Tuesday 12-08-04
Day 5

MGM Studios
We wake somewhat late, around 9. I run down and get some chocolate chip pancakes and juice. By the time I get back, everyone is almost ready to go. We chow down and head for the bus. Bus ride was not crowded even with Riversiders, this is a good sign. We get to MGM and it looks somewhat empty, even better sign. We get our picture taken in front of the poinsettia tree and get the PhotoPass. More on that later. We breeze right through security and into the park, great sign. We pick up a Pal Mickey and soak in the view and try a plan for the day. We wander towards Mickey Ave to check the wait for PHD and spot JoJo and Goliath near their trailer. Zach loves the show so mom and him jump in line. Big smile from Zach! While we are here we pop into One Man’s Dream. Very adultish. I mean Zach wasn’t interested in the story of WDW and such. Kris and I liked it. We got out and headed right for PHD. I saw the commercial for this millions of times and couldn’t wait to see it up close. Zach had a huge smile and even popped a bubble or two. When we got out we noticed Pal Mickey was “sleeping” permanently. We went back and swapped him for a new one. Working fine now!
Time for lunch so went head over to Backlot Express. Heard it was not really busy compared to other eateries. We looked in 50’s Prime Time but the wait was about 45 minutes. My mom at home could ridicule me with no wait, so we skip it and head to BLE. Ordered up a cheeseburger w/fries and chicken strips with cranberry slaw. Zach wanted to try the blueberry smoothie along with the mousse. It was very good. I liked the slaw very much (must get the recipe). We sat undercover but outside near the Star Tours prop that sprays water. Zach couldn’t stop laughing, he loved it. Did not like getting wet from it though.
We headed to NY Street and took in Muppet vision. I looked for the key and a CM just bust up laughing. Found it. You should have seen the “uninformed” looking at me like I was nuts!!! Good show as always. All of the sensory shows Zach keeps his glasses on but covers his eyes, this show he kept his eyes less covered. I liked after the show PM said something about the show. Headed through NY Street Set to jump on Backlot Tour. Zach didn’t like the first water section, but loved the truck falling and explosions. I still can’t figure how he could not like one part but like another. Did anyone see the Chevy’s (GTO?) they had stored for the new show back there? After that we shopped around and checked out some of the crates. I forgot the name of the shop right outside of the Tour.
We decided since it was a nice day (mid 70’s and P Cloudy) we’d let Zach burn energy in the HISTK Set. He loved this! So did we. After that we headed to Little Mermaid. I was impressed. I didn’t think it would be as god as it was. Zach liked the bubbles again. We then checked out Indiana Jones. Hint- if your childs diaper is wet, change it. At one of the explosions, well, lets just say Kris got wet too!! HA! It was kind of sudden even for me. After a cleaning session, we slowly made our way to Fantasmic.
Let me say this theater is WAY to long of a walk! I grabbed a turkey leg for the journey down there from Toluca Legs. We arrived to find standing room only. We figured as much, but oh well. It started just when we got in. Zach liked some of it but was too hungry to watch. I think he devoured most of the leg himself, PIG! We got a jump-start to exit and find our stroller. After that we wandered a bot to let to crowd thin out. Arrived to find a bus waiting for us and off we go. This day was way better than MK as far as weather and Zach’s teeth.

Wednesday 12-08-04
Day 6

Day Off
Today we didn’t plan on much. Just swimming, shopping, boating, and dinner.
Our first venture is getting all the souvenirs at Downtown Disney. Pins, monorail accessories, Christmas gifts, toys. The weather was great and crowds were thin. I have never had more fun shopping, if any at all!! And the best part of it all, we had everything shipped to the gift shop of POFQ. Kris picked up a pearl bracelet near the boat dock, We bought one in Busch Gardens a few years back but lost it this year in downtown Chicago during Venetian night. She was very upset then, but her eyes lit up when she saw the same company here. Zach had loads of fun feeding the ducks. They even had a children’s choir, from Chicago I think, singing at the plaza.
We boated back to the resort and cleaned up. We headed to Riverside to rent a canopy boat for an hour. It DOES take 1 hour to go to Downtown and back. They have those boats governed so much! Zach even took the helm…and headed us straight for the shore!! He got real upset when the safety patrol said he had to put his vest back on. Did anyone ever notice the color of the water? It kind of looks like pop. Weird. After boating we looked around Riverside for a bit and noticed this looked nicer to POFQ. They are both good however. We headed back and hit the pool. We tried the dragon slide, and Zach loved it. But after the first slide on my lap, the lifeguard said we could not go down 2 at a time. I looked and said, “ He’s 2, and he can’t do this himself”. Boy was I wrong. I pushed him just in front of me and he had a blast. Kris was below to catch him. He must have gone down at least 10 times.
We cleaned up and took off for International Drive for dinner. Race Rock was our choice. The last time we were here we stayed at Embassy Suites just north of it. Zach liked the cars on the ceiling. Int'l Dr sure has changed since 98.
Back to WDW and a cruise on the monorail from Poly again. It was about 8 or 8:30 and when we got to the loading area everyone turned around and said there was a monorail that was stuck. Wha??? They said it would only be about 10 minutes so we waited. To our luck, it showed up in no more than 2 minutes. Guess what, we got to ride up front again! WE tried to chat with the pilot, but he said he was very busy as monorail red broke down on the EPCOT line and they were trying to jockey around to make way for the “tow-truck”. After stopping to only pick up at MK we went past the split for the garages and saw the monorail line open. Awesome! We have never seen that before. We finally ended up back at Poly and decided to drive along the EPCOT line to see if we can locate Red being towed. We did! But the only thing that came out was an .mpg file on my camera, and even that is not so great. What a treat! We got back and hit the hay right away.

Thursday 12-09-04
Day 6
Animal Kingdom
Wake at 7:30 then down to Floatworks for croissants, bagel and cereal. We hop on the crowded bus to AK and off we go. Since it was full, we went straight to AK. It only took about 10 minutes or so. Since the last time I was here was in 98, it looked new to me. At least Asia is. We got our pic taken by a CM in front of the Tree. I didn’t realize that the PhotoPass I got at MGM could be used anywhere. Oh well. We caught the train to Rafikis and had a blast. Zach meet Stanley and Denis. He stayed clear of Rafiki though. Stan is his favorite. He loved brushing the animals at the petting area. So far so good on the teeth today. He didn’t want to leave but we wanted to hit the big attractions/shows before closing. He had fun and loved the train ride. We decided to skip the trails and such. Did not want to have him whine during the long walks. We basically walked slowly to check out the views. We walked right into ITTBAB. I got wise and sat up in my chair so the bugs wouldn’t zap me. Zach liked the spiders coming down, but not the stinkbug. We stopped by Flame Tree and got the ribs and child size chicken wings. Both were out of this world, really. The ribs had the most tender taste and mouth-watering rub on them. The wings had a hint of chili powder to them. I like that. It took Zach about ½ hour to gnaw on 2 ribs. He loves them too. It was an overcast day and the temps were in the low 70’s. Great weather for an outdoor lunch. We then headed to Dinoland and Kris and Zach rode TriceraTop Spin. He loved it. Mom shopped and Zach and I jumped in the Boneyard. The sand is neat. It seemed to be large grain sand, so there was no mess, except kids throwing it around. We then walked past EE construction. I cant wait t come back and give it a whirl. We headed back for Tarzan. Not bad. Those performers have some muscle!! We decided to shoot on over to CMM and see Lion King. I really like how they made it indoors now. Great show, lots of action. But that couldn’t keep Zach awake. He zonked out with about 10 minutes to go. It started to spittle outside when it was over so we wandered to the exit but Kris stayed near Pizzafari to catch the parade. Zach (still sleeping) and I chilled in a nice quiet spot in the Oasis. We did not even see Kris pass us. She Nexteled us to see where we were at. She was already at the bus stop. Off we go!
We did another pool run. Zach headed right for the slide. Tonight is laundry night before we leave. Mom would be working next week, I would be in a HazMat class and we still had to buy a tree. So there was no time for laundry when we got back. We relaxed and headed to the food court for a Muffaletta and Quesadilla. By this time I already had 2 loads of wash in. $2 per load to wash and $2 to dry isn’t bad I guess, but the dryers needed to be run twice because of the humidity. The change machine was wack-o. It would not take new bills! Mom was at the gift shop getting all our packages ready for shipping. This was great! We only packed some of the fragile gifts in our carry on. $15 for shipping of all our stuff. There were some problems on the pricing for a guarantee pre- Christmas delivery. A few days before one lady said $15 for anything and yesterday someone said $25 FedEx air delivery for a guarantee delivery. The gentleman helping us said $15 for FedEx. Well, whatever it was, we got it shipped. The only other problem was that we needed proof by receipt of all our shipped items. Everything needed to be on a receipt from a park, shop, resort on property only, and no exceptions!! They checked everything. If we had known that, I would have had the all put away separately. Luckily, Kris had the wad-o-receipts with her. It took the man about 1-½ hours to go through everything. ** As of 12-19 we have not received anything at home yet. I called and the nice lady on the phone said we paid for UPS ground and we might not get it before Sat. The guy doing the packing said, as well as the receipt, Air Shipping. **
We finished laundry and packed up. Zach took his bath and checked out the bedtime stories for a final time. I passed right out.

Friday 12-10-04
Day 7

Going home
We woke and while they were getting ready, I did a final walk around and picture taking. I really liked this place. Simple rooms, but the Disney magic was there. We packed the car and headed to Poly for O’hanas character breakfast. It was still a wait even at 10 am. So we wandered around some more. Zach and I got some more powder tubes. That stuff is good, for pure sugar!! We got seated and then the magic began. Chip and Dale, Goofy and Mickey were in parade mode. Zach’s eyes lit up like never before. The food was very good. We all loved the Mickey waffles. I don’t think I ever ate this much before, at least 4 servings of everything. The crew made the rounds and Zach gave Mickey a great big hug. This was a great ending to a good vacation.
After breakfast we took a final ride on the monorail. “Bye monorail and monorail track” said Zach. I don’t think he really knew it was THEE place to be, but I know he loved it.
15 minutes later were at the airport. Smooth rental drop-off and quick check-in. I was taken aback at the security checkpoint but, I guess since we had Zach and were lugging a stroller 2 carry-on’s and him as well as our winter coats, some very nice security lady let us jump almost to the front of the line. Thank you!!! One more monorail ride and were at our gate. The only real rain came just before boarding. It poured out, but our flight took off on time.
See ya later WDW!!!