THe It's Never Too Late to Write a Trip Report Trippie- 11/20 through 26th, 2005

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ChrisLei, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    That's right, this trippie has been in the making since 2005! :eek: EEK!!! I have read many reports on the board and have loved every single one of them. And I always said I would set out to make one of my very own. Well, with returning from the trip right in the height of Christmas Shopping season....well, I kinda put it in the back burner. Then of course life got in the way...:laundy: Christmas led to spring....which led to summer vacation.....plans to start school to earn my certification and Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education...and not knowing how 11 years out of college, 2 kids, and a list of activities in which I have to shuttle the kids to or lead (I am also a Girl Scout Leader). WHOA! :scared: It's a miracle I got my head screwed on the right way!

    But enough about that! Now I am ready to relive the Magic! :wizard: This will also be a great way for me to get even more excited about our upcoming trip to the World!

    The Cast:
    Let me begin by introducing you to the cast. We are a funloving family of four originally from the heart of the Big Apple, New York City. We relocated to the Jersey Shore in the Garden State almost 7 years ago. We surprisingly fell in love with it immediately. We love our little house, love the schools, the town, the activities....(I Did say we were funloving! LOL). We are also HUGE Disney fans. We have the Disney channel on all day, purchase all the movies the moment they are released, and make special trips into the city to visit The World Of Disney Store in order to experience a little magic at least twice a year. Unfortunately we are not one of the blessed families that gets to go to the World every year. To be exact, prior to this trip, we had not gone to Disney as a family at all. DH had gone twice as a child and one time once we became a couple. I had visited every year from the time I was 9 till I was about 21. (Lucky enough that my favorite uncle is a castmember!) DD had been there 2 times for day trips when visiting the grandparents, and DS went once as a 3 month old, again with the luk of having an uncle who is a castmember, so they were not planned trips, but free spur of the moment trips. But we have never experienced Disney just the four of us.

    So without any further interruptions here are your Cast:

    Tink-:tinker: Quite simply me. I am sweet and friendly until you push me to the limit. I can be one fiesty lady! LOL I am a self proclaimed OCD planaholic. I leave no I's undotted, no T's uncrossed. I love knowing what I will be doing at all times. I enjoy seeing things fall into place. I am the type that has a plan for the year on New Year's Eve. I feel like I have accomplished so much when I see them all get crossed off as Mission Accomplished.

    Prince Donald- :donald: He is like Half & Half, just enough Prince Charming, with just as much Donald in him. He lets me do all the planning but will question every step of the way. I call him a closet Disney fan. He will tell you that Disney is no big deal, but just take a peek at him watching a parade, and you can see the twinkle in his eye!

    Princess Ariel- princess: She is the epitome of a princess! She loves all things girly, is sweet, and kind, but with just enough sass. She was born for Disney. She has grown out of me calling her my baby girl....but does not mind at all, in fact strongly approves, me calling her princess.

    Stitch/Experiment 626- :stitch2: My little man is your classic energizer bunny! From sun up to sun down, he keeps everyone in the house going. He also gets himself into some huge messes. But he can get himself out of it with that adorable dimpled smile. Stitch is fitting for this little guy!

    The Start of The Dream Vacation:

    After becoming parents, we decided that we would leave the big city behind for a quiet little existence in the suburbs. With housing cost astronomically high in NYC and taxes no better, we decided that we would move out of our homestate altogether. This meant moving somewhere that we were not familiar with. It also meant we had to make a big decision. Ariel's babysitters were either her grandma or my very close friend. Would I continue working and leave Ariel with a total stranger? She was a late talker so this meant she couldn't tell us if something was wrong. Not to mention child care costs are through the roof! So we made the decision that although we would miss my nice salary, we would be forfeiting it for a good cause. I would be seeing my little girl grow myself. Of course this meant we would have to be more frugal with our spending and not take vacations every year (who am I kidding???? Vacation would be few and far between! LOL) So we made our choices and add another child, we stick by our decision and are happy with it!

    Since we had not taken a real vacation in 4 years, we started discussing going to Florida to visit my mom and dad (divorced and living on two ends of the state) as our next vacation. We planned to drive and visit with my mom for 3 days and then with my dad for 4. We knew that we would require a hotel stay for the visit with my dad since his place is really small. No matter. Everything was going as planned until.....

    We see the Disney commercial on the television! The one with the family having fun at the resort and the parks and all that stuff. Yeah, well Ariel tells us, "Wow that looks like so much fun! Is that the hotel we will be staying at?" I immediately answered no. But Prince D looks at me and says "Hmm, I wonder how much it would cost to stay on property?" :goodvibes THe wheels of planning were cranked on! It has been a dream of mine to stay on property since I was a little girl. But of course my uncle worked there, so it was more cost effective to visit daily and stay at his house. Or when my whole family went we stayed at those motels along I92 that cost $30 a day. Rent a car was the way to and from the World those days. Besides at that time, staying on property were for the wealthy! LOL So I didn't get my hopes up and told Prince D I would run the numbers and call AAA and see what they can offer us.

    Up Next: The Dream is Becoming a Reality!
     
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  3. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    4/2005-
    I wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to do my research. I call Prince D and he tells me to look into a trip starting on November 20th, and ending on the 26th. Sure thing! I scour the resorts onsite. Prince D already said if we are going for our first experience onsite he wants it to be at a moderate.:goodvibes Bless his heart! My dream is slowly becoming reality! I remember back when I was teen I went to work with my uncle he swung by the Carribean Beach Resort to drop something off to a friend. I instantly fell in love with the tropical oasis! I dreamed of laying on a hammock and watching the clouds go by......Here I am bursting with excitement looking up quotes on the Disney website. With their quote in mind I called AAA. I was connected to a cheery representative named Celeste. She took my dates and said she would call me back.

    I paced the kitchen for what seemed like an eternity. (Good thing we have tile floors, for if we had carpeting, Prince D would know exactly what I was doing all day!) Finally the phone rings. It's Celeste! Her quote knocked my socks off! She was offering the same amount of days at The Carribean Beach Resort for $490 less than Disney was quoting me! WOOHOO :dance3: Then she springs one on me...."Would you be interested in the Magic Your Way PLUS Dining?" HUH? What is that?

    At this point I had not been introduced to the DIS boards, and I had no clue what Magic Your Way PLUS Dining entailed. So she goes on to explain the benefits of it. One Counter Service, one Table Service, and 1 Snack per day, for the duration of your stay. Table Services include Character Meals, Signature Dining Experiences and all. WOW! Is all I could muster saying. She said she would put a courtesy hold while I called Prince D.

    My little fingers couldn't dial straight! Could it be? Could we be going to Disney and staying on site at the resort of my childhood dreams, AND be able to dine with the Princesses, and Mickey and Pooh too?!?!?! The moment Prince Donald answers the phone this is what he was greeted with:

    "Hi Hun, it's me! I went online and I researched how much our trip would cost booking through Disney and they quoted me at $xxxx.xx, so I called AAA and asked how much they would charge. I met a nice lady named Celeste, who said she would get back to me, and she did and she is saving us almost $500! And she told me about this option with meals and we can eat with the princesses, and Mickey and the gang, and Pooh too and we can go to a luau dinner if we want for 2 credits....and that would be twenty something dollars a day for each of us and we get lunch and snacks too!!! Can you believe that! Imagine that, I never dreamed we would eat with the characters! So what do you say??"

    All Prince D said was "OK give me numbers".

    So I did, and he said "Sounds like a great deal, Book it!"

    OMG!!! We are going to Disney! And we are staying in the WORLD!!!! And we are going to eat with the characters! I was on cloud 9!:cloud9:

    Next Up: All booked, Now what?
     
  4. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    So I called my new best friend, Celeste, and told her "We'll Take It!!!" She was really excited for us and knew we would have a blast.

    Now we were all set up, and my obessive compulsive planning was taking over me! I looked through AOL Message Boards looking for any information I can get. Unfortunately the pickings are slim on those boards.:confused3 No problem, I decided that since I knew I was going to Disney I had to plan a scrapbook swap for it. Lucky thing I did! Posting that swap on the AOL board led me to meeting my now dear online buddy, Nutz4Dizney. And she really is nutz for Disney! She goes to Disney religiously every year and is a fountain of information regarding the happiest place on Earth. She was the one I have to thank for introducing me to the DIS boards. (Thanks Tra!) Once I came here once, I was thoroughly addicted!!!

    :confused: I had no clue that in a few short weeks I needed to make dining reservations for the character dining experiences we wanted to do. I obtained awesome ideas on how to save money for Disney (#1 awesome idea! Starting a Disney change bank. We ended up saving $500+ of fun money just collecting change at the end of the day). The boards became my daily addiction!:rotfl: Soon enough I was talking DIS boards daily to Prince Donald and although he thought I was crazy, he appreciated all the information I was obtaining.

    I ended up making a whole iteniary for the trip. It started with the dining reservations:

    11/20- Chef Mickey's
    11/21- Pizza Planet (saving TS for Luau)
    11/22- Crystal Palace
    11/23- Spirit of Aloha
    11/24- Bomas
    11/25- Lunch at Cinderella Castle

    Now all I had to do was wait.......

    Up Next:
    Countdown to Disney!
     
  5. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Why is it that everytime you are super excited about going somewhere the days seem to feel like an eternity?

    Now Ms. Uber Plannerholic was set. I had all our dining reservations set, and had a list of what we would be doing each day. We were ready. Since we were driving down, I had a cooler set the day before with all the snacks and essentials. The kids each had a backpack with activities, and Prince Donald made a trip to Target and purchased the DVD players for the car. (This ended up being a Godsend! It didn't quench the "Are we there yet?" but it did manage to entertain them and keep them quiet for a few hours at a time.) At the last minute, my brother, who was going through a rough patch with his girlfriend, decided to drive down with us. I was super excited since this meant Prince Donald didn't have to do the majority of the driving on his own.

    11/15/05
    We had planned to get up and be ready to go at 4am, we ended up actually leaving at 6am. With all the excitement and last minute preparation we didnt get to bed till 12am. So we figured a couple of hours later would not make much of a difference.

    11/16-11/20/05 The drive down was uneventful. We arrived safely in Miami the following afternoon, and the next few days was spent with Mom and my sisters in Miami.

    Up NEXT: The Magic Begins!
     
  6. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Sleeping arrangements were rather...crowded at Mom's house. My sister conveniently let go of her apartment and decided to take up residence in my mom's tiny apartment with my dear nephew. To make matters even more complicated, my sis invited our cousin to visit:rolleyes1 , THE SAME WEEK OUR FAMILY OF 4 PLUS MY Brother were arriving! Did I mention my mom's place is a one bedroom??? Yeah....well although it was very cramped, we did have a wonderful time. And the mere fact that we were counting down the days till we drove down to Orlando made it all worthwhile.

    We had lunch with mom, packed up the van, and kissed them all goodbye at around 1pm. We were estimating that the drive would take us a little over 3 hours and we had 6:30 ressies for Chef Mickey's. The whole ride up to Orlando Stitch kept asking "I don't have to take a picture with Mickey do I? I'm scary of him." The months leading up to the trip we told Stitch that it would be nice to take a pic with the characters. As a preperation we took him to World of Disney store in NYC over the summer so he can attend the meet and greet with Mickey and Minnie. Well...that didn't go over well! Anyone who saw him that day, would've thought he was being tortured! Of course Ariel was all smiles! So I suppose he was relivng those moments as we were heading to Orlando. Again I gave him my same response "You don't have to, but it would be nice."

    Everything was going as planned till we were an hour from The DIsney World Resort. SCHHHRRRREEEECHHHHH! Traffic had come to a halt. :mad: Not a crawl....a halt. There was no moving from this baby! I watched as the minutes ticked by and we inched forward. Then I started stressing.....What happens if we can't make the Chef Mickey's ressies? Ariel would be devastated! She was admiring the autograph book I made her and kept showing Stitch where she wanted each character to sign at. I was about to cry. Maybe we should have left after breakfast. But I wanted to spend a few more hours with Mom. :hug: Finally we inched past the hold up. A 3 car pileup! Once we drove around it we were in the clear! Thank Goodness!

    One of our fondest memories of the car ride were seeing all the signs telling you you were approaching the Lake Buena Vista area. And the SIGN. Walt Disney World Resort! WOW, I had seen it millions of times but to see it and know that we were going to spend the next few days here. There was nothing like it. We made our way to the Carribean Beach Resort, and I just about cried. It was exactly like I remembered it. We were transported to the carribean islands! We went to the check in building and just as we were getting out of the car, a Disney Magical Express bus was arriving. I gave Prince Donald one look and said "Run! Get inside before they start deboarding the bus we have exactly 30 minutes to get checked in and get to the Contemporary resort!" So he did as I asked. Meanwhile I grabbed Ariel and Stitches hand and walked at a brisk pace after him.

    Lucky thing I told him to run, just as I was getting to the doors, a whole slew of people were heading in right behind Prince Donald.:woohoo: He fortunately was first! The check in process was quick and painless. We were directed to the concierge to pick up our iteniaries and tickets for the Spirit of Aloha and we asked what was the Easiest way to get to the Contemporary. That is when we realized, we would have to take one bus to the Magic Kingdom and then take the monorail back to the Contemporary. Hmmm, we looked at the watch and we had exactly 20 minutes to get there. Guess we will be driving there. We got the map and jet set it out of there. We decided to go to the room to freshen up really quick and run a brush through Ariel and my hair. Then we were off.

    Again we were doing good for time until......a hold up getting to the contemporary. Seems that there was a business convention starting that evening and there were loads of cars arriving. We had no luck finding parking and here we are 6:40pm and all the way at the end of the parking lot! Prince D grabbed Stitch and carried him all the way to Chef Mickey's. We take the elevators to the restaurant floor and make it to the check in area at 6:45pm. We are extremely apologetic to the CM and told her about the traffic. She greeted us with a smile, and told us not to worry. Seems alot of guests were late because of it too. She also told us it would be a couple of minutes.

    Meanwhile, Stitch was looking around warrily. He didn't want any characters to pounce on him. LOL We waited about 10 minutes and were called over to take our picture with the big plate and utensils. I can't tell you how I felt taking that pic! This just made it all real! Our dream vacation was actually starting! We were then escorted over to Donald who came over to shake Ariel's hand. Stitch of course was hiding behind Prince D's legs and said "I DONT" WANT A PICTURE!" THe CM hostess laughed and walked us to our table. She warned us that characters were heading to our section so we may want to wait before going up to the buffet. Sure enough, Mickey, Chip, Minnie, and Goofy came in steady succession. And Mickey went right over to an unaware Stitch. I braced myself for the scream, but it never came. He actually smiled! And shook his hand! I was shocked...and relieved! We got our first pic of Stitch with the characters! :goodvibes We finished taking pics and made our way to the buffet. We were starving!

    The meal was your traditional fare. Since we were hungry everything was delicious! And as we were eating our desserts the Chipmunks came back. Ariel says "Mom take the camera out, and take our pic." I looked at her and said "Honey, we took your pic with him already". She gave me a look and said in a whisper "MOM, we didn't take a picture with him yet....this is Dale!" OOPS! I had no clue! My dear Ariel schooled me on how to tell the difference after that. Who knew thier noses were different colors! LOL

    When we were done, Stitch told me that he didnt get a picture with Donald. So we made it a point to go find him and get his picture taken. Who knows with 3 year olds, today could be my only day I can take pics of him with them. Tomorrow he may be back to his unpredictable 3 year old self and be camera shy again! Stuffed and exhausted, we made our way back to the car and back to our "home' for the next few days. We took our showers got into our jammies and were out before our head hit the pillow!

    Up Next- MGM STUDIOS- Houston We Have a Problem!
     
  7. solgent

    solgent DIS Veteran

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    Your TR is really fun. And it looks like you have an awesome trip planned for this year!
     
  8. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Thank you so much! I know it may not be for everyone since it is old. But thanks so much for reading it. It is actually getting me more excited for the upcoming one. I want to start a pre-trippie for that one since I have had a blast planning that one too!

    P.S. That is a beautiful pic of your girls in your signature. Have fun on your upcoming trip too!
     
  9. mdsouth

    mdsouth DIS Veteran

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    We were in WDW in May 2005. :thumbsup2 Like you it was our first family trip and we hope to get back in 2008 or 2009. :wizard: I like to take "Virtual vacations to Disney" through other people's trip reports. :surfweb: So, when I saw your trip report was from 2005 I had to check it out. Keep it coming!:cool1:
     
  10. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    11/21/05-

    The next morning I woke up at 6:30am feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. I am not sure if it was due to the mattresses being so comfy or if it was because Prince D and I finally had a bed to ourselves and didn't have to feel a knee, elbow, or foot nudging us all night!:rotfl2:

    I decided I would take a walk around the resort, so I washed up and got dressed and whispered to Prince Donald what I was going to do. He just grunted a reply I am sure happy that I was not jumping up and down on the bed for him to wake up at this early hour. Our room was in Barbados. I figured it would be nice to take a walk toward Old Port Royale and take some pics of the resort bathed in the early morning sunshine. It was just as I imagined it. I was in awe. The Disney Imagineers are wonderful at what they do! I came across the beach and decided to sit there and bask in the glory of the new day. As I looked out at the water I reflected on how utterly happy I was at this moment. I never dreamed that we would ever stay on Disney property. And here I was today. :cloud9: Sure we fantasize about big trips we would like to take. But reality always brings our head down from the clouds. I decided I would enjoy every minute of this trip and remember it for a lifetime.

    After my short break, I continued on my exploration. I looked at the theme pool and just knew that Ariel and Stitch would love going in there. Then I took a path that brought me to the hammocks! I debated on laying on one, but decided that I wanted to share the rocking on the hammocks for the first time with Ariel. At that moment I looked down at my watch and couldn't believe that I was out and about for 90 minutes already. Time sure does fly when you are in the Magic!

    I walked back and entered the room and saw Ariel rubbing the sleep off her eyes. "Mom, I don't feel so good" Ariel said. This was followed with her running off to the bathroom! :scared1: Something did not sit well in her tummy. This was not good. As I was cleaning her up, Prince Donald promptly went into the bathroom to do the same. Ugh Oh! Please don't tell me we were all coming down with something. I ran to the van and took out my emergency kit. (As a girl scout leader, I live by the motto "Be Prepared". It's my mantra!) I gave both of them a Pepto Bismol chewable and prepared thier breakfast.....saltine crackers and sips of water. The saltine crackers were an afterthought when packing. I brought it along in case the kids got car sick. Lucky thing they were with us! Prince Donald and I were debating whether to use today instead of Wednesday as our off day, but Ariel looked at us and said "No, Mommy! We had planned today to go to MGM. We can't change the plans, PLEASE!" Yes, Ariel, is a creature of plans. Just like her mom! Stitch woke up at that instant and said he was ready to go. I took everyone's temperature and they all checked out. We started going over in our head and thought of what we ate that could've messed up thier stomachs. We realized that Prince Donald and Ariel were the only ones that had ice cream sundaes for dessert at Chef Mickey's so it could possibly have been the ice cream since Stitch and myself never felt ill.

    So all dressed and ready to go, we headed to the bus stop. Prince D was so excited that he would be having a break from driving for the next few days. There was a HUGE line waiting. Lucky thing most of those waiting boarded the busses to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Our bus to MGM was half full. WHen we arrived I called my dad who had decided the night before that he would be joining us for the day. Ariel's request was to go to...what else...The Journey of the Little Mermaid. Dad was still at home so we decided we would take on a few attractions. There was practically no wait for most of the attractions that day. When we arrived at the Little Mermaid we walked straight in. Stitch was a bit afraid of the dark, and Ariel loved the whole show. We walked over to The Great Movie Ride and again walked right on. Ariel was afraid when our "tour guy" got captured. She looked at me and asked in a whisper "Mom, is there a way to get the bad guy off and rescue the good guy?" Since I knew the outcome and didn't want to spoil it, I looked at her and answered "I don't know sweetie, but lets sit tight and see what happens." She was ecstatic at the outcome! All was well in her world.

    By the time we got off, Dad was making is way to the Sorcerer Hat. He fell instantly in love with the kids. The last time he had seen them was my last visit to FL when Stitch was 3 months and Ariel was 3. He was concerned that they would not want to be near him or would be shy. Was he excited when Stitch reached out his arms and Ariel gave him her hand. The rest of the day was heaven for Grandpa!

    Stitch and Ariel watch the Disney Channel all day at home, so they loved every minute of seeing the preschool characters on stage, taking pics with Sully and Mike, posing with the Power Rangers, chatting with Kim Possible and Ron about thier next mission, and seeing the characters from Toy Story. But an event that they couldn't wait to go is eat at Pizza Planet. Ariel and Prince Donald were a bit weary of eating pizza so they passed and played games instead. Dad, Stitch and I sat and ate. I had heard lots of negatives about this place, but thankfully I didn't let that be the deciding factor. The pizza was the same as Pizza Hut. We enjoyed lunch, played some more games and then headed off to Star Tours.

    Anyone that knows Stitch and Ariel, know that they are HUGE...and I mean HUGE, Star Wars fans. They can tell you every single character and what episode each one appears in. Dad was in awe! He could not believe the kids knowledge of Star Wars. After the ride the kids were giddy with excitement. Dad decided to purchase some Star Wars toys for Stitch. He was in heaven! He decided that he would get Ariel something more girly at another store. He was shocked that my children were not the tantrum types and he said I did a great job with them.:goodvibes

    Since the parade was about to start in 30 minutes we decided to go stake out a spot. While we were sitting there, the skies opened up to one of Floridas famous afternoon thunder storms. I had packed some rain ponchos and sat still. Stitch carraige had a cover so he was nice and dry. Dad decided to use the time to take Ariel to the gift shop. He returned 20 minutes later and all smiles. Again in awe, he replayed what happened in the store. He asked Ariel to pick whatever she wanted. She looked around and picked a stuffed Jasmine doll. He looked at the price and told her she could pick something else. She looked at him and said "I could?!?!" He said yes. So she walked around the store and said "Can I get that Tinkerbell doll? It's ok if you can't today." He said his heart swelled. At that very moment another child was throwing a tantrum because they couldn't get 3 dolls, and the mom had two in her hands! He looked down at Ariel and told her "Of course sweetheart, keep being a considerate mindful little girl and you will get things when you can." Ariel's face when she walked out to me with her bag of not one but two goodies from Grandpa was priceless.

    Since we had Ariel and Stitch and they were so young, we didn't do the TOT or the Rollercoaster. We did watch Beauty and the Beast. We made the line for Fantasmic. What we didn't anticipate that day was that the afternoon thunderstorm would drop the gorgeous 85 degree weather to a balmy 40 within a mere 3 hours. Prince Donald ended up buying Ariel and Stitch each a fleece blanket to wrap them in since we didn't have jackets with us. He bought me a fleece Tinkerbell pullover. And of course grandpa decided to buy the two a light up wand and Mickey while we waited. Did he spoil them that day! LOL

    The tears flowed from my eyes as I watched Fantasmic. It was simply amazing! It is something I am so happy I did not miss. After it was over we walked through the Osbourne Lights. What an amazing story, and what an asset it is for Disney to have the display there. Ariel thought it was hilarious that soap suds were used to simulate snow! We did the quick looksee and decided to head back to the resort. Since Dad had his car we didn't have to wait for the busses. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Old Port Royale since Prince D and Ariel's tummies were doing better and took the food back to the room. We all ate, bid Dad goodnight, and took our showers and went promptly off to bed. Ariel nodded out right away with her new princess Jasmine doll safely tucked under her arm.:hug:

    Up Next:
    A Stroll Down Memory Lane @ The Magic Kingdom
     
  11. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Thank you! I also call them Virtual Vacations! It clearly is the Happiest Place on Earth!
     
  12. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Day 3 11/22/05-

    The night before we had set the wake up call for 7am. This way we had plenty of time to eat a quick breakfast, get dressed and be on our way to the Magic Kingdom before the park opened. I had read all about the Mickey wake up calls and was excited to wake up Ariel with it. In anticipation I woke up on my own at 6:50am. The minutes felt like hours ticking by! Finally the phone rang. I shook Ariel and told her to pick it up. She did, put it to her ear and said "Hello? Hello? Mom, there is no one on the line."I took the phone from her to listen, and dead silence.:confused3 That's odd. (We tried it every morning after, and had the same results. We got JIPPED! LOL)

    I was so surprised to see Prince Donald get out of bed without having to nudge him a few times. He said he had a good night's rest and was ready to go. (Told you he is a closet Disney fan!:rotfl: ) It was Stitch that took some coaxing to get out of bed. He said "Mom it is still nighttime, I have to keep sleeping!" Oh no mister, we are getting ready. If he thought he was going to continue sleeping he was in for a surprise. Ariel and I started attacking him with kisses and quite quickly he had enough and ran for refuge to Prince Donald. We turned on the weather quickly and realized we were in the middle of a cold front! Lucky thing we had packed jeans and lightweight jackets!

    I am not sure if I planned it so well, or it was because we took the park without the EMH or what, but the bus to the Magic Kingdom went half full again. And this was after it picked up from all the areas too! But because it took a while for the bus to arrive we missed the opening ceremony. No Biggie. I had a whole strategy. I wanted to head straight to Frontierland to get on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Ariel was ecstatic that she met the height requirements for this ride. And in her words, she wanted to "finally get to ride a big rollercoaster."

    As we walked down Main Street I became pretty emotional. There was the castle....standing before me, all dressed up in its gold finery. It took my breath away. Prince Donald thought I was nuts when he saw a tear roll down my cheek. He doesn't quite understand the memories I have of DisneyWorld with my uncle. I remember taking my first picture from that very spot back when I was 9. Just then a CM interrupted my nostalgic moment.

    CM-Hey little one, would you like to take a pic with Tink?
    Ariel- Yes please! Where is she?
    CM- Oh she is a fairy, and fairies are really tiny. You and I can't see her to well since she flies so fast.
    Ariel- Oh...so how can I take a picture with her then?
    CM- Well, you see this camera? It's a special camera and takes pictures really fast. Tink loves to take pics with little cuties like yourself, so she will jump in the picture when I am ready to take it.
    Ariel- So I can see her in the picture?
    CM- Yes! Mom and Dad can get the picture later. Want to try?
    Ariel- Mommy can we please?
    Me- Of course Princess.

    So the CM set us up for the picture. Ariel had her hands cupped together and smiled for the camera. When the CM handed me the card, she looked a bit perplexed and told me she didn't feel her. Tink is tiny, she weighs like a feather. I couldn't wait to show her the pic!

    We continued towards Frontierland. Along the way we saw Jessie and Woody. With no lines! We ran over to take a pic. It was so much fun because Woody and Jessie posed with each one holding up one of Ariel's pony tails. It made for a great picture! We then walked over to Big Thunder Mountain. Prince D decided to stay with Stitch (who was NOT happy he couldn't ride) while Ariel and I went on. It was perfect, no lines! I think everyone hit Space Mountain first. As we were going up that first hill Ariel asked if the bats were real. :scared1: Then giggled the whole ride around! She loved it except for the bat part. Since it was downright chilly out, we bypassed the possibility of getting wet on Splash Mountain and worked our way to Indy Speedway.

    Next Up- Part 2 Fast Cars, Ride Through Space, & A Grand Coronation!
     
  13. mdsouth

    mdsouth DIS Veteran

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    It was great that your dad got to spend time with you all and get to know your children. I also liked reading about how polite and gracious the kids are. :thumbsup2

    It is important for kids to learn to appreciate what they are given and to not expect things. My two kids were great on our trip as well. We bought them each Mickey ears, and one small stuffed Mickey Mouse each. They were very happy and did not beg for everything they saw. They each bought one other toy with their own money (a toy Disney bus less than $10.00 for my DS and a small stuffed Donald Duck for my DD). Only yesterday they were both playing with the same toys two years later. My DD actually still wears her Minnie ears all the time. She even wore them to preschool a few times around town. :cool1:


    Note to other parents: The small stuffed characters are great because the kids can carry them around with them. Bigger isn'y always better!:thumbsup2
     
  14. SnoopyDancer

    SnoopyDancer Mouseketeer

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    I'm enjoying reading your trip report. Better late than never! :thumbsup2
     
  15. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    It really is important for them to learn appreciation. I find that when children get excessive amounts of anything, they don't appreciate it and they don't play with it much. Case in point, Ariel has 1 Webkins (new craze) she plays and cherishes that one dog as though it was gold. Her friend on the other hand has 9 of them. When asked if she loves playing with it, she shrugs, I played with it when I first got them, but now I don't play with it much really.

    The ears are an awesome thing to get them! I am planning to get them each a pair on our upcoming trip. Does anyone know how much are they with the name engraved and where I can get them at?
     
  16. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Thank you so much! My sentiments exactly! LOL;)
     
  17. SnoopyDancer

    SnoopyDancer Mouseketeer

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    I think the ears are $12, but I could be wrong because it has been a year since I went. You can get the names engraved for free. They will engrave other hats too. I think the mad hatter has the largest selection, but you can get hats at other places too.
     
  18. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Ariel was on a roller coaster kick, and wanted to get on Space Mountain! This time around I let Prince Donald take the ride with her while Stitch and I strolled around the shops in TOmorrowland. I saw a penny machine and thought "How neat!" Stitch and Ariel love collections (another thing Ariel bears in common with her namesake princess!) So I dug in my purse and found the change necessary to purchase a pair of coins for each. While we were making them, a lady came over with a coin book. NEAT! I asked her where she got it and she pointed it out and I promptly went over to get one. Stitch was so anxious to tell Ariel that the moment he saw her come out of Space Mountain she yelled it at the top of his voice! She loved it! And now she was in search of new coins anywhere we turned!

    Since Stitch had yet to get on a ride, we decided to go on the Indy Speedway next. While we were waiting in line my Uncle (I will call him Uncle Disney since he works here and he introduced me to the Magic) called and said he was on his way to the park to see us. We agreed to meet in front of the Cinderella castle. Stitch was beaming when he got in the car with Prince D. He kept shouting that he was going to beat us down the track! LOL And he did!:woohoo:

    Once we were done we decided we wanted to secure a prime spot for the CInderellabration. Ariel and I have been looking forward to this from the moment we learned we were going to Disney! I searched around to see if I spotted Uncle Disney and 5 minutes later, he and Aunt Disney were upon us. I was so excited to see him. Although we talk on the phone at least once a month, and chat online from time to time, we had not physically seen each other in 3 years! He was instantly smitten by Ariel and Stitch since they greeted them as though they see them every day! The music started and the festivities began. Ariel and I were in awe by the whole performance. I know I may be a sap, but my eyes just welled up seeing this gorgeous castle before me. And they flowed when I looked over and caught Stitch holding hands with Uncle Disney, his eyes in wide-eyed wonder. That very picture was me with Uncle Disney over 20 years earlier. Aunt Disney looked over and smiled. As the Cinderellabration came to an end she whispered "Do you remember when you first laid eyes on the castle with Uncle Disney?" I responded "Do I ever! I will never forget it." I waited for the crowds to dissipate and told Uncle Disney I needed to take a picture with him in front of the castle. Afterwards we went to Pinnochios Haus for lunch. One word...YUMMY!

    After lunch we said goodbye to Uncle & Aunt Disney since this was his day off and he had to run some errands. We promised to go visit him for dinner Friday evening. At this time the park was getting crowded and since we knew we were coming back on Friday for another dose of the Magic Kingdom we made it a point not to rush ourselves. In order to make things fair, we let Stitch endure a girly girl event before lunch, we decided to all go onto Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Now what a cool ride! Stitch ADORES video games, and when he saw that the concept of this ride was to get the highest score playing against Zurg and his cohorts he was in heaven! Prince Donald was right up there with Stitch! PRincess Ariel and I were in one car, while they were on the other. Ariel was a little uneasy about all the spinning I was having the car do. So when Stitch said he wanted to get back on she was not too keen on the idea. We waited while Prince D went back on with him. IT was about time for pics with Buzz, Stitch and the Incredibles so we got on line and waited till Prince D and Stitch came to find us. By this time Stitch was getting a little moody. So we let him fall asleep in the stroller while Ariel took pics. We didn't want to wake him so we walked over to the teacups and took a ride. This was an experience I wanted to share with Ariel. I told her all about my first time on them and she was excited to be going on for the first time with me.

    The wonderful thing about Disney....it is around for generations to share.

    Once we were done Ariel spotted Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and like Woody and Jessie they took some fun pics with Ariel. Since we had about 30 minutes till our ressies at Crystal Palace we decided to walk towards it, find a bench and people watch. We talked about what a wonderful time we were having. Prince Donald looked at me and said "Staying onsite is so....."Magical". I don't think we can ever stay off-site again." I couldn't help but smile. My sentiments exactly. Then he said "I love the Carribbean Beach, but I would love to try a new resort." I looked over at him and said "Hmmm, maybe I should plan a trip for our 10th Anniversary here. Since we always said we wanted to do a cruise again we can do a land and sea vacation." He smirked and said "We'll see...." The seeds were planted in his mind! :goodvibes

    Six o'clock and we got up from our comfy bench and checked in for dinner. It was amazing to see how many people were turned away. It is so worth it getting up at 7am and making the reservations 3 months in advance. We had a 15 minute wait, which is nothing for us. Besides we were in Disney! We were shown to our table and like at Chef Mickey's the characters arrived out of nowhere right away! There was wonderful interaction with the children and they took thier time. I had to get my picture with Tigger! He's my favorite from the Pooh and Friends group. We took our time since we didn't want to wait too long outside for the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

    About 30 minutes before it was to start we went out to stake out a spot. We were shocked at how crowded Main Street already was! We walked around and found a little area for Stitch and Ariel to sit at on the curb. Seems that the family next to them were too pooped to hang around and they told us Prince Donald and I can sit in their place. I decided to go get some popcorn and hot chocolate to tide the kids over till it bagan. popcorn:: The parade was just as I remembered it. It is wonderful to see that although Disney grows and puts in new things some things still remain classics (I do miss Mr. Toads Wild Adventure :sad2: ).

    But WISHES was a beautiful way to end the day! The song had me choked up and the pyrotechnics were incredible. As we were waiting for the bus to take us back to our resort, Prince Donald mentioned "Do you happen to know how much a land and sea vacation would run us?" :dance3: OMG! Was he really saying what I think he is saying???? "I'm not sure honey, but I can get on it once we arrive home." And I gave him the biggest brightest smile! "Remember it is for our anniversary....we can't do this next year." Sure thing! I can't wait to get started on the planning!:hourglass

    Up Next: Mission: Shopping & Aloha with Cousins
     
  19. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Just needed to add, while I was reading this entry back to Prince D, he reminded me that after the teacups we went over to Adventureland and flew on the Magic Carpets of Alladin, toured the Jungle Cruise and ran into some Pirates of the Carribbean. We did manage to do alot that day!

    And how can I forget......I had my very first DOLE WHIP! WOW, it was heavenly, and I don't know why I had never had it before. IT is DEFINITELY on my list of things to do in November!
     
  20. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    11/23/05-

    When planning this trip I knew that after 2 fun filled days of running around MGM Studios and Magic Kingdom, we would require some downtime. So today was scheduled as our relax day. Sure, being Ms. Planaholic Extrodianaire I had to plan something but rest assured it was only dinner ressies.

    This was the only morning where we didn't have a wake up call. But nonetheless Ariel and I woke up bright and early. We didn't want to disturb Prince Donald and Stitch's slumber, so quietly took our showers, got dressed and tiptoed out of the room for a morning walk. Ariel and I were on a mission. We were going to lay on a hammock, relaxing in the brisk morning sunshine, listening to the birds chirping away. But first we must eat!

    The last 2 mornings we ate donuts and bagels that we had packed for our roadtrip. No more of that! We went to Old Port Royale and had Mickey Waffles! Mine were with hot strawberries, Ariel's without (she is a plain Jane breakfast type of gal!) They were scrumptious! Once we were done, we took a look around. It is so cool that this indoor facility is decorated, to look like you are in an outdoor marketplace! While we were exploring Ariel found another penny machine. Of course I had no change on me so I went over to one of the cashiers and made change. 2 more for the collection!

    We ventured outside and I showed Ariel the pool. She loved it! It was too early to swim so we took the trail that led to the hammocks. Her eyes lit up! We both carefully climbed on and started swaying away. I can't explain what a great 40 minutes it was. When you have more than one child, it is hard to give undevouted one on one time to one. Stitch seems to get it for the 6 hours a day Ariel is at school. But the older one always seems to get the shorter end of the stick. But on this morning it was just us two. We talked about our vacation so far, school, and how Ariel will never ever forget all the fun she has been having on this Disney trip.:hug: It made me all warm and fuzzy. Ariel is growing up so fast, and I love seeing who is materializing before my eyes. She understands how this trip is special. She knows that it isn't something we can do every year. I told her I want her to always be happy with what she has. It's wonderful to dream and set goals. And to always give thanks. Life is precious, and so was this morning time with Ariel.

    We figured that Stitch would probably be waking up soon, so we walked back to Old Port Royale and bought breakfast for him and Prince Donald. Our suspicions were correct. They were both up and grateful to see us bearing edible gifts. The rest of the morning was spent on the playground at the beach and taking a quick dip in the pool. The weather was still cool so we didn't stay in long. We returned to the room, washed up and went to DTD for lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express (DELICIOUS) and a little shopping.

    Before the trip we told Stitch and Ariel all about the shops in DTD. We also told them that they each had a limit in what they can spend. Each had $50 to pick what they want, so they needed to pick wisely. Ariel knew exactly what she wanted. She purchased the stuff a box of My Little Pony items, a bracelet, and a wind up dancing princesses. Stitch bought the box filled with Mr Potato Head pieces and a Power Rangers playset. They were content! I had my own limit and I bought a personalized ornament to commemorate our 1st Family Trip and a couple of boxes of Mickey Mac and Cheese for when we want to relive the magic! Prince D ended up buying a DIsney paperweight for his work office.

    Spending the afternoon in DTD was wonderful. We even ended up taking a great pic of Stitch and Ariel for our Christmas cards! We decided to head back to the room and rest up for dinner. We had plans with our "Cousins"!

    We each had saved our MGM days table service credit in order to use it for a signature dining experience. The one we were looking forward to was The Spirit of Aloha. Our dreams are to one day go to Hawaii and experience an authentic luau, so the idea of getting one in the middle of Disney was a great concept. I had asked for other DISer's opinion of it, and the majority said it wasn't worth it. I contemplated scratching it from our itiniary but Prince D and I kept thinking, it is something we want to do, so we should try it and go in with no expectations.

    Are we glad we decided to stick to our original plans! When we arrived we were greeted by our "cousin" and we were all "Leied". We were then whisked over to take a family picture, and then we followed our "Cousin" to our table. We heard that if we made our ressies with less than 6 months anticipation (as we did) we would be seated in the back. I guess we had pixie dust this trip because we were seated at a table, front and center. The food was servced family style and it was oh so tasty! The storyline was cute and the dancers and flame throwers were fantastic. We went in expected the worst, and left extremely content.

    Since we drove to the resort, we headed back to the car and Ariel and Stitch promptly fell asleep. We carefully put thier pjs on and put them to bed. It was the end of a fun relaxing day!

    UP NEXT: Hey it's NATAZU & Bomas.
     
  21. ChrisLei

    ChrisLei Dreaming of the Disney Magic!

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    Thanksgiving Day- 11/24/05

    We have heard many rumors that EVERYONE who takes a trip around Thanksgiving arrives this weekend, so we planned to get up bright and early and get to the Animal Kingdom ASAP!

    Again we went to the bus stop and everyone seemed to be heading to Magic Kingdom or Epcot. We fortunately for the 3rd day had a bus that was half full. We felt so special! :goodvibes

    We arrived just as the opening ceremony was about to begin. Talk about luck! We held Stitch and Ariel so that they can see Mickey Mouse appear by the Tree of Life. As soon as it was over we made a bee line to the Safari! There were lots of people heading the same way but fortunately our wait was only 10 minutes. Lucky thing all the animals were out and about. What stinks is that it seems that our rechargeable batteries were malfunctioning. So we didn't get to take very many pictures. Stitch kept asking of the elephants were going to step on us. He was a funny sight!

    Those DISer who warned me of how crowded it becomes starting on Thanksgiving Day, were not kidding! When we disembarked from the Safari the crowds were incredibly large! We made our way to Pocohontas and Friends. It was alot of fun for me since my dad's friend plays the role of Pocohontas this day. She did an awesome job. Ariel and Stitch got to sit up close while the parents sit behind the rows of children. This proved to be a bit worrisome for Ariel. When the show finished she was in tears. She said she was afraid we would not find her:scared: . I gave her a big hug and told her we would search high and low for her. Even still, I don't think I would mind being left behind and being a real princess princess: and living in the castle permanently! LOL

    We checked the time and realized that the Lion King Show was about to begin, so we parked our stroller and walked in. This show is incredible. I can't say enough about all the thought that goes into these Disney productions. They are all so entertaining! popcorn::

    It was just about lunchtime and we decided we wanted to get something not to filling since we had dinner reservations at Boma's at 6pm. So we decided to go to Pizzafari. Now my two have never found a pizza they don't like.....until now. I'm not sure if it was too saucy or what, but they did not eat much of it. I felt bad having to dump it all. They did end up eating thier desserts!:mickeybar

    After lunch we went to Dinoland. Uncle Disney told me I can not miss getting on the Dinosaur ride. Since fortunately there was very little wait, Ariel and I went on line. I loved this ride, Ariel hated it! The picture they took was HILARIOUS!!!!! Poor Ariel, looked like she was terrified. We came out and I insisted that Prince Donald go on. He went on while I waited outside with Ariel and Stitch. He thought it was amazing but can see how Ariel would be terrified! :rotfl2:

    Since we were in Dinoland, we went on the rest of the Dino themed rides. By now it was about 4pm. We wanted to go back to the room before going to Bomas so we trekked back to the Tree of Life and to A Bugs Life show. Stitch was not enjoying this one! He hung to my neck the whole time. Ariel didn't mind it so much but did not like "The stinky part". Since this park was sooooo crowded we left as soon as we were done.

    We got to see Expedition Everest, but unfortunately it was yet to open. Maybe in a few years we can go there.

    We made it back to the room, washed up and got ready for our Thanksgiivng dinner. We decided to drive to the Animal Kingdom Lodge instead of having to take 2 buses to and from there. This resort is stunning! We couldn't wait to finish dinner to get to take a look around. Since it was Thanksgiving there was a bit of a wait. But it was worthwhile. Prince D and I are quite adventureous eaters and tried a little of everything (except the area with the traditional Thanksgiving fare of Turkey and stuffing. Get that all the time!) I fell madly in love with the Butternut squash soup. OMG! It was mouthwatering. And now I can truly appreciate everyone's love for the zebra domes. Stitch and Ariel stuck to tried and true fare of mac and cheese, chicken fingers and french fries.

    We rolled ourselves out of there and went exploring. There were musicians that entertained the children and showed them how to beat on the drums and play other musical instruments. It was truly alot of fun. Prince Donald mentioned that in the future he would love to stay at this resort. And he says he is not a Disney Fan!!!!

    Up Next: Extra Magic Hours in the Magic Kingdom!
     

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