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Trip Report THE ONE WITH THE CREW AT CHRISTMAS; December 21-28, 2018 **COMPLETE**

Swissmiss

Premium Member
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Have just read your TR in one go - hope you continue to do them on future trips because you have a great storytelling style. I would have been very peeved about the fireworks cruise as well; I’m looking forward to hearing how the next one compares.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I cannot believe Disney did not make it right, that is a shock, i am sorry you guys had to experience that
What I have come to realize through writing it all out is this: dvc is selling a product. As a dvc member I expect it to be a value. It is not. Their vacation advisors are not trained in these areas. Case in point: when I called to book the makeup fw cruise the advisor asked if I wanted to go out of contemporary? Poly? GF or saratoga? What??? I asked where the cruise from saratoga springs leaves from or goes. What fireworks do we see? Her answer was “i dont know”.
Have just read your TR in one go - hope you continue to do them on future trips because you have a great storytelling style. I would have been very peeved about the fireworks cruise as well; I’m looking forward to hearing how the next one compares.
Thank you so much. I guess “buyer beware” is true even in the bubble☹
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/Dec 27

We had extra FP’s from the monorail “situation” (really not a situation but I will take them) the previous night. I told everyone to take their time but I was going for rope drop. If anyone wanted to join me they could. Guess who jumped at the chance?
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This is AJ, the middle son, the 15 YO. The PIA! But he is awesome when he is one on one and he loves Disney (just not with a huge group).
We were on a bus by 8:15 and arrived at the park by 8:30. The lines were huge to get in. But...
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Since it was just us we could use the passholder entrance. Yay!

We went into guest services to get the 22 paper FP’s assigned to our magic bands. This phone was on the counter. Pie eye!
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The CM informed us the bonus FP’s were not good for navi, FoP or ROL. Of course they weren't. The original plan was to rope drop navi. The new plan was to skip it and the fam would have to live with the disappointment.

AJ and I were in the park taking this pix at 9:02
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Trunk up! Good luck. My MIL was looking down on us today-I hoped!
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We headed to everest.
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It was actually 22 minutes.

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Breakfast of champions.

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The CM directed us to the back so AJ could park his scooter and have less of a walk. We didnt get the back row but we got the second to the back.
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I should mention today is red day and it was a non matching bonus day. A thank you to the fam for indulging my SIL and I and wearing the matching shirts. AJ had put up the biggest fight and you can see what his shirt says. I had fun picking shirts out for each member of my crew and my FIL to suit their personalities.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/ Dec 27

The rest of the crew texted to say they were making their way into the park. AJ and I were near Kali river rapids and it was a 5 minute wait. I texted for them to hustle over and the kids could ride it. Soon we were reunited with the fam.
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Ha ha!!!!
That’s not them!

Here they are:
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The Kali wait was now up to 15 minutes.

This was promising. Maybe the coffee drinkers got it before coming to the park?
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Ummmm
That would be a no.
The Kali wait was now 20 minutes. AJ was annoyed and announced he was not going on. A jumped in line for food. Coffee drinkers jumped in line for coffee. I sent AJ with A to get food. Food might appease the beast. X, Ash, JJ and Dre got on the Kali line. Ant and I watched this guy:

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Reminded us of home with the three boys😂

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Nothing like a Disney lizard. I wonder if they know how lucky they are...

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JJ looked happy. And wet?

Trunk up, good luck.
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My son X who goes to school in Florida insisted in bringing his rain jacket. “Mom, it rains everyday.” Me; “but it’s the dry season,” I am happy he got to put his rain jacket to good use after lugging it around all week.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/Dec 27 cont

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Ummmm
OK! If you say so. No time. Heading to Pandora.


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There is a Yeti joke here somewhere but I am coming up blank. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

We had a FoP FP next. We had been the previous Thanksgiving with friends and I did my “I am getting up early whoever wants to join me” speech. X, AJ and AJ’s friend got up with me (at 5:30 am) to ride. Today, everyone else was a first timer.

This was the wait. It was sbout 10:15. The park was packed! I love AK but not when it is jammed. It is not built, in my opinion, to handle the crowds the way MK or Epcot are.
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They must teach “how to be camera ready” in my nieces sorority. I say “smile” and the rest of the fam looks around or picks their teeth but not Ash. She is spot on with that smile!!!


This could be a ride in itself!
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Coffee drinkers!
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Everyone loved it! Ant proclaimed, “I would wait 4 hours for that ride!” I proclaimed him nuts. When we had come the previous Thanksgiving we waited stand by for two hours. But the park opened at 7:00am so all we lost was a little sleep, no real park time.

There were two women who were in our grouping. They were a little on the larger size. One of them got stuck on the ride after. She started freaking out a bit and I felt awful for her. We stayed with her until a CM came. Anyhow, she is the one taking the next picture since she and her friend came meandering down after us. She told me her “banshee was broken, it wasn’t because I am fat. “ HA HA HA!!! TMI
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Attachments

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/ Dec 27 cont

Have I shown you this set up yet??
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When AJ wasn’t leading the way he was getting a free ride. Bonus hidden mickey on the ground!

We had a FP for the safari next:
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There is a handicap entrance for the scooters.
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Ash with the smile!

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And again!

Now some animals. It was the usual:
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My sons on Monday morning, er... I mean lazy hippos.

Giraffe, my fave:
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Ankole cattle. This is what my room smelled like.
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Elephants:
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This guy/girl is strking a pose. Put your trunk up! Put your trunk up!!!
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Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/ Dec 27 cont

Rhino
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How does my husband pronounce cheater???
Yes, that is a cheetah.
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Lioness
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Lion
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Ostrich
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When it was over our guide told us we would be off loading where we boarded. She said we would go through a bit of a back stage area. It really isn't “backstage” it was just the little bit of road between the normal drop off and normal pick up. However, there was a huge gate with CM’s coming and going. Shift changes? It did have a different feeling from the “on stage” area, unless that was in my head. Maybe it was partially due to the fact that our guide got on her radio and said, “dispatch, showtime 21 oh 3.”

We exited and headed to our Expedition Everest FP. I saw a margarita stand. I am not usually a tequilla fan but I was walking with A and he was so bummed about losing his backpack. I bought two (because that is all I am allowed to buy) and offered one to A. “No, maybe I will get a beer later,” he moped. Oh hell no! Take it. They were so yummy!!
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Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/Dec 27 cont

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Did I mention it was crowded??!

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Sure you do!

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Dre wasnt feeling well. That is him on the left. That is his normal 13YO tude but he wasn't himself. At dinner the night before he was crying. I took his phone thinking something was going on back at home (did my usual quick search and found nothing but those darn snapchats. Anything could have come through snapchat).


There she is. Her sorority sisters would be so proud!!!
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AJ and I got the front row this time.
We will just call this the Ash show.
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Poor Dre. He was really not feeling well.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/Dec 27

These are from Ant’s camera:
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This was the view from the front. We were really close to the edge!
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Yeti! Is that you?
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No, I didn't think so.

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AJ wanted to do the sleep thing again but I was not closing my eyes with this awesome front row view!!!

When we got off Dre really felt terrible. I told him and AJ they could go back and go for a swim. But they had to be back for our ADR at 4:45.
I must say, it was kind of nice without them. Less stress for me!
 

DisSplash

Well-Known Member
Your Everest photos are so awesome! Especially with that sea of red shirts!! 😄

I try to do on ride photos, but my own kid (the coaster freak) won’t let me. Says it’s not allowed, or that I am going to drop my phone, blah, blah, blah ... Geez. Some kids are no fun! 😜

And your poor baby Dre ... he clearly felt awful, as evidenced by those Everest photos. I hope resting in the room did the trick for him. 👍
 

officialtom

Well-Known Member
I'm only on your second day and can already say -- you are so brave! Travelling with a big group and being the only expert. I would probably pull my hair out.

We went two years ago with 25 cousins/aunts/uncles/in-laws and thankfully it went very well. I think it was only because about half of us are WDW obsessed and know how everything works. We're going back again in 17 days with about 30 people and I'm just thankful for my cousins who are obsessive planners and MDE freaks like me. When we get there, we have a few ADRs/FPs together, but if certain parts don't work out, that's just fine.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
try to do on ride photos, but my own kid (the coaster freak) won’t let me. Says it’s not allowed, or that I am going to drop my phone, blah, blah, blah ... Geez. Some kids are no fun! 😜
My oldest, X, can clearly be seen yelling at me to stop taking pictures. And he is usually the “fun” one😎

Finally all caught up!

Don’t know what’s worse the original bait and switch DVC pulled on that firework cruise or how they failed to handle it afterwards.
I go back and forth. To be honest, priced in the $45-$55 range it would be a good time. Thanks for reading!
BTW, loved reading your TR!!!
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm only on your second day and can already say -- you are so brave! Travelling with a big group and being the only expert. I would probably pull my hair out.

We went two years ago with 25 cousins/aunts/uncles/in-laws and thankfully it went very well. I think it was only because about half of us are WDW obsessed and know how everything works. We're going back again in 17 days with about 30 people and I'm just thankful for my cousins who are obsessive planners and MDE freaks like me. When we get there, we have a few ADRs/FPs together, but if certain parts don't work out, that's just fine.
Wow!!! 11 does not seem like a big group when you put it that way!!!
Have fun! I for one would love to read a TR about a trip with 30 people!!! (hint, hint)
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day7/Dec 27 cont

We headed towards Dinosaur. It was a favorite of ours in 2010. But first, we were hungry.
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We had an early ADR so just got a few things to share in Restaurantsaurus. X and I shared a salad:
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But this was all mine!!!
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There was also fried shrimp and lemonade?
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And a yummy brownie!

X was saying Dinosaurs are fake.
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What are they teaching him in college?

We took the handicap elevator.
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JJ was excited and of course Ash had the smile.
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Off we go!

2010:
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And 2018:
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We all agreed dinosaur has lost some of its ooomph.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7/Dec 27 cont

My FIL wanted to buy some towels for someone at home. Ant had been running into every store as we passed. My nephew, A, followed him into a store but was checking his emails and ended up following a random guy in a red shirt.
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As we stood around looking for him I ran into a woman I know from home. We use to do a lot of work together with the PTA and our boys played little league together. Ant was the coach but her husband would help out. She and I were chatting, I could see her family from where we were by a garbage can she had come over to use. Her phone rings and its her husband freaking out! “Where are you?!?” I am waving at him and he is just staring at me. You can wave back. The point is, A was lost and we were chilling. This woman walks 15 feet to throw out some trash and her husband was stressing hard! Hard!
Time to go ...

The original Sherpa:
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I decided we would go catch the 3:00 lion king show. But A went into meltdown mode. He had received a grade on a project he had been working on for three months. A TA had graded it and taken a lot of points off for grammar. He was so upset. First his backpack and now this. He wanted, no needed to write an email that second. I suggested we (get some beer) go get on line for lion king and he could go off and write his email.
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Poor A in the background😞
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Ash with the smile.
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We DID NOT get into the 3:00 despite waiting in line 40ish minutes. Wait! We have bonus FP’s! Ant ran to ask and no dice. All full.

So we headed here:
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