This Trip Report Is Under Refurbishment For Your Future Enjoyment (UPDATED 9/13 with final bonus chapter)

franandaj

I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
We managed to get ourselves up and on the bus to the Magic Kingdom in time to make it for Rope Drop.
That pretty admirable with the schedule you have been keeping.

All of those early mornings and long days in the heat were starting to catch up with the little guy. I was hoping we wouldn’t be spending an entire day with Captain Crankypants.
Sounds reasonable....

Julie was hoping for the same, and also hoping Drew would be in a good mood.
:laughing: I missed this nuance when I read it the other day!

I wish we’d had more time in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. I feel like we especially left meat on the bone at AK.
It's hard not to feel that way, there's never enough time.

We had an early FP for Space Mountain. Julie wanted no part of riding that again, so she took Drew off to Fantasyland while the big kids and I settled in for another trip through the galaxy, this time without laser cannons. Unfortunately, this time I forgot to hold my breath in the vacuum of space.
That's funny! You put your hands on your own neck, and you're suffocating. You put your hands around someone else's neck and the picture gets deleted for "depicting violence". Well, er, I mean, so I've heard!

We met back up with Julie and Drew, and when I found out where they had gone, I was even more thankful for Space Mountain.
:laughing:

But I have now been promoted, and no longer sit at the rank of Captain. You may refer to me as Galactic Hero Oblivious.
:worship: :worship: :worship:

Is there anything else you can do to top the achievement of saving the world? Well, sure—my kids wanted to have immediate revenge on me by forcing me to ride Splash Mountain with them
Payback is a b...er it hurts.

The kids know that I am not a huge fan of big drops, which was of course why they wanted me to ride. I am even less of a fan of being called a chicken than I am of big drops, so I went along, even though it’s not my favorite ride in the world.
I just don't like getting my butt wet!

The ride itself is fine. I find it to be schizophrenic—ten minutes of happy woodland creatures singing happily (there’s a banjo in the song; it’s impossible to play a sad song on the banjo) and then they throw you off a cliff.
Don't you know the story of the briar patch?????

I think this is why I like drops that go into turns, like on Expedition Everest. On that one, the centrifugal force keeps you in your seat so you don’t feel like you’re in imminent danger.


Was that too nerdy? I feel like it was too nerdy.
Actually I completely get that! Just like with highways. We have a freeway in LA, the first to open in the Western US. It opened in 1940, and I hate driving on it. The road is completely flat, there is no compensation or banked curves, and the road itself is quite curved.

Now I will think about that every time I'm on a coaster! Just like I look for the bicycle chains on Peter Pan! Which btw is not how DLs ride works.

“What ride is this, Mommy?”

“Uh…it’s a fun one. You’ll like it.” That’s how Julie started.
She wasn't lying....

“Is this a fast ride, Mommy?”

“Well…it goes slow and fast.” Again, this demonstrates nice technique with a healthy amount of vagueness. This is technically a true statement.
Again, no lies there....

“Mommy…is this the fast train ride?”
She set her pants ablaze* and bald-faced lied through her lying liar’s teeth.

(*--Note: this is a figure of speech. No pants were harmed in the making of this Trip Report.)

“Nope, this isn’t it!”
Way to go Julie! Don't give in!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is now Drew’s MOST FAVORITIST RIDE IN THE WHOLE DISNEY WORLD. Seriously, it’s the one he talks about the most. He loved it. It’s the first one he names when we ask him what he wants to do when we go back.
Of Course it is! You could have told him that earlier in the week and saved a whole lot of hassle!

And I may try to wrap this up so it’s done before we leave on our next adventure
Understandable....when is that? Where ya goin' :hyper:
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
And you'd have the weirdest feet on the planet.
True. It's bad enough they're the stinkiest.

<sigh>
Yeah...

You wait and wait and wait and... is this trip ever going to get here??? Until, Yay! It's here! We're finally go... it's over already?
I hate that. All that planning and effort and money and...it's gone, just like that.

I was so disappointed that this only started after my girls went to Disney.
Such a shame.
Truly.
Yes. A shame. I can feel the utter disappointment through the monitor.

Like the shot with the light only on one side.
Thanks! Early morning light makes for good photography.

There's only one sure thing about WDW.
You can't do it all.
::yes::

Gotta prep. Totally understandable.
The fate of the universe is at stake.

Dude! You even stretched!
:sad2: Sun was in my eyes.

You just never learn, do you?
What fun would that be? I'd have fewer stories to tell.

:lmao: While your shot is pretty good and Dave's is even (unintentionally) funnier... Scotty is hilarious!
He looks like he's puking. :rotfl2:

Hey!!! Nice! You did it! Congrats!
Thanks! That felt good.

:laughing: Poor Dave.
He got off saying, "I hate this ride!"

So... you're saying you were too embarrassed or didn't know who to ask, huh?
Didn't know who to talk to. But the family was ready to move on.

Uh huh. Then what was all that writing about up there?
:rolleyes1

Um...storytelling. Poetic license.

Yessir. But your post count's going to go down to zero when you change the name.
Oh, ok. Not worth it, then.

Still not too bad for that ride.
It wouldn't get any better later in the day.

Uh huh. And just what exactly do you think of when you hear the Deliverance tune?
Well, not sadness. Abject terror, maybe. But not sadness.

Don't worry. If you fall out Julie will be fine.
Of that I have no doubt.

::yes:: Found that out a few years ago.
It's all in the mind, huh?

While you guys aren't bad... the lady in front nailed it.
I don't think I can pull that off.

You'll make a fortune!

Or go broke.
One of those.
Yep, no middle ground on that one.

There it is.
That's the real truth to parenting
that no kid gets.

We don't know what we're doing.
We're just trying to wing it best we can.
::yes:: It's not like kids come with an instruction manual.

Good for Drew! :)
Finally! It only took a week.

::yes::
I finally got over there. I'm glad I did. :)
It's a neat place. The only downside was they had closed off the fort area when we visited.

Nice shot.
Thank you, sir!
 

pkondz

. . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
True. It's bad enough they're the stinkiest.
Everyone knows this.

I hate that. All that planning and effort and money and...it's gone, just like that
pixiedust:

Yes. A shame. I can feel the utter disappointment through the monitor.
Couldn't keep it out. Too strong.

Thanks! Early morning light makes for good photography.
Absolutely! Sunset too. Reason it's called the "golden hour".

The fate of the universe is at stake.
Important stuff, people!!

:sad2: Sun was in my eyes.
Downside to "the golden hour".

What fun would that be? I'd have fewer stories to tell.
Valid point.

He looks like he's puking. :rotfl2:
:laughing:

Didn't know who to talk to. But the family was ready to move on.
Knew it!!!

Um...storytelling. Poetic license.
Oh really? I don't think anyone else does that.


:rolleyes:

Oh, ok. Not worth it, then.
11K+ to... zero. Just like that.

Well, not sadness. Abject terror, maybe. But not sadness.
Ah, yes. Quite right. I stand corrected... with my hands covering any vulnerable areas.

I don't think I can pull that off.
We still talking about that lady???

::yes:: It's not like kids come with an instruction manual.
No? Mine did.

It was in Sanskrit so I couldn't read it, but it was there.
Wish they'd put some pictures in.

It's a neat place. The only downside was they had closed off the fort area when we visited.
I'm not sure if I made it there. I visited a couple of caves... but then it started raining pretty hard so stayed in a cave for... oh 15 minutes or so? Then took the raft back to the mainland.
 
  • Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    This is going to be a good post!
    I hope you still felt that way after reading it!

    So true! It goes by so fast when you are there.
    I don't know how to make that stop!

    Poor little guy! Disney is exhausting.
    ::yes::

    It's funny i have gotten better at the ride, but then I have that one time, and I am just lost at it...
    I was so glad I saved the best for last!

    This might be the best ride photo idea!
    Thanks! We had fun with it.

    Bet ride photo ever. Crushing your teens dreams!
    :woohoo::cool1::banana:

    Only second to riding Small World?!?
    I will tolerate Splash Mountain when I have to. IASW is just a torture chamber.

    That is always the worst, the direct straight forward question that you don't really want to answer but know you should... Every parent has those moments! We have also all forced them on a ride that they didn't want to go on.
    I don't know if there's a right or wrong way to handle this. At least we got the result we wanted.

    I did too. :( Really miss the orange grove scent as it brought back so many childhood memories.
    Well, at least now you have CG animals jumping at you.

    Keeps me going back.
    Among other things!

    It's that last one that going to necessitate a do-over. You know that too, right?
    If the points system meant anything other than I will perpetually be in the doghouse, maybe.

    Whoa!! Nice shot! No people! Sweet!
    You can just see someone's arm. I was framing it as carefully as I could.

    LOL!! I think we've all hit the wall at some point and turned into our own versions of the Crankster.
    ::yes::

    YUS!! Now there's talking some sense!
    I guess we just need to go back.

    So you're saying no one heard your girlie screams?
    Not as far as you know.

    You get off easy if that's what it takes to elicit a family eye roll.
    I'm just immune to them at this point.

    :lmao: Take that, Boy! He'll be talking about that moment for about 50 years at every family gathering.
    YES! :woohoo::cool1::banana:

    .... who forgets to hold his breath in the vacuum of space.
    Hey, I've got a lot on my mind.

    Best part of the TR!
    It took all week, but he did it!

    Nice update- now don't you go and make my "adopted" grandson grow up too fast! Compassionate parenting, my foot, you were flying by the seat of your pants and you know it...... good for you and way to go!
    Well, yeah. I mean, that's pretty much what I said. But hey, all's well that ends well!

    :love: Aw, I'm so glad he liked it! Congratulations on not scarring your child for life.
    Hey, thanks! Always good to reach your goals in life.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    That pretty admirable with the schedule you have been keeping.
    Well, thanks! It will all come crashing down on us soon enough.

    :laughing: I missed this nuance when I read it the other day!
    :rolleyes1 We all have our limits.

    It's hard not to feel that way, there's never enough time.
    Yeah, you just can't do everything.

    That's funny! You put your hands on your own neck, and you're suffocating. You put your hands around someone else's neck and the picture gets deleted for "depicting violence". Well, er, I mean, so I've heard!
    Now how would you know that?:confused3 :rotfl2:

    Payback is a b...er it hurts.
    ::yes::

    I just don't like getting my butt wet!
    That's totally understandable.

    Don't you know the story of the briar patch?????
    Well, sure. But it still makes for an odd ride.

    Happy creatures...happy songs...happy creatures...happy songs...ABJECT TERROR...happy creatures...happy songs.

    Actually I completely get that! Just like with highways. We have a freeway in LA, the first to open in the Western US. It opened in 1940, and I hate driving on it. The road is completely flat, there is no compensation or banked curves, and the road itself is quite curved.

    Now I will think about that every time I'm on a coaster! Just like I look for the bicycle chains on Peter Pan! Which btw is not how DLs ride works.
    That makes sense. You really need to bank the curves for driver comfort. We have standards on it and everything.

    She wasn't lying....
    Not yet...

    Again, no lies there....
    Not yet...

    Way to go Julie! Don't give in!
    Pants on fire!

    Of Course it is! You could have told him that earlier in the week and saved a whole lot of hassle!
    Gee, thanks. NOW you tell me.

    Understandable....when is that? Where ya goin' :hyper:
    Next month! Spring break trip to San Francisco and Yosemite is on the docket.

    Everyone knows this.
    Kinda hard to hide that one.

    Absolutely! Sunset too. Reason it's called the "golden hour".
    Yep. It works wonders!

    Downside to "the golden hour".
    Next time, I'll have to close my eyes while aiming the gun.

    Oh really? I don't think anyone else does that.


    :rolleyes:
    Well, they should. It makes things more exciting.

    11K+ to... zero. Just like that.
    Not that anybody is counting...

    Ah, yes. Quite right. I stand corrected... with my hands covering any vulnerable areas.
    Wise choice.

    We still talking about that lady???
    I don't know anymore!! :scared:

    No? Mine did.

    It was in Sanskrit so I couldn't read it, but it was there.
    Wish they'd put some pictures in.
    Mine said "return to sender." :confused3

    I'm not sure if I made it there. I visited a couple of caves... but then it started raining pretty hard so stayed in a cave for... oh 15 minutes or so? Then took the raft back to the mainland.
    Ah. I can see where it would be less enjoyable in rain.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Next time, I'll have to close my eyes while aiming the gun.
    You couldn't do worse.

    Kinda hard to hide that one.
    Trust me. I know. Twice.

    Well, they should. It makes things more exciting.
    :laughing:

    I don't know anymore!! :scared:
    Maybe we should let this one go...

    Mine said "return to sender." :confused3


    Ah. I can see where it would be less enjoyable in rain.
    No, it was okay.
    I waited, nice and dry, for the rain to stop and took the opportunity to just relax. But... I did run out of time to explore the rest of the island.
    Funny... I thought I had... but didn't see the Mill.
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    Well, at least now you have CG animals jumping at you.
    My life is now complete.

    You can just see someone's arm. I was framing it as carefully as I could.
    Ya done good. :thumbsup2

    I guess we just need to go back.
    You did read my comment about having a re-do. See the points system can keep you in the doghouse, but it lets you out once in a while to go redeem yourself.

    You'd better start talking to Disney now about ordering that rain dome.

    ... and you're gonna make sure of it.

    Hey, I've got a lot on my mind.
    Dole Whips and how to enforce use of your shiny new title?

    (I suggest the throat squeeze.)
     
  • Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    No, it was okay.
    I waited, nice and dry, for the rain to stop and took the opportunity to just relax. But... I did run out of time to explore the rest of the island.
    Funny... I thought I had... but didn't see the Mill.
    Great...now you have to go back!

    You did read my comment about having a re-do. See the points system can keep you in the doghouse, but it lets you out once in a while to go redeem yourself.

    You'd better start talking to Disney now about ordering that rain dome.
    And here I thought Disney controlled the weather better than that.

    Dole Whips and how to enforce use of your shiny new title?

    (I suggest the throat squeeze.)
    I'm still working on the Jedi Force choke.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Chapter 15: In Which We Run Out Of Time And Money


    After Tom Sawyer’s Island, my brother and his family went off on their own again, while we killed time by doing…something. Whatever it was, I’m sure it was very exciting and involved exploding helicopters and yet it couldn’t possibly measure up to whatever it was that you can come up with using your own imagination. Anyway, the plan was for us all to meet back up again at Be Our Guest for lunch. We’d grabbed a lunch ADR here for a few reasons:

    1) It was one of the few places where our families could agree on a meal;

    2) My kids hadn’t been inside yet and wanted to see the theming;

    3) My brother’s daughter is a huge princess fan and couldn’t wait to see Beast’s castle; and

    4) It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to get a lunch ADR than dinner here.

    We showed up a few minutes early for our reservation. However, I couldn’t check in yet because the entire party wasn’t present. So, we texted my brother and SIL and waited.


    And waited. And waited. No response to our texts. Meanwhile, all sorts of people were streaming up to the restaurant and getting in line. We had not pre-ordered our food for lunch, so I knew it was going to take some time to get through the ordering process. We texted again. No response.


    We tried to kill some time by taking photos. Thankfully, no giant birds were attacking the castle this morning.





    We found a Photopass station and went for another loving, adorable family photo. But it was hot, and we were hungry and thirsty, and Captain Crankypants was back.





    On the other hand, these photos will never not be funny.

    Finally, about 15 minutes late, my brother’s family sauntered up without a care in the world. “Hey guys, ready for lunch?”


    Yes, we are definitely ready.


    We checked in and eventually got through the line and ordering process. It probably took another 20 minutes or so before we were looking for seats. Naturally, the West Wing and Main Ballroom had filled up by now, so we had to grab tables in the less-exciting Other Room For Overflow Guests.





    Last time I was here, I’d had the “Croque Monsieur”, which is French for “hot ham and cheese sammich”. This time, I ordered the “French Dip Sandwich served on Baguette with Au Jus and Pommes Frites”. If you’re not up on your French, “Au Jus” translates to “With Juice” and “Pommes Frites” translates to “French Fries With A Fancy Title So We Can Justify Charging $9 For Them”. In other words, this is a roast beef sammie “with with juice” and fries.





    And it was a perfectly decent lunch. I haven’t had dinner at Be Our Guest, but my sense is that you eat here more for the atmosphere than the food. My family seemed to agree. They were glad they’d been able to try it, but wouldn’t feel the need to come back on every trip.


    Still, the Imagineers knocked the building itself out of the park, so we made sure to wander around and hover creepily over other people trying to eat their lunch while we snapped photos.











    We had one last FP to use as a group—another ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.





    Having successfully conquered Big Thunder, Drew showed no fear this time around, and Julie and I silently offered prayers of thanksgiving for the fact that we didn’t have to wrestle him into the car this time around. Quite the opposite, in fact. I don’t know if you can zoom in on this photo or not, but it’s my favorite ride photo of the whole week. This one captured the pure, unbridled joy we hope to find when we visit Disney World.





    That’s what makes it worthwhile.


    Drew had perked up after having a meal, resting in air-conditioning and riding 7DMT. We let him choose what he wanted to do next. He said he wanted to go on the Ariel ride again. Fair enough. He was even willing to participate in a family photo this time around.





    I got stuck with an uninvited guest.





    While making our way through the queue, we found a hidden Nautilus, paying tribute to the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride that used to occupy this space.








    After that, Drew wanted to ride on the Peoplemover again. Well, sure. It’s a pretty thrilling ride in and of itself.





    Julie and I had planned a “date night” for the evening—not really a complete night out, but we’d be having dinner alone. My parents would be watching the kids. It was getting to be mid-afternoon and we’d done everything we wanted to do in the parks, so we figured this would be as good a time as any to split up. My parents ended up taking the kids back to the resort for some pool time (which they loved) and dinner at the food court (which was meh). Meanwhile, Julie and I finally had…





    And we were immediately trapped, since they were setting up for the Celebrate Vague Achievements Parade or whatever it’s called. We ended up having to wait for the parade to go through before we could exit, so we wandered back through the castle and then killed some time in the shops.





    As luck would have it, we were able to get some nice photos in front of the castle. Or at least we eventually got some nice photos after several takes, since Julie is incapable of keeping her eyes open for pictures.





    See? This happens all the time.





    There, that’s better.


    We rode a bus to the Saratoga Springs resort, where we had an ADR for the Turf Club. We’d never been here before but had heard a lot of good things about it as one of the “hidden gems” among Disney restaurants.


    We were able to get there early and meet up with Marv and Pat (@GoofyFan1515 and @Poolrat ) in the lounge to catch up for a while. However, no photo of this DISmeet exists, so I must unfortunately conclude that it didn’t actually happen. But we had a really nice time relaxing and chatting with the two of them in our imaginary meeting that never took place.


    The Turf Club is small and feels almost hidden out of the way. Saratoga Springs doesn’t have a huge lobby or any signature building that draws attention to itself like some of the other resorts. The main building is almost non-descript. The Turf Club is way in the back. So I can see why most guests would ignore it. But it’s a nice, classy place for a quiet meal.


    I had heard great things about the prime rib, so that’s what I ordered for dinner. Julie doesn’t go wild for steak (she’s weird) so she ordered some kind of chicken dish, which she thought was mediocre. Others must have agreed, because it’s not on the menu anymore. But my prime rib was fantastic.








    That was one of my favorite meals on the whole trip. It was perfectly cooked, very tender, and extremely flavorful. As a bonus, we got a chocolate/peanut butter dome for dessert that was terrific as well. Sadly, this also appears to no longer be on the menu.





    I would absolutely come back to the Turf Club for another meal. In fact, I wouldn’t even look at the menu. I’d just order the prime rib again. Let’s honor this place with a Drooling Homer Award.





    We took a bus back to the Magic Kingdom. I said this wasn’t a true “date night”, because we were meeting back up with the kids for the evening. It was our last night at Disney World, so we didn’t want to spend it apart from everyone. The plan was to stay up and watch Happily Ever After (new to us) together. We figured we weren’t getting up early for Rope Drop the next morning—in fact, we were leaving, so all the more reason to sleep in and procrastinate—so it wouldn’t matter if we let everyone stay up late. Better to end our Disney time with a nighttime show.


    And several thousand of our closest friends, many of whom are gifted with stinkeye.





    We were able to find a spot near the hub that was only slightly obstructed with a light pole.





    And there we camped.





    As night fell, there were several rumbles of thunder off in the distance, and we started to worry that they might cancel the show. But thankfully the storms stayed away.





    At one point, we could see some lightning in the distance, so I tried to see if I could capture a bolt flashing over Tomorrowland. Unfortunately, my shutter finger moves at less than light speed. But I thought the view looked kinda cool, so I kept one of the photos.





    At last, it was time for the show to start. We’d only had to kick or step on 5 people in order to maintain our hold on the sidewalk we had claimed.





    When Happily Ever After had first debuted, we’d watched a live stream on the Disney Parks Blog and come away unimpressed. The dirty secret about Disney’s nighttime shows is that they’re all basically Disney clip shows stitched together in an extremely loose “story”, and this appeared to be no different online. We couldn’t make out the projections on the castle at all.


    So I’m happy to report that the show was much, much better in person. As it should be. Yes, it’s still a Disney clip show, but the projections and fireworks provide a ton of eye candy that make it a worthwhile end to the day. I’m glad we watched it, and I’m glad we all saw it together on our final evening. Here are way too many fireworks photos:

















    And with that last bit of extended pyrotechnics, Drew’s very first Walt Disney World vacation came to a close. I’ll wrap this up with some final thoughts.


    Was it perfect? No, but what is? Looking back, it was somewhat stressful trying to coordinate 13 people and all of their plans. I think the solution that we settled upon—just plan a few rides/meals together and otherwise, everyone do their own thing—was the right one. But still, I was surprised at how little time we all actually spent together, and at how poor the communication was. It felt like we wasted a good bit of time waiting for others to show when we did have plans together. My own family came away with one shared thought: we would love to have a do-over at Disney World, next time with just the 6 of us!


    I think we learned that it’s enough of a miracle that the 6 of us all generally want to tour Disney the same way, and share the same priorities as far as rides, meals, Rope Drop, etc. It’s impossible to get a large group to all agree in that same way.


    Going in July made things a little tougher with heat and crowds, but since we are slaves to the school calendar there wasn’t much we could do about that. I thought we actually handled the heat and crowds just fine. We saw everything we wanted to see—it’s really just the new FP+ system that prevented us from getting more “big” rides than anything else.


    Disney World will always be changing, and sometimes this will mean some exciting new entertainment (Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash) and sometimes some headaches (fewer FP’s for big rides, the tier system, ever-increasing prices). For my own family, I like going back once every few years. I think that helps keep the novelty and magic alive for us. And as always, we just like variety. There are more things to see in the world besides Disney parks.


    That being said, I think the cost is the number one factor keeping us from going back more often. I feel like it’s become harder and harder for a large middle-class family like ours to go to Disney World for a week. So, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. I imagine our next visit will be when Drew is 8 or 9, just before he gets charged as an adult.


    I’m glad they’re adding new rides and experiences to Epcot, because we all felt the park really needed it this time around. I just hope it somehow keeps the original idea at its core and doesn’t turn into a hodge-podge of Disney characters. Next time, I think we might plan more time at AK and DHS—probably a given with Star Wars on the way. Hopefully the crowds will have died down by the time we get back.


    Ha! I almost said that with a straight face!


    We’ll always love Timeless, Nostalgic Disney. We’ll always be excited about Cutting-Edge, Magic Disney. And we’ll always grit our teeth when confronted with Greedy Corporate Disney.


    Some things will never change.





    And some things will.





    Thanks for following along and putting up with my terrible jokes! I appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to read and comment. It would be no fun if I was here all by myself!


    Hello?


    Anyone?


    Bueller?


    Coming Up Next: I’ll fill you in on our next adventure. Maybe it’ll be a bonus feature in this TR, if you’re interested.
     

    juniorbugman

    <font color=blue>New car vs another cruise?? THAT
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2001
    Thanks for following along and putting up with my terrible jokes! I appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to read and comment. It would be no fun if I was here all by myself!


    Hello?


    Anyone?
    I don't comment much but I do enjoy reading your reports. You have a great imagination and are a great story teller.

    Coming Up Next: I’ll fill you in on our next adventure. Maybe it’ll be a bonus feature in this TR, if you’re interested.
    I would be interested in reading about your next adventure.
     
  • pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Chapter 15: In Which We Run Out Of Time And Money
    Happens to all of us.

    Well, maybe not the Bill Gates types of the world

    Whatever it was, I’m sure it was very exciting and involved exploding helicopters and yet it couldn’t possibly measure up to whatever it was that you can come up with using your own imagination.
    Mine was much better. It had exploding helicopters... and a hovercraft.

    We’d grabbed a lunch ADR here for a few reasons:

    1) It was one of the few places where our families could agree on a meal;

    2) My kids hadn’t been inside yet and wanted to see the theming;

    3) My brother’s daughter is a huge princess fan and couldn’t wait to see Beast’s castle; and

    4) It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to get a lunch ADR than dinner here.
    Close to our reasons.
    1. we agreed
    2. like the theming
    3. Elle wants the "grey stuff"
    4. Only want lunch there, not dinner.

    And waited. And waited. No response to our texts. Meanwhile, all sorts of people were streaming up to the restaurant and getting in line. We had not pre-ordered our food for lunch, so I knew it was going to take some time to get through the ordering process. We texted again. No response.
    Oh, no. Not again... :sad2:

    Thankfully, no giant birds were attacking the castle this morning.
    :laughing: I remember that!

    Captain Crankypants was back.
    Oh, dear. "There's no crying (or being cranky) at Disney!"

    On the other hand, these photos will never not be funny.
    ::yes::

    Finally, about 15 minutes late, my brother’s family sauntered up without a care in the world. “Hey guys, ready for lunch?”


    Yes, we are definitely ready.
    :rolleyes1

    Naturally, the West Wing and Main Ballroom had filled up by now, so we had to grab tables in the less-exciting Other Room For Overflow Guests.
    And you weren't annoyed by that at all, I'm sure.

    Last time I was here, I’d had the “Croque Monsieur”, which is French for “hot ham and cheese sammich”.
    Pretty much.

    This time, I ordered the “French Dip Sandwich served on Baguette with Au Jus and Pommes Frites”. If you’re not up on your French, “Au Jus” translates to “With Juice” and “Pommes Frites” translates to “French Fries With A Fancy Title So We Can Justify Charging $9 For Them”.
    Your French is impeccable!

    my sense is that you eat here more for the atmosphere than the food.
    ::yes:: Also... forces you to sit for a bit... in air conditioning no less.

    so we made sure to wander around and hover creepily over other people trying to eat their lunch while we snapped photos.
    Don't worry. No one minded a bit.

    ahem...

    Having successfully conquered Big Thunder, Drew showed no fear this time around,
    Great!!! :)

    I don’t know if you can zoom in on this photo or not, but it’s my favorite ride photo of the whole week. This one captured the pure, unbridled joy we hope to find when we visit Disney World.
    I did see! Awesome shot! :goodvibes

    That’s what makes it worthwhile.
    ::yes::

    I got stuck with an uninvited guest.
    Who invited him? Do you have lice? Or nits?

    While making our way through the queue, we found a hidden Nautilus, paying tribute to the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride that used to occupy this space.
    No... Way...

    Well, I'll be!
    Did you know about that ahead of time, or did you luck out?

    After that, Drew wanted to ride on the Peoplemover again. Well, sure. It’s a pretty thrilling ride in and of itself.
    Oh, absolutely. Hang on tight, folks!

    OMG!!! WHAT ARE THEY DOING???
    They'll be flung from their seats!!!

    Julie and I had planned a “date night” for the evening—not really a complete night out, but we’d be having dinner alone. My parents would be watching the kids
    Niiiice.

    Meanwhile, Julie and I finally had…


    :laughing:

    they were setting up for the Celebrate Vague Achievements Parade or whatever it’s called.
    The Dullness Parade.

    Julie is incapable of keeping her eyes open for pictures.
    She gave birth to and is being a mother to your passel of kids. She's tired dude!




    There, that’s better.
    Very nice photo of you two. :) :thumbsup2

    we had an ADR for the Turf Club. We’d never been here before but had heard a lot of good things about it as one of the “hidden gems” among Disney restaurants.
    Huh! I've never even heard of it!

    We were able to get there early and meet up with Marv and Pat (@GoofyFan1515 and @Poolrat ) in the lounge to catch up for a while.
    Oh nice! Squeezed a DISmeet in too!

    However, no photo of this DISmeet exists, so I must unfortunately conclude that it didn’t actually happen. But we had a really nice time relaxing and chatting with the two of them in our imaginary meeting that never took place.
    I imagine it was a nice evening.

    Julie doesn’t go wild for steak (she’s weird)
    What is wrong with her??? o_O

    mmmm…. man that looks good.

    As a bonus, we got a chocolate/peanut butter dome for dessert that was terrific as well. Sadly, this also appears to no longer be on the menu.
    Looks like a zebra dome!

    I would absolutely come back to the Turf Club for another meal. In fact, I wouldn’t even look at the menu. I’d just order the prime rib again. Let’s honor this place with a Drooling Homer Award.


    High praise indeed!

    And several thousand of our closest friends, many of whom are gifted with stinkeye.


    Each one is thinking "Just stop. I don't want you taking my photo."

    We were able to find a spot near the hub that was only slightly obstructed with a light pole.
    Looks like a good spot.

    As night fell, there were several rumbles of thunder off in the distance, and we started to worry that they might cancel the show. But thankfully the storms stayed away.
    Phew! Would not have been a great way to end your trip.

    We’d only had to kick or step on 5 people in order to maintain our hold on the sidewalk we had claimed.
    Only 5? Huh. People are getting better mannered, it seems.

    So I’m happy to report that the show was much, much better in person. As it should be. Yes, it’s still a Disney clip show, but the projections and fireworks provide a ton of eye candy that make it a worthwhile end to the day. I’m glad we watched it, and I’m glad we all saw it together on our final evening.
    :) Glad you liked it.

    Um... holy crap. That's a really good shot!
    :worship:

    Looking back, it was somewhat stressful trying to coordinate 13 people and all of their plans.
    Yeah, I can see how that might be.

    My own family came away with one shared thought: we would love to have a do-over at Disney World, next time with just the 6 of us!
    ::yes:: Do it!!

    That being said, I think the cost is the number one factor keeping us from going back more often.
    <sigh> Yeah... I sometimes wonder what Walt would've made of that.

    Hopefully the crowds will have died down by the time we get back.


    Ha! I almost said that with a straight face!
    :laughing: Good one!

    We’ll always love Timeless, Nostalgic Disney. We’ll always be excited about Cutting-Edge, Magic Disney. And we’ll always grit our teeth when confronted with Greedy Corporate Disney.
    That's the trifecta, right there.

    And some things will.


    Who is that! It can't be that little girl of yours!

    Thanks for following along and putting up with my terrible jokes! I appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to read and comment. It would be no fun if I was here all by myself!
    And thank you for writing such wonderful and entertaining reports!
    We wouldn't be reading without your wit and style.

    I’ll fill you in on our next adventure. Maybe it’ll be a bonus feature in this TR, if you’re interested.
    ::yes::
     

    Terra Nova guy

    DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    Anyway, the plan was for us all to meet back up again at Be Our Guest for lunch. We’d grabbed a lunch ADR here for a few reasons:
    I have to admit to never having much interest in Be Our Guest. It's definitely impressive with the theming. But the menu is kind of "meh" for me. I'm sure I could find something to eat and enjoy it. It just seems like my family would be as happy with other, cheaper options.

    We tried to kill some time by taking photos. Thankfully, no giant birds were attacking the castle this morning.
    Forced perspective works in most situations....

    But it was hot, and we were hungry and thirsty, and Captain Crankypants was back.
    Yet another Christmas card photo! You'll never run out.

    Last time I was here, I’d had the “Croque Monsieur”, which is French for “hot ham and cheese sammich”.
    It sounds good and most likely what I would order.
    The literal translation of Croque Monsieur is Mr. Crunch, which also makes it sounds kind of cool.

    Having successfully conquered Big Thunder, Drew showed no fear this time around, and Julie and I silently offered prayers of thanksgiving for the fact that we didn’t have to wrestle him into the car this time around. Quite the opposite, in fact. I don’t know if you can zoom in on this photo or not, but it’s my favorite ride photo of the whole week. This one captured the pure, unbridled joy we hope to find when we visit Disney World.
    That's awesome. It really makes it all worthwhile.

    While making our way through the queue, we found a hidden Nautilus, paying tribute to the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride that used to occupy this space.
    I did know about the hidden Nautilus, but I forgot to look for it.

    We rode a bus to the Saratoga Springs resort, where we had an ADR for the Turf Club. We’d never been here before but had heard a lot of good things about it as one of the “hidden gems” among Disney restaurants.
    I'm not sure I've even heard of Turf Club. It certainly looks good.
    You've got me in the mood for prime rib now. Unfortunately all I have to look forward to is the baloney sandwich I brought for lunch.

    So I’m happy to report that the show was much, much better in person. As it should be. Yes, it’s still a Disney clip show, but the projections and fireworks provide a ton of eye candy that make it a worthwhile end to the day. I’m glad we watched it, and I’m glad we all saw it together on our final evening. Here are way too many fireworks photos:
    Pretty much how I felt too. I thought it looked good online. But really impressive in person. Choosing between that and Wishes is like picking between your children. You just can't.
    Very good photos too. I lucked into a couple OK ones, but I really lack any natural talent for nighttime photography.

    I think the solution that we settled upon—just plan a few rides/meals together and otherwise, everyone do their own thing—was the right one.
    Yep, definitely the best strategy for a big group.

    Going in July made things a little tougher with heat and crowds, but since we are slaves to the school calendar there wasn’t much we could do about that. I thought we actually handled the heat and crowds just fine. We saw everything we wanted to see—it’s really just the new FP+ system that prevented us from getting more “big” rides than anything else.
    Similar to my trip. Crowds my family can manage OK. Heat we didn't do so well in. But like you we'll be slaves to the school calendar for a while. I would rather July/August heat over March break/Easter holiday crowds.

    That being said, I think the cost is the number one factor keeping us from going back more often. I feel like it’s become harder and harder for a large middle-class family like ours to go to Disney World for a week. So, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. I imagine our next visit will be when Drew is 8 or 9, just before he gets charged as an adult.
    Sounds like a good plan. As much as I would love to go every year, it's just not something I can manage financially.

    And some things will.


    Wow! There's one thing you can't change, and that's change. It's going to happen. My oldest DD has been driving 2 1/2 years now and I'm still not really used to it.
    Speaking of that, I wonder what my next trip will be like, if I have a 22-23 year old DD. Would she even come with us? That would be different. Change....
     

    SoccerDogWithEars

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2005
    In Which We Run Out Of Time And Money
    Isn't this the only reason Disney trips end?

    Finally, about 15 minutes late, my brother’s family sauntered up without a care in the world. “Hey guys, ready for lunch?”


    Yes, we are definitely ready.
    Oh no. No no. I would be so hangry.

    Actually last Sunday I got tired of waiting at the breakfast place we'd picked (it had been 45 minutes) and deliberately chose a cafeteria because at least then I knew I wouldn't have to wait for my food.

    Naturally, the West Wing and Main Ballroom had filled up by now, so we had to grab tables in the less-exciting Other Room For Overflow Guests.
    You know, I felt this way too. But Joe and I had dinner in here and it's actually a very nice atmosphere when it's not jammed full of people.

    Still, the Imagineers knocked the building itself out of the park, so we made sure to wander around and hover creepily over other people trying to eat their lunch while we snapped photos.
    I think I may have actually teared up a little bit the first time I ever walked in. I truly felt as if I'd stepped right into the movie.

    After that, Drew wanted to ride on the Peoplemover again. Well, sure. It’s a pretty thrilling ride in and of itself.
    There are never enough rides on the Peoplemover.

    Or at least we eventually got some nice photos after several takes, since Julie is incapable of keeping her eyes open for pictures.
    I think it must be a mom thing, as most photos with my mother look identical. She finally just started keeping her sunglasses on.

    Saratoga Springs doesn’t have a huge lobby or any signature building that draws attention to itself like some of the other resorts. The main building is almost non-descript.
    We stayed there a couple of years ago because it was the only resort that still had points availability when we were looking. And our consensus was absolutely never again. We hated it! To be fair, we were just there for a long weekend, but we were not fans of the loooooooooong walk we had from the main building to our room, and the room itself just felt.....fuddy-duddy. Joe literally calls it "The Old Person Resort."

    That being said, we only ate at the QS restaurant, so maybe we could be convinced to try dinner there.

    I had heard great things about the prime rib, so that’s what I ordered for dinner.
    Prime rib. *shudder* I tend to eat my steak medium. I like a little pink. About two weeks after we'd told our parents I was pregnant, my in-laws invited us over for dinner. My MIL was cooking prime rib. Joe and I are sitting in the living room and I hear her pull it out of the oven and exclaim "Oh, 125 degrees. Perfect!"

    For those of you who may not know, generally beef is cooked anywhere from 145-160 degrees to be considered "safe." Prime rib can go a little under as it is supposed to be on the rarer side. But I heard her say that and looked at Joe with this panicked look on my face. We sit down at the table and this huge chunk of meat is just sitting there bleeding. I think I may have heard it moo in protest when we cut into it. It was the first time in my pregnancy that I lied about being nauseous, just so I had an excuse not to eat.

    So I’m happy to report that the show was much, much better in person. As it should be.
    I avoided all streams/videos/hints about HEA when it first came out. I didn't want anything to spoil the first time I saw it in person, which would be on our honeymoon. The first night we watched it....it was pouring down rain. And I thought it was nice, but we actually were too close to the castle to fully appreciate the projections. So a couple of nights later, we went back. And I bawled my eyes out. There was something incredibly special to me about the theme of the show and the narration telling you to "find your happily ever after" when I felt like that's just what I'd done and mine was standing next to me. I still cry thinking about it (though that could also be hormones).

    Funnily enough, on our most recent trip, I only really had baby-hormonal moments at the end of Fantasmic, and watching Feast. HEA I got through fine. We'll see what happens in May....
     

    rdkeim

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2006
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your TR! You seem like such a nice family and I enjoy your writing style. Reading about large groups makes me feel anxious just reading about it :rotfl2:If we were ever to do it again, just meeting up for some meals and special events would work best for us too. The Disney greed is real. And the crowds. I think they've figured out some people will pay even more to try and avoid the crowds. But, that being said, I'm counting the days until we go back. Thanks for sharing and I'm interested in hearing what your next adventure is!
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    1) It was one of the few places where our families could agree on a meal;

    2) My kids hadn’t been inside yet and wanted to see the theming;

    3) My brother’s daughter is a huge princess fan and couldn’t wait to see Beast’s castle; and

    4) It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to get a lunch ADR than dinner here.

    We showed up a few minutes early for our reservation. However, I couldn’t check in yet because the entire party wasn’t present. So, we texted my brother and SIL and waited.
    All legit reasons. I've been once. That was enough for a while. I'd go back for sure for theming, but the food was very average and the ordering process a nightmare.

    And waited. And waited. No response to our texts. Meanwhile, all sorts of people were streaming up to the restaurant and getting in line. We had not pre-ordered our food for lunch, so I knew it was going to take some time to get through the ordering process. We texted again. No response.
    :headache:

    Classic!

    We checked in and eventually got through the line and ordering process. It probably took another 20 minutes or so before we were looking for seats. Naturally, the West Wing and Main Ballroom had filled up by now, so we had to grab tables in the less-exciting Other Room For Overflow Guests.


    Super boring room. Reminded me of a cafeteria with a pseudoanimatronic thrown in.

    “Pommes Frites” translates to “French Fries With A Fancy Title So We Can Justify Charging $9 For Them”
    :rotfl2:

    You thought it was Pommes Frites that explained the upcharge. It was reallly the fancy bamboo toothpicks.

    I have NEVER noticed that bridge!! At least this view of it.

    I can see why! Nice photo! :thumbsup2

    humor

    Much better, but less humorous.

    While making our way through the queue, we found a hidden Nautilus, paying tribute to the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride that used to occupy this space.
    Okay, that's cool!!!! Did you find it on your own or did you read about that or ???

    :worship:

    Gorgeous!

    We were able to get there early and meet up with Marv and Pat (@GoofyFan1515 and @Poolrat ) in the lounge to catch up for a while. However, no photo of this DISmeet exists, so I must unfortunately conclude that it didn’t actually happen. But we had a really nice time relaxing and chatting with the two of them in our imaginary meeting that never took place.
    OH, I didn't know you did that! We met them on our last trip too, and I sure hope I can again someday.

    We took a bus back to the Magic Kingdom. I said this wasn’t a true “date night”, because we were meeting back up with the kids for the evening. It was our last night at Disney World, so we didn’t want to spend it apart from everyone. The plan was to stay up and watch Happily Ever After (new to us) together. We figured we weren’t getting up early for Rope Drop the next morning—in fact, we were leaving, so all the more reason to sleep in and procrastinate—so it wouldn’t matter if we let everyone stay up late. Better to end our Disney time with a nighttime show.
    I can see why you'd not want to be apart on this day. I agree, best to end a family trip together. ::yes::

    We were able to find a spot near the hub that was only slightly obstructed with a light pole.


    Those lightpoles are the bane of my photography existence. :rolleyes2

    Unfortunately, my shutter finger moves at less than light speed.
    Except when you're on Buzz, Mr. Galactica.

    My fave. You just really can't have too many fireworks photos.

    My own family came away with one shared thought: we would love to have a do-over at Disney World, next time with just the 6 of us!
    Of course you do!



    There are more things to see in the world besides Disney parks.
    100% this.

    I imagine our next visit will be when Drew is 8 or 9, just before he gets charged as an adult.
    Wise and frugal.

    Coming Up Next: I’ll fill you in on our next adventure. Maybe it’ll be a bonus feature in this TR, if you’re interested.
    I'll be here! Thanks for sharing your amazing Disney trip, Mark. You had loads of fun and plenty of learning experiences and I am excited for the next adventure you share.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    I don't comment much but I do enjoy reading your reports. You have a great imagination and are a great story teller.
    Thank you so much! And thank you for taking the time to read all of these ramblings; I really appreciate it.

    I would be interested in reading about your next adventure.
    Thanks! I'll try and get a post up soon about the next trip. It's coming up quickly!

    Best Christmas card picture ever! As always, your trip reports are fantastic. Cannot wait to read about your next adventure.
    Thank you, and thanks for reading along!

    Yikes!!! That is scary!!!
    You know, it's really not that bad. It's turned into a real help being able to send her on errands! :rotfl2:

    Thanks for sharing your trip! It was so fun to read along.
    Thanks for joining in and reading!
     

    WDW2012

    Michelle
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    As always, thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Can't wait to see where the next one is. Those fireworks photos are amazing! I really hear ya on Disney becoming unaffordable. Have you ever considered staying offsite? When we did our last "big" trip before we became FL residents, we went in August (never again - killer heat) and stayed in a 4 bedroom/3 bathroom house with a pool for about the same price for the week that we paid for 2 nights at Portofino at Universal :eek:. I know you lose the benefits of being on site but having a full kitchen, multiple rooms and the ability to save on some meals was worth it. And it was just outside of the property, probably about 8 minutes to Disney property. I forget exactly where we entered property but it was near some sort of costuming building or something for AK. We actually snagged a FW campsite reservation for October but we'll be staying away from the parks, lol. With Star Wars being open by then, I have no desire to stand in line for 8 hours for 1 ride.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top