We're from South Dakota. This Cold Shouldn't Bother Us!! - A Dec 2010 TR -UPDATE 2/7

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ChildAtHeart82, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    We had a wonderful Christmas Eve. Lucy had so much fun with characters! We were looking at our character pictures on our TV this morning and Lucy got really excited. That interaction must have made quite an impact. :)
     
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  3. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    I want to start by apologizing for the flurry of updates. I know it makes it hard to keep up with my report when I'm posting so often. I'm going on a trip for work at the end of the week and I've been on the fence about trying to finish this before I leave or waiting until I get back. I think I've decided to try and finish it this week.

    That said, on to Christmas! Christmas was a low key day for us. We didn't set an alarm and I still found myself awake about 8:00AM. I went to the food court and got a croissant for breakfast. Everyone was finally awake about 9:30AM. We opened a our presents and stockings first.

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    Lucy got some Disney books, a stuffed Piglet, and some clothes.

    After presents, we caught the boat to DTD for lunch. After all of the reviews I'd read about Earl of Sandwich, I was looking forward to eating there. When we got there, the line was really long, but we stayed the course. The line moved pretty quickly and we eventually found tables to sit at. DW and I both got The Original.

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    We'd finished up most of the shopping we wanted to do already so after lunch we made our way to the bus stop. Our first stop for resort touring was Beach Club. The bus ride seemed to take forever. We got caught in the perfect storm of driver change and the bus stopping at a lot of other resorts first. After about 45 minutes we finally made it to the Beach Club.

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    The carousel was probably the best of the gingerbread decorations we saw. After the carousel, we made our way to the beach.

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    We took a bus from the Beach Club to Magic Kingdom and then took the boat to Wilderness Lodge.

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    We were walking around and discovered that we'd left a backpack on the boat. Two of us went to go see if we could get it back and the rest of us went inside.

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    I thought this onesie was cute. When we have a boy, we'll probably buy it if we can find it then.

    We got the backpack back and went out to see the geyser.

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    We went back to Magic Kingdom and hopped on the monorail. Our first stop was

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    There wasn't a whole lot to see at the Contemporary. The gingerbread tree was kind of disappointing compared to the other gingerbread decorations. We walked around a little and browsed in the gift shop. Our family enjoyed looking at the resort.

    [continued in next post]
     
  4. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    We moved on to the Grand Floridian to see the gingerbread house.

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    I bought a gingerbread shingle to eat. I thought it was a little weird because it was spongy. It tasted good, but I'm used to crunchy gingerbread.

    We also grabbed another photopass picture in front of the tree. The photographer was very friendly and really enjoyed taking pictures of Lucy.

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    Our next stop was Ohana for dinner. I checked us in at the podium and we had about a ten minute wait for our table. We sat down and the onslaught of delicious food began soon after. A lot of the negative reviews I've read about Ohana talk about feeling rushed. I can understand how people feel that way because the courses come quickly and the food really never stops coming. We enjoyed this, though, we took some of everything and then asked for more of what we really liked. After all of the wings, noodles, and meat came there was a long pause to allow us to eat and ask for more before dessert. The bread pudding was amazing. We also enjoyed the Hawaiian singer and watching all of the activities for the kids. We will definitely eat here again. Due to all of the food coming quickly, we don't have very many pictures, but here are some.

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    We returned to our resort very full and very happy. Then, the sadness started because it was time to pack. DW's family was leaving in the morning and we were moving to Pop for our last night. It was very good Christmas. :)
     
  5. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Sounds like you guys had an enjoyable day resort hopping. Glad you were able to get the backpack back, that would've put a tiny damper on Chirstmas.
     
  6. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    It was a good day. It was a relief to get the bag back.
     
  7. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    We woke up early and took our bags to the main building to drop them off at bell services. There was no one at bell services so we took our bags to the front desk. They called the bell services CM and he marked our bags for the transfer to Pop. We went back up to the room to say goodbye to DW's family. After a very sad goodbye, we went to catch a bus to the Magic Kingdom. Our first thought this morning was how much colder it was! We took a few pictures of the ominous clouds on the way to the monorail.

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    It was also really windy. We already knew that our plans for spending most of the day outside were probably going to change. We took the monorail to the Polynesian. It was time for Lucy's first character breakfast!

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    Lucy played with Tigger while we ate breakfast and waited for the characters to come by our table.

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    Stitch was first.

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    Then, Lilo.

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    Next, was Mickey.

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    Finally, Pluto.

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    Lucy really liked all the characters and they all took so much time with Lucy. They all seemed very taken by Lucy too. Lucy's favorites were Lilo and Pluto. I suppose since this was a breakfast I should mention the food. DW and I aren't big breakfast eaters but we enjoyed the food. We have one picture. The sausage was really good and DW liked the eggs. Not pictured is the very delicious bread.

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    We left Ohana and went to Magic Kingdom. We caught the train at Main Street, planning to ride it to Toontown. Riding a train in the cold was not our best decision, but we toughed it out. It didn't help that the train stopped outside of Toontown for a while because they were adding another train to the track. All DW and I could think about was that if we were the only people on our train, did they really need to add another train?

    Finally, we made it to Toontown and were just looking for a way to stay warm. We knew this would be our last chance to see Toontown so we braved the cold long enough to take some pictures. First, we went to Mickey's House.

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    We then shivered over to Minnie's House.

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    [continued in next post]
     
  8. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    Continuing on...

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    I had to explain the palm tree to DW.

    We took a few more pictures on our way out of Toontown.

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    Leaving Toontown, we decided that going to our nice warm room at Pop sounded like the best idea. Another Dole Whip was definitely not going to happen. We just needed a few warm stops on the way to the bus stop. It was starting to sprinkle as we passed Pooh and the posted wait was 30 minutes. We decided to check out the new queue. We didn't really have much time to look at it, but it did seem really neat, especially the honey wall. We probably waited about 5 minutes for the ride. We enjoyed it, but the best part was the warmth.

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    After Pooh, we made our way to Main St. and stopped in the confectionary. We had snack credits to burn and I'd picked up from a trip report that no one is uncheered by a piece of Main St. fudge. It was time to test this out. Lucy fell asleep on the way.

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    We got some chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, swirl, pumpkin, and peppermint (not pictured).

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    We ate the peppermint fudge that night and it did make us feel a little better. We ate the rest of the fudge through the week after we got home to help with our post-trip blues.

    We took a few more pictures before leaving.

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    We caught a bus back to Pop and checked in. Our room was ready and we made our way to building one. We spent a little time warming up before heading back out to the bus stop. We took a bus to DTD. I missed the boat, but it probably wouldn't have been much fun in the wind and cold. We enjoyed Earl of Sandwich so much the previous day that we decided to have lunch there again. The line was even crazier than last time and seating was even harder to find since nobody wanted to sit outside. We eventually found a table. I got the Original again and DW got the Full Montagu. It was just as good as the first time.

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    After lunch, we shopped for a little but in the cooking store and then Once Upon a Toy. I got sucked in and played the new Tron video game for a few minutes. Then, we made our way to the bus stop. We were on our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge and saw a bus leaving as we got to the bus stop. We only had to wait fifteen minutes for the next bus, but it felt much longer.

    DW had wanted to get family photos for a long time. I decided while planning our trip that I would surprise her with a private photopass session. She wondered why we were going to AKL so early for our ADR. She was very happy when she found out.

    We had reserved a 20 minute session, but the photographer spent at least 40 minutes taking pictures. Our session also included a package of prints. I think from checking in until walking away with our prints took a little over an hour. We had originally wanted to get indoor and outdoor pictures, but it was way too cold to do anything outside. Here are some of our favorites.

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    [continued in next post]
     
  9. luckylady

    luckylady DIS Veteran

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    Those are some wonderful pictures you all took at AK. What a great surprise for DW. Christmas day sounds like it was a relaxing day.
     
  10. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    Here are a few more pictures from our session.

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    After our session, we walked over to Kidani Village for our dinner ADR. We took a few pictures before checking in. The wildlife weren't hanging out very close to the viewing area.

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    We then checked in for our ADR. Our final Disney meal of the trip was at

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    We only waited a few minutes for a table. They let us push our stroller into the restaurant because Lucy was sleeping. She woke up soon after, though, so we ended up switching to a high chair. We were really looking forward to the bread service so we ordered that as an appetizer.

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    For bread we chose naan, paneer paratha, and papadum. For accompaniments we chose red pepper hummus, red chile sambal, and tamarind chutney. We knew what naan and hummus were, but the rest were new to us. The naan and hummus were familiar and delicious. The paneer paratha was also good. I didn't like the papadum. It's the thin one and it was basically a big cracker. The sambal was really spicy and we didn't eat a whole lot of it. The chutney was sweet and good. If we ordered this again, we would probably get two servings of naan and then try another bread. We would still get the hummus and probably try two new accompaniments.

    For entrees, I got the Pick Two with chicken with red curry and coconut curry with lamb. It was served with basmati rice.

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    I liked it and would consider ordering it again. If we eat at Sanaa again, though, I might try something else on the menu.

    DW ordered the tandoori chicken with rice pilaf.

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    This was also good, but nothing spectacular. For dessert, we both got the chai cream.

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    This was the best part of our meal and is our strongest reason to eat at Sanaa again. Overall, Sanaa was a good and different experience. We would eat here again, but it's not a must-do.

    We got a bus back to Magic Kingdom and then got in line for a bus to Pop. This was our only and by far our worst bus luck. We waited for about 35 minutes for a bus and there were people who'd been waiting for awhile when we got there. In that time, we saw four TTC buses and four CBR buses. One of the CBR buses picked up five people and one of them showed up to an empty bus stop and left empty. We saw at least one bus for every other resort. The line for Pop grew from the first divider until it was spilling out the back of the section. One time a bus stopped and dropped people off from Pop and then left without picking anyone up. Finally, two buses showed up at the same time and I think everyone waiting made it onto a bus. It was a cold and unpleasant experience.

    We got to Pop and went to use the rest of our snack credits. We got a a tie dye cheesecake and then used the rest of our credits to get ritz crackers, wheat thins, and nila wafers. The cheesecake was really good.

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    We went back to our room and were happy to find our luggage there. We repacked our luggage for a plane ride and made a call to figure out when our Magical Express pick up would be. It was going to be a very early morning so we went to bed.

    On a side note, I found a picture of the bread from Ohana. It was so good. :)

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    Here's our recap for last day. We didn't have a whole lot planned, but the plan did change because of the cold. Missed attractions in red. Unplanned attraction in green.

    Toontown

    Dole Whips
    Main St. Fudge
    Winnie the Pooh
    Photo Session
    Sanaa
    Tie Dye Cheesecake


    Up next, the sad day and final thoughts.

     
  11. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! :) DW really enjoyed the surprise.
     
  12. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    You guys look so cold in the pictures, but even with that the AKL photos are really good. Your daughter is adorable!

    I've never ate at Sannaa before, but the bread and chicken entree your DW got looks tasty enough to give it a try. I'm going to file it under possible future ADRs, so thanks for the review and pics.
     
  13. Daddy_of_Princesses

    Daddy_of_Princesses The downside of being better than everyone else is

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    The pictures at AKL looked great. We were at AKL for three days, and I never thought about walking to the other resort. I'm sure there is alot of stuff I missed though since we mainly went for the parks.
     
  14. Nermel9

    Nermel9 DIS Veteran

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    Wow lots of updates! Christmas Eve in Epcot sounds amazing, eating your way around the world looks like fun! :thumbsup2

    I love looking at all the cute gingerbread things they make for Christmas, I really love the house in the Grand Floridian! I've never seen the display in BC, it looks really cute!

    Love the pics of Lucy and the characters at Ohana! And the AKL PP pics are really nice too, what a fun surprise for your DW!! :)
     
  15. PirateKate

    PirateKate DIS Veteran

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    Glad you liked the Main St. fudge! We tried peppermint, too. I found it to be very satisfactory.

    Your pictures from AKL turned out great! It is always nice to have a picture with your whole family in it.

    Too bad the weather was so cold. I know we spent a lot of time worrying about if the boys were warm enough. I'm sure you all worried about Lucy, too.

    Sanaa looked pretty tasty. Especially the chai cream. :)
     
  16. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! :) It was cold, but I just finished reading about your Epcot day and I think you all had it rougher than we did.

    Thank you! I'm not sure you missed a whole lot. The two resorts seem pretty similar and the lobby at the main AKL is more impressive.

    Yeah, I rushed through a bunch of updates to finish before my work trip and now I'm on my trip with one update left. Oh well. I found out about the beach club gingerbread from the DIS.

    Thank you! Without Lucy we might have braved the cold longer but we were worried about her.
     
  17. photographymom517

    photographymom517 DIS Veteran

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    I just read all 5 pages of your report!!! :goodvibes

    I have tons of comments, but I'll just stick to a few! First of all, I can't believe how crowded the parks were! Ahhhh! It reminds me of mid-June when we were there (only we were sweating because of the humidity!) I also can't believe how cold it was! It looks like you all had a great time despite the cold temps.

    Love ALL the pictures of Lucy!!! She's adorable! It looks like she had a really good trip to Disney!!!! I loved her Christmas outfit too!

    It sounds like you had alot of really great meals. I really want to try Teppan Edo & Ohana on our next trip. Also, we're planning to stay at one of the Port Orleans resorts...have any tips for me? (I'm going to start a PTR soon so please leave me any advice you have there...I need alot of tips because we've never stayed at either & can't make up our minds!!)

    I love how you did the eating around the world at Epcot!!! I might try that next trip! All of the things you tried looking delicious! I was disappointed because they were out of school bread during my trip & I couldn't find the jalapeno or cream cheese pretzels.

    Your photo session turned out really great!!! It was a great surprise for your wife!

    I know I had about a million more comments but I can't remember them all now. I should've written them down as I read along! I'm going to start reading your PTR tomorrow. I really enjoyed your trip report & learned alot along the way!!! Thanks for sharing with us!!!
     
  18. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Great Trip Report! :thumbsup2

    Just found it this morning and read right through!!
    We arrived on Dec. 27th to POP just as you were leaving!
    It was cold for most of that week as well. It finally warmed up on Dec. 30th!

    I like how you ate your way around Epcot WS!! On NYE, we drank our way around the world!!

    Looking forward to more photos!

    Debbie
     
  19. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Thank you! :) It was crowded but most of the time we seemed to avoid them pretty well. The cold was only noticeable in the evenings except for our last day. In a way, it made the fake snow feel more real.

    We were really happy with Teppan Edo and Ohana. I was worried about Ohana because of the mixed reviews I'd read on the boards, but I was really glad we ate there.

    I'll look for your PTR and make sure to give as much advice as I can on there. For now, we really liked French Quarter because it's so small compared to the other moderates. Also, it seems like when the two resorts share buses that French Quarter is picked up and dropped off first. For the boat to DTD, the boat loads at Riverside first. I've read that other people have had to wait for a few boats because the boats would fill up at Riverside before getting to French Quarter. We didn't have an issue, though. A lot of the activities, like the carriage ride and the bike rental are at Riverside. Also, French Quarter doesn't have a table service restaurant and Riverside does. The CS was good at French Quarter and they serve beignets. Mmmm. Finally, both resorts are getting refurbed rooms with queen beds. French Quarter is about half done and is supposed to be finished in April. After that, Disney is supposed to start on Riverside and that will be done in 2012, I think.

    The photo session was great and DW loved it. I felt really prepared thanks to the advice I had from the boards, including your TR. :)

    Thank you! :) We had fun eating around the world. I would like to drink around the world eventually, but I would really have to take my time because I'm kind of a lightweight.

    Only a few more photos left. We didn't take a whole lot on our departure day.
     
  20. ChildAtHeart82

    ChildAtHeart82 DIS Veteran

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    I just got back from my two week work trip. As it turns out, I could have saved a few updates for after the trip. Still, on to my final update.

    We woke up early and headed down to catch the sad half of Magical Express. Getting through security was uneventful. The flight to Denver went well and the first of our travel hiccups started as we got off the plane.

    Our baby carrier met us at the gate, but our stroller wasn't there. I waited...and waited...and waited. I sent DW to the gate counter with the claim tickets somewhere in the middle of the waiting. When the crew left the airplane, I gave up and went to find DW. The attendant looked our stroller up in the computer and said that they had transferred it to our other plane. That makes sense that they would give us our car seat but not our stroller because it was clearly the half of the travel system that was the most use to us. :confused3 The attendant said it was a mistake and apologized but said that there was nothing he could do. We can laugh about this now. I also asked about our rolling bag that we had gate checked. He told us that was transferred as well. That will be important later.

    We carried Lucy and our baby carrier to our gate and grabbed some lunch on the way. As we finished lunch, we found out that our gate had changed. We walked to the other side of the concourse to our new gate. A few minutes after getting there, our gate changed again. We sighed and walked to the new gate. This process would have been much easier with a stroller. As you might guess from the gate changes, our flight had a small delay. Lucy decided to nap while we waited.

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    The delay was only about thirty minutes. Lucy woke up from her nap when it was time to board.

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    The flight was short and Lucy seemed to enjoy it. She had a wonderful traveling companion.

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    We landed pretty close to on time and made our way to baggage claim. Our checked bags and our stroller made it. So far, so good. Now, we just needed our small rolling bag. We waited...and waited...and waited. Yep, United managed to do something that I didn't think was possible. They lost a gate-checked bag. Frustrated, I went to the ticket counter to ask about our bag. There as big line of people who had lost bags. When I went to the counter, I gave the attendant my claim ticket. She told me it was for a gate-checked bag and that I should have picked up my bag in Denver. At this point, I was tired and out of patience at this point. I had a minor blow-up at this point and retold our story from Denver. She checked the computer and couldn't find any information on our bag. She took our information and told us that we would get a call if they found our bag.

    We went home and unpacked. We went to bed having not received a phone call. Finally, early the next morning we got a call. They had found our bag and were on their way to deliver it. It was a little early, but we were just happy to get our bag back. Sadly, our trip was now at an end. We had only a few pieces of Main St. fudge and the dream of our next Disney trip to console us.



    I've mulled over what my final thoughts on our trip would be, but now that it's time to write them, I can't come up with a whole lot. Here's what I can remember.

    1.) Christmas crowds are manageable with the right plan and expectations. We were mentally prepared for the crowds and that helped a lot. I think showing up early to the parks helped too. The crowds weren't that bad for the first two hours or so at the parks and then they slowly started to thicken. If you're not an early riser and you're coming at Christmas, you can still have a great time. Be prepared for crowds, though.

    2.) Young children set the touring pace. Also, afternoon breaks are probably a good thing, depending on the child. Lucy was a very easy baby to tour the parks with, but we did have to plan around her. The biggest lesson we learned was that after all of our preparation, Lucy's pace varied from day to day. Plan ahead, but realize that every child is different and will need a different schedule. We only took a few afternoon breaks and they were needed by Lucy and the adults involved. Other days, Lucy handled a full day at the parks well. Be flexible and responsive to your child and things should go smoothly.

    3.) No matter how poorly your plan is going, remember you're still at Disney. I think we can all agree with this one when we're calm and aren't really in need of this piece of advice. When we're hot or tired or hungry or stressed and about to meltdown, it's harder to remember this. Still, it's very true. You're at Disney. A meltdown will only make your day worse. That said, if you lose it, apologize to the necessary people and move on.

    4.) Christmas at Disney is wonderful! I highly recommend going to Disney during the Christmas season. We will definitely go back, but maybe not the week of Christmas.

    Well, that's all I've got. It's sad that it's over, but we'll be back.
     
  21. BelleTinkMom

    BelleTinkMom DIS Veteran

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    So sad that the TR has come to an end. :sad2: I know I hate when mines comes to an end.

    Glad that you got your bag back.
     

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