Disney . . . Kardashian Style
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I was somewhere between asleep and awake when I heard a little knock on our door. I pulled back the curtain to see a familiar smiling face and then unlocked the door to let her in. Maddie hopped on my bed and I gave her a birthday hug. It had officially been her birthday when we woke up to get on the train, but it’s easier to celebrate after a good night of sleep!
Once Mary Devall woke up, the four of us walked a few steps down to the dining car and were seated. This was the first train that we had been on that served pancakes instead of French toast, so you know what my carb loving self had . . . and of course, coffee . . . lots of coffee.
At some point during our meal, Maddie stated that she wished everyone knew that it was her birthday. Well, that was all Thom needed to hear. He got out of his seat and pulled Maddie to her feet and asked for everyone’s attention (at this point, Mary Devall and I were ready to crawl underneath the table ).
He announced that it was Maddie’s 7th birthday and everyone clapped and wished her Happy Birthday. She lucked out too because there happened to be a big wig from Amtrak on the train and he then gave out Amtrak pins to Maddie and the other few children who were in the dining car.
Our server was funny and kept checking out all of the pins to make sure that she had all of the ones that he had handed out. I think Thom’s announcement actually broke the ice in the dining car because everyone became very interactive and social at that point. I learned all about our server and her many, many dogs. It was a fun morning.
Our train was now running an hour late and we were in no hurry at all, so I asked for another cup of coffee to go before we headed back to our rooms. Once there, I asked Maddie if she wanted to open her presents . . . and of course, she did.
She loved her new Nike shorts and t-shirt (yes, she already has a ton of them, but she had her eye on a black pair with purple piping ) and her puppy Stompeez. She had been asking for Stompeez since last Christmas, but unfortunately Santa was sold out.
We also gave her a Disney gift card so that she could restock on fluffies. Her sister also got a gift card as a belated birthday gift to buy a piece of artwork that she had seen at Disneyland, but held off buying until we were back on our side of the country.
The girls and I spent the next couple of hours in one roomette while Thom worked (i.e. talked on the phone ) in the other one. Mary Devall was on the upper bunk doing homework while Maddie and I took up the lower bunk reading (me) and playing with her Stompeez (Maddie). She can make a game out of anything and immediately had the slippers talking to each other. We especially love when she plays with the salt and pepper shakers when we go out to eat . . . “Hello Mr. Pepper . . . well, hello Mr.Salt.”
When we were closing in on Orlando, Thom went down the hall to take a shower and then informed me that he had a wardrobe malfunction when he came back. He had discovered that he left almost all of his clothes hanging on the back of the door at our house. He had already located a Stein Mart on the way to Disney, but the problem was that I had not requested a grocery stop from our town car driver and sometimes they were on a tight schedule. If we couldn’t stop, I informed him that he was going to be wearing a lot of Mickey.
When we finally rolled into Orlando, we spotted our driver, Sam, who had driven us at least once before. He was a super nice man and immediately agreed to stop for Thom. By then, everyone but Amanda was at the hotel, so Thom told them to check in and go ahead and grab some lunch (and use some of those counter service credits! )
Sam was soon pulling into the Stein Mart parking lot and Thom was out of the car with a promise to only be “five minutes.” Well, thirty minutes later and we were still sitting there. I finally gave Sam my USA Today from the train although he never (unlike the girls ) asked me why five minutes turned into 30. I finally spotted him at the checkout counter and everyone gave a big sigh of relief. He knew I was about to kill him when he got back in the car, so he quickly changed the subject.
We finally pulled up to the Contemporary about 12:30 which turned out to be the very moment that Amanda’s Magical Express bus arrived. Chuck, Amy and the kids were there to make sure that she found her way, so the fates aligned to have us all in the same spot at the same time. I was able to quickly pay Sam with his handy dandy phone credit card swiper and then he was off. After all of the hugs hello, we moved inside where I officially checked us in. Not surprisingly, our room wasn’t ready. Although half of us already had our key cards, the CM gave us all new ones which unfortunately caused a problem later.
Our family and Amanda had not eaten lunch, but we decided to head in the direction of MK since none of us were starving. About halfway there, Amy realized that their park tickets were in the bag that she had left with bell services, so back she went. The rest of us continued walking to the gate, so that I could buy our new AP’s and TiW card.
I left everyone else on a shaded bench while I went to guest services. Our AP’s had expired in September and I had tried to renew them online, but kept having trouble so just decided to renew them when we arrived since I would be just within the 30 days to renew. Imagine my utter glee when (just days after I decided to wait) I heard that DVC was offering Premium AP’s for just $399. For about $70 more, we could buy a premium AP and add an extra month (since the renewal would have been back dated to September). Thank goodness that the AP site was acting up!
Anyhoo, I was able to buy our four AP’s and a TiW card with little trouble (although I did have to call Thom to come over and show his driver’s license). In the meantime, Amy had shown up with their park tickets and, by the time the four of us used our new AP’s for the first time, they were all in.
I made a quick stop by the Kodak shop to exchange my Photopass Plus voucher for a card before we continued down Main Street. The children (minus Maddie) all wanted to ride Space Mountain first, so Thom and Amanda escorted them while Maddie, Chuck, Amy and I started with a milder ride, the TTA. From there, we stood in a short line for Buzz where Chuck seemed to have as much fun spinning Amy as Maddie had spinning me.
After our back-to-back rides, we decided to take a break and grab something cold to drink at Lunching Pad. Chuck took drink orders and Maddie and I decided to go all out with frozen cherry eclipse and blue raspberry drinks since we could use snack credits. As soon as we found a table, we spotted the rest of our family and waved them over.
Thom and Amanda were grabbing something to eat, but we noticed that it was taking everyone, including Chuck, forever to join us (and it wasn’t like the lines were that long). Amanda finally showed up with a hot dog and told us that they were having problems charging with our key cards. Apparently, the new key cards that were issued to everyone had no charging privileges. Thom was on the phone trying to get it worked out, but Amanda had finally just paid cash for her meal.
Chuck finally showed up with our freezes and Thom showed up with a pretzel for Mary Devall (which we all ended up sharing). It was a nice little break and just what I needed to keep my energy up!
We then all went back to Buzz for our first group ride. At first, people were leaving the ride saying that it had broken down, but we hung in there and were soon battling the evil emperor, Zurg (or each other actually). With a party of 9, someone has to ride alone and, this time, it was me. After the ride, we took advantage of our Photopass Plus and put 5 ride photos on the card.
We decided to leave Tomorrowland for the time being and move over to another family favorite, PotC. On the way, we stopped for our first group photo.
Sometimes words aren't needed . . .
Last edited by Jillybean; 11-28-2012 at 09:32 AM..