As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
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As with all my TR's this starts a couple of days early. I forget what day I did it all but I got the packing and the last minute list done all before Thursday so when that day came, all we had to do was go to the supermarket for some snacks we wanted to take with us and for some extra greens for the bunnies. Abby was so excited for this trip she decided to go help me. She rarely does this so you know something special was going on. We made a couple other stops before we got to the supermarket so by the time we got there, I was hungry. On my own, I'll admit I would have picked up some extras that I shouldn't have but with Abby, that didn't happen. The reason why? She wouldn't let me. One item - strawberry filled soft cookies - Abby told me to put back on the shelf, we didn't need it. Down another aisle, I just looked at something, I didn't even touch it, and Abby gently turned my head away so I couldn't see it anymore. Anything I looked at or commented on, Abby would tell me we didn't need it, we shouldn't eat it, etc. Not only was it cute but it was also true. For me though, it was awesome to hear it coming from Abby. They were all things she would have eaten also so for her to be willing to leave them behind was huge. I'm very proud of her.
We got through the supermarket - with only the items on my list - and went home. After the groceries were put away and dinner done, I did bag up some things we were going to take with us - hard boiled eggs, grapes, cut up watermelon. There was nothing else to be done that night so I just left our to do list on the table and eventually went to bed. I don't exactly remember Lenny coming home so I must have fallen asleep before he came in the room.
Friday - or at least the early part of it - was going to be a normal day for me as I still had to go to work. I could have taken the day off but I only work until noon on Fridays so there wasn't a need to do that. I did get up a little bit early as I wanted to make sure a few things were done "right" and to make it easier on Lenny and Abby. Abby also woke up early as she wanted to weigh in on Friday before we went. Her typical day for doing that is Saturday but we wouldn't be home this time. Abby got on the scale and I'm happy to say she lost another three pounds putting her up to a grand total of 32 pounds lost!! She was so deserving of this trip for her effort and success. Never did I think she would actually do that well. I obviously hoped she would but wasn't 100% sure it would actually happen. After we did that - and I updated the other thread with her progress - I got most of our stuff into the van, packed our coolers and then got ready for work. I hoped while I was at work that Lenny and Abby would do their part - and they did. By the time I got home - after making quick stops at the post office and bank - pretty much everything was in the van except for last, last minutes stuff and us. By the time I was changed, had let the dogs out and was ready to go, it was about 1:15.
Lenny and Abby had made me lunch too and even though I hadn't eaten yet, we still left. They made me a couple of chicken salad wraps and since I wasn't driving, I could easily eat in the truck. We just made one last stop though before that - we stopped at the station to let mom know we were leaving and at 1:24 we were officially on our way to Storyland.
Being early on a Friday in good weather, the traffic on the highway wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. We did get bogged down a couple of times - one was due to an accident in the middle lane where it looked like a guy had his whole hitch fall off the vehicle, not just the trailer. He obviously stopped as did the person behind him but the next guy didn't. Once we got past that, we didn't have any further problems.
For a child that was getting impatient with me at home because she wanted to leave, Abby did really awesome on the drive when the traffic was slow. There wasn't a single complaint from her - and it's not because she was using a device. She wasn't using one at all. Not once did the iPad come out on the entire 3 ½ hour drive up. We talked about all sorts of things - including Disney - we listened to music and we just watched everything we were driving by. It was really a pleasant trip up. We did stop about 4:15 to use a bathroom and to stretch our legs. We also got Lenny an ice coffee and a decent size chocolate chip muffin that we shared. About an hour later, we finally made it to the hotel. We checked in, took the stuff to the room and just sat down for a few minutes.
We were only there for one night so things weren't getting unpacked from the suitcase. We would only take things out as we needed them. It was well after 5 and we kept going back and forth as to what we wanted to do next - go play mini golf or have dinner. We finally decided to do golf first as it was quickly approaching 6. The golf closed at 8 and I could see us getting stuck in a restaurant and missing out. We've never had good service in a North Conway restaurant. I don't know why but over several previous trips to Storyland and several different TS places, the same thing always happened - we got lousy service.
Lenny opted to not play mini golf with us so it was just Abby and I. The golf course was at the hotel we stayed at and was called Pirates's Cove mini golf. This course has two different sides to play - the Captain's Course (upper course) and Blackbeard's Course (lower course) - and the decision of which side to play was easy. The employee, when asked about the difference said "the lower course is harder, the upper a little bit easier but if it helps you to decide, a party of 6 just started the upper course." It did so Abby and I went with the lower course. Being so early in the season, we were able to go through it fairly quickly. There was only one couple in front of us that moved along as well. Abby won that round - and got 3 holes in one. Before returning our clubs though, Abby asked to do the Captain's Challenge as it was now quiet. I told her to go and ask Lenny who was sitting in the truck if he minded. He didn't so we went and did the second course. I think the employee had it backwards as to which course was hard and which was easy. The Captain's Challenge had two water hazards. One I did so badly at Abby finally took my ball and hit it past the hazard for me. Despite the fact that I got 2 holes in one on the course, Abby won again.
After mini golf (we were done about 7:15), we went down the street and had dinner at the 99 restaurant. It wasn't super busy, we got seated right away and the food was fine. It wasn't anything to write home about (but I am writing about it on the boards ) but once again, we didn't get very good service. Both Lenny and I got salads with dinner. Mine came out but Lenny's didn't - he had to ask for his. The waitress finally brought it but he didn't have any silverware to eat it with so then he had to wait for those to be brought to the table. Someone else brought out the dinners and everything was cooked the way we wanted it but Abby's burger was so juicy and messy that we asked for more napkins. We never got them. Halfway through dinner, I finished my soda but the waitress never came around to offer a refill or just bring one like other places do. As we've gotten in the habit of doing, at the end of the meal, Lenny and Abby hit the restrooms and then went to the truck to wait while I stayed at the table by myself. Even though there was no one waiting to be seated (it was now about 8), it took no time whatsoever to get our to go box and the check. She must have been watching too as it didn't take long for her to grab my credit card and then bring it back. Her service wasn't that bad that I felt the need to complain or to attempt to stiff her the tip like I have at previous North Conway restaurants but I certainly didn't tip well like I usually do. I usually tip at least 20% but I just left her the standard 15%.
As for what we ate, Abby got her "usual" burger, cole slaw and fries. Lenny got the salad, the sirloin steak and a baked potato. I got the steak tips and chicken finger combo with a salad and fries. Lenny and I had some leftovers so we took it with us for him to finish off for breakfast on Saturday morning. We left the restaurant at 8:15 and I called home quick to mom to let her know we were heading back to the hotel. Once there, Lenny and Abby went swimming while I watched and took some photos. I had gotten a chill on the short drive from the restaurant to the hotel and even though it was an indoor heated pool, I just didn't feel like swimming. I did eventually leave them to go make some coffee for Lenny so he could have iced coffee in the morning. I also used my iPad for just a little bit. When they came back to the room, we watched some sort of Wipeout type show - Abby said it was American Ninja Challenge or something like that - until 10 when it was time for lights out.
None of us slept all that well that night. I woke up about 2:30 to use the bathroom. About 4:30 we were all up. Abby needed water, Lenny needed pain patches put on and I was up because they woke me up. At 5:30 the same thing kind of happened. Abby was up which kind of woke up Lenny and when he said something to her it woke me up. It was all mumbled so I don't know what he actually was trying to say to her. Lenny fell asleep again but Abby was too wide awake to go back to sleep so I told her to get out her iPad and headphones and watch one of her movies, which she did. She chose Monsters Inc. I went back to bed only to be woken up again about 6:20. Abby was up, showered and looking for something in the suitcase so I took that as my cue to get up and ready. I got ready and repacked everything I could and at 7, I attempted to wake up Lenny. He asked for a few more minutes so Abby and I went to the lobby for some breakfast. They offered quite a bit for the continental breakfast. They had hard boiled eggs, yogurts, fresh fruit, oatmeal and some toppings, mini Belgium waffles, ham and cheese omelets, scrambled eggs, sausage links, bacon, pancakes, breakfast potatoes, danish, mini chocolate donuts, muffins, bread, bagels, apple juice, cranberry juice and orange juice. Abby had an omelet, a donut, two mini waffles, bacon and OJ while I had the scrambled eggs, bacon, two waffles and cranberry juice. We made a small plate for Lenny with an omelet, a donut, a sausage link, and some OJ to eat with the leftovers from dinner the night before.
While he ate that, I cleaned up the rest of the room. At 8:17, we were all ready, everything was packed and on the luggage dolly and we headed out of the room. I turned in the room keys, got the van to bring it closer to the front door and we loaded everything back in. Storyland was only a few miles away and we got there in no time. We were actually the second car to pull into the lot. After Lenny parked, we got the scooter and other miscellaneous stuff out of the van that I felt we would need. Living in Massachusetts my whole life, there is a saying you can count on. "If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute." Knowing this, I took both long pants and shors for everyone. The weather predictions all week beforehand had been mostly cloudy with a high anywhere from 71 to 75 (that number kept changing all week). Saturday morning when I looked at the weather again it said mostly cloudy and windy with a high of 77 (I think that was the high of the day listed). For me, that meant I needed to wear jeans. For Lenny and Abby, it meant they could wear shorts. When we got to Storyland, I was glad to have on my jeans as it was cool out. I was also glad I had brought my sweater with me as it was also windy making it just cold for me.
By 9 am, we were all ready and the truck was locked up. The gates weren't open yet so I waited in line to buy the tickets while Lenny and Abby sat in the sun (it wasn't cloudy at that time). As we waited I couldn't believe the amount of cars pulling into the lot. The park had only been opened for two weeks - and only on weekends at that - and I thought it would be slow. The number of cars coming in told me differently. As we waited, I laughed to myself. A couple had gotten in line behind me and they looked at the ticket prices and started to complain. They felt $35 per person was too much to pay. I wanted to say "you should have looked into it before coming" but I kept my mouth shut. It turns out, since the guy started talking to me, his daughter invited them to spend the day at the park to see the grandkids. You would still think though they would have looked into it or the daughter could have told them the price beforehand. I know I would have told someone something like that. That was a recurring theme throughout the day, me hearing people say "I didn't know this" or "I didn't know that." It was all info I knew because I looked online before we went.
About 9:20, they opened the gates, I got our tickets and I stopped at Guest Services to ask about the "picture pass" (think Photopass). For $29.99, it was valid for one day and we could get digital downloads of any ride or character photos taken that day. It's Storyland, not Disney, so even with only three rides and one character M&G that took photos, I figured I would still come out ahead. After that, we were officially in the park and headed to our first ride - the Antique Cars. Not thinking - or remembering what to do - Lenny got in line on his scooter with us. He managed to make it through the line but there was no place for him to park and get off the scooter. It was a very small line, us and maybe 5 people behind us, but we were able to get him out of the line the way he got into it and he waited for Abby and I to ride. After she chauffeured me around, we then went and got Abby a Storyland license. It was cute and she wore it around on the lanyard they gave her for a little while. From there, we stopped at the bathrooms and then we were going to head to the back of the park for the only coaster that would be open today - Roar O'Saurus. There are only two coasters to begin with. The other was Polar Coaster and it was closed as it was getting repainted. Even with Roar O'Saurus opening thirty minutes after the park opened, I figured if we had to wait to ride, I'd rather wait and be close to the beginning of the ride (and to finding out if we would fit or not) then wait in a huge line and potentially be embarrassed in front of a lot of people.
Storyland is geared towards smaller kids but I knew Abby would fit on quite a bit as she's currently about the size/weight I was the last time we went. The Roar O'Saurus was a brand new ride for us. From some of the reviews and photos I saw online about it, I wasn't sure if either of us would even fit on it. So we headed to that part of the park hoping to get to it early before a lot of the other people. When they said it opened 30 minutes after the rest of the park does, they literally meant that it opens 30 minutes later. There was a gate across that section of the park so we couldn't even get to the ride to get in line. With that being the case, we got in the line for the balloon themed ferris wheel - The Great Balloon Chase. With only two people in front of us, our wait was very short. All three of us fit on here so Lenny joined us. After he was back on his scooter, we went to Storyland's version of a jungle cruise - a tractor that pulls a cage and two vehicles with seats and it's called Slipshod Safari. This use to be much longer but they made it shorter to put in a small water attraction. Splash Battle, as it was called, we weren't going to ride as it wasn't hot enough but it is a ride where you can squirt the people who are riding it. Abby went to do that while waiting for the tractor to come back. One squirt later, it was time to get in line for the safari. I think Abby was glad it was time as it turns out you can squirt the riders as they go by but they can squirt back at you. Had Abby not run to get in line I think she was going to get more than just a little bit of water in her hair.
I was bummed at how little of the safari ride was left. We always did enjoy it, especially since we could all ride together but things change - and boy how they change. There is a little elephant out in front of the safari ride that we always took Abby's picture on. This year was no different. By the time we were done with that it was 10 am and we headed to the Roar O'Saurus. Lenny at first wanted to ride it but then he changed his mind and wanted to know what we thought of it first so Abby and I went through the line. When we got to the loading area, the train was just getting there and we were the only ones in line. The operator announced if no one was waiting in your line, you could stay on and ride again. Since there was one car with nobody riding, Abby and I took those seats so no one had to get off. It was a fun coaster. It's a wooden one so not the smoothest and for a 45 second or so ride, there was a lot of air time. When we got back, we could have stayed on but I wanted to go get Abby's photo from the ride. Plus I was a little "off" - not quite dizzy but not feeling 100%. It took a couple of minutes to get our picture pass activated and get the photo but once we did, we stopped to talk to Lenny. I told him it wasn't a ride for him. The seat wasn't that big, it wasn't that smooth, etc. He agreed and was okay with waiting while Abby and I rode again.
After the second ride and photo, Abby was content to move on. The park was starting to get busy so our luck of getting right on rides had come to an end. The lines were still short though and I don't think we waited more than 10 or 15 minutes for anything. The next ride we rode was the Turtle Twirl (think Tilt O'Whirl) where Abby and I could ride together. Now if you've never been to Storyland, as I said, it's geared towards kids so most of the rides allow you to get off if you don't like the ride. All you have to do is give the operator a thumbs down hand signal and they will stop it for you. Only those that want to get off have to, everyone else can stay on and continue with the ride once it starts again. This happened while we were riding the turtles. Is anyone surprised by that knowing what kind of ride it is? I wasn't surprised someone wanted off. After we rode the turtles, we went over to ride the Flying Fish and while we were waiting, the weather started to change. It got really windy and really cloudy. I had taken my sweater off after the coaster ride but I needed it back on after the fish as I was cold again. The Flying Fish is on the small side so Abby and I had to ride separately.
Next up was the bathroom and at this time it was approaching 11:30 and Abby was getting concerned she would miss the Farm Follies show - the entire reason for us being in Storyland. We were in the right area of the park and there was no line so we wouldn't miss it when it started at noon. To pass the time, we stopped to play a dinosaur themed carnival game called Dino Dash. It's like those horse racing games where you roll the ball into a hole to make the horse move forward and the first person to the finish wins. The first time we lost to a little girl who didn't play by the rules - of which there were only three. 1 - remain seated 2 - don't throw the ball 3 - only one ball per person. I know she didn't sit and I'm fairly certain she used more than one ball. Out of 12 lanes, there were only four of us playing so there were plenty of extra balls for her to grab. I don't necessarily blame the operator for not saying anything but this girls parents were right there watching her the whole time. They should have made her play by the rules. I paid for us to play another round and this time Abby won - against rule followers.
At this point in time, Abby was ready to get in line for the Farm Follies show. She was not going to risk missing it. It didn't matter that we were the line and that we still had 20 minutes to go, she was not going to leave the line. As we waited , we talked about what else we were going to do after the show. Abby wanted to finish off the area and ride the two remaining rides - the farm tractors and the Crazy Barn (you'll have to see the video). The tractors I went on with her - and was looking the wrong direction for the photo but the crazy barn I have to avoid. I can't ride that one. As for the show, it was changed slightly since we last saw it. Back then, the scarecrow was a plush type character, now he's a face character. The soundtrack is the same and all the puppets/animatronics on stage are the same too. Abby didn't sit with Lenny and I - she sat in the front row which was a very short bench. Lenny and I sat two rows back which were more of a normal height but I'd like to think she didn't stop smiling during the show. She even got a high five from the scarecrow during the show and stood with him for a picture after the show. I know she was very happy when we left the theater.
After we finished that section of the park, it was time for lunch as it was somewhere around 12:45. It was okay, three burgers, fries, popcorn shrimp and three drinks came to a little over $50. And to think, people complain Disney is expensive? After lunch we went to ride Storyland's flume ride - the Bamboo Chutes. It's very short and Lenny wanted to ride but I told him not to because you have to get into the flume log as it's still moving. I also said it wasn't a good idea and that if he wanted to get on a water ride, he could do the raft ride with Abby. He finally agreed so Abby and I got in line. Within 5 minutes or so, we were off the ride again and getting our picture. I did say it was short. Lenny asked how it was and I honestly told him "Very short. It goes around, up and then down and it's a good thing you didn't try to go on it. I almost fell getting into the log." Lenny wanted to go on the raft ride but the line seemed kind of long and Abby wanted to see the magic show that was only 20 minutes away. Since this was for Abby, we went to the Loopy Lab and theater where the show was suppose to be held. The lab part was big blowers, big vacuums and foam balls. In other words - it was loud and chaotic. The only door that I saw that would indicate a theater entrance said nothing about a magic show so I asked an employee who told me the theater was being rebuilt and the show was taking place at the front of the park instead. I found Abby and told her that so she stopped what she was doing so we could go there. I don't really know what to say about the magic show. It was short, maybe 10 minutes, it was just a couple of tricks and it was entertaining. I don't regret seeing it but it's not something I would rush to see. Maybe when it's in the theater it's long and has more tricks, I don't know, but in the form we saw it, it was just okay. Abby did get a cute photo - she got to hold the world's biggest magic wand so at least that was something.
When we were done with that we walked through the storybook area and went to ride Alice's Teacups. Lenny rode this with us and even though it was a tight fit, it was fun. Then we went to ride the German antique carousel. Lenny had enough of going in circles so he sat it out. The carousel is cool because it goes clockwise instead of counter clockwise like other carousels and instead of the horses going up and down on poles, the rider (if big enough) can rock them forwards and backwards on springs. When Abby was little and not big enough to move it on her own, we would push the horse for her. For other kids, some parents push the horse, others just stand there. Just like Disney though, I noticed all the horses were white too. Abby wanted to meet Cinderella in her castle next and here it sits at the top of a hill. You can either walk up or ride in Cinderella's pumpkin coach. The line normally is pretty long and slow moving to head to the top so Abby and I walked up and left Lenny behind as his scooter would never make it up the hill. Abby had two pictures taken and we put both of them on our pass and then we got in line to go down the hill in the pumpkin coach. Storyland has always had a pumpkin coach but years ago when we originally went, it was small, noisy and smelly. This one was bigger, quiet and not smelly. It was a nice way to go back down the hill.
After getting another traditional photo - Abby sitting on the horse wearing armor - we found Lenny only to leave him again to go back on the carousel. We hit the bathrooms again then Abby wanted to ride the Dutch Shoes - a Dumbo type ride. The shoes themselves are small and I've never liked or been comfortable in them so it's a good thing Abby could go by herself. It's also a good thing Abby has been losing weight as this was the only ride I noticed that actually had a weight limit. I have no idea what they would do or how they would handle it if they think you're over the limit but I'm just thankful it didn't happen to Abby as she was just under the limit and able to ride. Next up finally came the raft ride for Lenny and Abby. I'm not sure why I got in line with them but it's a good thing I did. For this ride, they have a ramp for wheelchair and scooter users that puts you pretty close to where you can get on the raft. You don't get off there however. You get off in a different location. I don't know if it's the standard procedure or not but the employee let Lenny, who was still on the scooter, by the line of people waiting all the way to the loading area. Then he got off the scooter and onto the raft with Abby while I said I wasn't riding, I didn't want to get wet (or the camera either). I then double checked to see where Lenny would get off and I was told at the unloading area. It dawned on the girl the scooter wouldn't be where Lenny would be and asked if I could move the scooter as she had never moved one before. I told her it wasn't a problem but there actually was a tiny problem. There was only one ramp for this ride and it was back on the other end of the building and the only way to get back to it was to once again go past the line of people waiting. I think just because we have more experience with this, the girl should have asked Lenny to leave the scooter at the ramp and have him walk to the raft, a distance he could do, instead of the way she did work it but it worked out fine. Everyone was good. They all stood back as far as they could and let Lenny pass the first time and me the second time. Moving the scooter meant I didn't really get many pictures of them getting wet. I did get a few but I was very glad I didn't ride. Had I gone on, I would have gotten really chilled and it just wouldn't have been any fun for me. It was almost 3:30 in the afternoon and I was just finally starting to feel the heat of the day.
Having done pretty much everything that she wanted to do, Abby asked to go back to the Loopy Lab so she could play some more. I was fine with that so that's where we went. We only stayed until 4 though as at that time, all the machines stopped so everyone could hear the announcement that the park would close in one hour at 5 PM and what times the rides would close. Abby wanted to get to the front of the park to get on the train they have and she wanted to do the full loop. Once there, we found a place for Lenny to park the scooter and we waited just a few minutes for the train to arrive. That actually took about 20 minutes or so to do the full loop but when we arrived back at the front of the park, they were doing a good bye show. While Lenny and Abby stopped to watch that, I went into the gift store to see if there was anything for Abby. I was able to find two 2X shirts for her (I think they were the only ones in the entire store) that I thought she would like so I held onto them until she could tell me yes or no. When the show ended, it was announced people could get in a single file line to have their picture taken with the characters - there were 8 or 10 of them- and it wasn't a case of pick the one you want, it was get in line and get your picture with all of them. Abby of course wanted to do that but I was able to get her attention long enough to get her to come into the gift shop where I was still standing with the shirts. She said she liked them both so I said she could have both and then I asked if she wanted one of the plush wearing an "I love Storyland" shirt and she said she did. Once she picked out the one she wanted, I told her to go out and get in line for the photo.
I got in line to pay and then met Lenny and Abby in line for the characters. As is our luck at times, just before it was our turn for the photo, three of the characters had to leave but it is what it is. They had to leave but Abby got her photos with the rest of them. Quite happy with the day, Abby was happy to leave (it was just about 5 anyway) so we left the park and went to load the truck back up. As Lenny and I were doing that, Abby was listening to the music from the park. She told me, after we got home and as I was writing this, that she heard them announce the park was closed and after that, they began to play the final song from the Farm Follies show. I didn't notice but I have to say it was a fitting end to the day.
Loading the scooter didn't take long and soon we were pulling away from Storyland. Abby had such a good time and didn't want to say goodbye to the park and just like at Disney, she almost cried as we drove away. I felt badly but we had a good time, we have lots of photos to remember and with this TR, we'll be able to revisit it anytime we want.
After leaving, we hit the gas station at the end of the street and when we got back to North Conway about 5:30, traffic was at a crawl. Luckily it wasn't the height of the season and it wasn't too long before we were through it. None of us were hungry so we decided to just stop someplace off the highway when we felt like something instead of stopping up there. It wasn't long before Abby fell asleep in the back seat and while I was tired, I didn't sleep. Lenny and I just talked while he drove and somewhere around 6:30 or so Abby woke up. We still weren't hungry so we just continued on and since traffic kept moving well, we made really good time coming home. We stopped only once on the way home - at the convenience store at the head of the street we live on the use the bathrooms and to get some quick ice cream treats. I had thought to stop at the local ice cream place but I wasn't 100% sure what time they stayed open until and as it was late, Abby said "I just want to get home. We can go out for ice cream another time." Just about 9 PM we were home and by the time we had everything in the house, had our ice cream and I was in my own bedroom, it was about 10:30. The only thing that hadn't been done was unpacking the single suitcase but I was too tired to do it. There wasn't much in there so it wasn't a big deal and it was more important for me to get to sleep as I had to be up early to open the station on Sunday. I'm not sure when Abby and Lenny fell asleep but I'm pretty sure I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow.
I'm glad Abby lost the weight and that we went to reward her for the effort. She really did deserve it. It was a short trip but it was a good one and we had fun. Now that we've done that though, it's time to think of other smaller, closer to home rewards for her. Thanks for following along and for those that want to read more from me, our trip to Disney in less than two months I can't believe that one is so close but don't worry. You'll be hearing from me again for that PTR/TR in the not too distant future.
Abby should be so proud of her progress. She is doing so well! Looks like you all definitely enjoyed the trip. The mini-golf course looked like fun. I love your then and now photos of the Storyland. Again congrats to Abby! Thanks for sharing!
I recognize many of these rides (tilt a whirl, fish/airplanes, etc) from our own local kids park - Idlewild (Ligoneir, PA). It was nice to see Daniel Tiger & Katarina Kitty Cat (some of my son's favorites). The then and now pics are definitely my favorite. This was such a nice reward for Abby and she totally deserve the great day that she had at the park. Pixies for continued success at the weight loss for all of you. Wish I could do what Abby is.