Brenda & Roger

Archive for the ‘Dreams Come True’ Category

Cruisin’ the Caribbean

In Dreams Come True on January 5, 2018 at 7:07 pm

Beating the Storm

Brenda and I rose at 2:30 AM Thursday morning, loaded the our luggage into the 4-wheel drive Colorado, and raced to beat the tons of snow being dumped on our New Hampshire friends.

We escaped the state at 5:45 AM and flew over and through the storm, bumping and rattling our way to warmer climes.

Florida. Balmy 37 degrees. OK, so we had to wear multiple layers and still were cool. But there was no snow!

And more importantly, we got to Florida 2 days before our cruise ship debarks for the Western Caribbean.


Disney Fantasy

Our ship may look like this!

We started planning and investing Disney Points nearly a year ago, and now we’re about ready to board ship! Tomorrow afternoon.

We spent the last couple of days hanging out at the resort, and eating, eating, eating. Training for the cruise (where apparently food is available almost all the time).


Brenda had NEVER (in 18 years) seen Roger sleep sitting up… But rising at 2:30 AM can work a miracle!

So, this morning we had a huge and delicious breakfast at Boma at Animal Kingdom. We had great luck with bus transportation, getting right aboard at every step of the journey. Our first driver had drawn an interesting picture on the opposite side of the bus front window:


Goofy on the bus!

All the while hearing about the huge snow dump we barely avoided.

So, looking forward to some warm weather on a huge cruise ship loaded with delicious food and featuring fantastic shows, cinema, and Star Wars (yes, that’s the theme of the cruise).

So, stay tuned…


December at Walt Disney World

In Dreams Come True on December 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

We are home, Roger back to work Sunday, Brenda on Monday.  Ho-Hum… it was fun.

A little reflection.  In years past this 1st week of December was a good one to go to Walt Disney World.  This year was much different.  Apparently others have heard that it was a low-crowd week and have jumped on that bandwagon.  I can categorically say, this past week was definitely NOT a low crowd week.  Now I will tell you, due to the fact we like to get going early, we were pleasantly surprised to find the parks opening before the published times!!  by 30 minutes.  Now that’s Magical!!



Brenda, Roger, & Olaf…


Rebecca & Brandon Rockin’


We don’t have many photos of the 4 of us together, hope you enjoy these.





A repeat post from September 2015 —

The propulsion system is the brawny BRENDA 2015. Capable of hurtling Roger and his wheels faster than he could walk even before his accident. Pushing 300+ pounds up hills makes for a great workout.


BRENDA 2015: Stong, sweet, and purty cute!

BRENDA 2015: Stong, sweet, and purty cute!

It’s a terrific combo, and highly recommended, it’s very important to make sure BRENDA 2015 does not overheat, a bit of a challenge in the Florida weather.

Luckily the BRENDA 2015 is patient and highly skilled and so perfectly suited for this task.

The ride itself is sometimes thrilling as the BRENDA 2015 must weave us through crowds of Disney patrons who are busy texting, studying maps, gawking, and sometimes attempting to herd and corral their young ones.

Until we meet again, Mickey!!!



Hollywood Studios & Dancing Lights

In Dreams Come True on December 11, 2015 at 8:03 am
Amazing Osborne Dancing Lights, the last year :(

Amazing Osborne Dancing Lights, the last year 😦






Well, just photos!!!  These are from Thursday, our last Park Day for 2015.  Already looking forward to our next adventure!!

Patricia, Sci-Fi Dinner Theater... a Duffy collector

Patricia, Sci-Fi Dinner Theater… a Duffy collector

Patricia is an avid Duffy collector… She had one on her lanyard as a trader, but she wasn’t allowed to take it.  So… Roger traded for it AND then gave it to her!!!  She was so excited.  He then looked through his selection of pins to trade and found 4 or 5 more & gave them.  She was just beside herself with excitement.  We like to share The Disney Magic too!!

Magical Memories at the Magic Kingdom

In Dreams Come True on December 9, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Roger’s been suffering from a cold all through this vacation (and before!). He tried Zyrtec-D, but that was making his vision blurry, so he quit. He’s been rinsing his sinuses multiple times during the night in a desperate attempt to be able to breathe, and sleep! But he’s still visiting the Parks!


Merry Christmas from Magic Kingdom (note Roger’s red eyes)

We enjoyed all our usual favorites. Starting, of course, with Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We were allowed to go through 3 times, since Roger was in a wheelchair and the lines were not long. But Brenda still smoked Roger all three trips! Maybe it was the cold. Or was something else distracting our intrepid space cadet?


Note Roger’s focus, despite his affliction!


Uh-oh. Focus broken. But still worth it!

Went through the Carousel of Progress, shopped at the Big Top, went Under the Sea to see the Journey of the Little Mermaid, enjoyed Mickey’s Philharmagic, checked out the Christmas Shop, then trotted to Monster Inc.’s Laugh Floor, where they had some modified acts! Lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, and then It’s a Small World.

But when Roger fell asleep in his wheelchair in The Hall of Presidents, we decided to cut the day short and return to the resort.

Roger soaked in the tub while Brenda went to Disney Springs (the new fangled name for Downtown Disney), where she bought soap and Ghirardelli chocolate milkshakes for both of us!

Brandon and Rebecca had a pool day today, hung around the resort, then headed out for dinner and the parade at Magic Kingdom. They’re trying out the new Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, and they have great seats at dinner to watch the parade pass by!

Well, that’s it for tonight.

Tomorrow: final park day. The final year to see The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!

Updating Yesterday! EPCOT

In Dreams Come True on December 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Brenda and Roger left to catch the Early Magic Hours at EPCOT. They scored an immediate “Soarin'” ride, and then “Living with the Land” (both favorites of The Brenda 2015).

Around 9:20, they met up with Brandon and Rebecca, who came to the park a littler later.


Brandon & Rebecca meet Tinkerbell!

We met at “Soarin'”, and though Rebecca has enjoyed it in the past, this time it sort of freaked her out. Signs of things to come?

We split up. Brandon and Rebecca went to “Mission: Space.” BUT, just as they were about to board, the ride shut down. As is usually the deal in such a case, they were given a FastPass good for any time once the ride was back up. Would they be able to take advantage of it?

Roger and Brenda spent some quality time with Disney Characters at the “Character Spot.”




Goofy being Goofy!

Then we all met at Chefs de France for a delicious lunch and our Candlelight Processional “stickers” (allowing us early lining up privileges for the show).

Brenda realized she didn’t  really care to wheel Roger all the way to the front of EPCOT to go on Spaceship Earth (again), then wheel him all the way back for the Candlelight Processional. So Brenda and Roger spent the next hour and a half enjoying 3 performances of Voices of Liberty singing holiday music.

But while we enjoyed the show, we got a text that Rebecca wasn’t feeling well. Soon after, she was sound asleep in the resort! Luckily she recovered by the next day, but we’re sorry they missed the Candlelight Processional.

We enjoyed the Candlelight Processional as always, this year hosted by Joe Morton.

Then we got home, after dark! Really, we were at the park after dark! Really!



Bye Bye!

Animal Kingdom Adventures!

In Dreams Come True on December 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

Off to an atypically leisurely start.

Before going to the bus stop, Brenda hiked over to the resort to activate the Magic Bands — only Roger’s would unlock the door. Roger called the front desk to ask for lights to be fixed and the missing TV remote to be replaced.

At 8:00 AM ( no Magic Early Hours today at AK) Roger hauled himself while Brenda hauled the wheel chair out to the bus stop. Brenda requested a room on the first floor near the bus stop. We are near the bus stop, but on the second floor. Which wouldn’t have beet SO bad, EXCEPT there is no elevator, either!

Good times.

But despite that setback, we were at the park by opening (9:00 AM). Brenda wheeled Roger up and down hills, while Rebecca rented a scooter and rode in style.

Of course we repeated all our usual events: Kilimanjaro Safari (Alec, our driver, was superb–and the “old bridge” creaked and jolted! Something we haven’t experienced in years!), where we saw a parade of elephants, a bloat of hippos, a crock of crocodiles, a coalition of chetahs, a zeal of zebras, a tower of giraffes, a crash of rhinos, a flamboyance of flamingos, and a pride of lions (2 lionesses and 1 male).




Momma & Child


Brandon and Rebecca also viewed the gorillas. Brandon was lucky enough to spot a mother grab her baby, sling it onto her back, and race away before Rebecca could even see them (wonder why the mother gorilla didn’t want Rebecca to see her baby?).

All 4 of us enjoyed The Festival of the Lion King. We were in the front row (since I’m still in the wheelchair here) of the lion section (“ROAR”), and so were treated to a close up view of Timon and many of the dancers, stilt walkers, and other the performers. A Tumble Monkey gave us each a “high five.” Spectacular as always.

After that, we split up and went our separate ways. Roger and Brenda to Finding Nemo — The Musical, Rebecca and Brandon to Expedition Everest! Despite nearly plunging off the track, and then traveling backwards, Rebecca and Brandon loved baiting the Yeti.


Late (and separate) lunches for us both.

After lunch, Brenda and Roger visited Guest Services for a bit of a tricky situation. Long story shortish, our Annual Passes expire tomorrow (December 8). We have 2 days left on 10-day Park Hopper Passes from 2006, but they are so old that they don’t have the information needed for us to link them to our Magic Bands from home. So, in order to score our much needed Fast Passes for Wednesday and Thursday, we linked 2 five-day Passes. That would all be fine, except that these expire 14 days after the first use. So if we used them on Wednesday, then they would expire by the end of the month. We were informed by a Disney Representative (months ago) that once we got to WDW, we could replace the 2 days charged to the 5-day Passes back to our 10-day Park Hoppers.

At Guest Services, we were greeted by a sweet young woman named Eri from Japan. We warned Eri that what we were trying to do was a bit complicated. Nonplussed, Eri carefully asked probing questions, which eventually eliminated the entire situation involving Rebecca and Brandon (since THEY also have their bands linked to the same type of 5-day pass as those we were trying to remove from OUR bands).

Eri didn’t let OUR confusion confuse her! Instead, she simply inserted the 2-day Park Hoppers between our soon to expire Annual Passes and not needing to be used 5-day Passes. Once she had explained what she had done, and how it would work for us, we realized she was brilliant and thanked her profusely!

And we’d like to thank her again! Thank You, Eri!

Eventually our whole expedition wound up back at the front of the park where we posed for a group photo.


We’re Home!

In Dreams Come True on December 6, 2015 at 7:45 pm

We got up @ 4 am today.  Headed to Manchester, checked our luggage at the curb and Roger boarded a wheel chair!    Both Brenda & Roger were TSA pre-approved.  Brenda went right through, no hitch.  Roger on the other hand, being in a wheel chair, went through the regular line, had to empty out the computer, the CPap machine.  Brenda waited.  So much for being Pre-Approved!!

We met up with Rebecca & Brandon.  Roger was pre-boarding & Rebecca went with him to save seats for she & Brandon.  All the “A’s” loaded & a few of the “B’s” and then it was stopped.  Those of us in line were told there was a problem, boarding would resume in 20-30 min.  Well, an hour later, we boarded, only for us to find out the coffee machine leaked, and Southwest was concerned the liquid might have damaged some electronics located below the spill area.  The pilot did manage to make up time and we landed only 15 minutes late!!

Once arriving at Old Key West Resort, our room not being ready, we took a ferry to DownTown Disney, now known as Disney Springs.  We went right to House of Blues for our 3 pm reservation, hoping they would take us early… they did.  It was delicious… Rebecca says “even the ketchup is good!!”

Rebecca & Brandon at House of Blues!! YUMMMM

Rebecca & Brandon at House of Blues!! YUMMMM

Brenda here.  It’s 7:44 pm, I’m the only one up!!  the others have all retired for the night.

Headed to Animal Kingdom for another Adventure.

Last Day Rolling thru Magic Kingdom

In Dreams Come True on September 10, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Today’s our last day at the parks.

Started the day as we have every day: seeing a couple who we’ve seen every day this trip!

Sometimes on the bus, other times walking around.

They asked if we were stalking them. Of course we said “No.” But when we caught up to them in the security line, well, I guess the jig is up.

A couple from Shropshire, England, caught us stalking them.

A couple from Shropshire, England, caught us stalking them.

They’ve flown 9 hours (each way) 17 times to visit Disney World. Our kind of people!

Normally we go directly to Buzz Lightyear and go around 4 times (at least). The guide said you had to transfer to a wheelchair, so we gave it a try. Roger was able to sit in the vehicle, as well as enter and exit on the moving walkway.

They let us stay in the car and ride through 4 times!

And they gave us a tip: aim for the first robot’s left hand, as well as the target overhead. SCORE!

After the Carousel of Progress, which promises A GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW IS JUST A DREAM AWAY, the BRENDA 2015 refueled.

BRENDA 2015 refuels

BRENDA 2015 refuels

We hung out waiting for the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor to open. They told us we didn’t need our FastPasses for the first show (actually since we have the wheelchair we haven’t needed FastPasses for most anything).

When we entered the theater, who should we see but Christina, the woman who sent us around 4 times on Buzz Lightyear! Brenda took her photo, told her she would be in our blog, and gave her our card with the blog URL.

After another terrific show, Christina rushed over to us. She loved the photo on our card (Brenda & Roger between Olaf), and she presented us with special FastPasses good anywhere in the Magic Kingdom. And they didn’t expire until September 30!

Thanks, Christina!

If Christina was stalking US, we're glad to have her!

If Christina was stalking US, we’re glad to have her!


Awesome FastPasses from Christina!

Awesome FastPasses from Christina!

On to “It’s A Small World!” We had a boat all to ourselves, which we were able to roll the wheelchair right onboard! BRENDA 2015 expertly maneuvered the wide chair into the spot, locked the wheels, and we were off! Awesome! Roger didn’t have to risk falling into the happiest cruise water on earth.

Then lunch. We split a sandwich at Pinocchio Village Haus, since we knew that later we were getting ice cream at The Plaza!

Our first lunch

Our first lunch spot


Stopped at Geppeto Workshop to refuel BRENDA 2015, and got a quick check as well

Stopped at Geppeto Workshop to refuel BRENDA 2015, and got a quick check as well

After lunch, we met a man from San Francisco (Roger’s old stomping ground!) who was admiring Roger’s Goofy pins. He told us he and his wife were celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary, so we decided to SHARE THE MAGIC and gifted him the FastPasses Christina had given us. He was speechless!!  He was so taken aback by our gift, his wife would be so happy.  We were nearly done for the day, and with the wheelchair, we never really needed a FastPass.

This has been one of the lightest traffic trips we’ve ever seen–possibly the absolute lightest. Makes it easy to get around, get food, and see what we want to see.

Musical venues continued with Mickey’s Philharmagic, then to the “Tiki – Tiki – Tiki – Tiki – Tiki Room!”

Tiki Room

Enchanted Tiki Room

After the Tiki Room, we rolled over to The Plaza, for Lunch, Part 2. Ice cream! Brenda had a hot fudge sundae (with vanilla ice cream!), while Roger had a banana split (natch, second of the trip!). They were both delicious!

Leaving The Plaza, a young lady rushed up to Roger and said she noticed his Goofy pin collection, and asked if he’d like a Duffy the Bear pin with a Goofy hat. Of course he did! Her name was Regan, and she was an off duty Cast Member in the College Program. She insisted she was just going to give Roger the pin, but he managed to get her to take one of his trading pins in exchange. More sharing the Magic! Thanks, Regan!

Regan gave Roger a pin she MIGHT have saved for her boyfriend, but didn't!

Regan gave Roger a pin she MIGHT have saved for her boyfriend, but didn’t!

We headed to a shop, and by the time we were all ready to go, the 3:00 o’clock parade was about to reach us, so we waited and watched (What time does the 3 o’clock Parade start?!!).

Anna and Elsa from Frozen: Elsa COULD have cooled the weather a bit!

Anna and Elsa from Frozen: Queen Elsa COULD have cooled the weather a bit!


The Dragon was spitting fire, and it was already hot outside.

The Dragon was spitting fire, and it was already hot outside.


Hey, it's Goofy!

Hey, it’s Goofy!

Finally we wheeled out of the park, rolled to the bus stop, and almost immediately boarded the bus which brought us back to our resort.

We packed what we could for the night, arranged to have Bell Services haul us and our bags up front in the morning, and then relaxed for the final night of another wonderful Disney vacation.

Brenda has been awesome, and has built muscle mass and is stronger than ever.

Thanks, Cutie, for all you have done to make this trip possible, pleasant, fun, and, well, MAGICAL!

If you know us, you know we’ll be back to Disney, so until then:

Farewell for now!

Farewell for now!

Trekking Wheelchair Style thru Animal Kingdom

In Dreams Come True on September 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm

This is our first trip with our iPhones.


Brenda just took a selfie and “Airdropped” it to me.

Waiting for the Animal Kingdom bus

Waiting for the Animal Kingdom bus

Thanks to our iPhones and Disney’s WiFi, we can work on blog posts during our wait times (like now)!

Most useful is My Disney Experience. We never were able to access the ap while in the parks. Now we can!

I checked Killamanjari Safari for access, and it looks like I can ride in my wheelchair. Perfect! Not because I need the wheelchair during the ride, but because it means I won’t have my leg bent into a painful pretzel shape (normal sitting posture for most of you)!

That’s the only ride we do at Animal Kingdom, the rest are all shows!

I don’t know if I could have brought my wheelchair onto the Safari, but they gave Brenda and I our own row so I could stretch my leg out.

Saw the usual cast of critters, plus since we were in a vehicle for wheelchairs etc., we saw the Plastic Animal Reserve. First time for that!

Ms. Lionness

Ms. Lionness


On to Festival of the  Lion King!

We got front row seats because of the wheelchair. We went to the first shows of both Lion King and Finding Nemo, The Musical.

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King


Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

So we left Animal Kingdom, went to Downtown Disney, had our lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s (Brenda had a chicken meatball sandwich, Roger his usual, pizza!).

We ended the afternoon watching “Inside Out” at the AMC theater.

Solo show!

Solo showing!

For a while, Brenda and I were the only people in the theater. Eventually another family came in, but that was it!

We took the boat back and forth to the buses at Downtown Disney. We learned (relearned?) that the bus only makes one stop.

Then we headed back to the resort to recuperate for tomorrow, and Magic Kingdom!

EPCOT Adventures in rolling forward

In Dreams Come True on September 8, 2015 at 4:41 pm

All about being pushed around EPCOT!



Roger seated in his super deluxe extended leg holding wheelchair (BRENDA 2015 propulsion unit)

Let’s take a look at Roger’s sophisticated transportation system.

The vehicle itself is a BIG BOY wheelchair. We rented it from a family owned company that supplies Disney resort guests and Florida residents with wheelchairs, scooters, and other medical devices.

The propulsion system is the brawny BRENDA 2015. Capable of hurtling Roger and his wheels faster than he could walk even before his accident. Pushing 300+ pounds up hills makes for a great workout.


BRENDA 2015: Stong, sweet, and purty cute!

BRENDA 2015: Stong, sweet, and purty cute!

It’s a terrific combo, and highly recommended, it’s very important to make sure BRENDA 2015 does not overheat, a bit of a challenge in the Florida weather (hot with 800% humidity).

Luckily the BRENDA 2015 is patient and highly skilled and so perfectly suited for this task.

The ride itself is sometimes thrilling as the BRENDA 2015 must weave us through crowds of Disney patrons who are busy texting, studying maps, gawking, and sometimes attempting to herd and corral their young ones. These latter attempt to defy the laws of space and time by teleporting to their next destination. Unhappily they fail, so Roger pokes them away from his injured leg with the cane loaned to him by Marcia.

All in all it makes for an exciting ride!

Park buses are supposed to come “approximately every 20 minutes.” We’ve been waiting almost an hour, and though we’ve seen multiple buses for the other parks, no EPCOT bus.

And today is Early Magic Hours at EPCOT!

BRENDA 2015 Just asked one of the drivers when we could expect an EPCOT bus: “15 seconds.” Great news, but wrong. However, we didn’t have to wait much longer.

Roger remembered his Magic Band today, but BRENDA 2015’s didn’t function properly. After multiple attempts a Cast Member reset it and we were off and rolling.

Epcot has a bit of an incline getting in, and it’s petty steep getting to The Land, where “Soarin” is located. BRENDA 2015 said she felt more like Brenda 1951!

Roger was able to help haul the load up hills, either by rolling the wheels or grabbing a rail and pulling forward.

We enjoyed Soarin’ and went through a second time, and never had to use our FastPasses.

We called the elevator to return to top floor and exit The Land, and joined 2 construction men who were hoping to get on the other side of the wall around “Living with the land” (currently closed; sad for BRENDA 2015, as it is one of her favorites). Roger joked, “Beam us up, Scotty.” The man pressed the button, then pulled his vest aside to show his Disney name tag: his name WAS Scotty!

After a rest stop, Roger met a youngster with a pin collection starter set. So Roger gave him a pin to trade. Then a sister arrived, then another, and another! By the time they were done multiplying, there were 5!

Illinois family scores pins to trade!

Illinois family scores pins to trade!

They each got a pin to trade. The father said, “They’ll probably remember getting these pins more than anything else we do!”

Mission accomplished!

Forward! To Imagination with Figment. Figment provided a special car, one that could hold Roger and his chair.


Figment’s “I” train takes all rollers

There was a turnstile (like those used in San Francisco) that a 97 pound young woman rolled Roger and his wheelchair up & onto, which then swiveled so he was facing forward. We did have to figure out how to adjust the leg extension to allow clearance, so it was truly educational!

Next was EPCOT character meet and greet. We went through the “Stand By” line and got out before our scheduled FastPass.

The Main Man, er, make that Mouse! MICKEY MOUSE!

Mickey was tickled when we pointed at him and said, "It all started with YOU!"

Mickey was tickled when we pointed at him and said, “It all started with YOU!”


Goofy signs Roger's Goofy hat

Goofy signs Roger’s Goofy hat


Goofy & his gang!

Goofy & his gang!


Minnie signed Brenda's hat!

Minnie signed Brenda’s hat!

So for those of you keeping score: we got through all 3 of our FastPass attractions without ever using a FastPass! Soarin’ twice!

After lunch we rolled over to hear Voices of Liberty. More “Frozen !”

Voices of Liberty currently sing show tunes rather than historic patriotic tunes. It’s also outside rather than under the rotunda inside American Adventure. We miss the old songs, intimacy, and jokes. But we do still enjoy their singing, We waited nearly an hour to enjoy the second show!


Voices sing "Let it go!"

Voices sing “Let it go!”

They do sometimes perform inside under the rotunda. We’re not sure if they then sing the old songs and do their jokes (they sing “Oh Suzanna” and pick a young girl or elderly lady and pretend she doesn’t want to let the singer go back to the line).

By the time the second show ended, it was time to return to the resort, recharge iPhone batteries and the BRENDA 2015, to prepare for tomorrow’s Animal Kingdom events!

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