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Thread: Inspired by Actual Events (and TV, Music, and Movies) - 12/29/18 to 1/4/19

  1. #26
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    Arrival Day- Part Two

    (The producers wish to apologize for the unscheduled hiatus. The chief writer was called away for a more pressing project that actually paid money, then fell into a deep depression that turned to anger and is now just simmering bitterness following the royal hosing his team experienced in the NFC Championship Game. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.)


    I grew up in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, the golden age of TV Sit-Coms when every problem (even on the “very special episodes”) could be fixed in 30 minutes. And so it was this day. A half hour after leaving the airport, we were pulling in to Old Key West. The four older kids had already arrived and had called and received our owners locker. They had also gone to the store in the main building to get a few items to stock the fridge. It was 7:30 pm, and our first FastPass window had just opened. Our timing for the bus to Magic Kingdom was perfect with the assistance of the app. The bus was surprisingly not crowded. Except for a minor issue with daughter’s friend at the tapstyle, everything went smoothly. We were on Main Street at 8:30 and made our way through the crowds to Mine Train. We got to the entrance with 5 minutes to spare in the grace period.


    After the ride, we were all hungry. It had been a very long day by this point. It seems that we have established an unplanned tradition of eating a late dinner at Columbia Harbor House on arrival day every trip. This trip would be no exception. A few went upstairs to secure a table while three of us waited for our food. Mobile ordering for 8 people seemed too confusing after such a long day and the lines to order were very short. Within 5 minutes, My wife and son were carrying trays of food up the stairs followed by me with the tray of drinks ... without lids. I was thinking of the poor parents with young children who inevitably wind up with a lap full of Sprite, and the CM’s who are constantly sopping up soda after spills. I was thankful that I had an older group and we wouldn’t have to worry about that. We distributed the food and drinks among the two tables in close proximity. I sat down to my comforting familiar plate of fried shrimp and fries, pulling the tray with my dinner closer to my position at the table. SPLASH! My Diet Coke toppled over and spilled across the table. No one who knows me would call me an environmentalist, but they wouldn’t call me whatever the opposite of an environmentalist is either. For a brief moment, however, I became an advocate for every river-polluting, landfill-filling, whale-killing, global-warming, plastic-producing, rain forest-clearing industrialist that ever lived. Why couldn’t I have a lid on my drink?!? Two deep breaths (and two trees’ worth of napkins) later I acknowledged that I could have been more careful, and silently apologized for wanting to take up landfill space.


    By 10:00 pm, we had made our way to Frontierland and redeemed our 2 other FastPasses that I had scrambled for earlier in the day- Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Splash ended up being our go-to additional FP on later days on the trip. It was always easy to secure. Thunder was the group favorite, and much tougher to get as an additional FastPass.


    As we walked through Magic Kingdom throughout the evening, I kept commenting how light the crowds seemed. My wife and sons agreed. I don’t mean to say that it was like a day in September, but is certainly wasn’t a “ Oh-Hell-No!” day that some crowd calendar might predict for the Saturday night at Magic Kingdom between Christmas and New Year’s. I didn’t dwell on it, but just enjoyed it. The night was a very pleasant one, just warm enough to make the jeans I was wearing feel like a bad choice. Otherwise, we had space to move freely and never had to worry about getting separated (The incident with the fake monorail at MCO was still very fresh in our minds.)


    Everyone was getting tired, but we decided to ride Pirates then Jingle Cruise with a 4th FastPass before heading out. I’m not a fan of the holiday overlay, but all were amused by our Skipper. It was almost 11:00 pm when we disembarked. It was time to go. We had an early morning rope-drop to make at Hollywood Studios. We waited a very short time for our OKW bus and were back at our room by midnight. Our luggage was waiting just inside the door. I quickly changed from jeans to shorts and didn’t see my jeans again until the night before we went home when I packed them back in the suitcase.


    As everyone settled in, I informed them of the ungodly hour they would have to wake. I assured them they would all have time to rest, nap or relax later, but we had to get up early for the plan to work. Though I never heard it, I’m pretty certain there were whisperings of “Your Dad is crazy.” I did not give it a second thought. I knew they’d be convinced by the end of the next day
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

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  2. #27
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    So glad your hiatus is over and you are back to amusing all of us with your trip memories.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  3. #28
    Senior Member Mrs Darling's Avatar
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    I'm now planning to pack extra clothes after that preview into the lid-less drink situation. I'm what my kids call "spilly" and Are there no lids now at any of the QS locations at WDW?
    I may be sticking to my water bottle for the duration. Not sure what I'll do with my little mini-me who is just as bad.

    Love how the timing worked out for you that evening!
    ~Stacey

  4. #29
    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    Glad you’re continuing! I feel your pain on the royal hosing. Getting a black and gold king cake to drown my sorrows today.
    Brandi

  5. #30
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Darling View Post
    I'm now planning to pack extra clothes after that preview into the lid-less drink situation. I'm what my kids call "spilly" and Are there no lids now at any of the QS locations at WDW?
    I may be sticking to my water bottle for the duration. Not sure what I'll do with my little mini-me who is just as bad.

    Love how the timing worked out for you that evening!
    I have read online (so it must be true) that they have lids if you ask but do not offer them routinely. But I have no personal experience.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Mrs Darling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    I have read online (so it must be true) that they have lids if you ask but do not offer them routinely. But I have no personal experience.
    Thanks! We'll test that out in March
    We've been significantly reducing our footprint at home, so I'm not going to feel guilty about a few lids.
    ~Stacey

  7. #32
    Senior Member BSS's Avatar
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    Sounds like a wonderful arrival night! Thank you for coming back to this report. I so enjoy your writing style.
    Jen

  8. #33
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    The Fellowship Begins - Day 2, Part 1

    December 30, 2018
    5:45 a.m.


    My alarm barely made a sound before I jumped out of bed and headed to the kitchen to start the coffee. Everyone but my wife was still asleep. My plan was to have everyone out of bed by 6:20 and in the minivan before 7:00 to make 8:00 a.m. rope drop at Hollywood Studios. If it was just the five of us, I would have no problem waking everyone. I would just shout, “Get Up! We Gotta Go!!” I was hesitant. Two of our guests were old enough to vote. I knew our guests and had spent some time with them in the past, but I had no idea what these two “adults” were really thinking about this crazy man who would wake them up at dawn on vacation for no other reason than to get to a park to ride something he kept calling “Slinky Dog.” Daughter’s friend I could handle. She’s 11. I can handle an 11 year old. The others ... I didn’t want to disappoint, offend, or make them feel uncomfortable. So, I woke my oldest son who slept on the pullout in the living room and had him go wake everyone up.


    I was pleasantly surprised to find that no one lagged behind that morning. Everyone was still rubbing sleep out of their eyes, but no one was complaining. mumbling or grumbling between bites of Entenmann’s donuts and sips of coffee or orange juice. I got the feeling that each of my kids had explained to their guest how serious Dad takes rope drop at Hollywood Studios, and the guests now wanted to make a good first impression. Like me, they were easing into the relationship.


    Just before 7:00, we filled every seat in the 8 passenger minivan. Three wrong turns and an unscheduled tour of the Cast Member Only parking lot later, we had arrived. A walk to the gates, a glitch again at the tapstile for Daughter’s friend, and we were walking down Hollywood toward a mass of people being held at Sunset. From my reconnaissance trip at Labor Day, I knew we should be as far right as possible. I led our pack to dutifully fill in all available space, scooching, squeezing, and excusing our way through the mass of people until we were about 20 people deep from the front. My instructions were simple, “Follow me and keep up.” A few minutes later, we were moving. I held my ground as I walked and gave an occasional glance to my rear to make sure my group had not fallen too far behind. My older son is close to my height and an easy marker to find in a crowd. They were never too far behind.


    When the Slinky Dog crowd first stopped, we were still under the umbrellas, but soon inched forward for a while, then stopped again. Cast Members began walking the line telling everyone that Slinky was down and they had no expected time that it would open. They encouraged us to experience other rides. Hundreds of shoulders slumped around me. The line started moving again as unwise group after unwise group moved on to do what the Cast Members suggested. Apparently none of them took the fact that Slinky after Slinky was zooming by on the tracks into account. The ride would soon open, I was sure. By the time we came to a dead stop, we were squarely in the middle of the queue.


    During our 20 minute wait between mini-conversations among our group, I was scanning the crowd - just people watching. Over a dozen years ago, Hollywood Studios was where our family joke about me being “freakishly tall” began when we were packed into the Fantasmic! standing room only area. A man was packed in behind me and was not shy about using those words to describe me as he voiced his displeasure. To be fair, we were so packed in that I could not turn around to see him, and I was holding a five year old. But I digress.... As I scanned the queue that phrase came to mind as I spotted a very tall young blonde woman with a tall older lady and a young child on the far side of the queue behind us in line. The young blonde lady really stood out. “Now she’s freakishly tall,” I said to my son. He replied, “You know who that is? Elena Delle Donne, WNBA Star and Olympic Gold Medalist.” My son is a sports fanatic. Basketball is the major sport I follow the least. “Did you want to try to get an autograph or something?” I wasn’t really seriously asking. “No, I don’t think she likes you very much... she gave you a really nasty look when you boxed her out on the way over here.” I honestly didn’t know whether to be utterly embarrassed or tremendously proud that I beat an Olympic Gold Medalist in a game of Rope Drop.


    Slinky Dog was fun for all. I think it is a really good addition to Hollywood Studios. Our ride was over by 8:35 and we moved on to other areas of the park. We all rode Star Tours then got some coffee and breakfast sandwiches using the Starbucks gift cards my wife and I received as Christmas gifts at work. We had received enough to feed and caffeinate us on three different days. We split up for another ride on Star Tours for some and Tower of Terror for others with FastPass. After some shop browsing we met at Rockin’ Rollercoaster for our second FastPass. We convinced Daughter’s friend to give it a try with a promise that she never has to ride it again if she doesn’t want to. As expected, she loved it. We finished our morning at Toy Story Mania with our third FastPass. Through the morning, as we entered, exited or passed attractions, I was sure to point out the long wait times we avoided with our early arrival and FastPasses.


    Around 12:30 we were heading back to Old Key West for lunch at Olivia’s. Although I encouraged everyone to order what they wanted as this would be the “Big Meal” of the day, everyone had just a burger of some variety. I told them not to be shy about dinner later when they would be on their own. I was still trying to make a good impression, and they were trying to be polite by not spending too much of my money. Throughout the meal, though, we all started to let our guards down. We learned of older son’s girlfriend’s “Ride List” and assured her that 90% of it was a sure thing. Daughter’s friend was already quite comfortable having been at our house for several sleepovers in the past. Younger Son’s friend loosened up and took some friendly ribbing about how overly agreeable he was to every suggestion but never voicing one of his own. “Oh, yes, sir” had been his response to everything, but not the way your kid’s troublemaking friend would say it to come across as an angel. It was more like the kid who is overly eager to please and willing to sacrifice his own wants and needs to do so. We all wanted him to have his own good time and made it known to him.


    We had a great morning at Studios, our bellies were full, and everyone now had a few hours to rest, relax or nap as promised. Having trained my sons in the art of FastPass refreshing on our last trip, we had secured overlapping Space Mountain FastPasses for everyone by splitting up the search. We were all set for a fun start to a long evening at Magic Kingdom.


    In half a day, I had guided an uncertain group into the unknown, outsmarted the masses, gone elbow to elbow with a world-class athlete, feasted to celebrate our success, and had the start of our next adventure in place. I had won them over. The were now all in.
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

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  9. #34
    Senior Member mgarbowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dadknight View Post
    If it was just the five of us, I would have no problem waking everyone. I would just shout, “Get Up! We Gotta Go!!” I was hesitant. Two of our guests were old enough to vote. I knew our guests and had spent some time with them in the past, but I had no idea what these two “adults” were really thinking about this crazy man who would wake them up at dawn on vacation for no other reason than to get to a park to ride something he kept calling “Slinky Dog.” Daughter’s friend I could handle. She’s 11. I can handle an 11 year old. The others ... I didn’t want to disappoint, offend, or make them feel uncomfortable. So, I woke my oldest son who slept on the pullout in the living room and had him go wake everyone up.
    A Profile in Courage



    Actually, the real bravery was sticking to your judgment and conviction that Slinky Dog would open. Seeing empty vehicles on the tracks is a tempting but imperfect predictor of an imminent revival. Glad it worked out, and enjoying the TR as usual.
    Mark
    2004 May Offsite,
    2008 Easter SSR, 2011 February SSR, 2012 February Jambo House/BLT, 2013 Easter BLT, 2014 Easter BWV, 2014 Christmas week CBR, 2015 Easter BWV, 2016 Feb Universal Portofino, 2017 February Poly, 2017 July OKW solo, 2017 Christmas week POFQ, 2018 P-week Wilderness Lodge

  10. #35
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    Great trip report! I am especially enjoying your descriptions of introducting your 3 guests to the special world of 3dad touring...

    Speaking of freakishly tall, one of my favorite interactions ever was meeting Chewbacca with our “freakishly tall” friend (noticeably taller than Chewy).

  11. #36
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    Loving your report, as always! I applaud you for taking on the challenge of adding 3 people to your travel party! You are by far braver than I.

  12. #37
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    I've been eagerly awaiting your return! I always enjoy your trip reports for all of the obvious reasons, of course. But I also enjoy "watching" your kids grow up and hearing your reflections on the changing dynamics of traveling with (and just existing with) older children. Mine are now 13, 11, and 6, so in some ways adulthood is right around the corner.

  13. #38
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    Game of Phones - Day 2, Part 2

    (The producers wish to apologize for a historical inaccuracy committed by the chief writer in the last episode. Only two of the party had Space Mountain as of lunch time. In his rush to complete the episode, the writer relied on his failing memory rather than researching photos and old texts.)


    I never expected, nor did I desire, to spend every waking moment together with our entire travel party. The plan from the outset of planning would be to spend time together at the first park of the day using the FastPasses I had booked, then leaving everyone to fend for themselves where ever they wanted in the evenings with the exception of two dinners later in the trip. Before, during and after lunch, the older kids were getting more adept at searching for additional FastPasses. By the end of lunch, everyone had secured a decent FastPass at Magic Kingdom for early evening. Everyone, that is, but my wife and I. We had Buzz. The girls had Space Mountain. The Older Kids had Thunder Mountain that started about an hour later than the Girls’ FP at Space. So, my wife and I took the girls ahead to Magic Kingdom about an hour before the rest of the group needed to leave. Despite my efforts, I could not change Buzz to Space to match the Girls. That was fine. My wife and I were perfectly content to let them ride while we just soaked up the atmosphere and people watched.


    The instructions we gave were to text us when they tapped and then again when they got off the ride. Daughter got an iPhone for a Christmas/Birthday present and was happy to oblige. As soon as I got the text, I started searching for Buzz for the girls. In less than 5 minutes I had gotten a perfect match. We still would have about 40 minutes to kill once they got off Space. People Mover was a good option despite the extremely extended snaking, winding queue. It was constantly moving and we were in our vehicle in about 10 minutes. The girls were excitedly telling us about how all the lights in Space came on as they were just ending their ride. They were still on when we passed through on People Mover. A couple of minutes into our ride, we realized that we goofed. The early version of the NYE fireworks started going off. We craned our necks for a glimpse with every turn until we came to a dead stop in a tunnel area. Yes People mover wasn’t moving.


    We played “Follow the CM” in a single file line around the track to an unmarked door. It opened into a magical stairwell formed from tree limbs and foliage as if each tree was taking a deep bow and laying out a hand as a step. The canopy was lit by fireflies and happiness. A faint trickle of water like a distant brook could be heard through the melodious chirp of the crickets. With each step, a comforting warmth engulfed us, until .. (SMACK!) “Dad, move your feet! The ride stopped. We have to walk off.” The grey concrete stairwell we entered was as cold as my awakening from my nap. We came out just in time to be stuck under an overhang as the final fireworks went off. We planned to see the Midnight version, so we weren’t too disappointed.


    By now, the older kids had arrived and were using their various Mountain FastPasses. Afterwards the texting frenzy began. It seems all the Older Kids has all mastered the App. The search was on for the next ride. Selections were posted to our group text. In 2’s and 4’s, the rest would try to match the best FP anyone had. If there was a match, the sub-group would all ride together. Otherwise, the 2 would ride alone. Dance Parties, anytime rides and food filled the gaps. Throughout the night some combination of our party rode Splash, Thunder, Buzz, Carpets, Laugh Floor, Philharmagic, Barnstormer, Speedway, Tea Cups, and finally Space with all 8 before the fireworks. At any given time, up to six different phones were logged on to my MDE account searching and refreshing and texting results.


    We gathered in Tomorrowland and found a spot to rest our feet while waiting for the show. The view was good, the fireworks were great. The younger girls and Mom were tired. They headed for the exit at the end of the show, and got back to the room by 1:00. The rest of us stayed and eventually decided to get in the standby line for Mine Train with a 25 minute wait. After 12 and a half minutes of waiting, a wave of shear exhaustion hit all five of us. We spent the next 10 minutes debating whether this last ride was a good idea. Five minutes later we were boarding and happy we stuck it out.


    Shortly after 2:00 a.m., we were back at Old Key West. Mom and the girls were asleep. I promised the others they could sleep in. They only needed to be up in time to make our 12:30 Everest FastPass. We all slept soundly for a long time.
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

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  14. #39
    unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversary dvd but waiting outside best buy just the same jillyb's Avatar
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    Way to work those FPs!!!
    Jill & Hannah

    June 2008 @ Pop Century
    November 2010 @ Pop Century
    August 2016 @ Pop Century
    August 2017 @ DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld
    May 2019 @ All-Stars Movies
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    August 2016 Trip Report http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showth...ip-08-10-08-20[/B]

  15. #40
    Senior Member BSS's Avatar
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    I honestly didn’t know whether to be utterly embarrassed or tremendously proud that I beat an Olympic Gold Medalist in a game of Rope Drop.
    I think you have to go with pride here. You've got to take the wins you can get.
    Jen

  16. #41
    Senior Member Mrs Darling's Avatar
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    This is so much fun!
    It's got sports, entertainment, humor...Netflix, eat your heart out
    I can't wait for the next episode
    ~Stacey

  17. #42
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    You make refreshing for FP sound almost fun!
    Love the title.

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    New Year’s Rockin’ Eve - Day 3

    After two very long days, everyone took advantage of the opportunity to sleep late. It was just after 9:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, and I was the first and only person awake in the villa. There was no rush to get anywhere. I would let everyone “waste” the morning. By 10:00, only my wife and I were up. There was no scrambling to get to a park, no shuffling of FastPasses, no frantic search for a dining reservation, and no work emails to check. It was just a lazy morning that was long overdue. At about 11:00, the rest of the group started waking up one by one. It was noon before everyone was dressed and ready for the day. That was perfectly fine.


    I had planned late mornings on other trips, but rarely stuck to those plans. Someone ... OK .... I would eventually feel like we had to get our money’s worth, and that meant Park Time. Even if others wanted to sleep in, I’d go rope drop a park with at least one of the kids before meeting everyone else at the “planned park.” Not today, though. The “plan” did not start until 12:30 at Expedition Everest, and we left Old Key West just after noon.


    On the ride over to Animal Kingdom, I reminded everyone that the plan for the evening was that we had No Plan. In fact, other than our three FastPasses (Everest, Primeval Whirl and Flight of Passage) we had no other plans for the entire day. We’ve never been big on New Year’s Eve plans. Before kids, we’d go out to dinner and join friends at our favorite watering hole. With kids, we’d occasionally go to a kid-friendly party hosted by family members or parents of one of the boy’s classmates. In recent years, it’s been a special dinner at home, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, waiting an hour since we live in the Central Time Zone, then standing in the back yard to watch other people’s fireworks through a tree obscured view. With the latter, there was never a let down because there were no high expectations. I wanted to keep it that way this year. There are already so many unreasonable expectations built in to this clock watching, calendar flipping “holiday” that I did not want to add to it with expectations of the perfect dinner and fireworks viewing in the perfect location. If anyone wanted to wait for the midnight mythical magical shower that comes to wash away last year’s ills and bring never before possessed resolve to accomplish great things, they could pick their perfect place for the transformation.


    On the walk back to Everest, we again had to convince Daughter’s friend to ride much like we did the day before at Rockin’ Rollercoaster. It was a little easier this second time. She was not as thrilled after this ride, but still enjoyed it. The other two guests had never been to Animal Kingdom. Son’s friend didn’t know much at all about it, and was still happy to go along with whatever we were doing. The Girlfriend, however, had done her research and was excited ride and experience the things at this park that she had only read about online. When we got to Dinoland, I gave them the backstory. They seemed to “get it.” It was fun to fill two vehicles on Primeval Whirl. It is a family must-do. Our guests happily joined us in our moans and groans as we limped through the ride exit.


    We decided on Satuli for lunch on this first of two Animal Kingdom day’s. We had plenty of time before our Flight of Passage FastPass, so we gave mobile ordering a try. The time we would have spent in line to order was replaced with a less hectic, more spacious discussion and explanation of the food. I tapped “I’m here,” and some started looking for a place to sit. There were no vacant tables for 8 to be found... except in the roped off seating area just to your left as you enter the front of the restaurant. It was one of the busiest times of year, and they had a section of the place roped off. I asked a CM about it, and the response was that they had no one to “work” that area. I politely explained our 8 person dilemma just as the others were hauling over trays of food. We promised to bus our own table and make eye contact with no one. She removed the rope, let us in and put the rope back in place. We had our own private dining area for lunch. Our way to thank the CMs was to leave no trace. When we were done, the table was as clean as when we arrived. This had been the “Big Meal” of the day, and everyone was satisfied.


    There was no need to point out the ridiculous wait time we were avoiding at Flight of Passage with our FastPass. The line extended half way down the boardwalk to Africa. We were wide-eyed as we passed the miserable masses on the way to lunch. The ride, of course, did not disappoint. With a party of eight, we took up half a room and had made it easy for the CM to place us- kind of like the given number in a Sudoku puzzle. Everyone loved the experience and couldn’t wait to come back in a couple of days to ride again.


    At this point, FastPass Frenzy began again. The Older Kids managed to get overlapping Everest, while the rest of us got overlapping Safaris. After those rides, we briefly met to get an idea of what everyone wanted to do. Any thoughts of a park that evening were dismissed as there was absolutely no FastPass availability at Studios or Epcot. The girls and Mom decided to head back to Old Key West for a swim and rest. I stayed at AK with the others so the could use the Kali FastPasses they secured during the conversation. By the time they were done I had grabbed overlapping Dinosaur! FP’s for the five of us. We learned from the girls that there would be a New Year’s Eve party at OKW complete with a DJ and character appearances. Despite the late morning, no one had really recovered from the two previous marathon days. We still had three full park days ahead of us. We decided a night at the resort would be fine.


    Dinner from Good’s Food To Go, shuffleboard, basketball, pool, crafts, corn hole, and a watch purchase against a backdrop of oldies music filled the evening. By 11:30 we found ourselves back in the room. We were all showered and pretty much ready for bed. At 11:55, we all gathered on the balcony. We watched the fireworks from Hollywood Studios and Epcot through the trees obscuring our view. We wished each other a Happy New Year and went to bed. It had been a great day that exceeded all my expectations.
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

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  19. #44
    unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversary dvd but waiting outside best buy just the same jillyb's Avatar
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    A perfect way to end the year and start a new one!
    Jill & Hannah

    June 2008 @ Pop Century
    November 2010 @ Pop Century
    August 2016 @ Pop Century
    August 2017 @ DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld
    May 2019 @ All-Stars Movies
    August 2019 @ Pop Century






    August 2016 Trip Report http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showth...ip-08-10-08-20[/B]

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    Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day - Day 4

    I was back to my usual early morning routine on this first day of the year. We would be rope dropping Frontierland at Magic Kingdom, then heading to Epcot in the afternoon. All was still quiet at 6:30 a.m. as I poured my first cup of coffee. Just as I was taking my first sip, the front door opened. I was a bit surprised until I saw two sweaty young men walk through the door. Middle son and his friend, both cross-country runners for their high school, decided to make up some of the practices they were missing while on the trip. Apparently, walking a half marathon per day wasn’t cutting it. They had gone on a 3 mile run and had been up since before 6:00 a.m. they were also training for the next day’s Old Key West Southmost Point Fun Run I had registered them for between activities at and around Community Hall the night before. As my son ran upstairs to shower, I had a chance to get his friend’s thoughts mid-way through the trip. He had not been to Disney World since he was 9.


    “Well, how do like it so far?” I was just making small talk. His eyes got big and so did his grin. “Um ... Y’all are pretty hard core, but I’m loving it!” Ice: Broken.

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    We were all on Main Street taking pictures by 8:35. Everyone else went to Main Street Bakery to get our now-traditional Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and coffee drinks, while I ran across the street to buy a new “Vacation Dad” shirt. I couldn’t wait to wear it and made the change half-way through the morning. We made it to the Adventureland rope area just as the opening show started. My simple instructions were once again “Follow me and keep up.” They did. Thunder Mountain was our intended destination, but was not running when we arrived. We had a FastPass later, so we started at Splash instead. We made our way to Mine Train after a detour through Haunted Mansion. Tea Cups and Mermaid helped check off a couple items on Girlfriend’s list. Our next FastPass was for Space Mountain. I made a pit stop to change into my shirt covered in ride logos from across the parks. It was a good move as it added a great deal of color to what has become one of my favorite ride photos. I call it “Dad’s Advice.”


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    When I selected FastPasses two months earlier, I did not think about the Steam Train being down for refurbishment when I selected Thunder Mountain immediately after Space. We walked back across the park to where the morning began in Frontierland for the ride. Of Course, we all loved it. As we got off the ride, without any prompting from me, five of us whipped out our phones and immediately started searching for Soarin’ FastPasses as we headed to the busses. It took a while, but we finally managed a 15 minute overlap of 3 or 4 FP parties that fit with our lunch plans. The bus to Boardwalk arrived at the stop just as we did. Lunch in World Showcase was next, so it made sense to get on so we could enter through the International Gateway.



    The day before, after our seating problem at Satuli and limited choices at Good’s for dinner, I had decided we would find Table Service in Epcot for our “Big Meal” of the day on New year’s day. In the planning stages way back when, Epcot was always an afterthought. We never planned to go. It would be a park anyone could go after the day’s planned park. With my past experience getting last minute ADR’s, I was not too surprised to get a 1:45 for 8 people at Teppan Edo. Though not surprised, I was excited. We had never been and it has always been on my to-do list. We all loved it. Everyone got either the chicken or shrimp AND steak combo. We were officially full when we left.


    After splitting up for independent shopping, we all met at the Land for Soarin’. Afterwards, the oldest and youngest members of our group were done. We bussed back to OKW and stayed in that night watching Bowl Games. The young adults picked up some rides at Epcot for a while, made a pit stop at the room to freshen up before heading back out to Disney Springs for some shopping and a late night burger. I have no idea what time they got back. I fell asleep before 10:00. We had two full days left, and I wanted to be well rested
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

    MY TRIP REPORTS

  21. #46
    Senior Member mgarbowski's Avatar
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    I got to work on my Dad vacation shirt collection. That looks great.
    Mark
    2004 May Offsite,
    2008 Easter SSR, 2011 February SSR, 2012 February Jambo House/BLT, 2013 Easter BLT, 2014 Easter BWV, 2014 Christmas week CBR, 2015 Easter BWV, 2016 Feb Universal Portofino, 2017 February Poly, 2017 July OKW solo, 2017 Christmas week POFQ, 2018 P-week Wilderness Lodge

  22. #47
    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    Love the shirt! I’m so getting one for my husband from for Father’s Day.
    Brandi

  23. #48
    Senior Member ChristineOH's Avatar
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    The “Dad’s Advice” photo is awesome!

  24. #49
    unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversary dvd but waiting outside best buy just the same jillyb's Avatar
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    Love the shirt and "Dad's Advice" pic!
    Jill & Hannah

    June 2008 @ Pop Century
    November 2010 @ Pop Century
    August 2016 @ Pop Century
    August 2017 @ DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld
    May 2019 @ All-Stars Movies
    August 2019 @ Pop Century






    August 2016 Trip Report http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showth...ip-08-10-08-20[/B]

  25. #50
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    Birthday Ballad - Day 5

    (This day deserves a re-boot of a past genre)

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    “Best Birthday Ever” is what her shirt said
    Beneath sparklin’ ears on top of her head.
    And all Dad wanted was to make that shirt ring true.
    At Disney turnin’ twelve with her best friend
    Plan tailored to her wishes beginning to end
    Dad won’t say “no” when she bats her baby blues.


    At Animal Kingdom by quarter to eight
    But still, they were 45 minutes too late.
    The Extra Magic Hour started at seven that day.
    Dino-Rama was the place to start
    Wait times were high ‘round rest of the park
    They rode some rides, took a walk then watched the tiger play.


    Meanwhile, the boys were runnin’ a race.
    They finished in first and second place,
    But had to wait around for everyone else they beat.
    ‘Bout 9:55, they left Old Key West
    All 8 met at Expedition Everest
    Then did some shopping until it was time to eat.


    Flame tree barbecue chicken and ribs
    Licked fingers clean, didn’t need no bibs,
    Then took a Whirl back in Dinoland
    Flight of Passage one more time.
    On the way out took a pic of DeVine.
    Then they left the park, all according to plan.


    Two hour’s rest and they were at it again
    Dad and Girls playin Tom and Huck Finn
    At Magic Kingdom waitin’ for the rest to arrive.
    For a little while they’d be scattered around
    Each group ridin’ rides they had found
    Refreshin’ the app ‘til the sun set in the sky.




    A Birthday dinner at Be Our Guest
    Back on rides before they could digest
    Space and Thunder and 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, too.
    Fingers were flyin’ across the screens
    As they booked each ride in two-man teams
    Then a final flume ride, singin’ Zip-a-dee Do.


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    The comfort level among the group had peaked. Once each trip, I have some sort of meltdown. Something rubs me the wrong way, and I lash out at the people least responsible - my family. Although the incidents have become infinitely more mild over the years, they still happen. There were enough ignition switches during the first few days of the trip that I was actually surprised that it took this long. I’m sure it was the presence of “outsiders” that had kept me in check. This day, after an Animal Kingdom arrival plan that didn’t work as well as I had wished, the girls and I were waiting for the rest to arrive. I had hoped that they would meet us between 9:45 and 10:00, but the OKW fun run I had suggested kept middle son and his friend tied up much longer than I expected. No one would be meeting us until after 10:30. When they finally arrived, I ripped into my older son through a clenched jaw with a seething voice about how they forced her sister to sit idly waiting for almost an hour on her birthday. I heard the words, processed the ridiculousness of my accusation, immediately apologized, and we all went about our day. I never got a sideways look from our guests. Apparently, my kids prepared the guests for this in advance like they did the first ropedrop. It was now clear that we were solidly in “Eight is Enough” territory rather than “Party of Five” plus “Three’s Company.”


    My daughter had a great 12th birthday. My wife and I were content to let her and her friend use our Magic Bands a couple of times before dinner as we all split up riding all we could in pairs by refreshing the app for additional FastPasses. We did accompany the girls at Enchanted Tales with Belle just before our Be Our Guest reservation. I was taken aback when they posed with Belle at the end of the experience. Both girls were noticeably taller than Belle. There was a little burst of warmth in my chest that vanished as soon as it appeared as my eyes glazed over and my mind was flooded with memories of her Bippity Boppity Princess Day eight years earlier. “Something wrong, Hun?” “No, just hungry....”


    Be Our Guest was major hit for the group. I assured everyone that despite the a la cartel prices on the menu, the meal was the same price regardless of which appetizer and entree each person ordered. For the appetizer, most of us ordered the meat and cheese board using those words since none of us had ever heard the proper pronunciation of “Charcuterie” nor ever seen the word outside of a Disney menu. We eat well, not fancy. We tried the various sausages and cheeses as we discussed our favorites and commented on the need for more toasted baguette slices. The table got quite when my oldest said, “Ok, somethings not right.” He was referring to the item he just ate. He had a confused look and was moving his mouth like an old man eating pudding in a nursing home. “Show me on my board what you just ate.” I almost fell off my chair laughing when he pointed to the glob of brown whole-grain mustard. He had cleared his board of the condiment with one pure forkful. Again, we eat well, not fancy. He finally got the taste out of his mouth by the time he finished his steak and was moving on to dessert. Our meeting with Beast at the end was fun. It started with son’s girlfriend running up for a hug and solo pic. It showed me that in about 7 years I might not have to rely on memories for that little burst of warmth in my chest.


    It had been a great day despite my early outburst. We had one more park day left. We all had the urge to pack as much in as possible. Three parks and a feast sounded just about right
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

    MY TRIP REPORTS

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