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Old 7 Jun 16, 09:07 PM  
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Caroian
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The "Years in the Making" Trip - Day 2 (HS, 50s Prime Time, Publix)

I had lots of great intentions to get the days of this trip report up reasonably quickly. that'll be a fail then! To be fair, we've been away at a wedding over the weekend and I've had... you know, boring work stuff to do! I'm also trying to edit the photos for a photobook as I go along, so that's my excuse!

Previous day is HERE
Index can be found HERE


So day two dawned a little less early than day one. Thomas was awake around 5am. We set him up with some apps on the iPad whilst we dozed for a bit longer. (I'm not totally sure why we were struggling so much to wake up. On many, many trips to the US, I've always used jet lag to my advantage, making the most of it and getting up early. Hotel pools are often deserted at this time, for example. I had been looking forward to being able to get up bright and early with Thomas, who is a super early riser at home where I really struggle to wake up with him. Turns out I'd adjusted pretty quick this trip, so was still struggling with his early rising. Ah well!)

We had breakfast in the villa today, which given that we hadn't done a supermarket shop yet consisted of multipack cereal and Entemann's donuts from the onsite shop. What?! Donuts are a perfectly acceptable breakfast. Even chocolate covered ones when you are on holiday. Am I right? Of course I'm right! (I should add here that my mum definitely does not agree. I'm sure there was some internal eye rolling as the rest of us scoffed stuff like this. But she's a good mum, and didn't spoil our fun!)

We headed over to Hollywood Studios in the car. We must have got slightly lost as we ended up coming in from the side furthest away from OKW (i.e the Oscelola Parkway side) which meant we drive by the boarded up Streets of America and the Earful Tower. I almost shed a little tear at this. I'm glad we went that way and saw the tower though, as a few nights later they pulled it down! On our last visit it was still very much the park icon. Much as I like Tower of Terror, and it is brilliantly themed, it seems odd to have as a park icon. I guess it is too much to hope that they'll bring back the Earful Tower!

I can't remember where we parked, but we made a decision to walk rather than use the team and we beat the tram by a considerable distance! Stupidly I looked right at the oath and the quieter bag check but whilst looking at it crossed over the road thus ensuring we wouldn't go that way. Doh! Fortunately bag check did not take too long in the regular lines, although I was "randomly selected " again (two out of two so far).











We got a few Photpass pictures on Hollywood Boulevard and then tried to decide what to do, as we had some time before our Fastpasses. As ToT was showing a 10 minute wait we decided that Ian and I may as well ride it now and then try to change our FP to match the one that the other three had for The Little Mermaid.

Turns out this may have been a mistake, as I think leaving Thomas at this early stage, and heading off to a ride that he perceived as very scary (based on the screams you can hear outside as the doors pop open) may have made him more clingy - and was probably the start of his fear not only of rides for himself, but also that somehow I was going to come to harm on them. (He wasn't worried about Ian. I'm not sure if this represents some deep rooted sense that men are less fragile than women (I bloody hope that's not what he thinks!) or simply that he was more attached to me on this holiday and, I guess, depends on me a bit more than his dad as inevitably I spend more time looking after him.) Gah. I need to stop with the digressions!



So we rode and loved ToT. Came back to find Thomas in a bit of strop and also desperate for the restroom but only wanting me to take him. So I left Ian with the task of trying to change our ToT FP. Once we came back from the restroom we had a moment of marital disharmony. It turns out that Ian had cancelled our ToT FP, rather than simply trying to modify it. He then found there was no availability to match the others (no Fastpasses for the Little Mermaid - I think this represents the dearth of available attractions to actually use a FP on at HS. Damn. Another digression!) I may have been a bit annoyed that he had cancelled the other one first. I did say that surely he knew not to do it that way. Then I remembered that it was me that spent hours upon hours researching this stuff and perhaps it was unreasonable to expect him to know that. Oops. Anyway, I got online to try to recapture the cancelled FP for ToT. There was still availability but the WiFi was being incredibly flaky and I wasn't sure that it was going through. Ian then told me it was definitely showing in "My Plans" on MDE, so we were all set. (Remember this for... well, the next couple of paragraphs.)

Thomas was being incredibly whiny and clingy and at this point I really felt my patience with him evaporating. It was early morning on day 2 of the holiday and it almost felt like he was hating it all. I'd been so excited about the potential joy he was going to get out of everything that his apparent displeasure at the whole thing was proving hard to swallow. I guess I needed to get a bit of perspective though, as he had actually enjoyed almost all of the previous day (bar 7DMT) and being fair, thus far this morning we'd abandoned him to do a ride that does look a bit scary from the outside!



We set off for a wander and he seemed to settle down a bit. We ended up right over by the Sci Fi Dine In and he had a lot of fun playing in the car they have outside. We then headed towards the Animation Courtyard. As we came up the side of the Chinese Theater, a CM held us back and we saw the Storm Trooper Parade approaching. Thomas loved this and we headed round to watch the Galaxy Far, Far Away show on the stage. Unfortuantely it was incredibly loud, and eventually this began to distress Thomas who is very, very sensitive to noise (probably has his dad's supersonic hearing). So we decided to move on with the plan of my mum and dad taking Thomas in to the Little Mermaid whilst we headed back to ToT.





We had about 15 mins until our ToT FP window opened, so we got a few Photopass pictures with an incredibly grumpy photographer on Sunset Boulevard. This did produce one of the funniest photos though. She told us to look scared of the ToT, so I pulled a very odd looking grimace. Ian meanwhile completely missed what we were supposed to be doing. The result is a photo where I look as though I cannot stand my husband (either that or he has just produced a particularly noxious fart!)





What is that smell?!




We still had some time, so thought we could try to slip in a quick ride on RnR in the single rider line. It probably took about 15 minutes and we were both on the same ride (just seated separately, obviously). Ian said the guy next to him was quite amusing as he just kept saying "Oh yeah. Yeeeeeah. Oh yeah" all the way round. Sounds like a dodgy sexual encounter to me!











When we came off, something made me look at MDE and I realised that we didn't, in fact, have another FP for ToT. I'm still not totally sure what happened, whether it simply didn't go through because of the patchy WiFi, but was still showing in plans because the cancellation hadn't updated, also because of patchy WiFi. Ah well, at least we'd got a ride in on RnR and actually timing wise it worked out quite well as by the time we'd walked back to the Animation Courtyard, with a few more Photopass pictures on the way, the others were coming out of the Little Mermaid, which apparently they'd enjoyed. Thomas had found some bits too loud again though, so I made a mental note to remember his ear defenders from now on!

Our next FP was for Toy Story so we walked around to Pixar Place. There was an army of green men out, and absolutely no wait to meet them, and this ended up being a really great interaction for Thomas. He was wearing a Toy Story T-Shirt with lots of the characters on it and the army man kept pointing himself out on the shirt and trying to look for others. He also started to point at all of the Mickey's on my T-Shirt and shake his head! We got a ton of photos that turned out really well. (Sorry, total photo overload!)































We then headed in to meet Woody and Buzz. Quite a few photo fails in the queue here as Thomas is not keen on being a model.we did get trapped in the crate together though! This meet was another great one. I got a marriage proposal from Woody (well, he got down on one knee anyway!) Immediately after our meet they headed off for their break, so we'd timed it well.



HELP!






"Look at meeee... I'm doing the box step!"












Our window for Toy Story was now open so we headed in, along with a red queue timer card (we had a few of these in FP lines, which I didn't realise they used them for). Thomas, Ian and I rode as a threesome. This worked really well as Thomas couldn't really manage to shoot on his own. If we'd gone separately one of us would have been in a car alone, and the other would have been exclusively helping Thomas. As it was he "helped" both of us and also just really enjoyed watching us going crazy trying to shoot stuff! He laughed his head off the whole way round and I came off feeling like we were getting back on track. I was the winner out of the family, although my score was pretty underwhelming. Ian blamed "having to help Thomas" on his lower score. Sore loser!



Love the excitement on my dad's face here!
















We then wound our way round towards Echo Lake as we had an ADR at 50s Prime Time at 12. On the way Thomas spotted a pressed penny machine. I must admit that I'm usually the kind of person that dismisses these souvenir opportunities - although I'm not entirely sure why. But Thomas was really taken with it, and I figured it gave him something to look for in the parks, so we let him choose one design. This was the beginning of a collection that has turned out a great memento of our trip!

We had a couple more Photopass pictures by the lake - with the same grumpy photographer we'd had earlier on Sunset Boulevard.



We then checked in for our ADR. Now, this was an absolute must ADR for my dad. We went in 1989 and had fond memories, but the theming is also right up his street as not only a child of the 50s but also an Americanophile. We don't recall the interaction part of it from 1989 - when it had been open mere weeks - but the interior theming was identical.













It was really chaotic in the restaurant and the Tune In Lounge, with people waiting everywhere. Thomas did settle into watch the television, and we did eventually get a seat. Once again though they seemed to rely on calling out names rather than using pagers. I kept thinking I'd heard our name but then another party would get up. Eventually we went to ask as groups of similar size who'd arrived after us were getting seated and it was by now more than 30 mins past our ADR time (the longest wait we had in the entire trip, I think). After some umming and arring We were told we'd be the next party of five, but to be honest I'm still not sure that we either hadn't been forgotten, or that someone else had answered to our name and got our table! I'd really like Disney to consider changing their ADR check in systems and actually using pagers, rather than sometimes shouting out names, sometimes using pagers, offering texts only to US guests etc etc. it just seems more chaotic than is necessary.

Gosh, I really do sound like a right whinger, don't I?!

Anyway, we had a great server called Gary. He was very in character without being over the top. We all had milkshakes (Dad, Ian and I all had the "Dirt and Worms" which I can highly recommend - chocolate and Oreo milkshake with gummy worms. Some of the gummy worms were snaffled by a little worm their though!) I was surprised and pleased that we were allowed to include the milkshakes as our drink on the dining plan. We all ended up having the same to eat - very boring of us - which was the sampler plate. This was fantastic. I'm not sure why we can't get decent fried chicken in this country. It all has to be "Southern" or seasoned or coated in some way instead of just "fried". So we had that along with meatloaf and pot roast, plus lovely mash and green beans. Thomas also had fried chicken with fries and corn on the cob - all of his favourites, so he ate pretty much the lot.



Our server joked a lot about where we, and all the people around us, we're from. Being English, we obviously all live in castles. He also told my mum that her grandson looked up to her and she had to be a role model so it was important that she eat her greens. To ensure it happened he spoon fed her some green beans! At the table next door he cpaccused one guy of trying to hide hide his peas. He picked a forkful out and then fed them to him whilst singing "give peas a chance".

We were pretty stuffed, but there was no way I was rejecting dessert. We got three slices of Peanut Butter layer cake, two to share and one to go. My mum elected to have her milkshake as her dessert and got a bottle of water to takeaway as well. (I cannot believe reading this back that we didn't make her get another dessert to take away! What was I thinking!) The layer cake came in the most enormous slabs, but was divine. We ended up adding some more to the to-go box, so we had pretty much two slices to take away. We used 5 TS credits and left a good tip as the server was great.



Mmm...yours looks better than mine!


Thomas was exhausted by now so we thought about skipping our last FP and heading back. However I also thought that he might nap in the stroller if we walked around for a bit. as we walked towards the Hypeion though, I asked him if he wanted to see the Frozen show, as that was our final FP. He did (much to Ian's disappointment, as this was probably the one thing he least wanted to do) and so in we went. It was actually very good - even Ian had to agree. There were plenty of jokes for the adults, including reference to how much death and orphaning there is in Disney films ("Is this Bambi?") and one that sticks in my mind about needing a "Fjord Escort". Thomas was very bouncy and we both did some singing along. He loved it when it snowed at the end.







It was now about half past two and we were definitely done. Thomas was dead on his feet. We jumped back in the car and headed out to find Publix. We wanted to do Publix rather than Walmart as it is smaller and less overwhelming when you are only after a few bits. Now, on one of our previous trips we stayed at the Fantasy World Resort in Kissimmee, which was pretty much directly opposite a Publix, which we did almost all our shopping at.this is the Publix at the junction of Vineland Road and the 192. Possibly not the closest option for shopping,but it was a bit nostalgic. I'd like to say it's exactly how I remember it, but actually, it isn't! I'm not sure how much of that is a mis-remember acne, and how much is because it has changed.

Anyhoo, we found our way there and Thomas, predictably, fell asleep in the car. By some massive stroke of luck, I managed to transfer him to the stroller without him waking up. This meant that he stayed asleep whilst we got on with our shopping. Anyone who has ever been in a supermarket when a preschooler is also there will probably know how taxing shopping with one can be. So this was all good.

We mostly bought milk, juice, beer and snacks - chips, pop tarts, Oreos (how many flavours!) Oatmeal Creme Pies, Peanut Butter M&Ms, you know - essentials - plus cereal (Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, none of those crappy Cinnamon Grahams), some fruit (because, you know, you've got to have some healthy stuff whilst away) and all the toiletries we hadn't brought with us - shower gel, shampoo etc. I guess we spent around $120. The guy who packed our bags was super helpful and originally from Sheffield, having moved out with his family as a teenager.

I love that they need to spell out the date format, presumably to prevent lots of complaints of out of date food! And $2.89 for those Crawford's biscuits! I bought some for 50p in Sainsburys the other day!

The only thing we couldn't get in Publix was glucose tablets for me (I'm diabetic), so we had to make a stop at Walmart after all. Oh, and Thomas had woken up bursting for a wee, so we needed to stop for that reason too. Wee wee had and glucose tablets in multiple flavours (not the grape ones though, I've made that mistake before!) we jumped back in the car and headed back to OKW, driving through that arch ourselves for the first time.



Somehow that had eaten up a good chunk of time. Thomas had a bit of time watching the Disney Channel (which bafflingly was showing a dubbed version of the Octonauts - not a disney show at all) and playing with his trains before we put him to bed. I may or may not have nodded off whilst we were singing (a bedtime ritual in our house). We didn't actually eat again properly, still being full from lunch, but we did have some beers and snacks on the balcony and finished up the dessert from lunchtime, plus a chocolate cake and Key Lime Pie in the fridge left over from our first evening. We're on holiday, so this totally counts as dinner.

Mum and dad walked down to Hospitality House at some point to collect the tickets for the Hoop de Doo on Friday evening. I may or may not have fallen asleep on the sofa again (no photographic evidence this time, so I'm saying it didn't happen!)

Looking back on this day it almost feels like we didn't do that much - especially when I compare to other trip reports. However most of those reports are from people with no children or older children, and I think there is a big difference in what you do with younger children. The personality of the child, and everyone, to a degree is a big factor too. And to be fair we ride all three headliners, had two good character meets, saw the Storm Trooper parade and lost of the show, saw the Frozen show and had a good, if long, lunch. Thomas and my parents saw an extra show in place of the thrill rides. We also did a big supermarket shop. So it wasn't actually a quiet day, and we were certainly exhausted by the end.
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Edited at 09:48 PM.
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Old 7 Jun 16, 10:45 PM  
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Great day. Love Thomas's interaction with the Green Army Man. Thomas is a real cutie.

Looking forward to see what the next day brings
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Old 8 Jun 16, 06:46 PM  
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Caroian
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Originally Posted by Dissie View Post
Great day. Love Thomas's interaction with the Green Army Man. Thomas is a real cutie.

Looking forward to see what the next day brings
Thank you! I think the Green Army Man was probably one of the best interactions we had. It was so in rushed as well as there was hardly anyone wanting to meet them and a few of them about.

I'd probably say looks can be deceiving where Thomas is concerned, as can be anything but cute at times! (Absolutely wouldn't change him for the world though!)
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Old 8 Jun 16, 11:56 PM  
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What a fab day and report You crammed loads in! I always feel like I haven't done much too, then I get loads of comments saying how much we packed in. I think we just imagine aaaaaaall the things we're gonna do and then it's a bit of a disappointment when we "only* do 15 attractions haha.

I was also scandalised at mugging us off with a dubbed Octonauts! Give us annoying Disney Junior cartoons, please!

I love your tshirt too
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Old 9 Jun 16, 01:19 AM  
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I think you did plenty, especially considering you had a TS meal in there! Early in the trip we're usually done by around 2.30 as well and we don't have kids!
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Old 9 Jun 16, 09:40 AM  
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Oh those photos with the green army man are amazing... so much better than you would ever get from a photopass photographer! Can you come on holiday with me next time and take all my photos?!

Another great day and given you had a wee one in tow I think you achieved plenty! We have extremely long days when we are there but as you say we don't have children so are able to... I am sure our tactic will change if/when we go with a little one!
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Old 9 Jun 16, 05:53 PM  
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Sounds like a great day. We went last year with our 2 year old there were a few times i did the shop while dh drove around with LO. Can never transfer him to a pushchair!
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Old 11 Jun 16, 11:37 AM  
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Great photos again. I think you did loads plus it's easy to spend far more time shopping than you anticpate. There's just too much to do on these holidays and that's why you have to keep going back.

Love 50's Prime Time too.
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Old 11 Jun 16, 11:50 AM  
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Enjoying reading this report - loved the pics of Thomas with the 'green men' and doesn'the that dessert at 50'some Prime Time look amazing - may have to rethink my ADRs again!
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Old 11 Jun 16, 02:02 PM  
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Ahhhh, those photos of Thomas with the Green Army Man are priceless.

My DD (who us now 19 but never mind) always really struggled with loud noises. Illuminations in particular used to really distress her, so I can really empathise with you trying to find a way to keep him happy around that problem.

And ... Grape glucose tabs? Who knew are they really so bad?
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