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Delswife Trip Reports!

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Trip Reports at the Lodge




Copyright © 2004, 2005 Robin Costello. All rights reserved.

Delswife's December 2004 Trip Reports
* Copyright © 2004, 2005 Robin Costello. All rights reserved.
Presented @ with permission.

Pre-trip 12/8, Lightly salted
Chapter 1: Day1, Lost and found, 12/8
Chapter 2, Day1: Let me ass you a question, 12/8
Chapter 3, Day1: A stroll down memory lane, 12/8
Chapter 4, Day1: Underwater durability testing of Pop Century’s front desk, 12/8

Chapter 5, Day1:‘Cuz you gotta have friends, 12/8
Chapter 6, Day1: ‘DVC, BCV, BWV, ABC, 123, 12/8
Chapter 6.5, Day1:  But Wait! There is More! 12/8
Chapter 7: Day 2 WHO pissed off the Emperor? 12/9
Chapter 8, Day 2: Stupid Van, 12/9
Chapter 9, Day 2: Big Space Splash Thunder Spin
, 12/9
Chapter 10, Day 2: Laura Had Balls, 12/9
Love Ya, Mean it... The Accidental Millionaire


Pre-trip 12/8 Lightly salted.

My favorite part of any trip is the day we are leaving. I love the excitement in my family that we are actually going and that we will all be reunited and the thoughts of the great adventure that lies ahead.

Because that is all life really is, a series of great adventures.

The day we were leaving, I had to work. The day started off very nice, but soon turned to snow. I don’t mind driving in the snow and in fact, I am better at driving in the snow with icy roads than in clear, warm weather in parking lots, but I am getting ahead of myself.

I was trying to keep a good attitude. I mean I was going to Disney World and see my son so nothing should bother me. Right? I didn’t know trying to keep a good attitude was going to turn out to be such work.

My cell phone rang and it was my husband Del. He had just picked up his daughter Em from her mothers house and had a question about some medication Em had.

Em had been sick with an ear infection and her mom took her to the doctors on Monday, it was now Wednesday. The bottle of antibiotics said “Take 5 pills NOW.” There were only the 5 pills in the bottle. I have no idea why the child hadn’t been giving the medication on Monday. He wasn’t sure if he should give them to her NOW or not.

Unless he had a time travel machine hidden in the closet, NOW would be good.

Okay, stay calm, you’re going to Disney World. Chris will be waiting at the airport. Just keep driving around and earn some extra mouse money.

In the meantime the snow turned into freezing rain. The temperature dropped from 34 degrees to 22 degrees. Each time I had to get out of my truck the freezing rain would pelt me in the side of the face. Freezing rain to the face stings and I was busy trying to squash my face into my collar to keep from ending up with a chapped face.

I should have been paying attention to my footing.

I had stepped one foot out the door and lost my balance. I landed ½ butt cheek on the frame of my truck door. It was wet and salty. It looked like I had wet my pants.

Oh, isn’t that nice.

Okay, still leaving for Disney, don’t let that bother you. Just walk backwards on the ice so people don’t see the seat of your pants. No biggie.

The night continued on for what felt like forever and I had to crack open the window of the truck to smoke a cigarette. I was also singing out loud along with the radio.

From the other direction came a large city snowplow. I scooted over to give him room and to keep him from pounding the side of my truck with snow, slush and salt. I would say our speed was approximately 25 miles per hour.

Mouth wide open singing out loud with the chorus of ‘The Remedy’ at the part where he sings “I won’t worry my life away” a small piece of road salt stuck me in the back of the throat. I immediately was left with only 1 of 2 choices.

1) Swallow quickly. It hit me too far back in the throat to spit it out.
2) Puke.

I went with option 1) swallow quickly, because I was traveling at 25 mph on icy roads. There was no time to stop for option 2.

Yes, that was unpleasant. But eventually this stupid night will end and you will be going home to load up suitcases for Disney.

I had the gaggy taste of salt in my mouth for another hour.

My shift finally came to an end. I was cashing out and while I was counting my money, my hands started shaking really bad. My friend and co-worker Erin, was talking to me and noticed it. She knew I was going to cry before I did.

This was it; this was the last shift I was going to work before I left to go to Disney and to see my boy that I hadn’t seen in over a year. I was going to see some of my friends and make some new ones. It was finally here. I was overcome with emotions that felt like a blow to the stomach and Erin hugged me.

Why is it that when I am beyond happy, I cry? Erin, who knows my son and was just as excited about this trip as I was, looked like she was going to cry too.

I had to go.

I got home and it was still freezing rain outside. I knew if I didn’t keep going outside and starting the truck to run the heater, that in the 5 hours before we left, it would become a block of ice.

And it did because I didn’t.

I got distracted by a phone call. My friend, Kimball (you know her as Zurgswife) called and was already in Disney with some of our other friends. I got to say hello to everyone (and envy them because they were where it was warm) and forgot all about the block of ice that my truck was quickly becoming.

We were traveling at night and I was planning on leaving around 3:30 am. But in light of the road conditions and wicked weather I moved our departure time to 2:00 am. This announcement caused Bea (formally known as Beatlebum) to go from smiling to beaming with excitement.

Sitting on my kitchen table was an unopened package for Em. It was a gift from TinkerKelli..ehh, Bell. She had sent her a new charm necklace to go with her bracelet. Em was ecstatic over it. “Tink knows I’m coming!” She squealed in delight. The timing of the package arrival was so perfect; I swear there was pixie dust residue on it.

I had some packing to finish and Em to worry about because she was now complaining of a stomachache.

Maybe if she had taken those pills on Monday instead of a few hours before she was to get on a plane she…No, no. Forget it. You’re packing for Disney. Let it go.

Over the last week or so, I had made several trips to Wal-Mart. I left everything in the bags piled on the kitchen chair because I knew I would just be packing the stuff up anyway and Del was helping me empty them to pack them.

It seems that every bag had disposable cameras in them. I guess each Wal-Mart visit I bought another disposable camera.

I ended up with nine disposable cameras.

I have a digital camera and was bringing my laptop. Want to see some pictures? I have a couple.


Anyway, Del was teasing me about my disposable camera addiction, having himself a good laugh about it when he came across the bad bag. The ladies only bag.

“Things with strings!” He yelled as he dropped the bag and nearly plowed me over leaving the kitchen.

Love ya, Mean it. It’s going to be an interesting trip.

My Mickey topper seconds before we left:

Chapter 1, Day1
 Lost and found, 12/8

The drive from my house to Boston airport is approximately 2 hours. In an ice storm it becomes 3 ½ hours. We had to get on the road.

When we finally finished packing, Del picked up one of Bea’s suitcases and nearly threw it into the ceiling. I ducked down for dramatic effect.

Apparently, it was much lighter than he expected it to be.

“What the heck are you doing?” I asked him like he did it on purpose.

“Is this the suitcase with a suitcase in it?” He asked me like I had set him up.

“No, that is the suitcase with a pillow in it.” I answered like he should have known that.

We didn’t need to do the whole suitcase-in-a-suitcase thing this year; Jet Blue allows 3-70lb. suitcases per person plus a carry on. We were a group of 4 at that point and I didn't own that many suitcases or have a need to travel with THAT much junk, so Bea packed her pillow.

Bea has figured out a way to pack her pillow on every trip we have ever taken. Del never noticed that. This was the first time that she had an exclusive pillow suitcase.

Del got a little tense over packing a pillow, they have pillows at Pop Century, he was sure of it. If that wasn’t enough, he knew mousekeeping would bring more.

But when Bea even thought of laying her face someplace that someone else did, one of her eyes would close, the other would roll up into the back of her head, her tongue would stick out and she would make some very disturbing gagging noises. It totally grossed her out.

So to avoid the risk of the girl having some kind of seizure over ‘face to strange pillow contact’, I have always let her bring her own pillow.

It seemed simpler than medicating her.

We said goodbye to our home and our cat piggy, and stood behind the block of ice that contained my truck. Del managed to get the doors open, loaded up the suitcases and we were on our way to the Maine State Turnpike.

Em was feeling better, much better. When Em is feeling good, she never stops talking. Bea has had enough experience with this and had brought her headset. Em had nobody to talk to in the backseat, so she kept yelling to Del and I in the front seat.

Most of her talk was about how special she was because TinkerKelli,..ahh..bell had sent HER an exclusive gift. How I had to drive faster because TinkerKelli..bell was waiting to see her. Na-na-na.
I am sure she would like us to arrive alive, kiddo.

With Em’s endless babbling chatter the miles slowly melted by. I mean seriously melted. The temperature in Massachusetts was nearly 40 degrees causing my block of ice to start to break up.

An enormous chunk of ice broke free of my bug guard and smashed into the windshield.

I nearly wet my pants for real.

Two very good things came of this. 1) My windshield DIDN'T crack and 2) the crashing sound scared Em into silence.

Well, for a few minutes anyway.

We got to terminal E of Logan airport and I thought it would be a better plan to drop the crew and the luggage off and park the truck by myself.

I parked in another city, I am sure of it. It took me forever to find long term parking then to take the bus back to the terminal. I had taken my xanax while waiting for the bus.

As the bus pulled up to terminal E, I noticed the crew was nowhere to be found. It was the last stop on the bus route before going back to the parking lots. “Terminal E, get off bus.” The bus driver yelled at me.

“This is E? But my family isn’t here. Isn't this where I left them?” I asked him.

Like he would know that.

“Terminal E! Off bus!” He yelled at me.

Now, I was getting nervous and I shouldn’t have been because I had taken a xanax and that is what they are for. I got off the bus and went inside the terminal. I still couldn’t find any of them. Terminal E is the size of a small city and they could’ve been on any side of it.

½ an hour later, I realized there was an upper level to terminal E. The bus had dropped me off directly under them.

At least I got some of those walking miles under my belt early.

The crew was a lovely shade of blue when I finally found them.

We didn’t have any problems checking in with Jet Blue which is amazing for us. We checked our bags and got right onto the plane. On the way down the ramp to load on the plane, I mentioned to Del we were lucky this year that we didn't have to wait around inside the terminal. Last year, while we were waiting Em called 911 from the payphone.

Em spun around and said to me “Look, I didn't think it would work, I didn't have any cents.” That made Bea bust out in laughter saying, “We know you don’t have any sense.”

Em was not amused.

From the time I found the crew to the time we were sitting on the plane waiting for take off was about 20 minutes. If I hadn’t found them when I did, we would have missed the flight. The flight left 15 minutes early.

I love Jet blue. This is now my favorite airline. The seats are big and comfortable, the staff is very friendly and they have individual TV sets in the back of the seats with direct TV. It really decreases your stress level during take off to be watching Kate and Matt on the Today show.

Ok, maybe it was the xanax.

The Jet Blue staff (I really don’t know what is politically correct to call them) has a sense of humor. During the safety instructions part when they discuss oxygen mask they tell you to put your mask on first, then on your child. If you are traveling with more than one child, pick your favorite.

Funny stuff, I laughed out loud.

That could have been the xanax too.

The seats are in rows of 6. The girls and I were on one side, Del was on the other side with two empty seats next to him. Once we were in the air and I had Bea convinced that we would stay in the air, I took over Dels extra seats.

Is it just me or did anyone else notice that the flights from New England to Orlando are only about 10 minutes long? I think I snored myself awake once, but that could have been Del.

Let’s say it was Del.

I woke up just before we landed. I sat up in the seat, looked at the girls and Del, did a quick head count, jumped and gasped when I had only counted 3 and we should be 4, then realized nobody had parachuted out of the plane after all , I had just forgot to count myself.

I had 3 hours of sleep in the last 24. It affects my counting skills.

Or the xanax wore off.

Chris flight from South Carolina was due to land ½ hour before ours. He was going to meet us at the Jet Blue gate. When we got off our flight, we could not find him.

When I did the head-count that time, I started with myself. I knew we were missing one. We should’ve been 5 by now.

We wandered and waited, then decided maybe he was down getting his luggage, so we started off to baggage claim. I wanted to make a quick bathroom stop.

When I came back from the bathroom, I did another head-count starting with myself. We were 5 now.

Hey, they found him!

There he stood with Em hanging off one of his arms. He was trying to talk to Del and it was ticking off Em. He turned to look at me and that was it.

I lost it, started crying and hugged him hard.

It took several shakes of his arm to lose Em before he could hug me back.

Em was again, not amused.

The last time I saw Chris, he was walking up the ramp to get on the monorail and go back to his base. Everyone else standing there saw a man, a man that was proudly going back to serve his country and make me proud.

I saw my little boy with the bleach blond hair and dimples.

I still see that little boy inside this man.

As badly as I wanted that moment in time to stand still, it didn’t. And we had places to go and people to meet.

Our luggage was sitting next to the belt when we got to luggage claim. There was a security guard standing next to it.

Looks like Bea’s pillow got itself into trouble.

I wondered if the person who pulled that suitcase off the belt injured anyone standing near them when they found it weighed nothing.

Empty suitcases are surprising fun form of entertainment.

The crew rescued Bea’s pillow much to her relief as I went to the Alamo desk. Kimball had been updating me on a regular base on the dropping car rates. I learned from her to check them everyday. Thanks to Kimball, I saved a ton of money.

The very cute little girl behind the desk was fast and efficient. She handed me my paperwork, tipped her head to the side and wished me a good day. I continued to stand there.

I never rented a car before; I didn't know what I was supposed to do.

Standing there, staring at the person behind the desk isn’t it.

I considered calling Kimball to ask her what I should do next when the lady behind the desk asked me if I needed a language interpreter.

Okay, she didn't know I heard her say that.

Even though the sarcasm was directed at me, I thought it was funny.

The girl behind the desk had dealt with people like me before. She pointed behind me and told me the parking lot was over there.

Um, okay, but how about some keys to something or a description of my new vehicle?

I continued to stand and stare. It seemed like my only option. I had done it too long to back out now.

“The keys are in the car…in the parking lot…behind you…go pick out your car in row 7.” She said very slowly to me.

Did she say ‘pick out your car’? I get to pick what I want to drive? Really? Oh, boy!

I had visions of little black 5 speed convertibles until we arrived at row 7.

Soccer mom caravans all in a row.

Well, that did seem a bit more practical than pilling the crew and the luggage in the back of that little black 5 speed convertible.

I made sure that we didn't pick out a white one, because my friend Kimball had rented a white one the last time and lost it at the Animal Kingdom. The problem for her was all of the vans at the Animal Kingdom were white. I didn't want to waste a lot of time looking for the van.

What you want in life and what you get are often two different things.

We ended up losing that van a lot. I actually had to make several phone calls to people to find it.

I’ll get to that later.

I looked over at Em and Bea as Del and Chris loaded the van. They weren’t looking so good.

“You guys okay?” I asked them. They were both pale and clammy.

“Think we could change our clothes pretty soon?” Bea asked.

They were still dressed for ice storm weather. We were now standing in Florida weather. In the excitement of everything, I hadn’t noticed how unfreakingbelievably hot it was.

I almost melted my crew.

Love ya, mean it. Sorry for nearly killing you guys.

We hopped into the van that was not a black 5 speed convertible and pulled out of the parking garage.

Our journey had finally begun.

Chapter 2, Day1
Let me ass you a question, 12/8

The crew and I arrived at Pop Century in no time at all. Other than the screech that I let out at the top of my lungs when we passed under the Disney World signs and scaring the crap out of everyone in the van, the drive there went well.

I pulled up to the front door and the bellman came to collect our luggage. I wasn’t giving up the luggage just yet, we needed to change our clothes or die from the heat so I asked him where I could park while I checked in.

Later, after I checked us in, I had to find the guy to ask him where the van was.

Our rooms weren’t ready when we checked in. I hadn’t expected them to be, so no disappointment there. I asked the front desk if they could put my passporter in the safe until we got back from the park.

(Note* I just discovered that not everyone knows what a passporter is. It is the ultimate Disney organizer. It has pockets for each day of your trip, phone numbers for anything you could ever need, maps of the parks plus helpful tips and tricks. I don’t know the people of passporter; I am not a passporter salesperson. I just like to pass on information about products I like.)

My passporter was completely full, a little heavy and contained absolutely everything in regards to our trip. I couldn’t take the chance of losing my passporter.

Lose the crew or the van, the trip continues on. Lose the passporter; everything comes to a screeching halt. It was the key to the magic. It literally contained the entire trip.

You could almost hear a dial tone coming out of the front desk guys open mouth as he stood there staring at be with a blank expression. I now knew what I had put the Alamo girl through.

It wasn’t a good look for anyone.

He was totally confused about putting anything in a safe and had to ask the girl next to him about it, who in turn, needed to get the manager.

Is it a value resort because nobody who stays there has anything of value?

I finally got someone who knew about a safe box they could put my passporter in. It had two keys needed to open it and I was instructed several times not to lose my key or we wouldn’t be able to open it. “Do NOT lose this key!” was repeated many times.

They ended up losing the entire box.

I didn't know that until later.

Bea and Em eventually ended up standing next to me wearing the proper attire for Florida heat, shorts and t-shirts while I received my lecture on the danger of losing the key.

This day and our last day, unfortunately, would be the ONLY days we could wear such an outfit.

Before I surrendered my passporter to the manager (to get lost) I took our AP vouchers from one of the pockets. I have never had AP’s before; I was feeling pretty special about them. I even felt the need to deepen my voice and say to the manager “Oh, just a moment, I need our AP vouchers. Thankyouverymuch.

Just wanted to make sure he knew he was dealing with an AP holder. Making sure he knew I had access to Disney World everyday for an entire year. That’s right, me, the ‘pizza boy’ from Maine. Step aside please, AP holder in the room.

Can you imagine if I owned DVC? There really would be no living with me.

I was puffed up with pride over my AP vouchers for about a second and ½. The manager asked if I knew where to turn the vouchers into actual AP’s.

It felt like a trick question.

So I opened my mouth and stared at him. I was getting really good at that.

He was a very nice man actually. His advice was to go to Downtown Disney to exchange them. He said it would be much faster than doing it at the parks.

I didn't fool him, he knew an AP virgin when he saw one.

The girls and I went back outside to find the bellman and exchange information as to the whereabouts of the van for 11 pieces of luggage.

“Careful with that one, it has a pillow in it.” Del, thinking he was funny, told the bellman.

Love ya, mean it. Shut up.

After shedding many layers of clothes, we were ready to go to Downtown Disney and become actual AP holders. I am a Disney dork, I was excited about this.

I think this was the only time we didn't lose the van. From where we parked and walked straight we came across the Lego Lizard in the pond. Del thought if he started doing crude things in the pictures, I wouldn’t be able to put them on the Dis.

Which he is right, I couldn’t put many pictures there last year.

Welcome to the Lodge, honey.

Love ya, mean it.

(Insert picture of lizard here)

(Insert peeing in bush picture here)

Exchanging our AP vouchers for real AP’s was fast and easy. Using the AP’s became a problem for Del. All you have to do is, at the admission gate; you slide your AP in the slot and place your fingers in the machine.

Em could do it for crying out loud.

I don’t know why, but each time he put his fingers in the slot, it wouldn’t recognize him. He would then try squeezing his fingers together really hard making his face turn beet red. I guess he thought that only people with the strongest fingers was allow admission to the parks.

We had a quick bite to eat while we were there and finally, finally we were going to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours before the Illuminations party in Epcot.

I still hadn’t realized just how little sleep I was running on.

Chapter 3, Day1
A stroll down memory lane, 12/8

The crew and I drove from Downtown Disney to the TTC to catch the monorail. When we got on the monorail, it was completely empty. Em wouldn’t give Chris a minute’s rest, she kept climbing all over him, so he chose to stand. Em got up and stood next to him.

Love ya, mean it, the kid missed you like crazy.

Before our trip, I found out that ‘It’s a small world’ would be closed for renovation. I was disappointed because traditionally, it is the first ride I have always gone on when we arrived in the Magic Kingdom.

This tradition started back in the 70’s by my father.

Sitting on the monorail that day as we rode ‘the highway in the sky’, my mind drifted back to the days when my dad would bring Brother and me. We always stayed in Fort Wilderness and usually with a lot of other people, my other brothers and their families, my uncle and cousins, and so on. We always used the boat as transportation because back then, the Magic Kingdom was the only park in Disney.

One time when we first arrived at Disney, as a special treat, my dad took Brother and me to the TTC and we got to ride the monorail. In that foggy memory, the only thing that I distinctly remember was my fathers having his arm around me, leaning my head on my dads chest and hearing him make a small gasp sound when we rounded the corner and saw the castle for the first time.

As a child I believed it was because the castle was so beautiful.

As an adult I know it was because he was so happy to be there with us.

I heard myself make the same gasp sound.

Love ya, miss ya Dad. Thanks for the memories. I still cherish them.


The monorail pulled into the Magic Kingdom and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Bea and Del needed to go thru the bag check with the camera bags, so Chris, who still had Em hanging off one arm, and I stood on the other side and waited.

It was completely and totally uneventful. I did that joke already.

Don’t give up on me though.

I quietly passed out our AP’s to the crew once Bea and Del had finished their inspection.

No, I didn’t. Did you believe that?

I held them up in the air and announced “Here’s your AP Bea, here’s your AP Em.” So others around would also know they were in the presence of real life AP holders.

Hey, I don’t have a lot going on in my life, okay? I head-butted dogs, got robbed, broke down, and nearly froze to death for those tickets and I am pretty proud of them.


(Editors note these back stories are currently on the  see the Lodge TOS for registration and posting requirements.)

We went thru the turnstiles one at a time and I got another small thrill from having to put my fingers in the machine. (Please, the jokes are too easy with this sentence.) Chris, Em and Bea waited patiently on the other side while I went back for Del, who was squeezing the hell out of the ticket machine with his fingers.

If I didn't stop him, I was afraid he’d pop something in his skull from squeezing the machine so hard. I showed the ticket lady his ID and he was allowed access to the Magic Kingdom.

Yes, I had Del’s drivers’ license. He had a Richard Petty Driving Experience to do later in the week and I wasn’t taking any chances. Normally I find Dels’ license in his wallet at the bottom of the washing machine. I think that’s where he keeps it.

We walked onto Main Street and were greeted by the largest Christmas tree I had ever seen in my entire life.

Oh Good God. I really hoped that one was held up by more than a tripod.

I stopped short when I saw the tree and Bea nearly walked up my back. “Mom!” She reprimanded me as she walked into my back.

The sounds, the smells of Main Street all hit me at the same time. I couldn’t stop tears from filling my eyes.

I also had very little sleep and it started to catch up with me.

The crew and I stopped and ‘Ooh-ed & Awe-ed’ over the tree for a few minutes then continued our journey down Main Street. We planned on taking a ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean and calling to see if our room was ready.

We were stopped by a park photographer who took 2 of the worst pictures I had ever seen of myself in my life. I looked like someone who had worked in an ice storm 24 hours before and traveled the east coast immediately after.

This, and open-mouth staring are not my best looks.

I had the crew stop so I could take a picture of where we had been so far.

I took the picture and the kids immediately started marching their way back up Main Street leaving Del standing there by himself for a second.

“Hey! How do you know she took the picture already?” He asked them as they walked away.

Chris, who had plenty of sleep because he only had to travel from South Carolina, decided that it would be a good time to start messing with Del.

“We saw the shutter close.” He said very matter-of-factly.

Bea giggled.

“What are all these people doing sitting on the sidewalk?” He asked me.

“They heard AP holders were coming. That wanted to see them.” I told him.

Hey, where do you think Chris gets it from?

Del started walking, trying to keep a picture of his backside off the internet by doing this:

Had thought over what Chris had said about seeing the shutter on the camera close.

“Wait a minute; you didn't see the shutter close from that far away.” He turned and told me to take a picture so he could see.

Hey, you want to stop Em? She is on a dead march without us.

“Do it again.” He said.

Could you use a nap, honey? Of course they didn't see the shutter close; they saw me put the camera down.

We made it as far as the ‘Swiss Family Robinsons’ tree house and the crew wanted to stop and go thru it. I sat on a bench and tried to call to see if our rooms were ready. I dialed the wrong number, closed the phone to redial and it rang.

“Are you guys here yet? Did you cry when you saw Chris?” Laura (Suite Disney) asked from the other end.

Laura and I had met before, she knew I cried. I almost started crying again thinking about it. I might cry now.

I chatted with Laura for a few minutes before the crew arrived and got so loud that I couldn’t hear her anymore. We exchanged our ‘Love ya, mean its, see you at the party tonight’ and hung up. I re-dialed the wrong number before getting on Pirates.

When we got off Pirates, I dialed the correct number and found out much to my delight that our rooms were, in fact, ready for our arrival.

I just wanted to lie down for a few minutes. Just a little rest and I would be in much better shape. The crew was in full agreement.

Now, where is the van?

Chapter 4, Day1
 Underwater durability testing of
Pop Century’s front desk, 12/8

On the ride back to Pop Century, I called Commando Nikki at school to let her know we had arrived safely. I only spoke to her for a few seconds before my phone was confiscated by the rest of the crew, who all missed her terribly.

Nikki had finals at school; she wouldn’t arrive until the 15th. She was extremely disappointed to be missing out on meeting our friends; she has a special bond with one in particular.

In case you don’t know it, Buz (Harold) gave Commando Nikki an air horn a few months ago, in case the kid needed HELP getting us up and motivated.

You know, just for ha-ha’s I think we should all send Buz a big ‘Love ya, mean it’. Send two or three of them if you feel like it. His email address is here: (**Zurg will insert link - should find its way to his yahoo account and I can keep rerouting it if he changes his email! Waa Ha Haaa Ha!**) I think some nice sound files, the louder the better of course, would be a great way to show Buz how much we love and care about him.

Love ya, mean it Buz, how do you like me now?

We arrived back at Pop Century to move into our new digs for the next 14 days. I went to the front desk to retrieve my passporter from the safe box while the crew went into the food court to grab something to eat. They were going to wait for me, because I was only ‘going to be a minute’.

I think the girl at the front desk MUST have just waited on someone who was not having a Disney day. She was on the defensive the minute I got there. “Hi, I’d like to grab my passporter from your safe box.” I said to her, holding up my key to give to her.

See, I didn't lose the key. Good for me.

“You have your receipt, right?” She sighed.

“No, I have a key, fits better in the lock.” I said in what I thought was a friendly ‘I’m kidding around’ kind-of-way while still trying to hand her the key.

I pissed her right off.

I didn't mean to, it was an accidental pissing.

But not like the ones from the Depends commercial. Unlike Depends, there was nothing I could do to stop it.

“I can’t give you anything without a receipt.” She spat at me.

“I don't have a receipt. I was only given a key. Isn’t holding the key to the box just as good as holding a piece of paper about box?” I said in a high voice, attempting to be funny again.

I really wasn’t trying to upset this girl more than she already appeared to be. I was trying to lighten the mood. I thought the person before me gave her a real hard time about something and she couldn’t shake it.

Or she took one look at me and decided she hated my guts.

I wasn’t going to take it personally; I just wanted my safe box so I could get my passporter out of it and go to our rooms.

“Well, I don’t know anything about any boxes and you shouldn’t be handing that key out to anybody. If I come across it, I will have it sent to your room.” She said to me and started looking over my head to the person behind me. “Next!” She called.

How was she going to do that? She didn't even know who I was.

“Okay, great.” I said as I began standing on my tip-toes so she had to look back at me. “But I don’t know where my rooms are and the keys to my rooms along with the map to my rooms are IN THE BOX, along with all my money and my family is waiting for me in the food court.” I wasn’t kidding when I said the ENTIRE trip was in my passporter.

Between Del and me we may have had around $20 bucks left on us. I can’t feed a family of 5 with that, especially in a Disney food court. For safekeeping I kept all the travelers checks in the passporter.

She sighed at me, turned on her heal to walk over and talk to another Cast Member about the location of the safe box.

Or to complain about me, I didn't know or care at that point, I just wanted my passporter. I rested my head on my folded arms on the counter to wait.

It was Bea who woke me up when she stood next to me and asked me what I was doing.

Apparently I was having a nap. She laughed when I made ‘sucking drool’ sounds as I straightened back up and tried to look casual.

I can’t be the first person to do that.

The crew had elected Bea to be the search party. Del, Chris and Em were trapped in the food court just standing there with a tray food. They had walked around trying to look like they hadn’t finished shopping, but by the time they had made their 30th lap around the food court; they started to feel a little foolish. Em was claiming that she was going to faint if she didn't eat soon.

Several minutes later the girl came back and told me they had no safe box. I believe my face was still a bit red from my little power nap, so I am sure this is why she took my next sentence the wrong way.

“Could I see the manager?” I asked. The manager was the person who gave me the key and took the box. He must know where he put it.

I pissed her right off again. She must have figured I was going to complain about her.

“Fine, give me your key.” She snarled back at me.

Didn't she tell me NOT to give the key to anyone? Did she need my key because they locked the manager up someplace? Why couldn't I just have my passporter?

I was too tired to deal with this. I handed over the key.

Maybe in the time it takes to count to 100, (or 5, depending on how much sleep you have had) she came back with my passporter in her hand.

She DID have the manager locked up! We had to get out of there.

With my passporter, room keys and map to the rooms finally in my hands, we paid for the food and headed for the elevators in the 60’s building behind the 4 story tall Mickey Mouse phone. Only one other time in the 6 years Del and I have been traveling together did this next thing happen.

Del, the kids and I arrived in front of the two elevators. Em pushed the button and both doors opened at the same time. Del and I took one look at each other and both bolted for an elevator. We have raced elevators once in Montreal Canada and up until that day, I was the undefeated champ.

I still say it is because all the kids jumped into my elevator, weighing it down thus slowing it down.

We found our rooms on the third floor over looking a gigantic foosball table, a real twister game and giant big wheel.

You know, Disney really didn't have to go to all that trouble and build a hotel just for me and my family, but we certainly do appreciate it. I love Pop Century.

We found our rooms and I instructed the crew to wait outside the doors while I went inside to make sure everything was alright. “Just wait right here, I just want to be sure everything is perfect.”

What I was actually doing when I went inside was claiming my bed. I pulled down the blankets on the side I was going to sleep in. When you travel with a group, you have to be crafty in claiming a space of your own.

The crew crammed into the rooms’ seconds later each claiming their beds.

You have to be crafty and fast.

Our 11 pieces of luggage were neatly piled in one corner which was good because after all the concern and worry I had over my passporter, clean socks and underwear never crossed my mind.

The crew sat at the table to finally eat the food that they only could stand around and admire not too long before.

I laid down on the side of the bed I had previously claimed. We had a party to attend in a few hours that Kimball had arranged for everyone in Epcot. It was a private party for Illuminations.

I just needed a little more sleep. The nap I had at the front desk was already beginning to wear off.

Just….a little…bit…of…sleep…….

Chapter 5, Day1
 ‘Cuz you gotta have friends, 12/8

It was so foggy in my kitchen that I was having a hard time finding my cats’ food dish. Piggy, my cat, kept rubbing against my legs, she was starving. She opened her mouth to meow at me, but the sound that came out of her sounded strangely like my cell phone.

Wait! That IS my cell phone. I wasn’t home in Maine looking for piggys’ food dish, I was in Disney World, sound asleep on my side of the bed at Pop Century.

I sat up in bed in the pitch dark. Lying next to me was a snoring lump. In the bed next to ours was another smaller snoring lump. I got up, turned on some lights, looked into the other room and in each of those beds was snoring lumps.

Well, would you look at what I started? What the heck happened? Did they eat the food they only could stand around and admire at one point then have a group fainting party?

My phone had stopped ringing before I found it. I grabbed it, hit redial and looked at the clock. Oh, NO! It couldn't have been 8:30. We had to be at the Illuminations party in 15 minutes.

Kimball answered the phone and asked “Where are you guys?”

I felt so bad, Kimball went to a lot of trouble arranging the Illuminations Dessert Party at Epcot and we nearly slept through it. “Thank God you called, Kim, we were sound asleep.”

“What? You guys are sleeping? Get up! You’re going to miss the party. Call me when you get to the Boardwalk if you need help finding the party.” Kimball laughed at me.

All I had to do was go to the Boardwalk, find Epcot then France, how hard could that be?

The plan was to park at the Boardwalk, walk over to Epcot for the party and go back to Laura’s villa for a little get-together. The plan also included us to be there on time, and I had already screwed that up.

So, in this chapter, playing the part of Commando Nikki will be Zurgswife aka Kimball.

“Okay, guys, please get up. We are late, we have to get going.” I said to the snoring lumps.

Nobody moved.

“Please, let’s get going.” I said.

Still, nobody moved.


Em sat up and asked what rides were going to be there. When I told her we weren’t going on rides, she tried to snuggle back into her bed.

I was going to have to start slapping these people around. They left me no other choice. I don’t know how Commando Nikki can stand to vacation with us.

Eventually, they started moving. That was good because I didn't know how to get them up if they didn't do it on there own without resorting to violence. Buz had given Commando Nikki an air horn (have I mentioned that? he likes loud sound files, LY/MI) but the non-violent air horn and the Commando were still back in Maine.

We got into the van and drove over to the Boardwalk. I have never been there before and I’ll tell you, the place took my breath away. I kept pointing out different things to the crew that I found interesting or beautiful and they in turn, kept pointing out that there was no twister board or giant big wheel.

Insert dramatic eye rolls, shoulder shrugs and heavy sighs here. Does that make them hotel snobs in reverse?

We walked down a flight of stairs and we were standing on the actual Boardwalk. The Boardwalk that I had only seen on the travel channel from my living room couch.

I was wide awake now and very excited. “Look Del, the Boardwalk bakery!’ I grabbed his arm and jumped up and down. Bea and Em got caught up in my excitement and started jumping up and down too.

Hey, a girl likes her sweets.

Chris asked if we were ever going to get to the dessert party.

Em heard the word ‘dessert’ and nearly had a nervous breakdown. We had just been standing in front of the bakery at that point; I didn't know where we were going. She started pacing back and forth saying “Dessert? Where’s the party? Are we going? I could sure go for some desserts.”

I have to assume that the child thought I dragged them out of bed to stand around and admire a bakery.

Well, it was on the travel channel.

Instead of waiting to see if Em would figure out which way we were suppose to be going, I whipped out my cell phone to call Kimball for directions. “Hi, it turns out I need more than directions to the dessert party, I’m standing in front of the bakery and I need directions to Epcot.”

Yup, that’s right; I couldn't find an entire park.

She laughed and only said “Ahh,…Keep walking, you’re headed right for it” but I know she was thinking ‘you dumbass.’

I was certainly thinking it when we continued walking straight and walked directly to the turnstiles.

I held up our AP’s loud and proud because that hadn’t gotten old yet and passed them out to the crew. The kids and I had no troubles with out tickets or fingers; Del on the other hand, still believed squeezing the hell out of the machine is the only way into the park.

“Now, hurry up. Head for France and find the person with the red flashlight. See you in a few.” Kimball said before hanging up.

We did it backwards, we found a person with a red flashlight and she walked us over to France.

But we made it and that was the goal.

I was so happy to see my friends again, and to meet some new friends. There were a lot of people at that party; I can’t even begin to remember everyone. Zurg was right, not one person looked anything like their clipart.

John (Town Crier) had made name tags and I found them very useful. Chris had tried to pin his to the front of his shirt, but much lower than necessary so people would have to look down to see who he was because he is 20 years old and that is funny to a 20 year old. He earned himself a smack for that.

He’s 20 years old now; it is not considered child abuse anymore.

I had a name tag but with Kimball I didn't really need one. Most people recognized Del, Em, Bea and Chris right away but nobody really knew who I was. She kept pointing at me saying “That’s Delswife” or “Wobin’s over there” to EVERYBODY.

Good gravy, woman! Did you forget I am the SHY one?

Kimball wasn’t allowing me to blend in. She didn't get the memo.

I felt so naked with out my backspace and delete keys.

A side note, I did get a little naked, in the Boardwalk bakery as a matter of fact, but that was an accident and is much later in the story.

Zurg and I finally caught up and for the first time I saw the LY/MI pins. Laura (SuiteDisney) wasn’t far behind Zurg and told me that she had bought the first one. I was having such a hard time trying not to cry because I was so touched, I couldn't say to Zurg then what I wanted to say about the pins.

I wanted to say, “I love them, I mean it. Let’s do something great for Connor, Delaney and Tony with them.”

What I did say was something like “Aww, I,..aww, geesh,..look, Bea.”

The Zurgs had told me before that they were making them. They also told me that after the cost of making the pins was covered I could have the profits.

From a family that exactly ½ of their children are dealing with a serious medical condition not just on a daily basis but on a minute by minute basis.

Bennet, Kimball and Tony, I really love you guys. You never stop amazing me. You are my heroes and I am in awe of the strength in each of you. I feel like the little drummer boy here, all I have to offer you is a trip report. Bar-rump-pa-pa-pum.

I was busy making new friends and forgot about the dessert table until Em walked over with a big hot fudge sundae. Poor Bea, who is never more than an arms length away from me had been watching Em and knew it was her second trip. Em had had her first sundae, went and beat on Chris for a few minutes, then had another ice cream. Bea wouldn’t go over to make a sundae or beat on her brother without me; she is even shyer than me. She put her head on my shoulder and mumbled ‘Ice cream.’

It was only then that I really saw just how beautiful the party was. The decorated table they had set up had a variety of lovely ice cream sundae fixings. (Or fixin’s, there were several people from Texas at the party.)

Bea and I made ourselves a sundae a few minutes before the music for the fireworks began. An unidentified Zurg had put a glow necklace and bracelet on Em, which was a really good idea, because it was dark and she wonders off occasionally.

She either wanders off or she may be trying to escape the rest of us. I haven’t come to any solid conclusions on that yet.

The terrace we were standing on made it feel like we were a part of Illuminations itself. The music and the rumble of fireworks were simply breathtaking. I saw a few seconds of the fireworks, but I was busy.

Watching my family.

Thank you, Kimball. Thank you so much for giving my family an unforgettable first night in Disney World. Thank you for making magic for us on a very special day, the first time I had seen my son in 14 months. You will never know what that meant to me.

Love ya, mean it.


Chapter 6, Day1
 ‘DVC, BCV, BWV, ABC, 123, 12/8

The Illuminations party came to an end much too quickly. Maybe it wouldn’t have felt that way if we had arrived on time like we were suppose to but I guess I should be grateful we made it at all. If Kim hadn’t called when she did, we might have easily slept until the next morning.

So my feelings are, should you happen to be in Disney at the same time as 50-60 of your closest friends, book an Illuminations Dessert Party and arrange for a wake-up call. It is much fun to be had by all.

If you don’t happen to have 50-60 friends, look us up. We will be happy to join you.

On the way out, Kimball asked me if I had received my surprise from them.

I hadn’t gotten a surprise; I barely got my passporter back. I gave Kimball a boo-boo face. Kimball whipped out her cell phone and gave someone a talking too. A boo-boo face usually leads to someone getting a talking too especially if you give it to a mom. The front desk is lucky I didn't tell her about my passporter.

A few of us went back to Laura’s place at the Beach Club Villa for drinks, snacks and loud talking.

The loud talking comes naturally with the drinks.

Not so much with the snacks.

It really should be common sense that you really shouldn’t do the loud talking during your snacking because you could spit food on someone unintentionally. That would be considered impolite and won’t get you invited back.

If you do spit on someone while drinking and loud talking, the liquid will evaporate and you can pretend it never happened. If the person you spit on raises their hand to wipe their face you can look at them like THEY are the problem, not you.

We were walking and talking with our friends on the walk back to Laura’s place and nobody in my crew paid one little bit of attention to where we were going. DVC (Disney Vacation Club) is uncharted territory for me. I am just learning the abbreviations for everything; I had no idea where the abbreviations were actually located.

Like my buddy Tony once said, we are the kids outside the candy store window with our faces against the glass, looking in. Lucky for us, we have friends that share their treats. My crew and I were going to get a chance to see inside DVC. It was really exciting.

The crew assumed I knew where we were going, I assumed they looked around at their surroundings once in a while, and we all know the old joke about what happens when people assume.

You had better have a cell phone on you if your entire crew is going to go around assuming crap.

Now, when I say a few of us went back to Laura’s place for drinks, snacks and loud talking, I mean 27 of us. On the walk to Laura’s Villa, that didn't seem like a lot. I think we may have been spread out a little bit.

Inside the Beach Club Villa was incredibly beautiful. It looked just like an apartment with a little kitchenette complete with fridge, stove, dishwasher and microwave. A place so classy, the toilet has a room of its own separate from the whirlpool tub.

The twister board at Pop was still cool.

Okay, maybe not as cool as a toilet in its own room but it is something we can do together.

No matter what we tried to tell Em, she believed Laura lived there. “I want to stay at Laura’s apartment.”

“It’s not her apartment, it’s her hotel room.” I tried to explain to her.

“No, it’s an apartment; she has a washing machine in the closet. We don’t have one in our closet.” She explained to me.

“Why are you in the closet?” I asked.

“I was looking for something.” She told me.

“What?” I asked.

“I don’t know I haven’t found it yet.” She explained to me, slightly irritated with my ignorance. Her job as an 8 year old is to look for things in other peoples closets, I should have known that. Sorry Laura.

Apparently she had been looking for Johns (YesDear) camera because as (step) mother-of-the-year the next time I saw her she had it. She had taken it over.

The BCV sleeps 4 people, but over flows with 27 eating and drinking loud talking people.

Kimball and Janet (Rwethereyet) had to stand in the bathroom to talk to each other because it was crowded.

When Laura asked Del if he wanted a beer, he responded with “Does Howdy Doody have wooden balls?” She came to the conclusion that he in fact, did want a beer because Howdy Doody is a wooden puppet after all. He and Chris made a bee-line for Laura’s balcony and claimed it as the smoking area.

While we were out outside in the designated smoking area, I got quizzed on who was who, who was with who, what were their screen names and how did I know them. “The guy in the shirt, is he married to the lady with the fanny pack?” I tried to explain everyone to them, but they left me no choice by to be rude and point at people.

“Okay, over there is Laura, Gene and Rachel. You remember them right?” I asked.

“Yes, that’s my buddy Laura, got that.” Del answered.

“And you Know Kimball and Bennet…” I started to say but was cut off with “Yes, the Zurgs, I know that.”

“Okay, Bu..” I started again but was cut off again with “I know Buz and Diane. Buz bought beer for me because I didn't have any ID; he also made me get an 18 pack, you never forget something like that.” I was on the receiving end of an eye roll.

Yeah, right. Buz MADE you.

That’s, by the way. :)

“Who has all the boys?” Chris asked and I pointed out Deena. (4greatboys). That became a small argument. In their minds, there was absolutely no way that one lady could control 5 boys alone.

Deena has very nice, well mannered boys. Boys that don’t do things like this.

or this:

“Now that is John (YesDear) and Janet (rwethereyet), they are married...” I started again and was cut off again with “Okay, we have to avoid them.”

My mouth dropped open. “Why??” I demanded to know. “They are my friends!”

“I might have offended them.” Del said. “I think they know who Howdy Doody is.”

I thought we had everyone straightened out and identified Krista, Alisha, Vicky, Jim, until we got to John (Towncrier). “He looks so familiar.” Del said.

“He should, he was at the Cape Cod meet at Glo’s. He also made the Badshoe nametags.” I told him.

“There’s something else, I can’t figure it out.” Del said, looking puzzled.

“You told him to have the kids paint a nipple on his head in Cape Cod, does that ring any bells?” I said.

It rang bells, he laughed and remember John after that.

We were having a really great time standing out on the balcony the looked at the Epcot ball, getting a chance to see some of our friends, making new ones. But like I mentioned before the drinking causes loud talking. Suddenly there was another one of our friends hanging over the balcony above us asking us in the nicest possible way to shut up because he and his family were trying to sleep.

Sorry Bryan and Mary, (Lightsaber and Zulaya) LY/MI. Thanks for understanding.

We felt bad about waking the neighbors and decided it was time to go back to Pop and the reality that our toilet shares a room with the bathtub. We were pretty wiped out anyway, so Bryan did us a favor. So, playing the part of Commando Nikki in this chapter is Lightsaber.

We really do require guidance.

Buz, Diane and Matt were heading out the door and Diane said we could follow them out, but Del hadn’t quiet wrapped up his loud talking with Laura so they left without us. Diane trying to help, I should have jumped at the chance.

The crew and I went down a very long hall and got onto the elevator. Once we exited the elevator, we saw a door and went out it. Outside the door was a statue of the little mermaid. I will show you this next part because I have recently learned that I am not the only one with a family member who has done this.

We may never be allowed back to BCV.

We started walking towards a parking lot when it dawned on that we shouldn’t be in a parking lot yet. I stopped short and Em walked into my back. “Wait a minute…”

“What’s the problem?” Del asked.

The problem was that while we were in the elevator or while Del was molesting the mermaid, someone had come out here and stolen Epcot. Why were we looking at a parking lot? Where was the bakery?

We were lost. After a quick and brief crew meeting, we came to the conclusion that none of had any idea where Epcot, BWV or the van was. Going back to Laura’s room wasn’t an option either; nobody knew where it was. “You don’t know where we are going?” “You guys weren’t looking around?”

Big bunch of assumers.

Nice, I had to call Laura and tell her we were lost in a parking lot.

When I called, they were in bed.

So let’s review, shall we? We had been inside DVC for what? Like 2 hours maybe? The crew and I managed to wake up and disturb not just one, but two families. That’s a family an hour.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry…


Laura had a good laugh asked us if we saw a lobby, (lobby? I didn't see a lobby, did you?), and directed us back to Epcot, BWV and our van.

That we immediately got into and went back to Pop Century were loud talking assuming people belong.


Chapter 6.5, Day1
 But Wait! There is More! 12/8

I just went back and re-read my last chapter so I could finish up telling you about our first day. When I opened the thread, IT HONKED.

Incase you missed it, that was I have no idea how to make a thread honk, and I see he posted on it. I just know he has something to do with it.

Get him, guys!!

The crew and I were walked back towards our van from BCV to BWV via telephone with Laura. We went back up the staircase that is located just past the bakery, which was closed much to my disappointment, out to the parking lot were our van was located.

Before we had left Laura’s, Santa had given Em a little Christmas gift. It was a pillow of stitch. She has been walking around with it over her face, talking like stitch.

We were walking on a pathway that really seemed like the longest possible way to get to the parking lot when Del and Chris decided to take a shortcut across the grass. Em, who was walking behind them with a pillow over her face, followed them.

To be funny, just as the three of them got into the grass, Chris and Del took off on a dead run to the other side of the grass. Once Chris and Del got back on to the pathway they turned back to face Em, who was just strolling along like she was a DVC member with a pillow over her face, started saying “Kid on the grass! Security, we have a kid on the grass!”

Em stopped for a second, long enough to swing her pillow-covered head around to consider her options, and took off faster than I had ever seen her little legs carry her.

At least if she had tripped, her face would have been protected when she landed.

Bea and I quietly walked along the pathway and pretended we didn't know those people.

In the van, Chris received a phone call. I honestly don’t know who he was talking to, but when we pulled into the parking lot, he was still on the phone.

He was describing the hotel to whoever was on the other end.

Look, still on the phone.

Thus was born a new game, phone badgering.

Every time anyone (read this as Chris or Nikki) was on the phone, Bea and I would say this:

“I miss you.”

“I miss you more.”

“No, I miss you more.”

“No, no. I MISS you more.”

“Okay, you hang up first.”

“No, YOU hang up first.”

“Let’s hang up together.”

“Okay,” said in unison, “One, two, and three.”

“I CAN HEAR YOU BREATHING!” We said at the top of our lungs.

Then we laugh loudly and obnoxiously. Sometimes it worked; sometimes they tried to get away from us. Bea and I don’t walk around with pillows over our faces; we always kept up with them.

We got back to the rooms and started to get ready for bed. I opened the ‘bathroom stuff’ suitcase and discovered my blow-dryer was broken.

I said “Hoo-ray!”


Well, because I traveled with a lot of electronic things, blow-dryer, curling iron, cell phone, laptop, 2 digital cameras and 2 camcorders. Something was going to HAVE to break, it’s the law of traveling, and I was tickled it was only my blow-dryer.

I turned to the phone in the room to call mousekeeping and have a blow-dryer sent up when I noticed the light on the phone was blinking. Oh! A message!

I checked the messages and found out that the front desk would like to send something to my room. I guessed my surprise from the Zurgs was finally going to make its arrival.

I called the front desk back to ask for a blow-dryer to be sent up and was told that wasn't a problem but I would have to go to the lobby to pick up my surprise because bell services was closed for the evening.

Oh, goody, more walking tonight. I really wanted to do some more walking.

I went down to the front desk alone while the rest of the crew got ready for bed. The girl at the front desk told me she couldn't give me my package because bell services’ was closed. I guess I must have misunderstood when not 5 minutes before they had told me to ‘come down and get it.’

I chose NOT to wake up a third family for the evening. I was going to call Kimball first thing in the morning and tell on them.

I sighed and started to leave the desk, disappointed that I would have to wait to find out what my surprise was. I stopped and asked the girl if she knew what it was. “You don’t know what it is?” She asked.

“No, it was a surprise from my friend.” I told her.

“I love surprises!” She said. “Wait; let me see what I can do.”

She wasn’t gone long enough for me to conduct an underwater durability test on the front desk. She came back from behind a door with a candy gift basket in her hand.

W-O-W! How cool is that?

I thanked the front desk girl for finding it for me. She told me the look on my face was thanks enough. So if you need to thank someone in the future, simply have your jaw drop open and bug your eyes out. It’s enough.

I got back to the rooms and was greeted by Em who demanded to know what this was all about. It wasn't covered in any guidebook or on any website. Honestly, it's not the socks, it's the WALLS!

“Wobin, daddy was throwing socks at me and it stuck. WHHAATT is THAT about?”

I looked at Del. “She started it.”

“Did not.” She said putting her hands on her hips.

So, if Em is telling the truth, he ripped her sock off her foot and threw it at her. If Del is telling the truth, she took off her own sock and threw it at him; he just threw it back at her.

Shut up both of you, who cares, I have a candy gift basket.

We did test different things to see if they would stick to the wall, we are easily amused. We figured that if Disney didn't want us finding our own source of entertainment, they should keep the parks open 24 hours.

Little kid crop socks stick.

Grown men tube socks don’t stick for long.

Hair scrunches stick.

Stitch pillow doesn’t stick at all.

It was a great day. After one more round of phone badgering Chris, we finally we went to bed.


Chapter 7, Day 2
 WHO pissed off the Emperor? 12/9

The phone rang way too early the next morning. This was the first morning we had ever spent in Disney without Commando Nikki and it was going to be a rough one.

Commando Nikki usually takes care of things in the morning, because she is a morning-loving kind of gal.

I am not.

Neither is the majority of the crew.


“Wobin, the phone is ringing.” Em grumbled from the next bed.

“Breffeter.” I responded.


“Wobin, it’s really ringing.” Em said again waiting for me to get it.

“No, it’s not. You’re hearing things.” I told her.


“Wwwooooobbbbbiiinnnn!!” Em groaned.

“Answer it then!” I said getting frustrated.

*RINNN (Bang!)*

Del and I estimate that the stitch pillow might have been doing approximately 70 mph upon impact.

Consider it answered, huh, Em?

You don’t have to actually hold the phone to your ear to hear Mickey ranting on about what a beautiful day it was outside and get out of bed. Mickey didn't even seem to mind that he was hanging off the side on the night stand.

Oh boy, Mickey is a morning-lover too.

Xanax, Mick, xanax.

Em crawled out of bed and started to get dressed. Del started moving around, but there was little sign of life coming from the next room. “Let’s get up! We have places to go!” I called into the next room. We were heading over to MGM to play Who Wants to be a Millionaire with some of our friends.

Bea got up with little argument. She dressed, sat patiently on my bed and watched the Disney channel.

Chris hadn’t moved. I sent Em over to see if he was still breathing while I got dressed.

I don’t know what happened in that room but Em came back into our room faster than the stitch pillow hit the phone. The door between the rooms was immediately closed however Em hadn’t realized it until she spun around and ran into it.


She was completely appalled that she was thrown out of the other room. She balled her hands into fist and let out a very loud “Well!”

Bea made herself more comfortable on my bed; this was going to be better than the Disney channel.

Em had started banging her fists on the door yelling “Open up! It’s mousekeeping! Really it is! Please! I have to make the bed or I will be fired!”

That didn't work. I don’t know about anyone else but I thought it might.

She ran to the nightstand and grabbed the phone. “Wobin, how do I call Chris?” She demanded to know. A ringing phone got us out of bed; surely it would work on Chris.

“Chris, this is mousekeeping, not Em. Really, I’m not kidding. You have to get up so I can make….HEY! He hung up on me!” She hung up and tried again.

Actually, three more times.

You would have thought he might fall for it eventually.

Chris had taken his phone off the hook, so she could only leave him voice mails. She ran out the door of our room and started knocking on his window. “Please! You must get up! I am a mousekeeper! I have to make the bed!”

At least she had found something to do while the rest of us got ready.

Del went outside and told her to cut it out. She came back into our room with a look of defeat on her face.

I gave her a room key.

I had too because I didn’t have an air horn.

Em ran outside and used the room key to get into the other room. We could hear banging and screaming in the next room but Del, Bea and I weren't concerned with the noise because that is the norm with those two.

Em eventually came back into our room, clothes and hair disheveled, and announced breathlessly that Chris was finally out of bed and getting dressed.

Commando Nikki would have been proud.

But it wouldn’t have been so much work for her.

That was

On the way out the door, Em threw a washcloth on the wall. It stuck for a few seconds before falling to the floor.

We went down to the parking lot, got into the van and drove to MGM. I am pretty sure that immediately after we got on the tram that takes you to the front gate, someone went to the parking lot painted the van a different shade of blue and moved it to a different lot.

I rented a van to make things easier. I laugh out loud at that now.

We went through security, got to the turnstiles, showed off our AP’s to anyone who was standing near us, Del squeezed the machine with all his might and finally entered MGM.

On the way to WWTBAM, we stopped to watch a street performer. I don’t know what he was doing because I was too short to see, as was Em. Em stood on a bench to see over people.

She got her foot stuck in the bench. Chris and Del were standing right next to her.

I watched Em for several seconds, fighting the bench trying to dislodge her foot and wondered how long it would take for Del and Chris to notice there was a situation developing directly next to them.

“Hello! Pay attention! I’m trapped!” Em yelled and took a swing at Chris.

People stopped watching the street performer and started watching Em.

This picture is from a different day, but she did seem to make a habit of getting stuck in the benches. At least in this one, you can see HOW close they were to her and that Del finally started keeping an eye on her.

While we were walking towards WWTBAM we spotted Kimball pushing a stroller at breakneck speed to the entrance. I think she was trying to catch up with Bennet, Kelley, Blair, and Connor who were slightly ahead of her.

I could tell by the look on Del’s face that he desperately wanted to jump in Kimball’s stroller; it looked like too much fun.

I’m sure Delaney could’ve scooted over and made some room. She’s the youngest of 4 kids, I’m sure she has scooted over before.

She may have required therapy after seeing Del’s butt headed for her though. Just minding her own business, whisking along feeling the wind on her face and suddenly some strange guy sits on her.

Gee, is it just me, or does the evil emperor look a little less than amused?

Zurg did stop to take a picture of Del holding the camera bag. That suddenly reminded Del of the last trip we took and I set him up the unexpected present of ‘things with strings’ while he went through security. “Hey! Why do I have this bag?”

That was the last time Del carried the bag. Zurg wouldn’t carry it either.

But that’s okay; we get Del later in the trip. Wink

We followed the Zurgs to the entrance of WWTBAM where Diane (Mattsmom), Matt, Laura, Rachel, Vicky, were standing patiently waiting for us.

Chris really wanted to get into the hot seat. My advice to him was to keep a close eye on the Zurgs as each of them had been in the hot seat. “All of them?” He asked with doubt in his voice. “Even the little one?”

Yes, even the little one and she has a name, Delaney. Rumor has it that Delaney doesn’t like the floor leading up to the hot seat; it is a glass floor with sharp-looking metal things under it, so being a little kid once I can completely understand that. She needs to be carried to the seat.

I really, more than anything, wanted to see THAT. I mean, come on, could anything be any cuter?

Kimball and Bennet gave Chris the secret of getting into the hot seat. Fastest finger; just push any combination as fast as you can. After that the key is to click the right answer as fast as you know it, and keep clicking it. You can’t hold it in, pump it. If it isn’t A, B or C start clicking D before it goes up and the screens turn on.

The game had barely begun when Bennet caused a scene.

With a serious look of determination he got up and left the building.

“Where is he going?” “Why is he leaving?” “Is he coming back?” “Will we find him later with his foot caught in a bench?” “Is he taking the stroller and can I go for a ride in it?” Questions filled the air.

This was the perfect place for questions; however WWTBAM wants to ask their own questions.

So, Zurg, do you have any answers for us?

["Zurg here, Yes click here."]


Chapter 8, Day 2
Stupid Van, 12/9

Ms. Gloria Hardee, final answer.

We had come out of Millionaire and were told the story of the scroll by Zurg. I didn’t think it was possible, but Ms. Gloria Hardee made my Brother’s wife look pretty good. The Zurgs and Carol headed off to present their scroll to the people it was intended for.

Congratulations Ms. Gloria Hardee, you made it into the Zurg/Delswife trip report.

As a thief.

Wouldn’t these chapters from our reports look nice where the stolen scroll used to hang?

You wouldn’t have to worry about the CM’s seeing them, that’s for sure.

If Chris had been feeling better, we may have gone with the Zurgs on the mission to right the wrong. His stomach was feeling ‘funny’.

But I never heard him giggle, so I’m thinking it wasn’t really funny.

My crew, Vicky, Diane, Matt and a new guy decided to go grab a quick snack to help Chris’ stomach humor then go for a flip on the RnR. (Yes, it was a brilliant idea, that is what I was told.) Laura and Rachel had another meeting and left to go have lunch.

Hey, wait a minute, we had a new guy!

We like new people.

We are a friendly family and always welcome new people to join us in Disney fun. We are not an exclusive group; we are just living ‘out loud’.

The new guy turned out to be Eric (SyracuseWolvrine) a CM and friend from the animal kingdom.

To Bea, Eric became the newest member of ‘stranger danger.’

Bea is incredibly shy and barely speaks to anyone other than her own family. She NEVER sits next to anyone she isn’t related to unless I am not paying attention. If that happened and she ended up sitting next to someone, she got really pissed at me. “Did you forget ‘stranger danger’ mother?”

This picture was from a few days later. Notice that I made Del into a moose and Bea is still keeping a close eye on Eric.

She had met a few of our friends before and had worked up the courage to speak to just a few of them on this trip, but Eric was the new guy.

Here is a photo of our incredibly dangerous newcomer. Notice Bea looking to see who he is threatening.

It took Bea a couple days, but eventually she welcomed Eric in and he became one of us. It took her as much time to get used to Eric as it took me to stop calling him saccharine wolverine.

I wasn’t doing it on purpose; I think my brain kept seeing the hockey trophy in his signature as a sugar bowl.

I don’t follow sports, does it show?

Everyone went on the RnR but me. No special reason, I just didn’t feel like being flipped upside down right after I ate. I didn’t have a funny stomach but I might have scared off the new guy if I got sick everywhere.

Em got her panties in a twist about a CM that had cut them in line. Diane explained to her that he needed to cut to operate the ride. He was then granted Em’s blessings to go ahead of them.

After they got off the ride, there was talk of going on the TOT, but no action was involved.

Diane invited us all over to the (where did we go Diane?) because Del kept saying needed a beer because it was “Beer thirty”. We were going to go to Beaches and Cream to meet up with Buz and have a light lunch.

And a couple beers, it was almost “Beer o’clock” for crying out loud.

The mysterious DVC place we went to was home to Storm along Bay. Only guest of the resort can go in and you need to show a wrist band to do that.

There may be someone reading this that will know were we were.

No wonder we could never find that stupid van.

Diane had caught wind that Chris had a funny stomach and whipped out her cell phone to notify Buz that there was a situation developing.

Or she needed something to fan the air, I’m not sure.

Buz met us at Beaches and Cream with some serious medication for a funny tummy.

We had to wait to get a table. Diane pointed to the bar across the bridge so Del could get a beer. It was ‘half past a beer’ by this time. Del, if you remember correctly is not allowed to carry any money.

That’s what he tells people, and it’s not really that he is not allowed, it’s that he doesn’t know how too. Did I ever tell you how I paid for some of those ride photos?

Money found in the bottom of the washing machine because Del never empties his pockets. That is where ‘Bank of Del’ is located.

Anyway, he asked me for a $5.00 and ran off over a bridge to get a beer. When he came back, he didn’t look quite as happy as I thought he should be.

He wasn’t, he had a problem.

For future reference to anyone that is interested, a beer across the bridge at the mystery DVC place cost $4.90. Del tipped $0.10 and he knows tipping is not a small town in China.

Sorry, but if you can’t fold the tip in half, it doesn’t count.

What else could he do? He had to go back, get another beer and tip properly. Who knows, maybe the bartender was saving for a trip to Maine.

With the crisis avoided, we all went into Beaches and Cream to have a bite to eat.

We all had a great time and a few laughs. Diane had pointed out a dessert they made named ‘the kitchen sink’ which is really a large bowl of ice cream headache hell. Anyone who would even attempt to eat such a thing is just looking for a problem.

I actually considered it, but we had to get going. We were all going to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and having dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern, plus snacking on the free cookies and hot chocolate they pass out during the party.

You know, after re-reading this and looking through my passporter, I realize now why none of my jeans fit me anymore. We ate more on this vacation than we ever have. Usually the weather is too hot and we don’t want to eat, but in December the weather is cooler.

Warning, Disney in December will cause you to ‘fat out of your jeans’.

Del was confident that he could lead us to the van if Diane could just point us in the direction of Epcot.

Too bad we were parked at MGM.

Eric walked backwards with us back to MGM rather than Epcot because he is a nice guy that way. He walked the entire way backwards so I am thinking if the Disney thing doesn’t work out for him, he could get a job at Discovery Cove.

My crew and I parted ways with everyone else and got on a tram to the parking lot.

The plan was to go back to the room for a little break, then pop over to Magic Kingdom for the party. As the tram came to the first parking lot I looked at Chris and asked him if this was the lot we were in. “I think so.” He said.

The reality was we got off the tram at the first parking lot we came to because of Chris and his thinking and ended up walking up and down the isles looking for the stupid van for over an hour.

In the third parking lot we were touring my cell phone rang and it was Kimball checking to see that we were awake and going to make the party on time.

“I can’t find the vaaaaan!” I cried into the phone.

There is ALWAYS a problem with us.

I know it is fun to read about, but when you spend over an hour walking around different parking lots with tired family members pushing a panic button on your key chain to set of a car alarm, ANY alarm, it really rains on your parade.

Just as I was about to give up hope of ever finding the stupid van and jump on a diesel-donkey, rocking back and forth, skin to skin contact stranger filled bus, an alarm finally went off.

I fought the urge to drop to my knees and cry happy tears.

There was no time left. No going back to Pop for a quick rest, just jump in the stupid van, pray the traffic lights would be in our favor and get to the Magic Kingdom to meet up with our friends at Liberty Tree Tavern.

We were going to be late; it was now just a matter of how late we would be.


Chapter 9, Day 2
 Big Space Splash Thunder Spin
, 12/9

Over an hour we had walked around 3 MGM parking lots looking for the stupid van.

For future reference to anyone else who happens to find themselves with an invisible rental vehicle, if you stand at the different colored pillars just past where the tram dropped you off, someone from Disney WILL stop and help you locate it.

I found out this little bit of useful information about 3 days AFTER WE GOT HOME.

The crew and I got into the stupid van and started driving to the Magic Kingdom for the party. On the way over, I noticed something strange while sitting at the light waiting for it to change. The stupid van was doing a little bouncy thing while we idled.

Okay, we may have a problem that I had no clue what to do about. I was looking at the gauges and everything seemed to be pointing to what it should, but what if they weren’t? What was I going to do about it? I could call AAA, but then what? Would AAA be able to find the stupid van? We sure had trouble with that.

I remember vaguely being handed paperwork while I stood in front of the poor Alamo girl with my mouth open, staring at her blankly. I wasn’t sure what I had done with it after she handed it to me. It might have some information on what to do if your stupid van started bouncing for no apparent reason.

I made a mental note to ask Kimball what to do; it seemed easier than looking for paperwork in a room that contained 11 pieces of luggage. If the stupid van was so hard to find, I couldn't imagine what paperwork would be like.

We arrived at the TTC parking lot to catch the monorail and noticed that at the end of each parking lot, there is a sign telling you where the hell the stupid van is parked.

From that minute on, we took a picture of the signs so we could remember where we parked the stupid van.

For the record, yes, I plan on calling it ‘stupid van’ for the entire trip report. It is shorter to type than ‘not a little, black 5-speed convertible.’

We walked from the van (Editors note: she forgot to call it stupid - LOL) to the TTC and got on the monorail. Em, who had been talking no-stop about nothing wanted to see what would happen if she DIDN'T stand clear of the doors.

She almost got a slow-motion karate chop to the skull from her father while he slowly dragged out the word ‘Nooooo!’

We arrived at the turnstiles with our AP’s proudly held up for all to see and everyone but Del managed to make into the Magic Kingdom.

He had actually grunted while squeezing the machine that time.

Something is wrong with his fingers, I am sure of it. I don’t know if they are crooked or if he is lacking fingerprints, but he was taking away some of the thrill of being AP’s holders.

Del and Chris were in front of Bea and me with Em taking the lead while we briskly walked down Main Street. Walking towards us was a beautiful blond girl who was in her early 20’s. She walked past Chris, stopped briefly, turned, lowered her sunglasses and checked out his butt. Chris also paused to turn and return the favor.

Ewww, ewww, ick! STOP THAT YOU TWO! This is Main Street USA, NOT a nightclub!

Why, for the love of God, did I have to see THAT ?

I deliberately walked into Chris to get him moving again. Enough of the pretty blond distraction, we had places to go.

I still had the ‘hee-bee gee-bees’ when we arrived at the Liberty Tree Tavern and met up with everyone.

Kimball, once again, had done a marvelous job coordinating everyone.

As we all walked into the restaurant, a lady standing at the counter wearing a red sweater said “Oh, my god! It’s the Badshoe people! I love them!”

I thought she was with us, just someone I hadn’t met yet, and she was being funny.

I asked Deena (4 Greatboys) who she was, and she had no idea but told me she wasn’t with us.

Cool, I was hanging out with celebrities.

And red sweater lady, you could have stopped them and said hello, they are huggers, not biters. By the time I had caught up with Kimball to point the lady out to her, she was gone.

Kimball moves quick, you have to keep an eye on her.

Em had left the crew to sit with Laura, Gene, Rachel, John, Janet, John (the other John, confusing I know) and I think Kimball.

Bennet and kids had their own table.

Buz, Diane, Matt, Carol, and Vicky were at their own table.

At our table was Del, Bea, Chris, me, Deena and her five boys.

Got all that? There is a test at the end of this chapter.

Laura’s table was the loud one and the one Em had ditched us to sit at. Buz’s table was chatty, but under control at all times. Bennet and kids were playing with sodas but also under complete control.

Our table was, uh, humm… Let’s say, it was protected.

Deena was sitting at the table holding her little one, Connor in her lap. He is a sweet, quiet little boy who has the ability to stretch his little body in a way that defies the human anatomy.

Let me explain.

Goofy had been busy making his rounds at the tables then he came to ours. I had been watching Deena’s little boy’s reactions with each character that had previously stopped by and knew that Connor didn't want any part of them.

Evan, Deena’s other little boy, was pretty much the only one at our table that seemed happy to see the characters. It was a table mostly made up of teenage boys.

Yes, I am including Del.

Del had failed to notice Connor’s attempts at invisibility by digging a hole in his mothers’ armpit when the characters came around. When Goofy was close enough, Del spoke up and said “Goofy! Over here, don’t miss him” And pointed at Connor.

Connor glared over his mothers’ shoulder at Del for a split second as to say ‘Dude! What in the sweet hell are you doing?!?’ twisted his little body over sideways, stretched an unbelievable stretch, and grabbed a butter knife from the table. He took the butter knife, bonked Goofy on the end of the snout and gave him a looked that said ‘Go ahead, make my day, you big dumb dog. I’ll butter your bread.’

It was so funny. And before any flames start, the butter knife just happened to be the first thing he had gotten his hand on. If the salad bowl had been in that exact spot, Goofy would have taken a bath in strawberry-vinaigrette dressing.

That would have been tragic, I LOVE that dressing.

It was a fabulous meal and we had a great time. I am hoping to be able to do it again.

You are all invited, especially the lady in the red sweater. I elect Kimball the party coordinator.

We all left the Liberty Tree Tavern together and went walking towards Adventure land to have our photos done. Kimball had tried to convince the photographer to lets us all have our photo done together, but we wouldn’t all fit in the space where the backdrop was.

Of course OUTSIDE we would have all fit together and would have had a much cooler backdrop. We were in Disney with the biggest bunch of camera nuts ever to own a mega pixel, Laura, Buz, both Johns, Bennet and myself, and nobody thought to take a group picture.

I mean come on! Laura has an entire website dedicated to Disney photos for crying out loud.

Now seeing where I can’t remember where I put an entire stupid van a few hours after I park it, I can’t be expected to remember to have a group photo taken the next time we are all in Disney together so we will have to elect someone to do that.

I nominate

My crew and I stood in front of the backdrop, smiled nicely and quietly had our photo taken.

Or maybe we didn’t.

Oh, yeah, we didn't.

If you decide to liven up your photos like we do, with your faces and fingers all twisted, just know that this confuses the heck out of the photographer. You will have to verbally communicate to the photographer that you are ready to have your photo taken. He has no other way of knowing that. Failure to do so, and the photographer will stare back at you with that ‘open-mouth staring’ thing that told you about at the Alamo counter.

Seriously, not a good look for anyone.

After the photo, okay, DURING the photo, Del and Chris started freaking out. They had been dying for the last 14 months to get on the ‘Big Railroad Mountain, whatever mom we really don’t care what the name of it is, it makes Del scream like a girl’ ride. I was trying to talk to Bennet and they were driving me nuts by pulling on my arms chanting ‘come on, come on, come on’.

See, the Zurgs wanted to give me something to say ‘thanks’ for my last trip report. They wanted me to have the profits from the pins to use for future trips.

My father used to say ‘if you never give, you will never have.’ I don’t need ride photos or room reservations, I need my friends.

And I know I have friends. These are the greatest friends I have ever had.

And much like my father, I will always figure out a way to take my family to Disney.

I wanted to give the Zurgs something in return to say ‘thanks’ for giving me the courage to write the trip report in the first place and for making the pins.

What better way than to try and help find a cure for their children?

Oh, and I have this friend Tony, who loves chips but couldn't make it on this trip.

Every time I look at my LY/MI pin, pinned to my camera strap, I know I have everything I will ever need.

Love ya, Mean it.

Copyright © 2004, 2005 Robin Costello. All rights reserved.

Chapter 10, Day 2
Laura Had Balls, 12/9

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was in full swing. We had our photo taken, said ‘LY/MI’ to the Zurgs and headed to ‘Big Thunder Del screams like a girl Railroad’ with Buz and his family and Laura and her family, Vicky and Eric.

We stood quietly in line and chatted politely with our friends.

Or maybe we didn’t.

Oh yeah, we didn't.

When traveling and visiting with your internet friends, remember they become witnesses later. Beckie, (Magic in my Heart) met us a few days later and still doesn’t know what she witnessed yet. When I get to that part of the story of why they were playing with a hot chocolate spill on the ground and taking photos of it when we met her, she will say “Oh is that what your crew was doing?”

The line for ‘Del screams like a girl’ was almost nonexistent. We pretty much strolled on that ride like the important AP holders that we are. While walking down the ramp, I thought Del’s head was going to bust open from excitement.

Given a choice, my crew would do nothing in the Magic Kingdom but go on that ride and Splash Mountain over and over. The ride itself is fun but hearing Del screech is one of the funniest sounds ever heard. It’s a high pitch ”Oh my god! Look out! Why am I on this ride? Holy crap! Whhheeeee!” repeated with each drop and turn.

We really look forward to it on every trip.

We found it is even funnier when Laura is sitting behind him tickling him for the entire ride.

Once we had finished DSLAG, (Del screams like a girl) we bee-lined it for Splash Mountain. If Disney ever decided to do a little remodeling, could I suggest just making the exit of DSLAG the entrance to Splash?

We were in line for Splash Mountain and Laura was playing with some little rubber balls.

I don’t know where she got them or why she was playing with them but after this, I think they will become a part of her packing list.

Del saw her playing with her balls and mentioned that he liked them. Laura, being a good girl, shared her toys with Del.

Del proceeded to put the little rubber balls under his tee shirt.


I’ll tell you.

So that when he went over the drop at Splash Mountain and had his picture taken, he could tell people that the water was really cold and make his nipples hard.

That’s why.

I know.

Bea and I decided to ride in the boat with people that weren’t going to deliberately draw attention to their nipples.

In the front row of the boat Bea and I were in were Buz and his son Matt.

In the next row were Diane and Eric.

The back row was Bea and I.

As we gently rode through the briar patch and came to the first drop, Bea and I noticed that Buz and Matt put their heads back and rested them back on the boat.

Bea and I looked at each other simultaneously. Did they know something we didn't?

So on the next drop, Bea and I did it too. When we went down the little drop, it was a rush.

Can you just imagine how cool it will be to do that on the big drop?

Do you think I can spell the word concussion with out spell check?

I couldn't.

We had bumps on the backs of our heads for two days after that.

Don’t try that at home.

Del and Chris entertained their boat by singing the real words of the ride. I found a website that says the words are ‘sure as you’re born’ but it sounds like ‘show us your balls’.

And Del was going to show Laura’s balls.

Once we got off the ride we split up. They wanted to see some shows and we wanted to go on rides. We made our way around the park, stopping at the Haunted Mansion to go for a ride in the doom buggies.

Del, Em and Chris went in one buggy, Bea, Eric and I had gone in another. Bea wasn’t happy not only sitting next to someone she didn't know, but because of the size of the buggy, (and the size of our butts) she was almost sitting on top of him. I tried to help her out and spent the ride sitting on one butt check, hanging on to the bar for leverage.

That was skin-to-skin contact and stranger danger to the extreme.

When we got to the end of the ride with the hitchhiking ghosts, Del and Chris started screaming because Em had disappeared.

They only do that because it pisses her off. They do it every time.

After the ride, I was informed by Chris that he also rode on ½ a butt check and was also hanging on for leverage.

Em had grown a bit over the last year.

We continued on toward Space Mountain not stopping for any other rides, Peter Pan, Pooh, Dumbo, because they were packed full of people.

We reached our quota of skin-to-skin contact.

As we walked past the wall that was covering ‘It’s a Small World’ I just had to put my hand on it. Hi Dad! LY/MI!

Everyone but me went on Space Mountain. I got a phone call on the way over that I needed to take.

It was Brother!

He said “I thought I’d just holler at you to see if you were having fun.”

I held the phone away.

He didn't really holler it’s just some weird Tennessee expression.

I wish he could have made it, but his work he is very busy during the holidays. I suggested he take up pizza delivery, we were busy, but any ding dong with a driver’s license can replace you.

He then told me he was going to holler at our mother and see how she was doing.

I told him it’s not nice to yell at someone who was nearly 80 years old.

He didn't understand. We had reached a language barrier.

I had to go anyway; everyone had just gotten off Space Mountain and was in high speed headed over to Buz Light-year without me.

It was obvious to me at that point that I was the only one doing head counts.

We spun on Buz, met back up with some of our friends again (Buz, Laura and families) and immediately lost Em.

I sort of freaked out and asked each of my crew where she was. When I say ‘sort of’ I mean I grabbed Chris’ arms and shook him, but I refrained from slapping him in the head when he said he didn't know. Buz was the only one who knew she had left with Laura and Gene to go on Stitch.

So it was just Buz and I doing head counts.

Next time I am thinking of tying a rope around the crews’ waists and latching them all together so I can relax on my next vacation.

We did a few more rides and our friends said they were going to go grab some hot chocolate and cookies and started walking toward Main St.

“Cookies? There are cookies? I need some cookies, I’m going with them.” Em informed us and starting marching off to leave.

Del grabbed her by the back of the shirt to stop her; we had to go back on DSLAG. We could grab cookies over there.

When we went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, there were trick or treat stands set up everywhere. They had big orange balloons over them to make them easy to find.

Mickey hides the cookies.

It seemed like there were only two cookie stands. One near tomorrow land where Buz, Laura and company went too and one in Liberty Square. Maybe there were more, but we never saw them.

The one in Liberty Square was hidden in a shop. If you want to know the exact location, you could probably find it on If you are like us, and didn't happen to bring a wireless laptop to the party, you could do what we did to find the hidden cookies.

(*Note: Like passporter, I do not know the people at It just another place that I really like and do much of my planning from and wanted to share with my friends. One of these days I hope to meet the passporter or people. Do you think this is a big enough hint?)

To find the hidden cookies you have to follow the cocoa cup trail. That is, people who are carrying cocoa cups. You won’t actually see any empty cocoa cups anywhere, not with those hard working CM’s swooping down and whisking away any evidence of trash in the parks.

The further away you are, the fewer cups you will see. Walk in a direction until you start seeing more people holding cups. Once the people to cup ratio is 1:2 continue walking until you see people blowing INTO the cups because their cocoa is hotter than the surface of the sun.

When you see those people, stop them and ask them where the cookies are.

They won’t be able to tell you, having burnt their lips into blisters; they will only be able to aim their other hand that is holding their cookie in the direction of the hidden shop.

Once we found the cookies, Em was still pouting. It was now clear that she wasn’t ticked off because she didn't get cookies with Buz, Laura and company; she was ticked because she just wanted to be with Laura and Gene.

Laura and Gene could have been on there way to the doctors to get a shot in their butts and Em would have wanted to be included. Laura and Gene are like the pied piper, kids adore them.

The CM behind the counter saw that Em was bummed about something and gave her SIX cookies.

Chris stood right up behind Em and stuck out his bottom lip in a pout too.

Six cookies for him too, that he turned and shared with Bea. Bea was all finished with being face to face with anyone she didn't know.

We caught a glimpse of wishes from DSLAG, and heard a second of the parade from Splash ‘keep your head up on the big drop’ Mountain. On the way out of the park, we stopped at the bakery for some more junk food and headed to the monorail.

All that sugar slowed us down; we were nearly the last people to leave the park. The bonus part of that is it made finding the stupid van in a nearly empty parking lot a piece of cake.

Ugggh. No more sweets.

Copyright © 2004, 2005 Robin Costello. All rights reserved.


Love Ya, Mean it...
The Accidental Millionaire

Love Ya, Mean it... The Accidental Millionaire

MGM is home to Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Play it. It is a game based on the television show. My son, Chris is quite fond of this game and we played it several times during our stay.

The first thing you need to know is if the show guide says the show starts at 4:10, you need to be there at 4:00 at the very latest. Once they start reading the rules of the game, no one is allowed in. It’s is the Florida State law.

Seriously, we asked around.

We weren’t looking to get ourselves arrested or anything, so we came back earlier than the posted time for the next show.

While you wait in line there are television sets hanging from the ceiling playing clips from past real shows staring Regis and Meredith. Contestants are asked questions and several of us call out ‘B, final answer’ because we are a bunch of smarty pants.

Myself included.

I forgot I was an idiot. I need to write that on my hand or something.

The nice thing about this attraction is it seems you spend more time sitting in the studio waiting for the show to start than standing in line. The studio holds about 47 million people (okay, maybe a little less than that) and it was nearly full during this showing.

I should have taken that as a sign, I refer you back to the idiot comment.

This is just a picture of the studio, not from the day I am talking about.

Now, as you might know, I have these so-called friends known as the Zurgs. They have a black-belt in hot seat achievement; all of them including the little one have been in the hot seat at least once.

They set me up. I know this now.

Kimball and Bennet (AKA the Zurgs) gave me the secret of getting into the hot seat. Fastest finger; just push any combination as fast as you can. After that the key is to click the right answer as fast as you know it, and keep clicking it. You can’t hold it in, pump it. If it isn’t A, B or C start clicking D before it goes up and the screens turn on.

They had also given my son Chris this information; I guess I was afraid of a failure to communicate. I was showing him how to push buttons. He is almost 21 years old and in the military, but in my mind he still needs his mommy to show him how to do the simplest things.

Chris, Bea, Nikki and Del were all leaning forward preparing to push buttons with my drill-instructor voice saying ‘faster, faster!’ while Em pushed hers and the empty seat next to her.

It was probably the ONLY empty seat in the studio.

The board lit up with the seat numbers. We were in the 300 seats and at the very top was a 300 seat.




It was MY seat.

No way.

To this day, the kids laugh themselves to tears over the look terror on my face. This look was broadcast on 3- 75 foot television screens located around the studio so everyone had a good view. My eyes bulged; my face turned pasty white and my mouth dropped wide open. I looked like someone who had just witnessed a terrible accident.

I had, I shouldn’t be on the board. One of the kids should be, not me! I was just showing them what Kimball and Bennet told me to do.

Advice to the extremely shy: If you don’t like being the center of attention, DON’T TOUCH THE STUPID BUTTONS!

If you also happen to have a son in the Air Force that is trained to work on F-16 fighter jets, there is a good chance he can understand simple instructions, he doesn’t NEED a visual on how to push buttons. The government had more faith in him than me apparently. Why did I do that?

“What am I going to do??” I cried to Del, who only laughed and said “You’re on your own, kiddo.”

Love ya, Mean it, my hero.

“Seriously? You’re not going to help me?” I asked in a whimper.

“I’ll hold the camera for you. You heard the rules, no switching seats. You better get up, they are waiting for you.” He said.

I yanked the camera off my neck and dropped it in his lap. “Thanks a lot.” I said and pushed him in the shoulder.

From the second my seat number had lit up, the camera was on me. I didn't realize that. The entire studio saw me freaking out and they were giggling. I didn't hear any of it. I couldn't hear any of it over my heart pounding.

I scooted past people to get to the stairs, pausing at each person to apologize for them having to put my butt in front of them to get past.

That is never pleasant for anyone involved.

Once I was on the stairs, I froze. The lady sitting on the isle put one hand on my arm and said “You’ll be fine, dear.” I would have leaned over to thank her but there was a risk of accidental vomiting if I moved at that moment.

That is not very Disney-like behavior.

At the bottom of the stairs was a man with a head set on, waving me down.

I shook my head.

He waved harder.

I decided to go to the bottom and try to explain to him it was an accident, I didn't mean to get in the hot seat. Surely he would understand.

“Hi, what is your name and where are you from?” Headset man asked me.

“Robin, seat 320. It was an accident. Sorry about that.” I tried to reason with him.

He laughed and said “No, where do you live?”

“The Coast, but I didn't mean to push the buttons. I was just showing my kids what to do.” I told him.

“What STATE do you live in?” he laughed at me again.

“Maine, but you’re not listening.” I was explaining to him.

Headset man continued to laugh as he shook his head. “Follow me.” He instructed me and started walking away.

I was screwed. I touched the buttons and now I would have to be put to death.

He was leading me to the chair to drop dead from a heart attack.

Once I made it to the hot seat, headset man put a black bendable stick with a foam ball on the end of it directly in front of my face. This thing would be called a M-I-C-R-O-P-H-O-N-E. Its function is to amplify what you are saying so the entire room can share what you are saying.

Who knew?

Not me.

I sat there for several seconds looking at it crossed-eyed debating on where or not it was a chin rest.

I am grateful that I didn't carry through with that brain fart.

I did carry on a conversation with the host that I didn't realize the entire room could hear. I guess I thought we were at a commercial break.

Your brain turns to oatmeal the minute you put your butt in the chair, okay?

Before the host could say anything, I started apologizing. “I’m so sorry, this was an accident. I was just pushing the buttons, showing my kids what my friend Kimball told me to do.”

“Well, you had the fastest finger, .05 seconds. That’s pretty good for an accident. It sounds to me like your friend is pretty good at this.” He said to me.

“Yeah, well, if I survive this, and I am not entirely convinced that I will, Kimball’s getting a phone call as soon as I get outside.” I said with a heavy sigh.

It took me several seconds to realize that when I sat in the chair, I had put an atomic death grip on the armrest. I actually hurt myself squeezing the chair so hard. I said out-loud “Well, ouch, dummy, let go” and started rubbing my hands.


I think my tormentors name was Brian, but I was freaking out so bad I couldn't remember the name of my own crew. He introduced me to the 47 million (more or less) people sitting in the studio and asked me who I was here with.

Could I use a life line?

When we came back later to another show (where I kept my hands OFF the buttons) we spotted Brian wearing the headset. I guess they take turns torturing people.

I half-heartedly waved my hand over my shoulder to my crew who was behind me and said “Them”.

I couldn't remember the name of the man I share a bed with, or the name of people I gave birth too and the spare kiddo, how was I suppose to answer questions?

The camera zoomed over to my crew who, with the exception of my shy Bea baby, started waving their hands and sticking out their tongues. Bea buried her face in her hands right after she shot me a look that clearly said “Mother, how could you?”

“There are a lot of people over there; do you know all of them?” Brain asked. I now realize he was trying to get me to say the names of my crew.

I couldn’t. I said “Yup. I know hundreds of people.”

That’s about right, wouldn’t you say?

I was still looking at the 75 foot screen when it zoomed back to me.


It was obvious that I had out-eaten all the walking we had been doing. I had gained 47 pounds and had eye-liner smudged under my eyes giving me that walking-dead glamour look.

Nikki told me later that I looked at the screen several times and grimaced each time when I did. She desperately try to tell me telepathically to stop doing that, the grimace was worse than what I actually looked like, but the screen is slightly to the right of my tormentors head and couldn't be helped.

There was the possibility of one of two things happening to me while sitting in the hot seat. The first was the accidental vomiting I told you about earlier and the other was a fainting party with me as the host. I had to get out of there and my plan was to blast threw my life lines as quickly as possible.

I wanted to use one on the first question I was asked.

“So Robin, what do you do?” Brian asked me.

I think this was the first that I had actually LOOKED at my host. Holy cow, he was a handsome man but that was a pretty nosy question.

Seconds past while I thought of what I was going to say. I could almost feel my crew trying to tell me not to say it; ‘DON’T admit in front of 47 million people what you do’.

A lot of jobs raced in my head. Could I lie and say a banker, maybe? What if there was a math question? Could I pass for a dancer? No, chubs, you couldn't. Look at the screen and grimace again, you know they would never believe you could move those double chins with any kind of grace.

I couldn't think of a job description for my second part-time job that I held. Girl behind desk that collects money and takes orders is all that came to mind. Oil company was too hard of a word to get out with out on of the two possible scenarios taking over. (Vomiting and fainting)

“I deliver pizza.” I said as quickly as possible hoping we could move on to something else.

We couldn't, Brain looked at me like I had just whipped out a breast or something. It was a total shock to him.

“Really? Wow! I bet you have some stories to share.” He said.

Who, me? If he only knew.

He then asked me which of the parks was my favorite and I said Magic Kingdom. He asked me if I would like to try again.

Oh, he is a handsome smart-aleck. The correct answer to that question is MGM. (Dramatic eye-roll inserted here)

The game started and I knew I couldn't use a life-line on the first couple of questions. The crew was so excited that one off us had made it to the hot seat; I had to play a little so they wouldn’t be disappointed.

I used the ‘50-50’ life-line and the ‘ask the audience’ life-line first. I had to hurry up and blast the ‘phone a complete stranger’ life-line away quickly because my previously mentioned two scenarios where become a very real situation.

My complete stranger told us her life story. She is a stay at home mother of three that was visiting Disney for the first time with her family that was in from Detroit who owned a cat that had just recovered from surgery or something. I almost screamed for her to just answer the question.

She didn't sound like she really knew the answer, so I went with what she said and prepared to hop out of the hot seat and run.

She was right.

I hate my complete stranger.

The next question I got wrong. I made it to the 8000 point question was free of the hot seat!

Headset man suddenly and without warning appeared behind me scaring the crap out of me so much that I actually jumped and then squeaked.

Into the M-I-C-R-P-H-O-N-E.

After my performance I was led into a small room where I had to give my name, social security number, date of birth, blood sample and first born child, sign a paper saying I couldn't return to the hot seat for 30 days, but I tried to negotiated it to 30 years. In return I was awarded a hat, lanyard and 5 pins. Pretty good deal, I think.

I was returned to my crew by headset man. People around me were commenting on how I made them laugh and what a good job I did. I thought it would end there.

It didn't.

As soon as we walked outside I whipped out my cell phone to call Kimball. I screamed at her that thanks to her and Bennet, I was in the hot seat and it was all her fault. She laughed and said ‘You’re welcome’ like it was a good thing.

I would have asked her if she was smoking something if people didn't stop coming up to me and telling me how funny I was.

Funny is as funny does.

We went to the 50’s prime time for dinner and a lady in the bathroom asked Bea is the lady in the stall was the one that was just in the hot seat.

“Yeah, now she’s on the toilet seat.” Bea laughed.

Two days later, while we were in Epcot I was talking on my cell to my friend Laura when another family stopped me and said “Oh my god! You were in the hot seat! You were a riot!”

Laura laughed her butt off.

I will never, ever touch those buttons again.

Copyright © 2004, 2005 Robin Costello. All rights reserved.









Love Ya / Mean It and Pins

Tony, Delaney, Connor - Love Ya / Mean It

Robin & Del, Kimball & Bennet (aka Delswife & Scuba Steve, Zurgswife & Zurg) are proud to announce two unique limited edition trading pins to benefit research to help find cures for Juvenile Diabetes and Muscular Dystrophy.

We love going to Disney World and writing funny trip reports, after all it is how we became friends.  We care just as much or more about helping these two great causes. All the profits from pin sales will go to JDRF and MDA because, well, Robin thought it would be a fun idea.

So if you enjoy the trip reports please chip in and buy a pin or two. Pins are $10.00 each including shipping and handling (North America.) Send an email to with how many pins you would like and we will get the pins rolling. The pins have sold out. Existing orders are being filled but we can't take anymore pin orders, sorry. There still Love Ya /  Mean it Pins (there were more to start.) 

If you feel inspired click either MDA or JDRF's logo or both and make additional contributions.