Girls on Spring Break, PC 3/13-3/17;Completed
About This Page: This is a discussion on Girls on Spring Break, PC 3/13-3/17;Completed within the Sharing the Adventure: Disney World Trip Reports, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; This is my first post, thought I'd make it a good (albeit long one!).
Players- Me (34), mom and Disneyphile
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This is my first post, thought I'd make it a good (albeit long one!).
Players- Me (34), mom and Disneyphile
Allee (3), all round great kid!
Sally (abbreviated to Sal), friend from GA and mom to
Cami (9), unofficial "big sis" to Allee since the day Allee was born!
Date- 3/13-3/17 -Spring Break!
Place-Pop Century for Allee and me, ASMu for the GA girls
Intro-My DH and I took Allee in Oct last year, right before she was 3, on our free 5 day military passes. We stayed at the Contemporary (where I'd stayed in '80 as a child) so it was really a great rate. The point? This should have been a "bargain trip." Unfortunately, got hooked on the Magic, and started dreaming of Disney waaay too often! So, I promised myself if I could get a good rate we'd go for Spring Break without my spouse who doesn't get it (I've discovered I'm not alone). SOG gave us a great rate... and off we were.
When visiting Sal and Cami in Feb, mentioned our trip and a week before we left she scheduled one for them (BTW, this should have clued me in to how she trip planned, but no...)
Prior to departure, I'd bribed Allee with the trip, saying if she tried to go potty in the potty for 90 days in a row we'd go. So this will have meaning soon enough (* another bit of foreshadowing...)
We also made 35 days' worth of paper links to tear off every night-AFTER teeth were brushed (another motivational tool).
So, the big day arrived and we were easily and safely in the air (P'cola has such a small airport). Allee loves to fly, and I hate it so she does the "it's okay Mommy" thing. I'd brought markers and allowed her to color our Mousekeeping envelopes to amuse her. The flight is just over an hour, easy enough for even me. During the flight she says, "I have to go potty." Ok, well..OH you want to go to the POTTY! So off we head, and yes, both squeezed in. She went, surpirsingly (thought she'd be scared with the noise, but no).
Landed, picked up promptly by Tiffany and since we were only going to buy water (had packed snacks at home), he took us to Goodings. I knew that it was expensive, but since it's so close, well time is $$, too! That done, off to Pop Century.
Allee was so excited to see it "Mommy we're at Disney, I'm so excited!" This made it worth it already.
We checked our bags upon arrival BIG MISTAKE #1.
The line was long but moved quickly (unlike this post, eh?). The CM assigned me to a room in the 50s, and I was so relieved.
Background...reading Birbaum's Allee had seen (?) Pongo at ASMo. She was not happy about not staying there, but I assured her that PC had dogs, too. She was very skeptical...and I spent a lot of time wrestling with myself about whether I should fax a request ahead of time or not. I'm a bit obsessive, but decided it would be a growing experience to trust Disney.
So, I almost kissed the CM when she said the 50's b/c I knew that was Lady and the Tramp! Hooray! Dogs! I'm out of the doghouse (yup, pun intended!).
Our room was ready but we didn't retrieve our luggage. That was really mistake #1, not checking it. So we stayed in travel garb, which for me was jeans and a black shirt with running shoes. Why did I wear my running shoes, come to think of it? It's a direct flight! Hmm...
More importantly, no camera!!! All my disposibles were packed. ARG! MISTAKE #1b-not having some film on at all times.
Off we went to Disney/MGM (purists, I'll apologize early and state that I'll abbreviate MGM after this) and easily got a bus. Exchanged our vouchers for FL Res Seasonal Passes (what a deal!) and in we went. Allee was so excited-we'd only been to MK for the previous trip (yup, 5 days of MK!).
Lots of characters were out but since BAD MOMMY (me) didn't have a camera, she said, "oh let's go look at..." Distracted, off we went to Playhouse Disney, where the wait was a madhouse. We did wait for about 30 min, then saw the show. For little ones, this is a MUST DO. Allee LOVED LOVED it.
After the show, we needed to eat (I think it was about 1:30 ish). Off we went to Catalina Eddies, since Allee bascially lives on pizza. The wait was looong but gave me time to scope out seating-none at a table, that's for sure. There was a shaded cement ledge that looked good. We went and sat, and a wonderful family squooshed and shared the table next to it.
**This was the beginning of what I noticed a lot of wonderful people being very nice!
As we were eating, I saw a group of cheerleaders doing the same sit on the wall thing, and offered them the other 3 benches at our table. They were grateful and I felt like we kept the good feelings going.
Off to the potty...success for Allee! Then window shopping-she loved the villians store. Funny girl. We found a great spot on the street for the parade, but I noticed it was on a curb cut and figured they'd want to keep that open, so we moved. Later, others were sitting there. Guess I was wrong. But a nice couple let me stand with Allee right behind there sitting daughters so it was a good spot. The parade was fun, tho' I wasn't too sure about Darth Vader. Eek!
After that, headed out of the park (not an original idea). We had to stand on the bus, but a nice man gave up his seat-I let Allee sit there, telling him we'd had our together time! She chattered away to his wife while I discovered they were from NC and retired school teachers. Again, I was struck by how nice people seemed to be...or was I just an obviously struggling solo mom?
We were supposed to call Sal at 5:00 to plan dinner, but they were still an hour out. Hmm...so we unpacked and waited. And waited. Finally around 6:30 headed to the food court where I got an adult beverage and kiddie pasta with sauce. It was huge, so we shared.
We walked around the grounds after dinner, and I took pictures of Allee with the oversized icons. Cool.
Finally Sal called around 7:15 after bath and jammies. We met up with them in the lobby briefly (the kids' TV area is cool, but hard to see from the check in line). They were going to try to get manicures at the Grand Floridian Spa (what? no reservations? Sal and I are night and day about planning, obviously) in the am and had PS for 1900 Park Faire. We had PS for Cinderella and I was planning to do EMH at MK, so we agreed to meet in the pm. Off they went to check in to ASMu and Allee and I hit the hay.
Next...Day #2 EMH at MK, Cinderella and dinner with the Oompah band
Sounds like Allee is making a great travel companion. Keep up the good work with all the stories. I experienced really great people when I visited too. Everyone was very nice and friendly as I recall. Glad the pixie dust was liberally spread around on your trip.
...so the alarm went off at some early, too early hour. We are on Central Time so it was even earlier. It was good to hear Mickey and Minnie say "rise and shine."
I was totally excited about today-90 days earlier I had also set my alarm for before 6am and scored PS for Cinderella's Royal Table. I was so thrilled!!!
Today would be my first time at CRT as well as making it my first EMH day (Spouse doesn't believe in getting ANYWHERE early, much less on vacation). So...I'd been waiting to not wait in line for Dumbo for a while.
Allee and I were at the bus stop by 7:05. I thought we'd be the first family, but there were about 8 in line before us. Not too bad, considering the lines. This played out when we got to MK. I'd hoped they'd let us in, and keep us in the holding area. Nope. Waited for the family to open the park. Then, a few people got in. Then...collective groan. The infamous "computers went down" event. We'd waited in line for 35 minutes (and might I add Allee had done great, I was the one going "how many of these people are going to run to Dumbo?"). One by one, the computers came on. Until ours and the one to our left. Then the one to our left. Thought I would die from anticipation. Finally!!! Our turnstile came on and in we went. Quickly got a stroller without incident.
As we entered, what did we see but characters, characters everywhere. Allee was rivited. We saw Daisy, whom we'd missed last time but had in the background of a picture of Allee with King Louie and Baloo so for 5 months I'd heard "can I see Daisy next time?" Off to Daisy...then Capt Hook...Gov Ratliff...Gideon... well, you get the idea!
Allee spoke with Alice and the Mad Hatter for a while. The Mad Hatter started laughing and said "Hey Mom, guess what? We told Allee she was cute as a button and she said 'I know''. He and Alice were clearly enjoying themselves!
Off to Wendy Darling and then Cruella. I told Allee to tell Cruella to stay away from our dogs-figured Allee could carry it from there. Cruella said "how many do you have?" (3) and "do any of them have spots" Allee replied, yes Bucky did. Cruella said she'd have to come visit for spring break, where do you live? Then Allee gave her our home address! Great! I was laughing and Cruella was trying not to I think.
Oops-almost time for our 8:50 PS at the castle. Gotta run...yep, never made it to Dumbo...
We were announced almost immediately and weren't able to meet the Fairy Godmother, who was holding court (darn!). On the way up the stairs, which was slow but increased the anticipation plus went by the potty, which was used, we got more excited. As we entered, saw the princesses leave. I knew they were just taking a break but Allee was a little concerned. We were seated at a two top by the window (lucky us!) and I got out camera and the spiral 4X6 index cards we were using as an autograph book (that way we could rip each out and place by the photo in the album). I'd also brought several colored magic markers, to color coordinate and use to distract Allee in line. Often this provided some spirited discussion, since I still think "Goofy" would look better in orange or red but we have it in black! Told you I was a little obsessive!
After Allee had one tiny muffin, I consumed a couple and told our server we didn't eat meat, so I didn't want anything special, just take the meat off. He said the potatoes were made with bacon, so off that went too. I'd heard good things about it so that was a bummer. I did get some French toast sticks in addition to eggs and French toast so my sugar level was high.
Finally, the big moment arrived! In came Belle, Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella and then Mary Poppins (who, by the way, decided she was a princess? Please!). I'd read a tip to ask each princess a question so improve the interaction so I prepped Allee. She asked Belle where Beast was (still sleeping, then brushing his teeth), Aurora where Philip and the fairies were (picking apples so she could bake him a pie/outside the castle at night changing the colors-oh so THAT's who does it!), Cinderella where Gus, Jaq and Lucifer were (in her room/locked up so he didn't bother Gus and Jaq Jaq) and Snow White where the dwarfs were (in the mine, working, of course!). I was surprised to see the bill, had not realized that the deposit charged was subtracted from the bill...makes sense, just didn't realize it. How often to you pay LESS at Disney than you expect?
GREAT TIP (not from me) - engage the face characters with a pertinent question or two!
By 930 we were out the door, what to do? Ride the carousel, of course. Then Snow White's adventures. At 10, went to Ariel's grotto. The sign said the wait was 30 min-how could that be? She just opened! It was exactly 30 minutes. Ariel was lovely.
Unfortunately...a migraine was brewing. Try to explain that to a 3 year old while in MK. I tried chocolate and caffiene. Mrs Potts didn't have the brownies made for the sundae (drat!) so I slugged some of DD's chocolate milkshake and a diet coke. I had a feeling this wouldn't keep in at bay, so I kept saying "we're going to have to leave soon." Which we did, by 11 or so.
We returned to Pop Century and I laid down, trying to explain to DD what was needed-ie, REST. She wanted to watch TV, so I let her watch her favorite show "Top 10 Things to Do at Disney with your host Crista". By the end of our stay I'd know the thing by heart, compare and contrast Crista's outfits and Allee was narrating with Crista. Sad.
After a couple of hours I still didn't feel well but Allee was hungry so we had a snack. Finally got her to nap and when we woke up my headache wasn't gone but tolerable. Called Sal and she came by about 5:00. We let Cami pick the park, and off to Epcot (my least favorite park). Since she'd picked the park, I got to pick the restraunt. There were 7:00 PS at the Biergarden, which sounded fun to me, since I wasn't up to trying Norweigen food with a migraine! Luckily, Sally had some motrin which helped. She asked "why didn't go to the store and get some?' Good question-by the time I'd felt able to deal with the color and lights of the PC gift shop, Allee was asleep. I wasn't going to leave her alone in the room, and I sure wasn't going to wake her up!
Cami had Pal Mickey and we had to stop all conversation to listen more (them) or less (me and DD) raptly to what he was saying. I don't mean to sound annoyed but this was my only adult contact and I had sort of wanted to have a conversation or two! Oh well. Cami decided Test Track wasn't her thing, which was a good thing, since there weren't any FPs and the standby line was 60 minutes (and it was going to close in about...60 minutes). We wandered into the World Showcase and sort of just looked around.
Went on to Germany, where I enjoyed the meal but the other 3 didn't so in retrospect seemed like I didn't. But wait, I did. Just remember the 3 of them being unhappy with the food (Allee, deprived of pizza OR fries suffered with cheese and applesauce). No idea what Cami ate. I didn't mind eating with other people but Sally didn't seem to enjoy it. Guiltily (had I agreed to Rest.Askerhaus at least half of our party would've been happy!) I paid the $80 bill (2adults/2 children + tip). Allee and Cami did enjoy the oompah band and went down to the dance floor to dance when they played. That was fun to watch!
Cami and Sal really like to shop, so off we went. First they got crepes from the stand in France, and we all enjoyed the night which was perfect-in the 70s, I'd say, clear and not crowded at all. Then they hit Japan and the smell from Allee hit me. Off to find a potty! I'm sure there is one in Japan, but I couldn't find it. I'd remembered a remark in Birnbaum's about France being so realistic, it didn't have public restrooms. Off to America, hmm, none in the counter service area, gotta be somewhere (yep to the side!). Whew!
Trekked back to Japan, where our girls hadn't noticed the prolonged absence.
More shopping, enjoying especially the UK section. Allee and a little boy from NJ bonded over Thomas the Train and her Wiggles hat. Funny to think that in another continent, such a distance could produce hatred and distrust. In America, just different venues 4 guys from Australia were seen (we went to Atlanta and New Orleans, the Jersey folks obviously saw them up there). Deep thoughts...
It was about 8:30 and you could tell where people had staked out places for Illuminations. Sal and Cami weren't happy but I thought Allee and I had had quite a day. I offered to take the bus back, but Sally decided to leave, too so she drove us back. The bus system was excellent, so I really didn't mind using it. Maybe she wanted an excuse to go back to the hotel, too! (They'd not gotten services at the GF, but swam and boated and had quite a busy day)
We returned, watched a little more Crista, and Allee hit the hay. I caught up my Passporter and made wake up call arrangements for way to early in the morning again.
Well, tried to post this twice from work so here goes again!
Players-Me (34) lover of WDW, DD, (Allee, 3, in the midst of potty training)
Sally (aka Sal) friend and mom to Cami (9, unofficial big sis to Allee)
We started the day late at 6:15, planning to do EMH at AK. I'd not planned on doing AK, but it's one of Sally and Cami's favorites, so what the heck.
Arrived before the gates opened but had to make a "pit stop" and missed the opening.Oh well, I'm just thrilled Allee's getting the hang of the potty thing!
Meet up with Sally and Cami and follow the herd to Kilamanjaro Safaris. The line is long, so I recommend FPs. The CM said that the FPs didn't open until 830-10 minutes left. But...he saw both lines getting longer and longer and opened up the FPs early. Yipee!
Off to Pangani Trail, where we enjoyed the fish, birds, meerkats and of course-the gorilla family, who obligingly preened, groomed and had b.m.s. It was great. Then we used our FPs and waited 5-10 min for KS. Between the early hour and overhead drizzle, we had prime observation conditions, and I think saw almost every animal we could. It was definitely worth it!
Off to DinoLand and the playground. Cami is great with Allee, and they ran, slid, climbed and dug. Sally went ahead to stand in line for Festival of the Lion King (oh, so much easier with 2!) while I watched the girls burn off some more energy. Finally, we met up with Sally, who was already seated. The girls LOVED the show! I thought Allee would be scared but she really enjoyed it.
After FOTLK, Sally and Cami wanted to shop and Allee wanted to see more characters. So we separated and Allee and I went to Camp Minnie Mickey. Short lines there, although there were only Minnie, Mickey and Goofy. Off we went to hunt some chipmunks! Found Chip& Dale outside of Pizzafari, and right before we were going to meet them...had to detour back into the potty. Figured since pizza is one of DD's main food groups, might as well eat. As we settled into our seats, looked out on the patio and saw Sally and Cami. What fun! After lunch, we separated again.
We finally met the chipmunks, plus Lilo and Stich and the Pooh gang. Had a snack and back to PC for a nap.
I don't think I've mentioned it, but the Mousekeeping at PC was great. Every day we had towel animals as well as something set up with DD's stuffed dogs. Today's was my favorite-a "picnic table" made of towels and a roll of tp! It was so cute and clever.
After the nap, off to MK. Tweedledee/dum and dinner at Cosmic Ray's-they make a mean Gardenburger. Yummy. It was drizzling and yukky to off to Toontown Fair where we could (surprise) see more characters and try to stay dry. We went through Cinderella's line and saw her and Suzy, then off to see Chip and Dale and Minnie. I finished my disposable camera and was faced with a choice-spend $$ or go without yet more pics of Pooh & Co? Well, since I'd underpacked for DD, needed to buy another shirt (didn't want to do laundry on vacation, ha ha) so went for it. I was really glad, b/c Rabbit was there-we'd not met him before and DD was THRILLED! During this time, the lines were thinning for the parade, so Allee had extra time to dance with Chip and Dale as well as Rabbit, and have a hopping contest with Tigger. She was loving every minute.
We also got the best shot of the week with the Big Cheese himself-I'm so glad I sprang for the extra film! Then we rode DD's first roller coaster (Goofy's Barnstormer) "It's a bit scary, Momma" and we yelled our fool heads off. It was a bit rough, though.
The rain was getting stronger and I wanted to avoid Wishes, although did hope we'd see Tink. It was too wet for her, I guess. Bummer. Not fun to get out of Main Street-the lady in front of us would walk a few steps, turn around and watch the show, glare at me for bumping her (sorry) then repeated this pattern several times. Grrr... then momentary madness I WAITED FOR MY STROLLER RETURN $1! What was I thinking? I'm sopping wet, it's late, and I'm waiting for a dollar!
Luckily, 2 PC buses came quickly and we were soon home and dry (but not without Allee watching her favorite TV show with Crista...again!).
EMH at MGM...the day I break down and buy a poncho!
We got up even later-6:20 I think for MGM. Just 20 minutes made a difference at the bus stop! It was rainy and overcast but everyone was nice, met a family from Wales in line. Headed to Muppet Vision 3D and DD didn't like it. Too loud, I guess. Sigh. Off to Voyage of the Little Mermaid and got a FP. Spoke to the CM at Playhouse Disney who said we might make it right after VOTM if we hurried, it would be close. I read on allearsnet that Playhouse Disney had FPs for Easter week-hope that goes well, since the lines are always crazy! Just my 2 cents...
I'd read to be on the right side and move in quickly after the pre-show. Picked the 4th or 5th row and was the last seat (all the better to bolt out the doors to get to Playhouse!). What Birnbaum DIDN'T mention was that Ursula's eels are on that side and pop out. DD was scared silly! She missed most of the show, but did enjoy the end-and was soothed by constant rasberries that I blew at Ursula, assuring her that would make her leave. Sigh.
At the end, I raced out to Playhouse and was the second to last person let in. Hooray!!!! DD loves this show and was happy to be away from dark, scary and loud. Sal called and wanted to meet for lunch. We had about an hour and a half and were able to meet Mike and Sully, then lined up for Buzz and Woody. I lost it with Allee in line, and felt lower than dog doo (she'd done something that never fails to push my buttons, and unfortunately today was no exception ). Luckily for me, she forgave me after I apologized.
When she met the Toy Story guys, Buzz kept hugging her, and she loved him. Finally Woody wanted his turn (or was getting pressure from the CM!). It was fun to see them "fight" over her.
We missed seeing Kermit and Piggy, but I did finally break down and buy a poncho (good plan since it was pouring by then!). Went to Mamma Melrose's for lunch with Sally and Cami. Allee and I both got pizza. It was ok, but nothing spectacular.
Cami and Allee wanted (needed) to blow off some steam, so off to the Honey I Shrank the Kids Playground where they ran around until the rain got pretty heavy. Off we headed home for a nap. By the time we were back at PC, though, the rain had stopped. I figured, "hey we're wet already, let's hit the pool." Grabbed all the we clothes and threw them in the dryer (so much for not doing laundry!) and while we waited for the dirty clothes to dry (hey, I only had 8 quarters and I'd rather deal with dirty clothes than moldy!) swam in the bowling pin pool.
After a nice swim and a brief nap, Sally and Cami came to pick us up to eat and shop in DTD. We ate at Wolfgang Puck's Express and I enjoyed my chicken quesedilla (I was craving Mexican food). Allee had ...pizza! Cami had mac and cheese which was yummy, as was Sally's squash soup. They split a creme brulee, but I like to keep my calories for chocolate!
The girls rode the carousel twice, which was a little expensive- $2/ride. Hey, why don't we just go back to MK? Oh well! More shopping, and then we headed back to PC and Allee and I said our good byes to Sally and Cami.
Another round of Crista on Allee's show, and lights out.
Thoughts from Days 3 and 4:
Can you have enough film?
Rain gear sort of important in the spring
Quarters...even if I don't PLAN on doing laundry!
Glad I kept an open mind about AK, really enjoyed it.
No more dark and loud shows until DD demands them!
Re: Girls on Spring Break, PC 3/13-3/17; Completed
Our last day...
I forgot to mention that I kept getting missed calls on my cell phone from a 513 area code. What the heck???
Mom updated me-my brother had just moved (and the Ohio guys are thinking-hey! we know this!) to Cincinnati, and he was the one I was ignoring. Oops. He's a journalist covering Xavier, who had made it to March Madness NCAA Basketball playoffs. Xavier was starting the tourney in Orlando. Cool! We'd be in the same place for about 2 hours. I hadn't seen him in forever so I was totally psyched. Add this to the anxiety of flying plus the Princess Storybook Breakfast and I did not sleep well Tuesday!
Up later still, probably 6:30 since I figured wasn't much Allee would be interested in at Epcot for EMH. Lugged all of our bags myself (dumb!) to luggage services. I'd reviewed our check out and all was in order, so didn't have to do that in person. Hooray.
Off for our last day of character stalking. We had yet to see the Donald (Duck, not Trump ) so I scanned the Characters on Holiday report. Great, the first one was at 9:05. I wandered to the pin shop and asked a CM where it was. Right where I was, conincidentally! He helpfully showed me the best place to park the stroller, then I chatted with one of the photographers who told me that USUALLY Donald was on the bus. At exactly 9:05, the bus arrived. At 9:06 we had our Donald bagged! More characters, and were in line for Mr Smee when the characters had to board. Tears and desperation from DD
Distraction needed, so we headed in search of a potty and off to the Princess Storybook Breakfast. I was really hoping to see some we hadn't-Pochohantas, Jasmine and/or Mulan. We were again seated quickly for our 9:50 PS and were the 6th table to see princessess. Luckily, they had pastries and fruit out so DD was full already. I didn't mention the meat aversion after not getting potatoes at CRT and all I can say was YUMMY for the potatoes at PSB. I really enjoyed our server and she brought multiple diet Cokes without complaint. Back to the stars...first was Belle, then Snow White, then Jasmine (yeah!), Mary Poppins and Mulan (2 of 3, great!). Belle was gorgeous, I thought prettier than her animated character, very sweet too. Snow White was very nice, signed a post card without complaint. Jasmine gave Allee a huge hug and encouraged us to visit Aladdin after he "woke up" in Morocco. Mary Poppins was reserved and Mulan was really the only disappointment, sort of less involved I guess.
All in all, it was wonderful.
Off to track more characters, where we got Mr Smee and a bunch more. Then to France, where a helpful CM mentioned that Beast would be out at 12:30. In Morocco, they said Aladdin would be there at noon, but after waiting 20 min, no luck. I realized we were out of film and had my usual internal battle-buy more? Don't? By now, you know what won
Off to the potty, and since it was 12:30, more film and Beast. Allee LOVED him. Then rushed to Morocco to see Jasmine and Aladdin. We were it, so Allee got lots of attention (which she hated ). Back to France where Beauty had joined Beast, and DD flirted so much with Beast, Belle pouted and said, "hey, give ME a hug." So much fun to watch! Then, they went in and out came the Gypsy King, with whom DD and I had a long conversation and then Esmerelda. Finally, it was getting late, so headed slowly to PC.
My brother called when we were on the bus, and I tried to give him directions. Not having driven, this consisted of...find Wide World of Sports, turn the other way and look for Pop Century! He didn't find that very helpful, but did find us.
We were able to spend an hour together before Tiffany picked us up. I did receive a compliment-after lugging DD around for 5 min, he said "how did you do this all week? You rock!"
Well, sadly, our trip came to an end. We did stalk about 54 characters and I was able to enjoy 2 great princess meals.
Can't wait to do it again in October with my parents (more people to help stand in line for characters!). I'll have to read everyone else's TR's until then...