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  1. #31

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Day 5, December 6, 2009
    This ended up being one of those not exactly what I planned for days. In my original plans we were heading to MK for our first day. When the day got here we actually ended up heading to Dade City.

    First, I’m guess I am going to take you back a little into my trip planning history. As some of you may already know I have taken several trips to Disneyland. It’s become the destination for my family’s annual fall vacation. Every year I start planning for the next one almost immediately when we return home. Well, this year’s plan was not anything I would probably have ever come up with on my own. However, my son never ceases to amaze me with the ideas he can come up with. One day up out of the blue he suggested to me “Why don’t we go to Disneyworld this year?” Of course, there was an ulterior motive. He has some friends he has known online for years who just happen to live in Dade City, Florida, which just so happens to be about a 45 minute drive from WDW. I guess I have always had the thought in the back of my mind that we should see how WDW compared so it didn’t seem like too crazy an idea to me. We presented it to dear Dad who wasn’t quite as thrilled about the idea but agreed to give it a try.

    From there I went into a fact gathering frenzy that lasted the better part of a year. When it came time to think about tickets I realized that 10 day tickets were the most number of days you could buy without moving up to APs which were definitely not going to be cost effective for our one trip. We would have 14 days total but I decided 10 parks days could work okay. We could definitely make do and see other sites in the area on the extra days. Generally, I am in charge of all the planning and no one in the family has any idea of what we are doing. Under the circumstances of how the trip came to be to begin with, my son began to show a much greater interest in this trip. I clearly remember one day he asked for some of the details. As I started rattling off some of my plans he said “You mean we are going to be there 14 days and only in the park for 10?!” I had just imagined that I was the only one that preferred to spend all my waking moments in the park. Well, with another family member expressing such a desire to be there every day I decided to purchase additional tickets for the additional days. Actually, I ended up getting additional 2 day tickets. Three day tickets were quite a jump in price. I knew that having a few days off on the weekend would work fine for a break from the crowds… and I already had a few things I really wanted to see. So 12 days in the park was the plan.

    Now…. fast forward to today. Today, in my plan, was supposed to be our second Magic Kingdom day. After actually making it to Florida my son was really, really excited and anticipating meeting up with his friends AND their family. Since several family members had to work during the week we had made plans to get together with them on our second weekend. We had the CP already scheduled for our first weekend and I thought it would be better to be able to spend 2 days with the family so that is why we were going to wait until the second week. DS just couldn’t wait so he requested that we get together with them TODAY. So that is what we did.

    Long about noon we hopped in the car and took a little drive to Dade City. Of course, wouldn’t you know it, the day we give up for the parks turned out to be beautiful, bright, sunny and no rain. When we arrived, there was homemade pizza in the kitchen just waiting for us. It was a great day. Of course, DS was having a blast with the 2 brothers that are his friends. It didn’t hurt any at all that they also have a beautiful teenage sister. They also had another daughter that was just a couple years older than our DD. They hit it off great. And, even DH and I apparently had found new friends. They were a wonderful family and we had so much in common. The real kicker is that their father loves Texas and is hoping to move here. DS has been talking up Texas to him and had even went all out to make a PowerPoint presentation which he presented to him singing the praises of Texas. It was quite impressive! We left a copy with him when it was time to leave.

    We spent most of the day getting to know our new friends while the kids were off doing their thing. And, of course, we discussed plans for the next weekend. I am not sure how long they have lived in Florida but with the exception of the oldest son none of them had ever been to WDW. We knew they were in for a treat. I knew we would do our very best to help make the most of their first time visit.

    So, although it was not a big day in one of the parks, it was a good one devoted to visiting friends who were really the only reason we had ended up in Florida. We made our way back to the house and got ready for the next day back at one of the parks.




    Just in case you are wondering.... since this was such a short day I am currently working on the next day and have high hope of finishing it up... with pictures and everything.... soon!
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  2. #32

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Day 6, December 7, 2009

    Today was set aside to be our Hollywood Studios Day. We arrived at the park at 11:30. When I saw that it was going to be another day of getting started late I called and changed our ADR to the Prime Time Cafe from 12:15 to 2:45 so we would have time to do something else before heading straight to the restaurant. I knew it was a good idea to head straight to TSM so we headed there first.


    Of course, there was a long wait at TSM we decided to grab a fastpass. Apparently, the early birds get the FPs because they were already gone for the day. As we stood in front of the machines pondering whether to get in line for a long wait a woman approached us and gave us 3 fastpasses that were good after 5:15. Problem solved we moved along to see what else we could do.

    The Great Movie Ride was right around the corner so we headed there first. Unique ride but I don’t think it made anyone’s favorite ride list. We were only planning to spend one day in the park so we decided at this point to split up with our ride buddies. My daughter had spotted Voyage of the Little Mermaid so we went to that part of the park while the guys set off to points unknown. When we arrived the wait was pretty long until the next show so we zipped into the Beauty and the Beast show which was just beginning. Loved the Chip character and beast was sure handsome! Good show and as you all probably know they lived happily ever after.








    When the show was over we headed back to VOLM. We both really liked this one even better and probably would have watched it again if we had had more time in our day.

    DD loves to draw so we went to the Animation Academy. While we were standing in a CM asked us if we had been to the show before and what we had drawn. I told him we had been on several occasions and we had drawn Minnie, Mickey and Pluto. He disappeared for several minutes. When he came back he said he had talked to the artist and asked him not to do any of those. The artist agreed and said that he would draw something else so we would be getting a new character, Louis, from the new Frog Princess movie. As always, we had a great time watching the artist’s amazing talent and we enjoyed making a feeble attempt at drawing ourselves. (Sorry about the crummy pictures. I was being a good girl and turned my flash off.)














    Next, it was time for lunch at the PTC. We met the guys and after a short wait in the living room we were seated. Our waitress was Aunt Lorraine. We tried to be very good so she would not have to punish us. We saw a couple kids who helped carry their dishes to the kitchen but aside from that we did not see any more of the silliness I had read about. Their chicken was very good and more than I could eat. Lucky for me I have 2 men with me who have hearty appetites so my extra chicken did not go to waste. I left just enough room for dessert. I was glad I did because the sugar free cheesecake was delicious.




    I wanted to make sure we had enough time to do the Backlot Studio Tour so we did that next. I was very glad we were not picked from the audience to participate in the boat scene. If their rain gear did not work well those poor women got drenched!














    We really enjoyed the tram part of the tour.












    From there we stopped in and watched the Indy Stunt Show. I must have been very entertained because I ended up taking a whole 2 pictures... both nice and fuzzy.


    When we were done I am not sure what got into me but I agreed to ride Rockin Roller Coaster while my hubby took our daughter to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area. NEVER AGAIN! I liked the intro where Aerosmith is talking to you and you get to listen to some of their music but after that….. NEVER AGAIN! They could have at least played one of their songs I knew to help me be distracted but Noooooo. The only things I had to concentrate on was whether or not I was going to be sick or come out alive! I spent the entire time hands, and teeth clenched, hoping it was ending soon. Yep, no doubt about it! I am a roller coaster weenie! When we got off my son thought it was great. All I thought was how much I was glad I was off of it. For me, there was absolutely nothing fun about it…. Well, maybe the fact that my son got such a kick out of taunting me and seeing me in my nauseated induced shade of green.

    My husband must have though I deserved a reward after that so he agreed that he would sit out TSM while the 3 of us used the FPs we were kindly given earlier. As always we had a blast. Love this ride. I just wish the line wasn’t always so long. I got the higher score!


    It was getting cooler outside and threatening to rain so I think everyone else just wanted to go home but I was determined to see the Osborne Lights before leaving the park so I drug them in that direction with the promise of leaving after the brief detour. It was very pretty but also very crowded so we did not stay long.






    When we left the park we had our first ordeal in the parking lot of losing the car. I had a pretty good idea of where it was but I wasn’t sure enough of myself to really take charge. Ya see, my husband is usually very good about knowing where he is at. I am not sure what happened in Florida because he stayed directionally challenged the entire 2 weeks. After 10 or so minutes wandering around I finally took charge and led us straight to the car and we headed home.

    Here is where I have got to make mention of the best ever tip I found during all my reading and researching. CAR WINDOW FLAG! When you actually had an idea of where you car was this little baby was a real time saver when it came to finding your car in the parking lot. We could see Smiley, as he was dubbed, from way off in the parking lot. It became a fun part of our parking lot venture each day. It turned into a game to see who could find the flag and then make it to the car first. After we were almost stranded overnight in the parking lot my husband made sure to find an evil I-phone application for locating your car in a parking lot. Still, the flag led us to the car faster every time!
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  3. #33

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Amazing TR. It is a funny thing as we just got back from our first WDW family vacation a week ago and seeing all your pics makes me want to go back (when it is warmer though. Like you we were a little unlucky with the weather.)
    The other funny thing is that we are also big fans of Disneyland, having been there four times in the last four years and usually make it our annual family trip in the early fall.

    Look forward to more.

  4. #34

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Nice day at DHS. No Tower of Terror?

  5. #35

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    This was a really great trip report. You and your family looked like you had a lot of fun at the parks and spending time with each other. I love the drawings of Louis! I must go back to WDW!!

  6. #36

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Good morning readers! I've got another installment ready today!
    First I need to make a few responses.

    Meville, thanks for joining me. I hope you had a good time on your trip... despite the weather. I do think California weather is a little more predictable.
    When do you usually go to DL in the fall? We have gone in Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. So far it looks like November works best for us. I am hoping we make it this November. I am sure in need of a Disneyland fix!

    disneyfann121, it was a pretty good day, except for the RRC. TOT would have only made it worse. We are so NOT thrill riders! From our experience riding TOT at CA, it is the only ride that got a unanimous family vote that we would never ride again. We are such whimps!

    OhanasRules, thank you! We do enjoy our vacations AND each others company very much.
    My daughter and I always make it a point to visit the Animation Academy. It is a nice place to rest your tired tootsies plus it is fun to see how you can turn simple lines into a character with a little guidance.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  7. #37

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Day 7, December 8, 2009

    There is still rain in the forecast for all the rest of the week but….. today we finally have a beautiful day! AND we are heading to our favorite park, Magic Kingdom. We stopped to grab a coffee at the booth at the TCC. The CM gave back an extra $10 in change. My husband told him he had made a mistake and gave the money back. The CM thanked him for his honesty. It just made me wonder how many mistakes are made by employees who do not know how to make change properly. As you may recall, he was not the only one we ran into with this problem on our trip. So folks, be sure to count your change!

    My daughter had decided to bring Pal Mickey with her today. She kept us entertained with his corny jokes on the ferry ride. She loves carrying one of her stuffed animals to the parks with her everyday but this is the first time she had one that talked to her. He was a little hard to hear sometimes because the crowds are just so noisy but I do think she enjoyed him. I think she took him a second day too but his batteries must have started getting weak. All he would do was vibrate. That wasn’t much fun so he stayed home the rest of our trip.

    Anyway, continuing on, as we passed through the turnstiles we were given “high fours” from the CMs wearing their Mickey gloves. We made it into the park about noon. It looked like it was going to be a pretty crowded day. My daughter was ready to split up from the guys upon arrival so the girls could do what SHE wanted and the guys could do their thing. We agreed to meet back up at 2:30 for lunch and went our separate ways. Our first stop was at City Hall to pick up our “First Time at WDW” buttons. Then we were off to Fantasyland.







    I must say WDW’s Fantasyland is certainly a lot bigger than at DL. However, I felt it lost some of it’s charm. With the brightly painted buildings it looked more cartoonish or carnival like. We rode the carousel 2 times because once never seems to be enough.








    Then we headed for Mickey’s Philharmagic. My daughter was a bit nervous about it being a 3D show. She hasn’t yet come to realize that as she gets older some things will not be quite as scary as when you are younger. She made it through just fine. I loved it! It is the first thing I have thought would be a really great addition to DL. We are still making quotes from the show.

    We grabbed a FP for Peter Pan and headed to stand in line for Dumbo. I see some things are the same at both parks….. always a line for Dumbo here too. Oh well, we never think of it as anything other than something you gotta do if you want to ride the ride. We talk, people watch and take pictures and before you know it you are on the ride. While we were waiting my daughter pointed out that Dumbo did not have any water underneath him here.

    Next we headed to Small World.






    By the time we got off it was time to meet the guys for lunch so we made our way over to Cosmic Ray’s. Not our best meal. The food was expensive and bland. We also were not too impressed with Ray. He was loud and ugly.

    After lunch, we sent the guys on their way and we decided to ride the Speedway since it was right across the walkway. Dang, those pedals are hard to push! Mickey Helped drive.




    We took a ride on the Transit Authority.












    Next, The Carousel of Progress. My daughter took these photos.






    Next we went to the Laugh Factory. While waiting in line we had a conversation with a CM. He asked me which park I liked better and I told him DL. He said he heard that a lot. My daughter and I both thought the show was funny. This was the 2nd thing we wouldn’t mind seeing come to DL someday.


    Afterwards we rode Buzz. I always do terrible on this game. I have a huge list of cheats but always forget to read it before we go so never get around to improving my score. Of course, I have a new excuse this time. The guns were a little tricky…. Not really so bad once you figured them out… but still a little hard to aim at the lower targets. It also did not help that my daughter did not like me turning the car. I came out with 167,000. Can’t believe they don’t let you e-mail your photo home. They actually expect you to pay for it! The horror!


    I grabbed a strawberry banana smoothie because it sounded so good but it just ended up being over priced and not very good. On we went to the Teacups. I suppose the cover is very nice when it rains but I did not think it looked very pretty.






    I missed Alice's ride not being nearby. They did use some of her leaves and include her in the topiaries.


    Next was Pooh. I am a Pooh fan so I always love this ride. The WDW version did seem a little longer maybe.






    It was time to put our FPs to use so we headed to Peter Pan. Some of the scenes were different but I don’t know that they made the ride any better than the DL version. It would be really nice if DL have a FP system since the lines are always so long.

    I thought by now that the boys were probably getting tired but my daughter still wanted to ride Pirates so I called to see if they wanted to meet us. My son was finally on Space Mountain. It had been down most of the day. My husband said they would head our way when he got off. For some reason when they started making their way towards us my hubby lost his sense of direction again and headed to Fantasyland instead of Adventureland so we had a long wait. So we sat at the entrance to Pirates and rested our feet while listening to Pal Mickey tell us Pirate jokes. They finally made it and we sailed off among a bunch of scurvy pirates. After that we took another boat ride on Jungle Cruise. We had another excellent skipper.

    We decided to call it a day. On the way out of the park we stopped in at the candy store and spent way too much on fudge, turtles and chocolate covered cherries. We found the car tonight without incident, thanks to Smiley. When we got in the car my phone rang. It was Santa calling to talk to my daughter. He talked to her the entire ride home, right until we pulled into the driveway. Pretty cool that he knew how to find us in Florida!
    Last edited by mariezp; 01-23-2010 at 10:03 AM.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  8. #38

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Day 8, December 9, 2009

    We should certainly be getting well rested on our trip. Each day we seem to keep slipping into the park later and later. Today we finally started our journey to Magic Kingdom at 1:00. No big deal because my main goal for the day was to watch the Spectromagic parade in the evening.

    In our original plans we thought one of my son’s friends would be coming with us so I had purchased an additional 10 day ticket prior to our trip. The friend didn’t end up coming so we now had a spare ticket. We knew that the family whose house we had been to last Saturday would be coming with us on the upcoming Sunday so we decided to stop at the ticket center to see if we could possibly trade the 10 day ticket in to apply towards 6 one day tickets. I knew my chances were iffy from asking around and having called guest services but I still figured I had nothing to lose. The first lady I tried just said flat out “No. You can’t do that.” Not satisfied with her answer I thought I would try just one more time so I picked another window. This time, after going through my long story, the man's response was that he did not see why there would be any problem but that he could not do it at the ticket office. He told me to go to one of the guest relations booths right outside the park entrance.

    We arrived at the building and I stepped up to Steve from Indianapolis’s window where I explained my situation. He was all business, didn’t have much to say but after a few questions he promptly credited me for the 10 day ticket and handed me a new set of 6 tickets. Yippee! So it looks like it never hurts to ask more than once. I do know that Disney is generally very accommodating in their commitment to keep their customer happy and this time turned out to be no exception.

    In the meantime, at another window, my husband was trying to resolve a problem we had all been having with our FPs. Steve from Indianapolis had immediately issued me a reprinted ticket that solved my problem. However, poor hubby had gotten a hold of Debbie from Indianapolis and she was not making it easy on him. She was one of those sticklers for rules and she was just not one of those out to share any Disney magic. I don’t think she had any in her personality. She gave him the third degree and scrutinized his tickets for about 15 minutes before finally reprinting his tickets. He was not happy by the time he was through. Guess he should have stayed in line with me.

    Once inside the gates, we hopped on the train bound for Frontierland for lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. The food was good but again expensive. When we were through we rode Haunted Mansion together. Then my son and I rode Splash. My daughter and I decided it was time to check out Toontown so we took the train around to that station. While I was on the train I received a phone call from an online friend of mine who also happened to be in the park. I could barely hear her because of the noise from the train so I told her I would call her back shortly. I called her when we got off the train but ended up having to leave a message. While we waited for her to call back my daughter and I went to Mickey’s house and then wandered through Toontown.

























    My friend called back. We both just happened to be heading to Fantasyland so we made plans to meet her at Dumbo. We got a hug, met her mother and friends, chatted a bit and took a photo. Learned something from that photo…. Never take a full length shot with a wide angle lens. GASP! Thank heavens my photo editor has a crop button!


    My daughter enjoyed visiting with her too and got a sweet surprise. My friend gave her a Mickey pin. Would have liked to visited longer but we didn’t want to keep her companions waiting on her too long. Since we were already close we parted ways and got in line for Dumbo.

    We had a parade to go watch so we grabbed a drink and headed towards the Spectro route in front of the Hall of Presidents. We were 45 minutes early and it was already crowded. We found a spot on the side of one of the planters, called the guys so they could meet us and settled in to wait for the parade. The spot we chose was right next to a group who had a large spot reserved for the rest of their group. After we had been sitting for at least 20 minutes another family showed up. They started to sit on the ground and one of the ladies from the large group, who looked very familiar, politely told them it was being saved. They moved over towards where we were sitting and again the lady said it was reserved too. Instead of moving along the family sat right down on top of the jackets and stuff that was scattered to hold the spots. They were obviously foreigners because they started speaking among themselves in a foreign language with apparent contempt that anyone would think to say they could not sit there. They apparently thought they deserved to sit down more than anyone who had been staking it out for an hour or more. I felt so sorry for the poor woman who had tried to direct them elsewhere. She was in total shock and frankly so was I. It was quite uncomfortable for awhile. When the rest of the large group arrived they had to squeeze in. I have to admit that I really hoped they would end up standing in the other families view. As it turned out the squatter family really did not end up having a viewing spot that was worth their being so rude. We did end up enjoying the lights of the parade. There were quite a few characters that I did not recognize or realize how they related to Disney. I have not gotten use to my new camera so my picture taking is sorely lacking.


















































    When the parade was over rather than fight the crowd we ducked into the Hall of Presidents.






    I had intended to possibly watch the fireworks but we ended up staying inside too long. When we got out the fireworks were over so all we had left to do was work our way out of the park through the hoards of people. We exited the park among a herd of cheerleaders who kept erupting sporadically with Spanish cheers. When we finally made it out the turnstiles, my husband failed to mention that he would rather ride the monorail until we were already stuck in the mass working their way to the ferry. It was too late to change our direction. We ended up making it on the first ferry so I doubt the monorail would have been any faster but I do agree that riding back to the TCC crammed in like sardines is really way less than magical.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  9. #39

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Day 9, December 10, 2009

    Another dreary day outside. We left the house today at 12:30 so we were able to make my goal of getting to Epcot by 1:30 for our lunch at Teppan Edo. I kept changing my mind back and forth on whether we really should go here when I was planning. I was glad we kept our reservation. When we checked in at the front desk I found that the sweet little Japanese ladies were very difficult to understand because of their accent but even more than that because they talk very quietly. We were promptly seated at a table with another family of 4 who ended up being very pleasant. Our chef’s name was Ken. He was very entertaining! Everyone loved it! He was fantastic and so funny. He showed us how he could make butter fly, flipped shrimp into his hat and made an onion volcano. DD had fun with her chopsticks. She even ate all her rice! The food was excellent, especially the shrimp. The guys shared the Sushi Sampler.


    DH gave a demonstration for the camera of just how hot their wasabi was.


    After lunch we ducked into the American Adventure show and hoped that the rain would let up while we were inside. We all thought it was a very good show.


















    We made our way back over to Norway. While we were already in a movie watching mood we decided to stop in and see their show. We all came out shaking our heads and agreed that this movie was really lacking something. Hoping that there had to be something better to offer, we decided to see what the Maelstrom was like. It was interesting with the unusual turns but was much too short. The gift shop at the exit was too much for my DD to pass up. She had to pose with one of the Viking hats. She took her new role very seriously.


    I really wanted to see the candy lady so I bribed DD with a souvenir and we made our way back to Japan while the guys went in search of something more exciting. When we arrived we found a spot right In front of the cart. There was a lady setting up to entertain the crowd by telling the story behind the Japanese New Year, as well as how Karate had been invented. She did a good job of educating us and was very funny too.



    Before long Miyoko came out. She started out by making a monkey. Then she picked my DD who requested a pink Pegasus which came out also part unicorn. Miyoko had a very stong accent and spoke very quietly too. We could not understand a lot of what she had to say but we did hear her often say “shiny, shiny”, “nice, nice” and “I present to you”. It was amazing watching her mold those little balls of candy so we stayed and watched her finish her show. While we watched she made a seahorse, a brown horse, a swan and a panda.






    It was so cool when she snip, snip, snipped with her scissors and his mane suddenly appeared!


    Next we headed to the Mexico pavilion building. The restaurant inside looked very cool and somewhat similar to Blue Bayou since it was dark and along the edge of the water. However, I could not find anything on the menu that I thought my kids would like. Considering that and the fact that I have read so many not so good reviews we passed on dining there. It was interesting to see as we made our way to the line for the Grand Fiesta Tour. It was a fun little ride but I could not decide it I really liked the movies projected on the walls or not. I did like the spot where Donald appears in the little pond. And, it was fun trying to keep up with where Donald was going to pop up next. DD did seem to enjoy it.




    We had made plans to meet up with the guys at the Universe of Energy but after we arrived DD changed her mind while we were waiting in line. She was worried that it would be scary. It was getting colder so we all just decided we would rather finish anything else we had missed in Epcot on another one of our days so we headed home for the night.
    Last edited by mariezp; 02-06-2010 at 07:43 PM.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  10. #40

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    love your TR. I love DL but have never been to WDW. Thanks for your perspective.
    without Love in a dream, it will never come true...

  11. #41

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Glad you could join me MouselyGrateful. Hope you stay around for the rest of my trip. Maybe someday you will get to make a trek to WDW for yourself. It certainly was something to experience. After this trip though I am pretty sure we will be sticking to DL.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  12. #42

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Now back to my report.....


    Day 10, December 11, 2009

    This gloomy weather really had apparently started getting to me. This morning when I woke for awhile I considered not even going to any park. My hubby quickly snapped me out of it when he went on a rant about how he only had 4 days left of HIS vacation. Anyway, we’ll not even get into that. Since my daughter’s big AK day had been a bust we decided to rework the plans a bit. I had originally scheduled Monday for The Hoop-De-Do-Review but decided to switch it to this evening (Friday) so we can get in a full day at Animal Kingdom on Monday. So far the weather looks best in the forecast on that day to make up what we missed. If I had kept HDDR on Monday we would have only had a half day as we were booked for the 5:00 show. Though I hated to stay out late tonight the 9:30 show was all that was available. My husband said it would be fine so I went ahead and made the switch.

    In the meantime we decided to head back to Epcot again to finish up a few things that we still wanted to see. We made it to the park today about noon and started towards the back of the park to find some lunch. Along the way we stopped off at Club Cool. I, of course, knew to be careful but the rest of the crew was unsuspecting. Mu-ha-ha! I watched their faces as they tried the Italian beverage. My son was first and then my husband just had to try it too. Why in the world they would actually bottle something that tasted the bad is beyond me! We stood around for quite some time talking to a couple of CMs while watching other people’s reactions. They shared with us some of their stories and really made our visit quite memorable. After we had amused ourselves we set off for World Showcase.






    My son wanted to try some German food but I wanted to try the Fish and Chips so we headed in separate directions with plans to meet back up somewhere in between the two countries. Good grief the lines for food where horrible today! Certainly speaks volumes on just what an advantage there is to having ADRS! We waited probably a full 20 minutes or more for our meal.






    The guys were stuck in a long line of their own so we secured a table at the American Pavillion, which was no easy feat in itself. The guys showed up finally. They enjoyed their Bratwurst but I found the fish to be disappointing. Very bland.

    Oh well, that was a good excuse to stop off and enjoy dessert so we made our way to the Norway Bakery to try some of the goodies I had heard so much about. We arrived to find yet another very long line. We weren’t doing a very good job of making up our minds so we tried decided to grab a Rice Dream, a couple School Breads and a couple Cream Horns to split among the 4 of us. All were good but the unanimous vote was that the School Bread was the best.

    After wasting most of our day so far on food we decided we should probably get around to getting on a ride. My daughter suggested that we take the guys on the Grand Fiesta Tour since it was right there so that is what we did. For ride number two my daughter decided she really did want to do the Universe of Energy today so we headed there next. Of course, there was another line to wait in which turned out to be way worse than all the others but I did not have any idea at the time. Let’s just say for now…. keep your kids out of the bushes! Anyway, I thought the Universe of Energy was somewhat funny. However, the moment the show started with the “Big Bang Theory” it was destined to receive negative reviews from the rest of my family. If they had left off that part I think everyone would have thought it was a pretty neat ride.

    Next we headed over to Nemo. We all liked it and thought it was very cute.
    When we got outside we could not make up our minds where to go next . Since it was cold and drizzly we decided to head home and just rest before show time.


    We got home and my daughter was itching like crazy. Pulled off her shirt and she was covered in blotches. Evidently when we had been standing in line she had been touching the plants and one of them set off an allergic reaction in her. Thankfully after a while she cleared up. When we went to HDDR I had not figured out what it was yet so when she wore the same coat it set it off again. I was glad we had discovered what had caused the rash but I did feel bad for not figuring it out before she had to go through another round of itching. Needless to say, the coat went immediately into a hot washing machine. (never to be worn again because she refuses to put it back on)

    Later in the evening we set out to embark upon, thankfully, our one and only experience with Disney’s resort transportation. We had a little confusion driving through the campground which resulted in a wrong turn but we eventually found the bus depot. When I got on the bus I asked the driver if we were in the right one that stopped at the HDDR. The rude jerk said in a VERY annoyed voice “Settlement last stop”. I asked what does that mean to which he replied “Settlement last stop”. Never having been to WDW before I had no idea what it meant. A simple yes or no would have been greatly appreciated. Needless to say, I was NOT impressed with out bus trip and was in a pretty fowl mood by the time we actually reached our stop.

    Thankfully, we had been talking with a man and woman at the bus stop so we hoped by following them we were on the right track. We made it to the ticket booth with only 10 minutes to spare. We continued talking with the man from Massachusetts. My son found a guy to talk Jiu-Jitsu with so he was happy. With our tickets finally in hand we made our way inside to table 85. I don’t think they could have crammed in another single table. It was a very tight fit between tables but with a little rearranging we managed to all get squeezed into our seats. The show was very fun and the food was fantastic. It was so worth it just to hear my usually serious teenage son let out some good belly laughs. He said he laughed til his sides hurt. Six Bits and Clara, the girl with the crazy laugh, were our favorites. Sorry about the crummy pics. At least I did not use my flash!








    When the show was over we made our way back to the buses and crossed our fingers that we would find our car again. We lucked out and didn’t have any problem. We got back to the house and stumbled into bed early so that we could meet our guests, the N family, tomorrow morning with rested and smiling faces. Thankfully, they called to say that they wouldn’t be here until sometime between 11:00 and noon so we won’t have to get up too early.
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  13. #43

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Day 11, December 12, 2009

    Woke up this morning and started straightening up for our guests that would be coming today. I love the house we are staying in but I do miss maid service! Since they are staying overnight with us we did some rearranging in our sleeping arrangements so that they could have the upstairs for their family. (Another reason to love the house.) The 4 bedrooms took care of everyone except my son who volunteered to sleep on the couch.

    The N family arrived right at noon. We showed them around the house and visited awhile.

    My daughter and her new best friend.




    Before too long we set out to go eat at Bubba Gump’s. I had a slight idea of where it was located but I had no idea it would be inside the Universal City Walk area….nor did I have any idea how their parking was set up. We had plugged the address into hubby’s "evil I phone" which took us straight to the valet parking area. We thought that was a bit much so we set out to find the regular parking. We had no idea that the alternative parking was in the giant Universal parking lot which actually cost $2 more and was a lot longer walk. When you head into the parking area it is one way and there is no way to escape other than driving through the booth. Apparently this happens a lot. The attendant just handed us a slip of paper and gave us directions on how to exit the parking lot. I cannot tell you how silly we felt with our friends following us all over the place…. lost and trying to find where the heck we were going. At one point Mr. N had gotten out from behind us and we were both going in circles trying to catch up with each other. Crazy but at least we had something funny to talk about when we finally did reach our destination. As you might have guessed, we did eventually end up back at the valet parking lot and then made our way to the restaurant.

    Here's a photo of my son and his friends that are the main reason we made our trip to Florida.


    At 3ish in the afternoon the place was practically deserted. Our group of 10 was seated right away. The food was great and the service was good.


    Just like peas and carrots!


    The host at the front was kind enough to take a group photo for us when we left.


    For the second one he told us all to act silly. I really loved that. He should go to work at WDW. He would make a great addition to their Photopass crew.


    We made our way back to the car and proceeded to find a location on the "evil I phone" to go bowling. Only one problem. This time it let us down. We ended up in some ritzy apartment complex where there was obviously no bowling alley. We gave it one more chance. It led us to a tiny little bowling alley…. all of 12 lanes. We weren’t too sure about the neighborhood but went ahead and stayed for fear of where we would end up next. We were also quite wore out from our escapade and quite ready to take on the challengers. It didn’t hurt that I had a 50% off coupon from the Entertainment Book either. None of us were great bowlers. I was a bit off from my usual game since my back had been hurting and I was afraid to bend too much. We also had a group next to us who failed miserably in being polite enough to stay in their own area when it was our turn. Still we managed to have a good time. After a couple games we made our way back to our home away from home.

    The teens settled in for some cards. My daughter and her new best friend headed for the pool. And, the adults headed for the lounge chairs on the deck. We sat around and chit chatted and made plans for the next day. Although they live in Florida they had never been to WDW as a family. It was going to be our pleasure to introduce them to the Magic Kingdom as well as enjoy their company for the day. The plan was to get up nice and early for their first big day. We'll see how that goes....
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  14. #44

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Day 12, December 13, 2009

    The next morning we all did manage to wake up by 9:00. However, we still didn’t actually end up making it to the Magic Kingdom until about 10:30.




    Of course, as I imagined they were all amazed and in awe on their first walk down Main Street. I had already informed them that our very first stop would be the castle for a photo to document our trip….. also, for a family picture for them on their first trip and us for our traditional annual pic in front of the castle. I will be so glad when my DD gets to the stage that she decides to keep her hair out of her face!








    With that done the next destination chosen was the Carousel of Progress. Odd choice possibly but it was good to give them a good look at the genius of Walt and his animatronics.

    Next, the bravest of our bunch headed to Space Mountain.


    It was very tramatic... or should I say dramatic... for some.


    The rest of us whimps went on the People Mover which was followed by Buzz Lightyear. Fearing that we might spend our entire day in Tomorrowland I convinced them that we really needed to move along and tackle the big rides throughout the park in order to do the most we could in the time that we had. They were wise enough to see the wisdom I possessed so I led them to the Haunted Mansion.


    Afterwards we grabbed a meal at Columbia Harbor House. I don't think the town is big enough for both of them.


    Tummies full we were re-energized and ready to move on. We headed to Pirates. We got held up briefly by the parade but even that ended up being okay because their youngest DD seemed to enjoy it very much. After Pirates we went through the Swiss Family Tree House and then followed up with a Jungle Cruise.




    DD was still refusing to ride Splash so DH took her while I rode with the rest of the group.




    When we got off half of the group rode Big Thunder while the other half made our way to Small World. And, last was Mickey’s Philharmagic.




    They needed to leave the park by 6:30. Since there was nothing else with a short wait time we decided to head out early for the night. Of course, we forgot to consider that the parade was in progress so we ran into that mess. It was crazy trying to keep 10 people together in crowds like that! We finally made it out to our cars and headed home. They gathered their belongings and then we spent another 20 minutes saying all our goodbyes. They finally hit the road for their hour long drive home and we went in to rest.
    We had a fabulous time with our new friends! Gotta say that it is a huge amount of stress trying to keep 10 people happy and moving. Man! I was more tired from this one day than any other day in our entire trip! Going to miss them tomorrow!
    Me,DH,DS-23 ,DD-13



    Our Long Awaited, Long Awaited Trip Report November 2010
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...post1056434199
    Our First Trip to WDW December 2009
    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...16-2009-a.html
    November 2008 trip report! Updated 1/13/09!
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...23-2008-a.html

  15. #45

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    Re: The Peterson Family's First WDW Invasion December 2-16, 2009

    Very good TR. It is very interesting reading the thoughts and experiences of someone who is a first time visitor to WDW and an experienced DL visitor. My family has gone to WDW at least once every year for the last 15 years and I have only been to DL once because being a CM I was able to experience DL within my budget. I hope you ended up liking WDW and will think about a return trip when it isn't so cold and busy.

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