Spring Break trip to the World Completed, with DD's birthday surprise!
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Spring Break trip to the World Completed, with DD\'s birthday surprise!
You all seemed to enjoy my one day trip report last month, so I thought I'd do a pre-trip (updated to a real trip) report for our upcoming spring break trip.
When: 18-24 March
Where: All Star Sports
Who: Me, Lisa, 41, newly single mom and new FL resident, something like 9 trips to the world
DD, Kaylie, will turn 14 the Monday we return from the trip. One less trip than me.
DS, Casey, 12 1/2. Two less trips than me.
DM (my mom), Helen, in her late 60s. 5th trip to the world (all with me once I became an adult).
Background: The kids and I moved from MD down to the Tampa area this fall after some very ugly issues with my soon to be ex-husband. It's been a stressful year, but we've taken advantage of the FL resident rates and are celebrating with a spring break at WDW.
My mom lives just south of Ft. Myers, and she retired (again) when I moved down here so she can help out when I need it. I travel a fair amount for work, so she comes up and stays with the kids. They lived with her for about 6 weeks while I was getting the transfer finalized. So I owe her BIG TIME! She has old friends visiting right now who are leaving Friday. She's doing some things for church, so she plans to drive up Monday and stay for the rest of the week.
As I mentioned in my one-day report, DS is NOT a thrill rider, while DD's favorite ride is ToT, followed closely by RnR. Having my mom will let me split up some of the time so that DD can ride to her heart's content without me feeling bad for DS.
I originally planned on camping, but when I called, the cost for a campsite was only $10 a day cheaper than All Stars, and I decided it was worth it to have a bathroom and maid service right there [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
I made one ADR each day, usually for a late lunch. We're pretty light eaters, and I plan on breakfast in the room, a snack mid morning, table service around 2-3 with the ADRs, and splitting counter service in the evening. I have brita bottles, and the kids are used to drinking water.
My plans (and yes they're ambitious!)
Leave the house about 6:30, arrive at ASSports by 7:45 and check in (so I can leave the van there and save $9 parking, seasonal pass pays for parking). Catch the bus to MGM.
At MGM, let DD get her ToT fix, while mixing in some tamer attractions for DS. This is actually one of the best parks for this, since there's a lot that they both like here. I'd like to see the motor car show this day, since we haven't seen it yet.
3:00 ADR at Sci Fi, which should be lots of fun!
Leave the park by 5 to go to MK (maybe go back to the room to settle in first.
MK (night EMH)
Primarily focus on frontierland and tomorrow land. Watch wishes and spectro (haven't seen either one!) Park is open until 2:00[img]/ubb/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img], but I think we'll be back at the room by midnight at the latest. DD can get CRANKY when she's tired!
Start the day at EPCOT (no EMH that morning). We are early risers, so should easily be there for rope drop.
We LOVE Soarin, so we'll definitely do that. And DS is actually ok with TT and he really likes Mission Space. Unfortunately, I get motion sick on it. I'll take my dramamine that morning, but one ride will be my limit!
I saw on the WDW web site that Cranium Command and The Making of Me will be open that week, so we'll probably visit that. And I promised DS some SERIOUS innoventions time on this trip, so I'll give him an hour there on this day (we've done two one day trips in the last month, and I limited him to 15 minutes!)
We'll leave by 1:45 and monorail over to the TTC, transfer to the resort monorail for a 2:45 ADR at the Kona cafe. DD loves all things Hawaiian (especially Stitch), and when we resort hopped at Christmas, she fell in love with the Poly. My kids think they're too cool for character meals, but DD did want to eat at the Poly. I looked at the menus, and Kona's lunch sounded like a good idea.
After we're done, we may take a break back at the hotel, but plan to be at MGM by 5:00. Evening EMH is there this day. Plans are to focus more on the shows this day (but DD will probably sneak in a ride or two on her fave!) We'll hit the last Fantasmic, then use EMH for the thrill rides (and Little Mermaid, which none of us have seen yet). Plan to leave by 11 or so, park closes for EMH at 12.
Tired yet? I promise, I slow down some the rest of the week. Mom gets here on the next day. I'll post the rest of the plans in the next post.
Morning EMH is at AK, so we'll be there for the rope drop. Honestly, I leave the house at 5:30 for work, and I truly can't sleep past 6:30. DD is a fairly early riser, and DS is pretty easy going. We've all learned over the years it's better for us to get to the parks early, then take a break mid-day. If the family revolts on me, we just won't keep up the early wake ups (for them anyway. I'm up no matter what!)
Main things for AK are Expedition Everest (DD and I rode it earlier this month, but I want to try the front car this time), the Safari, and Lion King show. I also want to explore some of the trails, since we've not seen the Tigers at all.
Mom's driving in today, so I plan to leave the park by 11 ish to meet her at the resort. She forgot to take her AP voucher home with her, so we have to meet up before she enters the park. Mid day break will probably have some pool time (at least for DS. DD's at that age where being seen in a bathing suit is a little weird for her!) but we plan to head back to MGM by 2:00
Why MGM? Weren't we just there the night before? and the day before that? Well, Disney changed the EMH nights on me after I made my ADRs. And since we're pretty big on the park hopper thing, and this ADR is one I wanted Mom at, we'll just have to go back there again (Don't throw me in that briar patch, PLEASE!)
We have a 3:00 ADR at the Prime Time Cafe. We took my mom there for her birthday in Christmas 04, and everyone really enjoyed it. We're hoping to have as much fun again.
I'm hoping to be done eating in time to catch the 4:00 parade, then we'll try to hit Millionare, Little Mermaid (mom hasn't seen it yet), and let DD enjoy the thrill rides. 7:30 Fantasmic Showing, then if everyone's up to it, we'll walk to EPCOT for the 9:00 Illuminations.
EPCOT for am EMH. Finish up what we didn't see in Future World. Another hour in Innoventions for DS, then leave by 11:30 for a break at the hotel.
ADR at Trails End at 2:15, then over to MK. Hit some of Fantasy Land, as well as Liberty Square and Frontier Land. Let mom pick some things she wants to do. Watch spectro and wishes then head back at park closing.
This is the day we're celebrating DD's Bday (it's actually the 27th, but I told her to pick one day while we're there). In addition to Hawaii, she loves Japan, so she asked for the meal at Teppanyaki. No EMHs (am or pm) this day, so I'm slowing down some!
We'll start the day at MGM hitting the shows we didn't see the other 3 or 4 times we were there [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] then back to the hotel for a break by noon.
Our ADR is 3:30, so I plan to be in EPCOT by 2:30, and grab fast passes for Soarin or TT before we go to Japan. After the meal, explore world showcase until Illuminations.
MK for EMH, hitting any rides not yet done (DS will want extra runs at Buzz Lightyear, and DD will want to do Splash several more times!) Take the boat to Wilderness Lodge for WCC ADRs at 2:40. Whispering Canyon was where we celebrated my Mom's bday this year, and I'm hoping we can get the same server (Nickleback Matt). He delighted in embarassing DD. He told her she had to come back for her birthday.
After WCC, we'll take a hotel break, then go back to EPCOT to finish World Showcase, ending with Illuminations.
Friday 3/24 (last day!)
Pack up and check out by 8:00. Drive over to AKL for an 8:30 ADR at Boma.
After Boma, go into AK and enjoy things we missed before. My Mom and Casey will probably take in the parade, because they really liked it when they saw it before.
The final excitement comes up next. I was recently looking through my briefcase and came across a set of Southwest vouchers that I was surprised to discover were going to expire the end of March. One sneaky call to DD's best friend's parents, and she's getting a giant birthday surprise! I plan to tell DD that I found something I knew she's love. The CMs found one of them at the MCO Disney Store, so we have to go pick it up. Her best friend lands about 3:00. So anyone in the Orlando a/p the afternoon of 3/24, be prepared for a serious scream! She hasn't seen her since early last summer, and didn't think she'd see her until they go to camp in July together.
I think DS will probably stay with my mom at AK until after the parade, then meet us back at home.
In about 10 days, I'll be back, and hopefully things will go mostly according to plan. But if they don't, that's the great thing about living one hour from WDW.
We're BACK!! I'm going to start the report, but I have to be out of town all next week, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done.
Here we GO!!!
As a reminder, cast is me, Lisa, 41 year old single mom. DD, Kaylie will turn 14 the Monday we get back, DS, Casey 12 1/2, and my Mom, late 60s will be joining us mid-week.
We live in Tampa and are seasonal passholders. We've done two day trips to WDW this year, and had put several things on our to-do list for this trip.
Plans for the day:
Leave home by 7, check in, and go to EPCOT (was MGM, but changed the day before we left). ADR for Sci Fi at 3:00, so I planned to take the boat over by 1:30 or 2. I then planned to switch to MK for late EMH. Yeah, great idea huh?
I woke up at 3:00, unable to sleep anymore. I had planned to leave by 7:00 so we could check in to the hotel before the parks opened. I got the kids up at 6:00, and we were out the door by 6:45, so things were looking good! The kids snacked on oranges for breakfast. I pulled into All Star Sports shortly before 8. I checked in with no problems, got my parking pass for myself and my mom, was told we were in Hoops 3, and they'd have the room info after noon.
The day before we left, I finally decided that DDE would be worth the money, so I had ordered it. I had to pick up my card at EPCOT's ticket window. I had also made plans to meet up with an old friend from home who lived in the Orlando area. She and her family were going to be in EPCOT for the day, so that worked out well for us.
While I was getting the DDE card, DS picked out a couple of trading pins (I bought them since he'd fertilized the grass for me without being asked!). Into the park by 8:50, as we were waiting for the rope drop, my friend called. We met up and went over to Soarin with the rest of the herd. We got fast passes, and rode standby. We were on the hunt for hidden Mickeys! Once we were done, our fastpasses weren't up yet, so we rode Livin with the Land while we waited. It was really nice to catch up with my friend, and meet her husband and stepchildren. We rode Soarin again (saw all 3 hidden Mickeys), and then split up. They were going to ride Test Track and Mission Space, and my kids wanted to go to Japan (their money was eating holes in their pockets!), so we said goodbye.
Once in World Showcase, we took the boat across, and the kids wandered the store in Japan. DD bought Full Metal Alchemist trading cards, and DS settled on a pack of Yu Gi Oh cards. I bought them some Japanese candy as a snack, then we headed towards the international gateway. A quick stop in France for a pastry for me (it was a chocolate twist that was YUMMY!), and we were out the gate heading towards MGM.
We decided to walk, and had a good time chasing the cottonwood tree fibers. Weather was absolutely gorgeous! It was in the mid 80s without a cloud in the sky. We made it to MGM by about 11:30.
Once inside, DD had one goal in mind. She had seen a special hat in the Tower of Terror Gift shop back in February, and she had to get it. It's the bellhop hat with Stitch ears coming out of it. So she went and bought it, while DS and I pulled RnR fast passes. We all went over to Who Wants to be a Millionare. DS really likes this. At the first board check, I was in 3rd place [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img], but that changed soon. The guy in the hot seat was from Celebration, and had won before, but not this time. We talked to his wife in the bathroom after the show. Both my kids were on the big screen, and she said that her husband liked DD's hat! Our fast passes weren't ready, so we went on the Backlot Tour. That was the first time we'd done that, and we really enjoyed it. I called and found out our room number, and that was when I realized that they hadn't given me room keys when I checked in. After the backlot, we went to use our RnR fast passes. I sent DD through first, then when she came off, she didn't want to go again. There was time left, so I said I'd ride, and we'd go on to lunch. DS piped up and said he'd ride, so he and I went through the line. In the area with all the memorabilia, he decided he really didn't want to do the ride. He took the chicken exit and when I got on the ride, I realized that he would have absolutely hated it!
It was time for our ADR's, so we headed to Sci Fi. There was about a 10 minute wait, then we were seated. We aren't big eaters, so we usually split meals. This time, DS wanted ribs, and DD wanted the shrimp pasta. We were in the front two rows of the car, and the server pointed out that the driver pays for the entire car. I tried telling him that we must be in an English car, so DD was the driver, but that didn't work [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Food was good. I had DD's spinach, and a few ribs plus the veggies from DS's rib plate. Total ended up at $40 after DDE including tip. ($7.71 savings).
We left the restaurant with the plan to go back to the resort and get our stuff moved in. Unforunately, it was right in the middle of parade time! We waited a few minutes and saw a little bit of it over the heads of people. On to the bus stop (at MGM, it's all the way at the end, and one bus for all 3 All Stars). We were at the resort by 5. I stopped at the front desk to explain that they hadn't given me keys. That was fixed, we stopped to get 2 mugs (I only drink a cup of coffee in the morning, so it was mainly for the kids). The kids walked to the room, and I parked the van. We were on the first floor, middle of the building. It was a pretty convenient location. The kids swam while I unpacked.
This is where I made my mistake. I asked the kids if they wanted to go to Downtown Disney to do some shopping, since we could get the AP discount. They agreed, and we got on the bus. It was FILLED with screaming cheerleaders who cheered the entire 25 minute ride! I was looking for a water bottle strap and a cell phone cover. I didn't find either one. DS was looking for a couple of pins, but decided he didn't want to spend the money, and that he'd just trade the ones he had. DD ended up getting a $6 Stitch necklace, and I got a fat pen for autographs. So that whole ordeal was to save a whopping $1. DS still wanted to spend his money, so we went to Once Upon a Toy. He picked out a couple of Be Daman toys (hard to describe, but they're robots you build who shoot marbles). We had them shipped back to the resort. Then we went to the bus stop where I was going to catch a bus to a monorail resort, then into MK, for what I thought were EMH.
On the bus, the kids really started picking on each other. I really wasn't up to dealing with it (remember, I was up at 3:00!), and looking at my watch, I thought we'd be getting there just as Spectro was starting, which would mean gridlock. MK was open until 12 that night, and on the bus ride back, I decided to just give it up. Unforunately, that meant we had to finish the bus ride, take the monorail to MK, then another bus back to AS Sports. We were back to the room by 10:30. I got us some dinner at the food court. DD got chicken strips (first of many), DS a cheese pizza, I got a cheeseburger. DS had cheesecake on the way to DD for a snack. The food court took DDE, and my savings that day was 4.41. We ate in the room, while the kids watched the end of Harry Potter 2, and were in bed by 11:30.
Boy was it a long first day. From my passporter notes:
Weather: Beautiful, sunny, mid 80s.
Best thing: Spending time with my old friend and her family.
Worst thing: Grumpy ending and the long way home!
Funniest thing: DS's reaction to the cheerleaders. He kept covering his ears!
Today we tried: Backlot Tour.
Result: Lots of fun. The kids want to get there early enough to volunteer next time.
Magical moment: First floor room, so no stairs!