Our Exciting Vacation in the World

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Brian845
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Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Brian845 » Sep Fri 02, 2011 12:17 pm

Ok, I think I'm just about ready to start my trip report. On our trip in 2008, I started writing a journal of our Disney vacations (in a notebook purchased at the Yak and Yeti shop), so I am just about done with our 2011 trip. I'll go day by day I think, and see what kind of responses are elicited. We haven't posted any pictures yet (I think we took about a thousand of them), but I'll try to share a few of them (I took a lot of pics for the "Where in the World" game, so I won't share those!).

Our first day was Saturday, August 20th, and we had an uneventful flight into Orlando. This was our first experience with Magical Express on arrival, since on our previous 2 trips we flew into Tampa first, to visit relatives (I don't think they had ME in 2001, when we honeymooned here). Not so this time, this was an exclusively Disney trip (I didn't even tell my relatives we would be in Florida!). ME was great! No waiting at all, and it was nice to not worry about our checked luggage. We arrived at the Wilderness Lodge a little before 3PM, checked in, and took a little time to check out the hotel before we headed for the Magic Kingdom. We kind of had to, since it started pouring down rain shortly after we arrived!

After the deluge ceased (it was heavy enough to cause some sort of problem with the monorails, as I mentioned in another thread), we took the bus to the Magic Kingdom. I had subscribed to Touringplans.com, so I had a set schedule of activities I had in mind (yes, I'm one of those that likes to plan everything...It's half the fun!), so we headed over to Tomorrowland (taking the requisite picture in front of the Castle of course). I won't go into any kind of ride by ride details, but I'll just mention some highlights. Peoplemover was our first (my favorite place to start) after getting Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear. After dinner and a few other rides, we headed to Tomorrowland for It's a Small World and the Mad Tea Cups. Tea Cups turned out to be my 5 year old's favorite ride, so we took several spins on this over the course of our stay. We fnished up the evening with my 7 year old taking me on Space Mountain, which was the first time I'd ever been on it in my 40 years. I am not a thrill ride or roller coaster fan, but my older son is...He took me on Splash Mountain for the first time when he was 4 years old back in 2008. We headed back to the resort (we did not stick around for the parade), unpacked our luggage, and called it a day. We were staying on the 7th level of the Wilderness Lodge, and we were lucky enough to get a Magic Kingdom view (we didn't request it), so we were able to see the fireworks every night from our balcony. Pretty cool! We even managed to pry the kids away from the TV long enough to watch for a bit (I think Phineas and Ferb was on).

Next up will be details of our first full day, and how I learned that planning things in great detail doesn't necessarily work with kids (or my wife for that matter!).

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Amy » Sep Fri 02, 2011 12:51 pm

Brian845 wrote:Ok, I think I'm just about ready to start my trip report. On our trip in 2008, I started writing a journal of our Disney vacations (in a notebook purchased at the Yak and Yeti shop), so I am just about done with our 2011 trip. I'll go day by day I think, and see what kind of responses are elicited. We haven't posted any pictures yet (I think we took about a thousand of them), but I'll try to share a few of them (I took a lot of pics for the "Where in the World" game, so I won't share those!).
Shoot! I was hoping for some big clues on the Where in the World game!! :(
Brian845 wrote:Our first day was Saturday, August 20th, and we had an uneventful flight into Orlando. This was our first experience with Magical Express on arrival, since on our previous 2 trips we flew into Tampa first, to visit relatives (I don't think they had ME in 2001, when we honeymooned here). Not so this time, this was an exclusively Disney trip (I didn't even tell my relatives we would be in Florida!). ME was great! No waiting at all, and it was nice to not worry about our checked luggage. We arrived at the Wilderness Lodge a little before 3PM, checked in, and took a little time to check out the hotel before we headed for the Magic Kingdom. We kind of had to, since it started pouring down rain shortly after we arrived!
:lol: Didn't even tell your relatives!! :lol: Yeah, we didn't tell our relatives either. Or my Mom's classmates (she grew up in Florida) We've always invited them to meet us at Disney but they never want to, and we don't want to take the time away from Disney to go see them. I attended F1gment's 50th high school reunion with her a while back. I tell you, it killed me to be in Florida, so close to Disney (about 1-2 hours away) and not be able to go! :cry: So, if it is a Disney trip, we're the only ones that need to know :D Plus our sub-family!
Brian845 wrote:After the deluge ceased (it was heavy enough to cause some sort of problem with the monorails, as I mentioned in another thread), we took the bus to the Magic Kingdom. I had subscribed to Touringplans.com, so I had a set schedule of activities I had in mind (yes, I'm one of those that likes to plan everything...It's half the fun!), so we headed over to Tomorrowland (taking the requisite picture in front of the Castle of course). I won't go into any kind of ride by ride details, but I'll just mention some highlights. Peoplemover was our first (my favorite place to start) after getting Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear. After dinner and a few other rides, we headed to Tomorrowland for It's a Small World and the Mad Tea Cups. Tea Cups turned out to be my 5 year old's favorite ride, so we took several spins on this over the course of our stay. We fnished up the evening with my 7 year old taking me on Space Mountain, which was the first time I'd ever been on it in my 40 years. I am not a thrill ride or roller coaster fan, but my older son is...He took me on Splash Mountain for the first time when he was 4 years old back in 2008. We headed back to the resort (we did not stick around for the parade), unpacked our luggage, and called it a day. We were staying on the 7th level of the Wilderness Lodge, and we were lucky enough to get a Magic Kingdom view (we didn't request it), so we were able to see the fireworks every night from our balcony. Pretty cool! We even managed to pry the kids away from the TV long enough to watch for a bit (I think Phineas and Ferb was on).

Next up will be details of our first full day, and how I learned that planning things in great detail doesn't necessarily work with kids (or my wife for that matter!).
Love the word deluge ~ always reminds me of the Living Seas (well, really it reminds me of the Land since that is always where I think that quote comes from, but it doesn't :roll:
That is awesome that you got to see the fireworks from the room! I would say you had a very good day with traveling with younger children. That is great that your son gets you on the "big" rides. Good thing he is brave and is getting Daddy to be braver! What did you think of Space Mountain? It was a little rougher for me this past trip. I don't know if it because I am getting older or the track needs a refurb to be smoothed out some ;) Isn't it funny how kids would rather watch tv on vacation than see live Disney fireworks?! :shock:

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by boilerbabe » Sep Fri 02, 2011 9:49 pm

Looking forward to your first full day! Sounds like you got alot in on your arrival day and score on the MK view!!! :D
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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Soarin08 » Sep Sat 03, 2011 7:27 pm

Looking forward to reading it! Hey, I'm not even telling my parents I'm going down this time- I'm kind of tired of being 21 and my mother treating me like I'm 6 and making me report in on every single place I go and what times and who I'm with. :roll:
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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Brian845 » Sep Mon 05, 2011 8:42 am

Here's the report for our 2nd day in the world, Sunday August 21st. I'll start by saying that my wife is much wiser than I am, and smarter too. I've relearned this fact many times over the years, since she is right about 95% of the time (I have been right a *few* times, but not often!). I'm also learning more and more about my children as time goes on, and trips like these provide a great opportunity to get to know them better.

Today we had breakfast reservations at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom at 8:20 am, so we woke up pretty early. I was up at 5am, since I get up for work at that time, and it took some effort to get the rest of the family up at 7am (especially the youngest one), but we made it out the door and on the bus by about 7:45. Breakfast was just fine, although our youngest (whom I'll call "T" for the sake of privacy) was shy, and did not want to take pictures. "K" (our oldest son, who is 7), was just fine with pictures and was eager to collect autographs from each of the characters, and also enjoyed marching in the parade.

Today's plan (you know how much I like to plan) had us starting in Adventureland in the morning, so we headed over to the Jungle Cruise to get some Fastpasses, and then rode Aladdin's Magic Carpets (twice, since there was no line). Then we visited the Tiki Room (where I feebly attempted to look for Packwingfan), and enjoyed the "original" version of the show. We headed out on our Cruise after that (and picked up some more Fastpasses for a second ride later), and then stopped at Aloha Isle, where I had my first ever Dole Whip (the wife had a Dole Float, and the kids had root beer floats).

I think it was around 11AM at this point, and it was getting really warm, so we headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean to cool off. This has always been one of my favorite rides, so I was glad that my children really enjoyed it too (T thought it was "really cool"). They both had great fun getting some pirate accoutrements at the gift shop afterwards (gift shops were T's second favorite amusement at the parks).

After Pirates we concluded our tour of Adventureland for the time being, and headed over to Liberty Square. We visited the Haunted Mansion, and experienced the new interactive queue, and also enjoyed the new Hitchhiking Ghosts scene. T sat with me on this ride, and he was slowly learning that Daddy is ok too (he's a mama's boy!). We ambled over to the Hall of Presidents (aka the Hall of Air Conditioning) next, where T promptly fell asleep. I was hoping that K would memorize the list of Presidents, but I guess it will take a couple of trips for that.

It was around 1:30 at this point, so we headed back via boat to the resort for a break, where T and the wife had some rest in the room, while K and I learned how much fun the water slide at the pool was.

That's enough for now, I'll continue the rest of this day in a bit!

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Amy » Sep Mon 05, 2011 9:05 am

So....what did you think of your first Dole Whip?!
It sounds like you were having a chance to have a little bonding time with both boys ~ that's great! Take it easy on K, I don't think they have to memorize the presidential order until they have a chance to go on Jeopardy ;) :lol:

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Brian845 » Sep Mon 05, 2011 9:14 am

Amy wrote:So....what did you think of your first Dole Whip?!
It sounds like you were having a chance to have a little bonding time with both boys ~ that's great! Take it easy on K, I don't think they have to memorize the presidential order until they have a chance to go on Jeopardy ;) :lol:
It was good! I'm all for anything orange in color or flavor, but it kind of melted too quickly 'cos it was so hot!

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by mindflipper » Sep Mon 05, 2011 10:36 am

I don't know if it's possible to memorize the list of presidents. Most people in the Hall of Presidents trying to memorize the list can only remember this:

George Washington...John Adams...Thomas Jefferson....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(snoring fills in as yada,yada,yada for the remainder of that list) :wink: :mickey:

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Brian845 » Sep Mon 05, 2011 3:39 pm

Here's the rest of the 2nd day. We were rested and relaxed, and ready to head back to the Magic Kingdom for an evening in Fantasyland. There was no afternoon thunderstorm today, so we took the boat back over. Our morning went mostly to plan (although we skipped the Swiss Family Treehouse), and I had a pretty good schedule set for the evening. We arrived shortly before 5pm, and I intended to head straight for Fastpasses at Winnie the Pooh, since the return time should be around 6PM. As we were making our way across the circular park on main street, we were thwarted in our efforts to cross by one of the Dapper Dans. There was some sort of entertainment about to happen it seems. The bass for the Dapper Dans asked us if we had some plans, and apparently I didn't answer quickly enough before my wife said "no", so he asked if our older son would like to take part in the flag retreat ceremony for the day. K was invited to recite the pledge of allegiance, along with another young lad. So of course he did it, and we stood in the 95+ degree sun while they performed the ceremony, but I couldn't help but wonder how this was going to affect our finely tuned plans!

It worked out just fine, since the return time for Pooh was still 6pm by the time we got there. While waiting for our return time, we headed to the Tea Cups again (T's favorite), watched Philharmagic, and rode the Carrousel (why are there 2 Rs in Carrousel, anyway?). My next plan had been to get a Fastpass for Peter Pan just after 6, but by that time the return time was for 9PM, so we decided to save it for another day.

Ok, here's where I discovered that my wife was right, as usual. My older son K is on the autism spectrum (asperger's), and she had the foresight to get a letter from his doctor about it so we could get a Guest Assistance Card if we had any problems. I didn't think he needed it, since he has been doing really well lately, but I was wrong. I learned that Disneyworld is really rather overwhelming for someone on the spectrum with sensory issues. We ran into our first problem on the Winnie the Pooh ride. I'm sure it had been building up all day, but he had a meltdown because he wanted to ride in the front with his mom, and at the last second he ended up riding in the back with me. It may not sound like much, but it was enough to cause problems for the rest of the day, potentially. After the ride, we talked to him for a bit to see exactly what the matter was (we didn't know about the whole sitting in front thing at first), but when we learned what the problem was, my wife whipped out the card and I agreed that that was the best solution to the problem. If you don't know what one of these cards is, it's essentially like a FastPass. It also really saved us later in the trip (I'll explain on Saturday's recap). I took T to ride It's a Small World again, while my wife and K rode Winnie the Pooh again (this time in the front seat), and then we had dinner at the Village Haus.

After dinner, we went back to the Jungle Cruise (we still had FastPasses for it, remember?). I wanted to see what it was like at night, since many of you have spoken about how different it is in thedark. The return time was between 11:30 and 12:30, and it was now about 8PM, so the castmember was like "Whoa, where have you been?" but he let us on regardless.

Here's another thing I learned today...Just because you've been up since 5am and are still ready for more, doesn't mean your kids are. We decided to stay for the Main Street Electrical Parade, so we found a spot about 8:40 and waited. I bought two of those hideously expensive light up Mickey Mouse balloons for my children ($15 apiece!), and my wife went to the bakery to get one of those giant ice cream cookie sandwiches for us to share (that thing was huge!). We waited patiently (learning some new trivia from one of the castmembers entertaining the crowd), although it was clear that both kids were done for the day (K was sitting in the stroller, since he couldn't stand anymore apparently). The parade was entertaining enough, but the crowd for the boat sure wasn't! We didn't get on the first boat (it was one of the smaller launches), and had to wait for the larger boat, which didn't arrive until just before 10PM (we'd left at 9:15 after the parade). The one plus was that we got to sit in the bow of the boat, and watched the fireworks as we motored back to the Wilderness Lodge. I vowed that we would avoid keeping them out this late for the trip again (no Illuminations or Fantasmic this time around it seems). We retired to the hotel and prepared for our day at the Animal Kingdom on Monday.

Incidentallly, the balloons are actually worth the money...Since we drove back instead of flying, we were able to keep the balloons inflated, and one of them is still holding on, about 2 weeks later.

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Soarin08 » Sep Mon 05, 2011 4:09 pm

mindflipper wrote:I don't know if it's possible to memorize the list of presidents. Most people in the Hall of Presidents trying to memorize the list can only remember this:

George Washington...John Adams...Thomas Jefferson....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(snoring fills in as yada,yada,yada for the remainder of that list) :wink: :mickey:
No kidding. Most painful attraction at Disney... haha. :mrgreen:
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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Len90 » Sep Mon 05, 2011 4:15 pm

Wow just got done reading your first two days. I do recall the 21st being a perfectly sunny hot day. I honestly am surprised how you went to Adventureland first thing in the morning as you could have done Tomorrowland and part of Fantasyland during that time frame. Adventureland tends to not be busy later in the day with most attractions having little to no wait.

As for Hall of Air Conditioning... I'll take the gift shops instead :D
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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Amy » Sep Mon 05, 2011 5:12 pm

Really enjoying your trip report so far. Sorry your older son had a meltdown, but that is exactly why those guest assistance passes exist. I'm glad you had gotten one even though you thought you wouldn't need one.
$15 for the balloons? Wow? I wondered how much they were but had never asked. But since you were able to drive home, it definitely ended up being a good deal huh?!

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Brian845 » Sep Mon 05, 2011 6:36 pm

Len90 wrote:Wow just got done reading your first two days. I do recall the 21st being a perfectly sunny hot day. I honestly am surprised how you went to Adventureland first thing in the morning as you could have done Tomorrowland and part of Fantasyland during that time frame. Adventureland tends to not be busy later in the day with most attractions having little to no wait.

As for Hall of Air Conditioning... I'll take the gift shops instead :D
I'll remember that next time:) I was just trying to stay focused on particular lands for each morning/afternoon. Normally I'd have done Adventureland first thing on Saturday (I used to ride Pirates first), but since we were having breakfast at the Crystal Palace on Sunday morning, I felt it was a natural progression to head to Adventureland from there.

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Wizzard419 » Sep Mon 05, 2011 7:26 pm

I feel bad for the people who deliver the bags for DME, last time I was there I left the tip on the table and a note saying "Thanks" while I was out at dinner and they didn't take it.

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Re: Our Exciting Vacation in the World

Post by Amy » Sep Mon 05, 2011 7:34 pm

Wizzard419 wrote:I feel bad for the people who deliver the bags for DME, last time I was there I left the tip on the table and a note saying "Thanks" while I was out at dinner and they didn't take it.
I don't know if they are allowed to accept tips...

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