Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, Amanda, John, Brilynn, Maycie, Preslee, Payge and Grandma Batty caught a flight to Phoenix, Arizona at about 1:30 in the afternoon. All the girls were so excited to get out of school early and get on our way! We had three large bags that were checked through to Orlando and about one hundred carry-ons, pillow-pets, etc. (Well, maybe not quite that many, but it seemed like it as we hauled them all around the airport and onto the plane!) The girls all had their pillow-pets for the flight, flight pillows, and at least a dozen cute polka dot carry-on bags. Bags were filled with electronics and blankets to get though the long flights. We flew out of Salt Lake and into Phoenix, arriving in time for a long layover before boarding our flight to Los Angeles. The girls were not nearly as excited about flying American-they love JetBlue and all the perks! After getting lost in the Los Angeles airport and finally finding our gate, grabbing a quick snack of pizza and sandwiches, at about 9:30 p.m., it was time to board the flight to Orlando. The girls passed the time by pick out “bandits” to put on their magic-bands that Grandma had brought for them. They played three-way catch with Payge’s kitty. When time to Board, we gathered up all the bags, blankets and pillow-pets and board the plane. John and Amanda were so good getting the girls all settled with blankets and pillow-pets, and we all settled in for the long flight to Orlando, scheduled to arrive about 6:00 a.m. The girls didn’t think they slept much on the flight, but they did catch a few hours. Payge was next to Grandma and she cuddled up into a little ball and went to sleep. We had a really nice man next to us by the window and he was very patient as Payge would stretch out her little legs and kick him time after time!
Thursday, November 12: After a long night of flying, our plane landed with a pretty rough jerk, (Amanda only screeched a little) due to the fog in Orlando, and we were on our way to gather up our bags (gratefully, all of the checked bags made the trip) and hunt for the Magic Express. Everyone was excited to use their Disney Magic-bands for the first time as we checked into Disney Magic Express and boarded the bus for our trip to Pop Century, our resort for our vacation stay! As we arrived at the hotel, John and I went and checked in while Amanda took the girls to change clothes and freshen up. There was a cute little waiting area with colorful couches/cushions and Mickey cartoons playing. Everyone was geared up and ready to go!! Our rooms were not ready yet; we parked all our bags with the attendant and hopped the bus to Magic Kingdom – our first kingdom to visit! We arrived at the gates about 8:30 and after clearing security and passing through the gates with our magic bands, we entered the Magic Kingdom. Rope drop was a little before 9:00 and we headed to Fantasyland. The girls wanted to ride the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Adventure. The line was not too long and everyone enjoyed the games and things to do in the line. The ride was really fun and lots and lots of cute things to see. Our Memory Maker created a video for us and we had the pictures of the ride as souvenirs of how much fun it was for our initial ride!! The girls had not ridden A Small World for several years and we all enjoyed the music and sites. We had fast passes for Mickey’s Philharmonic, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain and Preslee loved the Philharmonic and couldn’t wait to go back again. Splash Mountain was great and we rode twice. The first time, Grandma had Amanda’s
shirt over her head to not get wet, so in the photo, it looks like she disappeared! The weather was about 86 degrees and none of the kids minded getting wet! We had Mickey pretzels/cheese and Churros for a snack that morning and everyone had more than they could eat. We had lunch at Cosmic Ray’s and it was busy, busy! We found that Disney serves way too much food for anyone to eat it all. After the first day, we began to share Quick Service meals and save them for other treats. Other favorite rides for the day included Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates (which Amanda didn’t like quite as well as the one at Disneyland), and The Tiki Room (which Grandma wanted to see). Buz Lightyear is always a hit and we all enjoyed the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. We laughed at all the jokes and fun made at the expense of some of the audience members. Stitch’s Big Escape was not a real hit and certainly a one-time ride! It was pretty smelly and a lot was done in the dark, besides getting sprayed in the face a couple of times! We wrapped up the day about 6:30 and headed back to Pop Century. Our bags had been delivered to our rooms and everyone freshened up for dinner after unpacking. Brilynn and Maycie stayed in Grandma’s room and picked the bed by the wall since grandma had the temperature turned down to 69 degrees! After getting our room settled, we headed back to Magic Kingdom to go to the Contemporary Resort for dinner at Chef Mickey’s. After getting lost on the way to the Contemporary, John finally stopped and talked to a police officer who gave us directions how to avoid the busy street with all the buses coming and going. We arrived at the Contemporary all in one piece! After a short wait and photos with Pluto, we were seated and directed to the buffet. This was probably the least of our favorite table service dinners. It was fun for the kids to have photos with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy, but the food was so-so, except for the desserts. Brilynn was in heaven! She ate several of the small desserts that were offered and had lots of favorites! We shopped in the shops for a few minutes after dinner and then went looking for the Monorail back to Magic Kingdom. The girls had fun “stretching pennies” in the machines and we finally found the Monorail. We had a nice, relaxing ride back to the Magic Kingdom, and then took the bus back to Pop Century and our rooms. We arrived back about 10:45 and looked at the developing blisters on grandma and a couple of the girls ankles. We implemented the use of mole skin and it help considerable. Grandma carried it in her purse every day and we added it to sore spots in the mornings before going to the parks. When we returned to the rooms, Amanda gave all the girls new pjs. She took lots of photos; however, Brilynn was not too hot on posing, since she felt her jammies were too “young” for her. All of the pjs were so cute and the girls took some fun photos. In the meantime, grandma dove for the bed and was asleep in no time! Operating on a couple hours of sleep and running at least 10 miles in the park all day, she was worn out! The first night, Maycie slept with Brilynn in Grandmas room and every night after that, she shared with grandma and gave Brilynn the full bed. She loved it! Everyone went to bed as soon as possible and morning came again way too fast.

Friday, November 13th:  The Florida time change was a killer and 6:00 a.m., which was actually 4:00 a.m. Utah time, came very quickly.  We all felt it and everyone was a little slow dragging out, but as soon as the girls found out we were going to Hollywood Studios for the day, they were so excited.  Brilynn ran down and filled drinks in our refillable mugs and we enjoyed a cold drink before hitting the bus stop again.  We left our tips for Mousekeeping and hustled to the bus stop about 8:00 a.m. to go to Hollywood Studios!  Amanda began looking for photographers for the photo-ops.  She found that this was one of her favorite things as we reviewed the photos taken the day before.  It was so much fun as they did a couple of short videos and there were several photo spots in each of the Kingdoms.  Finding the pro-photographers quickly became her favorite task at each of the kingdoms!  We hustled to ride Toy Story, but so did everyone else in the park!  The line was already incredible, so we switched gears and went to Rock & Roller Coaster with Aerosmith!  Amanda put Payge’s “heels” on to try to get her on the ride (48”).  However, she had not been coached enough to stand tall and just missed the mark.  Amanda stayed with her while the rest of us rode.  We then did a ride switch and Amanda and the girls got to ride again!  The ride photo’s said it all!  Amanda looks terrified, Presley, Maycie, and Brilynn are screaming and Grandma just looked dead!  The coaster was a lot of fun!  We were grateful her shoes worked the next time we went and she was able to ride.  She also screamed for joy! From the coaster, we went across to the Tower of Terror.  The girls loved the difference from the California one, as the car goes down a hall and adds a little more to the story!  We all loosened our seatbelts so we would come off the seat about 6-8 inches!  What fun!  We took like to stop and shop for stuffed animals that the twins were dying to buy.  Payge bought a Pluto and Preslee bought Oswald!  They hauled their animals around with them through all the parks and had a wonderful time with them!  Preslee got lots of comments on Oswald and Mickey and Donald loved Pluto at the character breakfast at Tuskers in Animal Kingdom.  We also enjoyed Star Tours and the Great Movie Ride.   The Great Movie ride became one of Brilynn’s favorites since she loves many of the old movies.  We took the time to see Beauty & The Beast – Live on Stage and it was really well done.  The music and costumes were beautiful.  Snacks were fresh fruit – pineapple was wonderful – that morning and lunch was at ABC Commissary.  Bri really wanted an ice cream cone, but we just couldn’t find one that was open!  Finally got it the next day!  Everyone filled up on sandwiches and desserts to last until dinner.  We watched the Indiana Jones Stunt Show and it was incredible with lots of fighting, explosions, and great special effects.  We hustled off to see the Lights, Motor, Action Show which included lots of action with stunt cars that were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We barely made the last show of the day, but were able to still get a decent seat.  Everyone went to the Little Mermaid show (which they were not too impressed with) while Grandma took a bathroom break.  We all met up for the Fantasmic show which we had fast-passes for at 7:00 that night.  Amanda led us down to fantastic seats that were dead center and two rows from the front.  We were so close, we got sprayed sometimes when the fountains sprayed!  Brilynn almost missed the show when she stopped for a bathroom break and almost didn’t get in!  Amanda went hunting her and all was well.  The Fantasmic show was incredible!  The music and special effects with the dragon kept everyones attention throughout the entire show!  After the show, we went to the SciFi Theater for our dinner reservation at 8:15 p.m. and we waited a little while to be seated.   The girls loved the restaurant because the tables were “cars” and we were sitting at a drive-in movie showing old black/white sci-fi movies!  Also, cartoons and refreshment ads were lots of fun to watch!  The girls loved the milk shakes and Bri had a rack of BBQ ribs that she couldn’t begin to finish!  Food was great and atmosphere was even better!  We were one of the very last tables to wrap it up and took a few minutes to walk down and see the Osbourne Street Lights.  They were excellent and must have contained at least a million lights!  We had a few minutes to look another night, but it was so crowed then, it was not as much fun.  However, Bri was excited when she spotted Mr. Gold’s Antique store from Once Upon a Time.  It even had the chipped up in it that Belle and he had in the show!  Pretty cool!  We watched as a little girl was selected to flip the big switch to turn off the lights for the night! Then it was time to head back to Pop Century and into bed by about 11:00 p.m.  End of another super day! 

Saturday, November 14th:  Today was EPCOT day!  We all got up early, again, and headed for the bus to EPCOT.  We were excited because we had fast-passes for Soarin’, and all-time favorite and Mission Space and Spaceship Earth.  We arrived and had to do photo ops in front of the large ball that is the icon for EPCOT.  We then raced over to the Test Track ride that we couldn’t get a fast-pass for and after a short wait, we were able to ride.  This ended up being Maycie’s favorite ride!  She loved the thrill of the speed and racing.  The girls loved designing their cars and did a pretty amazing job!  After Test Track, we went to Mission Space, but Amanda refused to ride!  Mission Space has two levels, the more mild and the more intense.  She didn’t even want to try the more mild ride, so the rest of us went off to the intense version.  We entered our space capsules and received instructions to not look away from the screen and to not shut our eyes.  We were able to be the navigator or pilot and I was the person who put everyone into hyperspace so they could sleep through the long journey!  The ride was great and you certainly feel the G-force.  John was the only one who got a little bit sick, but he recovered after a short period of time.  Probably a good thing Amanda did not ride!  All four girls were able to ride Sum of all Fears where they created their own ride and then experienced it in the simulator.  Amanda, John, and grandma had a few minutes rest while they enjoyed this ride.  We enjoyed the Spaceship Earth ride which goes inside the large iconic ball and is a tour through history.  Preslee said this was a fun one and she really like the pictures at the end of the ride where they put our faces into the type of future we would have.  About 1:00, we walked up to the World Showcase.  If we had known better, we would have scheduled differently, because it was pretty wild with the ending of the Food and Wine Event.  We made our way to the American Pavilion and had lunch at the Liberty Inn.  The food was great and there was only one little disaster when Maycie got catsup on her Donald Duck!  However, mom fixed it later that night when we were doing laundry.  We walked around the World Showcase and watched the 360 degree film in China and enjoyed the Japanese Dragon Gymnasts.  They were pretty amazing.  We went back and rode Test Track again in the single rider line and Maycie was so excited!  We experienced Ellen DeGeneres’s Energy ride and tried several of the drinks in Club Cool.  The girls even drank “Beverly” known for being really bitter!  Finally, we went to dinner at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and the girls had photos with several of the princesses.  It was designed after a Norwegian castle and was pretty cool.  We had appetizers and the food was really pretty good.  After dinner, we made our way out of EPCOT since the crowds in World Showcase were totally crazy.  Grandma felt bad that everyone did not get to experience Illuminations as it is one of the best fireworks, laser, explosive show that grandpa and grandma saw when at EPCOT before.  However, the crowds just didn’t make it work waiting for.  Mexico felt like a Frat Party with all the drinking and craziness!  Home to the resort where Amanda and I made our way down to the laundry by the pool and caught up her washing.  We laid it out all over the room and headed for bed!  Another early day again tomorrow!

Sunday, November 15th – Today was our day at Animal Kingdom!  Grandma messed up royally and didn’t realize it was early entry day, so we didn’t take advantage of that.  We tried to get on Expedition Everest and were told that it was down for a while, so decided we would come back after breakfast and try to use our fast pass.  Our first appointment was at the Tusker’s restaurant for our character breakfast with Jungle Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy Duck!  The food was excellent and everyone ate their fill, including hot chocolate and juices, mickey waffles, yummy eggs, sausage, ham, lots of fruit, and some African dishes that I’m not sure anyone tried!  After breakfast, we headed back to Expedition Everest and Amanda explained to the woman at the gate that we had a fast pass, but were told the ride was down for a while.  Amanda was furious as the woman told her the ride was not down that morning and acted like Amanda was lying.  She was not a happy camper.  However, our fast passes worked and we hustled through the line.  This is the best roller coaster, fast and lots of fun!  At one point, it come to a stop (looks like the track is torn up by the yeti) and then it goes backwards.  That got everyone’s tummies!  The girls loved seeing the yeti and this quickly became a favorite ride.  Next, we went to the Kilimanjaro Safari and took a ride through the Savanah, seeing lots of animals and enjoying the bumpy ride.  At one point, the driver acted like the rickety bridge we were driving over was going to collapse, and he had Bri almost convinced!  She only freaked out a little.  However, when John stuck Oswald up by Amanda’s and she turned and screamed, that was a real freak-out!  The man in front of her was not impressed!!  We rushed to the Lion King and enjoyed the live musical!  Costumes were great and the music was wild!  After it was over and Amanda was climbing over the benches to get out quicker, there was an announcement to please walk to the end of the row and exit without climbing over the benches!  Maycie was glad her dad stopped her from following mom so she didn’t have to be embarrassed!  The Dinosaur ride was one we had a fast pass for and everyone thought it was fun!  There was one huge, ugly dinosaur at the top of the hill!  Lots of squeals of fun on this one.  The girls all wanted to ride the Primeval Whirl (sort of like the Spider), but Amanda and I passed!  We went back and hit Expedition Everest at least a couple of more times, going in the single rider line and made to see the Finding Nemo Musical.  We all really enjoyed it and the music.  It was nice to sit and relax for a few minutes in the cool auditorium where it was shown.  Tough to be a Bug is always a favorite; although we about died of the heat while waiting for show time!   We passed on Kali River Rapids because no one wanted to get wet!  What a bunch of wimps!!  Animal Kingdom closes at about 6:30 p.m., so we headed back to Hollywood Studios to enjoy dinner at the 50’s Prime Time Café.  This was a fun restaurant to eat at because it is like eating in your aunt or mom’s kitchen.  There is an old TV in every dining area and the table and chairs are from the 50s.  Once again, there were milk shakes for the girls and we all enjoyed the home-cooking!   When dessert arrived, Amanda got her peanut butter cake to go, while the Sunday’s were huge and grandma ordered Dads favorite Brownie Sunday which had cracker jacks, a large browning, hot fudge, caramel, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry on top (and who knows what else was in it).  Grandma could only do about 2 bites and she was done!  We all left with our tummies filled to the brim.   We went back to look at the Osbourne lights, but it was just too crazy, so we headed for the bus stop.  Again, the bus was packed, as it was for the past couple of nights, and most of us stood all the way back to Pop Century.  Maycie learned to sleep standing up, and Payge and Preslee were out as soon as they sat on someone’s lap!  Brilynn was very grown up and stood almost every time we got on a bus.  We all learned to growl at the Jazzie’s! 

Monday, November 16th:  Up early again, but change of pace today.  We went to breakfast about 7:15 “All Things Pop” in the resort.   Our shuttle, the Happy Limousine, picked us up in front of the resort and we all had comfortable seats to sit in – it was wonderful!!  After a twenty-minute ride to Universal Studios, we went up the escalators and through City Walk (kind of like Downtown Disney) and picked up our tickets at the will-call window.  We entered the “Islands of Adventure” park and first thing we did was take the girls on the Cat in the Hat ride in Dr. Seuss Land!  It was so cute and really fun for all!  After this, we headed down to the Harry Potter area and it was totally amazing!  The entire Hogsmead area was just incredible as we walked past the Hogwarts Express, all the shops, the Three Broomsticks, and other areas.  They were selling Butter Beer and Pumpkin Juice on carts and we decided we would need to try some after some riding.  We jumped on the Dragon Challenge.  Lines were not bad at all, but the twins were too short to ride, so Amanda stayed with them while John and Grandma took Bri and Maycie.  However, John had to run through the line twice because we didn’t realize he couldn’t take his cell phone and he had to take it back down to Amanda.  It was a crazy roller-coaster ride and so much fun.  Not only upside-down and around, but corkscrews that really messed with your head!  After the Dragon, Challenge, we changed Payge’s shoes and all were able to get on Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Forbidden Journey!  The walk through Hogwarts prior to loading the ride was pretty awesome!  We saw the school hallways and paintings on the wall that talk to each other and to visitors.  We passed through Dumbledore’s office with the Pensive, saw the House Points, passed through the Gryffindor common room, and others areas.  When we loaded for the ride, it was incredible as we followed Harry Potter through the Hogwarts grounds, chased by a dragon, through the Quiddich playing field with Harry & Ron, and over the mountains.  What a rush!  It was just like flying!  Great like Soarin’, but 100 times better!  After we got off the Forbidden Journey, we had a Butterbeer, which Maycie wouldn’t try because she didn’t want anyone to thing she was drinking Beer. What a sweetheart!  We sat down while the girls rode the Hippogriff, a smaller roller coaster (which didn’t satisfy Preslee & Payge much).  They were still unhappy they could not ride the Dragon Challenge. However, mom made them all very happy when they agreed to give them some money toward an interactive wand to be used while in Hogwarts and Diagon Alley.  The girls were so excited as they picked out their “magic wands” and they each found a favorite.  In two days, only one was broken and it was taken to the “Repair Shop” and completely fixed!  Preslee was very happy!  The girls all had so much fun going to the different markers and practicing their “spells” that would make interactive things work like skeletons dancing and books opening, even a toilet flushing!  All four girls were in Seventh Heaven!  They even made up spells and pretended to do them on each other and the hexed person would have to do what was spelled!  What a special thing to do for them, Mom!  Thanks!  And Preslee was very excited because she told her mom that morning that she wanted to “waste” the rest of her money!  As we continued throughout Islands of Adventure, John was a good sport and took the twins and Maycie on the Dudley’s Doright’s Ripsaw Falls and they all got drenched!  Bri, Amanda and Grandma passed!  However, we all tried the Jurassic Park ride, first without John while he stayed with the “stuff” and then Amanda and grandma waited while John took the girls again!  It was fun and we didn’t get to wet (well, maybe John did!).  Other favorites for the day were The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, a three-D wild ride that was a lot of fun, and Dr. Doom’s Fearfall which Grandma, Bri and the twins waited while the others went (they were too short and Bri and Grandma did not want to go on it!).  While waiting, Storm from the X-Men came by and visited with the twins for quite a while!  It was pretty cool and they got a few pictures with her.  We also saw the Sinbad Adventure, but Maycie was not impressed with the Princesses outfit (it was a Haram Girl costume and was not nearly modest enough for Miss Maycie!).  The show was fun, but not outstanding!  There were a few other rides, but we passed on the “really wet” ones and one was not open yet.  Lunch at Circus McGurkus and it was pretty good and nice to sit and relax for a few minutes.   The Happy Limousine picked us up about 7:00 p.m. and delivered us to Disney Spring (Downtown Disney) for dinner at the Rain Forest T-Rex Café!  We had quite a  little walk, but finally located the restaurant. After waiting for a few minutes, while the kids looked at the fish tanks with various salt water fish, we were seated, below the Teradactyl and with the T-Rex at our backs!  Everyone 15 minutes or so, it got very loud at the dinosaurs would roar and howl and move throughout the restaurant and a storm would thunder through.  The ice cave, a little away from our table, also looked pretty cool with it’s beautiful blue walls!  We had a great dinner, but everyone was pretty worn out!  The girls really wanted to go to the Disney Store, but it was located further away than we really wanted to walk and, we thought, in the wrong direction from the resort busses.  We walked and walked to the end of Disney Springs, but then found out these were the wrong busses that we were looking at one the map and we needed to be clear at the other end of Disney Springs, which seemed like miles!  Thanks to a kindly gentleman by the bus area, we were guided to the ferry that would take us to the other end of Disney Springs.  It was a nice relief to set for a little bit and gave us the energy to do a little more shopping.  Amanda, John and the girls went to the large Disney store and grandma went to the other Rain Forest Café to buy a couple of T-shirts.  We all met up a while later, caught the bus back to Pop Century and hit the sack!! 
Tuesday, November 17th:  The girls ate breakfast again at Pop Century – they love the fruit and John was fond of the pastries.  Grandma just loved it all!  The Happy Limousine picked us up again at 8:00 a.m. and delivered us to Universal Studios for our second day.  The girls all brought their wands and were prepared to cast as many spells as possible!.  We headed straight for the Diagon Alley area, which was not real easy to spot.  We entered through the bricks and there it was in front of us with several awesome stores and at the end of the street was Gringotts – the Goblin owned bank with the escaped Dragon sitting on top!  What an awesome site!  By now, we had learned to use the free lockers to lock our stuff up prior to the ride.  (We only forgot the locker numbers a couple of time – but all is good!)  We headed into Gringotts and the walk through was really awesome, except that you couldn’t take any photos because they will not let you have any cameras with you on the ride.  Darn, it would have been fun to have photos of the goblins.  They looked just like in the movie and they are watching you as you walk through the lobby.  Bill Weasley (Ron’s brother) works at the bank and he is kind of our guide.  We also see Harry, Ron, and Herminie in various roles.  The roller coaster was really fun as we entered the caverns to the vaults and it gave us all a pretty great ride!  We also see Dumbledore who is speaking with characters and the paintings are talking.  We escaped with our lives and even lived to ride a second time!  What fun!  The girls were so excited to begin casting spells with their wands and they hit all the spots to do so.  Grandma did a little shopping and even went to Bourgan & Burks in Knockturn Alley (the dodgy area of Diagon Alley).  They had a cool hourglass, but it didn’t come in a box.  Also found a large tarantula in crystal that she almost bought for grandpa, but $125 was a little steep, so she kept looking.  The girls found a copy of markers in Knockturn Alley to practice their spells, as well!  We looked in several shops – Quiddich supplies, chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans, and saw the Leaky Cauldron!  After spending some time there, we took the Hogwarts Express back to ride the Forbidden Journey again, before the lines got too long.  The ride was again just excellent!  However, Amanda couldn’t do it twice, her tummy wouldn’t allow.  She did ride the Dragon coaster this time; however, and it made her very, very sick.  In the meantime, grandma bought some pumpkin juice and frozen butter beer while waiting for Bri, John, and Amanda.  The twins and Maycie and grandma enjoyed a few quiet minutes.  The it was on the Hogwarts Express again and back to Diagon Alley (loved the train!!)  We had our own private compartment and saw Dementors outside the door, as well as Harry, Ron, and Herminie talking in the hallway.  Maycie got a little upset with her mom for taking photos they argued whether it was ok before the doors closed!  The seats were very comfortable and we could almost have had a nap!  (Too many early mornings!)  There were lots of rides to see in Universal Studios and it was a full day!  We hopped on the Minions Ride, which was three-D and wild.  We were turned into little minions!  We also did the Men in Black ride which was a lot of fun and we wanted to ride a second time once we understood the scoring system for shooting, but it broke down and we didn’t get to experience it again.  However, we hung around long enough to get an express pass to something!  Maycie was dying to rid the Hollywood Rip Tide Rocket roller coaster and it was fun, but not as good as anticipated!  We also did ET and it was ok, but not spectacular.  Everyone loved the Revenge of the Mummy ride and it was wild.  We had to do it at least twice.  Payge hurried up too fast and didn’t have her high heels on so was denied entrance.  Amanda was brave enough to ask if she could ride if she was tall enough with her shoes.  Sure enough, she got in and rode it twice!  It was a scary, but really fun 3-D 4-D ride.  Another one of grandma’s favorites was the Transformer’s Ride.  Talk about full of action:  falling from building and transformers chasing and pounding on us!  Wow!  Shreck was okay, but not show-stopping!  One of the experiences that the girls loved was the Fear Factor Experience.  We actually did this one twice.  Maycie and then Amanda wanted to try to get on, but Maycie was too young and we were too late for Amanda to tryout.  However, the twins were chosen twice to help out and Brilynn was chosen once.  She really squealed when someone threw a rotten squid her way.  It almost hit her and she said it stunk so bad!  The twins got to help shoot balls at the contestants and Brilynn helped shoot the water canyon while they were trying to climb.  It was pretty cool.  The challenges were good, but the crazy part was when they put cockroaches on one girls head and scorpions on another!  Yuch!  Then the ultimate was when they ground up sour milk (with lumps) ground earthworms, and some other disgusting stuff and three people raced to see who could win downing it.  Gross!!!  Another favorite of the girls was the Horror Make-up Show.  They picked a young girl out of the audience to help and she was really jumpy.  She was the perfect participant and it was probably a good thing they got her off the stage before the werewolf came after the host.  She would have probably died on the spot!!  After a long day of riding, several headaches, sick tummies from the motion in so many rides, we took our last trip in the Happy Limosine and they delivered us to the Wilderness Lodge, a deluxe resort.  It was like a huge cabin and was really beautiful.  The pool was so pretty and had a river running into it.  When we were called to dinner, we were told we could choose to “play or not play” as it would get a little rowdy!  We chose to play and the next thing we knew, we had a waiter come up, throw napkins and straws at us and holler “Howdy!”  It only got crazier from there!!  He was really a hoot!  The table next to us requested more catsup (there were four people) and he hollered across the restaurant “These people need catsup”  Before you knew what happened, they had 23 bottles of catsup on their table!  I leaned over to Bri and said, “Don’t you dare ask for anything!”  When he came for our order, the girls ordered bottomless milk shakes (served in pint jars).  We ordered family style (as he stuck straws in the girls pony-tails!)  and they brought:  a basket of cornbread, a skillet with green beans (they were so yummy) and the best mashed potatoes!  Then he brought a huge skillet with BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken, Spicy Sausage links, roast beef, and I don’t remember what else!  It was heaping full and we hardy ate even ½ of it, then it was time for dessert!  Amanda ordered cheesecakes to go for everyone!  They made good breakfast and snacks for the next couple of days!  Back on the bus and to Pop Century and BED!  We were all so exhausted.  Bri said the best part was she didn’t have to worry if she would be able to get to sleep.  She just crawled in bed and closed her eyes and it was morning again!!  Everyone slept so solid that even grandma’s snoring didn’t bother anyone.  

Wednesday, November 18th:Day Seven!!  Can’t believe it is almost over!  We chose to spend the day at Magic Kingdom, arriving at the kingdom about 8:30 a.m.  We actually saw the pre-show up on the Railroad Station with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and others.  Amanda was back in her photo element and stopping at all of the photo-ops that she could.  We really got some fun photos!  We had fast passes for Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Seven Dwarfs Mine for today.  But first on the agenda was breakfast at “Be Our Guest” the new Beauty and the Beast Restaurant.  It was huge and beautiful!  First we were ushered into a fancy room to place our order in a kiosk and then told to get our drink and our breakfast would find us when it was ready.  This was pretty amazing because there were hundreds of people!  We picked up our drinks and soon our food arrived.  There were various pastries and other fancy foods (after all, it is a French restaurant!)  We filled up and then headed for the rides.  We rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine and hit all of our favorites, as well!  Preslee wanted to do Mickey’s Philharmonic again and John liked the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor.  It was a day crammed with rides and some shopping.  John took Brian, Preslee, and Payge back to the hotel for a few hours to rest, while Amanda, Maycie and Grandma stayed to do some shopping and have some fun!  Amanda got some darling photos of her and Maycie and we went up to Gaston’s Tavern where we had the best cinnamon rolls ever!  They were big enough for two people!  After John and the girls returned, we rode more rides.   This was the only day that we were rained on for a little while, probably not more than 15-20 minutes.  Preslee wanted to do Small World again and Bri wanted to do Peter Pan.  It was really fun since the line to get to the ride was in much more detail than the ride in Disneyland.  We went to our last Character Dinner at the Crystal Palace and all the kids enjoyed seeing Winnie the Pooh, Eyore, and others.  Dinner was very good and while John waited with the girls to finish with the characters, Amanda and I went looking for a spot to see the Electrical Parade and the Fireworks for the evening.  The Electrical parade is always a favorite and the fireworks were beautiful!  The park didn’t close for awhile, so we shopped some more.  John took Payge back to the hotel with him.  They were both worn out!  We shopped a little longer with Amanda working her magic to use our quick service meals for snacks.  She ended up with about 49 bags of candy that we would use for gifts when we returned to Utah!  We rode a few more rides, then went to catch the bus back to the resort!  The lines were insane and it was about midnight before we got back.  We all crashed and decided we didn’t need to be up too early since we were going to Hollywood Studios the next day where we had some fastpasses for our last day. 

Thursday, November 19th:So, it is our last day and we are all a little sad to know it was time to go home!  We had an 8:30 p.m. non-stop flight to Salt Lake.  We slept in a little and then got up and packed up for the last time!  We took all our bags to be checked and turned them in, then went to the front of the resort and checked our carry-ons at the luggage area, until we returned from the Hollywood Studios.  We had a fast pass for Rockin Roller Coaster at 10:00 and arrived at the kingdom a little before 10:00 a.m.  Grandma went to ride Star Tours one last time and while everyone else went to Rock N Roller Coaster!  Payge’s shoes worked this time and she got to ride!  They had a great time and so did Grandma.  We then met at the Hollywood Tower and Terror and rode it again!  Grandma and Bri went to check on a fastpass and were able to secure one of the last ones for the Frozen Sing-along.  It was a wonderful show with Anna & Elsa, and Christoff and lots of fun as they told the Frozen story and sang all the songs!  Bri wanted to go on the Great Movie Ride one more time, so we slipped it in and also got to ride Toy Story Mania!  We had lunch at the Studio Catering Company with some yummy ham & cheese sandwiches and tomato basil soup and pulled beef sandwiches!  Desserts were really good, but we ended taken some with us since we were too full!  About 3:00 p.m., we got on the bus for the last time back to Pop Century Resort, gathered up our bags, did a little more shopping and went to wait for the Magic Express.  It was a little drizzly again, but not too bad.  The ride to the airport took forever, but we arrived finally.  We stopped for a little more shopping and headed for the gate.  After waiting for a little while, Amanda decided something didn’t see right.  She checked and they had changed our gate!  At least our flight wasn’t delayed as many were due to bad weather in Boston.  Finally, we boarded the plane and got settled in.  The girls were excited to fly Jet Blue with their free all-you-can eat snacks and their own television screen!  However, after an exhausting eight days, we all crashed pretty good for the long flight home!  We arrived in Salt Lake about midnight, caught the shuttle to the car and headed to Amanda’s.  Everyone slept well and the girls were up to go to school and Grandma was off to home to see Grandpa!  What a wonderful trip and some special memories we all enjoyed. 

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