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Old trippie! Ben, mummy and daddy do Disney August 2009

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Vikki, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Spotted a couple of old trippies on here, so thought I'd add mine too (since it was award winning in a certain other place :lol: ). Also gives me a chance to re-read it all :lol:

    Cast:
    Ben – has just turned two, this will be his first visit to
    WDW
    Anthony – we don’t mention his age as he’s just turned 30,
    whoops! First visit to WDW was 2001 for our honeymoon, then went again in 2004,
    and again in 2006.
    Vikki – that’s me! I’m 29, and will remain that way forever!
    Same number of visits as Anthony.

    So, the last time we went to WDW was for our fifth wedding
    anniversary in 2006. We went for three weeks and had the times of our lives.
    Anyone who had the strength to read the whole of my 2006 trippie will know we had a brilliant time. We were
    lucky enough to stay at Wilderness Lodge for our anniversary, and I upgraded us
    to concierge as an anniversary present to Anthony. You may wonder why I’m
    boring you with all of this……well, the point is, I had tasted the life in
    deluxe, I think you can see where this is going!

    Anyway, we returned from Florida and nine months later……………….

    [​IMG]

    We really weren’t sure when we would go back to WDW as we
    didn’t know what would be a good age to take Ben. However, it soon became more
    of a “well, we realllly want to go back, so let’s get it booked”, I’m afraid
    Ben got no choice in the matter. We managed to convince ourselves that two
    would be the perfect age to take him. In fact, so far, it has worked out pretty
    well. Yes, we have to pay for a seat for him, but that means no infant
    sqiggling on our laps for nine hours! Also, at the age of two, we don’t need to
    pay for a ticket, and he practically eats for nothing.

    We were really unsure of where to stay, the only thing we
    knew was that we didn’t want to stay in the same place we had before – not
    because we didn’t like the places we had stayed, we did, it was more that there
    are so many places to stay, we thought we’d try somewhere new. We initially
    were going to stay at POP and were pretty much decided on this, until we heard
    that free dining may be offered to moderates. We had stayed at Port Orleans Resort Riverside resort at WDW in 2006 and
    thought it was beautiful, and a really good location, so we decided Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW would
    be a good option – assuming free dining happened. We had decided we would do
    our final week in a deluxe, but it took us ages to decide which. We considered
    staying at Wilderness Lodge concierge again, but it was not available for a
    whole week, for the dates we wanted, also, we though if free dining was
    happening, the benefit of the food at Wilderness Lodge concierge would not
    really be that useful. So we looked at other options. Anthony has always wanted
    to stay at the Contemporary but to be honest, I wasn’t that keen. My dream was
    the Grand Floridian. However, the more we looked into it, the more the
    Contemporary appealed. Also, Ben is fascinated with trains, so we thought the
    idea of the monorail coming through the building would really appeal to him. So
    we finally decided on Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW for two weeks and the Comtemporary for one – with a Magic Kingdom
    view of course! The idea was that we would be able to sit on the balcony and
    watch the fireworks while Ben was asleep. Now, this is an idea we came up with
    over a year ago, now Ben has just turned two, we know there is no way this is
    going to happen, and he’ll probably be watching the fireworks with us every
    night!

    So, rewind to summer 2008. We’d heard rumours of free dining
    coming round again, but at the time it was due to be announced we were away on
    holiday in Wales.
    Joanne became our saviour and called me on the day all of the codes were
    released so that we could get booked. I then spent rather a lot of time on the
    phone to Disney UK
    from a Travelodge in Angelsey getting it all sorted. However, we got exactly
    what we wanted, two weeks at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW and one at the Contemporary, with a Magic Kingdom
    view. We upgraded from the quick service dining plan to the full on for £50 for
    the two Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW weeks, which we thought was a bargain!

    A few weeks later and it was time to book the flights. We
    had been watching the Virgin Atlantic website to keep track of prices and we
    were ready to go on the day they were released. I was out one night with some
    friends and I got a call from Anthony. He told me Virgin holidays had a great
    sale on and we could get a Flydrive for an awful lot cheaper… to say he was
    excited was an understatement, anyway, we got it booked.

    Fast forward to March and we were well within planning mode,
    and looking forward to going to WDW in a few months. Now, we’d been considering
    moving house for a while, but with the market as it was, thought we probably
    wouldn’t actually do it for 18 months or so. Didn’t stop us looking though! We
    knew we wanted a new build and that our next house would be the one we would be
    in for a good few years, so we were well prepared to wait and find the right
    one……which we found in March! The builders offered us a part exchange for our
    house and we were sorted!

    Now, looking back over the last few months I think we were
    totally insane, here we are, planning the holiday of a lifetime, and we decided
    to move house as well. Hum, not the sort of thing two reasonably responsible
    people do!

    We had the usual fuss that all people moving house usually
    do, but eventually we were in! There was only one problem. No internet access.
    We were two weeks away from going to WDW and I was without the boards to do all
    of my final planning…..nooooooo! Fortunately, our internet came back on last
    night, and I was off! Spent ages on the boards and on WDW.com and loved every
    minute of it!

    Most days for the last two weeks we have been woken up to
    “Mickey Mouse today?” from Ben, hum, I’m beginning to think telling him we were
    going to visit him was not the best idea we’ve ever had…………………
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  2. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    The one where we get going………

    Now, a warning to those of you with a nervous disposition,
    this is likely to be rather long! We were there for three weeks and it was our
    first visit with Ben, so expect lots of “Ben was so cute when…..” type
    comments. Going to try and do it a little like a totally wonderful recent
    trippie, all on one thread, with lots of pics. However, I apologise in advance
    that my pics are nowhere near as good as the certain person in question!


    Also, like with my previous trippies, you may notice I’m a
    ‘Friends’ fan as I like to try and call my reports, ‘The one where’, just like
    the titles of the Friends episodes, sad I know, but there you go.


    So, here we go!

    Friday 7th August.

    Market Rasen. England. Our new house. The spare
    room. Cases. Empty. Me.
    Panic! I had decided that unlike recent trips, I would do the packing on the
    day we left. The last few times I have packed and repacked so many times before
    we’ve left I decided no more! I did however get some bits near the cases,
    nappies etc….. So, as Anthony took Ben into the village to get the last of our
    dollars (we decided it best to leave it till the last minute since the dollar
    had risen a lot in the last week), I made a start. I was hoping to use the two
    cases we’d bought a couple of months back, and pack a couple of holdalls inside
    them for things we’d bring back. Also, the theory was that I was taking a lot
    of nappies, and obviously wouldn’t be bringing them back, so that would create
    more room for lovely Disney purchaces! We had moved literally a few weeks
    before our holiday (yes, we are THAT mad), so the cases were still in the spare
    room. Fortunately we hadn’t thrown our old ones away as I quickly discovered
    two cases were not enough. Three however, was perfect! Plus Bens nappy bag,
    plus our flight bag, plus a little wheely case with some things for Ben to do
    on the plan, plus an overnight bag for the hotel tonight. Hum, I am so pleased
    we have a big boot in our car! It only took me an hour or so to get the packing
    done which, although stressful, was a much better way of doing it, especially
    since Ben and Anthony weren’t around to ‘help’.


    So, after offering next door the use of our black bin for
    the next few weeks (theirs haven’t arrived yet), we were off to my mums house.
    We had some lunch with them and were off to Manchester by 3pm ish.


    We were staying at the Manchester
    airport Travelodge this time, and I must say, it was lovely. Very easy to find,
    and it seemed quite new. We’d booked the rooms in the summer sale so it only
    cost us £9, we even paid for a room for mum and dad, aren’t we generous? I
    found it hilarious we had to pay a fiver to park the car, since the room wasn’t
    much more then that. I heard the people who parked next to us saying they
    thought it was disgusting to have to pay for the car park and refused……I forgot
    to check to see if their car was clamped in the morning. We had a lovely meal,
    and a couple of bottles of wine in the restaurant. I was really surprised by
    how nice the meal actually was, it didn’t look like much, but it was really
    tasty, maybe the wine helped.


    Can’t say we slept much that night, never do, far to
    excited!


    Saturday 8th August.

    We left the hotel about 7.45. We could have left a lot later
    as we’d done online check in the day before, be we wanted to go and show Ben
    the planes. Good job we did leave early as we took the wrong exit off the
    roundabout and ended up going in the wrong direction of the M56……so you have
    been warned if you stay there, oddly, there are no signs directing you, so you
    have to know where you’re going. Annoyingly, the first junction was closed, so
    we had to go all the way to the next one to turn around.


    After we’d said goodbye to my parents we went to drop the
    bags off, there was nobody in line in front of us which was great. The normal
    queue was also really small, thanks to the new check in kiosks.


    We went to the gate pretty quickly so we could get a good
    seat by the window. Ben loved watching the planes, and kept telling his cuddly
    Mickey they were going to be “go on plane, in sky, with clouds” soon.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the usual mad panic for everyone to get on the plane
    (why people insist on queuing as soon as their row number is called is beyond
    me, it’s not like it’s going to leave without them…..anyway, as far as I’m
    concerned, the less time on the big time can the better) we took off around 30
    minutes late.


    The flight was uneventful and Ben even slept for a couple of
    hours.


    [​IMG]

    Ben enjoyed the cartoons, although he daren’t move although
    the headphones would have come off.


    [​IMG]

    Nappy changing on a plane is……erm, interesting! We’d decided
    not to potty train him before we left as we didn’t want “mummy, need a wee wee”
    whilst in a line. Ben is a rather tall boy and I don’t think he was entirely
    comfy getting a change, but at least we didn’t have to do it many times.


    We landed into beautiful sunshine. We did have a bit of a
    panic at luggage claim, only two of my beautifully packed bags were on the
    belt, not the final one! We were getting rather worried when there were no more
    bags going around the belt. Anthony went for a wander to the other belts and
    discovered it had turned up on the upper class one. Shame we hadn’t been flying
    in there! I discovered there were no nappy changing areas in the toilets in
    baggage claim, now, I could have been looking in the wrong place, but just a
    warning for those of you with young children. Lots of people took their bags on
    the monorail which I’ve never seen happen before.


    We picked up our car with no problems. It was perfectly
    adequate, we had to put one of the cases on the back seat, but that wasn’t
    surprising. The car seat, thankfully was fine too after all the worrying I did
    on the boards in the weeks leading up to the trip. It was very clean and Ben
    seemed comfy in it, in fact, in many ways, I preferred it to our one at home!


    We left the airport……and ended up going the wrong way! We
    got to a toll road with no people at it, nightmare as we had no change! We
    won’t make that mistake again! Fortunately a very kind person behind us figured
    out the problem (and the idiot tourists) and helped us out with some
    change…..for that we were eternally grateful! Ben get really excited when we
    went through the Disney World sign and he saw Mickey, Minnie and Donald. We
    were home.


    We found our way to Port Orleans French Quarter with no
    problems after that. We did have a sat nav with us, which picked up we were in
    the US
    just after the toll road incident! Ben get lots of lovely first visit things.
    Now, I usually request a top floor room as I’m not a ground floor fan, but I’d
    forgotten this time, and we were allocated a ground floor room. In fact, this
    turned out to be a good thing, with the buggy. There was a nice towel arrangement
    waiting for us too.


    [​IMG]

    Ben was exhausted! We did ask him if he would rather stay in
    the room and see Mickey Mouse tomorrow, but he was having none of it! Can’t say
    I blame him, we’d been building him up rather a lot! He thought the bus was
    wonderful and called it the ‘Mickey Mouse bus’ for the whole trip. Anthony got
    all teary eyed as he usually does when we walked through the gates of the Magic Kingdom,
    and Ben’s eyes just lit up when he saw the train!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We went right around to Toontown and explored Mickey’s house
    for a while, before going into the Judges tent. It was about a 25 minute wait,
    and as much as we tried to tell Ben that Mickey would be bigger than he’s used
    to, when we got in there, he was terrified! The photopass people tried really
    hard and were so good with him, but he was having none of it, as you can see!


    [​IMG]

    However, when we left, he was full of it! “Me see Mick
    Mouse, Minnie too!” He didn’t stop talking about it for the rest of the night.
    We had only planned to go see Mickey, but as we walked back through
    Fantasyland, we felt the need to go say hello to Walt and have our photo taken
    with him.


    [​IMG]

    It was a nice quick bus journey back to the hotel and used
    the first of our counter service credits to have some tea from the food court.
    We tucked Ben into bed at about 8pm, with him still talking about “me see Mick
    Mouse”. He was asleep in all of about two minutes.

     
  3. Meg1884

    Meg1884 New Member

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    Great report so far! I can't wait to read the rest.
     
  4. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Ah, am please someone is reading it :lol: will post some more tonight :yes:
     
  5. Meg1884

    Meg1884 New Member

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    I LOVE reading trip reports! I'm pretty sure I read this one on a previous board but I never get tired of them.
     
  6. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Know what you mean, I've been reading all the old trippies and dining reports that I've read before elsewhere :wink: I love them all!
    I am looking forward to writing a brand new one later in the year though :yes:
     
  7. Meg1884

    Meg1884 New Member

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    I bet! I can't wait to write mine too. May need to hurry up and get here.
     
  8. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    The one where we hit the World!

    Sunday 9th August.

    After a good nights sleep Anthony and I woke up at around
    6.30, which wasn’t too bad, usually we’re up at some ridiculous time on our
    first morning, so that was ok. Ben woke up about half an hour later. We had
    brought some Rice Krispies and plastic bowls with us so we wouldn’t have to buy
    breakfast every day. Anthony went to the food court to get a coffee and brought
    me some tea back too. I had totally forgotten about the horrible creamer stuff
    they have there so my cuppa was awful – even though it was Twinnings breakfast
    tea, which I usually like. As soon as I used real milk it was actually quite
    nice though, good to get a decent cuppa!


    We’d been briefly to MK the night before but that hardly
    counted so we decided to go again today. Since it was fairly early and we had
    the car we decided to drive. We got parked in Pluto 12, which we asked Ben to
    remember for us.


    We decided to ride the resort monorail rather than the
    express, as Ben seemed fascinated with the big trains in the sky. I got far to
    excited when I heard the Spanish announcement……I just love it, I know I’m
    really home when I hear that.


    [​IMG]

    We stopped for a quick drink when we got there, at a little
    place between the castle and Frontierland, never really noticed it before but
    it had a lovely little seating area. Ben then discovered my little squirty fan
    thing. He spent rather a long time playing at switching it on and off……a trend
    which stuck throughout the holiday.


    [​IMG]

    We wandered over to get ourselves a FP for Pooh, a ride we
    knew Ben would love, and thought it was a good idea since we were at Crystal Palace for lunch. We were pleased that
    an extra FP popped out for Philharmagic too. We then discovered, throughout the
    holiday, that this happened pretty much every time we got a FP for Pooh.


    We remembered that Toontown opens at 10am so we went round
    there next.


    [​IMG]

    We were surprised to see that it was already opened. We were
    a bit disappointed too as last holiday we often went to Toontown at 10am and
    caught Mickey opening up. Afraid this didn’t happen today which was a shame. I
    had hoped that Ben seeing Mickey outside his house might make him a bit less
    afraid.


    Ben then spotted the Barnstormer “me go on thaaaaaaaaaat”.
    We took him to the entrance, and he was way over the height requirement, which
    was great news! We had a little chat with the CM about when Toontown opens, he
    said it doesn’t have a particular opening time anymore, and they just open when
    everyone is ready.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ben loved the Barnstormer, which we knew he would, if
    anything it was a bit tame for him though.


    [​IMG]

    He asked to go see Mickey next……and then promptly changed
    his mind when he got in the queue. We spent a bit of time in the playground
    opposite Mickey’s house next. We really learned to enjoy this place. Nice and
    shady and perfectly safe for Ben to have a play, whilst we had a little sit down,
    lovely!


    Round to Dumbo next, and if memory serves, I think this was
    the only time we went on this. Ben never asked to go on it again, and it’s not
    one we particularly enjoy, so we didn’t bother.


    We went to use our Philharmagic FP next, but it was closed
    unfortunately, so over we went to use our Pooh FP. This was where I had my
    first proper blub moment. Ben was mezmorised with this ride. His eyes were so
    wide and he was having so much fun, it was wonderful.


    We went in the Pinocchio café for a quick drink (can never
    remember the name of this place either). When we were in there, Ben spotted
    Small World “me go on boat”, so we went on that next, unsurprisingly. Again,
    Ben’s eyes were so wide, taking it all in. The same was true of Peter Pan,
    which we did next.


    Anthony was busting to go on the new Haunted Mansion, I was
    really unsure about taking Ben on there so Anthony went on and I went to get a
    FP for Big Thunder Mountain. Ben dropped off to sleep at this point, so after
    Anthony went on Haunted
    Mansion we headed round
    to the photo centre to watch some cartoons. Bad idea! As we got there the
    parade started and woke Ben up. Didn’t really matter though as he loved watching
    the cartoons. We saw Steamboat Willie in full for the first time, can’t believe
    that was the first time, considering how many times we’ve been there. I was not
    amused though, other people were in there, it’s usually empty.


    Anthony was going to Extra Magic Hour tonight so I used the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad FP. I
    soooooo love this ride and enjoyed every second of it. Unfortunately Ben wanted
    to go on too……


    Next time…..what will Ben make of Crystal Palace
    and all those characters?

     
  9. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    The one with the giant tiger, bear, donkey and pig!

    Sunday 9th August, continued:

    After my very enjoyable ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (and Ben being desperate
    to go on and join me), we headed over to Crystal Palace.
    After his reaction to the characters last night, we were really unsure of how
    Ben was going to take this. We hoped he’d be better as he’d be able to see them
    from a distance first, rather than just being put in a room with them!


    Our ADR (Advance Dining Reservations) was for 2.10pm. We checked in around 2pm and knew it
    wasn’t going to be good when we saw the volume of people crowded around the
    doors. I do think it’s slightly odd that they don’t have pagers here, as when
    someone is ready, they just call their name, which means everyone crowds around
    the door and it’s impossible to get in or out. Anyway, we were finally called
    at about 2.45pm which wasn’t too bad I suppose.


    There was a character gap as soon as we got in, which was
    brilliant, so I went and got Ben some food. He was very impressed! He’s a total
    carnivore and always asks for meat, so he loved this. He was not at all
    interested in the mac and cheese and much preferred to eat from the adult
    offerings (which was the case for the whole holiday).


    [​IMG]

    All of a sudden, we heard “Pooh bear”. Unsurprisingly Pooh
    was a few tables away and Ben was almost jumping out of his chair. However,
    when he arrived he wasn’t too sure.


    [​IMG]

    Next was Eeyore, and again, not too sure about him.

    [​IMG]

    We picked Ben up as Tigger came around, which was much
    better, as he was closer and more on their level. I made a point of saying (so
    Tigger could hear), ‘try not to be nervous Ben’. I think Tigger really caught
    onto this as he was wonderful with Ben, very gentle. When he was coming round
    to him, he started ticking him. That was it! Ben was in fits of giggles and
    much happier. We breathed a sigh of relief! Perhaps it was worth all that money
    to bring him after all.


    [​IMG]

    After Tigger Ben was much better when Piglet came around.

    [​IMG]

    The food here was really good, we were very impressed. We’ve
    done breakfast a few times here but I much preferred lunch. It was crazy busy
    but it didn’t matter. The service was wonderful and the characters were great.


    After paying the bill, we took a few more photos before we
    left.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we left for the exit, we wandered down through the Main Street shops, always a bad idea! We
    (well, Ben) spotted a Playhouse Disney storybook, which we bought for him, it
    was really lovely and we used it a lot throughout the holiday. We also bought
    him a set of Playhouse Disney figures to play with in the room, they were about
    $15 which I didn’t think was too bad. We also spotted a Disney tote bag for $10
    when you spent $30. I ended up buying this later on in the holiday as it looked
    quite useful….and it was rather nice!


    We asked Ben if he wanted to use the boat or the monorail to
    get back to the car park. He chose the monorail, which became a bit of a theme
    throughout the holiday. Amazingly Ben had remembered the location of the car!
    We hadn’t!


    We drove round to Publix on the way back to the hotel to get
    some essentials……erm, crisps and Budweiser!


    Back at the hotel we all had showers, Ben had some tea and
    after tucking Ben into bed at around 8pm Anthony went off to Extra Magic Hour at the Magic Kingdom.
    We had bought some American cell phones off Ebay before we left so we could
    text eachother. They were fantastic! Jules (Jak on here) had taken them with
    her and couldn’t make the text work, but we had no problems, and as I watched
    the American version of Dragons Den, Anthony was texting me to tell me what
    rides he was on. I think I must have dropped off around 9.30pm though……was a
    long day!
     
  10. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    The one where the boy is poorly

    Monday 10th August

    We all work up at 7am ish this morning. The tea tasted much
    better this morning with proper milk, went well with the Krispies.


    Since it was early we decided to head over to Epcot for
    opening. We got the at about 8.45 and realised it was already open for
    Extra Magic Hour…..something we inadvertently managed to do rather a few times! We went over
    to Soarin straight away, remembering from last time the line for this was
    always massive (although it had only just opened last time we visited). The
    line was only 20 minutes, so I got in the standby line and we got a parent swap
    pass for Anthony to use later. I really thought the new games to play in the
    line were fantastic! If you’ve not seen them I won’t spoil it for you, but it
    almost makes it worth going in the standby line rather than in the FP line, as
    you don’t get it there. I was lucky
    enough to get section B, front row. It was brilliant. I have to say this is one
    of my favourite rides at WDW. Unfortunately the smells weren’t working, which
    was a shame.


    When I got back out, Ben had dropped to sleep, we were going
    to go for a drink, but we couldn’t take the buggy past the lobby which was a
    bit of a pain, so Anthony went to use his Soarin FP whilst I sat with Ben. He
    then got 2 more FP for Soarin for later on.


    Ben had woken up by the time Anthony got back, which was
    good timing as it was time for us to head round to Marrakesh for our midday ADR. We were very
    impressed by the feel of this place, really grand. We were practically the only
    people here so it felt a bit quiet, this soon changed though. We were brought a
    booster seat for Ben – something we never did again as there was nothing to
    hold him in and he kept slipping out. We used high chairs after that. Anthony
    had salmon and I had chicken cous cous. We’d booked here on purpose as Ben
    loves cous cous so we thought he’d love it here. He did not want to eat, never
    a good sign for Ben, usually he eats anything and everything. Real shame, the
    food was gorgeous! It was at this point Ben started looking a bit peaky. He was
    a bit sick (not much) and just wasn’t himself at all. So we decided to take him
    back to the hotel. The people at the restaurant packed up a take away pudding
    for us, which was a selection of little pastry things. Anthony insisted on me
    staying at Epcot whilst he took Ben back to the hotel. Can’t say I was too keen
    on this idea, but Anthony said there was no point in us both going, and since
    he’d been to Extra Magic Hour the night before, and Epcot is my favourite park, I should stay.


    I had a little wander around the World Showcase and took a
    few pictures.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I went round to the American Adventure as I wanted to see
    the new Obama model……it was about two minutes into the show when I realised I
    was in totally the wrong place, it was the Hall Of Presidents at MK I was
    thinking of. By that time it was too late and I had to sit through it all,
    suffice to say, this is the only time in the trip I watched it.


    I had a text from Anthony to say they’d got back to the
    hotel ok and Ben was having a sleep. We thought it was the heat getting to him,
    that, added to all the excitement and travel and I’m not surprised it all got a
    bit too much for him


    I used the two Soarin FP and both times was seated with
    people who’d never been on it before. I love going on rides with people who are
    experiencing it for the first time, there was lots of “ooooooo” and “ahhhhhhh”.
    Fortunately the smells were working this time, which made the ride a lot
    better.


    I wandered over to Test Track, but the single rider line was
    40 minutes so I decided not to bother, so went searching for frozen lemonade
    instead. Didn’t have much luck, which was a shame. Anthony had sent a text to
    say Ben was awake and seeming to be much more like himself, so I decided to
    head back.


    On the way out I decided to visit the new

    [​IMG]

    Anthony had bought me a great book about the secrets of WDW,
    and they had say that just as you go past the caveman scene, take a flash photo
    immediately on the right, where it appears dark. This is what I got


    [​IMG]

    I loved the new Spaceship Earth and thought the new bit at
    the end was really good fun! It really made me laugh. There are some great pics
    of the ideas from Ben later on in the report when he went on it.


    The bus to Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW was waiting for me when I got to the bus
    stop, which was great, so it was only a short trip back to the hotel. Ben had
    had a good sleep (as had Anthony) and was now feeling much better, so we
    decided to go for a swim. We’d bought Ben one of those UV suits and he looked
    soooooo cute! The little swim shoes we got were really good too. After about 10
    minutes of swimming we discovered Ben was not feeling better, we fortunately
    managed to get him out of the pool before we discovered this! So back to the
    room we went, deciding to stay in the next day so Ben could get over whatever
    it was. We all fell asleep early.


    Next time, a bit of a worry……

     
  11. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    The one where we worry......

    We had a really restless night with Ben. He woke up
    frequently, which is really unlike him, and he just wouldn’t settle. In the
    morning he had a really high temperature and was not himself at all.
    Fortunately we had brought the wonder that is Calpol with us, and that seemed
    to help as it brought it down a bit. Even though he had perked up a bit we
    decided to keep him in for at least the morning.


    I sent Anthony off to Epcot for a few hours, there was
    really no point in us both being there, and I’d spent a couple of hours at
    Epcot the day before, so it was only fair really. Ben had a really long sleep
    and woke up feeling much better, you would never have known he’d been poorly.
    We were really pleased. The temperature had totally gone and he was back to his
    normal self. I have no idea what was wrong with him. It could have been the
    heat, the time difference catching up with him or maybe he’d caught something
    on the plane, we’ll never know, but it’d gone pretty much as soon as it had
    arrived, so we were pleased!


    I sent Anthony a text to say Ben was feeling much better and
    he came back and brought some lunch from the food court. The food court did
    this fantastic chicken wrap, it was soooooo good, I had that quite a few times.
    In fact, we all shared one a few times as it was so big! Ben was asking to go
    out so we thought we’d stay close and go and do some of the arcade games, using
    the free 30 minute voucher we’d got with our package.


    [​IMG]

    Ben really was totally fine by this point, but I didn’t
    think it was a very good idea to take him to a park, so we decided to go and
    wander around Downtown Disney for a bit. We asked Ben if he would like to go on
    a boat, and he was very keen. I really like the boat from Port Orleans to
    Downtown Disney. It’s so relaxing. We had a rather jolly captain as well which
    was nice. He was telling us about the tree house villas, which I’ve always
    though looked nice, but you never really hear much about them, I don’t think
    I’ve ever seen them mentioned on here.


    We really just had a quick hour around Downtown Disney, we
    literally just wanted to get Ben out of the room for a bit. He was totally fine
    though, and asked to go on a couple of the rides.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was a pretty uneventful early evening as we tucked Ben
    into bed. I went off to Epcot for Extra Magic Hour. I went on Test Track on the single rider
    line a few times and noticed it was a lot shorter than previous times. When
    Anthony had been that morning he said he’d got chatting to a CM about single
    rider lines. They said they’re trialing putting the wait time just below the
    standby line wait time, to discourage large groups going through. This CM
    stopped a group of 10 going through as he said they were taking advantage. The
    wait time said 30 minutes both times I went on, yet I was on in 10 minutes
    tops. I like this new idea, means people like Anthony and I, who are on our
    own, can get on quickly. I have no problem with small groups going down there,
    but some people really do take advantage. I saw families with really young children
    going through there which I thought was a bit odd. I wouldn’t let Ben when he
    was six go on Test Track on his own. Anyway, enough of that.


    I went round WS for a bit, did El Temp del Rio
    and Malestrom…..which broke, seemed to take an age for it to work again.
    Walking round the WS just wasn’t that much fun on my own, I made a mental note
    not to bother with another Extra Magic Hour on my own here again. I went round to Soarin,
    but the wait was over an hour, so I didn’t bother.


    I left and joined the queue for Port Orleans. Just as I
    joined it, the queue split into two, one for Riverside and one for FQ, which was great! I
    head a load of the Riverside people
    complaining that we got to the front quicker…..erm yes, but so did they as
    there were no FQ people in their queue anymore. The bus was there within a few
    minutes and it was a lovely ride back to the hotel. I got in around midnight
    and was asleep about five minutes later!

     
  12. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Wednesday 12th August

    After a lovely nights sleep Ben woke up about 6am. We asked
    him what he wanted to do today “go on bus”. Ok, so that should keep him happy!
    Then he decided “bus to Mickey Mouse”. That didn’t really help a great deal
    more, but since we were at the Grand Floridian café for lunch, we decided to go
    to MK.


    Once again, we just missed the opening, so headed round to
    the Speedway,
    as this was a ride we remembered always got busy. He we are waiting for our
    car.


    [​IMG]

    The wait was only about 10 minutes, which was perfect! I
    discovered taking pictures on here is not very easy!


    [​IMG]

    Ben loved this ride, although his ‘driving’ skills had a lot
    to be desired!


    The Tomorrowland area really does seem a bit dead without Space Mountain
    or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at WDW Magic Kingdom (which I realllllllly missed on this trip!). Ben saw the Astro
    Orbitor and got rather excited! “Me go rockets, zooooooom”. So, suffice to say,
    we went on them.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Anthony got a good view from on the ride.

    [​IMG]

    This was much better than the last time I’d been on. The
    last time, Anthony and I went in a rocket together, and it was rather
    uncomfortable to say the least, we’re not particularly big people, but it
    wasn’t good! Going on it with a two year old was much better! I had forgotten,
    however, just how fast it actually is, as Ben became pressed to the side as the
    ride ended. He really loved it, and we went on it rather a few times on this
    trip.


    Carousel of Progress was next, another big hit, if just for
    the dog.








    Our next ride was Buzz. Ben thought this was hilarious. He
    sat with Anthony and I think this is the only time I actually scored more than
    him, usually Anthony blows me out of the water, I’ll have to remember to sit
    Ben with his more often!


    We went to Philharmagic next and the glasses were a big hit
    with Ben.


    [​IMG]

    Go away paparazzi! He was actually trying to wave without
    looking at me.


    [​IMG]

    Again, this was a big hit, but he was a bit freaked out by
    the champagne and the splashing water. We got over the champagne by putting his
    hat over the air blower on future visits.


    The carousel was next, which we all enjoyed. We were unsure
    as to which was Cinderella’s horse though, any clues anyone?


    [​IMG]

    We queued up for Winnie but it broke so we went for a wander
    to HM, Ben had a bit of a nap, so I went on HM to see if I thought Ben would
    like it. I thought it might be a bit scary for him.


    We got on the monorail and headed round to Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World for lunch. I
    just can’t decide about this hotel. One part of me would just love to stay
    here, but whenever I go there I wonder if it’s just a little bit too chintzy
    (did I spell that right?). Anyway, we love the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World café. Anthony had a steak and
    I had a fantastic burger with a cucumber salad instead of chips, which was a
    nice change. Anthony had a tiramisu for pudding and I had my first of many key
    lime pies. Ben shared from our plates.


    [​IMG]
     
  13. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Wednesday 12th August, continued:

    After a yummy lunch at the Grand Floridian Café we decided
    to take the boat back to the Magic
    Kingdom. We noticed a lot
    of construction work going on at the GF, although they hid it very well from
    the public, the only place you could really see what they were doing was from
    the monorail. During our three weeks, we watched a roof from start to
    completion as we kept going round on the monorail.


    Ben wanted to go on Pirates first, because “mummy a pirate”!
    This goes back to a pirate day I did at school just before the summer, where I
    had to dress up as a pirate – no embarrassing photo of that one I’m afraid. It
    was this time that we taught Ben how to do the “yo ho” song. Now, whenever we
    ask him “what do you do on the pirate ride” we get “yo ho, pirate me!” Bless
    him, he can’t quite remember the whole sentence, but it’s soooo cute. I have a
    video of it somewhere, not sure how to post a video…..


    There was no queue for Aladdin which was great, so we hopped
    onto that. I can’t remember ever having been on this before, but I really
    enjoyed it. As did Ben, who was going a bit mad with making us go up and down.
    This is an awful lot more responsive than Dumbo or the Astro Orbitor, and Ben
    was taking full advantage of that! We got totally soaked, which was rather
    refreshing.


    We then tried to head over to Splash Mountain,
    but had totally forgotten about the parade, so got stopped by that.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This parade was different from the last one we’d seen, and
    we all really enjoyed it, even though we’d not planned to. I bet the characters
    all miss the air conditioned snow globes though!


    After the parade we walked round to see how long the FP time
    was for SM, and were shocked it was for 8.30pm! It wasn’t even that busy in the
    park, so I was a bit surprised at that, unsurprisingly, we didn’t get one.


    One of my favourite things was next, frozen lemonade! I
    can’t believe we’d been here since Saturday and I’d not had one yet. It was
    soooooo good! Anthony wasn’t too keen though, and thought it was a bit strong.
    Those snack credits were really coming in useful though!


    We went round to the Hall of Presidents, which I wanted to
    see after my mistaken American Adventure fiasco the other night. Now, I’m not
    sure if this was on purpose, but Ben’s nappy sprung a leak so Anthony went off
    to change him. I said I’d wait, but Anthony insisted I go in. Hum, I think he
    didn’t really want to see it. I thought the new Obama figure was fantastic,
    although I did have a little giggle at the massive round of applause and the
    whistling and the standing up after his speech finished….I did however manage
    to keep the giggle to myself! I left the show to find a very relaxed Ben.


    [​IMG]

    After using our FP for Pooh we decided to head back to the
    hotel. The castle show was just starting though so we decided to stop and watch
    (this seemed to happen to us a lot today). I did find it slightly odd that the
    characters blinked and their eyes moved though.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ben even blew Mickey a kiss at the end, which was adorable!

    [​IMG]

    We managed to see yet another parade on the way back to the
    exit! I really loved this one and promised Ben we would watch it properly
    anther day. I realllly loved the music on this one. Does anyone know if it’s
    from something, or is it just parade music?


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We finally made it out after this parade…..no other
    surprises stopped us this time. We arrived just in time to catch the bus and it
    was a very tired family that rode back to Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW! I managed to find Judge Judy on
    one of the channels. I really like Judge Judy, but all we get is 2001 repeats
    over here. I was a little shocked by how much work she’s had done in the last
    few years, can’t say I recognised her! Not a clue what we had for tea, but
    after tucking Ben into bed, Anthony went to Hollywood Studios. I fell asleep
    pretty early after a veeeeeery long day!

     
  14. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Thursday 13th August 2009:

    The one with the ‘raaarrrrrr’

    (I now have my photopass pics, so I’ll include some of those
    in here now)


    Ben slept through, which was absolute bliss. We were up
    fairly early and headed round to Animal Kingdom today. The first thing we
    wanted to try was the new fastpass system which is near It’s Tough To Be a Bug.
    We got a couple of FP for the safari, for about an hour later, which was fine
    for us. I don’t like that you can’t tell the time you’re going to get them for,
    but the benefit of not having to walk around to all the rides to get them
    outweighs that in my opinion. I know you can ask the CM to tell you what time
    they’re for, but we weren’t that bothered, so didn’t.


    We went round to Everest as Anthony was really keen to get
    on a ‘proper’ rollercoaster. We got a parent swap for this, but Anthony sneaked
    down the single rider line rather than go in the main queue. There was no wait
    at all, and he got right on. I went on after him, again, down the single rider
    line. Again, there was no wait at all. As I was chugging up the mountain, I got
    chatting to the lady next to me. I told her I hadn’t been on for a long time
    (I’d only been on once when we went in 2006). She said she hadn’t been on in
    ages too. Then we were hurtling down the mountain again going realllllllly
    fast! I have to admit, I had my eyes closed for most of this. I’d forgotten
    just how fast it actually is – perhaps I won’t be doing this one again in a
    hurry. Anthony went on again though! We decided to save the parent swap ticket
    for later. When we were waiting for Anthony we had a wander round the shop and
    Ben found that he rather liked the cuddly yeti, he managed to get a rather good
    “raaaaaaaarrrrr” going too!


    We walked over to the safari next, stopping to have a little
    play with the drums.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was a great safari, apart from the woman next to me who
    insisted on leaning over me every five seconds to take photos, and then leaned
    out of her side when there was something there so I couldn’t see…..grrrrr!
    Suffice to say, we didn’t get many photos ourselves on this safari, ah well,
    we’ll go it plenty more times.


    [​IMG]

    After going to Pizzafari for a quick drink we went to camp
    Minnie Mickey. This was a much better place for Ben to meet Mickey, he could
    get prepared to see the characters, rather than them being there all of a
    sudden, like in the Judge’s Tent. We almost got a smile from Ben!


    [​IMG]

    Minnie was much more of a success. He ran up to her when she
    held her arms out to him. It was lovely.


    [​IMG]

    Next was the Festival of the Lion King. This is probably one
    of our favourite shows, and we were sitting in the lion section today, ver
    unusual for us, we’ve only ever been in elephant before. There was a little
    girl from England
    who was asked what the giraffe sounded like, bless her, she looked petrified
    that she didn’t know. I have still never been to this show where the child has
    known the answer to that one!


    After a quick lunch at the pizza place in Dinoland we went
    over to Primeval Whirl. I love this ride, it really is one of my favourites! I
    was on with 2 girls who had never been on before. They were talking to each
    other, saying that they hope it didn’t spin round. I didn’t have the heart to
    tell them what the ride was really like. I did however ask them at the end if
    they enjoyed it, and they did…..the amount they were screaming through it proved
    that! Anthony went on as well with parent swap.


    We just had a bit of a wander around after that but Ben kept
    asking about the Yeti so we decided he could have it. We found the one he had
    been playing with earlier which was the smaller on, but he just looked at me
    and said “no thank you, big one please mummy”. Couldn’t resist, he asked so
    nicely, I bought him the big one….who knows how I’m going to fit that in the
    case!


    It did the trick though, and with a big cuddle of the Yeti,
    he fell fast asleep.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Thursday 13th August continued:

    The one where we get lost!

    After Ben fell asleep we thought we’d try and go on the
    rapids, but when we got there the wait was 70 minutes, so we decided against
    it. Instead we went for a walk and took a few piccies.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ben really was not in the slightest bit interested in waking
    up so we carried on…..


    [​IMG]

    As we walked under the tree of life we stopped and actually
    took notice of it, which we’ve never done before. We had a good look around and
    were constantly drawing each others attention to another animal the other one
    hadn’t noticed.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All our walking around the trails and the tree of life we
    didn’t see a single other person, which was lovely, but shows just how
    undiscovered these areas actually are. We also got chatting to some of the cast
    members who were feeding some storks. We had noticed some little platforms
    which looked like drain covers and they explained that’s where the birds have
    to stand to get their food. It also doubles up as a scale for weighing them,
    which I thought was a great idea!


    We also stopped at one of the shops to get a new change bag
    for Ben, we got a safari one which was perfect. I also picked up some of the
    African animal masks, which I use in school. I got some a few years ago and
    they are great. I do a big project about Africa
    and we do a lot of craft activities with the masks, they are great fun to try
    and make!


    There was the beginning of a little rain shower by now and
    by the look of the sky, we decided it was time to leave, we had an ADR (Advance Dining Reservations) at Boma
    to get to anyway. As if on cue Ben woke up as we got to the car, and the
    heavens also totally opened!


    Now, we thought it would be easy to get to Animal Kingdom
    Lodge from AK, we were wrong! I’m guessing there must be some sort of cut
    through from the park, but we didn’t find it! We ended up heading towards the
    All Stars as we knew they were nearby, we finally found our way and we were
    heading towards Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World. By now the rain was really hammering it down. We got to
    the security checkpoint at Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World and were waved through. Now, we haven’t been to
    Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World since the villas were built so we had no idea where we were going. We ended
    up in a multi story car park which we thought was a bit wrong! We got out of
    the car and headed for reception…..discovering we were at the Villas and not
    Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World! Ah well, we needed to be there later in the holiday to go to Saana, so we
    put that down to experience!


    After finally finding Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World we got checked in for Boma. I like
    how the check in is now near the door as you go in, rather than having to go
    down to the restaurant, eases congestion at the restaurant. Also, I got the
    chance to take some pics of the shields for my Africa
    project….we make those too!


    Our buzzer (which Ben thought was a phone) went off pretty
    quickly and we headed down to the restaurant. Ben insisted on taking the stairs
    and walking himself, so this took quite a while! Amazingly we were sitting in
    practically the same place in Boma as we had for most of our visits there. I
    asked our server if the potato bacon soup was on that night as it was my
    absolute favourite. He said he didn’t think it was, but would get chef to get
    me some…….which made his tip go up! The soup actually was on in the end so he
    didn’t need to get me any. It was just as fabulous as I remember it being. I
    could have quite happily just had that for the whole meal. The food was
    wonderful, and this was the first proper meal Ben really had since he’d been
    ill. Plenty for him to like though, lots of meat! He is such a carnivore! The
    food was superb and much better than it had been on our last visit. Ben thought
    all the little puddings were wonderful.


    After we’d finished our meal we had intended to have a
    wander around Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World but it was still raining pretty heavily. However, we spotted
    a photopass photographer set up in the lobby. I’ve never seen any of them in
    the hotels before so we took full advantage. Up till now nobody had managed to
    get Ben to smile for a photo so we said she would be a miracle worker if she
    managed it! We were pretty impressed with the results. She spent ages with us!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Since we hadn’t spent that long at Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World we went to the bar
    when we got back to Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW, I had a realllly good glass of wine and Anthony had a
    cocktail. The first and only time we did that this holiday……it was most nights
    last time, you can tell we had a small child with us this time. Then it was
    back to the room and off to bed.


    Next time, the best character meal ever!
     
  16. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Friday 14th August 2009:

    The one with the first meet! (I know I said it was going to
    be the one with the best character breakfast ever, but there’s going to be a
    lot of pics on here, and it was a rather long say, so I think this day will be
    two parts!)


    We had an earlyish meal booked for tea tonight so thought
    we’d have a cooked breakfast on one of our counter service credits. We shared a
    combo meal. Can’t say I’d do this again – for a start Ben just wanted to eat
    the meat! I found the eggs to be a bit soggy, and I still don’t understand this
    whole scone at breakfast thing! I got some jam and had that on it, but it’s
    just wrong for breakfast!


    After breakfast we went out to Magic Kingdom,
    and since Ben seemed to be in a smiley mood, we took advantage of it!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Eugh, gross!

    [​IMG]

    We went to meet Mickey and Minnie….again, and even managed
    some smiles…..again, about time too! Ben must have thought they were friendlier
    this time. It helped that they instantly crouched down to his level I think.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After that, it was time for the Barnstormer……again!

    URL=http://img14.imageshack.us/i/p7240023.jpg/][​IMG][/URL]

    [​IMG]

    Then Winnie the Pooh…….again, are you seeing a pattern
    developing here?


    Then it was time to head round to the noodle station for the
    DisneyBrit meet. Was a little nervous as I had no idea who would be there, and
    I had no idea what Adam (the host) looked like. I need not have worried though,
    it was rather obvious who Adam was as he was wearing a DisneyBrit t-shirt!
    After introducing ourselves I nipped off to get a drink (the noodle station
    wasn’t open….as per usual!), so went to Tomorrowland and got a frozen coke,
    which was much nicer than I expected. When I got back, the DisneyBrit quiz
    began. Now I think I know a reasonable amount about Disney, turns out I don’t,
    we were pathetic! If you want to hear just how pathetic we were, listen to the
    podcast and see if you can answer the questions, go on, I dare you! We met a
    lovely guy there, who to be honest I have totally forgotten the name of, and
    have also totally forgotten the job he did….suffice to say he was a big deal at
    WDW and was really interesting to listen to. I could have easily chatted to him
    for hours! Help me out Adam, who was he? Adam then suggested a group trip to
    the laughter floor, after a group piccie of course!


    [​IMG]

    We’d not been to the laughter floor before, so were more
    than happy to do this. The wait was really short, which was good, and we really
    enjoyed the pre show. I thought this show was hilarious! Again, there is a
    recording of the show we saw on the podcast if you want a listen. When we were
    done we all went our separate ways, it was really lovely to meet everyone
    though, in fact we bumped into Adam a couple more times after that which was
    nice.


    We went to use our Buzz FP next, Ben was becoming quite the
    expert at becoming our FP holder!


    [​IMG]

    Just as we were about to get in the car, the ride broke
    down! We were there for about 20 minutes before it restarted. It was so odd to
    see it with all of the lights off, very spooky looking through there! The guy
    at the loading area was great though, walking through and passing out loads of
    stickers, although I was more interested in the manic looking CMs running
    around trying to fix the thing, hehehe.


    We were going to do lunch at Starlight Café, but it was
    heaving, so we decide against it and went to our old favourite, the Harbour
    House. Lunch there, was, as always, lovely, and a bit different from the usual
    theme park offerings.


    As if on cue, Ben fell asleep after lunch as we headed over
    to Epcot.


    Next time, the one with the best character meal
    ever…promise!

     
  17. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Friday 14th August continued:

    The one with the best character meal ever!

    By the time we got round the Epcot on the monorail, Ben had
    woken up. I’m pleased he had as I really love arriving at Epcot by monorail,
    it’s lovely having a little look around the park before you get there. We all
    went on Spaceship Earth, Anthony thought the ending was hilarious! Ben loved
    the bit where the car turns round and you see the world, it was one of his
    “wow” open eyed moments.


    We went to Ellen’s Energy Adventure next. We thought the bit
    with the dinosaurs might be a bit much for Ben, but it wasn’t, he spent most of
    the time saying “ooooo look” (and he always seems to sound Scottish when he say
    that!). I also thought it might be a bit loud, but he was fine with it. After a
    visit to the Circle of Life, we went off to the Garden Grill for our dinner
    ADR.


    [​IMG]

    Who’s that coming?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The food was really lovely here. We began with a garden
    salad, which Ben was not too keen on, but then he doesn’t really like salad, he
    enjoyed some of the bread though. We decided to treat ourselves to a bottle of
    wine, and Ben to one of those special kids drinks with the lit up car thing.
    The starter was followed by a lovely family platter with a lovely selection of
    meats, potatoes and vegetables. Our server also brought the kids selection for
    Ben – even though he’s only two and we don’t pay for him. He didn’t actually
    touch any of it, he preferred what we were having. I had his mac and cheese
    though, it was lovely! The characters here were fantastic. We had each of them
    come round at least three or four times, and since the place is quite small,
    they spent ages at each table. The characters also spent some time messing
    about with each other, which was really funny to watch. On one occasion Mickey
    came over and stole Ben’s little light up car and was driving it around the
    table. Ben thought this was hilarious, but when Mickey left, Ben hid it in his
    packet, just to be on the safe side.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Dessert was a baked berry type thing, which I wasn’t really
    a fan of, but that’s just because I’m not a berry fan. Anthony and Ben both
    loved it though. After finishing up our wine and paying the bill we headed off.
    We tried several times to get another booking for here as we enjoyed it so much,
    but they were always fully booked. We would totally recommend this to anyone,
    it was a really great meal and the character interaction was perfect, we loved
    it and will be booking a couple of visits on our next trip.


    We headed round to the new Nemo ride next and to be honest I
    can’t say I was massively impressed with it. It was ok, just nothing special I
    didn’t think. I did like the comments from the starfish at the end though. We
    went round to the big tanks after this and Ben was really in his element, there
    was lots of “ooooo look!” Next was Turtle Talk. Can’t say Ben was too impressed
    with this one, we loved it though, as always!


    Anthony and Ben then headed back to the resort whilst I went
    to MK for Extra Magic Hour. Pirates was heaving, as was Frontierland so I went round to the
    Laughter Floor. I was in within 5 minutes, unfortunately it was the same show
    as we’d seen earlier in the day, but that didn’t matter, since they ‘picked on’
    lots of other people, it was almost like a totally new show. I went on COP
    next, always a good one to fill the time while you’re deciding what to do next.
    As we were about to leave the final scene, there was a bit of a problem, we
    didn’t move! So we were….erm, treated to the final scene again, and then the
    same thing happened again, and again, and again, but this time without the
    sound. Of course we all knew it so well by now that we all said the words
    together, which was really funny! Can’t say I’ve ever been on this and enjoyed
    it so much, we all had a real laugh! I sipped on a frozen coke as I headed
    round to BTMR, which I’d picked up a FP for earlier. I didn’t use it though,
    and went in standby as the line was only about 10 minutes. The people behind me
    were going on about how there was no way it was only going to be 10
    minutes….but it was. After a good zoom around, I went on again with my FP. I
    was going to go on again, but Spectromagic had just finished, so everything was
    getting busy.


    I was getting a bit tired, so didn’t bother to hang around
    for Extra Magic Hour in the end, and went back to catch the bus back to the resort instead.
    Even though Spectromagic had only just finished I managed to get a seat on the
    first bus, all of the other queues were really busy so I thought I’d been
    pretty lucky! Come to think of it though, this happened a lot during our trip.
    On the way back, I got chatting to an American lady who said she just wanted to
    talk to me to listen to my accent, I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or not
    to be honest. Fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!


    Next time, a bit of a disappointment.
     
  18. Steamboat Willie

    Steamboat Willie New Member

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    Some of those Garden grill photos of Ben are great. He seems shy in most of the other character pictures, but looks to be having a good time there.
     
  19. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Yes, that was the first time he really got comfortable with the characters, there was no stopping him after that! We've booked to go back there early on in our August trip, so hope it will have the same effect :yes:
     
  20. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Saturday 15th August 2009

    The one with the disappointment.

    We were, shock horror, staying away from the parks today. We
    had remembered that Saturdays tended to be rather busy so we thought today
    could be our shopping day.

    We had discovered a few days previously that we had a spare table service on
    our dining plan, so we decided to use it for breakfast. We booked Maya Grill at
    Coronado Springs, as it seemed to be one of the only places available that we
    hadn’t tried yet. I’m so pleased we did, it was really good! There were lots of
    cereals, fruits and pastries. Ben was rather partial to picking at the grapes!
    The cooked food was really good too, particularly the potatoes which had
    peppers and onions mixed it. It was a really nice looking resort too, and quite
    busy. I’m not sure if it’s somewhere we’d stay as I think they have a lot of
    conferences there, but it certainly seemed nice.


    After this, we headed out for a shop! We went to Florida
    Mall first and found a few bits and pieces, but overall we were quite
    disappointed with it this time. We didn’t really hang around that long and
    decided to move on to what was Beltz, can’t remember the name of it now! This
    was much better but again, we didn’t stay long. We then moved on to the Premium
    outlets, which we weren’t going to bother with this time, but I’m pleased we
    did. It seemed a lot bigger than the last time we went, but then I don’t think
    we even went on our last trip, so 2004 was probably the last time we went. The
    heavens really did open whilst we were here, but it didn’t really matter
    because a lot of the walkways were undercover. During one of the showers,
    Anthony spotted the Michael Kors shop. Now, I am a bit of a fan of Mchael Kors,
    not because of his designs, I’d never seen them, but because I really enjoyed
    watching him on Project Runway! We thought we’d go in and have a little look.
    Sooooo pleased we did! There was a bag section first, and looking at the prices
    of them, I thought we’d be turning around and going right back out again.
    However, when we started delving, we found some brilliant bargains. I got a
    lovely V Neck pink sleeveless top for $20, a ribbed black top with studs for
    $15 and a sleeveless black top, again with studs around the neck for $60. At
    the time I thought the $60 one was a bit pricey, but then I thought I’d spend
    that on a nice going out top here. They were sooooo reduced as well, they all
    really were bargains. Then there was my big bargain. There was a maxi dress
    that was black on the top and like a blue and white pattern on the rest of it.
    I am pretty tall, so maxi dresses never fit me, but this one seemed quite long,
    so I tried it on. It fit perfectly and went right down to the floor, so I
    snapped it up, it was only $25 so I was well impressed! BY 3pm ish we were
    about shopped out, and Ben was looking rather bored to we headed back to the
    hotel.


    After a bit of a chill out, a shower and a change, we headed
    out to Fort Wilderness for Hoop-de-doo. It only took
    a couple of minutes in the car from Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW as they seem to be practically next to
    each other. We were a bit concerned we were going to be late though. We didn’t
    realise you can’t park next to where the theatre is, so we had to park at the
    main entrance then catch a bus up there. The bus seemed to take forever to
    arrive, then stopped what seemed like a million times before we got to the
    hall. We need not have worried though as we were there in plenty of time. If I
    remember right, the time on the ticket was 5pm, but we weren’t actually let in
    till 5.15pm. We were seated in a price level two area. Our table was to the far
    right of the stage, right next to the kitchen doors, even though it was way off
    to the side we had a great view of the stage. We were, however sat next to
    perhaps the noisiest table ever! I think there was 15 of them all together and
    they were soooo loud. It wasn’t just cause they were excited I don’t think,
    they just weren’t able to speak to each other in a normal volume
    J


    There was cornbread and salad (I think) to start, which was
    ok. This was followed by ribs, chicken, mash and beans. Pudding was strawberry
    shortcake….apparently, the strangest one I’ve ever seen. Can’t say I was
    impressed with the food at all. It was tepid at best and just didn’t look very
    appetising. I know there are a lot of people to serve in a short space of time,
    but this was two table service credits, and the food just wasn’t up to scratch.
    In fact, I think the nicest thing was the salad.


    Hate to put even more of a downer on it, but I can’t say I
    was impressed with the entertainment either. It was ok, but nowhere near as
    good as I was expecting. Maybe it’s just us and dinner shows, we’ve done a few
    in Florida,
    and not liked any of them :lol: Seriously though I felt quite bored throughout
    the whole show, it was just all a bit naff. Perhaps it’s because there’s
    several shows a night, I don’t know. Ben seemed to enjoy all the of the dancing
    and banging of spoons though, which was good. I just thought that, considering
    it was a two table service event, it just wasn’t worth it. I assume they see it
    as one table service for the meal, one for the entertainment. Suffice to say,
    we won’t be going to this one again. It was such a shame though cause I was
    really looking forward to this one, but I came away disappointed.


    Ben enjoyed a bit of dancing

    [​IMG]

    The woman in yellow looks a bit insane in this one!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ben really enjoyed playing with the spoon and washboard!

    [​IMG]

    We managed to get the bus back to the car park pretty
    quickly this time, and we were back at the hotel in no time.


    Next time, one of our favourite places, and some serious cuteness
    from Ben.

     

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