The Land, The Sea & The Dark Side ... With A Toddler! 9/1 UPDATE!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ariel1025, May 28, 2012.

  1. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

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    Love the update!

    sounds like y'all had a very nice meal at 'Ohana even if the servers weren't very friendly. :sad2: I'm looking forward to trying it for the 1st time this year. But, I have heard a lot of people saying that the service has gone downhill lately.

    You story about Wishes brought a tear to my eye. That is a really sweet story & I can see why it holds such a special place in your heart. :goodvibes

    I hope that was the last of the rain during y'alls trip!
     
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  3. oboedm

    oboedm DIS Veteran

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    I am glad you found the bus service acceptable! We are thinking about DVC and AKL as a home resort. =)

    The Wishes story made me tear up a little bit! I love it! Embarrassingly enough, we have yet to see the show! Bad DISer, I know!
     
  4. CandleontheWater

    CandleontheWater Forever in love with Hathaway Browne

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    I've had similar experience with the waitstaff at 'Ohana. They are attentive, but always seem so rushed! I think they are under a lot of pressure to keep things moving and turn over tables, since it is such a popular restaurant and runs at 100% capacity.

    That is a very sweet story about Wishes and I'm so glad your wish came true! :goodvibes

    I hope James wasn't up for too long in the middle of the night! Our DS is a terrible sleeper away from home, so we've been there, and its not fun!
     
  5. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    No such thing as late! :welcome:

    I think on our last trip the service was pretty much the same as well. But, we ignore it since we love the food so much. And, I know it's a huge demand restaurant and they need to flip tables quickly.

    We've never been disappointed with the bus service at AKL. Sure, it's not as fun as the boats or monorail, but, for us, we utilize them anyway going to other hotels to eat so it's not biggy :thumbsup2

    Oh goodness, you must, must, must see Wishes! Amazing show!

    Yeah, with how hard reservations are to get and never seeing an empty table I can only imagine the pressure they must be under.

    Oh goodness, his sleeping habits on the trip were something we never, ever imagined ...
     
  6. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    Ok, quick confession ... James is quite possibly the worst sleeper. Ever. At (now) 17 months he still doesn't sleep through the night consistently. And, by that I mean, if he does it once a week we consider it a huge success. We have tried numerous tricks, tactics and recommendations. Nothing works.

    So, imagine my surprise when the next time I opened my eyes it was because the alarm on my phone was going off letting me know it was time to get ready for the day! I was suspicious that the little guy actually made it through the night - in a new place, in a pack 'n play - and asked Candi if the (heavenly!) beds had just knocked me out that cold. He, however, was just as amazed as me. Perhaps Disney magic isn't a work of fiction after all

    In true, morning hater fashion, I hit the snooze twice before I succumbed to the reality that I must get out of bed or deal with being late. And, being late to a before-park-opening breakfast at Magic Kingdom simply wasn't an option!

    We had decided the night before that I would get ready first and then while Candi got ready I would run down to purchase our park tickets to avoid doing so at the park. I grabbed my Dad so he could do the same and within only a few minutes we both had our one day park tickets for everyone. I was a little nervous about doing so because I had a decent stack of gift cards to use to purchase the tickets and I was worried they would hassle me about it. I need not had worried though, the nice CM didn't even bat an eye and even found a Sharpie to write the remaining balance on the last one I used.

    When we got back upstairs I realized the magic had left our room. Candi was stressed out (read: tired) so he was slightly irritable about ... well, nothing really. He just gets that way sometimes. I don't remember what sparked it but we ended up in a little tiff right before we met my parents outside to head over to MK.

    When we got out into the hallway my Dad could tell something was up and when he asked me what was wrong I snapped a little. Then I felt guilty because it wasn't his fault. Then I felt guilty that Candi and I argued to start off our day. Then I cried.

    Trying to move past it all I headed out to the bus stop where we were able to board a bus within just a few minutes. Once again, we didn't stop at Kidani (clearly I was incorrect about seeing a sign that said the bus did) and we were at the Magic Kingdom in less than 20 minutes.

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    Looks like the rain has made an appearance again

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    Those skies really don't look promising

    Now, when I made the reservation I made it to be before the park opened. Unfortunately, this was a morning extra magic hours so there was already quite a crowd formed when we arrived at the park - almost 15 minutes behind schedule. So much for a picture of James on an empty Main Street.

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    On the plus side I got to see part of the opening show for the first time ever

    Candi and I had been to an early reservation previously and were told to enter through the turnstiles on the right (after security). So, that's where we lead my parents. However, after weaving through everyone to get there we were told by the CM that we had to enter through the turnstiles on the left and that we better run because they were dropping the rope in less than a minute. So, we did what anyone would do and started "running" through the crowds of people to make it to the other side to avoid missing our reservation. Ok, ok, and still try to see a (partially) empty Main Street. My poor parents. I don't think they knew what hit them. They were busy trying to take pictures and soak it all in. While we were basically dragging them by the arm and telling them to run. Once we cleared the crowds I let them know that we didn't want to miss our reservation, pay the fee for not showing up, and be without somewhere to eat. They understood.

    It took about 10 seconds to be cleared to enter the park once we made it to the other entrance. And, there she was. Standing in all her glory. Welcoming everyone to the most magical, amazing place.

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    There is nothing like walking down Main Street for the first time on a trip. Knowing that you have so much time ahead of you. It has just begun. The magic is just beginning.

    Finally, after months and months of planning I could see Cinco's reaction to my favorite place.

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    Yep. He slept. No clue what he was missing out on.

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    I'm sure he was dreaming of things just as fantastic as this.

    We made our way a little closer to the castle before asking a CM where to find Crystal Palace. Yeah, it was literally right around the corner from where we were standing. Oops. We headed over and I checked in while Candi parked the stroller and my parents absorbed their surroundings.

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    That's his excited face - honest :laughing:

    Continued in next post

     
  7. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    When I checked in they marked my name on the list, gave me a buzzer and let me know it would be just a couple of minutes.

    We had a reservation at 8:10 so imagine my surprise when we our name was called within seconds of the doors opening for the day. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the person who called our name and I thought I had seen someone else walk up in our place. I kept trying to grab someone to ask but everyone was moving rapidly calling name after name. Now, I liked how Crystal Palace called people individually and led them to a table a bit staggered. But, it stressed me out that I wasn't sure where to go when all the other wait staff kept grabbing other families. Finally, a CM came out and called our name again and we were led inside.

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    We were led to a table on the right of the entrance. In the middle but right by the buffet, if that makes sense. Our waitress took our drink orders and let us know that our table would be one of the last (possibly the last :confused3) that the characters would visit so we had plenty of time to grab food. I headed up and grabbed a plate for James. When I brought it back to the table Candi told me to grab my plate and he would start to feed the baby.

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    Someone is still waking up

    I had noticed when I took James' plate over that Pooh was already halfway around our side of the restaurant (a lot of empty tables still) so I rushed to fill my plate. While Candi was filling his plate Eeyore made an appearance as Pooh got closer and closer to our table.

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    I saw Candi standing at the omlette station and was worried that he was going to miss James meeting Pooh. His first character interaction. Candi's favorite character as a child. I kept looking at where Pooh was at and looking at where Pooh was in line; praying that Candi wouldn't miss it. Once again, I didn't need to worry as Candi was back at the table several minutes before Pooh got there.

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    At first James didn't really react. He just kept saying "boo! boo!" No matter how many times we would go "pooh" he would counter back with "boo." Melted my heart a bit.

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    After a couple minutes he got very excited about the interaction. He was laughing and babbling like crazy.

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    Pictures now Mom? Do you realize who is standing here with us? Let me play!

    I was beyond amazed at all the time Pooh spent at our table. It was easily 5 minutes with full attention on my little guy. Maybe it was because the restaurant wasn't quite full yet (which also amazed me) or maybe because James was so little and clearly excited. Either way I am without words for how special he made James feel that morning.

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    Blowing bye bye kisses

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    Ok, maybe getting up so early was worth it

    Throughout the rest of our meal we rotated between enjoying our food and interacting with the characters. Getting James to eat? Yeah right! He was way too interested in the characters.

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    He really was not a fan of Piglet

    At this point in the meal all of us had visited the buffet at least twice and were extremely full and satisfied. The food was all fresh. Yes, we were there at opening, but based on observations, I would expect that the food was always fresh. They never had the buffet overflowing and I saw the replenish often. And our drinks were refilled constantly without asking.

    However, we didn't leave yet for two reasons. One - they were getting ready to start the parade around the restaurant with the little kids. And, after the previous nights success I was excited to do it again. This time with characters leading the way!

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    Hands down, my favorite picture of the trip. I know I've said that a lot, and it's less than 24 hours into our trip. But, this picture represents all the joy I felt in this trip. In wishing for it. In planning it. In experiencing it. My life was complete and whole with James. We were happy.

    The second reason we had to wait is because we had yet to see my favorite character of all time.

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    Here he comes

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    As we were waiting for our check James started to get antsy. He had eaten, he had played and now he was ready to run around. So, to keep him occupied I let him play with the only thing I could find at the moment.

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    My sunglasses

    We soon found out why the check took a little longer than expected. When I booked the reservation I put down that we were celebrating my Mom's birthday. True, it was actually a couple weeks away. But, we never get the opportunity to celebrate it together anymore so I figured it counted. So, while they were getting our check they were also gathering everyone to sing to her.

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    They also brought Pooh straight to our table for one last visit with the Birthday girl.

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    To say my Mom was happy is an understatement. It was the perfect ending to our breakfast.
     
  8. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

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    What a great update & wonderful breakfast! :goodvibes

    The pictures of James meeting the characters are so adorable! What you wrote about your favorite picture is really sweet. As a mom, I completely understood what you meant. I definitely have a few of those pics that relay that feeling.

    And that is very nice what they did for your mom to celebrate her bday!
     
  9. LuvEeyore

    LuvEeyore DIS Veteran

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    I love your pictures with Cinco and the characters and the one with you holding him(the face shots) I love the character interactions and the pixie dust that happens sometimes with the Characters. In California we had a great interaction with Characters at a lunch. We were by the door the characters entered and exited through to get into and out of the dining room. Even with retired mom, 1 13 yo and a 14 year old and myself...the interaction was great!!
     
  10. oboedm

    oboedm DIS Veteran

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    James is sooo cute in your MK pictures! It's funny that he slept through the castle, but at least he was able to meet some characters!
     
  11. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. All commotion aside that morning, it really was the perfect way to start our day at Magic Kingdom!

    That's my favorite part about Disney - they treat everyone the same whether they are 1 or 100 :thumbsup2

    I think I spent the entire first 2 days saying "really? you're sleeping now?" :lmao: I felt like he was missing all the iconic "firsts" :upsidedow
     
  12. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    After our amazing meal at Crystal Palace I did a quick time check to see how long we had until our next reservation and figured we had enough time to take James on a ride or two first. Of course, not until we documented James' first sighting of the castle since he was awake now

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    We also wanted to give him the opportunity to run around a little bit since he had been strapped into his stroller or the highchair most of the morning. Once he had taken in his surroundings for a while we headed off to his first ride, Dumbo! Yes, I'm that Mom that had the perfect vision of her Son's first ride being on that classic elephant. And I'm not ashamed to admit it! I am, however, ashamed to admit how lost I got trying to find that darn ride. I knew it had been moved with the big Fantasyland expansion, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out where. I even tried using the app on my phone, but it was no use. I just kept criss crossing and going in circles. Finally, I pushed my man-like pride aside and asked a CM for directions :lmao: I have to say, even then it took us a minute to find it. We had wasted so much time that I was starting to wish I wouldn't have made such a fuss about going there first and just ridden whatever we came across. However, at that point it would have been silly to stop and we eventually made it to our destination

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    As we were unloading James a CM let us know that we had parked our stroller in an undesignated area and pointed us across the way. My Dad offered to go park it for us and apparently Candi was letting the time crunch stress him out too much because he gave the stroller to my Dad and took off for the line. I'm not going to lie, as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I lost it. Right there in the line to Dumbo. In front of other parents, their kids and James. Ripped right into Candi for being so rude. The line "you never would have done that to your parents" rolled off my tongue. More than once.

    So, my magical vision of James' very first ride being on Dumbo? Not turning out so magical :sad2:

    On the plus side, the line for Dumbo was still really short. Not sure if it was due to still being so early in the day or because everyone else was lost too :rotfl: Either way, I was relieved that we weren't going to have to wait more than ten minutes or so.

    However, it may have been a short line, but it was definitely a tense one. At least for us. We spent the first half of the line refusing to talk to each other. He was mad that I yelled and I was made that he was inconsiderate. At that point my Mom came to join us in line. She was about 4 people back and although I'm sure nobody would have minded too much if she joined up there with us, I hate doing that. And, I wanted to make a point. Because when I get mad, I don't let up. So, I let each of those families pass in front of us so that we were in line with my Mom.

    As expected Candi said "you could have just asked those people if they minded that she jump in line with us" to which I responded "or we can just be in line where we would have been if you would have just waited for everyone." Yep, I'm one of those. Sad, but true.

    About 5 minutes later we had made it to the last aisle of the queue before boarding when we saw CMs taking pictures of everyone. At first, we though how nice that was. But, it was quickly followed with the announcement about how Dumbo needed to take a quick peanut break. Or something to that effect. At that point I just started laughing like a crazy person. Tears and all. Just a reminder about the best laid plans and all that jazz. Candi leaned over to kiss me and said he was sorry. I said I was sorry too. And that was that. Never spoken of again.

    At that point I told everyone that now that I knew where I was I knew I could quickly get us to our next location. So we decided that if the ride wasn't back up within the next 10 minutes then we would abandon ship.

    Luckily within about 5 minutes the ride was going and we were loaded soon after.

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    So what did James think of his first ride? Well, he spent the entire time looking at the water on the ride and laughing about the wind blowing in his face. Overall, success!

    After getting off Dumbo I let everyone know that we didn't need to rush as we still had a fair amount of time left. So we all strolled leisurely taking in the sights as we went.

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    Take note of the girl on the left

    About 10 minutes later, exactly on time, we made it to our destination

    One of the things I had always hoped to do on this trip was take James to the Barber Shop for his first hair cut. Unfortunately, his hair grows like he was meant to be a hippie :hippie: and had to get 3 hair cuts before we even left for the trip. So, I had decided not to make the reservation. However, when I told Candi that he encouraged me to do it anyway and said he really wanted to get his hair cut there with Cinco. And so we did

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    Before shot

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    I'm not sure why he looks sad or scared, he loves getting his hair cut. And, just as an FYI, those stickers ruined his shirt. When I took them off that night they peeled off parts of the iron on with them :sad1:

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    He loves when they use the clippers and always leans his head back and goes "ooooohhhh" it's so darn cute!

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    All done!

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    Daddy's turn

    While Candi was getting his hair cut I was gathering all Cinco's stuff to go change him when we heard a knock at the window

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    It was the CM we had passed by performing on our way to the Barber Shop. Her and James played the waving game for a couple minutes and then she came in to give him a hug. She told me that she had seen us pass by and couldn't wait to come in and meet "the little cutie." It was such a small thing but really made my heart swell with happiness.

    Soon after she left, we heard a warning that a dog was on the loose.. Of course, that dog was Pluto! He came in, gave James a high five and then ran away from his handler! And that just made James' day. He was all grins going "woof woof woof woof" the entire time.

    By that time Candi was done with his haircut and said he would go change James so he could change too. Nothing annoys my Husband more than having to wear the shirt he gets his hair cut in. He says that he can feel every single stray hair and it makes him itch like crazy.

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    After shot

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    I can't remember whose TR I read, but they said they've been getting their son's hair cut there since their first visit and always take a picture in front of the pole to see how much they've grown. I loved this idea and was so happy I remembered it ... even if I couldn't get Cinco to look at me :lmao:

    To the relief of everyone, I think, we didn't have anymore reservations until dinner that night. So after the boys got changed we decided to just walk and see what we saw ...

     
  13. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

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    Sorry the morning was a little rocky with not being able to find Dumbo & the little disagreement while in line. I think we've all been there. :sad2:

    I'm so glad y'all were able to get on Dumbo & that things really turned around! :goodvibes

    The pics of your little boy getting his hair cut are so cute! That's great that he likes getting a haircut! :thumbsup2

    And how fun that the CM came over to meet him....and Pluto, too!
     
  14. JBurke

    JBurke <font color=green>WL VET

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    Loving your report.
    Bringing back memories of my DD's first trip and me crying like a baby when the raccoon from Pocohantas hugged her. She was 3 then and now she is 18 and going to college in 2 weeks.
    Treasure those sweet memories with your little boy!
     
  15. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    In short, it all just came down to how tired we were from the long day of travel and the packed morning we had. Definitely mental notes to keep in mind for next trip!

    I'm really glad we were able to get on Dumbo too, all drama aside, I still love that it was James' first ride.

    The Pluto memory still melts my heart. I wish I would have had my camera out still, but am also glad I didn't because I was able to be completely immersed in the moment. A constant battle of mine actually.

    What an awesome memory to have! A big reason I'm writing this TR is to always have a way to look back on the trip and remember all the little details.
     
  16. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    After the boys got their haircuts Candi went to go change his and James' shirts. Unfortunately, he came back in the same shirt stating he forgot to put a new shirt for himself in the bag. I offered to go back to the room with him to get one since I know how much it bothers him, but he said he didn't want to waste anymore time and he would be fine. Why we didn't think of just buying a new one in the big store we were standing in front of? I have no clue! ::insert palm on forehead:: :rotfl:

    We decided that with the exception of getting a nap in for James and dinner that night we didn't want anymore plans for the day. So, we headed back in the direction of the castle and made a decision on going right or left.

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    Left it is!

    The non-plan (plan) was to ride whatever we came across that sounded like fun. I also wanted to grab a Dole Whip at some point as I had never tried them before. After a short while of walking we stumbled upon our first ride. Although it was so similar to the only other ride we had been on that day, it was something everyone could ride so it was a winner for us.

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    I had actually never ridden before, so I was really excited to experience a first right along with Cinco. I was also happy that each carpet had two rows so we all got to ride together.

    After the carpets we headed onward to see what was next on our adventures. My Mom pointed out the Tree House but nobody was interested in carrying a 23 pound boy up all those stairs. I told her if she really wanted to do it I would go with her, but when I explained what it was she said she would pass. She was not, however, willing to pass up on the Captain.

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    Captain Jack that is

    We had spotted the entrance for Pirates of the Caribbean and were all headed in when we realized my Mom was missing. Apparently the draw of Jack was too much to resist and she stopped dead in her tracks not even realizing that we kept on walking :lmao:

    While she enjoyed some eye candy we got in line for pictures with a pirate of a different sort

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    His whiskers were "tickle tickle" according to James who kept having them rubbed against his cheek

    After meeting Goofy we headed in to spend some time with more Pirates

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    Right as we loaded our boat I told my Dad to make sure his flash was off. Well, wouldn't you know it, we were in a boat with a family that used their big, bright flash the entire ride. Really does ruin the experience quite a bit :sad2: Ah well! I must say this is the first time on Pirates that I got wet. And not just a little bit, the entire right side of my shorts were pretty soaked and my camera got a little washing as well. Thankfully it was just a little surface damage that was easily wiped away.

    After our ride came to an end, Candi and I headed into the shop in hopes of finding a pirate costume for Cinco to wear on Pirate Night on our cruise. Unfortunately, and this is my biggest gripe of the trip, there was not a selection for little ones his size. There were awesome pirate costumes for boys and girls, but the smallest size was either a 3T or 4. Perhaps there just isn't demand in smaller sizes. But, we found the same with the t-shirt selection as well. There were one or two in his size and tons in toddler sizes and above. So the hunt for Pirate Night wear was a big fat fail. But, James did get one of those hot wheels cars designed to look like Jack Sparrow from Grandma. I think they are called Disney Racers? Regardless he absolutely loves that little car. Still plays with it daily. I guess I know what we will start collecting for him :thumbsup2

    After leaving the store James started getting a little fussy so I knew a snack and nap was in order. We had already discussed earlier that we would attempt to get James to take his early nap in his stroller while we walked around, and then head back to the room for his late nap. So, I requested that our next stop be somewhere we could grab a snack and drink. Unfortunately, I was still so stuffed from breakfast that I couldn't even fathom putting something else in my stomach. So even though it was the perfect opportunity, a Dole Whip was not to happen. On this trip, actually. We did however make a stop at the first stand we came across which had a short line. I grabbed a bottle of water and a sprite with snack credits and headed back to where James and Candi were sitting.

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    It seems he was not interested in a snack, only a nap

    We all sat to rest our feet for a little bit and then decided to walk around, giving my parents a chance to ride something if they wanted.

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    Is it just me or is she kinda scary looking?

    My parents weren't all that interested in the wait time for Splash Mountain and Big Thunder was under refurb during our trip. So, we decided to try to find the Christmas Store and then see if Cinco was awake by the time we reached Haunted Mansion.

    During our stroll I saw a sign for Dibs ice cream, which I was obsessed with while pregnant, and decided I wanted some. I got in line and then quickly got out when I realized the family in front of me was ordering for 16 people :scared: When I got back to my family they said my Mom had went in search of a restroom so I got in line at a stand a little farther away. This time I was through the line with my beloved Dibs in no time. However, when I got back my Mom was still not around and we were worried she may have gotten lost. I put my ice cream in the stroller and went to look for her. I had no luck and was hopeful she had found everyone when I got back. Unfortunately this was not the case and she didn't have her cell phone with her. We decided the best thing to do was stay put for a little while and see if she found her way back. About ten minutes later she did and was clearly upset. Somehow she had gotten turned around when she exited the restroom and ended up in a whole different land. We assured her it was fine, Cinco was still sleeping and we had the rest of the day ahead of us.

    Somehow through all that I had forgotten about the Christmas store and since James was still sleeping we decided to skip on Haunted Mansion. We were hopeful that we would catch it that night after dinner, as it is Candi's favorite ride in MK.

    We slowly made our way through the crowds enjoying our cold beverages and my Dibs when we stumbled upon our next ride of choice ...
     
  17. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

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    Yay! for riding the Magic Carpets! And PotC!

    And I can't say I blame your mom for getting side tracked by Captain Jack. :rolleyes1

    Cinco is so cute asleep in his stroller! You can tell he was tuckered out!

    Glad you got your Dibs & that your mom found her way back to y'all! :thumbsup2
     
  18. ShortStuff

    ShortStuff Mouseketeer

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    Your son is absolutely adorable!! You've already packed some awesome memories into a morning!! Loved the lemon face photo and the character shots as well!

    The picture that is your favorite is beautiful and would make a great 8 x 10 in a frame! What a wonderful memory!!

    Looking forward to more adventures!!
     
  19. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

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    James really did love the Carpets; especially when the camels "spit" on us. Ah, the life with a little boy :lmao:

    Aw, thank you so very much :goodvibes
     
  20. CandleontheWater

    CandleontheWater Forever in love with Hathaway Browne

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,241
    The pictures of your DS sleeping in the stroller are really cute! :goodvibes

    Sorry you got stuck with the flash family in Pirates, it really does take away from the experience.

    Yum, dibbs, I could go for some of those right now! Maybe its a pregnant thing? :confused3:rotfl2:
     
  21. ariel1025

    ariel1025 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,000
    Thank you :goodvibes

    It was so weird all the things I noticed this trip that I never paid any attention to before - such as the flash on PotC :confused3
     

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