Adults Only Trip!

Yeah…Mark and I are going to have our first Disney trip w/out Gage this Oct/Nov since he was born. It’s gonna be so strange, not having him around with us though. No arguing on if he’ll go on a ride or not, having to scan each menu for something he’ll eat before going in, stopping at every restroom as we pass them, being difficult about not wanting to meet certain Characters…yeah, gonna be so hard on us 😦

Nah we will definitely miss his presence this trip. We’re having a few days in WDW Parks before boarding the lovely and luxurious Disney Dream Cruise Ship with Lou Mongello & Gang along with several hundred WDW Radio friends for four days. We are so excited about this trip and I hope it goes better than our WDW cruise we did over Christmas holidays 2010. Nothing wrong with the cruise itself mind but our trip to Florida was delayed by 2days due to snow in England which emotionally drained us…we were meant to leave on Saturday and after being at the airport for a good 3hrs (wait time for international flights) we heard our flight had been cancelled…we finally arrived back home 12hrs after leaving for the airport. Booked a flight for Monday and as we woke Mark got a text saying that one was cancelled too and he just broke down into tears. It was to be the first Christmas we’d all have without his Dad who passed a few months earlier, the main reason for doing a Disney Christmas/New Year, and it was just too much. Anyway, to make an already long story shorter, we did manage to fly out on Monday and finally arrived at our Pirate Themed room at Carribean Beach around 2am FL time…meaning we’d been up 26hrs as we just could not sleep on the plane for some obserd reason. So we went into this trip exhausted and drained and I for one never got my rest and energy caught up, I was tired nearly all the time. Then once on the ship where we met up with Mark’s family, our niece came down with a tummy bug which was lovingly passed on to her father and myself. Our day on Castaway Cay was a let down because I felt so bad I just lied on a sunbed keeping the restroom within eye sight. Because I was still so exhausted from the travel and the parks, I just did not have it in me to enjoy the nightlife on the ship which I really did hate but my body just could not do it. I’d have fell asleep at the bar for sure.

So…hoping this cruise will be a much better and much healthier experience. I know it will be filled with loads of laughs, new friendships, wonderful memories and thousands and thousands of photos!

We will make it up to Gage by taking him to DLRP after April once all the 20th Anniversary celebrations kick off (parades, etc) and new attractions are open. Although he’s so spoilt by our many Disney trips, he’s nothing like the kids you see in the commercials who yell, scream and cry with excitement when told they’re going to Disney World/Land. His reply is a sarcastic “again??”

Disabled at Disneyland

Ok firstly I want to say that yes this post will probably offend some people, which is not my intent but I know it will. This post is just to voice my thoughts and opinion on something I’m always noticing at the Disney Parks which is that some people, not all, but some DO indeed abuse the disability services the park provide.

I have pain in my foot

At WDW we’ve seen SO many people on the ECVs, some (visably) clearly need them, some probably need them but its not visable and some you can tell rent them so they don’t have to walk and stand in line all day. A lot of people also do not ‘drive’ them responsibily. When my son was 3yrs old he nearly got ran over by a woman on an ECV who believed she was the only person in the park and was going full speed. My husband literally grabbed Gage’s arm and YANKED him out of the way as the woman sped past him, no appology or anything. Gage was in front of her so couldn’t see her coming to move. Then you have people who let their kids play and ride on them while they’re doing something else that doesn’t require being in the ECV. I’ve never rented a wheelchair or ECV as I’ve never needed one…if you have, can you tell me if they require proof of a disability to rent it? The website does not say anything other than the fee and where to get them.

A couple of years ago, my father in-law went to WDW with some of the family while he was terminally ill with prostate cancer and could only do a few hours at a time and such but did not rent a wheelchair or ECV, probably due to pride knowing him, but he did what he could then he’d go for a rest. I wasn’t with them on this trip but I’d have told him to get one just so he wouldn’t be straining himself so much.

Anyway…so then at Disneyland what we saw the most of was people with these blue disbaled cards which got people into the wheelchair queue for rides. It was like “oh Sally broke her leg, lets take the whole family to Disneyland!” Seriously, we saw a group of 20 people queue through the wheelchair line with one person holding a disability card. We watched so many people whip out a blue disability card to go through the wheelchair line who were not in a wheelchair or ECV, some were even kids who were running and jumping around and the kicker to this was it was all for It’s A Small World which at the time was a walk on! There was no regular queue to wait in! The disbaility line was longer than the stand-by line!

My husband and I were watching these people pull out these cards to go through the wheelchair line and yes I know there are many disabilities that are not visable, but surely if you’re running around and jumping about you can stand for 5mins to go onto a ride. So we started joking about us going in and asking for a disability card and what we’d say our concern was. As I honestly have a Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot which does cause me a good deal of pain (the reason I cut short my 10k Race for Life to just 5k), I decided that in the morning I’d ask for a disability card, just to see if I could get one. Although I’d walked around Alabama and PC Beach for 2wks without it bothering me but from all the walking and standing in line at WDW and DLR did cause it to hurt, somedays a lot! But I took some antiflamitory meds and carried on. I went to guest services and said “I’ve heard that people with conditions can get a disability card…what is it and what do you have to do to get one?” The lady informed me that I did not have to disclose what my condition was just tell her what my concern was for queuing up and boarding rides (Due to some law or bill, they can not ask you to disclose any medical conditions) I told her that I had a lot of pain in my left food…and I got one! Didn’t say I’d sprained it or anything, it just hurt…if you’ve been to Disney parks I know you’re feet hurt you too. She also asked if I need to use a wheelchair and I said no but that I have used crutches which is true.

Now I want you to know that I did not use my card, I did not aquire it in order to use it and cut queues. I just wanted to see how easy it was to get one and there you have it. Basically anyone can get a disabled card and queue through the disabled access line for rides. It’s a great service for those who truly need it but its a shame that so many people abuse it as well. I just think of those people who really need a wheelchair or ECV but can not get one because people have rented them for no reason and they’ve run out. Shame. Please think of those who really need one of these devices before you rent one because you want to be lazy or something to carry your shopping in…they can send your shopping to your resort room!

Happy Easter Everyone!

I know its been a long time since I’ve posted anything, but there’s just not that much going on at the moment. Our summer vacation is all booked up thanks to Vicki at MouseFan Travel. Hotels and ADRs are all sorted out, my convertible is booked for the two weeks my son and I have in Alabama before hitting WDW. Now we’re just waiting to hear about any dessert parties and such going on.

At WDW we areΒ  staying at Port Orleans Riverside this time as I loved the French Quarter trip before last. Being from Alabama I just love that real southern look of Port Orleans, makes me feel at home. And after having two weeks in Alabama, having a week at Riverside will be lovely! We’ve got tickets for La Nouba in DD which Mark has seen but Gage has never been to Cirque and I’ve not seen La Nouba so this will be a real treat. We’re planning on giving Earl of Sandwich a try that day as well. Have you eatten there? What did you think of it? So what all do we have ADRs for…

Finally going to have table service at Yak & Yetti! We love the counter service foods but have really been wanting to get inside to enjoy even more food and some lovely decor. I’m leaning towards the Crispy Honey Chicken or Stir-Fried Beef & Broccoli for my lunch and a Pork Egg Roll and for dessert, the Fried Wontons sound nice as well. πŸ™‚ We’ve also got Chef Mickey’s booked for dinner. Last year we had the character breakfast buffet and loved the service and atmosphere and the characters were all in matching chef outfits which was adorable. Really looking forward to this one! FINALLY got Beaches & Cream booked as well!! Ever since Lou’s Kitchen Sink Challenge during his 24hr vidcast we’ve been wanting to go and have a Kitchen Sink but just never got around to it. Now it’s booked!! I’ve not even looked at their menu, the KS is all I care about! I think the 3 of us will share a KS with a side of fries and that will be our lunch LOL. Another fave, 50s Prime Time is booked for a dinner and I’m looking forward to Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken again πŸ™‚ We’re finally gonna have a day at Blizzard Beach and have T-Rex booked for dinner that night. I know a lot of people say its tackey, etc. but I love tackey! Plus they have ‘prehistoric pizza’ so we know Gage will be sorted food wise! We’re taking Gage to Ohana’s for breakfast with Stitch as a late birthday treat/surprise and then that night its back to Gage’s favorite place, Whispering Canyon Cafe. Sure there’s nothing on the menu he’ll eat, they do him a PB&J or chicken nuggets specially for him, but he loves the whole “WE NEED KETCHUP!” thing and riding the stick horses. And finally, Le Cellier Steakhouse in EPCOT’s Cananada. Yes I know I mispelt that…for some reason I can’t SAY Canada, it always comes out Cananada, so…

As for Disneyland, we don’t really have anything booked. Things are gonna be so busy with the D23 Expo and we’re sure there will be group events and such so we’re trying to be as flexible as possible. We will be staying at the Grand Californian during the Expo with the other D23ers and then we’ll be at the Paradise Pier which has a rooftop pool.

I am SO looking forward to meeting a lot of friends I’ve made online at the Expo, especially all the WDW Radio peeps. Gage and I were listening to the latest episode of WDW Radio and he sang along with the little intro jingle and I told Gage that we’ll be meeting Lou when we’re at at the Expo and the look on his face was priceless! I’ve even got some ‘business’ cards to hand out to ppl I meet so we can keep in touch. They are very funky πŸ™‚

We are already planning next year’s vacation as well. We’re looking at doing the Disney Alaskan cruise on the Wonder, which is what we were on over Christmas last year, that leaves out of Seattle, I believe its a 7night cruise. It goes to a few ports in Cananada so I better learn to say it properly!Β  And then we’ll fly across to NYC for a few days there and then board the Disney Magic for the Bahamian Cruise.

And finally, we are thinking of doing the Disney Half Marathon in 2013 and Gage will do the kids marathon which is 400m. Obviously this is something I need to start training for NOW as its 13.1miles. Looking forward to it though! Be so cool to be running around WDW during closed hours, with Characters cheering you on, etc. πŸ™‚ Sounds wonderful!

Count Down and Apology

Firstly for those who read my blog, I wanted to apologise for not having yet finished my latest trip report. This is mainly due to my university home course that I’m doing but I hope to finish it soon for you; especially the food part!

Also we’ve booked our next trip and I’m so excited I want to go now!! We have a week at WDW in August and leaving there to DLR/DCA the week after! I’ve never been to Disneyland before and neither has my son so it’ll be a first for us. I’m also very excited about attending the D23 Expo after being in Lou Mongello’s (chat) box for the majority of last years Expo! We’ve got our plane eTickets and (most likely) this weekend we’ll be booking our Disney Resorts and making our ADRs πŸ™‚

Christmas on the Wonder and New Years in the Studios (P1)

Well after having two flights cancelled on us, we finally got off the ground and to Orlando after a few hours layover in Chicago. We checked into the Carribbean Beach Resort at 2am Tuesday…a good 26hr journey and without much sleep. Also managed to catch a lunar eclipse as we got settled into our room which was awesome as I’ve seen a solar eclipse but never a lunar.

Anyway, so we get into our room which was like 15ft from the areas bus stop…Sweeeeet! and it is awesome! We chose a Pirate themed room and it was just nifty!

The chest of drawers were chests and the fridge was a barrel…very well themed. We finally get settled and get off to sleep so we can face MK (Magic Kingdom) early in the morning.

Our first stop was to get to the ticket office and purchase our Annual Passes (for both DLR and WDW). I’ve not seen a smile on my husband’s face that big in a long time! You’d think he’d just won the lottery!

Mark and our Annual Passes

From there we entered Main Street USA, took lots of photos and headed to Its A Small World which is our 7yr old son’s (Gage) favorite ride. We met Peter Pan who was the first to sign Mark’s Vinylmation for this trip (he plans to do one for each trip) and Lady Trumane, Anastasia and Drusilla who signed my black ‘Villan’ Vinylmation.

Gage infront of Its A Small World

We stayed in Fantasyland doing Dumbo, Pooh Bear, Haunted Mansion, the River Boat…had a lovely lunch next to HM at the Columbia Harbour House (counter/quick service) which have GREAT chicken fingers and fish.

Then we headed into Tomorrowland where Gage joined in with Stitch, Chip & Dale at Stitch’s dance party before we hopped aboard the People Mover/TTA. We also bumped into Buzz Lightyear before heading over to watch the Once Upon A Christmas parade which had a preshow of a woman who’d lost her little girl and was running up and down the parade route looking for her, calling her name and asking if anyone had seen a little blonde girl in a pink shirt. As a parent with a small child it was heartbreaking and she did find her, she was fine…but you have to think…just HOW many little blonde girls at WDW are in pink shirts?!

For some reason this parade just didn’t do much for me. Could’ve been we were standing in a tight spot as it was packed and we waited too long to get a space and I was uncomfortable, but really it just seemed to drag on for me. I love parades but this one, I dunno, just didn’t sit right, felt a bit bland I guess. The Marching Soldiers/Nutcrackers were the BEST though!

Donald and Daisy in Once Upon A Christmas Parade

We then hopped aboard the Jungle Cruise and I SWEAR the REAL Santa was in line with us! Complete with a surfing Santa shirt!

REAL Santa!?!?

Of course either after or before the Jungle Cruise you HAVE to have……..say it with me folks…DOLE WHIP!!!

orange whip with pineapple juice

So once we left the park we got a boat to take us to the Poly and we had dinner at Ohana. While waiting for our table to be ready we saw Goofy and Pluto and had our photo taken with Minnie & Mickey. We were so tired our appetites were not up to par but we tried to enjoy the food as best we could.

The waitress brought around some lovely bread and then huge skewers of different meats that are cooked on these spitfires.

Needless to say we had no room to try and tackle this wonderul looking desert…next time! πŸ™‚

On Day 2 we tackle the Studios! After getting there two hours before rope drop…thinking that it opened at 8am and not 9am…we headed up to the front of the crowd and as soon as the rope hit the ground Mark went running (well walking fast right behind the CM in the lead holding ppl back) and was the first person at the Toy Story Mania Fast Pass machines while Gage and I got into the StandBy line. This is basically what you have to do if you want to ride this attraction twice and not wait for 3hrs in line. We were in the like second group out and had passes for within the hour. After this we always head across the way to meet Buzz and/or Woody. That morning it was just Buzz there but on another visit both of the boys were there.

One mission I had, thanks to Lou Mongello, was to find the Writer’s Stop and have a Carrot Cake Cookie. This is a new FAVE hangout of mine now. Its just so quant and nice and comfy…almost like a coffee shop on campus. I could just sit there for ages relaxing. Anyway, this cookie was FAB!! Ok I could’ve shared it but being as neither Mark nor Gage like carrot cake I was happy to keep it all to myself but I found it a little too much due to the richness.

Since everyone gets a kick of photos of me eating....

We then headed to our usual M&G spot in the studios, inside the Art of Animation building (if you want to go straight to the characters go through the exit via the store) and there we met Lotso (yes he really does smell of strawberries; its like he’s eaten a LOAD of Strawberry Shortcake dolls!), Mr Incredible and Frozone and Mickey in his Fantasia outfit. We also went into One Man’s Dream which was loaded with like the history of Disney and Mickey. It was great. Even a mini diorama of “Granny’s Cabin” that Walt made himself.

Me and some original MMC stuff πŸ™‚

We made our way back to the main street for one of the last Block Party Bash parades. Last time we had Toy Story stop in front of us, this time it was Monsters, Inc. also this time Gage was brave enough to get up and dance with the CMs πŸ™‚

Gage dancing with a CM in the BPB parade

We continued on with all the usual attractions that we do, Great Movie Ride, Muppets 4D, Aerosmith, Tower of Terror. Eventually it was time for my favorite park show, Fantasmic! I just think its a greatΒ  show but I absolutely LOVE the music!! However, for some reason the snake didn’t move around chasing after Mickey…After that we went for dinner at one of our favorite places…50s Prime Time! Cousin Wendy served us and our cousins from Florida sat next to us. I had Aunt Liz’s Fried Chicken and OMG Aunt Liz makes some DELICIOUS fried chicken!! I also saw that they had Dan Aykroyd’s Chardonnay and I had a glass of that which went RIGHT to my head as always.

Aunt Liz's Fried Chicken

Now this fried chicken, you get HALF a chicken, I was not expecting that but I gobbled it down like no one’s business. It also comes with some lovely mashed potatoes and sweet corn. The meatloaf is also one of our favorites. We both had it last time but only Mark had it this time as I wanted some downhome fried chicken and that’s exactly what I got!

Dad's Traditional Meatloaf

The only complaint I have about the meatloaf is that you just don’t get enough, but I suppose if you asked for more they’d give you some more. But it is just lovely. Very tender and juicy.

 

Me and some of Danny's wine

The desert was also lovely. I had the cheesecake, Mark had the smores (not shmoes) and Gage had the kids ‘make your own sundae’. We were so stuffed though we couldn’t finish our deserts. Which is a shame but OMG that chicken was to DIE for…and well I guess it did. πŸ˜›

After dinner we headed over to see the Osbourne Family Lights. We could hear Phineas & Ferb talking and were like “Shit! Where are they?” thinking there was some sort of lighting show going on. But no, it was just an audio ofΒ  a ‘radio broadcast’ about the lights and such. It was good though, even Doof had a part. The lights were just amazing! Although at this point I was so sick and tired of hearing Christmas music but the dancing lights along with them were just…WOW!

On with Day 3!

We started the day off with breakfast at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort. I was so excited because they had grits and scrambled eggs and biscuits! True I did eat with my eyes too much and put way too much on my plate, but there ya go. Go without some of your fave foods for nearly 2yrs and you just want to bathe in it.

 

scrambled eggs, grits, biscuit and bacon MMMMMMMMM

This place I did finish, the 2nd one was a bit too much, hehe. We really enjoyed this and plan to have dinner there next time. Gage being the fussy eatter he is, does good with buffets and loves fixing his own plate.

During our meal we were visited by Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Donald. Mark was talking to Donald who was eyeing up his pin lanyard and when he noticed there were no Donald pins he got very angry. This is one duck who has an ego issue ineed. He put his hand in Mark’s face and demanded that he bow down to him. So Mark got on his knees and did the “I’m not worthy” bow, and that was good enough for Donald.

Mark bowing down to Donald

The food was great and its always wonderful to be in the presence of the Fab Five. What we also loved was that they were all in chef outfits. We love to meet all the characters in different outfits, so much so that we’ll bypass Mickey if we’ve already had our photo with him in ‘that’ outfit on that trip.

After the meal we walked to the MK entrance rather than the monorail as it was a lovely day and the monorail had other stops to make before going to the MK terminal. We went right to ToonTown and let Gage ride Goofy’s Barnstormer as that is one of his fave rides and since it had no line we just walked right on. Then we caught up with Mark in Mickey’s Judging Tent and saw him and Minnie. As always Minnie gave Gage a kiss and Micky was not impressed and told Gage that he was watching him. Shame that they’re going to tear down ToonTown for the Fantasyland expansion. It is such a good area and wonderfully themed. We will miss it. But at least its said that the Barnstormer is staying put.

It was a quick morning in the MK as we had to get back to our resort for the Cruise Line bus to pick us up and take us to Canaveral to board the Disney wonder!

 

Only 2 Days Till Christmas

 

 

14wks to go now!

Tomorrow marks just 14 weeks until we leave for WDW and a Disney Cruise. SO can not wait!! There’s a few perks to being on holiday over the holidays…one of which is not having to put up a Christmas tree! We plan on taking one or two small gifts for our son to open on Christmas morning while at sea on the Disney Wonder (I think that’s the ship we’ll be on) and otherwise Christmas will be all the shopping we do while at the parks.

I love going on cruises…if I could do it each year I so would! I’ve been on two cruises before with my parents (Cruise One Bookings) and younger brother but I’ve never been on a Disney Cruise (Mouse Fan Travel) I think we’re all planning to book a swimming session with dolphins while at port as well as other great things. If I’m looking at the right cruise on the website, our ports of call are Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and of course Castaway Cay. I’m looking at port excurssions to do and one thing I’d like to do is to eat at Margaritaville again. I ate there on my last cruise with my parents and its lovely! My son has been going on and on about wanting to ride a horse and I did see a thing where you can ride horses along a beach…these are all just ideas at the moment. Just looking around to see what’s available.

I’m looking forward to getting some cruiseline pins for my collection, as well as buying more at the parks of course. I’ve not been at WDW at Christmas/New Years before and am really looking forward to experiencing that and seeing the Osborne Christmas Lights. We were in DLRP at Christmas time back in 1999 though, before we knew what we know now πŸ˜›

16wk CountDown to WDW & Cruise

yeah yeah I know…its just a LITTLE while away but still!! Starting tomorrow it’ll be just 16 weeks until we hop over the pond to WDW for the holidays. *does happy dance* I love being at Disney with my family and we’re also doing the Cruise! Mark & I have been wanting to do a cruise for years…he’s never been on one but I have a couple of times with my parents and little brother…well he was little when we went he’s 17 now!! One day we’d like to do one of those Alaska cruises and see the polar bears and such.

Ooooh I hope the Fifth Dimension is back in ToT when I’m there!