Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our Disney Trip - Day 9

June 17, 2009 - Departure day

Cast of Characters - Myself - Stacey - 31, Husband - Bryan - 35, Step-Daughter - Briana - 11, Son - Owen - 4, Daughter - Kate - 2

We got up around 8 to get on the bus and monorail over to the Contemporary to go to Chef Mickey’s. There were a million people there and we got there a few minutes late. So after we took our picture we thought we were going to have to wait a long time, there were 40 or 50 people waiting, the room was full. Our buzzer went off after about 5 minutes, so we were surprised. We were sat down right by the buffet. We got everyone’s food and the characters started coming around. They are really spread out here. So it’s hard to have time to eat.

I was scared to leave, I didn’t want to miss anyone. We used 3 adult table service credits, and 1 child table service credit. There are five characters here instead of four, so that was nice. We hadn’t seen Goofy yet, so Owen was excited to see him. He still talks about when Goofy touched his head.

We saw everyone and got everyone’s autograph. Then they did a celebration for birthdays and Owen got a little cupcake and a little extra attention from Goofy. He was pretty excited. He always asks to see the picture of the time when Goofy touched his head. When we were done we went back to the hotel and it was time to get ready for the bus to the airport. We packed everything up and went down to the magical Express desk at 12:45 p.m. The bus came around 20 minutes later and we were off to the airport. We got to the airport in plenty of time for our 3:30 flight, so we had some lunch at the food court and boarded the plane. We did have TVs on this trip, so that made the flight a bit better. Briana said she felt sick and sat by herself. We got in around 7 p.m. and got our luggage right away and were promptly picked up to end our vacation. We’ve learned we don’t want to go back unless we can afford a monorail resort. Bryan wants to stay at the Polynesian. We can wish, can’t we?

Our Disney Trip - Day 8

June 16, 2009 - Magic Kingdom - Last park day

Cast of Characters - Myself - Stacey - 31, Husband - Bryan - 35, Step-Daughter - Briana - 11, Son - Owen - 4, Daughter - Kate - 2

We woke up around 9 to get to ‘Ohana, I’m glad we switched from 1900 Park Fare. We all got leis and got our picture taken in the front of ‘Ohana. We had fruit, cinnamon bread, pineapple bread, eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, special juice, and Mickey Pancakes. It was all you can eat, so we got more. Bryan was happy - it was $82 - but we used 4 table service credits. Everyone met Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto. Of course I bought the picture they brought to the table, I was happy to know after you bought it you could put it on your photo pass account.

After that we went to Magic Kingdom for a few hours. We got fast passes for buzz lightyear. We went to the Carousal of Progress, with no wait. Owen wanted to go again, but no thank you, once is enough for me. Then Owen, Kate and I went into the Laugh Factory and Briana and Bryan went into the Stitch show. Kate was picked as Boo in the show and they kept putting her up on the screen. They had her play peek a boo, and everyone was ohhhing and awwing. She was cute. Bryan got us two waters - two snack credits. After that we rode Buzz Lightyear and right after that we saw Buzz and he stamped their autograph books.

Owen bought a Buzz grabber with his money. We went to Adventure land and got dole whip floats - 2 snack credits, and Briana got a root beer float - 1 snack credit. We just missed Jasmine and Aladdin, they were leaving for the parade. We were going to go on Pirates, but Kate and Owen were scared so Briana and Bryan rode it and we waited outside to see the pirate tutorial. Right after that Captain Hook and Smee came out, we got our pictures and autographs.

After that Briana got a bracelet that she had wanted all trip. We met them and went into our dinner at Cinderella’s castle at 4:25. We got two pictures with our dinner, which was a surprise to me. We got a picture with all of us, and one with Briana and Kate. It was up on the second floor. We shared all the appetizers, well, I had everyone order different things since I knew they wouldn’t eat any of them and I ate them all. The soup was my favorite. I had lamb, Bryan had prime rib, Briana had a pork chop, Owen had chicken nuggets, and Kate had pasta which was for toddlers - 6 adult table service credits, 2 child table service credits. For dessert we got one of everything and shared. The tip was included in the dinner, so that was an extra $30 I had prepared to pay out that I got to keep, I’m glad I asked.

We got to see the end of one of the parades, so we stopped to watch it. We left around 6, and got a bus right away. Once we got back to the hotel we got our suits on to go swimming, but as soon as we walked out the door it started lightning. So it was an evening in for us. We have two counter service meals left, so we need to eat some lunch tomorrow.

Our Disney Trip - Day 7

June 15, 2009 - Wedding in Italy, Reception at Living Seas and Epcot

Cast of Characters - Myself - Stacey - 31, Husband - Bryan - 35, Step-Daughter - Briana - 11, Son - Owen - 4, Daughter - Kate - 2

We got on the bus for the commitment ceremony for Mandi and Ashley around 8 a.m. They took us behind the scenes at EPCOT to get to Italy, which was very exciting. We watched the ceremony and took pictures, I got a great panoramic view of all of Epcot from Italy with no one in it.

The bus then took us behind the scenes to the Living Seas for the reception. The cake was ridiculous.

We had a few appetizers, then there was a buffet brunch. Kate and Owen loved seeing all the fish in the aquarium.

After we ate Owen and Kate were dancing fools. Kate was a favorite of the photographer. They told me you just can’t teach the stuff they asked her to do. Here's a pose they were putting her in.

She got her picture taken a million times. Then Minnie came out. Kate went nuts. She went running over to her. It was the cutest thing. She wouldn’t leave her side. This was probably the best thing that ever happened to her. We had 30 minutes with Minnie, it was so exciting.

There’s something about the characters that just make me smile, and this was no exception. Kate kept dancing and dancing. She danced for about 2 hours. Then it was cake time and I guess she had had enough, she threw up. I always say it’s not a party until someone throws up. We got so many compliments on how cute Kate was. Owen was a dancing fool too. He danced the whole reception. He even requested a song, you’ve got a friend in me from Toy Story. After the reception someone walked us out and we just walked into the park at Living Seas, they didn’t swipe our ticket. So now we have an extra day left on our ticket and we won’t be able to use it, too bad we didn’t have the no expiration on our ticket. We went to Innoventions. Briana walked around by herself, which I think she was more than ready to do, she was tired of us. Owen and Kate made paper, velcro frogs, Kate participated in a building challenge.

We also did a trash exercise and a money saving game.

After that we started going around the countries. We went to Canada, tried to watch the show, but Owen had to potty, but they did get their passports stamped. We met them England and it started raining.

Owen and Briana found lost dragons in England and got certificates. It only rained for about 10 - 20 minutes, good old Florida and their afternoon rain. We walked over to France and Bryan had to talk to his boss on the phone for a while so we went in and brushed up on our French. We saw Belle and Sleeping Beauty come in but Owen and Briana didn’t want to see them. Kate was sleeping, so my character partner was missing. After that we went to Morocco and I got a chicken and lamb schwarma to save for later, one counter service. Owen bought a flute with his money in Morocco. After that Briana got her Kimmunicator to do her Kim Possible mission. She went to Germany and did a few missions and made the coo coo clock go off. Owen had to have a pretzel with mustard, just like his mom. He ate it all even though it was an hour before dinner. We had a 6:35 reservation at Akershus and they didn’t have it listed, but she put us in and we got right in. I’m glad I had my reservation number, they were turning other people away. We got our picture with Belle, then sat down and had dinner.

Then Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty came by. Kate was so excited. She had been sleeping, but she sure woke up as soon as she saw the princesses. We went on the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico. Then it was time to go back to the hotel, it was about 8:00. We stopped at the photo pass place to get the pirate pictures put on our photo pass. Then we went out. We had to wait over 30 min for a bus while five other busses came for the other all star resorts. It was the only really bad resort bus problem so far. Briana and Kate got ice cream when we came back to the hotel. Owen was asleep.

Our Disney Trip - Day 6

June 14, 2009 - Hollywood Studios

Cast of Characters - Myself - Stacey - 31, Husband - Bryan - 35, Step-Daughter - Briana - 11, Son - Owen - 4, Daughter - Kate - 2, Dad/Grandpa, Mom/Grandma

We got to Hollywood Studios around 9 a.m. and saw the storm troopers on the roof. It was Star Wars weekend. I went to get in line to see if Owen, Kate, and Briana could be in the Star Wars parade, I found out they pick kids at random, you can’t sign up. While I was doing this Mom and Dad went on Rock and Roller Coaster. Bryan and Briana went on when I got there. We got a child swap ticket and fast passes, and a child swap at Tower of Terror. We wanted to get to the Animation Factory for the first show so we could see Mickey and the UP characters. We got there just in time. Kate got to meet Mickey. Bryan got in line for the UP characters. Owen had to go to the bathroom, so I had to go out and take him to the bathroom, he had an accident and I had forgot his clothes in my backpack in the line. So we had to go back and change his clothes in the line, oh well. But then it was our turn and Owen, Kate, and I saw Carl, Dog, and Russell from UP. Briana went and did the drawing class while we were doing this. Owen and Grandma colored a picture of Flounder, he of course picked the exact same colors that Flounder is when coloring. We went over to get in line for the Star Wars Parade and I was going to get us some lunch, but we got two pretzels and two frozen lemonades instead. The parade was fun. We got some lunch at Studio Catering Company while waiting for the Power Rangers to show up. We got a pulled pork sandwich, hot dog, and mac and cheese, 2 large drinks, cheesecake, fudge cake - $33.00 - used 3 quick service credits. Kate, Briana, and Owen saw Mike and Sully. Then we waited for the Power Rangers at 12:30. Owen got to see the Green Ranger, Kate was scared and wouldn’t have her picture taken, but of course she got her book signed. Owen saw the pink ranger and posed with her, so did Briana, this is the only signature Kate didn’t get.

The stunt show started at 1:20 so we got in line for that and were seated at 12:50. Owen loved the stunt show, the cars jumped. There were motorcycles and jet skis. I took a panoramic shot of the park from the stunt show.

Briana and Bryan went to ride Rock and Roller Coaster one more time. Me and mom went into Wickets warehouse where I got five Star wars pins and a shirt for Bryan’s boss. Mom bought Owen a shirt, Bryan a shirt, and Kate and Briana doll sets. We rode the bus back around 2 or 3. Everyone went swimming for a while.

Owen, Kate, and Briana ate dinner at the food court, hot dog, pizza, and double cheeseburger - 3 quick service meals. Grandma babysat, as Owen would say, while Bryan and I went to Coronado Springs on Uncle Ted’s recommendation and ate at the Pepper Market. This was the best recommendation. It was our best meal yet. Of course it would suck if you didn’t have a car to use to get here, since it is just the next resort over. I got a sample platter from the Wok and Bryan got fajitas, we also got a flan and strawberry cake. It was $50, but was only two counter service meals. We were stuffed. It was now 9 p.m. and time for bed. Tomorrow’s the wedding and Epcot.

Our Disney Trip - Day 5

June 13th, 2009 - Epcot

Cast of Characters - Myself - Stacey - 31, Husband - Bryan - 35, Step-Daughter - Briana - 11, Son - Owen - 4, Daughter - Kate - 2, Dad/Grandpa, Mom/Grandma, Stewart - Brother, Nicole - Brother’s Girlfriend

We left the hotel with everyone at 9:30. We got to Epcot around 10 and went on Spaceship Earth right away, there was no wait. Briana liked this ride a lot. She wanted to go again. I had to get Kate a new autograph book because hers is almost filled up. I also got Owen, Kate, and Briana passports. Then we rode on Nemo, with no wait, and went in the aquarium.

We then went to Soaring and got fast passes for later. We rode Living with the Land, there was maybe a 5 minute wait, and Owen decided it was his favorite ride. He loved the garden. I was excited to ride Figment, so we went there next, no wait. Everyone made their picture with funny things on it. We also conducted the Figment orchestra. It was getting close to our Biergarten reservation at 1:05, so we made our way to Germany, we saw Snow White and Kate ran over to wait in line to get her autograph, she was the last in line, this happened to us quite a few times to us this week, which I guess is good, you don’t feel too rushed.

We checked in for lunch and got right in. We were seated right by the stage and dance floor. Bryan was happy to have sausages, he ate and ate and ate. We had three adult buffets and one child buffet - $71 plus $12 for beer. I had envelopes prepared with the tips before hand, so that was easy. Owen, Kate and Briana got up to dance a few times during the lunch show. Bryan and Dad both drank a liter of beer.

That was after an 8 oz beer. After lunch the kids went to the kidcot station in china and got their passports stamped. They also wrote their name in Chinese on the back of their masks. We rode the Norway ride, where Owen was scared, but he rode and then he said it wasn’t scary. They went into the kidcot stations in Norway as well and got a charm and stamps. On the way past Mexico we saw Donald, and Kate again was the last person in line. She loved it. We went over to Test Track to ride with one of our fast passes, but the fast pass line was long. I got a child swap ticket and then Dad, Bryan, Mom, Briana, Nicole, and Stewart rode Test track single rider. Then Bryan, Briana and I rode through fast pass. Single rider was faster. We went on Mission Space, we all took the Orange side, the more intense side. I knew that was a bad idea as I can’t ride the teacups if someone spins it. I did not feel good afterward. We got some snacks, a few pretzels and waters. We went back to the Land to ride Soaring. Everyone but Kate and I rode it. I have been on it at Disneyland. Kate fell asleep. Owen wanted to ride Living with the Land again, so we did.

Stewart and Nicole went to find some food. We decided to just eat there. We ate Chinese, it was pretty good and we only used 2 counter service credits, we shared. We did all this while Kate slept on the bench in the food court. My dad and mom were happy to sit with her. Owen wanted to ride Living with the Land again, but when we got in line it broke down. We didn’t get to ride again. Owen did a kidcot station upstairs and wrote his name on it. We watched the Circle of Life movie. And then it was time to meet everyone over at Italy for the Surprise fireworks dessert party. Kate and I got the passports stamped in Italy at the kidcot station. Because they thought there was going to be rain they moved the dessert party to the American Pavilion inside. So we went up to the third floor and had some desserts. They then escorted us down to Italy on a reserved patio to watch Illuminations. Owen and Kate loved it, Bryan thought it was boring.

We went back to the American Pavilion for more desserts. We left around 10 p.m. Owen and Kate made friends on the bus. Owen was telling jokes - he said “knock, knock” the kid said, “who’s there” Owen said “boo” the kid said “boo hoo” then Owen said to Bryan “that’s a joke, right?” That cracked us up. And Kate was singing to try to make friends.

Our Disney Trip - Day 4

June 12, 2009 - Animal Kingdom

Cast of Characters - Myself - Stacey - 31, Husband - Bryan - 35, Step-Daughter - Briana - 11, Son - Owen - 4, Daughter - Kate - 2, Dad/Grandpa, Mom/Grandma, Stewart - Brother, Nicole - Brother’s Girlfriend

We met my brother Stewart and his girlfriend at the turnstiles. We were able to see the show at rope drop. We sprinted to Everest, Bryan, Briana, Nicole, Stewart, Mom and Dad got right on, I had rode before and I had a pretty strict touring plan today so I didn’t want to waste the time for me to ride. Then went to Dinosaur and did child swap so some got to ride twice. In our picture everyone is looking at the dinosaur and of course I’m looking the opposite direction telling Owen to look. You can barely see him because he’s slumped so far down in the seat.

Then we played one game. Bryan won and got a stuffed seahorse which he gave to Owen. Kate was sitting there upset like she should have won, so the guy gave her a stuffed seahorse too. That girl is never going to have to work for anything!

My second favorite picture from our trip:

We went to Kilimanjaro Safari to ride or get fast passes. The wait was only 20 minutes, so we waited. Our jeep had to stop on the ride because a giraffe was walking in the path, it walked right past us. Owen asked a few questions. He wanted to know what giraffes ate, then Kate asked what elephants eat. The driver answered their questions and told them they were great questions. It made them feel really special. Then we went on the trail to see the gorillas. One was sleeping right by the glass. I had Bryan take his picture with the picture of the gorilla, he looked just like it.

It was time for lunch so we could make the Lion King show in time, so we had pizza at Pizzafari. We had three pepperoni pizzas and one kids meal - $43 - 4 quick service meals. We had about 30 minutes before the Lion King show, so I told Kate we could go see Daisy and Minnie. Daisy is her favorite and she’s always asking for her. Waiting for the Lion King was so hot. We were all so miserable. But once we saw the show, it was worth it. We ran out at the end real quick and got to see Mickey before the line got too long. They really do keep those lines moving. We went and got Fast passes for the river rapids because we just couldn’t take the heat anymore then went out to Rafiki’s planet watch, Kate was asleep, and I don’t know why, but I decided we didn’t need the stroller. On the train the conductor asked Owen if he wanted to say All Aboard, and he wouldn’t, so Briana did and she got a certificate for it. Of course the second we took off Owen started shouting All Aboard. She woke up just in time to see Pocahontas and Jiminy Cricket, and OF COURSE had them sign her books. She didn’t want to see Rafiki. A few minutes later she told me she wanted to see the monkey. So we saw Rafiki.

It was time to ride the train back and get on the rapids. Bryan, Dad, Briana and I rode it. We all got soaked, especially me. I told everyone to pick it up so we could make it in time to see the Finding Nemo show. I had to run the stroller down and we got in line, they stopped the line, so I was freaking out that we wouldn’t be able to see it, but we got in and had pretty good seats. I was a bit cold because I was soaked and the air was on full blast in there. Everyone loved it. Stewart was singing the Big Blue Water song all weekend. We were done just in time to get to Boma in time for our reservation. We had a little mishap on the bus, we got off at the first Animal Kingdom Lodge bus stop when we should have gotten off at the second stop. No thanks to the bus driver. When we finally figured out where we were going we got right into Boma. Everyone loved it, except Bryan. Their pork was to die for. I also loved the lamb stew. I want to go back just to eat there. We got on the bus to go back to Animal Kingdom to get our resort bus, and the bus driver told us there are no more resort busses leaving from Animal Kingdom. He told the other people to get off, and the he said “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ll take you over there, I don’t want you guys going around on all the busses.” We got so lucky and the bus driver drove us personally back to the hotel and then gave Owen, Kate, and Briana special Bus driver licenses. Owen, Kate, and Briana all went swimming so hopefully they would go to sleep early. I realized there was no way we were going to make our 1900 Park Fare breakfast on Tuesday at 8:05 a.m., so I went to the concierge to see if I could get ‘Ohana around 11. I got so lucky and they got me a 10:55 reservation at ‘Ohana on Tuesday and cancelled my 1900 reservation. Woohoo. My dad complained to the hotel manger about them not fixing their toilet and he was given two fast passes for our party at Epcot for tomorrow, so instead of getting up early and being there at opening I said we could go around 10 a.m. and use the fast passes on the rides we were going to go to early. And so we could get some sleep.

Our Disney Trip - Day 3

June 11, 2009 - Pirate adventure and Magic Kingdom

Cast of Characters - Myself - Stacey - 31, Husband - Bryan - 35, Step-Daughter - Briana - 11, Son - Owen - 4, Daughter - Kate - 2

We got up early to catch the bus to Magic Kingdom to get on the monorail to go to the Grand Floridian. This is one thing that was tougher than I thought, if you had reservations at any resorts you really had to plan ahead and get there early. We got to the Grand Floridian around 9:10. Owen and Briana weren’t on the first list for the Pirate Adventure, for some reason they were on another list, but she finally found them, thank goodness. They went over and got their pirate bandanas, life jackets, name tags, and tattoos. Owen, of course, was a little upset, and didn’t want to go. But by the time he was on the boat he was giving thumbs up. There was a photo pass person on the boat, so I was excited to get those transferred onto our photo pass since we are getting the CD, we didn’t get too many good ones.

Then Bryan, Kate and I were off to the Magic Kingdom to get her first hair cut. We only had to wait about 4 or 5 minutes. Then there was a chair open for Rex to start cutting her hair. She did so well. She was a little nervous at first, but once she knew her hair was cut, she was proud to show it off. She got some pixie dust in her hair, which excited her to no end. She got a certificate and a pair of “first haircut” ears. She wore them all day.

My favorite picture from the whole trip:

We decided to go on a ride or two before we had to pick up Owen and Briana. Kate wanted to buy something so she bought a Minnie spinner with her Disney Dollars. Then we went to get two coke floats and a funnel cake - $15 - I was going to pay for the funnel cake, but the Cast Member told me it was on the snack plan, so bonus - we used three snack credits. We were going to ride Splash Mountain but we saw frontier Donald on the way and got in line to see him. Of course Kate was yelling at me to get her book out. Kate was so excited to see all the characters.

It was time to go back and get Briana and Owen. We got stopped by one of the parades coming down Main Street. Kate was really excited to see it and was dancing and waving along. We got back just in time to see the boat coming up with no kids in it. I remember telling Bryan, “Is that the boat? There’s no kids in it.”

When it got closer they all jumped up and screamed “argh”. Owen was so excited when he came back he kept saying “argh” and wanted to see what treasures were in his bag. He was the first kid to find a treasure map in the sand. Briana said the leader said he was such a good kid, he thanked her for taking him to the bathroom. Their booty was a parrot, a ball, some rings and necklaces, a telescope, a treasure chest, and an eye patch. Owen was really excited to wear the eye patch.

This was the day that Bryan decided if we come back he wants to stay in a Monorail resort. I came back to the room to wait for a call I was expecting. Kate was asleep and Bryan took the kids to the food court to get some lunch. They brought me back a Philly cheese steak. My dad showed up around 3:30 p.m. He and Bryan went to the car to get some beers. Then my dad and I took the kids to the pool while Bryan napped. My mom showed up around 5 p.m. and swam for a while with us. We went to Downtown Disney for dinner, this was a pain in the butt bus. We had Earl of Sandwich. I had the roast beef, Bryan had a Hawaiian sandwich, Owen and Kate shared a ham sandwich, Briana had a pizza sandwich - $35 - we used 4 quick service meals. Briana bought a Donald stuffed animal for herself with her Disney Dollars. Kate bought a Minnie mouse dress up toy. Owen bought a dinosaur set in the T-Rex Restaurant. Briana also did some pin trading. We took the bus back and went to bed.