Just Keep Swimming - a January 2019 TR (updated 4/10)

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by cinderaimee, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. sheri18

    sheri18 Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait to hear it...
     
  2. TheOneWithTheTriplets

    TheOneWithTheTriplets DIS Veteran

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    Yup, already have that one on my "don't terrify the kids" list. :-)

    Looks like you got a great seat for just walking in. I'm glad to hear you all enjoyed it- it seems to get mixed reviews.
     
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  4. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    I dragged them on almost all the scary rides. If they didn't like it, they didn't have to do it again. Builds character ;)


    We were off to the side a bit, but we were able to sit in the front row of the middle section, which was great for the kids. I think my 6 year old got a little bored with it at some parts, but my 4 year old was totally into it!
     
  5. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Friday, January 11 - Animal Kingdom (Part 2)

    After the Finding Nemo show, our Everest FP was open, so we made our way up there.

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    Couldn't get enough of these blue, blue skies.

    DS1 rode this in 2016 when he was four and didn't hate it and DS2 has been obsessed with watching videos of this ride and couldn't wait to ride "the yeti ride", so I figured they would be fine with it.

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    Yeah, I was wrong. Don't get me wrong, there were no tears or anything like that, but it was a hard pass on riding it again our second AK day.

    At this point, we had to decide what to do next. It was a bit after 1:00 and we had a 3:20 Tusker House ADR coming up, but we were all pretty hungry so we decided to get a snack. We headed up to Mr. Kamal's and got the seasoned fries and they were great. (no picture because I am the worst)
    I think we shared two orders. The kids didn't mind the sauces, but they eat a lot of Korean food so they can handle spices.

    We took some PP pictures in this area too.

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    (Also, it looks like I lied about changing them into shorts!) Around this time, the kids noticed these signs advising the alligators and snakes were in the area, which DS2 interpreted as "SNAKES AND GATORS HERE" and spent quite a bit of time forcing us to look for one.

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    Since we were near the Up bird show, we decided to go in and it was fine. I don't think I ever saw the old version, but yeah, it's cute. I preferred seeing the birds to the kind of silly story, but it kept the kids' attention.

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    After the show, DS1 wanted to look for a lanyard for his pins and do some pin trading so we went over to Island Mercantile and looked around. DS1 found a lanyard and traded for the first time with a bunch of cast members

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    DS2 found a little pull back car that he played with on a wall for a good 15 minutes, and mama got herself some Potion Purple ears!

    Now, I like pink just fine and thought the rose gold and millennium pink ears were cute enough but never felt like something I had to have. Purple is my favorite color so when I saw these ears come out I was like:

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    Then I tried to take some selfies since the Tree of Life was right there behind me like some kind of Instagrammer but I couldn't get it right.

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    We took some more PP pictures

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    (Also, get used to seeing these ears - I paid $30 for them, so you can be sure I wore them every ding-dang day)

    Then we decided to head over Pandora just to check it out for the first time. We were coming back after Tusker House for our FoP FP so we just wanted to have a look around. This land is so amazing and beautiful. I can't believe all the details.

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    We caught a demonstration of the mechanical suit guy

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    Then it was time to head to Tusker House, so we took the back path out of Pandora and up to Africa. We checked in at the booth and immediately received the text that our table was ready, so we went right in. This was our first time here, and I loved it. I liked the variety of food and that it was different than the usual buffet selections. We met all the characters and did the dance around the restaurant and it was just a nice break from the park crowds.

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    Up next, we wrap up our day at Animal Kingdom!
     
  6. Ruthie5671

    Ruthie5671 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. It is hard - I know. But I'm sure she would have been glad you decided to go!

    Can't wait to read more about it. I'm jealous of all the nice January weather you managed to have!
     
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  7. TheOneWithTheTriplets

    TheOneWithTheTriplets DIS Veteran

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    Tusker looks like so much fun. It seems like there are a bunch of empty tables in the picture with the parade. Is that just a coincidence with the camera angle or was were there lots of spots at that time? I guess 3:20pm isn't really a peak dining time...
     
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  8. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    Lol, I freely admit doing this to my boys more than once. And finding it amusing each time :D

    I finally tried these back in Nov. and loved them!

    :laughing:

    Glad you liked Tusker House, we've always enjoyed the food and the character interaction and I love their safari outfits too!
     
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  9. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for following along! I know it was so cold last January, so I was so happy with our good weather this year.

    The restaurant was about half-full when we were seated. We were there until close to 5:00 probably, and it seemed to fill up a bit more closer to dinner.

    So my thing is, I rode one roller coaster that terrified me when I was 7 or 8. I did not ride another roller coaster or anything with a drop until I was 18, and my family went to amusement parks every summer. So I would wait in line with everyone and then cross over the car and wait at the exit. And then I went to Disney World with my high school marching band and my friends were all riding Space Mountain and I didn't want to look like a chicken, so I rode it and I loved it and I've loved roller coasters since then. So even if we do a ride that my kids don't like, I at least want them to see that it's still safe and nothing bad is actually going to happen to them, even if they're scared. And then once they ride it and it's done, that's fine if they don't want to do it again, but at least give it a chance.

    Except for It's Tough to Be a Bug. I would never put my children through that. :rotfl:
     
  10. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in. We were there 1/23-1/30, we didn’t have near as nice blue skies or warmth! No Christmas decorations though, haha!
     
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  11. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Friday, January 11 - Animal Kingdom (Part 3)

    So, when I pulled up my photos for this day to start writing the next session, I realized that DH and I took hardly any pictures between lunch and Rivers of Light, so this part is pretty heavy on the text, sorry! (hopefully I put in enough gifs to make up for it :D)

    We finished up lunch, and since this was our first TS meal ever on a dining plan, we were kind of confused when we got the check showing the cash total at the end of the meal, with no indication that credits were used or anything like that. So, like total noobs, DH and I both double-checked with our waitress that our plan was on there, and she assured us it was fine, and said that some people just like to see the total so they know how much tip to leave.

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    Our FoP FP was for 4:55, and we finished up at Tusker House close to that time. We stopped to watch the acrobats in the street for a few minutes, and then headed for Pandora. As we passed the FOTLK theater, the CM's there were calling out it was the last call for the 5:00 show, and we thought about stopping, but we were too excited to get to FoP for the first time.

    Back at Pandora, we parked the stroller and headed up to the FoP entrance. I caught part of a conversation between a CM who was doing his very best and an irate guest. The guest wanted to use one of his three fastpasses on FoP right then, and the CM was very patiently explaining that he had to reserve the fastpasses before he used them, and that he could get the app or go to a kiosk to make his FP selections, and the guest was SO MAD because his tickets came with three fastpasses and he should be able to get those three fastpasses for whatever ride he wanted when he wanted.

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    I forget that not every guest has obsessively planned their trip like I have, but I just couldn't believe this dude, who at 5:00PM has probably not *just* arrived at the park, and has spent who knows how much money to be at Disney World, got to this point and yet, has zero understanding of how to use a fastpass.

    Anyway, back to the FoP. The FP queue was amazingly empty and we zoomed pretty much straight to the lines before you get sorted into the different rooms. There was a very funny German CM here who overheard us fussing at the kids for swinging on the railings and gave them a silly talking-to about listening to your parents.

    We got through the pre-shows after being decontaminated several times, and onto our banshees, and OMG this ride is amazing. The only thing I didn't really like was the weird buzzing that happens when they're "linking" you to your banshee, that was just a little uncomfortable and seemed to go on a little longer than necessary. But overall I thought it was incredible. DS1 loved it too, but DS2 was happy to get off of it. He said it was too scary. DH felt really sick after riding, which I felt pretty bad about. I think if we had stopped for FOTLK and not ridden with full stomachs, he might have enjoyed it a bit more.

    At the gift shop, we let the kids picked out stuffed banshees and put into place a "one thing" rule, aka they can pick one thing a day. DS2 REALLY wanted this terribly ugly and rubbery red and black creature that was just.. no.

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    I'm drawing a blank on what we did next, but I know we spent quite a bit of time in the gift shop and then a bathroom break, maybe did some pin trading, and then it was time to head over to Rivers of Light. I stopped at the Joffrey's cart on the way for a coffee and the kids played in this while they were waiting for me.

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    We had the dining package, and the entrance for that seating is over by the Finding Nemo theater, so we got in and got our seats and the section was only about half-full, which was nice. People were sitting on every other bench, so we had a really good view.

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    Then about five minutes before the show started, they filled up the section the rest of the way with stand-by people, so it was nice while it lasted, I guess.

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    We had to let the kids sit in our laps to see the show since adults filled up the bench in front of us.

    I know this show gets mixed reviews, but I honestly liked it a lot! I thought it was relaxing and beautiful and I appreciated the message, and I give them props for not relying totally on IP's and making something new.

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    We really wanted to see Pandora at night, so after we got out of the theater, we tried to head back through the Everest area, and that was insane. Like shoulder-to-shoulder people. It might have been better to go out to Dinoland, in hindsight. Most of the crowd turned to the bridge to Discovery Island, so we took the longer way around back to Pandora through Asia and Africa again.

    Pandora at night was just magical! It really felt like another planet. Did I get out my camera? Of course not. Here's the one picture DH took.

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    Navi River Journey had a 30 minute wait, which didn't seem bad, so we decided to get in line. I don't know if it was the long day, or the scary rides we did earlier, but DS1 was convinced it was going to be scary. I told him it was just a slow boat ride, but he wasn't buying it. Eventually, we convinced him it wouldn't be scary and got in line. Well, after winding all through the first sections of queue, as soon as we got to the point where we had to stop walking, DS1 pulled out the "I HAVE TO PEE" card.

    So after an interrogation into whether or not he actually had to pee and that he understood if we got out of line, we weren't going back in, and DS1 insisting he actually really did have to pee, we left the queue.

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    After the bathroom break the line had gone up to 45 minutes and DS1 was insisting that he really did not want to ride anything, we decided to call it a night. I was pretty annoyed because I actually really wanted to ride it, so I just tried to remind myself that this trip was really for the kids and to let it go.

    So we headed back out towards Discovery Island and watched the Tree of Life Awakenings for a few minutes.

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    DS1 was hungry and asked if we could get a Mickey pretzel. We asked a CM where to find one, and she directed us up to Thirsty River by Everest, so we headed across the bridge and up that way. DS1 got his pretzel and DS2 got popcorn and I got a Singapore Sling, which was amazing. I don't have a picture, but the description is "New Amsterdam Gin, Bols Cherry Brandy, Sweet-and-Sour, Grenadine and Sprite"

    The second showing of Rivers of Life was on, so we found a place to park the stroller and watched a little bit of that while we had our snacks. This is a pretty fond memory of the trip, there weren't a lot of other people around, everyone was happy, we had a pretty great day and it was just the start of the trip, we still had seven park days left to do. I felt so lucky and happy to be there.

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    We decided to get out before the second show finished since it looked packed, and made our way out of the park and out to the bus stop. We didn't have to wait too long for a bus to come and on the way back we decided to get the kids something to eat when we got back since we didn't actually eat dinner.

    I did a mobile order for chicken nuggets and fries as we pulled into the bus stop and when we got to Centertown, it was ready and waiting for us. As we walked away from the counter, the CM called me back and asked if we had two orders, I said no, just the one. He looked at both receipts and realized it was printed and prepared twice. He told me I should take the second order since they'd have to throw it away anyway.

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    We took the food back to our room and the second order definitely did not go to waste.

    The kids got a bath and we all tucked in a little early - tomorrow's an early one!
     
  12. TheOneWithTheTriplets

    TheOneWithTheTriplets DIS Veteran

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    What a nice day at AK. Looks like a great way to start off the trip. Sucks about your son pulling the bathroom card, I swear it only happens at the most inopportune times.
     
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  13. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    I INTERRUPT THIS TRIP REPORT TO BRING YOU A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

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    Yes, I am officially a crazy person for (1) booking another trip 3 weeks after I got back from the last one and (2) going to Orlando in August. It's February in DC so I've forgotten what it's like to be hot and have deluded myself into believing the heat won't be that bad.

    See that last line? That's the best part - 4 Adults! This will be a girl's trip with my two sisters and my sister-in-law. Smell you later, kiddos! :laughing:

    More details to come, I gotta go make a new ticker! :banana:
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  14. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    Yay for a new trip and we will be there the same time! We love August, yes it is hot but we love the heat! Our dates are 8/17-8/26.

    I agree with you about RoL, I really enjoyed it! I’m glad you all liked FoP, except for hubby turning green, bummer!
    I can’t believe some of the stuff I witness at FP entry lines ugh! I wonder if that guy was scamming her to just get let in the line, I have seen people sneak in the FP line so many times.
     
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  15. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    As a TA I am amazed at how many people have no clue how FP's work, that they're free, etc. But it's true! I eontbknow,home you can take a vacation anywhere, spend a good amount of hard earned money, and not know details of what you're getting into. Plus you slow,down those of us that know what we're doing lol!

    Your AK evening sounds so nice and definitely memorable in a good way :goodvibes
    Whoo, adult trip :cheer2::cheer2: I can attest they are awesome. And not crazy, we came back Jan 23rd and last night booked another quick trip leaving this month on the 18th lol!!
     
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  16. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hello,

    First, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom, it's really tough losing a parent. I think it's really great that you were able to still go on your vacation. It's so important for you to have those memories with your DH and kids, I'm sure it was a very bittersweet.

    Your boys are adorable... My son has the same shirt they're wearing, it's his favorite.

    I remember the first time my DD rode dinosaur, it took me about 15 minutes to calm her down afterwards and a Mickey Bar!!! Luckily she loves it now! :)
     
  17. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much <3 I was glad we ended up going because it was pretty easy to let go of reality in Disney and not think about everything for a little while, but then like we were at breakfast one day and there was a little boy about the age of my kids sitting at the next table with his grandma and it hit me like a gut punch. Little things like that still get me.

    They're lucky they are cute because they are a handful.

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    ^ me to my kids every time they complained about a ride. :laughing:

    Hopefully I can get them on it again next time!
     
  18. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    I'm so excited! That's awesome you get another trip back so soon!

    I feel like I was planning this January trip for over a year, so booking another trip for August feels like it's just around the corner, but it's still a bit over six months to wait! :sad:
     
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  19. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Yay! I'm not a huge fan of the heat, but I'll deal with it! If it's too bad we'll just head for the pool.

    I know! He doesn't usually get motion sick, but he couldn't get his ears to pop on the plane and I think it messed him up for the first couple of days.

    I didn't even think about that! Maybe he thought if he argued about it enough, the CM would just let him in line!
     
  20. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Aimee! I just got all caught up on this TR (thankfully I'm not TOO late to the party!!) So sorry to hear about your Mom's sudden passing, but I think you're right--she would've hated to be the reason you didn't take this magical trip!

    Sounds like an amazing first day! Excited to read more!
     
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  21. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Sorry for the long break! We had a stomach bug take down the whole house, combined with an insanely busy couple of weeks at work, I have not had much time to get on here.

    Planning for our August trip is well underway! Our ADR date came up on Monday and since we are on the QS plan, the only reservations I made were PPO BOG breakfasts on two different dates. The park hours aren't out for all our dates yet and trying to avoid EMH mornings, Halloween party dates, Early Morning Magic is kinda tricky this far out. So I made the two earliest reservations I could get on different dates - one for 8:40 and one for 8:25. I'm going to keep trying to move them up and also keep an eye on the calendar and eventually drop one of them. We're all excited, but my older sister is especially excited - she's ordered some ears and Magic Band decorations from Etsy. My sisters have not been to WDW since a family vacation we took in like 1996, and my SIL went to AK in 2016 and Epcot when she was young, so they all have a lot to learn ;)

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    Saturday, January 12 - Hollywood Studios

    We had an 8:15 breakfast reservation at Hollywood & Vine this morning, so I was up at 6:45 getting ready, ran over to OPR for a quick cup of coffee, then had the boys up just after 7:00 to get dressed. My picture timestamps show we were on a bus by 7:30 and at the Hollywood Studios entrance at 7:45. There was a separate line for breakfast reservations (I think we were the 4th party in the line), and were allowed to go through and tap in at just about 7:50.

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    Oh, here's an embarrassing story about waking up this early. When we went through security, the guy at the metal detector was super nice and chatty, but he kept asking me all these questions about pizza, and talking about different kinds of pizza. I didn't get it, but I was trying to be nice and go along with it. Later that morning that I realized I was wearing my Pizza Planet shirt for TSL, but at the security check I could not figure out why this dude would not stop talking about pizza. :blush:

    Anyway, I wanted to get DS1 signed up for Jedi Training before breakfast, which I realize has not been a rope drop priority since Toy Story Land opened, but getting up early was totally worth it to walk around a totally empty park.

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    Yep, still decorated for Christmas. :sad2:

    We got around to the Jedi training sign up, I messed up here and signed up for the second show of the day when I meant to do the third. It didn't turn out to be a huge deal, but it did throw my perfectly-timed plans off just a little bit. I signed up for the 10:20 show and they said to be back at 9:50.

    Next, we went back down to H&V and checked in for our table and were called in just a couple minutes later.

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    (compared to 2016 :sad:)

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    ANYWAY. We were seated about 10 minutes before our reservation time and pretty much had the place to ourselves. I know this place sometimes gets a bad rap, but I've really enjoyed both our breakfasts here. The food is good, the staff is super friendly, and the characters are fun.


    Some food pictures! The first was DH's first plate, the second was mine - the cheesy potato egg thing I had is seriously amazing.

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    Pictured: DS1 with a huge plate of food, DS2's eggs (the only thing he ate), and how empty the place was this early in the morning.

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    The characters came around (I think we actually saw everyone twice) and Princess Sophia was really cute and made a big deal about my purple ears matching her dress.


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    (separate pictures because DS2 was not feeling the characters when they first came around)

    When we were getting the bill settled, I had to ask our waitress if she knew when they were taking down the Christmas decorations, and she said she had heard they would take them down Sunday night.

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    Bellies full, we made our way to TSL just after 9:00. I realized at this point we had a 9:50 FP for Alien Swirling Saucers, but we were supposed to be back at Jedi training at the same time. Oops. I figured we could tap in a few minutes early for the FP and be a few minutes late to check in and it wouldn't be the end of the world.

    This was my first time seeing TSL and I loved it, just so cute. (did I take pictures? Of course not) My boys were super excited and immediately wanted to ride SDD when they saw it, but the stand by line looked long already and we had FP's for our second HS day. Instead, we got in line for TSMM, which had a posted 15 minute wait, but was really more of a 5 minute wait, if that.

    This is such a fun ride, and even though I had tried to cheat and look up how to get a high score in this game, DH still beat me. :sad2:

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    We watched the green army guys in the street for a few minutes and took a bathroom break and then we headed up to AS2 and scanned in just about at 9:45. We ended up having to wait through 2 or 3 cycles of the ride, which was making me nervous about the time, but at that point there wasn't much to do about it. We got on and I sat with DS2 and I think we all laughed through this whole ride. I love the green aliens and this ride is just so cute and so fun. Spinning rides usually make me dizzy, but I was fine on this.

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    DH was not feeling great again today - one of his ears never popped on the plane and the pressure was really affecting him on rides, in addition to not being able to hear out of that ear very well. I was worried we would end up at urgent care if it didn't clear up.

    After AS2, we dashed over to Jedi training and got there just after 10:00, and it was totally fine. DS1 got robed up and got his instructions and we marched over to the stage.

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    I was a little worried DS2 would get antsy or be sad he wasn't doing it (he is technically old enough, but he's a little unpredictable and we weren't sure what he would do up on stage with a light saber), but he was totally happy to just watch and cheered for his brother, which was super cute.

    I have a ton of pictures of the actual show, so I'll save those for the next update! :)
     

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