre-teen act. Where do they learn to act that way?
Our second child is DS8/9. I say 8/9 because he was turning 9 on this trip!! Well, not actually on the trip. The trip was to celebrate his birthday, but we returned home on Friday, and his birthday wasn't until Saturday! He was the one who had begged the most to go back to Disney. I didn't realize how much he loved it until then! He even mentions getting married there one day! Oh to dream!
Last, but definitely not least, we have DD4. She has been lucky enough to celebrate 2 of her 4 birthdays at Disney so far. She won't be so lucky this year.....maybe next year? LOL She is truly a princess.....way more so than I ever imagined a daughter of mine would be. Another reason I was so gung ho to take this trip was because she is finally 40" tall!! Poor thing was definitely old enough to ride last year, just not quite tall enough! This year, she was going to make up for lost time!!
Well, that's pretty much it for our cast of characters. Hopefully, you will get to know us better as the trip goes on!
Up next, travel day one!
My goal this year was to have the car packed and ready so that when DH got home from work on Friday, we could just jump in the car and go! This was actually our first time driving to Disney. Every other time, we flew, and my kids were none to happy about having to drive. I was hoping they would make the best of it....I mean come on.....how hard can it be with all the entertainment options they have these days? Movies, ipods, Nintendo DS's, PSP's. I wasn't going to take much complaining that's for sure!
See, the way his schedule works is that the week before they are on vacation, they always take an in-house call on Thursday (which means in the hospital for 24 hours straight). That way, they are the first to go home the next day! Used to be that they rarely had to work much at all that next day, but recent months have been different, and we were worried that he would have to work a while on Friday! So it was up to me to pack the car!
I had all day Thursday to do that.......I am just not very good with deadlines.....added onto a million things to do! My brain is a little ADD, and when there are lots of things to do, it sortof just shuts down and can't get focused on completing anything!
Somehow, I managed to have that car packed and ready to go by about 11pm Thursday night! Of course, since Daddy was away, they all wanted to sleep in my bedroom with me. I can't say no to that, so there we were all piled in one bedroom when Daddy walks through the door at 8 am!
He got showered, and we were all up and ready to pull out by 9! I was pretty impressed!
Our first leg of the trip involved about a 9 hour drive to Savannah, GA. My uncle owns a condo there, and we were stopping there for the night.
My kids were AWESOME in the car! We drove thru McD's for breakfast about an hour from home, stopped for gas in Wytheville, VA (it was on $3.31/gallon!! ), stopped and picked up Subway for lunch somewhere south of Charlotte and we were in Savannah by 6 pm! We did start running into some rain here and there once we got into South Carolina (I'm sure it was part of Fay). We were just hoping it would all be gone by Sunday!
I took the kids for a swim at the pool while dh took a nap. We still needed dinner, so we cleaned up and headed to downtown Savannah to find some food! We parked on River Street, and pretty much walked into the first restaurant we saw. We were all starving!! The food was OK, did the trick on our grumbling bellies, and that's really all we needed!
I have to say that Downtown Savannah is absolutely gorgeous! We drove around a little bit, and even in the dark you could tell it just has all sorts of style.
Here is a pic of the boys posing on River Street (DD was in a bit of a mood at that moment):
And here is a picture of a gorgeous church.......and look......there is even a hidden mickey! Can anyone guess how it got there?
After that, we headed back and crashed in the beds. We were hoping to get up and get an early start the next day......but my kids (and dh) are notorious for sleeping in!
After an uneventful nights sleep, I woke up around 7 ready to get going!! I had already taken a shower the night before, so it didn't take me long to get ready. I started waking up the kids and laying out their clothes. Actually, we got the boys up and dressed, and just carried DD out to the car still asleep in her pj's. We would get her dressed at the first stop.
On our way out of Savannah, we took a completely different route than on our way in. We drove by the Savannah Sand Gnats minor league baseball stadium, my boys thought that was pretty cool. We could really see all of the character that Savannah has on the way out of town, and hopefully, if my uncle still has his condo, we might come back down there over spring break!
We only had about a 4-5 hour drive to get to Orlando. This is what the sky looked like for most of the drive:
I was hoping it would stop raining at some point!
Finally, we saw this:
We were all getting excited!
We actually had planned to go visit some family when we got to Orlando, so that is where we headed first. I probably have 15 family members that live in the Orlando area. They aren't "close" family, but they still like to visit with us, so we decided to take the time to visit today. We visited with my Great Aunt and Uncle and their kids and grandkids. The kids enjoyed the pool, and my one cousin is a swim instructor, so she brought out her swim cap and goggles. The boys had fun trying them on:
After a couple of hours spent there, it was time to leave! We had Cirque tickets burning a hole in our pockets, and we didn't want to be late!
Of course, the rain showed up again and ruined the mandatory pic:
But it definitely didn't put a damper on my spirits! I will say that driving to Disney has a distinctly different feel than flying does. I didn't like it at first.....but by the end of the trip I could definitely see myself driving there again.
Since we added this night after we booked our package, we decided to stay at POP for the night. I know, I know, you aren't supposed to have 5 in a room at POP, but DD still sleeps with us at home, so it isn't something we aren't used to! Actually, DH, Ds8/9 and DD all slept together, and I slept with DS10. Worked out just fine.
Anyway, here we are pulling into POP, still raining!
We hurried and got cleaned up again, and headed to Downtown Disney!
We had no idea where we were going to eat. It was probably around 6 pm at this point. We tossed around The House of Blues and Planet Hollywood, but we actually ended up at Wolfgang Puck's. Not the upstairs, but the downstairs. Dh and I shared an appetizer and a meal (I believe it was the vegetable spring rolls and the chicken alfredo), they were both excellent. I don't remember what the kids got for meals, but I do remember that DS10 and DD got the make your own sundae's for dessert, and DS 8/9 asked if they would make him some chocolate covered strawberries, and they did! He was so pumped!
After dinner, we still had some time to kill, so we did a little shopping. Along the way we saw this guy:
He was very cool, making all sorts of weird sounds with that thing!
Continued in next post...
Can't wait to here more .
After taking in some entertainment, we kept on walking to the other side of DD.
We checked out the Lego store:
The kids got a kick out of these. DS 8/9 studied Australia all last year in school, so he had to get pic here!
DD couldn't wait to get her picture with a princess....alive or not!
We did a little pin shopping, and DD is doing her best to imitate Donald's "mad" face!
I tried to shop in the Christmas store, but it was really crowded, and I knew that we needed to be heading back to the other side for our show. I wish I would have just stuck it out though, because I never walked into another Christmas store while we were there! No ornament for me this year!
We made it back over to Cirque in plenty of time and found our seats. This is when we started realizing that the ratio of American's to people visiting from other countries was at least 40/60 this year! My kids kept pointing out people either speaking another language or with foreign accents! It was pretty cool!
The Cirque show was amazing. I still think that La Mystere was better in Vegas, but Dh adamantly says that La Nouba is the best! Those little Asian girls were incredible! The boys loved the bike stunts. Not sure was DD liked the best. Here they are all smiling after the show:
And afterwards, we checked out the gift shop and they modeled some masks:
One last shot of the Cirque arena before we head back to the car:
When we returned to POP, I took a few random shots around our building. We stayed here on our trip in 2005, but we never made it over this way to see these buildings! We stayed in one of the 60's buildings that time, this time we were in the 70's:
DS8/9 wanted me to get some shots of him pretending to play in the giant fooseball game:
This little guy wanted in on the action as well:
After that, we headed in for some rest. We had a big day tomorrow!!
But instead of getting good night's sleep.....dh decided to wake up at 3 am to watch the Olympic Dream Team play in their gold medal game LIVE! I have no idea what he was thinking, but of course I woke up as well around 3:30 and watched the rest of the game with him! We are crazy, but it was cool to watch them get so excited to win the gold medal!
I had a 6:30 wakeup call coming very soon, so I tried to settle in for a little bit more sleep after that!!
Tomorrow, we check into the Grand Floridian and visit The Magic Kingdom!!
sounds like you are off to a great start! So where DID that hidden mickey come from on the church!?
or was it an antenna bobber?!
I started my trip report in a separate thread in the Trip Reports section! I hope you find your way over there to read and post!
I am happy that I did the PTR.....it helped me get rid of the nerves I had about doing one at all! Now I can do the Trip Report without second guessing myself!
I titled it the same, so you won't have any trouble finding it!
Thanks for reading!
You are exactly right! I didn't realize it was going to be in the picture when I took it, but it jumped right out at me when I looked at the picture.
love the report, waiting for the rest...
Great report so far! Can't wait to read more!
Thanks! I am going to try to keep the updates coming!
Glad you are here reading! I am posting another update today!
Thank you! I'm glad you are here to read!
When I heard the phone ringing for our wake up call, it felt like I had been asleep for about 15 minutes!
It was the exact opposite of that R Kelly song..."My minds telling me YES, but my body....my body's telling me NO!!" (in his version, the yes and no are swapped if you didn't catch what I meant!)
But I knew if I didn't get up, noone would get up, then we wouldn't get a good start on the day, yada yada yada!
So, I drug myself out of bed. It is a bit easier when you are in Disney World to drag yourself out of bed, I will say that!
It was just before 8:00 am when we were seeing this:
We were all getting so excited!! But we got even more excited when we saw this:
This place is just so gorgeous! I don't know if it was fate or stupidity that brought us back here. See, this was a last minute trip, and my first choice of place to stay would have been Port Orleans to save some $$$. But I waited to long to decide we were going, and all that was left available for free dining was the Poly and the GF. Lo and behold, the GF was cheaper!
We stayed here last year, and my kids loved it! They were so thrilled to be back!
We pulled in up front and while dh was getting the luggage unloaded, I went in to check us in. There weren't many people checking in that early. I was a little worried because when I had checked in the night before at POP, the CM told me that they had over 400 rooms that had checked in on Saturday for one night that would be checking out and then checking back in on Sunday morning because that was when free dining started!! I can only imagine what that lobby was like Sunday morning!
I only had to wait on one lady to finish, then it was our turn. Of course they wouldn't have a room ready at 8 am, but she was able to tell us where our room would be. Lo and behold it was in the same building as last time, facing the same direction, but on the second floor instead of the first! We were in the Conch Key building which a little further from the main building and the monorail, but very close to the boat dock!
She saw that we were celebrating a birthday and promptly got out the pin for DS8/9. DS10 saw it and was a little jealous. His sister has a pin like that from last year, and mentioned that fact to the CM. She asked him when his birthday was, and he told her January. She said close enough and made him up birthday pin as well! He didn't wear it any while we were there, but it is nice to have one!
Believe it or not, at 8:22 this is where we were:
And at 8:22 (according to my camera) we were seeing this:
At 8:23 I was taking this:
Our timing couldn't have been more perfect!
We had never made it to the MK for the opening show....EVER! Last year we had hopes, but we didn't realize that the boat from the GF didn't start early enough to get us there for the EMH opening! UGH!
It seemed like there were a lot of people there, but since I had never been there I had no idea what to expect.
We did see this one Dad totally flip out on his little girl who looked to be about 6 years old. I guess she wandered away from them, and they couldn't find her. When they finally did, he got down in her face and gave her a good scolding....which is fine....but then he dropped the "F-bomb" to her! This was Dh and I Who talks to their kid like that? Especially at Disney World?
Anyway, I wanted a shot of the kids in front of the train station, but DD was having another "moment", probably over something as silly as who got to put their card in the gate first or something. Who knows, she gets all worked up over the silliest things sometimes! So this is the pic we got:
Here is something that I thought was funny. The photopass lady was there taking pics, so we got our card from her and started filling it up! The funny thing is, the picture she took with our camera turned out better than the ones she took with hers! The first pic is with our camera, the second with hers:
I thinks she needs more practice with that thing!
Shortly after that, they started the show. I must admit, I got teary eyed! I couldn't believe we were really here, and we had our whole vacation ahead of us! So much potential at that moment!
Love the pictures keep them coming.
Ok, I'm back! (I'm not sure if anyone missed me, but I don't care! )
We were waiting for MK to open, and I was getting excited! I always get teary eyed at the music they play for stuff like this, and I felt like a little kid when I heard the train starting to pull up! DD was still in her pout mode, but I could see it lifting when the train pulled into the station, and off stepped all of the characters:
I wondered how you got picked to be this family:
How early did they get there? I want to be them one day!
Once they opened the gates, we got right in. Things were looking pretty crowded in this first picture!
I was honestly just happy that there was not a crane in my view of the castle! Last year they were doing something around the castle that required a crane, not quite as magical! I got nervous when I looked over from the GF because I could see a crane! I guess they were using it to some work on the bridge? Not sure, but I was relieved when my picture of the castle didn't include an unwanted crane!
Our first order of business was Splash! DD was finally tall enough, and she couldn't wait to ride! Here she is beaming with pride!
She rode right up front with Daddy and DS10, and giggled the whole time! It was by far her favorite of the whole trip, so we rode it quite a few times over the course of 2 days!
Then we went straight to BTM. The wait must not have been too long because we didn't use a FP, and I don't remember having a long wait. She loved it as well!
We were getting a little hungry, but we were right there by Pirates, so we walked right onto it as well. I seem to like this ride more and more each time I ride it. There are so many things to see, it almost feels like a new ride each time! They were a little slow getting us to the unloading area, and we were sitting right by Jack at the end. We got to listen to everthing he says, and it was cool to hear what all he says!
Dump shop picture, of course!
We bought our first souvenir here for DS10. His pin collection is mostly pirates, and he picked out a really cool Black Pearl one to add!
We came out, and noticed that it was just about time for the characters to start showing up, and out walks Wendy! She wasn't with Peter, but we still had never gotten her autograph, and we were first in line! She was so sweet to my DD:
The boys seemed to think they were too big for autographs at this point , but they still joined in for the picture:
By this time, the fact that we hadn't had any breakfast was really catching up to us. I'm thinking it was around 10:30, and most of the counter services are open until 11:00. We walked over to Main Street to check out the bakery, and the line was out the door! By now, the kids are getting close to a meltdown, which means that DH isn't far behind!
We did find time to get the traditional picture of DS 8/9 with the place he shares a name with:
I checked the times again, and noticed that Columbia Harbour House was open at 10:30 (maybe, I'm not sure, but whatever time it was, it was one of the few opening!) We headed back over there, and just getting into the air conditioning was a help. We still had to wait on them to open up, but everyone was feeling better!
After a nice, filling lunch we headed over to Fantasyland. I'm sorry to say that we didn't spend much time here the entire trip! Funny how things change as your kids get older.....I am a little sad now. As we walked by Peter Pan, we picked up a FP. This was not the smartest move as you will see later.
We all LOVE Philharmagic, so we headed there next! This show never disappoints. I could watch it over and over and over! Everything else in FL had pretty long waits, so we headed over to check out Buzz and Space. Of course, the lines were too long here, and those FP we had gotten for Peter Pan were keeping us from being able to get anything on these rides for later!
Dd was dying to ride Buzz, but the line was too long for the boys. They wanted Monster's Inc. so we decided to split up. I was sad because I wanted to stick together, but sometimes you can't. Well, it wasn't a minute after looking at the line for Buzz that DD changed her mind. We caught back up with DH and the boys, and we were hoping to get right into the next group for Monsters', but it wasn't to be. We still had to wait, but once again, at least it was in the air conditioning! Not sure what these have to do with Monsters, but look pretty cool.
At some point during this, we were over by the bathrooms, and I looked up and saw this:
Does this guy do this every day?
Also, while waiting on the boys to come out of the restroom, this man must have thought that I looked very trustworthy because he asked me if I could keep an eye on his sleeping toddler while he went to the restroom! I of course said yes, but I was thinking that he could have just taken her in there with him, right? Don't they have handicapped stalls in the men's room as well?
We were done for the morning, so we headed back to the hotel. We took the boat over to GF which is so nice and relaxing after a long, hot park day!
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