Port Orleans Riverside * Eating and Swimming

This update will be pretty much all story and no pictures. There is lots to say and one part especially near the end of this update made a big impact on me for the night and on our day at Epcot on Thursday. So, read on ...

We finally got back to our room and told the kids that we all needed to just rest for awhile in the room to calm down. That actually worked for just over an hour or so. Enough to do what we wanted.

Now, the plan was to return to MGM Studios for EMH. Deep down, I really did not want to go back. There were things we missed, but I was tired. We had a little family pow-wow, and nobody else wanted to go back either. Everyone wanted to go swimming at Ole Man Island. And since we never really had a day of rest, we decided that was exactly what we were going to do. But first we needed to eat dinner.

We went over to the Riverside Mill for dinner. No pictures. I had a carved flank steak sandwich that was absolutely great! I wish I had gotten it earlier in the week. It was that good - and a counter service meal!! The rest of family got the same old, same old. Don’t even need to go into that.

After our dinner we headed back to the room and changed into our bathing suits and made the walk to Ole Man Island. About halfway there I remembered that I forgot my camera. I was hoping Rob would say, “You go on ahead, and I’ll run back and get it.” But what I got was the evil eye. So, no pictures again. Sorry. Seriously. I really am sorry and a bit ticked that Rob wouldn’t go back to get the camera. He knew my feet really hurt.

I found a couple of loungers by the kiddie pool and plopped my butt down. Brookie immediately went into the kiddie pool. Rob and the boys went into the main pool to swim. Brookie had a lot of fun. A slightly older girl befriended her, and they had fun following each other around. The boys came back and forth from time to time. But after awhile, I was getting a bit bored sitting there. So, the next time I saw Rob, I told him we all should go into the main pool. And that's we did.

It was very refreshing. The boys really wanted to go down the slide, so I made my way with Brookie to that end of the pool while Rob took the boys up to the slide. They were so cute coming down, except for the fact that I had a screaming Brookie wanting to go down that slide now. Rob even came down the slide, and he saw Brookie pleading to go down the slide. Rob said, “That’s the problem, I can’t take her down the slide.” But I told him to take her up, and I would wait at the bottom and catch her when she came down.

So, off Rob, Brookie, Evan and Alec went to the top of the slide again. Down came Alec. Down came Evan. Rob gave me the signal that he was sending Brookie down. So I waited. And she came around the corner of the slide sideways. SPLASH! I caught her. I was wondering how she would react. She rubbed the water off her eyes and said, “I wanna do it again!” After Rob came down, I told him and back up they went. The next time she came down the right way. It really was cute.

After a bit more swimming around, Brookie was done. But the boys weren’t. I told Rob I’d take her back to the room, and they could all stay for awhile more. But on the way back I needed to make a pit stop at the pool bar to get me a pina colada. Oh yeah, I was wanting me one of them. I froze my fingers all the way back to the room but it was so worth it.

And now to get on with some seriousness. This is the point that my day just sort of “dropped”.

My parents had driven down to Maryland to visit my Uncle Pete. I decided now was a good time to give them a call, as Brookie was relaxing watching TV. My mom told me they were having a good time and where they went out to eat. After a couple of minutes she says, “Well, I have some family news to tell you. We spoke to your grandmother in California, and she has been diagnosed with colon cancer.” That totally threw me for a loop. Here I was on vacation in the Happiest Place on Earth and she gives me that news. I haven’t seen my grandmother since 2001 when Alec was a baby. Now, I am feeling guilty that of all the other vacations I have planned, not one of them was to California. I always reasoned that it was cheaper for us to go to Disney World or Cape Canaveral or Fort Myers - you get the picture - than it was to take the whole family out to California. I asked Mom if there were any plans for them to fly out there, and she said no. My grandmother still had to meet with a cancer specialist first. They all were optimistic. Me, not so much. Nonetheless, I still had the rest of the evening and 2 more whole days of our Disney vacation. So, there was nothing I could do but have a good time and worry about it when we got home.

When the boys returned it was getting pretty late, so we all washed up and got ready for bed. Tomorrow would be another long day at Epcot.

MGM Studios * Star Tours and Out!

On our trek back to the far end of the park, I asked Alec if he liked Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. He said, “Yeah. I almost peed a little but I liked it.” I just about peed when he said that!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch - I mean Star Tours area, it was finally FP time. Rob took Evan first while I plopped my big old butt down on the curb with the kids. I needed the seat badly. Right around the area that we sat we saw the cool Star Wars riding thing. For trip reporting writing sake, I’ll call it a scooter. I’m sure I’ll get some flask from any Star Wars fans. Feel free to tell me the correct name and I will edit this, maybe. I thought this would be a cool place for pics once Rob and Evan came back.

Time now is 3 pm and what did we hear coming out? The parade, by golly. Only we were just far enough away that we couldn’t see diddly squat. Rob and Evan returned, and Evan and Alec are MAD that they couldn't see the parade. I blew it again. I am totally not a parade person and neither is Rob. So, we were not even going to bother. Sorry kiddos, next time we promise.

Back to the scooter thingie. We stepped over there and noticed there was a PhotoPass CM. I quickly ushered Alec up onto the scooter. Evan quickly hopped on the back. I wanted to tell Evan to wait his turn, but both boys seemed happy so I left it that way.

Here’s the picture I took while the CM was trying to get his pic ...


Here’s the PhotoPass picture which I think is just a tad better than mine ...


Flash forward to home when Evan saw the picture. He was mad because Alec was in front and he wanted to be in front. I tried to tell him that he could have had his turn but he chose to hop on back. Sorry Evan. I, too, was disappointed.

Brookie had her turn next and, once again, here’s mine ...


... and the much better PhotoPass ...


Okay, now that we were done with that, I decided it was time for Alec and I to ride Star Tours. There seemed to be a problem. The FP return line was jammed into the massive amounts of people watching the parade. I looked at the CM at the standby line and showed him our FPs. He then told me to enter the standby line and scoot through to the FP. That worked. We had a bit of a wait still, and Alec was not happy with that. Go figure!

We got to the point where we are shown to our circles on the floor right before the doors to enter. We were in the first row. I looked at Alec. His legs were crossed a little funny. I asked him if he had to go pee. He said, “No, I just like standing this way.” Okay, whatever. The woman on the little TV above starts talking to us about how to move all the way over, blah blah and then I hear it. “Mommy, I think I need to pee.” I turn around and say, “Are you sure? Can you hold it?” But I saw the pee dance starting. I looked at the CM standing beside us and asked him where the nearest restroom was. I wanted to make sure we made a beeline for it. But, instead of him telling me, he said, "Wait a minute let me check." Uh ... no time to check. But he was quick and told me. I then made sure I said rather loudly, “Let’s go Alec, but remember, this was our only fast pass and we just lost it.” Another CM overheard me (my sneaky intention) and ran over and gave us FPs to use anytime the rest of the week. Score! He also told us to follow him through the special guest/handicap line to get us out of there ASAP.

I have to warn you all now. You are going to hear some potty talk. Alec and I ran across the way to the ladies restroom.

Thank the Lord that there was no line, and I ushered him into the first stall. He told me at that point that he needed to poop too. Glory be! Just wonderful. I quickly put the liner on the toilet and told him I would wait right outside the stall door. I happened to glance down and see that he had taken off his shorts and underwear and left it on the floor. Ew! That totally grossed me out, but nothing I could do now about it. Then Alec said, “Mommy, I had a little diarrhea and a got a bit on my leg.” I could hear the trembling in his voice starting. I quickly came into the stall with him and got him cleaned up. It really was not as bad as I thought. A very quick wipe. I helped him get his underwear and shorts back on and we both went and scrubbed our hands clean.

We found Rob, Evan, and Brookie and told them what happened. When I asked Alec if he wanted to go back to try Star Tours now, he said no. He didn’t feel good. Rob and I looked at each and decided we had it for the day, so we decided to head back to the buses.

On our walk on out, brilliant me said, let’s go this way, it is a much quicker walk to the front gates. Which it is normally is ... that is, when Indiana Jones isn’t just getting out. We got slammed with people and we hung on for dear life as we maneuvered the strollers through the masses.

We dropped off our stroller and made our way all the way to the furthest upon furthest bus stop and waited in the bright sunlight for next bus to come. This has got to be the worst bus stop out of all the parks.

Now, I have some more PhotoPass pictures to show you. These PhotoPass pics were taken first thing in the morning but I love them so much that I really wanted to wait until the end of this segment to show you them.

First off, I was super excited to get another PhotoPass taken. But Brookie, not so much. She started her whining, but I told Rob to just pick her up and she’ll get over it. The CM took the first picture ...


Okay, Brookie did not just get over it. But let’s keep trying. How about this time?


What? Even worse. Oh come on now! Let’s try it one more time ... and you will notice that I added the graphic because it went so well with the picture ...


I thought that picture was the funniest of all the PhotoPass pictures. We all get a big kick out of viewing those pictures in order! Hope you enjoyed them too.

Now, back to the resort we went to cool down and relax. We were going to go back to MGM later for EMH and catch all the shows we missed. That was the plan ...

MGM Studios * Stolen Stroller and Rock 'n' Rollercoaster

When we parked our stroller, we placed our double stroller against the wall and pushed the umbrella stroller up against the back of it. I then took a beach towel and laid it across the top of both strollers. I did this all the time so our strollers would be together, easy to locate, and it kept the sun mostly out. Plus, it kind of hid my big pack of essentials. This time the strollers were in the shade, but I still put the towel over them.

We came out of Muppets all happy. The kids loved it. Some people think it needs updating, but for those young ones who have never seen it, it’s great! Evan needed to use the restroom now. At least he doesn't still do the pee dance. So I took Brookie and Alec over to collect our stroller whilst Rob took Evan to the restroom. When I approached the double stroller I saw that our pink umbrella stroller was missing.

Now, I know sometimes CMs rearrange strollers, so I wasn’t worried. I started casually looking around for it. It wasn't anywhere in immediate eyesight. I then started getting a bit frantic and walked up and down with Alec and Brookie looking for the stroller amongst all the other strollers. It absolutely positively was not there. Somebody stole our stroller! Now I really was freaking because it was our own stroller, not the rented one.

Rob and Evan came up and I told him what happened. He went back and looked all over and didn’t find it either. He then spotted the exact same pink umbrella stroller across the way in a non-stroller parking area. The only problem was, it wasn’t ours. Now, I was positive that some dufus took our stroller thinking it was theirs, even though our stroller was no where even close to theirs and ours was covered up by our beach towel.

Meanwhile, time’s a ticking. I really wanted Alec to meet up with Lightning McQueen and Mater. I knew he would love it. So we headed out onto Streets of America and waited for Rob who was still looking around.

Rob finally came back with our stroller. He said he saw another guy with it and went up to him. The guy hadn’t a clue. Rob said that the guy was wondering why the shade was so much lower on this one. Uhm ... did he ever think why “his” stroller was parked in a totally different area and underneath someone else’s beach towel? Did he also wonder whose water bottles and other things were in the mesh pocket? I mean come on! What an idiot this guy was. I was completely ticked off and it’s probably a good thing that Rob found this guy and not me.

Now, why didn't I think to head over to Cars whilst we waited for Rob? I can’t even tell you. I’m thinking that my brain was still all messed up about someone possibly stealing our stroller. But we were on our way now and it was just around the corner.

There was a CM standing at the end of the meet-n-greet line. She told us the line was closed. No more people were allowed in line, but we could come back at 5 pm. Great lady. That so was not going to happen. But Rob took the boys up to as far as he could get so they could at least view Lightning and Mater. Alec was disappointed, and I tried my best to make him feel better.

So, what did we want to do now? I knew the line for The Great Movie Ride was ridiculous, and we didn’t care if went on that or not. The timing for the shows was not very good, but we were near Star Tours. So we headed over there and grabbed us some FPs. The heat of the day was starting to bother me, and usually it doesn’t bother me much. I think it had to do with my feet still being very painful and things not really working out in our favor at this point.

Brookie fell asleep in the stroller on the short walk from Cars to Star Tours. While we waited for our FP time to come up I told Rob that I was going to take Alec back over to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster while he took Brookie and Evan over to the Jedi Training Academy.

What was I thinking? I pushed Alec in the double stroller back across the park to RnRC.

My feet were hurting so bad. I parked the stroller quickly and off we went to the FP line. They gave Alec the once over and in we went. Whew! I have to admit that I was a bit worried that Alec wouldn’t make the 48-inch line again. But he did. Our FP line went very fast. We walked right up to my good buddy Steven Tyler and the gang and then back out in the alley while we awaited our super stretch limo. The next thing I was worried about was how Alec would do with a roller coaster that flipped as much as this one does. He had never done that before (and remember, this is the kid who has gotten sick on the plane descent). Too late now! Off we went through the streets of Los Angeles with Aerosmith blasting in our ears.

After our limo ride we got off and Alec seemed fine. We walked over to view our ride photo and here is what really stinks. There were all these people crowded around the ride photos. We politely waited while people just stood there and gawked at their own photos. Then we get to step up and our picture is no where in site. They had changed to the next limo already. I turned to the CM and said, “Hey, our picture is gone already and we didn’t get to see it.” Did she ever so nicely say how I could view it? Nope, she just looked at me and shrugged. Geez lady, did you know that I was going to redneck the photo?

So, back we went to the stroller and, ever so hurtingly, I pushed Alec back to the Star Tours area where Rob, Evan & Brookie were waiting for us...

MGM Studios * Sci-Fi Dine In

We crossed the park very efficiently and found our way to check in at the Sci-Fi Dine In. Notice please that we cut around the Tip Board saving us probably a whole 30, if not 40 seconds!

We checked in, and they told us it would be a few minutes, which it was, and then we were shown to our cool yellow car. Evan & Alec sat in front, Rob & Brookie in the middle, and I brought up the rear. You can’t see me in this picture obviously because I’m taking the picture. But look at my goofy Evan ...


Because I had used up 2 of our table service credits at Cinderella's, Rob & I decided. Wait a minute. I mean I decided that we would pay out of pocket for our’s and Brookie’s meals and use the table service credits for the boys. I prayed that the CM taking our order would get this right. We had a fine guy named Taoufiq as our server. He was nice and said that he understood totally how we wanted our check divied up.

Alec ordered a salad for his appetizer whilst Evan ordered the tomato soup. They both decided on the mac and cheese for their entree. Alec ate almost all of his salad, but Evan said he didn’t like his soup. No biggie. Both boys ate their mac and cheese. We ordered Brookie a dessert fruit salad (yummy, yummy ... sorry for the Wiggle reference) for her meal. I thought that would be good for her, as it was a nice big plate of fruit, and I didn’t think she was going to be a very good eater for lunch. I was right, but at least we could all help her with the fruit.

Both Rob & I ordered burgers and fries for our entrees, and it did not disappoint. We knew better than to order anything more complicated. We were there for the atmosphere and we loved our burgers. Plus it was cheap. And we love cheap. At least cheap in the Disney sense in which everything else was probably more.

We asked dear sweet Taoufiq (now how do you think that is pronounced as I just can’t remember; I'm looking at our receipt) if he would take our picture. Here’s what he took ...


See me in the back seat all alone? Yup, enjoying that one!

Anywho, we loved the “kary” movie trailers and music. Just loved it. The kids loved it too. Brookie just couldn’t get enough ...


I should say that Brookie just couldn’t get enough attention. Back to the lovely Kiss tongue ... Click here for
"Brookie's "Kiss" tongue" video.

And I finally caught a good little video of Brookie be-bopping to the music ... Click here for
"Brookie Bebopping" video.

The boys ordered chocolate sundaes, and we ordered one for Brookie too. We paid our portion of the bill, which Taoufiq figured out perfectly, and headed on out.

I asked Rob for the time, which was 12:50 pm. Oh, great! I knew that Lightning McQueen and Mater were going to be out for awhile so we started to walk and saw that the Muppets Show was going to start. We parked our stroller and headed over to The Muppets.

MGM Studios * Rock 'N' Rollercoaster

For any of you who have had to wait for family and/or friends while they were riding Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, you pretty much know that the area around the outside is very bright and sunny and very very hot. We found a little shaded spot to sit and wait for Rob and Evan. I loved listening the to Aerosmith songs. I saw them a couple of times in concert. I even had front row once!

I got up to dance a bit to the music and tried to get Brookie to dance with me, but Brookie wanted nothing to do with dancing. That was not usual with her. She loved dancing. So, feeling just a teensy bit silly, I sat down and wondered how I could pass the time. Oh! How about taking a some pictures? Yeah ... that’s the ticket! Thanks for cooperating Brookie ... dang that binkie.


But, I can pretty much rely on Alec to brighten things up!


Hm ... okay. I took pictures of Brooke and Alec. Now what? And why were Rob and Evan taking so long? Oh, that poster of Aerosmith with the guitar totally rocks! So, I took a picture of it. Please admire my artistic ability once again. Thank you very much!


I kept checking the time, and it was nearing the time we needed to head over to the Sci-Fi. But I was a bit worried that Alec & I still did not use our FPs. I was pretty sure we could still use them at any time during the day, but I went up to the CM to make sure. She said absolutely we could use them anytime before park closing. So, I put them in my safe handy dandy plastic KTTW cardholder around my neck.

Okay, now we were really getting hot in the bright sunlight, so I decided to wander over to the gift shop area and wait for Rob and Evan. But not before turning around and seeing this perfect picture ...


I wonder why I never saw it like that before. I always get the crooked pictures from Sunset Boulevard. This one was totally straight on. LOVE IT!

Finally, Rob and Evan came off the ride. I asked what took so long and the only answer Rob could give me was that the line was really long even in the FP line. Great! Something to look forward to. But first we needed to hightail it over to the ...


... and get us some grub!

MGM Studios * Tower of Terror * Wednesday

This day is so hard to explain in a general sense. So I will have to go into detail with you all.

Our morning started out just like any morning. I awoke to obnoxious Stitch and jumped in the shower while Rob went and got us refills on our mugs. The kids woke up after I was out of the shower and ate whatever we had. I honestly can’t remember. They never really ate too well in the morning, and I was a bad mommy for that. All I could think of was getting ready to get to a park! Evan still remembers that we "didn’t feed him" in the morning. Okay, Evan, we fed you, but just not enough.

I was excited about this day as I just could not wait to take Alec on Tower of Terror. That was the ride we had been anticipating the most in planning our trip, as it would be his first time. When we arrived at MGM and were dropped off at the bus stop (again, the furthest away than any other), we made our way to the gates. The park had just opened and we had a little line entering.

First, we picked up our double stroller, of course, and then we made our way down Hollywood Boulevard and cut over onto Sunset Boulevard. There it was! The Tower of Terror. Oh, I could feel the excitement building inside.

We saw the standby line said 20 minutes. We got ourselves some child swap passes and Evan, Alec & I hopped in line while Rob headed over to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to get us some Fast Passes. I instructed him to meet us back in the gift shop.

So, we got in line and, of course, Alec wants to know why we have to wait in such a long line. He’s tired of waiting in lines. Uhm, we just got in line, and this was the first of the day. But he was cute enough to pose for a picture while waiting.


There was this teenage girl ahead of us in line. She kept looking back. I assumed she was with the family in front of her at first. I could tell that she was listening in to my conversation with the boys. She then finally got up the courage to ask if we have ever been on Tower of Terror. I told her that I have many times and Evan had once, but this was Alec’s first time. She then totally relaxed and said that she was there with her dad, who was a total chicken to go on any fast rides, and her step-mom, who was pregnant with twins. So, this poor girl was riding rides alone and this was her first time on Tower of Terro. Being the nurturing person I am, I asked her if she wanted to sit next to us on the ride. I did warn her that I was going to ask her for the front row. She seemed relieved to ride with someone and did not even care where on the ride she was sitting.

Meanwhile, you know I had to take some more pictures while in line. I can’t even tell you how many of this same picture I have. I think it’s kind of like Cinderella’s Castle. You just have to take it. I have noticed the same picture on many others' trip reports.


Oh, and looky over here. That looked pretty. I had to get me a picture of it. I never noticed the blooms in past visits.


Finally, after the whole wait of 15 minutes, if that, we were in the Hollywood Hotel’s Library waiting for good old Rod (who, as a little bit of trivia, was from the Syracuse, NY area). I loved ToT once again and here is my bad redneck picture. I think I was adjusting my hair flying in my face. The teenage girl is sitting to the right of Evan. Notice Alec hanging on to me for dear life.



Rob was patiently waiting for us exactly where I told him to be. He earned his brownie point for the day. The boys wanted to go on ToT again, so Rob took them while Brookie and I looked around the shop. They were pretty quick, and I forgot to redneck their pic. But at least I got mine!

We still had a couple of minutes to kill before our Fast Pass time at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and we were a little bit hungry. We had ADRs at Sci-Fi at 11:30 am, so I didn’t want to hurt our appetite. We decided on a sharing a couple of pretzels and water. Here is my most thrilling picture of a pretzel ...


Yes people! It's a naked pretzel. That's all they had. It wasn’t that good, but it did the trick. Time was up for our Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster FPs so we headed over there.

We weren’t sure about Alec making the 48-inch mark this time, but we felt more confident since he made it at Primeval Whirl. However, Rob took Evan on it first while Alec, Brookie and I waited and waited ... and waited ...