Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WDW 2008 Family Trip Index

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Part I
Part II
Part III 

DAY 2 , "4815"
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

DAY 3, HAPPY @#$^&&)#$#!@$@$* BIRTHDAY!

Part I
Part II 
Part III
Part IV

Part I
Part II
Part III 


Part I
Part II
Part III 
Part IV

Part I

Part II
Part III  
Part IV

Only 1 Part!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Disney Podcast Updates – April 16-30, 2010

Well, folks, this wraps up the first year of podcast updates for the blog. No pomp and no circumstance – I'm over two months behind, for crying out loud. It's weird how this has changed in the past 12 months (uninterrupted with the exception of a couple of weeks in November due to a technical glitch). It has grown exponentially, it seems. The first round of updates had 28 podcasts on it. Currently I'm tracking over 50 shows with several more being subscribed to with thoughts of adding them to the list. It goes without saying that I've bitten off more than I can chew, and I feel bad that the vast majority of the updates below are little more than the show descriptions. Still, I feel that there's a benefit here as I continue to add labels to the posts and see traffic coming in via searches and out via the podcast links as hopeful new subscribers find the podcasts. Again, I'm going to try to work on getting caught up – I find myself getting behind and then feeling overwhelmed when I see 200+ new episodes sitting in iTunes waiting to be listened to. Hopefully I can do the show updates to catch up and then start doing weekly updates instead of 2/month updates.

To those podcasters who have promoted what I do on your feeds, it is most definitely appreciated. If I didn't acknowledge it, please be assured that it was not intentional. In an effort to listen to as many shows as I can, I sometimes end a show a few minutes early when it sounds like the main part is over and the show is in the "wrap-up" stage.

As for the 67 shows listed below…some really good ones are on here once again. There are too many to list here, but you can tell which ones I really liked based on my comments below.

If you are interested in listening to any of these episodes, I have links to subscribe for most of these shows in my post HERE. Also, if you're willing, you can help these shows out by posting a review over on iTunes. The more they get, the higher up they appear on searches. If you do start listening to a podcast as a result of what you've seen on here, please let the podcasters know!

As always, please note that this again is not a comprehensive list of the Disney Podcasts that are out there. Mike Hamilton has created, which he periodically updates with new podcasts and removes dead casts. He also has the automated RSS (historical) feeds of the podcasts. This is more of a cross-section of what is currently being talked about…perhaps something may sound interesting, and you'll subscribe to listen to that topic. Also, Shawn Rees does a similar set of posts over on and covers some shows that I don't list here…check out his stuff…he does a great job and provides the type of reviews I would like to get back to doing someday.

Any and all comments are welcomed! Also, if you know of another podcast that fits here, let me know.



    • 04/24/10 – Episode 67, *Headphones Recommended* *LAST 10 MINUTES OF SHOW RATED PG-13. LANGUAGE UNCENSORED FOR REASONS PERTAINING TO COMEDY* Hey everyone! I'm back two weeks later, and the job application process hasn't gotten any better, but I'm editing a show anyway, because I love you guys. This show we'll be going into the Magic Kingdom for an early morning. There is very little cut out of this piece. I want you to get the feeling of a relaxing morning with just the Dysfunctional SuperFamily. We ride a few rides, and just take in our surroundings. I hope you can get the same feeling we did on this relaxing and "magical" morning in the parks. Enjoy! Time: 1:07:07

    • 04/16/10 – Episode 157, This week we're celebrating 3 years of All About the Mouse podcasting! On Tuesday April 13th we broadcasted LIVE on Mouse World Radio and took listener phone calls and had WAY too much fun. This episode is a pre-recorded version of the LIVE show that took place just in case you missed it, (or for some reason wanted to hear it again). Time: 2:03:21
    • 04/23/10 – Episode 157, This week we're joined by Deb Koma from, Glenn Whelan, and Marissa Gordon to talk about some of our favorite, yet unhealthy, treats to eat in Walt Disney World. The purpose of this discussion is certainly not to turn anyone off to any of these foods but you may be surprised at just how many calories are in some of our favorite treats. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) Time: 1:39:45
    • 04/30/10 – Episode 158, This week we're talking about some of our favorite iPad, iPhone, and other smart phone Disney related apps. Whether you're looking for an application to entertain a toddler, tween, young adult, or even adults there are lots of great Disney apps out there to provide quality entertainment and even some that can make your time in the parks more efficient. Time: 1:33:29
    • 04/30/10 – Episode 159, This week we're talking with Margaret and Doug from the Disney Moms Panel about special things to do in Walt Disney World for your mom, wife, or just that special someone who just so happens to be a mom in celebration of Mother's Day. There are many special things in Walt Disney World for all occasions including spas, cruises, elegant dining locations, and even a special Sunday brunch just for moms and the Moms Panel members are going to help us by recommending their favorites. Also, in the listener feedback section we're going to do something we haven't done in a AllAbouttheMouseketeer Interviews! Time: 1:39:23

    • 04/18/10 – Episode 221, Today Rikki and Mike discuss what we think about the state of the Walt Disney World parks.  We discuss things we think are going well in each park, as well as suggestions for improvement.  We also give 1 "untouchable" attraction, 1 "dump it now" attraction, as well as 1 "tweak this a bit" attraction.  We would love to know what you make *YOUR* list! Time: 57:49
    • 04/20/10 – April Live Show, This is the Be Our Guest Podcast Live Show originally aired on April 18, 2010 on Magical Mouse Radio!  We took lots of calls from our listeners about all kinds of Disney topics, as well as had some special guests call us as well!  Our next Be Our Guest Podcast Live Show will be on May 16, 2010 at 8:00 EDT/7:00 CDT on Magical Mouse Radio!  We hope you can join us then! Time: 2:04:23
    • 04/22/10 – Episode 222, Happy Friday!  Today we discuss the audio-animatronics that are very special to us at Walt Disney World.  We discuss some AA's that you might not think would make our list and discuss what is so special about each.  We also have a fun discussion about something in Carousel of Progress and Country Bears that you may not have thought of.  Please let us know what you think are special audio-animatronics! Time: 35:11
    • 04/25/10 – Episode 223, We are lucky to have Chris (Mush:nope…not me) joining us from Canada today sharing his recent two-week vacation to Walt Disney World.  We will discuss his thought on traveling down from Canada to Florida, staying off-site, special memories from time in the parks and restaurants, plus much more! Time: 34:42
    • 04/29/10 – Episode 224, What a week it was in Walt Disney World news!  We start off talking about Mike's upcoming NASA Tweetup opportunity at Kennedy Space Center for the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis.  Next, we discuss the return of Captain EO to Epcot this summer, and wrap up by talking about a huge Disney Twitter scam this week that got a lot of us! Time: 46:57

    • 04/22/10 – Episode 12, Today your Betamouse Hosts are talking all about Twitter, specifically, the Official Disney Twitter accounts. Time: 1:07:29
    • 04/29/10 – Episode 13, Today Team Betamouse interviews the famous Lou Mongello and together they talk tech! Time: 44:33

    • 04/24/10 – IYEE 59, Disneyland discussions and more with a special guest. Time: 40:01

    • 04/24/10 – Episode 90, We are talking Disney Trip Technology and much more. On this episode: The World In News - Disney World News; Disney Dining Experience - Tony's; Disney Dance Floor - Disney, Technology, and You. Time: 55:09

    • 04/28/10 – Episode 31, On the show this week, Kyle and I talk a little about the D23 Epcot International Flowers & Garden Festival, we feature a vinyl recording of the Mickey Mouse Club March, and we catch you up with your latest Disney and tech news. Time: 25:09

    • 04/17/10 – Episode 43, The continuation Airtran jacking with Trace for the last time and Walt Disney World Marathon. (Mush: yeah, you definitely got the shaft with them not upgrading to business class until that last flight) Time: 1:04:25

    • 04/29/10 - For us Disneylanders, it's the ultimate fan experience. To know that we are NOT alone in our D.F.-ness. And to get everyone in the mood for this year's Fun and Frivolity at the Disneyland Resort, (or F&;F at the DLR as we like to call it), were proud to present our WESTFEST WARMUP! Relive moments you didn't even remember happening from Westfest 2009 with the whole gang from Disney Podcast Network. If you're not familiar with the event, here's a perfect introduction! Full of the usual surprises, this episode is a must-see before, during and long after Westfest 2010...ENJOY! Time: 1:03:03

    • 04/17/10 – Episode 107, Welcome to another edition of The Disney Pincast. Join hosts Tom Corless and John Rick for Disney Pin Trading news, upcoming pin trading opportunities around the world, John Rick's Disney Pin Investigation, Tom Corless' Pin Trading 101, a profile of I.P.L.S. member number #86, and much more!!! Time: 2:09:32
    • 04/25/10 – Episode 108, Welcome to another edition of The Disney Pincast. Join hosts Tom Corless and John Rick for Disney Pin Trading news, upcoming pin trading opportunities around the world, audio from The Disney Pincast Live!, a profile of I.P.L.S. member number #87, and much more!!! Time: 2:22:09

    • 04/18/10 – Episode 46, After a brief press conference where Scott and Tracey explain their recent unusual behavior, they present an interview with Chad Emerson, author of the new book Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World.  They also discuss their recent appearances on other podcasts, listen to WWED and continue their Perspective on Pixar segment with Monsters Inc.  Listener feedback wraps up the show. (Mush: thanks again!) Time: 1:25:48

    • 04/28/10 – Episode 40, The show begins with our usual news and rumours as we explore everything going on in the Disney parks in the Europe and Orlando. With Craig having returned from Orlando this week we talk about his experiences and also answer a Halloween email form a listener. As if you haven't heard enough about it already, we talk a little bit more about Mousemeets before getting on with the rest of the show. A listener, Lee enjoyed the Wishes Dessert Party last year and with Disney announcing its return he brings us an audio review of the experience. We give Around the World in 80 segments a show off as we take a trip to Milton Keynes to enjoy Audio from the first every Disney Pin signing in the UK. We not only interview some of the pin collectors but also speak to Jonathon Storey, head of Disney Store UK and Kim Raymond, Disney Character artist talks to use about designing the exclusive pin series. Time: 1:23:54

    • 04/19/10 – Extra, My best friend in the whole world is being put to sleep this week. His name is Klondike and he was named for the Disneyland Frito the kid spiel heard at the Casa De Fritos restaurant. Please think good thoughts as he leaves us this week. (Mush: I followed this on Facebook…my sympathies go out to you, David!)
    • 04/29/10 – WDW EAC 2, Around the World. Time: 40:26
    • 04/29/10 – EAC #212, Going GREEN with DCA Daniel. Time: 1:05:24

    • 04/16/10 – Video Extra, On April 16, 2010, the new D-Street store grand opened at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. As part of the grand opening, Mickey Mouse and a few D-Street cast members showed off some fancy dance moves. Time: 1:47
    • 04/16/10 – Video Extra, Speed painter Rock Demarco paints Mickey Mouse live in front of an audience in just 8 minutes at the D-Street grand opening at Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney on April 16, 2010. This video shows his painting condensed down to around 30 seconds, though the 8-minute painting was quite impressive to witness. Time: 1:09
    • 04/16/10 – Video Extra, D-Street, Walt Disney World's new Downtown Disney store, features Vinylmation figures and unique urban apparel. Throughout the store visitors will find recognizable decor from the former Pleasure Island hot spot, the Adventurers Club. Time: 2:29
    • 04/18/10 – Episode 263, Beyond the latest Disney and theme park news, we bring you to Downtown Disney for the grand opening of D-Street including an interview with Dara Trujillo, manager of merchandise synergy at Walt Disney World. Then enjoy a special presentation featuring John Lasseter and his wife about their Lassester Family wine label as part of Disney's California Food and Wine Festival. Time: 1:15:54
    • 04/25/10 – Episode 264, After the latest Disney and theme park news, Ricky catches up on listener questions and comments and explore a variety of topics including online check-in, trip planning, Mother's Day, and many more. Then Skipper Ben and Princess Lisa join us for some more trip planning of their own. Time: 1:28:34

    • 04/16/10 – Episode 131, Dining at Magic Kingdom. Learn about the dining options available at the Magic Kingdom park. Each of the team members share their personal favorites. The table service and counter service options are critiqued. Karin has the latest Disney News and events including character locations. Please email us with your opinions about Magic Kingdom dining we will try to share them on the air. Time: 1:09:10
    • 04/30/10 – Episode 132, Dining at Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios. Learn about the dining options available at each of the parks. The team members share their personal favorites. The table service and counter service options are critiqued. Karin has the latest Disney News and events including character locations. Please email us with your opinions about Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios dining and we will try to share them on the air. Time:

    • 04/27/10 – Vinylmation Adventure part 1, Mikey and crew begin to open up an entire box of park series 4 figurines. (Mush: I am not letting my son see this as he has one and wants about 100 more of them!). Time: 4:20

    • 04/20/10 – Episode 73, On this episode, we bring you along on for the conclusion of our December Walt Disney World 2009 trip! I know...I know... We're WAAAAYYYY behind...and took another long (unplanned) hiatus. We begin this episode with life updates, catching you up what we've been to these past few months. We are back to our rambling selves as we might be a bit rusty in podcast. But this is hopefully why you (in part) tune into Will and Shannon; to hear their fun, witty banter. This is a longer-show than originally planned...again, the silly rambling took over! With us being on the hiatus, we had some magic saved up so enjoy this jam packed episode. The in-park audio begins with a very excited Princess Peanut in line to see Santa Goofy! It's a very cute and special vacation memory for Will and Shannon. Then follow along Will, Shannon and Princess Peanut as we take you to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Time: 1:53:10
    • 04/25/10 – Episode 74, Hello and welcome to Episode 74 of The Magic Never Ends Podcast with Will and Shannon. Follow us on our journey through the Disney parks as we explore the Imagination and Dreams of Disney. On this episode, we gear up for the excitement of DPN Westfest 2010 by returning to DPN Westfest 2009! For all those that Embrace the Shannon, this is the episode for you! It's a Shannon-centric Magic Never Ends in-park audio episode. Full of Shannon shenanigans!! Will and Shannon begin this episode, though, in the studio to reminisce about DPN Westfest 2009. Time: 55:06

    • 04/18/10 – It was only a couple of months ago that the Disney and Marvel acquisition was finalized, but Disney is already moving forward with integrating Marvel within the company. On this week's show, Nathan Rose and Jim Hill discuss the current state of Marvel and it's integration within the Disney Company. Time: 42:39
    • 04/25/10 – Happy Earth Day! On This week's show, Nathan Rose and Jim Hill discuss Disneynature's second film, Oceans, as well as the current state of the Disneynature brand and its future inside the Disney Company. Time: 28:09

    • 04/17/10 – Episode 162, After reading and discussing a listener mail, Mike runs down his recent trip to Universal Studios. (Mush: interesting discussion on Pixar movies in here…it's sure to cause a few to yell at their MP3s). Time: 1:41:26

    • 04/19/10 – Episode 74, Tairy is back? Good or bad? You make the choice... Today is all about The ToT, and 1 full year of Tairy putting up with Jonathan. (Mush: fun show to listen to!) Time: 54:30

    • 04/23/10 – Episode 28, Inspired by the actuarial holiday on April 15th, Mouse Droppings presents to you, the listener, the most exciting podcast ever. Stick around for a new "not-so-original" song, and tips on Round 4 of Toy Story Midway Mania. (Mush: Has Lou Gramm contacted you yet for royalties? LOVED IT! Oh, and I nearly died laughing at the "That's what she said" quip) Time: 27:41
    • 04/27/10 – Episode 29, Making it just under the gun before DPN Westfest, join Matt and Megan (@mla1977) as Matt finally breaks the 300k point ceiling on Toy Story Midway Mania! (Mush: some of the TSMM tips helped…nearly got the high score 20 minutes in, and I've only ridden it twice). Time: 47:03

    • 04/17/10 – Episode 247, Here's a little something new we're trying out... Mouse Guest Weekly presents the Ride Along Video series! Each episode, we'll take a look at one attraction or special event at a Disney park and give some insight and commentary as we watch together. This week, we present the Disney Dreams Come True Parade! (Mush: interesting…kind of a more serene MST3K…like it! Oh, and it's always good to see "y'all" on camera) Time: 17:55
    • 04/24/10 – Episode 248, Hey, it's a normal show! We're back in the studio, together again, to discuss some of the news floating about and some of your responses to our April Fool's Day show, our Ride Along video and some of our questions posted at Facebook. Time: 43:18

    • 04/28/10 – Episode 403, We say a fond farewell to the voice of Jiminy Cricket, who was also noted for his portrayals of Jack Benny. Time: 55:02

    • 04/20/10 – Episode 6, the Kingdom Keepers book series, share Disney news & Frank shares his recent Disney purchases from EBay. Listen to Margaret's interview with guest Ridley Pearson, author of the Kingdom Keepers series. In Mousetapiece Theater, Mickey & Goofy are in "Back to the Future"! (Mush: LOVED the Ridley Pearson interview!) Time: 1:39:30

    • 04/29/10 – Episode 55, Sorry about the delay in releasing this episode which includes part two of around the world in a day. In the first show we rode Maelstron, Listened to reflections of China. Today I take you to Mexico for Mariachi Cobra just in time for cinqo de mayo, then we head to Japan to take in Miyuki, Matsuriza Drummers now Miyuki doesn't make for great audio so I'll add a video podcasts of that entertainment but I don't want to make too many edits to the day keeping it as real time as possible. We'll start the show with a few mousekeeping items. Then Robb and I will start a new segment I am excited about and hope you will be too. Time: 1:47:28

    • 04/22/10 – Episode 57, Gordon discusses his recent vasectomy (kinda G rated), his transition to Veganism, and the growth seen in his running friends. He plays audio of what he sounds like on demerol and valium after the doctor's visit. He gets great Voice Mails from cool people. (Mush: I was cringing the whole episode, though the "Gordon on Drugs" segment at the end was great!) Time: 1:29:32
    • 04/28/10 – Episode 58, Gordon discusses a bunch of stuff including his "coaching" a friend to his first marathon, his anxiety over tempo runs. He has audio of a discussion over underwear he has with Preston and asks a favor of you (Mush: Stan did great at the marathon…despite being nervous, you know what you're doing with him and all of us who listen to your advice on Facebook and Daily Mile.) Time: 45:19

    • 04/20/10 – Episode 100 (CONGRATS!!!!), The cats invite on George Taylor from the Imaginerding Blog and Jeff Pepper from the 2719 Hyperion Blog for a critical discourse among the Disney Digerati. Huh? In lay-terms, how hard is it to provide media (audio or written) about Disney from a more journalistic approach rather than from a personal approach? Being an economics professor and a doctoral candidate writing a dissertation, I find it VERY difficult to write one way (i.e. the dissertation). If I could write the dissertation like I do a trip report or podcast update, I would have had the Ph.D. 4 years ago. This was a risky show topic to take on, but I think y'all hit it out of the park. I think this should be a required listen to all members of large discussion sites (that's one of several reasons why I don't participate in anything Disboards-related) the George and Jeff have a new subscriber after hearing this episode. Great show, Cats! Time: 44:21
    • 04/28/10 – Episode 101 (Mush: NOOOOOOO), Welcome to show #101 - the Cats talk service monkeys (there are too many jokes to go with here), lighting yourself on fire with grooming products (Axe…mesquite scent) and take a trip back to 1980 (that reminds me that I need to burn any cassette tapes I have laying around that I may or may not have recorded anything on). There's also Jack Wagner, Mickey & Goofy (ummmmm…I'll never think of that song the same again), and a voicemail (No idea where you get it, but I Love the Jack Wagner audio bits, did you have to use Wonder Pets audio??? Also, I was LOL at the road kill CPR and nude teacher stories). Time: 29:32

    • 04/20/10 – Episode 39, Joe Hursh, the Voice of Walt Disney World, joins us this week on WaltCast! (Mush: Good show…it was weird hearing that voice outside of Disney!) Time: 1:03:41
    • 04/27/10 – Episode 40, Short show this week, but we give you guys a huge announcement about an upcoming guest! May looks to be a big month for WaltCast, so tune in next week as well to find out what we have in store! (Mush: I've been watching Twitter as you've been trying to get this one on the show…good job!) Time: 14:50

    • 04/19/10 – Episode 138, On this week's show, we have the long-awaited return of "The Golden Age". In this controversial discussion featuring Fantasyland at The Magic Kingdom, we will continue our quest land by land, area by area, and space by space, throughout the Vacation Kingdom to find what is truly the Golden Age of the entire Walt Disney World Resort. (Mush: I was waiting for the Fantasyland installment of The Golden Age…good discussion). Time: 40:23
    • 04/23/10 – Episode 139, To kick off this week's show, we have your Walt Disney World Resort News and Rumor Report. In this week's report, we'll be discussing the closure of three Magic Kingdom attractions, what you can expect when two new World Showcase eateries open this fall, and the huge line-up for this year's Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios, among a number of topics. Following that, we have the final edition of WDWNT March Madness for 2010. In this simulcasted segment, I'll be reviewing the winners of our tournaments featuring 64 Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort attractions, where you decided the ultimate winners. Time: 1:06:17
    • 04/23/10 – Episode 140, On this week's show, we have a very special treat for you. It's something we don't do very often, but we do make rare exceptions every now and then. That's right, we have an interview! My guest this week has an important role in Disney history; he was the co-creator of what may be the most well known and beloved Disney parade of all-time, The Main Street Electrical Parade. My guest is Ron Miziker and he'll be taking us through the creation of the unique entertainment offering, as well as sharing some wonderful and hilarious stories from his time at the Walt Disney Company. It was a honor to speak with him and I guarantee you'll enjoy the interview from start to finish. Time: 1:23:26

    • 04/18/10 – Episode 166, I'll answer more of your listener email this week, including questions on Pal Mickey, Magic Your Way ticket options, finding specific characters in the parks, attractions for young children, free Disney trading cards, a look back at an extinct character meal, nightlife, restaurants and much more. I love exploring and sharing the wonderful stories created by Disney Imagineers in every attraction, shop, restaurant, resort, and almost everything you see and experience on property. But I especially enjoy having the opportunity to take a closer look at a location whose story may seem obvious on its face, but is full of wonderful details and history. And this week, such is the case with Fantasyland's Pinocchio Village Haus. Jim Korkis joins me once again to tell some of the "Stories Behind the Stories" in this DSI: Disney Scene Investigation. (Mush: whenever Jim Korkis is on, I guarantee you'll learn something new…I love the segments with him and Lou together!). Time: 1:16:25
    • 04/25/10 – Episode 167, Properly planning your Walt Disney World vacation is crucial, and an important part of that planning needs to focus on not just time spent in the parks, but getting to and from the resort. This week, we're going to take a look at Disney's Magical Express, the free bus service to and from the airport. Whether you're a first time visitor or think you know how Magical Express works, we'll talk about not just how the system works, but its pros and cons, how to get the most out of it, and some very important details you need to know before you go. Next, I'll call a listener and invite her to play Fact or Fiction, where she can answer Walt Disney World trivia questions for a chance to win some prizes. Play along at home, see how you do, and find out how you can enter for a chance to play on the air as well. I'll announce a new product this week, have a few announcements, and then play more of your voicemails at the end of the show, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this week's episode of the WDW Radio Show. Time: 1:26:00

    • 04/17/10 – Episode 708, Today, the panel discusses how to explain WDW and what it means to a new guest. Time: 23:48
    • 04/20/10 – Episode 709, Today, Chad Emerson, author of "Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World" joins us to discuss his new book and the stories behind creating Walt Disney World. (Mush: really good interview…I've got to look for his book). Time: 24:49
    • 04/22/10 – Episode 710, Listener questions (Mush: questions include DDP with LARGE groups, MNNSHP parade viewing, park hoppers, tipping bell service, and more). Time: 32:39
    • 04/24/10 – Feed from March 2010 Live Show. Time: 1:54:31
    • 04/24/10 – Episode 711, Today, Keith from Oklahoma City has his question featured. (Mush: the topic revolves around fitting in ADRs with touring plans for Epcot). Time: 19:38
    • 04/27/10 – Episode 712, Today, Len discuss recent reader resort surveys from the Unofficial Guide (ding). Time: 25:52
    • 04/29/10 – Episode 713, Listener Questions (Mush: questions include Tables in Wonderland and Quick service plans, CM tenure and attraction selection, male participation in the Princess half-marathon (Garfinkel!), time needed to get from MCO to an ADR in the parks, and more).
    • 04/30/10 – Episode 714, Today, we talk to JL Knopp, the force behind The Disney Driven Life and discuss neurotic Disney life. (Mush: yes, I'm NDD #83). Time: 27:41

    • 04/28/10 – Episode 41, Matt and Nate return after a couple of weeks off with a show all about the different ways in which we get to the parks at Walt Disney World.  This episode is dedicated exclusively to Disney transportation.  From the early days at Walt Disney World, transportation systems were vast.  Remember your first ride on the monorail or the time you realized that Ferry was just as cool because of the great view it afforded of the different resorts?  That's the type of discussion that we have on episode 41.  Also in this episode we announce the WEDway Radio contest winners!  That's right, there are three. Enjoy! (Mush: GREAT show!). Time: 40:08

    • 04/19/10 – Episode 235, This week, Paul is joined by Leo Holzer as we sit on the porch of the Walt Disney Family Museum to chat with authors JB Kaufman & Russell Merritt. Topics include their book "Walt in Wonderland" and we discuss, at length, several aspects of the movie Pinocchio. Time: 1:14:10
    • 04/25/10 – Episode 236, This week, Paul is handing the mic over to... YOU! (Mush: Reposted in feed on 04/28. This is voice-mail & music show). Time: 54:58

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WDW Family Trip, December 2008, Day 3, Part IV: Happy @#$^&&)#$!#@$* Birthday!


As we approach the Contemporary Resort from the water side, Sheri and I both pause to look at it. We've never seen this side of the resort, and, with Bay Lake Towers going up, we both agree that this is a much neater resort than originally thought. When we hit the lottery next year, we may have to give serious consideration to finally becoming DVC members and getting points here.

We hop off of the boat and thank the captain for the great ride over. We look around a bit and really like the outside of the resort…there seems to be so much more over on this side than on the west side of the resort.



I hit the bathroom at the first floor of the Contemp (7:35 for those of you keeping track). Afterwards, we look around for a minute or two and find the entrance to The Wave and the check-in for the California Grill. We then take the escalator up and again up and again up to the Monorail. It is then that I realize that I did indeed make the right call on which boat to get on. Right in front of us waiting to get on was a younger couple that I'm assuming either finished dining at the Cali Grill or were heading over to Victoria and Albert's, and the woman had a backless little black dress on. Seriously…most guys actually snapped their necks when she walked by, and I actually heard a couple of guys behind me utter a "DAMN!" under their breaths. The Rudolph family from the Ft. Wilderness dock is also in line, and they follow us onto the same monorail car.


I didn't get elbowed in the gut by Sheri, so she either didn't see her (if she did, she would have automatically assumed I was checking her out) or she was afraid of what would happen if I got punched in the stomach. We hop on and do the Spanish version of the doors closing announcement (the boys even start saying parts of it in Spanish). As we get going, I look out at the Magic Kingdom and wonder how busy it is. The people next to us said that they closed the park early for some reason.


Sheri and I both enter Disney Guide mode.


We explain what the Christmas Party was and why that particular day was likely sold out and when the remaining parties are and...


I think they were going to try to get tickets after our little talk. We stop at the TTC, which is remarkably quiet. The Poly is next, and the folks we were talking to hop off. Out of the corner of my eye, I also see the backless little black dress walking towards the Poly. I contemplate asking Sheri if she wanted to check out the sights (and by sights, I, of course, meant the Christmas decorations) here, but decide against it.

We get to the Grand Floridian and look around a bit. The ginormous gingerbread house appeared to be closed, so we'd have to forego the traditional gingerbread cookie feast that we traditionally do. I'm deteriorating rapidly again, and the boys are starting to act a little tired, so we hop back on the monorail over to MK. Seeing the decorations just by the entrance makes me really hope we can do the party on Thursday! We'll see how things are going.


We hop on the bus to the Movies and are back there by 8:30.

I'm in the bathroom at 8:45. I pause long enough for the boys to get baths in and in bed.

I write a bit in the note pad and am back in the bathroom. I'm really hoping that this is just a 24 hour bug. The boys are acting up, so Sheri grabs Aaron and throws him in bed with her, while I take Eric, who claims that it's not fair (he wanted to be the one in Mommy's bed).


I start to drift off to sleep around 10:15…




…and again at 11:20


…and again at 11:40


…and again at 11:55


Day 4 Starts HERE

WDW Family Trip, December 2008, Day 3, Part III: Happy @#$^&&)#$!#@$* Birthday!

Part II of Day 3 HERE

We are going to the 5 pm showing of the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. We've never been there, and I'm not sure how long it's going to take, especially with the internal bus that we have to take at Ft. Wilderness. We head out around 3:45 (got a text from Mare just as we left…Renee was starting to run a fever) and figure we'd let fate determine how we'll get there. As we get to the bus queue, sure enough, a Studios bus pulls up. We hop on and head over to Studios. We get off and walk all the way around from the Movies stop to the Ft. Wilderness stop. I seriously am not making this up…the second we get to the Ft. Wilderness/Wilderness Lodge stop, the bus pulls up. We get to Ft. Wilderness and hop off…Within a minute a purple internal bus pulls up. The timing of the busses was nothing short of amazing. We have plenty of time to get to Pioneer Hall, so we look around the camping areas (and saw several deer on the ride there). Sure, we could have gone to MK and taken the boat over, but where's the adventure in that?!


We check in with plenty of time to spare, so we look around a little. A CM working the DVC kiosk gives the boys a ton of stickers. We get a picture taken, and then wander around. We try to get a picture by the decorated tree, but it didn't work out. Around 4:45, I check my bathroom passport and decide to hit this one next. The boys find something to play with while waiting:



I get out at 4:50, take a breath of fresh air, and head back into the bathroom at 4:50:35.




4:57 rolls around, and they open up the doors. We are a Cat II seating but find ourselves off to the side really close to the stage (by the piano). I was really looking forward to this meal for a long time…relaxing…no theme park…drinking a couple of free beers…(initially, we were going to meet up with Kelly (daycare provider) and her crew, but they couldn't get ressies for that many people (there were originally 9 in their crew but her in-laws dropped out of the picture)). I get water to drink. The cornbread tasted fairly good (the boys loved it!) Sheri gets a glass of wine as we watch a couple nearby who are on vacation to celebrate what I think was their 50th anniversary. Normally, Sheri would be all over it telling everyone there that it was my birthday and that I should be embarrassed at every possible chance. She told a few, but she kindly left out the embarrassing me part.


The main course comes, and I simply couldn't eat much. I try to sample a little of everything when Fred decides he needs to go for a walk. I visit the bathroom again. As I walk back, I hear them calling out people who are celebrating anniversaries and birthdays. I sit down, and you could see that Sheri felt bad that I missed it. I could not have cared less. Then she says that Eric needs to go to the bathroom. Well, I had to go again immediately, so I went for trip #4 in that bathroom.


It really was pretty in there:



One of the performers came by just as I snapped this pic and honked his horn. I thought I was going to have to peel off all three of the others from the ceiling!!!


Despite Fred's best efforts, I did enjoy the show. We'll have to try this one again some other trip and not invite Fred to get the full experience. As they have another seating in something like 10-15 minutes, they shoo us out. I contemplate one final viewing of the commode here but decide that I might have a chance of making it. We again try to get a pic by the tree with all the lights on. I switch the camera to a night setting and get the usual ghost pic as I must have moved my hand when I snapped the pic (my guess is that my gut gurgled at that moment). It's right at 7:00…we planned on this being a fairly early night as the previous night was slated to be a later one. We decide that now might not be a bad time to check out the monorail resorts as the Christmas party is in full swing. We head out to the dock, and I stupidly try to reason which boat to get on: the one going to MK or the one going to the Contemp. I reason that, with the party starting, a lot of people would be trying to leave MK and using the monorails to get to the TTC. The MK line was REALLY long, and the Contemp line only had around 20 or so. If we go to the Contemp, maybe some folks will get off the monorail there, and we can have a seat. Yeah, everything is telling me to go to the Contemp.


We hop out of the MK line and over to the Contemp line. As we do that, we see the light of a boat…it's our boat. It's jammed, however, likely with people coming in for the next Hoop Dee Doo show, or so I thought. It came from Wilderness Lodge…the boat docks, and only 10 or 12 people hop off. The MK boat arrives a minute later, as people start boarding the Contemp boat. Only about 15 people could get on that boat (we weren't close). Nearly everybody gets off of the MK boat, which, of course, means that almost the entire line waiting for that boat gets on (yeah, we would have gotten on).


So much for my reasoning.


Both boats leave.






…Of course, the next boat that arrives is going to MK. Nice, empty line over on the other side of the dock.


Insert sound of crickets chirping


The group in front of us was a rambunctious family that was having fun. They get the dock in a chorus of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, with a family behind us doing the improv ("…the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer)"). My parents text me, and I carry on a conversation with them. I almost feel like a Millennial.


Wait….is that a spot in the distance?


Could it be…?


Maybe please???




As it approaches, the driver is quizzing the patrons on the boat with Disney Trivia. As it prepares to dock, he asks what Mickey's name originally was. A bunch of folks shout out incorrect answers. He calls out to us on the dock, "Anyone up there know it?"


Trivia? Oh yeah! "Mortimer!" I yell out.


"And that would be correct! It was Walt's wife who came up with the name Mickey…"


I got a fist-bump by the family in front.


It docks, and, once again, only a handful gets off the boat. The big family hops on, and we anxiously await to see if there's room. THERE IS! We hop on, and, within a couple of minutes, we're on our way. The captain continues on with his quizzing, and I have to bow down to a couple of folks on the boat who made me look like a chump when it comes to Disney trivia. One of them knew Donald Duck's middle name. Another one failed to fall into the trap of naming the first cartoon showing Mickey Mouse. Most, including me, shouted out "Steamboat Willie" as the answer, but this one guy near the front calmly said "Plane Crazy", which was correct.   


WDW Family Trip, December 2008, Day 3, Part II: Happy @#$^&&)#$!#@$* Birthday!

Part I of Day 3 is HERE

We grab Fastpasses for a second round trip in Soarin, and I mark off the bathroom by the Soarin entry at 8:31. We then make our way over to Test Track.



I can't quite pinpoint why, but I really like that last picture of the two of them.


Right after we get those pictures taken, Aaron starts getting a little nervous, saying that he's too scared to ride it. I tell him that, if he was okay with Space Mountain, then this is no problem at all. We get in, and Eric is just stoked to ride this thing…he's ready to go! We get in, and Eric starts the "Whhheeeee" thing. If you could have seen the ride pic, you would have seen that Aaron got over his fear. I completely forgot that we didn't' have anyone else in the car with us on that ride.


We hop off, and this ride is an immediate hit with the boys!!! We'll have to do this one again. We'll try to get it in at night as I'm the only one who has done this. We head over towards SSE and mark off the bathroom near guest relations east of the Golf Ball at 9:07. This will be only the second time for us to ride SSE, and the first since the rehab. Aaron rides with Sheri in front, and I throw Eric in with me. Aaron sees a touch-screen in front of him, and, being a kid, immediately touches it.


Deutch was the language selected.


Sheri nearly started banging her head on the screen.


We calmly select English and wonder if Rosetta Stone can teach a language in 20 seconds. I had visions of plugging Sheri into something like in The Matrix where she could download the language into her brain.


I hold Eric up a bit for the picture…Sheri didn't notice that they were taking the pic. She's having the day I usually have.


As we go through, I try to translate Dame Judy Dench as she talks. After a while I start paraphrasing (something about paper…the library got torched…). I didn't think the boys would be too hip on this one, but they liked it…especially the descent with the mirrors and stars. Sheri had no idea how to answer the questions for the conclusion of the ride, but they both ended up being extreme skiers. Aaron, unfortunately, had a skiing accident. Eric and I were doing something with being in space. I try to take a pic with the cell phone, but they didn't turn out at all. Sheri, not to leave this one go without ridicule, mentions that it was too bad I didn't have some piece of equipment whose primary goal was to capture events in digital form.


My turn to bang my head on the screen.


It would have taken too long to get the camera on, turn the flash off, and move it to a night setting. She didn't buy it.


We hop off the golf ball and make our way to the Fastpass return for Soarin. I contemplate revisiting that bathroom I checked off a while before, but I figured that, being the Fastpass line, I might have a chance to make it. While there I get the tingly feeling in my pants that we all know and love…followed by a corresponding BEEP BEEP BEEP. Text Message. I get an automated text from the radio station back home mentioning that a Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect for central Illinois.


Happy Birthday to me!! Muuaaaahaahahahaaha


A minute later, I get another text…from Sister #1 (Emily). "Happy birthday! Hope ur enjoying the weather down there…ass!" You're darn right I replied with "Thanks! Sunny & 80 here today. Just got a Weather Advisory for Downs. NYAHHH." I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when she got that one.



We fly through the Fastpass return line for a bit, and then the line comes to a crawl. I wonder if one of the sides went down. We talked to the folks behind us for a while. The father was a researcher at the University of Dayton, and his youngest son had just finished his first semester at THE Ohio State University (sorry…the emphasis on the "THE" has always been the way I've said it after the President of a national student advisory board that I was a part of corrected us when we called it "Ohio State."). They are doing the same thing as us (getting down there as soon as finals are done to avoid the crowds). This time around on the ride, Eric was a little scared…not sure if it was because of the volume or because he knew there were fireworks at the end. We hop out of the attraction, and I decide to check out another stall at the bathroom at 10:50.

DaisyDebbie sent a couple of texts, wishing a happy birthday and mentioning that they may not be able to get over there until later Friday due to Lexi's school. Soon after, sister #2 fires off a birthday message. I chuckle as I go through my stored messages as I write this…I actually told her that I was fighting a stomach bug and wasn't 100% …but it was still better than Illinois. I think sending those last words will come back to haunt me because it was about that time Fred kicked it up another notch.


We choose to skip World Showcase for now and just eat at Sunshine Seasons. Nothing really looked that great to me, though I'm guessing that, at another time, they would have great food. The other three go with Asian cuisine, and I go with a sandwich. 11:10, and I'm checking out a third stall in the bathroom by Soarin. I started counting tiles, but I lost count a couple of times. I come back, feeling terrible for them having to wait up for me.



We make our way to the Seas and do the requisite MINE yell at the birds. The wait time was listed at 20 minutes, but it was only about 10. We hop on the clam-mobile and ride through. I seriously just wanted to stay on-board and just sit there for a while. We get up, however, and I immediately go looking for a bathroom. First, we go look for the manatees…Aaron was really looking forward to seeing them again as he's read a little about them in a book he got from the library. 11:45, and I can mark off a bathroom in the Seas. I'm down to about 40%, but we have to do a Bruce pic. I choose to just get them over there and stay out of the picture.


Hmmm…perhaps Aaron is my son after all…he's got the same look that I did last year at this very place. I'll cross the UPS guy off the list for the time being (he's been on and off the list about 75 times since Aaron's been born).


My family graciously decides to head back to the resort so I can hopefully get some rest. We get back to the hotel around 12:35, and I go straight to the room I've been spending most of my time in lately. I try to rest as best I can…nope.


WDW Family Trip, December 2008, Day 3, Part I: Happy @#$^&&)#$!#@$* Birthday!

Looking for Day 2?  It starts HERE

We had the alarm set for around 6:35 so we could catch the bus to Epcot around 7:25-7:30 or so.


Fred had other ideas.


6:05…awake and galloping to the bathroom.




6:12…back in the bathroom.




6:21…back in the bathroom.




6:27…back in the bathroom…I should be dehydrated by now




6:38…oh, come on!!!! Back in the bathroom




6:45…This is unreal




We were planning on getting donuts for breakfast and using a snack credit for it. Unfortunately, there were no boxes of Entenmann's donuts in the food court. Oh well. I'll survive (maybe). I grab a bottled water and an orange for breakfast. We head out to the Epcot bus stop, and I calculate the odds of actually making it to all the way to the theme park without them having to decontaminate the bus afterward. I decide to make up an excuse and head in to grab a birthday pin. That way I'm really close to the bathroom in case my large intestine decides to try inverting itself again. I get the pin and hear a bus pulling up. I walk (no way in Hell I was going to run) and see that it's not the Epcot bus, but Epcot was coming in right behind it. We hop on, and I was rather surprised to see such a small number of people on the bus…especially a shared bus going to the EMH park.


Good…in case we hit a hard bump, that will be fewer people I'll have to be embarrassed in front of.


As we get going, the bus driver, who had a striking resemblance to Dennis Farina, starts indoctrinating us. We first had to take the Walt Disney World Oath:


I, state your name (yes, we all said "state your name"), promise…to never…ever… nevernevernenver… go …to Universal Studios!


He got a good laugh from that one. He then gives us an amazing information spiel on Studios (construction, times, bus stops (with and without sharing), facts, figures, etc...). He was amazing with his information! As we got close, he made the "please make sure you don't leave anything as we will take it and sell it on E-Bay so, if you do leave anything, make sure it's valuable" announcement. I look towards him, and he's looking in the mirror at my general direction, so I ask about leaving the kids.


"There's always someone who wants to leave their spouse or kids behind. E-Bay policy won't allow us to sell them on there."


That got me laughing!


Fred: Don't laugh too hard, Chris.


We make it to Epcot at 7:45 and make it through the turnstiles. I've gone about 50 minutes or so without a run to the john (had a couple of close calls, but we're in the clear). We position ourselves at the best place we can to make it to Soarin, knowing that everyone else in a 500 foot radius is doing the same thing. We count down and begin the march to The Land. We park the stroller and make our way in, pondering in amazement just how many people are dashing to the entrance. Geesh…the ride will still be there if you're not there in 20 seconds!


They didn't have the wall games going, but it was only about a 15 minute wait anyways. We get queued in and listen to Kronk do his little talk. As we entered the actual attraction, I could tell the boys weren't too sure about this huge Erector-set thing that we were going to strap them in on. Sheri's in first, then Eric, Aaron, and me. The lights go out, and up we go.


The music starts, and I look over at the boys to get their first reaction. Well, it's not quite what I was expecting. Their eyes were wide, but Eric was cringing a bit at the volume. I try to point out some of the things as we flew (especially the guy falling off the crest when skiing). Aaron likes it…but he doesn't love it. I again ponder who could really be his father. I worried about the ending with Eric and the fireworks. He complied by completely covering his ears when they went off.


We head back down and get the boys' shoes back on (Crocs). I could stay on that ride for an hour. We head out and make our way towards the exit. Up from above, I hear:




In my mind, I'm screaming OH MY GOD!!!!!!!


There, up above us and ahead a few feet, was one of my students from the past year, decked out in an ISU t-shirt. He sticks his hand out for a High-5, and I comply, completely dumbfounded. Two of my students at Disney World in less than 14 hours!!!!!

Part II is HERE

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WDW Family Trip, December 2008, Day 2, Part IV: “4815”

Part III can be found HERE.

The fresh air helps me a little on the ride across Seven Seas Lagoon. We get to MK right around 5 pm, just as the flag retreat is going on. I stop and pay my respects as the flag is lowered, folded, and secured (it's the veteran in me...and I was so glad to see around 90% of the other patrons doing the same thing), and we start down Main Street. A couple of minutes later, I realize that we're being followed by the band that was playing the flag retreat. I'm waiting to get a trombone in the back, but they peel off down a side road before we become road kill. Initially, we were going to eat at Columbia Harbor House, but we decided to do Casey's instead. We get in line only to realize I was standing in the exit instead of the ordering line (which was empty, in my defense). We get in the right line and order. Sheri goes to find a place to sit and can't find anything. I grab the food and motion indoors as a table had opened up. We all eat, and the boys are doing great. They must have been a little hungry because they ate every bite they had. We leave, and Sheri takes Eric to the bathroom. The Dream Along with Mickey show was going on, and I knew they had articulated heads there. I drag Aaron over to where he could get a good view and show him that the characters do indeed talk. His reply: "Well, yeah…they have to talk during shows. Duh, Daddy!"


Looks around for a wall to bang his head against


We become a foursome again and start to make our way over to Tomorrowland, stopping for a photopass pic in front of the castle. The show was still going, and the characters will still talking (Duh!!!). The wait for Buzz was around 25 minutes. I grab Fastpasses for it as the return time was only 35 minutes away. We then hop in line, as the boys have been anticipating riding this for about a year. We defeat Zurg, and the boys are happy. I then look over at Space Mountain, and it's closed. Hmmm…. Okay, let's head back to Toontown to try to see if we can find Eric and maybe ride the Barnstormer at night. On the way over, we meet up with Fred, DSV0. Actually, Fred has been nearby for several hours, but we just never really saw him. You see, Fred is a Damn Stomach Virus, and he was living inside me waiting for the opportune moment to make his appearance known to all. It was in the queue line for Barnstormer that he lets me know he's here. I'm peering through the trees at the castle and see that the icicle lights are on. I start to comment to the rest about the castle when BANG.


Hi Fred.


Did you have to attack my intestines just now at this very moment?


We were hoping that luck would be on our side so Aaron could ride in front. I'll be darned…we got directed to the front, purely by luck! Aaron and I take the front, and he's back to talking to me again as my sins at this attraction from earlier in the day have been forgiven.

We hop off the ride and take the back road over to Tomorrowland. The boys run ahead, and Sheri looks at me like "it's your turn to catch them." I look at her with this "it won't be pretty if I run" look. She then realizes that Fred is trying to do his own running.

We make it to Space Mountain, and it's still down. I suggest the TTA…it was gentle, it might give us a glimpse of SM with the lights on, and, most importantly, it probably won't make me have to clench my mouth and butt too much. We ride it, and SM was testing…both sides had rockets going around empty. By the time we get off of the TTA, it's back open. Sheri decides to let me take Aaron on SM (Fred gave me a slight reprieve), while she would take Eric on Buzz again and maybe the teacups. We'd meet at the entrance to Buzz.

We part ways, and Aaron finally figures out what's going on. He's excited!!!! We enter the queue, which was empty as I think most had given up hope that it would open and went to watch Spectro, which was going on. We go, and I point out to Aaron all the stars and stuff. He asks what those pics are of.

"Galaxies…that one's Andromeda."

"What's a galaxy?"

"A collection of starts that tend to move together."


The guy behind me laughs at the constant barrage of questions I'm getting. He says, "It's great that he's inquisitive!"

I reply, "yeah, I just wish the queue line was a bit longer so we'd have time! I never thought I'd ever say that! They just opened Space Mountain back up."

"Really? I never knew it was down."

"Yeah, we just rode the TTA a few minutes ago to see if the lights were on."

"OH MY GOD!!!!!!"


That was a new voice…it was the girl next to the guy I was talking to. I wondered if she was surprised that we rode the TTA a few minutes ago or if she was just amazed at what a chiseled piece of man I was.


It was my turn to say "OH MY GOD!!!!"


I was just dumbfounded. There's no way she could be making this up.


Right on cue, her boyfriend says, "you the one that was on Millionaire?"


That got the attention of the people around us.


The first thing I had to ask was, "I didn't fail you, did I?"


Nope…in fact, she nearly decided to major in economics after the class. She sat middle-back in the lecture hall the previous Spring. Once we got in some light, I got a look at her and remembered her a little (she had one of those faces that would stick out in a sea of faces). They found out one of the nights Millionaire was going to be on Game Show Network and had a party at her boyfriend's apartment to watch it. They were staying at Caribbean Beach and had just gotten engaged at Studios the night before in the Osborne lights.

We spent the rest of the queue wait gabbing about everything and getting Aaron psyched up for the ride. He was getting a little more nervous once he saw that I wasn't going to be riding next to him. I asked him at the chicken exit if he really wanted to do it, and he said "yep!"

We get on the numbers to get in our rocket and find that we'll be on different rockets than the ISU folks. My student had on an Illini shirt on, and someone in the rocket in front of us yelled out "I-L-L." Instinctively, both me and her yelled back with an "I-N-I!" They were from Champaign.


It's a small world after all.

We get going, and the CM finds out it's Aaron's first time on it. He gives Aaron a high-5 as he gets in and lowers the lap bar. The fiancé guy slaps me on the shoulder as we pass, saying "have fun!"

And the ride stops.

Way to go, bro…you broke the ride when you patted me!

It was on the other side…after a 4 minute wait, we're off. I couldn't tell how Aaron liked it until we got off. He actually used the term "wicked awesome" to describe it (he was channeling my New England friends)!!!

We bid the newly-engaged couple adieu and go to find Sheri and Eric. They were just getting out of line from the Lunching pad. Eric wanted an icee, and Sheri obliged. Our plan of attack is to head to the Main Street train station to watch Wishes…mostly for Eric as he doesn't like fireworks.

The plan was fool-proof, with one exception. There was a big-a$$ Christmas Tree in the middle of Town Square blocking the view from the train station. This, of course, was only realized after crawling towards the exit with about 21,364 others trying to leave the park. Fred reappears and is rather upset that I've been ignoring him for the past 45 minutes. Sheri looks at me for what to do, and I don't know…the last thing I wanted to do was make a decision. Let's go up to the train station and see what there is.

No view.

Okay, the fireworks should be fired above the shops on Main Street, so let's head to a corner and camp out. I didn't want to be anywhere near civilization now because my head is about to explode. I don't know if I've ever had a migraine, but wow, it was hurting. Aaron's getting tired, but Eric's in a playful mood. He, of course wants to play with Aaron, who wants nothing of it. One thing leads to another, and Eric somehow sprays Aaron's back with the red icee mixture.

I just about lose it as I am worried that he also got it on people nearby. I separate the boys, sending Eric to Sheri keeping Aaron by me. Aaron wants to be by Sheri. Sheri and I are no longer play-arguing…it's the real thing, which we rarely EVER do in public.

The first "starlight…staaaarrbright" goes, and the first shell fires off. Eric wants to be held and knocks over the rest of the icee. I nearly have an aneurysm…the woman next to Sheri looks at me like I molest collies for a living. This was the first time in Walt Disney World we were ever all mad at the same time. Sufficed to say, it wasn't the best Wishes we have ever seen. I'm sick and fighting a headache, Aaron's tired, Eric's scared, and Sheri's trying to handle everything.

Wishes ends, and we decide the best thing to do is to call it a day. I look at the phone and notice that Mare texted, saying they probably weren't going to make it to EMH. I hated thinking it, but I was glad to hear it…it just would not have been fun.

We get to the Movies bus stop and wait a few minutes. All of us seem to be doing a little better, knowing that we're heading back. I see a Cubs jacket in the queue line nearby and strike up a conversation with the guy about how this should have been our year. By chance, we end up standing next to them on the bus (they were sitting right by where we were holding on). The discussion turned to politics and Rod Blagojevich. I mentioned where we were from and talked about Pontiac Prison a bit. It truly is a small world after all as his brother lives in Chenoa, which is only 10 miles away from Pontiac. His brother used to work at the prison.

We get to Movies and head to Concierge to pick up the tickets for tomorrow's Hoop-Dee-Doo show. The wife from Illinois was also in the concierge line. Sheri takes the boys to the little movie setup.

As I stood there, Fred hit me with almost everything he had. Twice I nearly bolted from the line to the nearby bathroom for fear of barfing. The concierge line was not moving as everyone was trying to get dining reservations. If I would have had the energy, I would have mocked them behind their backs. I talk with the Illinois wife a bit, but I just can't carry on a conversation. I wish I would have talked to her more as I could have helped her out - she was just in line to ask about which bus to catch to get to a restaurant. After about 25 minutes, I finally get called up. 3 minutes later, I have the tickets, and we head out to the room. First we have to tell HOR-C good-night, though.

People say that a bad day at Disney beats a good day at work. I was currently at odds with that claim. The morning was great; however, the evening was pure misery, and I feel terrible that I was ruining it for the other three. I pray that it passes quickly so our family will be back to the fun. Sheri graciously takes care of getting the boys in bed and asleep. All 4 of us crash fairly quickly.

Day 3 starts HERE

WDW Family Trip, December 2008, Day 2, Part III: “4815”


The boys run up ahead in the Barnstormer queue line…there was NOBODY in there, so we let them get a little ahead of us. The plane goes overhead, empty. We get near the loading platform and notice that there are only a few folks up there waiting. Another empty plane, and we're queued in the front cars.

Kewl…first riders on this attraction too.


Still no Eric (Wolvrine Eric…not our Eric)…oh well. The doors open, and Aaron bolts for the front seats (where Sheri and Eric were getting in). I yank Aaron over to the second seat with me, and, boy was he ticked! He vowed never to ride with me again on another ride. I held Space Mountain over his head, and he calmed down…a little. We ride, and I can hear Eric "wheeeeee'ing" all throughout the ride. Aaron forgets that he's mad at me for a couple of minutes as he enjoys the ride too. After more choruses for a drink, we head into Mickey's House and take in the sights there. After about 10-15 minutes, we make it in and find Minnie in there with Mickey.


Aaron, who not two minutes prior said he didn't want to see Mickey, was the most excited he has been thus far in the trip…I think Aaron was more excited than Eric. Sheri and I are both thinking at this time, though, that this may be the last year for Aaron to truly believe. I had the speech ready just in case we needed it (so what if you think they're people inside a costume? If you use your imagination, you can make them become real. Isn't it more fun to think of them as real instead of people in a costume?). I think Aaron's already doing this a little, as he has a really active imagination. I don't want him to spoil it for Eric, and I don't think he will.

We leave, and the chorus starts up again for a drink. Seriously, they're chanting "DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!" We head into the Hall of Fame to grab a Sprite for them. While paying for it, I notice the line is really long for the characters in there. Wait…only 1 line is long…the other line is nonexistent. We pay and start to head towards the exit when we notice that it's only the Tinkerbelle line that's long. The princesses have a less-than-10-minute wait. I ask the boys, and, of course, Aaron says "no." I tell him that will change in about 8 years. Eric does want to see them, and we drag them into the line. We were in the princess room in less than 5 minutes.


Sorry, folks…not pics here…Photopass had some good ones, though.


We head out of Toontown and back to Fantasyland, where we finally claim the stroller that's been sitting there for over an hour and a half. Eric's getting a little tired of walking, so he agrees to get in for a bit. As we head over towards Liberty Square, Eric's almost asleep. Sheri and I discuss a plan of attack. She and Aaron would ride HM while I took Eric to get fastpasses for Big Thunder. As soon as I said "See ya in a few", Eric bolts up, sensing that the nicer parent was getting an uncomfortable distance away.

Change of plans. All 4 of us would do HM. Sheri would take Eric just in case. We prepare him as best we can (nobody gets hurt in here…it's all pretend…there's just one really dark part at the beginning where the lights go out as someone screams and then, when you look up, you'll see a hanging body there…nothing that scary (ugh)). We get in, and Eric does better in the stretch room than we expected (we tried pointing out the paintings to him). Aaron is excited and gives me a play-by-play of what's going on. He really liked the portrait effect with the husbands. The buggies stopped only once…right before the hitchhiking ghosts room. Unfortunately, there was a red-eyed raven immediately overhead of Eric, and he didn't like that one too much.


We hop out, and Eric exclaims that he likes being scared and that he liked the Haunted Mansion. As we make our way towards Frontierland, Aaron runs to a souvenir kiosk and grabs a hat to pose with:



We head over towards Big Thunder and park the stroller. It's then that we notice the absence of coasters running on it. It's 101. Hmmm…Splash has a 20 minute wait. But we could get really wet. Aaron pleads with us to ride Splash. I look at Sheri. She looks at me. We both give each other a "what the heck" look and hop in the queue line. The wait only took around 10 minutes. I remember reading that the farther up front and right you are, the greater the chance of getting wet, so I threw Eric in first (we were row 3…yaaay) , and I took the right. Sheri and Aaron took the back row.

The boys absolutely LOVE it!!! They aren't scared at all with the drop.

We get off and look over at BTMRR. It looks like it has just started back up and it already has a 40 minute wait, and the FP return line is HUGE. Nope, we'll try again later. Now, it's off to Tom Sawyer Island!


Yeah, they had a good time over there:

Daddy? Is this anything like Mob Wars?


We figured they'd freak out a little over the caves, but the loved the spookiness of them. They also loved being snipers in Ft. Langhorn with the air rifles.


We take the raft back, grab the stroller, and start to make our way over towards the exit via Adventureland. First, however, we do another tradition…DOLE WHIPS! We skipped POTC, even though the wait was posted at only 10 minutes. We place our order at Aloha Isle, si,t and enjoy the ambrosia. After we convince Aaron to skip the Treehouse for now, we make our way to Main Street. Before leaving, however, we decide to stop in the shops on the Emporium side of the street to look for Judy, who's the mother of our old neighbor. Sheri picks up a couple of items in there, and, after making it all the way to the Square, I ask a CM if they know where she's working. They go back and find out that she's at the baby care center…past Casey's…as far away as we can be from her and still be in the same building. We head back to the care center and have a nice chat with her. It has been a couple of years since we've seen her, and she's floored at how much the boys have grown.

After we say our goodbyes and head out the turnstiles, we both let out a big sigh of contentment as we notice that the All-Star Movies bus stop is a good 100-200 yards closer than the Pop Century stop is. We get in line and hop on the bus that's there in minutes. On our ride back to the resort, the driver asks if any of us are Hidden Mickey fans. I holler out that I occasionally look for them. He advises us to look at the bus that's just starting to pass us and tells us there are a couple of hidden Mickeys on there. We immediately notice the tail-lights have the trademark symbol on them. He then tells us that that particular bus, #4815, is the ONLY bus to have them on. He then gives us a history lesson on the RTSs. There are 3 types of buses, and 4815 was the very first one to be received of its kind (it's the second type of bus, chronologically). The next time you're on the property, look for bus #4815, and you'll see a one-of-a-kind bus.

Both boys fall asleep on the bus. We wake them up at the stop, and we take the shortcut back to the room. Mare texts me around this time, telling us that they may try to make EMH that night. I pat myself on the back for getting a new phone package with 250 free texts a month as this is SOOOO much easier than phone tag and calling voice mail and reply that we're hoping to stay until around 9-9:30.

Mush's note: It's also a heck of a lot easier writing this Trip Report because I kept all the texts with what was said and the time they were sent. I can guarantee you that, as Sheri reads this, she's gonna utter "DORK" to me.


The room was just starting to get cleaned, so we just ask for towels/washrags/etc and skip the making up of the beds. The boys got their 10 minutes of sleep on the bus and are back to their old selves. (sigh). They watch some cartoons, and Steamboat Willie pops on. Sheri and I try to explain to Aaron the significance of this particular cartoon, and I get enthralled watching it as I haven't seen the whole thing before. I realize just how warped of a sense of humor Ub Iwerks had. I still think he needs a statue somewhere on WDW property. If you don't know who Iwerks is, do yourself a favor and look him up.


Aaron successfully lobbies to switch to the Disney Channel for some more age-appropriate cartoons. Sheri's in and out of sleep the whole afternoon. Eric falls asleep around 3:00. I nearly fall asleep a couple of times, but I'm starting to get a mild headache. Sheri starts chomping at the bit around 3:30…she's ready to go so she can see some of the hotel decorations! My headache is getting worse, but it's still manageable. We try to decide the plan of attack. I want a little more down time en route so Aaron will hopefully rest a bit. We ask the boys. Eric requests a ride on the monorail. Aaron demands we ride Buzz ASAP. I demand a kid that behaves. I text another friend who's currently residing in central Florida, Robin around 3:30 and ask her if her husband, Del (a monorail pilot), is still working today. She immediately texts back that he's done for the day but will be back on at 6 am tomorrow. We hoped to meet up with them so Sheri can give Del a non-hug welcome (this goes back to the '07 Moose Meet).

We figure we'd let fate decide where we go. We head out to the busses and see an Epcot bus loading up. We hop on and head on out! An older couple from Denver was talking to an older couple from New York. We, along with a family from Rhode Island (another family…different from this morning) all strike up a conversation. The New York guy talks about the weather up there and pulls up a picture on his Iphone of what had to be 25-foot high drifts of snow from a previous snowstorm and shows it to all of us. As we are en-route, the guy from Denver starts to nod off. The New York guy points it out to the guy's wife, and she starts snickering. He pulls out his Iphone and snaps a pic of the guy sleeping! After getting the wife's e-mail address, he mails it off to her before getting busted by Sleeping Beauty, who was starting to waking up.

Aaron's starting to get really tired…grrrr. Okay…let's head over to the monorail and take our time to get a seat. As we get on the ramp to the monorail station, we see one approaching. I start to say "let's just take our time and…" but Sheri and Eric are picking up the pace.

Did I mention I have a headache and Aaron's tired?


I lost the argument, and we run on the monorail and find ourselves kind of cramped. I persuade Aaron to let me hold him so he can rest a little.


head's really pounding now


We get to the TTC and hop off. I start to tell them to hop on the resort monorail if we want to get to the Poly or GF to see the holiday decorations. Nope, we're going on the ferry.


I about implode. We're here to see the decorations and now we're not? Now we're going to have to wait for the ferry now and take a LOT longer to get there. Oh…ferry's here? Whatever…I give up.


As you can tell…I'm not doing too well at the moment.