Brenda & Roger

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Walt Disney World withdrawal

In Dreams Come True on March 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

OK, here it is the 26th of March, it’s 15 degrees, windy, and still 1 1/2 feet of snow in the yard.  I’m having withdrawal for happy, fun people, warm, sunny weather.

It's truly magical

This must be Disney World, it's not happening on my street.

We are already looking forward to our September trip.  We got airline tickets from Manchester, NH to Orlando, nonstop for $77 each way!!!  Bought them before we even were sure we could go!!!

We want to be part of the Magic!

We both hope to be Walt Disney World cast members someday.  To be part of the magic, fantasy, FUN.

Questions we’re considering:

  1. Buy, rent, or live in a motor home?
  2. Live in Florida year round, or 6-8 months of the year?
  3. Leave our families in New Hampshire & Vermont?  (Of course, they could always escape from the frozen waste land of New England and visit us in Florida!)

We trust the universe will provide answers to all these–as well as any future–questions for us, and we’ll just know what to do and when it’s time!

Tell us what YOU think!

Please post or email us, we’d love to hear from you.

We're ready to go!!!


Planning our Return to WDW

In Dreams Come True on March 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

We are home!!  Our flight was uneventful, thank God… actually arrived in Manchester 20 minutes early, home about 11 pm.  Horrified to see snow bankings!!

I don't have any words for this

So, lets reflect on our final day, this trip, at Walt Disney World.  We packed up all our stuff, headed for breakfast…It’s pouring rain…  Roger had to have the waffles…

Can you see the hidden Mickey???!!!! 🙂

Yesterday, we mentioned we had an appointment to visit the Disney Vacation Club, a 60-90 minute presentation, Disney’s version of the timeshare.  The open house rooms/suites were beautiful.  Very long story, the short of it… 4 hours later we had signed the papers to become a Disney Vacation Club member!!  It’s a phenomenal plan, as you would expect Disney to offer and can understand why so many families have become members.  We wish we had bought many years ago!!! Oh well, woulda, coulda, shoulda.  A DVC member buys points.  We can either use those points for several stays @ WDW, or, trade some of those points to stay at one of 500 resorts around the world, including Disneyland, Paris or California or a Disney cruise.  Since we are able to visit during the non-peak times, our points will go further.  We’re very excited to bring Rebecca & Jennifer and their men!!! Sometime…

Let us know if you want more info or please… use our name as your referral!!

Newest Disney Vacation Club members

Our membership lasts for 50 years, and we plan to use them all, so we may be going even after we are dead! We understand there are openings at the Haunted Mansion….

We were able to check our luggage at 7:00 AM (our flight was at 7:10 PM) right at the hotel, thanks to the Disney Magic Express. We left our carry-on at the hotel, and skedaddled to the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) presentation, expecting to dash to Disney Hollywood for a couple of hours before we began our journey home.


Ricardo, our DVC specialist, explained the system very clearly, and by the time we had grasped it all, we decided it was a great plan.

Waiting to board at the airport, we met another DVC couple (the man was wearing a DVC hat!), and they informed us that DVC has a weekly meeting at each resort, and they have activities, give away hats, etc. So we’ll certainly look forward to that!

We (especially Brenda, who is the DVC Princess, and has all final words to resolve conflicts) will have to spend some time figuring out all the great opportunities, but we are certainly excited.

We enjoyed our vacation trip immensely, and one of the great highlights was all the folks we met while we were there. We look forward to meeting and making new friends, and reconnecting with the ones we’ve just made (I won’t call them old).

Thanks to our new DVC membership, we won’t be going back to All Star Movies (it’s a hotel, not part of the club–oh, it’s complicated!), so here’s a shot of the light in our bedroom:

Now you see it ....


... Now you don't!

But we’ll see YOU again real soon!

Why? Because we LIKE you!

Where? Walt Disney World, on this blog, or even right in our backyard (be talking to you, John & Janet!).

We can’t wait, no matter where we meet again.

Brenda & Roger

Princess Brenda @ WDW Magic Kingdom

In Dreams Come True on March 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Magic Kingdom today 3/9/11 … arrived at the park just before 8 am… we were NOT the first or second.  There were many ahead of us!!  Again we met some great people while waiting in line.  A family from Maryland.  They were pin traders, so we had a great chat.  Roger provided some writing tips. Since they were all writers, we actually gave them each a pin to add to their collections!

Maryland Family... pin traders extrordinaire.

I met a cast member while waiting for the bus… he & his entire family have a HUGE pin collection; his grandmother in CA has a pool table which she used to hold her 50… yes, 50 books of Disney Trading Pins!!!  I can’t imagine.

We headed straight for Buzz Lightyear and got to go through 3 times before the line got too long, for us anyway.  Roger always has the best scores here…

Roger's score is much higher, it's just so blurred, it's hard to read.. 200,000 to Brenda's 48,000

The numbers blink, so it’s hard to get a photo.  Truth be told… Brenda hit the jackpot… don’t know what that is, but got the highest score possible…

Brenda's score on the left, Roger's on the right... that's all I'm sayin'!!!

So, this is the one game where Roger usually always scores highest–probably because here accuracy does count! But before we were even halfway through the game, Brenda had already maxed out! She’s a Galactic Hero!

Brenda is now a Galactic Hero!

So, at this point, all Roger can ever hope to do is to match Brenda’s achievement. Great job, Princess Brenda!

We enjoyed Small World, as we always do.  They have changed the entry configuration… we liked it! We now go in where we used to come out, and go out where we used to come in. Not sure if anything else has changed, but if you really miss the music, here you go.

Warning, this is It’s A Small World Music–It may stick in your head forever! (I set this up to open in a new tab/window, so you can silence the music by closing that tab/window.)

We’re still hunting for hidden Mickey’s and did manage to find some today.  We traded a few pins during the day.  Our last trade was with a young man from Disney Vacation Club… he talked us into hearing the “pitch,” so we’re going tomorrow morning @ 8 a.m.  After the pitch, we’ll get dropped off at any park we want AND get FAST PASSES good for 3 rides!!!  We’re really enjoyed staying at a Disney resort, so are willing to see what they have to offer!!!  besides, we may be working here one day, so why would we need a timeshare??!!  We already made our plane reservations for September!!!  $77 one way… pretty good I think… we couldn’t pass it up!!! AND we’ve already rec’d an email from Disney offering us 35% off if we book before we checkout!!!  They just make it so attractive.

Roger & I really do love coming here.  We meet so many nice people, we chat with the cast members, find out their favorite characters and where they like to go on vacation.  This was the first trip we encountered some less than pleasant people, but they are far in the minority.

Note -- we are color coordinated together & with the Castle & sky!! How perfect is that?? 🙂

Brenda wore her crown all day. She bought it yesterday and rescued it from the very friendly helpful sales associate who first clipped off all the plastic rings holding the cardboard on, and nearly clipped off the rings holding the jewel on! Luckily, Brenda stopped her before it was too late.

People called her Princess all day, with one exception: While we were at the Laugh Floor, they singled her out as “The Queen of Bling.” They put her picture up on the screen. They also panned over to me, and said I must be the king, but that my crown was not as nice. Still, it’s always good to be back in show biz!

We went to the the Hall of Presidents, and got in just as the show was starting, so no waiting! We decided to swing back to look at the portraits and exhibits, and met a very pleasant fellow there.

We made another new friend at the Hall of Presidents

Tomorrow, we’re back to NH. But first a tour of the Vacation Club, and then a couple hours at a park–maybe Disney Hollywood.

Then the flight back to the frozen north.

Addendum to yesterday WDW 2nd @ EPCOT

In Dreams Come True on March 9, 2011 at 6:31 am

Forgot the color coordination thing!!!

The importance of color coordination in your daily activities

We’ve got to get one of these dishes for Roger!!  They enhance your hearing.  That way we wouldn’t need the TV so loud it can be heard in downtown Franklin!!  What?

I can hear you perfectly without you raising your voice.... what?

2nd in line at WDW EPCOT

In Dreams Come True on March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Today was EPCOT.  We arrived @ 7 am after a private bus ride from our resort!  When we arrived, we saw no one…  There was one security guard @ the “Bag Search” area… as we approached the gates, what do we see to our surprise… our new friends John & Janet!!  They arrived ahead of us.

You can see, there are no other people!!  It was pretty neat.

Once the park opened, we headed straight to Soarin’.  It’s one of our favorite rides. When we got to the Soarin’ boarding area, who was in front of us? John & Janet! So our first ride of the day was beside our NH neighbors–just like it was yesterday!

We meandered through the flower gardens & the Fairy Garden  It was all so beautiful.  It really gets me thinking of my own gardens!! Frozen beneath 3 feet of snow!

Even before the park officially opened, we traveled through Spaceship Earth. Here’s a video of us in the future (I set this up to open in another window/tab, so when you’re done, just close that window/tab). As you can see, in the future, we’re like our new friends John & Janet, and the Easter Egg Finders–we’re thin!

Our Future

Interestingly, on the ride, it is Roger in Red with the broken arm!

On the ride, it was Roger in Red!

We enjoyed Germany’s Biergarten for our lunch.  It was yummy as usual.  We didn’t have a reservation, but they were able to accommodate us.

Once World Showcase opened at 11:00, we hoofed it to Biergarten. We had to go the long way around, because of where we started from. But we got there at 11:20ish, and we were second in line! We had no reservation, but being so close to the front, we were seated just after it opened at noon.

After stuffing ourselves with the chicken version of Wiener Snitzel and other assorted savories and pastries, we tromped to Voices of Liberty, again. Along the way we ran into our Easter Egg Finding Friends (we don’t know any of their names!), and exchanged quick news–turns out we are all enjoying Disney!

After Voices of Liberty, we made a quick tour of the gift shop, then headed for–wait for it!–Voices of Liberty! As we headed in to snag a bench for this–probably our final show until our next trip–we ran into John and Janet, again! We quickly exchanged our news–turns out they are enjoying Disney too! And even invited us to contact them in NH for a Disney-fest Adventure Exchange.

New, this time for us, we joined the Kim Possible Team.  It’s kind of fun.  Your cell phone provides essential secret hints on where to find clues to help Kim Possible solve an international conspiracy (bad guys are working to take over 7 countries simultaneously!).  The Team Possible “headquarters” are all over Disney World.  We had fun finding the clues in Norway; would definitely do it again.

It’s now 5:30, we’re tired, since our day began at 5:30 a.m.!!!

Tomorrow is our last Park Day (at least that’s our plan). We finish big with:

Magic Kingdom!

First In Line at WDW Animal Kingdom!

In Dreams Come True on March 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm

We're at the head of the line! We're 1st!

We arrived @ Animal Kingdom this morning at 7:15 AM today!!!  and it was worth it.  We were first in line, headed straight to Kilamanjaro Safaris, we were in the 1st jeep of the day, 2nd row!!!  How cool was that??  it was so cool that we saw animals still eating their breakfast.  The driver slowed & stopped in many places.  It was the BEST EVER.

shhhh... very quiet now

Still having their breakfast

This is moving me to tears!!!

This entire experience this morning was so exciting….

Mrs. Lion making sure all is well...

And to our amazement & astonishment… the folks sitting next to us in row 2 of Jeep 1 was a couple from Andover, NH!!!  yes, John & Janet…  Talk about your small worlds.

We went on to enjoy Festival of the Lion King, then our favorite live theater, Finding Nemo, the Musical.  It was as exciting as the first time… We also found a hidden Mickey…

An official Hidden Mickey

and remember… it is always important to be color coordinated in all your events….

Notice the nice coordination of greens in the Dragon & the Mardi Gras beads.!!

Roger Adds:

Surprised to see Roger trot from the resort bus were our Easter Egg Finding Friends. The Dad told me that his daughter–who is shy, just like me (oh, wait, no, that would be opposite from me) was spotlighted at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory. After finally getting her to tell them her name, the comic asked what she wanted to be when she grew up? Her answer: “Tennis coach.” The comic replied, “I’m sure you’ll ace that job.”

Once on the safari, John, our neighbor (both on the ride and back home in NH), cracked us up throughout the ride. When Sheila, our guide and driver, said that young elephants lived with their parents about as long as children do with theirs, or about 13 to 15 years, John yelled, “I wish!” Even Sheila chuckled.

Later, Sheila told us how lucky we were to see the lions on the move–they typically sleep 80% of the day. John added, “In this truck, to the lions, we’re just ‘Meals On Wheels.'”

Our Neighbors: On the ride and back home in NH!

After the safari, we went to Festival of the Lion King. After finding our seats, I gave Brenda a kiss. A woman behind us said, “No kissing! This is a family show! G-Rated!”

I said she was another “Rule making lady,” and Brenda told her about the encounter with the woman telling her “Now is not the time” to take photographs. A few minutes later, there was the standard announcement that we could not smoke in the theater. I leaned back and said, “He said there was no smoking, but he didn’t say anything about not kissing.” And she replied, “When we kiss, there is smoke.” Gotta admit, she won! Game, set, and match!


Smokin’ Couple and friend

We saw It’s Tough To Be A Bug, and for the first time got the joke that:

The part of the stinkbug will be played by Claire de Rhum.

As we said in the comedy business: “A groan is as good as a laugh.”

I’ve set the following videos to open in a separate window, so you can just close that window when you’re done.

We ended with Nemo–watch closely:


And then we were done, so

(Think of this as more “audio” than “video”)

Tomorrow: Back to Epcot!

WDW EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

In Dreams Come True on March 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Brenda says:

Here we are at the end of day 2 at WDW.  Today was EPCOT.  We were there at the opening, today @ 9.  What a mad rush to Soarin’.  It was practically a stampede.  I was trying to take a photo of the mass of people winding through The Land and down the escalator and on to wait in line to Soarin’ when from behind me this woman says, “I know you want to take a picture, but this is not the time.”  I was dumbfounded & actually thought she was making a joke.  I wished I had said, “Lady, who made that rule?”  but of course I didn’t think of it until Roger said it later!!

I wasn’t allowed to stop to take a photo, so this is the best I could do!!!

I thought I was using a movie camera!!

The flowers were beautiful, the topiaries were beautiful.  I do wish I could capture the smell for you.  All those pansy/violas smell wonderful.

And remember how I said it was important to be color coordinated….

The importance of staying color coordinated!

At the American Adventure pavilion, we were asked to be “The First Family” for that performance!!  We were quite honored…got to sit in special chairs & entered the theater first.  We were also announced to the audience that we were the First Family

Very serious....

very serious, almost too funny!!

Roger Adds:

Brenda and I went to listen to Voices of Liberty (we love them!). We got there just before the folks were escorted into The American Adventure, so we got the pick of the benches to sit on and wait half an hour for the next performance. Brenda noticed that the entrance was blocked with a rope, and so she wondered why. Then a lady came up to us and asked, “Would you like to be my First Family?” Brenda reflexively answered, “No, thank you. We’re just waiting here for ….”

“Yes,” I interrupted.

I survived my interruption because Brenda admitted she hadn’t really understand what the woman was asking us, and was actually pleased for the honor.

So we got to sit, front and center, at the top of the balcony for the Voices of Liberty

Our "First Family" Aerial Viewing/Hearing of Voices of Liberty!

Then we were escorted first into The American Adventure. We hoped to be introduced to the crowd (I was recording on my new Kodak Mini to catch our moment of Disney Glory), but they simply proceeded with the show. Since we had lunch reservations at the other end of World Showcase in less than 45 minutes, we exited gracefully and proceeded to Mexico.

Official Disney Recognition of our First Family Status

We Slowed Down To Smell The Flowers.

We slowed down to smell the flowers–that’s our story and we’re sticking to it. We weren’t dragging because we’re old, out of shape, rotund (at least Roger’s rotund), or simply tired. We wanted to savor the smells and fragrances.

And they were spectacular, ranging from floral scents, fine perfumes, and a few whiffs of baby’s bums.

Do You Believe?

We ended our day as we had begun it: Soarin’.

We returned to The Land to cash in our morning Fast Passes. Our Fast Pass wait was 20 minutes, versus Standby wait of 75 minutes.

When we neared the boarding area, we were stopped by the man at the gate, so we were now in the front of the line.

“If this means we get to ride in Row One, than I’ll be satisfied. I’ve been mentally picturing Row One since we came in.”

We were assigned Row Two.

As we filed into the boarding area, there were no seats in Row Two–it was completely filled in. I thought I could see spaces in Row Three, and didn’t worry, since we would eventually get on board a flight. The attendant directed us to Row One. But, there was a problem, “Those seat belts won’t release,” a gentleman explained. Brenda and I clicked them open, and down we sat.

A Secrets miracle? The Power of Positive Thinking? I don’t know what to call it, but Brenda got just what she was wishing for, and it made a wonderful end to another wonderful day at Wonderful World of Disney!

B' Bye for now!

Please: Leave a Comment!

Toy Story Mania, Game 2

In Dreams Come True on March 6, 2011 at 6:16 am

Continued from yesterday….


I see Roger  didn’t post our second game!!!  I was high winner for our 8 people group!!!

Our second trip was almost as fast as the first.  We entered by Fast Pass lane, we figured we still had about a 30 min wait.  As we’re waiting, the cast member says “Looking for two.”  The folks in front of us were all 3 or more!!!  so we were the next set of 2.  He sent us up the handicapped ramp, and I don’t think that was due to our age, we walked past all those people waiting in line and onto a car we jumped!!!  It was so exciting.  I guess I was so excited I hit my all time high score.  At this time, I must acknowledge that Roger has much better accuracy, and always does, but I manage to get the higher score… curious.  Whoever wins, we have so much fun.. and apparently so does everyone else, since it is the most popular game/ride in all of Disney World.

We had fun in drawing class, too.

Brenda & Donald

It’s always best to be color coordinated!!

We'll need to get Roger a hot pink shirt also

Maniacs and Other Folks We Met At WDW

In Dreams Come True on March 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Brenda says:

Well, end of Day 1.  We had a spectacular day.  We started @ Disney Hollywood, leaving our Resort @ 7ish a.m.!!!  Made it through “Bag Search” in jig time (that’s ’cause everyone else was still sleeping).  We did have to wait about 30 minutes before the gates opened, but of course, Roger talked to anyone near by!!  Once the gates opened we beelined it, actually Roger trotted!!!, to Toy Story Mania.  Roger went to the Fast Pass line, I went to the waiting line.  There was no waiting!!!  We walked through all the way through the queue, up the stairs, down the stairs and at the place where the cast member asks, “How many?”  We did have to wait for the next car!!!  It was amazing.  As seems to be the trend, I beat the pants off Roger!!!

We saw a crowd of people, most were security guards and in the center was probably a celebrity.  I asked this woman who was obviously excited, taking pictures, smiling from ear to ear who this person was.  She answered, “I have no idea.”  I just laughed out loud.

We found some hidden Mickey’s… even got the Disney photographer interested in looking!!!  It was pretty funny.

We spent 1/2 day @ Disney Hollywood, then over to EPCOT until 4:30ish, then to DownTown Disney…  We are having an awesome time.

Roger’s Rant:

While waiting in line to enter Disney Hollywood, I saw a couple of maniacs. I knew they were maniacs thanks to their shirts.

Another Disney-loving couple

They made their own T-shirts, using iron on letters. He told us some interesting facts: There are 22 of the cars in Toy Story Midway Mania, each holds eight people. The entire ride itself takes five minutes, so that’s a heck of a lot of maniacs an hour!

Brenda beat the pants off me–again–and we were back in the park by 8:17 AM! And by the time we returned to Midway Mania at 10:00–all FastPasses were distributed for the day!


No Fast Passes available by 10 AM!

We also met a family who were right behind us in line to get into the park. They told us how they came to Disney World, and when the gates opened, everyone took off at a run and veered to the right. They had no idea what was going on, but later learned there was an Easter Egg hunt. Blissfully ignorant, they turned left. And stumbled onto a bounty of Easter Eggs! The young lady gathered up 30, each containing a trading pin. A real treasure, which she uses to trade for pins she really loves.

Miss Master Easter Egg Finder & Family

But alas, not all was well in Walt Disney World.

I saw a six-pack of young men wearing black shirts reading: “Official WDW Drinking Team.”

Apparently, they were not the “Official” Drinking Team, and so Disney Security was explaining to them they could not wear those shirts in the park. Being at least an “unofficial” drinking team; and being big, feisty boys; these guys were not willing to leave without some kind of fight. However, I left before the REAL “Official WDW Drinking Team” could be summoned to challenge them to a drinking contest.

Finally, it’s true, Roger Ran! Well, trotted. Not only to Toy Story Midway Mania, but to the buses which would transport us from Disney Hollywood to Epcot (and, lunch–which after only a croissant at 6:30 AM, Roger was most anxious to enjoy before he went rogue).

More about Epcot tomorrow, since that’s the focus of Day Two.

To close, here’s a photo of Brenda “Making A Memory.” Hopefully we will remember what it is we were memory-ing.

Share YOUR Magical Memories with Us!


We Arrive!

In Dreams Come True on March 5, 2011 at 6:38 am

You might think that leaving Manchester, NH on a 2:10 PM flight would be more restful than having to wake up at 4:00 AM to get to the airport in the morning, but you’d be wrong.

Brenda and I were both tired while we flew, me so much so that I actually dozed off in the plane, which for those of you who know that my only requirement for sleep is to lie in the prone position will recognize, I must have been drowsy.

We got to Orlando just before 7 PM, but didn’t reach our resort until after 8 PM. We checked in, bought my Annual Pass (Brenda had one since she had come without me in December), ate at the food court, then got back to our room. Brenda was fading fast, while Roger unpacked: it’s easier for Brenda to do that sort of task first thing in the morning, but it interferes with Roger’s “waking up” time).

By 10 PM, we were wondering if our bags had been lost, when they magically arrived.

Soon after the bags appeared, Brenda was asleep; Roger conked out at 11 PM.

We rose before 6 AM, and are about to return to the Food Court for breakfast, and then on to Disney Hollywood!

Photos to Phollow, when we get back!

Leave comments!!!!!!

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