Escape From Craziness to Pandora, Po Boys, and Oppressive Heat - Updated 7/17

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by cstorm65, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Escape From Craziness to Pandora, Po Boys, and Oppressive Heat
    A July 2017 Trip Report


    Well, here we go again! Another Pre-Trip report for us and our family’s 5th trip to Walt Disney World this summer, but it is our first trip as a family of four! We’ve obviously had some major changes since our last trip including the adoption of our newest son, Brooks. The adoption and everything that goes with it is the main reason we have now waited two years between trips, but it is time to introduce the little guy to the place we all love so much. So...here we go! Please comment as I go as that makes it so much more fun! Finally, here is a link to the previous trip reports for our other three trips.

    Link to Previous Trip Reports

    Introductions

    I will start by introducing myself, I’m Jon.

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    I am a high school football coach and athletic director and love the job I get to do every day. I’ve been teaching and coaching at the same school for ten years and just finished my first season as the head football coach. Anyway, I honestly think I have the best job in the world. Being able to make a positive impact on kids every day is something I love doing. It certainly has its challenges, but overall I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

    Favorite Character: Goofy
    Favorite Ride: Expedition Everest
    Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
    Favorite Movie: The Lion King
    Favorite Restaurant: ‘Ohana

    Now for my best friend and wife, April.

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    April loves our family vacations as well as almost any time we get to spend together. We have developed a love for Disney and vacationing together and it is something she cherishes. She is a school psychologist by day and an incredible mother and wife by night. She works in the same school district I do and she gets to come over to my classroom for lunch every day, which really is nice. She loves her job working with kids as well and she is awesome at it.

    Favorite Character: Ariel
    Favorite Ride: Rock 'n Roller Coaster
    Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
    Favorite Movie: Little Mermaid
    Favorite Restaurant: Whispering Canyon Cafe

    Next up is Braxton, who turned five about a month before the trip.

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    We can’t believe he is already five. It seems like just yesterday that he was born and came into our family, but I’m sure all of you with kids think it goes fast too! He loves to run, play, hit things, throw balls, and many other things most little boys love to do. He has a great personality and is a good kid most of the time. In addition to all of these things DS loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, the Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and all of the super heros. Anyway, he is an awesome kid and is now a great big brother.

    Finally, we have the newest member of our family, Brooks.

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    He was 18 months old during our trip which is a little older than Braxton was on his first trip. Brooks is an incredibly sweet little boy who LOVES his mommy, but man is he awnry! Braxton was always kind of a daddy’s boy, but Brooks has certainly taken the other side. He just loves to sit and play with his mom. He loves playing with any type of ball and he also loves to sit and watch basketball on TV, go figure! He’s not much into watching cartoons on TV yet which is a good thing I think, but he does love his Mickey Mouse stuffed animal. He just grabs it and hugs it sometimes and won’t let it go.

    Well, that’s who we are. Stand by for Day 1.

    Up Next: Day 1 Part 1 - What Do You Mean I Can’t Buy a Biscuit?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  2. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Table of Contents

    Day 1 Part 1 - What Do You Mean I Can't Buy a Biscuit?
    Day 1 Part 2 - Will a Nap Get Taken Today?
    Day 1 Part 3 - The Price Bridging Saga
    Day 1 Part 4 - Crabs, Clams, & Shrimp...Oh Yeah!
    Day 1 Part 5 - At Least We Got to Swim for 5 Minutes

    Day 2 Part 1 - How Are We Going to Get Out of Here?
    Day 2 Part 2 - I Want a Salad!
    Day 2 Part 3 - Rain...You Can't Stop Us From Getting to Ohana
    Day 2 Part 4 - How Do You Cook These Noodles?
    Day 2 Part 5 - Happy 4th of July! Oh Wait...It's Only July 3rd!

    Day 3 Part 1 - I Love Mountain Everest
    Day 3 Part 2 - "Daddy, There's Your Favorite"
    Day 3 Part 3 - What a Ride!
    Day 3 Part 4 - Two Words...Bread Service!
    Day 3 Part 5 - A Little Relaxation on Vacation

    Day 4 Part 1 - Come On...This is Not Six Flags!
    Day 4 Part 2 - "Dip Please"
    Day 4 Part 3 - They Changed Our Bus Stop
    Day 4 Part 4 - "Ooh...That Stinks!"
    Day 4 Part 5 - "What is Fromage?? Well...It Tastes Good!"

    Day 5 Part 1 - A Morning Swim
    Day 5 Part 2 - Starstruck by Stormtroopers
    Day 5 Part 3 - "Daddy...That's Scarrrrry!"
    Day 5 Part 4 - I See Nemo
    Day 5 Part 5 - How To Eat Ice Cream With Your Hands

    Day 6 Part 1 - "Where are you going sir?"..."Umm, the Magic Kingdom!"
    Day 6 Part 2 - If I Hear This Song One More Time
    Day 6 Part 3 - A Friendship Day Celebrashun
    Day 6 Part 4 - The Best Toppings Bar Ever
    Day 6 Part 5 - "Jon, There's a Tornado Warning"..."But I Need a Citrus Swirl"

    Day 7 Part 1 - If We Drive Through This Intersection Again I Will Scream!
    Day 7 Part 2 - The Longest FP Line Ever
    Day 7 Part 3 - French Quarter Resort Tour
    Day 7 Part 4 - “That’s Not a Treehouse!”
    Day 7 Part 5 - Who do I have to see about getting some food from these food trucks?

    Day 8 Part 1 - They Told You What?
    Day 8 Part 2 - Change of Plans
    Day 8 Part 3 - "No Splash"
    Day 8 Part 4 - "I Want Salad"..."Come Again"
    Day 8 Part 5 - Disney Springs, A Love-Hate Relationship

    Day 9 Part 1 - That is Some Strong Jelly
    Day 9 Part 2 - I've Never Seen This Place This Empty
    Day 9 Part 3 - Pizza...Yes Please!
    Day 9 Part 4 - Ice Cream and Drums...A Boys Dream
    Day 9 Part 5 - Are We Back in Oklahoma?

    Day 10 Part 1 - How Long Does It Take a 5 Year Old to Pick a Snack?
    Day 10 Part 2 - I Love Mobile Ordering
    Day 10 Part 3 - That Was a Long Bus Ride
    Day 10 Part 4 - Our First Nighttime Safari
    Day 10 Part 5 - "That Was the Best Ride Ever!"

    Day 11 Part 1 - Mommy, Can I Just Lay Down?
    Day 11 Part 2 - What do you Buy at Disney for an Anniversary Gift?
    Day 11 Part 3 - That Costs How Much?
    Day 11 Part 4 - An Early End to the Evening

    Day 12 Part 1 - The Back Row...Seriously?
    Day 12 Part 2 - The Best Biscuits and Gravy Ever
    Day 12 Part 3 - "Mommy, My Ice Cream is Melting Too Fast"
    Day 12 Part 4 - "My Dumbo"

    Day 13 - Part 1 - Daddy, That's a Long Line!
    Day 13 - Part 2 - Daddy, Look at My Muscles
    Day 13 - Part 3 - This Must Be Like Gran Fiesta Tour
    Day 13 - Part 4 - Who Knew Chicken Noodle Soup Was Good in the Summer
    Day 13 - Part 5 - Cloudy & 85 Degrees...Perfect!
    Day 13 - Part 6 - A Great Final Night
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018 at 8:25 AM
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  4. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Past Trips and Trip Reports

    Current Trip Report
    July 2017 - Escape From Craziness to Pandora, Po Boys, and Oppressive Heat
    June 2018 - Let's Put These AP's to Use! A June 2018 PTR

    Past Trip Reports
    June/July 2014 - Escape from Real Life to Paradise: A New Trip with New Memories
    June 2013 - Escape from Tornado Alley to Food, Tropical Storms, Mickey and More Food
    June 2011 - "Can Two Thrill Ride Junkies Love Disneyworld?"

    Past Pre-Trip Reports
    June 2015 - We’re Going For the Record...A Record Number of Resort Changes!
    July 2017 - Our First Trip As a Family of Four!

    Past Trips
    July 2008 - Offsite
    June 2011 - Caribbean Beach Resort
    June 2013 - Pop Century/Universal Royal Pacific/Boardwalk Villas
    June/July 2014 - Disney Dream Cruise/Wilderness Lodge
    June 2015 - Pop Century/Coronado Springs Resort
    July 2017 - Pop Century/Port Orleans French Quarter
    December 2017 - All Star Sports

    Upcoming Trips
    June 2018 - WDW Dolphin/Yacht Club Resort
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  5. Stasieki

    Stasieki DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to reading!
     
  6. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Following along! Congrats on the adoption!
     
  7. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Thanks! Glad you're here!!!

    Thanks for reading along!
     
  8. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 1 Part 1 - What Do You Mean I Can’t Buy a Biscuit?

    Our trip had finally come. After two long years of waiting, the craziness of a second adoption, job changes, and many other things we finally woke up to this:

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    We were up and around at 4:30 AM, which is later than we have had to do in the past and we were on our way to the airport at 5:20. We arrived at 5:45, were able to check in fairly quickly before having to wait in the line to get through security, which is notoriously bad this time of the morning in Oklahoma City. DS5 was ready with his bag:

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    And DS1 was ready with his stroller!

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    We finally made it through security at 6:30 and our flight was scheduled to board at 7:20. We just hate chancing it and arriving late so we always give it the full two hours. DW and the boys were super excited though!

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    I went to the food court area and got some breakfast for me, DW, and DS5, but the place I went didn’t have anything without eggs and DS1 is allergic to those so after we ate very quickly I had to run back and get him something. Of course both boys were happy for the time being because I had picked up some milk!

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    At this point I headed back to the food court and another restaurant was open selling breakfast sandwiches and such. I assumed surely I can just buy a plain biscuit for DS1 and he’ll eat that right up. Imagine my surprise when I get to the counter and say I just want a plain biscuit and the lady says back to me, “We don’t sell plain biscuits.” I reminded her the first thing on the menu was a sausage biscuit, and she said, “Yes, you can get a sausage biscuit, but not a plain biscuit”. So I said can I order a sausage biscuit without the sausage. She thought rather hard for a moment and finally rung up a sausage biscuit and went and yelled to the cook to not put the sausage on the sausage biscuit. It was quite bizarre, not to mention I paid $4.99 for sausage biscuit even though I only wanted a biscuit. Oh well, DS1 did enjoy the biscuit! The boys were very satisfied after eating and getting their milk.

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    Eventually DS1 got tired of the stroller and we had to let him out and he headed over to look out the windows. I have great memories as a kid of looking out the big windows at the airport and it was fun seeing him his first time.

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    We finally boarded on schedule at 7:20 and departed right on time at 7:50. We had early B group boarding numbers on Southwest, but boarded with the family boarding time between A & B and it went very smooth. We were traveling with DS1 as a lap child so we had an entire row to ourselves. We were ready to roll.

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    We are very lucky that Southwest actually has a direct flight from OKC to Orlando on Sundays at certain times of the year and this was one of those times, so no connections with two kids is a big plus!! We touched down a little early in Orlando at 11:30 AM. It was time!!

    Up Next: Will a Nap Get Taken Today?
     
  9. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 1 Part 2 - Will a Nap Get Taken Today?

    We arrived a little early in Orlando at around 11:30 and DS5 was ready to be on the ground in Orlando, although he still didn’t know where we were going!

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    So, once we landed DW called him over and told him we were going to…...Disney World! This was his face:

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    Needless to say he was pretty excited. I’ve seen better reactions from kids who are slightly older when they can really comprehend it, but we have plenty of years to surprise him again!

    The running joke at this point between DW and I at this point became Is DS1 ever going to take a nap? He had been up since 4 AM. He usually gets up at 7 AM and takes a nap around 12:30, so he had been up for a while and had never fallen asleep on the plane. He is the kind of kid if he doesn’t get his nap he can get quite cranky. Anyways, we will see...on to the tram.

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    As we were heading to the Magical Express area we stopped to take a picture of the boys by the Disney Store in the airport.

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    After a few minutes we were at the Magical Express line by 11:55. The boys were getting sleepy and definitely showing that they needed a nap.

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    We waited about 20 minutes before we finally got on a bus at 12:15 and then the bus pulled out at around 12:30. I never manage to get a picture of the bus we were on, but DS5 enjoyed looking out the window.

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    We drove for a little while and still, DS1 was not falling asleep. Finally, after DS5 asked me 2,457 times if we were at Disney World yet we saw this:

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    After arriving we stopped at Art of Animation first and about the time we started on our way to Pop Century, our first resort of the trip, I looked over to see this.

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    Seriously son...now you fall asleep when we only have two minutes left on the bus. So for a few minutes DS1 enjoyed a little sleep.

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    DW and I just chuckled because we knew DS1 was the kind of sleeper that as long as you don’t move him he sleeps really well. I mean he still takes two hour naps in his bed, but if you move him at all he wakes up. We figured we might as well try though because he needed more than 10 minutes of sleep. And, much to our surprise, and due to DW’s talent, a few minutes later DS1 was in this position inside Everything Pop.

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    Yes, DW managed to transition him from the bus to her arms and then onto the seat of a booth in the corner of Everything Pop and he was still asleep.

    It was 1:10 by the time we arrived at Pop Century. I went ahead and stopped at the front desk as I hadn’t received a text yet and our room wasn’t ready, but the cast member said they did have our request on file and that we would be in the same general area, so I was ok waiting a little bit.

    We decided to have a little lunch. With DS1 sleeping and DS5 acting a fool because he needed a nap too I didn’t get many pictures of lunch. I did get a picture of mine which was the Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich and it was great! The piece of chicken was big, the sauce that was on it was very tasty and the arugula was nice and fresh.

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    DW decided to eat the kids cheeseburger, but she was pretty disappointed. They didn’t even use a real bun for this. They use one of those sandwich flat type things they sometimes do turkey and cheese sandwiches on. It was just really bizarre and weird. I mean who thought that was a good idea?

    DW5 got the kids hot dog and he enjoyed, but he isn’t picky when it comes to his hot dogs!

    After we finished eating DW1 finally decided he was ready to get up!

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    Our room still wasn’t ready and it was about 2:15 so we went over to the park at Pop and let the kids play around for a little bit.

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    By 3:00 we still didn’t have a room text and we had a 5:00 dinner reservation and wanted to convert our tickets to Annual Passes before dinner so we decided to go ahead and leave and get that done and we’d just get in our room when we got back. So we checked our carry ons with bell services and headed to the bus stop at about 3:15.

    Up Next: The Price Bridging Saga
     
  10. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 1 Part 3 - The Price Bridging Saga

    Since we still didn’t have room we decided to head on out as we had a dinner ADR at 5:00 and wanted to get our 10 day tickets we had purchased converted to annual passes. We got to the bus stop at 3:15 and a bus came about 10 minutes later. Our first Disney bus ride:

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    DS1 was still quite sleepy after the early morning:

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    And DS5 was feeling big enough to sit by himself!

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    Because of where our dinner ADR was we headed to Hollywood Studios to get our tickets converted to annual passes. We were there by 3:45 and headed into the park and then over to guest relations to do the conversion. Of course we were bridging these 10 day park hopper tickets I had purchased from Undercover Tourist at a discount and were hoping to get credit for the full gate price thus saving us some money on the upgrade. There are a lot of stories about cast members not giving you the correct credit that they should and things like that so I was prepared to be nice, but to make sure we got what we were supposed to.

    We walked in and a nice cast member named Taylor helped us and after scanning the tickets in she said, “Ok, I’m just working on bridging the price for you.” YES!!!! She told me the total I would have to pay and it matched the math I had done beforehand to know if we were getting what we should. So, after a lot of worrying and reading people’s stories of getting denied the price bridge we got it to work correctly the first time! I also got our tables in wonderland card for the year, which by the way saved us over $175 on this first trip alone which paid for the card and netted us $25. And we still have two more big trips to use it on.

    DW and DS5 wanted to show off their annual passes!

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    We were done in about 30 minutes and headed to the boat dock as we had to head to the Beach Club. We waited about 10 minutes for a bus, but DS1 passed the time looking at the ducks.

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    Before long this was our view:

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    We arrived at the Beach Club at around 4:45 and looked around in the lobby because they didn’t allow us check in until 4:55 for our 5:00 ADR since the restaurant wasn’t open yet.

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    Where were we eating?

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    Yes, one of our favorite places, and I finally managed to coordinate our visit with shrimp night. I had someone missed on our other two visits that some nights they have fried shrimp on the buffet, so I made sure get that tonight!

    Up Next: Crabs, Clams, & Shrimp...Oh Yeah!
     
  11. shannie102

    shannie102 Mouseketeer

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    Great start, excited to see how DS 1 handles the rest of this trip!!
     
  12. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Thanks for reading along!
     
  13. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Following along!

    Our kids do the same, they are excited but it takes time to set in.

    My kids are the same, napping was a must when they were that age. I also, love your wife's leggings!

    It is hard work fighting that exhaustion!

    A pro!

    He is too cute!!!!

    Can't wait to hear about dinner!
     
  14. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 1 Part 4 - Crabs, Clams, & Shrimp...Oh Yeah!

    We just left off after we checked in for our dinner at Cape May Cafe. We LOVE this meal and I think it is our third time here in four trips. Our ADR time was 5:00 and we were seated right away. I’ve said it before on our trip reports, but we love this first available dinner time. This restaurant can get pretty crowded and there isn’t a lot of extra space around the buffet so it can be tough to navigate. We have found these early times when they don’t have all of the tables filled yet the flow of people is so much easier, and you have time to head over to Epcot after dinner. What could be better than that?

    The first mission for us upon sitting down, and all of the parents on here know what I’m talking about, was to get a plate of food to the kids, so I headed up and got a plate for DS5.

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    He enjoyed the food here for sure. Both boys absolutely tore up some Mac ‘n Cheese so it was definitely a hit.

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    After getting the boys all set up I got myself a plate of mostly crab and shrimp. I’ve been here two times before and there had never been fried shrimp on the buffet, but before this trip I found out they have certain nights they do shrimp, and certain nights they do other specialties like fried calamari and fried fish, but DW and I both love fried shrimp. So I was very excited we finally hit this place up on a shrimp night!

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    The crab of course is still the star and both DW and I love crab as well. We’re from Oklahoma so we never get good seafood so when we can get it we tear it up. The crab was very easy to crack and eat and cooked really well. I’m always impressed here how well they cook the crab with as much as they have to cook to keep the buffet stocked. The shrimp was also worth the visit for sure! The batter was actually lighter than most fried shrimp that I’ve had and I thought that was great. It was the perfect batter and we could still taste and enjoy the shrimp itself instead of just eating all batter.

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    I had another plate later with more shrimp, some caesar salad, and some clamp strips. The caesar salad was way over dressed and hard to eat. The clam strips were ok, but just not something I like a whole lot. Definitely a personal preference, not the preparation. I also had some loaded potato salad at some point and it was really good. I remember really enjoying it.

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    After finishing multiple plates of real food I got the above desert plate. I think overall the desserts here leave a little to be desired. Although sometimes they have like one of the options that is really good that I have to go back for more of! And this time it was a chocolate chip brownie:

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    It was a fairly simple dessert, but it was really good. Cooked well, moist, and really tasty. I went back for a few of these and so did DW!

    Overall we love Cape May and this time did not disappoint. We were out of the restaurant by 6:00 and took a couple of pictures in front of the Beach Club and around the Crescent Lake area.

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    We headed inside Epcot with our new annual passes. While we had been on the boat to dinner I was able to secure FP’s for Soarin’ that night at 6:30. We were just planning on walking through Epcot to the bus, but since I found this we thought well, what’s one ride on Soarin’?

    We made it here by 6:25:

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    Time for this:

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    DW and DS5 went on Soarin’ first and I got a child swap pass. It took them about 30 minutes with a FP as that line seems to drag sometimes. Me and DS1 hung out in Sunshine Seasons while they were on the ride.

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    Since it took them a little while longer than expected I just decided to keep the child swap and use on a different day as they are good until the end of the month and we needed to get to bed tonight so we headed out towards the busses.

    Up Next: At Least We Got to Swim for 5 Minutes
     
  15. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Thanks for joining!

    Yes, Disney World is all he talked about on the bus ride, so he got super excited as it set in!

    Naps are a critical part of our trips for sure! She got several of those new sets of clothes and got a lot of compliments from people and she loves them!

    I know. He fought it for a while, but finally gave in. Funny thing he fell asleep on the magical express bus on this trip we just got home from again in about the exact same position. I guess those buses just put him to sleep!

    She definitely is!

    I know. Today is his 2nd birthday here at home. He's got his "Oh Twoodles" shirt on!

    Just posted it!!
     
    StarWarsMomofGirls! likes this.
  16. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Your meal looked great! Makes me want to go for dinner on our next trip. Does it say on the website which night is shrimp night. My oldest loves shrimp.
     
  17. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Cape May has always been wonderful for us. I just used the menu at All Ears. There menus seem to always be pretty accurate and it worked for the shrimp night. If you look in the seafood section of the menu it tells you what they have each night. I'm sure everything is subject to change at an point, but I think this has been a pretty standard calendar over the las several years.. http://allears.net/dining/menu/cape-may-cafe/dinner
     
  18. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! It doesn't work for our upcoming trip. But def think I am going to try for next time!
     
  19. chiisai

    chiisai i am satisfied with my care

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    Great TR! Loving it. :)
     
  20. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    It's worth the try, although it is quite expensive all things considered. We didn't do it on the trip we just got back from this past week, but we are doing it again this coming summer. It is just one that DW and I both really enjoy.

    Thanks for joining in and commenting!!
     
  21. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Day 1 Part 5 - At Least We Got to Swim for 5 Minutes

    We headed out of the Land at about 7:05 as we needed to get back to the room and get things settled. Of course we got some shots by Spaceship Earth on the way out and DS5 saw his first monorail of the trip or as he still calls is the “Monotrain”.

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    We even play a game throughout our trips where you try and spot monorails and the first person to see one gets a point. Of course DS5 is the best at this game!

    We arrived at the bus stop at 7:20 and walked right onto a bus as there was one waiting. Nice!!

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    Soon enough we were back at Pop and seeing some of our favorite icons.

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    We were not in the 70’s section near the lake like I always request, but were in the 50’s. We’ve grown to like being out in the 70’s, but this was actually a nice location. Our biggest request is always to get a first floor room so we don’t have to mess with getting the stroller up the elevator and we did get that. Our location wasn’t bad either though, we were very close to the main building, which is good when it comes to refilling your mugs! I took a few pictures of the room as we came in before our suitcases were emptied with toddler supplies!

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    We had to call down to have our food delivered. We used Amazon Prime Now 2 Hour delivery and it was awesome! I ordered when we got off the plane and it was delivered soon after. Our bags were already in the room from Magical Express and the ones we had checked earlier in the day.

    We somehow had everything set up in about 30 minutes as we were trying to get things ready so DS1 could go to bed. While DW put DS1 to bed me and DS5 headed out to do a few minutes of swimming. I love swimming just as the sun is going down as it is not as hot and you don’t have to spend 15 minutes lathering everyone up in sunscreen. Well, we got out to swim, got in the pool and within five minutes they announced there was lightning in the area. Of course DS5 wasn’t super happy, but he handled it ok. At least we got to swim for five minutes.

    DS1 was already asleep when we got back so I put DS5 in bed and I ran to fill up DW and I’s mug before bed. While I was gone I got one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

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    Just a gorgeous sunset picture over the main pool at Pop. We were all in bed by around 9:15 which is a good thing since we have our first rope drop tomorrow.

    Up Next: “How Are We Going to Get Out of Here?”
     
    paradesintherain and froggibabey like this.

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