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Our Disney Trip Day 1 — May 12th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 13, 2009

My name is Kristin. I am a newly born Disney addict. I visited The World once when I was 10 and it was not a fun visit. I have been married to my awesome husband , Jason, for 8 years. He went to Disney once on a choir trip in high school. My daughter Emily is 5 and loves all things Disney. She decided to be Wendy when she grows up after riding Peter Pan 10 times! My son has been obsessed with Mickey since he was 7 months old. His first sentence was “I see Donald!” while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I have dreamed of going to Disney since I was a little girl. I did make it for one day in 1993 but I tend to not count that trip. My brother had just turned 3 and we had to wait in a miserable line for Dumbo. When I tried to move him up in the line he bit a plug out of my arm. My dad got so upset that we left and never returned.

My son has been obsessed with Mickey Mouse since he was 7 months old. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has always been his favorite show. He wasn’t like my daughter who would alternate between shows. If Mickey wasn’t on, he wasn’t watching. We found out that the Mickey Mouse Playhouse stage show was coming to town. We were excited to take him, but when I looked up the price, it was almost $150 for the 4 of us and that was just the cheap seats! I couldn’t believe the cost. So I got to looking at a trip to Disney World.

I always thought Disney would be out of our reach for years. I thought it would cost thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. I didn’t realize that I could do it for just under $2,000! $2,000 for 8 nights. I was stoked. Then I looked into the theme of the year. “What will you celebrate?” Well, my daughter was turning 5 in May, so we thought with the buy 4 get 3 deal and the birthday theme, this was the time to go. Our package was for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 infant. We chose 8 day tickets with park hopper option. We also added the Magic Your Way dining plan. With 8 nights accommodations, our package total was $1906.

When I started planning the trip, I was so lost. So I approached Disney like I would a research paper for school. I checked out over 20 guide books from the library. (My favorites were The Complete Disney Book and Unofficial Guide to Disney) I also joined the Disboards, Tour Guide Mike, Touring Plans, (list more sites). I asked lots of questions and I read tons of threads. By the time we left, I was fully educated and armed with an iron clad plan.

We decided to keep it secret from the kids. I love surprising my daughter and it is kind of easy to do because she is very unobservant. I planned for 5 months, and she never figured it out. We told her that we were going on a trip. She automatically decided we were going to the beach and we didn’t tell her differently.

We left Birmingham on Monday , May 11th. We live about 10 hours from Orlando and we were so excited to be going that we left at 3 am! (Shhh I don’t tell a lot of people this because they think we are crazy!) I think next time we might leave at 3 pm though. My kids did not go back to sleep like we hoped they would. They were up from 3 am until 8 pm that night.

The drive wasn‘t too bad.. We stopped at an awesome McDonald’s in Lake City about 2 hours outside Orlando and let the kids run off some energy. We talked to a few people there that had been to Disney before. They had some good tips for us and it excited us even more. The kids still didn’t know where we were going!

We approached the gate at Disney about 3 in the afternoon. Emily was looking around wide eyed and then she spotted the big Mickey and Minnie Mouse. She started giggling and pointing. I asked her where Mickey and Minnie lived and she responded with Disney World! That’s right! We were at Disney World! She started chuckling and telling her brother. But by then, he had spotted the Disney busses. Every time a bus would pass, he would laugh to himself like it was his own personal joke. “Hehehehe.”

We checked in at Pop. We had chosen Pop Century because of it’s status as a value resort and because they didn’t share a bus with any other resort. We also loved the theming. My kids were fascinated by the huge Lady and Tramp. We got a first floor room across from the computer pool. When we entered our room, there was a birthday card from Mickey Mouse waiting on Emily. How sweet!

We unpacked and decided to drive around Disney and get a feel for everything. It was so fun to see the signs for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, etc. After months of planning, we were finally here. We ate in the Pop food court for dinner. It was really good. The price was crazy though! It was almost $60 for dinner and 2 refillable mugs. (The mugs were $12.99 each but you get unlimited refills for the duration of your stay.)

I had the hardest time falling asleep that night. I was like a kid at Christmas. (I had the hardest time falling asleep every night) I think I was the one in my family that had looked the most forward to this vacation. It’s probably because of my 100 or so hours of planning. But I enjoyed every minute of it!

Tuesday morning was our first day in the parks. We chose to visit Magic Kingdom because I didn’t feel like we were really at Disney until we saw the castle. My son could not believe it when we boarded the bus and he got to ride. He laughed and smiled the whole drive. (The busses turned out to be his most favorite part of Disney.) We met the nicest woman on the bus from Tour Guide Mike. She gave me a lot of great advice such as boarding the busses no later then 8 am if you wanted to make it to rope drop. I didn’t even know that! Hours and hours of planning and I thought you just had to board the bus by 8:30 am.

We got to Magic Kingdom though in plenty of time. We chose a spot up near the right hand gate and my daughter got on my husband’s shoulders to watch the welcome show. The mayor was so fun to listen to and when my daughter saw Mickey and Minnie for the first time, she gasped. She didn’t realize they would be bigger than her! My son could of cared less. Gotta love a 2 year old!

Our first and most important mission was to get to Dumbo. There is an awesome touring plan by Unofficial Guide to Disney called Dumbo or Die. And that was our goal. It was a little frustrating because we didn’t know exactly where we were going, but I had my awesome map to guide us. (If you want one, it’s from the book Passporter. It has times on it that tell you how long it will take to get from place to place.) We made it to Dumbo in record time and we were able to ride it on it’s second take off! My daughter chose a pink elephant and rode with my husband. I chose to ride with the 2 year old, because honestly… I’m scared of Dumbo. It’s ridiculous I know, but I am so scared of heights.

After Dumbo, we grabbed a Fastpass to Peter Pan before riding it. Emily could not believe her eyes when we flew over London. She had never seen the movie, but the story was told so well through the ride, it was like she knew it by heart. We rode Pooh next. This ride became Jacob’s favorite. I think the part when you bounce like Tigger was the main factor behind his choice.

Next it was time to spin in the tea cups. We didn’t have to wait in line at all! We were kind of nervous about spinning at first because we didn’t want to get motion sickness, but we ended up sitting back and letting the kids for it.

Toontown opened while we were on the tea cups so we headed over to Goofy’s Barnstormer. No line! But I am going to be dead honest, I was scared out of my mind. Isn’t that crazy! A 26 year old woman scared of a roller coaster her 2 year old loved. I wish I could just get over my fears. But both the kids loved it and wanted to ride it again and again!

We decided to let the kids play at the little playground in Toontown while DH ran to get Fastpasses to Jungle River Rapids. This probably wasn’t the best idea in hindsight, but it’s really kind of hard to plan when you are a first time guest. Jacob loved climbing up the slides. I tried to stop him! I really did. But up every slide he went.

By now, it was 10:30 and time to head to Chef Mickeys for our breakfast reservation. This was the first time we got to ride the monorail. Jacob didn’t like it quite as much as the busses and the kids were kind of irritated when we got off at the first stop.

The restaurant was kind of crowded and we waited almost 20 minutes for the table. Emily made a new friend and the 2 girls danced around the waiting area entertaining everyone. We got a decent table with a great view of all the action. My kids had NO IDEA we were dining with the fab five. They weren’t in our dining area right away so I had time to run and get the kids some Mickey waffles. Delicious!

Goofy was first to our table. Jacob was excited and pointed at him. Emily was giggling and jumping up and down. When Jacob spotted Pluto, he started shaking with excitement. He couldn’t wait to get close to him. Pluto did not disappoint. He signed the kids handmade autograph books (Thanks Karyn!) and posed for a picture and a hug.

We had to be patient and wait for Donald to make his rounds. We always managed to sit towards the end of the rotation. But my kids were happy to pig out on their Mickey waffles and I was glad for the opportunity to run to the buffet without having to worry about missing the character interaction.

Next it was time for a kiss from Mickey. I had been waiting for months for Jacob’s reaction to Mickey. He acted like it was no big deal! He was more excited to meet Pluto. Huh. Who would of thought! But Emily was more excited then a kid in a candy store. And Minnie Mouse was as sweet to Emily as she could be.

All in all, Chef Mickey’s was awesome! It is definitely a place we wouldn’t hesitate to visit again. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was fun! There were even birds flying around. They weren’t suppose to be, but with the monorail opening there isn’t much they can do to prevent it.

We took the monorail loop around to the Magic Kingdom. The kids were all smiles since their tummies were full. We picked up a Birthday button on our way back into the park. The button lady even wrote Emily’s name on her button and gave her a Mickey head for the I. The Celebrate street party was just starting so we grabbed a spot to enjoy it. Emily didn’t understand why all the dancers thought it was her birthday (it was the next day).

Next, we made the hot, hot mistake of watching Dream Along with Mickey. It was 1:30 in the afternoon and the sun was high and hot. We were miserable through the whole show. But it was a great show that definitely should not be missed!

After the show, we headed behind the castle to use our Peter Pan fast pass from earlier. Emily quickly declared Peter Pan her favorite ride. We also rode the carousel with no wait. Did you know there is a horse with a golden ribbon on her tail? This is Cinderella’s horse!

Next, it was time to catch the 3 o clock parade. Emily took her place atop Jason’s shoulders for a great view. Jacob and I stayed back away from the crowds. He wasn’t really interested in the parade and it was so hot!

Right as the parade ended, a light rain began to fall. It was refreshing. It sent people running and we used the opportunity to go ride The Jungle Cruise. It wasn’t one of our favorite rides but it was neat to hear all the corny jokes.

But then the rain started to come harder, so we decided to call it a day. On our way out of the park, Emily spotted Rafiki. She had no idea who he was, but she wanted to meet him. She was squealing and jumping up and down. She was so excited to present him with his own special page to sign in her book.

We decided to just eat from the Pop Century food court for dinner. It was delicious, but it was really crowded because of the rain. We found out that we could get these huge sundaes as a desert credit with our meal. It was big enough for the four of us!

Getting to bed that night was easy. We were exhausted from the long day and the heat. We are used to the higher temeperatures since we are from Alabama, but we usually aren’t out in it all day long. It was not fun to feel your feet burning through your shoes.


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Our Disney Trip Day 2 — May 13th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 12, 2009

Day 2 started bright and early with a Happy Birthday wake up call. I would like to say that it actually woke us up, but my daughter gets up with the chickens. It was still fun to hear her favorite characters on the phone.

We made it to the bus before 8 am today for another fun day at the Magic Kingdom. The plan was to head straight back to Fantastyland and ride Peter Pan and Pooh. The kids had talked about them non stop the evening before.

We went ahead and grabbed a Fast pass to Peter Pan before riding it and it spit out a complimentary fast pass to Mickey’s Philarmagic. Not that you really NEED a fast pass to the show, but either way it was a nice surprise.

At exactly 9:30 am, Emily and I lined up for the rope drop at Toontown. Jacob could of cared less about meeting the fairies, so he and Jason decided to ride the tea cups and get a fast pass to Pooh when our window opened.

Emily and I ended up being second in line to meet the Fairies! It was fun shrinking down to fairy size. The first fairy we met was Iridessa. She asked Emily for her leaf journal to sign. Emily looked at her like she had lost her mind. Up next was Tinkerbell. She was so funny! When Emily told her that she was 5 today, Tinkerbell turned her 5 into a high 5. And they both laughed. When it was time for the picture though, Emily wouldn’t smile. Silly girl! We also met Rosetta. While we were chatting with her, I was watching Tinkerbell. She pranced over to a man with a video camera and started asking him how it worked. When he explained it she was like ‘Wow. It must have a fairy that lives in it sprinkling pixie dust constantly.’

After the fairies, we explored Mickey and Minnie’s houses. Emily loved Minnie’s the best and thought the cake that baked in the oven was the coolest ever. I also let Jason take Jacob to ride Goofy’s Barnstormer again. You won’t ever catch me on it!

By now, the kids were getting hot and needed a snack. We picked up 1 chocolate milkshake in Frontierland and the kids shared it. I got some cute pictures! Emily also spotted the mountains for the first time. She wanted to ride them both! Jason grabbed a Fastpass to Splash and they headed to ride Big Thunder Mountain first. And of course the little booger loved it. She is her father’s child. When they came down Splash mountain, I was able to get snap a picture of them. What great luck!

We decided to leave the parks around noon for a break. I was hoping the kids would take a nap, no such luck. They were all hyped up. So we all took baths and got dressed for dinner. On our way to 1900 Park Faire, we stopped to get Emily’s birthday gift card. $68! She was so excited to have the money to spend on whatever she wanted. (She ended up picking out 2 more autograph books, a pen, and a necklace with her name on it and one for her friend.)

1900 Park Faire was beautiful. Emily chose to wear her Cinderella dress and all the waitresses gushed over her. We took our seat and we were so excited to meet everyone. When they introduced Cinderella, Emily’s eyes lit up. Of course Cinderella didn’t immediately head our direction. The first character to make it to our table was Prince Charming. He was so handsome!

After that, they called for the Royal Waltz. Cinderella looked so beautiful! I was filming the dance, when Lady Tremaine walked up and asked Emily if she would like to dance and take some of the attention off Cinderella. Well before they even made it on the dance floor, the Prince cut in! Emily danced with the Prince with stars in her eyes, and I stood their filming. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. Emily was star struck and it was a perfect gift on her birthday.

Anastasia came to our table next. She saw that there was a page in Emily’s autograph book just for her and she gushed and raved over how special that was and how beautiful she looked. She was a hoot! After leaving our table, this lady tried to squeeze past her and politely said “Excuse me.” Anastasia turned around and said “yeah excuse you!” Then my son screamed and she turned around and snapped and said “There is no screaming at Disney World.” His eyes got as big as saucers but he didn’t scream again!

Cinderella finally made it to our table. Emily was all smiles and told her how she had danced with the Prince. Cinderella also commented on how beautiful Emily looked in her dress. After she left the table, the waitress brought out Emily’s birthday cake. We had chosen to get the chocolate slipper dessert over an actual cake because it was $15 cheaper then the most basic cake! The dessert was cute, but Emily barely ate it and we were too full to even try it. But Lady Tremaine just raved over it.

Drisella was funny. She asked Emily why she would dress up like Cinderella. Emily told her it was because she was so pretty. Drisella laughed and said that Emily looked much better then Cinderella does.

Before leaving, they gave us a keepsake place mat all the characters had signed. The food was not the greatest, but the experience was worth the high price tag.

We decided to head back to the Magic Kingdom for the evening. We entered the park and Emily saw the man with all the balloons. She wanted the pink Mickey head balloon but it was $10 and we only had $5 in cash. A man walked up to buy a balloon while we were explaining to Emily that we did not have the cash for the balloon. He handed us five dollars. What a nice gesture! It is so wonderful when the guests spread the magic too.

We also took Emily over to The Chapeau to pick out her first pair of mouse ears. She chose a pink princess pair and we had her name monogrammed on the back. We decided to wait until the next trip to buy our son’s ears since he wasn’t the least bit interested and he would only tear them up. As we walked up Main Street, we stopped at each window display to check it out. Emily, of course, had to have her picture taken with each one.

Up next was Fantasyland. We practically lived in Fantasyland during our trip. We grabbed a fast pass to Pooh and used ours from earlier to ride Pooh and Peter Pan. We also rode the carousel where I took one of my favorite pictures of the trip. Then Emily decided she was brave enough to ride Snow White. She was so scared of the witch, but she put on a brave face. After riding it, she wanted to go again! But this time, she hid her face for most of the ride. We rode the teacups and Pooh one last time before going to find a seat for Wishes.

We got lucky and the tables in front of Casey’s were empty. We sat down and ate a snack while we waited for the fireworks to start. The show was amazing! The kids have never really seen fireworks up close before and they laughed and squealed the whole time. The crowds were thick leaving after the fireworks though, so we hung out in a store and let the kids watch classic Disney cartoons for 30 minutes to let the crowds work their way out of the park. It was a great ending to Emily’s birthday.

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Our Disney Trip Day 3 — May 14th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 11, 2009

On our 3rd day, we had early morning reservations for Donald’s Safari Breakfast at the Animal Kingdom. It was neat to enter the park before all the other guests. The restaurant was really neat and we actually got a pretty good table. The food was so delicious! It was a mixture of American and African foods.

The first character to our table was Mr. Donald himself. He looked so handsome in his safari attire. He was followed by Mickey and finally Daisy. It was our first time to meet Daisy and she is one of Emily’s favorite. She was so friendly and sweet to the kids. We joined in a parade around the restaurant which was really fun, and we saw Goofy just before we left.

I was a little irritated because by the time we left the restaurant, it was 9:20. Our reservation had been at 8 am. It just takes so long for all the characters to make it to your table. Jason ran over to the safari and grabbed a fast pass. It was funny because the wait was 20 minutes and the fast pass return time was exactly 20 minutes later. We took the opportunity to walk through the Pangani Forest Exploration trail. It was neat, but it wasn’t amazing. But it was a good way to kill the time while we waited for our return time for the Safari.

While on the trail, Emily got to do her first pin trade. She was so excited to trade. I had bought 15 pins on Ebay for $21. It was so worth it! She didn’t end up keeping a single original pin. Haha!

The Safari was more then I expected it to be. Both the kids were so interested in all the wildlife. My daughter snapped a bunch of random pictures and actually got some pretty good shots. We only did the Safari once during our trip, but we would of loved to do it a few times. It was awesome!

Next stop was Camp Minnie Mickey. Emily met the 2 brother bears and then she and I went to see The Lion King Show. It was one of the most amazing shows I had ever seen in my life. The actors and dancers were incredible. Emily smiled so big during the show. She was so excited!

While we were watching the show, Jason took Jacob to get fast passes for Expedition Everest, they swung by and rode the Triceratop Spin and then he let Jacob play at The Boneyard. Jacob found a wall with a waterfall and had the time of his life. He got soaked, but he was all smiles! I let him continue to play while Emily and Jason rode Expedition Everest. When they returned, Emily carried on and on about how fun it was and how much she loved the roller coaster. She is definitely not like me!

We decided to head back to the resort. It was 1 in the afternoon and it was hot. We let the kids swim for a bit and we had a good dinner at the Pop Century food court. Emily also finally had time to open most of her birthday gifts. She got a Belle doll and had to carry her everywhere!

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Our Disney Trip Day 4 — May 15th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 10, 2009

Friday morning, our 4th day, began with a monorail ride to the Polynesian for breakfast at O’hanas. This was one of the best meals of the trip. I absolutely love the family style meals because it takes the pressure off. I didn’t have to worry about running to the buffet and missing the characters.

It was a lot of fun to meet Lilo and Stitch. He is one of the funniest characters to interact with. He played peek a boo with Jacob and gave Emily a sweet kiss. Mickey invited us to join in with him on the parade and Jacob was excited to see him again. We didn’t wait to meet Pluto again because we were itching to get to the Magic Kingdom.

This was also where we had one of the most frustrating parts of the trip. We had participated in a stroller swap on the Disboards and the wheel of the double jogger stroller went flat. We went to guest services at the Magic Kingdom to get it aired up, but it was unfixable. But we experienced some real magic. The Cast Member gave us a Disney stroller to use for the day. It was a really nice gesture, and one we will remember always.

We weren’t in a major hurry this morning, so we stopped at the entrance so Emily could meet Pinocchio. There was hardly no line at all! It was great.

Next stop was the show “Storytime with Belle.” Emily was still carrying her Belle doll with her and had to sit Belle on the bench so she could enjoy the show too. Well the real Belle spotted the doll and invited Emily on stage to be her father in her skit! Emily was star struck and kept the same expression on her face the entire time. But she had a blast!

After this, we went over to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear. We had to stop and see the ducks first though! Jacob absolutely loved all the ducks at Disney. The ride was fun, but the cast member at the exit was one of the most friendliest person we encountered on our trip. She let Emily play with her robot (it was one of the green space men) and even traded pins with her.

On our way Fantasyland, we stopped to meet the White Rabbit. Then it was on to Peter Pan. (I had the entire ride memorized by the end of the trip.) We grabbed a fast pass to Pooh and rode It’s a Small World. Jacob threw most of my change in the water. He would chuckle every time he would hear the plunk. People were even giving him their money to throw in.

After this ride though, Jacob had an absolute meltdown. He did not want to wait while Emily met the Fairy Godmother. He was tired and hot and he had had enough. The Fairy Godmother came over and talked to Jason and he would not have any part of it! She tried her hardest though. I guess she should of used her wand on him. She suggest we head over to Ariel’s Grotto to play.

We listed to her advice and both the kids had so much fun. Jacob would stand over one of the jets and wait for it to hit him in the face. I guess it felt really good. The kids got absolutely soaked, but they were happy and that is what mattered most.

On the way out of the park, we got stopped by the Celebration show again. It was such a great show and it had the best music!

After regrouping at the hotel and getting our double, we headed to Hollywood Studios. This is where one of the funniest moments happened. Jacob, as I mentioned before, has been obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for a couple years. He enjoyed meeting all the life size characters, but it wasn’t until we got to Hollywood Studios that he got really excited. There, he saw the sign advertising his favorite show and he walked right up to the sign and gave it a hug. He was all smiles.

Emily waited to meet Jojo and Goliath and Leo while Jacob played with the sign. Then it was finally time for him to see Playhouse Disney live on stage. When Mickey popped up on stage, Jacob’s mouth fell open and it remained open for the whole show. He was home and he was so happy. After the show, we stopped to meet Annie and June and then went to Pizza Planet for dinner. It was really great food and the arcade was a lot of fun. The best part was that it was deserted.

After dinner, Jason and Emily went to see The Little Mermaid and Jacob and I walked around. He didn’t have patience for shows and there was no sense in making us all miserable. We did get a cute picture in front of the huge Playhouse Disney sign.

We hopped a bus to Fort Wilderness and took a fun boat ride to the Magic Kingdom. The driver was so funny and we learned a lot of interesting trivia.

We rode the train around to Toontown and stopped for a quick tour of Minnie’s house. We used our fast pass from the morning to ride Pooh and grabbed one for Peter Pan. But when we went to use it, the ride broke. Such a bummer.

By now, it was almost time for Wishes. Since we had seen the show before, we took the opportunity to hang out in Fantasyland and wait for the short lines. Our plan worked! We only had 3 people in front of us to meet The Little Mermaid. It was kind of weird being in the cave with her while Wishes was going off. It sounded like we were under attack. Emily was so thrilled to meet her and told her all about how she had just turned five.

We were also able to ride Dumbo with only a 5 minute wait! Talk about great luck! It was neat riding Dumbo while the fireworks were shooting off. But the kids, bless their heart, were so tired they fell asleep in the stroller on the way to the bus.

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Our Disney Trip Day 5 — May 16th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 9, 2009

Saturday we spent the whole day at Animal Kingdom. Since we had already ridden the Safari, we didn’t rush. We slept in a little (as long as our kids would let us. They are early risers!) and had stopped at the Pop Century food court for a delicious breakfast.

At the entrance to Animal Kingdom, we stopped and met Flik and Meeko. Then we went through the RainForest Café gift shop and posed for pictures with their various statues. Did you know there is a secret entrance to Animal Kingdom outside the gift shop? It was a great way to beat the lines.

We stopped for a popcorn snack and bought a Kids Discovery Club kit. Jacob wasn’t the least bit interested in seeing The Lion King, so Jason took Emily again. Jacob and I hung out and fed the ducks then we went to meet his favorite characters.

First up was Goofy. He patiently waited his turn and then marched right up to him and gave him a huge, sweet hug. He posed for a quick picture, said fair well and went off to find the next character trail. He repeated the same routine with both Mickey and Minnie. It was wonderful.

We began to make our journey around Animal Kingdom to the various Kids Club stations. Emily learned so much at each station and she learned how to direct us towards them by following the map. We even found a couple trails that took us up close to the Tree of Life while looking for the stations.

We had lunch at Flame Tree Barbeque and it was delicious except for the ducks that kept pecking our feet. We did find a table that offered an awesome view of Expedition Everest. After lunch, we did the Maharajah Jungle Trek which we did not enjoy at all, and stopped to play drums in Africa.

Next up, we boarded the train to the Conservation Station. If you have time, this is a really fun place to go. There is a petting area where my kids had a blast brushing goats. This is also one of the only places to meet Jiminy Cricket. We were not expecting to see him! We also found Pocahantas. And I mean found her. She was blending in with the willow tree! We also had to see Rafiki before we left. Emily was just as excited to meet him as she was the first time.

We timed our trip back from the Conservation Station perfectly. For those that didn’t know, Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade starts and ends in Africa. We waited for the end and we were able to grab a seat right up in the front. All the characters in the parade spotted our kids and waved. This thrilled Emily. She loved feeling so special.

We decided to go see Finding Nemo before the park closed. Jacob had not enjoyed watching any previous shows, but we thought we would give it a try. I ended up having to leave the show 5 minutes into it. It will be nice once Jacob is old enough to have more patience.

For dinner, we ate at the Pop Century food court again. Looking back, wow we ate there a lot. At least the food was delicious!

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Our Disney Trip Day 6 — May 17th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 7, 2009

Sunday morning was the first of 2 days at Epcot. We got there for rope drop and I sent Jason to grab fast passes for Soarin’. The kids and I took the opportunity to see Daisy and Stitch with no lines! After we met up with Jason, we decided to go into the Character Connection and see the Fab 5 who also didn’t have a line! We couldn’t pass up some loving from our favorite characters. On our way out, we saw Mary Poppins in the lobby!

The Sea Pavillion was next on the list. Let me just say, the “Mine! Mine” birds outside the pavillion are so funny! We had a blast yelling at them. Since everyone was elsewhere, we were the first family on Under the Sea with Nemo. The kids were so fascinated by all the sea life. And it was fun to try to spot Nemo. We stopped by the aquarium and saw the diver feed the fish. It was so incredible!

Finally, it was time to see Talking with Crush. You don’t want to miss this! Emily took a seat up by the front and Jacob stayed with us since he can’t behave yet. The kids took turns talking to crush and Emily informed him that she lived in a brick house. He was like “Dude! A brick house!” She still talks about that! At one point, all the kids were suppose to practice saying “Dude!” Well Jacob caught on quickly and was screaming it. Crush said “Dude! The little dude in the back had got it. Dude!” We were all rolling.

We went to ride Soarin’ next and we did a child swap so we could both ride it with her. While we waited on Jason and Emily to ride, Jacob and I got a delicious muffin. It was nice to be able to have a snack while we waited. Emily came off the ride raving. “Snorin’ was so awesome! We were snoring through the clouds and over the city.” We didn’t bother telling her it was Soarin. We were too busy laughing.

Jacob was running thin on patience so we decided to head over to Test Track so Jason and Emily could ride. We did a child swap in case I decided to try it too, but after more consideration, I decided I just wasn’t interested. Maybe next trip. We also stopped in the child care center for a breather and a diaper change. We met the nicest cast member who was on a one year work visa from Australia. She was nearing the end of her year and she was really starting to get home sick. She told us some interesting stories about life in Australia.

I went and signed Emily up for the Kim Possible Mission before we headed into the World Showcase. Up first was Mexico. We rode the 3 cabellarios ride which was really neat. Jacob started begging for money though as soon as he saw it was a boat ride. But I was out of change and had to try to get him interested in Donald instead. It didn’t take long before he was fully engrossed in the ride.

We also got to meet Donald again. He had on the biggest Sombraro and I got one of the cutiest picture of the kids. All Jacob wanted to do was hug him.

Next up was Norway. We had a few minutes to kill before our reservation at Askershus so we decided to ride Malestrom. I hadn’t planned on us riding it and I thought it would be a rather lame ride. I was surprised to discover that it was my favorite ride in all of Disney!

The princess lunch was extremely stressful. It began with hostess who didn’t know what they were doing. They sent us inside the lobby to wait and after 15 minutes we went to check on the reservations. They had called our name 11 minutes prior but they called it outside! After they call your name, you line up for your picture with Belle. We were hot and irritated, so we only sent Emily up to be in the picture.

We were seated next and we got a nice waitress who began to tell us our choices. At this time, we noticed all these people who began to chant the theme song from Norway at the top of their lungs. It turns out that it was Norway’s independence day and quite a few Norweigans decided to celebrate very loudly.

We picked out some food from the bar and the princesses began to come around to the tables. Emily was excited to meet Aurora. She had declared Sleeping Beauty her favorite princess because she wears a pink dress. Snow White was really sweet and kind and as soon as Ariel came to the table, Emily asked her why her hair had changed from when she met her when Ariel was a mermaid. Ariel told her that she has human hair as a human and mermaid hair as a mermaid. Haha!

The entrees and desserts arrived as well as the picture with Belle. I was surprised that it was free. Emily was so excited to meet Cinderella again, but she never came. We ended up having to tell the manager.
But unfortunately, we were not given any priority and had to wait another 20 minutes for Cinderella to make her rounds with the new diners. It was very frustrating. The manager did give Emily an exclusive pin for the trouble which we appreciated.

Before leaving Norway, we rode Maelstrom once more and Emily defeated a giant troll! She was so proud of herself. We stopped in China and got another bag of candy. We had decided to try to buy candy from each country. We had already bought some in Mexico and Norway. We also spotted Mulan and ran over for a quick picture.

But by now it had started to drizzle. We sought cover under an awning and Emily entertained everyone by playing the drums. It was a lot of fun even in the rain. It was then time to pick up Emily’s Kamunicator for her mission. Jason and Emily had a blast solving the mission and I walked Jacob around America and was able to get him to take a nap. Until this band started playing loudly and woke him up. Oh well. At least he was in a better mood.

Our energy was really starting to lag at this point. We found a playground that had been set up for the Flower and Garden Festival and let the kids play. Unfortunately the rain began to fall harder and we decided to start heading back to the front of Epcot.

We stopped at Club Kool to taste all the different flavors of Coca Cola beverages from around the world. Emily and Jacob both enjoyed most of the flavors but they spit out the Beverly. I didn’t even taste it because I had been forewarned. We also spent about an hour playing in Innoventions. Jacob gladly welcomed the opportunity to be out of the stroller for a while.

Emily wanted me to ride Soarin with her before we left. We still had our child swap ticket from earlier so we decided to head over to The Land. We parked the stroller and I left the bag of candy, the kids change of clothes and my touring notebook in the seat of the stroller and we headed inside. We were also toting a backpack. We kept that with us.

We rode Living with the Land first. It was really kind of boring and it was hard to keep Jacob on his seat. He was getting irritated with us. So Jason decided to get him something to eat while Emily and I rode Soarin.

And of course, I was scared to death. It’s really irritating having this fear of heights and not being able to enjoy everything my daughter does. Emily kept leaning forward in her seat itching her leg, and I kept freaking out thinking she was going to fall to her death. But the ride was a lot of fun. Next time I will ask for the back row. They had put us in the front!

Emily and I also ate dinner after the ride. It was pouring outside and we were trying to wait out the rain. Finally it reached the point where we were too tired to wait anymore and ready to get back to the hotel. We went to get the stroller and our bag was gone! Someone had got into the stroller (which was parked up against the wall with 2 strollers in front of it and the stroller parking was attended by a cast member.) We were very upset and felt so violated. We informed the cast member who looked at us with shocked eyes and told us to call lost and found. Of course lost and found never got the bag. It was lost forever. And with it, Emily’s picture with Belle from the restaurant.

We headed back to the resort with broken spirits. Disney was the happiest place on earth, things weren’t suppose to be stolen.

After a good nights sleep, we felt a lot better. We were glad they had just taken the bag and not the stroller too. We began to look on the bright side and have a better attitude about the whole thing. (Although we still kind of wished the person that stole the bag would choke on the candy. That’s kind a mean though.)

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Our Disney Trip Day 7 — May 18th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 7, 2009

We decided to go to Hollywood Studios for rope drop on Monday so we could have the opportunity to ride Toy Story Mania. I sent Jason after fast passes while the kids and I waited and browsed the various gift shops.

Emily and I decided to go and see The Little Mermaid while the boys went off to see Playhouse Disney Live again. The show was a lot better than I had expected. I would of liked to see it a couple more times if we had the opportunity.

We still had a little time after the show before we had to meet up with the guys. We went into Annimations and met Sorcerer Mickey. They also had these neat computers you could draw on. We met up with the guys and told them about the great fun we had had, and of course we had to go back and do it again!

Finally it was time for us to go ride Toy Story Mania. I was excited to see what all the hype was about. The ride did not disappoint! Even though Jason ended up beating me, I had a great time. I can’t wait to return and ride it again and again and again! After the ride, Emily met X. She finally got all of the Little Einstein’s signatures! She was so proud of herself. She got so many signatures on the trip that she filled up her home made book and 2 Disney books!

We headed to the Grand Floridian for the Unbirthday Tea Party at 1:30. Emily was so excited to get to party with Alice and the Mad Hatter. Parents weren’t allowed, so we went to the café for lunch. We also stopped by the gift shop and found a small tea pot shaped plaque with Alice and the Mad Hatter on it. We got it for Emily to commemorate the event. She loved it!

We had dinner reservations at The Garden Grill in Epcot for dinner. We had just enough time to go to the private meet and greet for Visa card holders. This is located in Innovations West. We were the only ones there. When we entered, we rounded the corner and we saw Minnie Mouse! Goofy and Mickey were hiding behind the décor! Jacob immediately ran to hug Minnie and they ended up in the floor together. He would not let her go! Emily was having a blast playing with Mickey and Goofy and I had so much fun watching them have the time of their lives. Mickey was getting so jealous of all the love that Minnie was receiving and was able to convince Jacob to let her go for a minute to get a hug himself. Goofy tried to get Jacob’s attention, but it was Minnie who had his heart. We ended up with 10 whole minutes with them and a 100 amazing pictures!

We went to the Garden Grill and it was so crowded! Jacob and I went to check in for dinner and Emily and Jason rode Soarin’. We finally met up together and got a seat. The dinner was so worth it! It was the best

meal we had at Disney. The vegetables were grown right there in Epcot and tasted so fresh and delicious. The restaurant was neat because it rotated. And we got the more attention from the characters that we had received at any meal! Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale came by our table twice! It was so fun. Mickey and Pluto even got into a sword fight! I went out of my way to find a manager and let him know how wonderful the meal and environment was.

After the meal, it was raining and we were tired so we headed back to the resort. I had added an extra night to our trip while we were there, so we were excited to have an 8th full day in the parks.

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Our Disney Trip Day 8 and 9 — May 19th and 20th, 2009

Posted by couponingtodisney on May 6, 2009

The weather on Tuesday did not agree with us. It was drizzling The kind just enough to annoy you. We decided to end our trip in Magic Kingdom and the kids were so excited to ride their favorites again. Fantasyland was the first stop of the day. We rode Peter Pan and Pooh twice and even managed to fit in a final ride on Dumbo. We ended up riding it 3 times and never waited more then 5 minutes. That was a major accomplishment!

Since it was drizzling, the parks were not overly crowded. We rode the Tommorwland Super Speedway which the kids really enjoyed. But Emily kept rear ending Jacob. At least she won’t behind the wheel of a real car for a while!

We also stopped in Toontown. Jason took Jacob to ride Goofy’s Barnstormer while Emily and I went to meet the Princesses. The line was only 5 minutes long! Emily was excited to tell Belle, Auora and Cinderella goodbye and how much she
enjoyed her trip.

Our final character meal was at Crystal Palace. The food was really good and the kids were excited to see Pooh and his friends. Tigger bounced for us and Eeyore wrote an extra long birthday message to Emily. We even got to participate in their parade. It was so fun and a great ending to our trip.

We went back to the hotel and rested for a while and then decided to head to Downtown Disney for some last minute shopping. We drove our van. It was absolutely miserable! It poured the entire time we were trying to shop. We got soaked to the bone! Next time, I think we will go the first day of the trip if the weather is good.

Wednesday morning we were all sad to leave Disney. But we were so thankful we were able to leave before all the rain moved in. It rained non stop for like 2 weeks in Orlando after our trip. Thank goodness we went when we did.

We had the time of our lives on our trip. It was worth every dime we paid. The kids are still talking about it months later and we are all itching to go back. We are already planning a late Spring 2010 trip!

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