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Traveling Liquid Free

With another trip that requires flying coming up, it brings up the topic of – how do you travel with only a carry on when it comes to liquids? I managed to do a weekend trip to Colorado completely liquid free. I don’t wear any make up or have any sort of skin care routine that requires liquids, which made it easier.  But using some of these products that are solid will clear up a lot of space in your quart sized baggy if you do need to bring make up or other items that don’t have solid options.

(If you’re looking for tips on how to pack your carry on – Holly over at Traveling Fan has a great post on Packing Cubes – which I have started using since reading some of her posts about them.)

For my trip to Back to the Island I will be using the Flight 001 X-Ray Quart Bag from ebags. I have not used it yet but it is supposed to be TSA approved and the way it is shaped is supposed to allow for more items in it than the typical quart sized bag. While I am not 100% sure what I will be packing yet, I did toss in some bug spray,  shampoo, shower gel, 2 containers of sun screen, aloe, tooth paste, deodorant and a toothbrush and it all seemed to zip in just fine. There have been mixed reports on whether or not TSA will let it through so I may have to bring a back up baggie just in case.

I have several solid shampoo bars from LUSH.  The tin that they sell to put the round ones is great, but it closes so tight I often have trouble opening it again. But one bar can last several trips or you can even use it at home regularly. If you let it dry out correctly it is supposed to last up to 90 washes.
My Review of Lush Shampoo Bars

LUSH also offers a variety of solid tooth paste tabs.  There are several different “flavors” and I found these left my teeth feeling clean, but without the minty-fresh feeling you are used to with most “liquid” toothpaste. That took some getting used to, but these are a great alternative!
My Review of LUSH Toothy Tabs

Soap / Shaving Cream
Skip the shower gel and grab a bar soap. Tada! You can also use bar soap in place of shaving cream in a pinch. I’ve yet to find a “travel sized” shaving cream container that does not take up way too much space in my quart sized bag.

Travel Containers
If you need to condense larger containers into travel size, I really like the Dot&Dot Travel containers I used earlier this year.  They come in a pouch of 4 and even have suction cups to attach them to the shower wall.
Dot&Dot Travel Containers

Sun Screen
For my Colorado trip I used 2 different solid sun screens.   These are both small and you can throw it in your bag and not have to worry about it leaking.  There are also a couple of brands who have 1.8 oz spray sunscreen available.  A liquid, but tiny enough to throw a couple in your bag without taking up too much room.  I suck at applying lotion sun screen so the spray helps me get a more even covering.
SPF 70 Sunscreen Stick Banana Boat SPF 50 Sport

Usually I am not sure if this counts as a “liquid” or a gel or whatever so I throw it in the bag anyway, better to be safe than sorry. But a deodorant that is 100% solid is the Crystal Body Deodorant Travel Stick.  Just wet it, apply it to your under arms and you’re good to go. I don’t think I ever did a proper review on this but while you’ll be wanting to smell your armpits constantly, even on a really sweaty day I never noticed any sort of smell and can’t recommend this enough even though it’s sort of a hard idea to wrap your head around.

Bug Repellent
There are a lot of bracelets out there to help prevent mosquitos from feasting on you. I will be bringing these All Natural bracelets that I reviewed earlier this year.

Alternately a liquid option is “pen sized mosquito repellent”.  It takes up a lot less room in your quart sized baggie and works quite well. I got one that smelled like eucalyptus instead of the usual chemical smell for Jamaica year 2 and had no mosquito problems.

One tip is not to bring the larger (though still within the limitations of ounces for 3-1-1 rules) OFF spray can.  Year 1 of Back to the Island it made it TO Jamaica but didn’t make it home. I switched to the pen sized for year 2 but my friend ended up buying the one I had the previous year and once again Jamaica airport security would not let her take it. Fortunately it was on our way home it was taken so we did get to use it, but we hardly used any of it so it ended up being a waste to have to surrender it.

There is also a website called AllTravelSizes which offers travel sized products. (Keep an eye out though, some did seem to be larger than the limit when I was browsing)  They offer free shipping for orders of $40 or more, but my order coming in just under $20 they wanted $11.35 to ship so I decided not to bother.  If you need $40 worth of travel items you’re probably going on a longer trip and might as well just check a bag since you’ll probably need more clothes too.  I may decide to order with friends in the future to try and hit the $40 limit – I did like that it had single use toothpaste and shampoo available so I have a little bit more room on the way home!  I may try to see if the local drug stores offer larger packages of these for future trips!

Just FYI none of these are affiliate links, I just figured it is easiest to link to what I used so you could see for yourself, I won’t be getting any kick-backs if you decide to purchase through these links.

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Back To The Island Cancun: Travel Day 1


Over the next several Wednesdays I will be sharing all the details of my trip to Cancun for Hanson’s Back to the Island event. (Yes, we’re all aware that Cancun is not an Island.)  For those of you unfamiliar with the event – the past 2 years have been in Jamaica but this year they moved to a resort in Cancun.  The event was from January 7-11 with a concert every night (except the last day when everyone is leaving) which includes 3 Hanson shows as well as a set from special guests Nick Santino and David Ryan Harris. Also included are events with Isaac (mixology), Taylor (after party) and Zac (pottery painting) – but more on all that is still to come.

I’ll start this post with traveling – I had to get up to leave the house at about 2:30 AM as my first flight was taking off at 5:45am.  I was greeted in the morning by my car covered in ice – and then I realized that some of it was even INSIDE when I thought I had cleared off the windshield and there were still spots. I had to rub them with my mittens so I could see through the window and off to the airport I went.  It was 17 degrees. It was quite dark in the car, perhaps because of window tinting (check out Dalo website if you plan auto glass tinting).

I got to the valet area, left my car, got to the airport and had to wait for the Southwest counter to open at 4am.  They had to verify my passport before I could even get on my first flight.  Once that was done security went with no problems and then it was time to wait. I was the only one at the gate for a long time.  I was excited because I didn’t wake up 24 hours early (it was more like 23) and still got A 37 as a boarding number.  Well, it turns out there were only 36 people on the flight! (A1 – 15 are reserved)  They said we could spread out but everyone decided to sit in the first 5 rows because they “wanted to get off the plane quick”  (I’m not sure the extra 4 steps from a couple rows further back would have made all that much difference)  Had I known they were going to do that, I’d have gone to the back myself after pre-boarding.

I ended up with a mother/daughter next to me.  The daughter seemed like she really wanted to sleep, but well, I think Mom was a little bit nervous to fly so for 3 hours (when I was hoping to catch up on some sleep) all I heard was “I love you! Thank you so much for flying with me! I love you!” and then she was trying to teach the kid to play sudoku.  “Can I sleep?” the girl asked – but Mom talked for almost the entire 3 hour flight.  She talked so much she was hoarse by the time the flight landed.

I missed snack service from trying to sleep… and then started having a dizzy spell (which I haven’t had one in a REALLY long time so I was not expecting it) and ended up getting my head as close to my knees as I could and it seemed to pass in a few minutes. Upon landing I grabbed a vitamin water and a snack at a kiosk to make sure that I’d be good to go for the next flight.

Somehow my flight at Atlanta landed at C2 and I only had to go to C5! Usually I am as far apart as humanly possible in these airports so I was excited. They ended up loading up another flight just before ours was supposed to take off because the flight was still in the hanger getting looked at.  Then we found out we had to get a new aircraft and had to go to C12 instead. The new aircraft came from stealing it from a flight heading to DC which ended up getting canceled.  We weren’t delayed all that much despite the new aircraft and the extra checks it needed for going to a different country.

We landed in Mexico and headed to immigration and then customs.  After going through customs they have you hit a red button. If you’re green, you’re good, if you’re red, you are getting randomly selected for a bag check.  I was with 2 other Hanson fans I met up with in Atlanta and 1 of us got a red light and the other 2 green.  Then I found out my roommate for the trip got a red one too.

We found our shuttle to the resort and off we went! It was nice to have a 20 minute ride instead of a 90 minute one.  While we were waiting to check in, my roommate showed up (she got in about the same time as us but was in a different terminal – we were hoping it all spit out to one general transportation area, but it didn’t!)

We checked in to the resort, checked in with Island Gigs for our Hanson credentials, checked out the room and headed to the seafood / pasta restaurant for dinner. I had 2 drinks but neither really were all that strong (and I’m a lightweight – I didn’t feel any of the drinks until the last night!) and then it was time to settle in for Hanson show #1 later that night.

But more on THAT next week 🙂

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Disney Trip: Why you gotta be so rude?


As you probably have seen – we had on Hanson/Disney shirts for the 2 days we were at Disney for the Hanson shows.  On the second day of shoes we had TWO incidents with morons.

The first guy asked us what our shirts said. “Hanson” we replied (it was the symbol.) So then he said “2 questions.  Where is the N and On purpose?”  So I showed him where the N was.  The other question didn’t deserve an answer.  (No, I lost a bet so I made this shirt and am wearing it!) He was with a girl who said that he would be going to the show later.  “On purpose?” I asked him.

The second guy was mocking us because we were annoyed when they announced that the first show was going to be canceled due to the weather. When my friend said to him “and who is YOUR favorite band so we can make fun of them?” he just stood there staring at us.  (Hey, it may have taken 17 years but did we FINALLY find a comeback to get morons to shut up?)  He came back to us later and told us “Good news! The other 2 shows are still on!”  Then he was going on and on (not to us) about his SAT scores and how he has a degree in Engineering.  Oh wow, should I be impressed? I’ve got one of those too!

Now – I get that if I was wearing a sports shirt I might have gotten shit from fans of rival teams and I feel like that goes with the territory.  But I don’t understand why you would go up to strangers, who are minding their own business, and start picking on them because of the music that they listen to. (I can only assume that the alcohol consumption of the Food & Wine festival had something to do with it.)

After 17 years of being mocked because you like a band – it’s gotten old.  I just don’t understand it. I’ve seen plenty of people wearing shirts of bands that I don’t like – but I don’t say anything to them. I don’t see the point.

There was also a 3rd moron who started singing MMMBop at the top of his lungs when we were leaving… We’re kind of impressed that the song seems to STILL have an effect on people – when it was released 17 years ago.

and just so that this post is not completely negative – a very wonderful thing that we witnessed –

At the Magic Kingdom 2 strollers wheels got stuck together or something and the Dad pushing one of them ended up falling backwards.  A guy came out of nowhere, put his hand under the Dad’s head so it wouldn’t smack onto the pavement.  Then he disappeared.  He did his good deed and just moved on.  It was one of those things that you see happening in slow motion but there is nothing you can do about it – but I am glad that this good Samaritan saw what he could have done and jumped into action because things could have been very, very bad had he not swooped in!

(And really, these morons just gave us a good laugh – we’re not totally offended over it or anything – after 17 years of this crap you develop a skin for it)

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Disney Trip: Memory Maker

Memory Maker is offered at Disney World as a way to get professional photos throughout the park.  No matter how long your trip is, it costs $150.  I wasn’t able to justify the cost of that for just 3 days – so I looked into a Memory Maker Share which is when you go in with several other groups/families and share the cost of the $150.  It was a $30 buy-in and we all had to link our accounts together to the account which had the Memory Maker paid on it.

If you don’t get Memory Maker you can still get your photos taken, but they cost about $15 to buy – so basically as long as we had at least 2 we wanted to buy (and let’s be real, as a scrapbooker I bought them all) we would come out ahead.

We basically made it our mission to seek out every photographer we could (easier said than done since we had so much rain on our trip!) and ended up with about 150 pictures.

Once you get back, you can log in to the account and add borders and stickers to the photos, which can double or triple the number of photos that you have depending on how you edit them)

The only downside to the share is that you need to wait for everyone to come home from their trip and edit before you can download all your photos as a group.  Then once you do download there are several zip files (our group had 55) and you have to sort through them to find your photos.  This actually went pretty quickly once all the files had downloaded, but the wait was the hardest part!

Photographers are around the park and also with most of the characters at their meets. They will take a photo with your camera if you ask, but their cameras are professional and they’ll take several shots with it.  Here are a few of the shots that we got – including some MAGIC shots! (The big reason why I wanted to get Memory Maker!)  Oh and you get ride photos too! (And in the case of 7 Dwarfs Mine Train – a video! And we got video of holding Lumiere as well!)

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Product Review: Packing Cubes

I travel 2-3 times a year by plane and am always trying to figure out how to fit all my clothes in just a carry on so I don’t have to bother with a checked bag.  Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about packing cubes and was excited when Dot&Dot gave me the chance to try out their large packing cubes in my favorite color, orange.

Here are just a few benefits of using packing cubes:
See through mesh panels allow you to easily find what you need.
Maintain your privacy while going through security in the airport.
Save time ironing your clothes! The packing cube will help minimize wrinkles.
Maximize your luggage space so you can squeeze in more of your stuff.
Traveling with the entire family? Make packing and unpacking easy by assigning a cube per person or purpose.
Save time packing and unpacking by allowing you to unpack only what you need.
Cubes fit in luggage, duffels, suitcase, backpack, slim bags and can be used on their own.

These cubes fit perfectly in my carry on and while I only tried out one cube – it easily fit an outfit for the day and certainly had room for more if I wanted.  I really like that it can help keep things organized – if I pack each days outfits into its own cube, I just have to worry about pulling the appropriate days out and bringing it in the bathroom with me each morning. No time wasted digging around for the shirt I wanted to wear with those shorts, etc.  It will certainly make my traveling life a lot more organized (something that I definitely need!)

These cubes don’t quite fit in my backpack, but my backpack is a bit on the small size. If you have one a bit larger for travel, I think it will fit and then you can keep your clothes separate from anything else you may be traveling with (electronics, etc.) I know if I am going away for a short trip and want to get my Nook out I always have to pull out my PJs, underwear, etc to get to it at times – so this will make digging through a lot easier (and less embarrassing!)

I am looking forward to taking these cubs on my next trip in January! (I’ll try to remember to snap some more pics then!)

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

If you are looking for backpacks for your travel needs, Backpacks Global would be the best site for you to visit.

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Disney Trip: EPCOT Day 2 Part 2

After hiding out in China to miss out on the rain, we made it to a covered area near the America Pavilion to wait things out again. We decided not to wait in line and once again for the first show see what would happen.  Well, the sky kept getting darker and darker and then an announcement came that the first show was going to be canceled because there was lightning in the area.

The second and third shows were scheduled to go on – and they did.

For the second show it started raining – but fortunately the handicapped area and rows in front of it are under an overhang, so we were OK.  By the end of the show – the middle of the overhang was majorly leaking though!

Show 1, err 2, errr I don’t know… had a setlist of

Where’s the Love
Waiting for This
This Time Around
Watch Over Me
Get The Girl Back
If Only

We had the Chase wristbands for the last show of the night and figured we’d end up with the prime handicapped spot right up front. Unfortunately, when I scooted my way up there, I was told that they can only accommodate wheelchairs up there and not ECVs! (Except I was in the same spot on the other side the night before and no one said anything to me?)  So I backed up and still ended up in one of the 4 prime spots – but it would have been nice to actually be able to use the wristband to be a little bit closer!

The setlist for the final show – in the pouring rain – was

You Can’t Stop Us
Tragic Symphony
Thinking Bout Somethin
Been There Before
Minute Without You
Get The Girl Back
Already Home
Long Way To The Top

We had to pick up our bottle of MMMHops at the front of the park (you can’t carry alcohol around in the park with you so it has to be shipped to the front of the park for pick up when you leave) and so did 98 other Hanson fans and EVERY other park goer who had bought alcohol…. Meanwhile everyone leaving EPCOT decided to just cut through the line instead of go around which caused all sorts of drama (Tired, wet, cranky people are not a good mix)

So once again we skipped out on Illuminations and headed back to the hotel as we had a pretty early time to pick up the bus to take us back to the airport 🙁


Overall we had a great time but it would have been nice if there was no RAIN.  (We figured there would be a quick shower every day – as “that’s Florida” but this constant rain all night was not what we were expecting and even my friends who live in FL say that it was very abnormal to be happening!)


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Disney Trip: EPCOT Day 2 Part 1

Day 2 kicked off with Hanson’s Seminar at the Festival Center.  As soon as we were let in to the park, we rented my ECV and then made our way to the Festival Center.  There were 4 girls there before us but 1 ended up staying behind us to make sure that the scooter didn’t end up trampled (thank you!) and I ended up #4 and Maribeth #5 for the seminar.  We were seated in the front row and waited patiently for Hanson to come out.

At first we were under the impression they would be signing bottles of MMMHops – which was fine – but once we arrived we found out that the bottles were pre-signed (and $7.95) and that we’d be getting PHOTOS with the band too! And not only a photo – a SOLO photo. Jackpot!

The guys chatted for about half an hour or so about the beer and then the first 100 people who had wristbands got a bottle of beer and the chance to meet the guys. (The seminar was also open to standing room only)

After the seminar we made our way to the World Showcase (after having spent most of the previous day in the other side of the park) and headed to America to get wristbands and hang out in the Chase Lounge for a bit.  We got wristbands for the 3rd show that night and made a game plan to ‘Eat Around the World’.  We headed back towards Norway as we had a fastpass for Maelstrom (our first 2 FP+s expired while we were at the seminar – Soarin’ again and Spaceship Earth!) only to find out that it was broken down! (We did make a stop in Poland and China first for some snacks and Germany for photo ops!)    Our Fast Pass turned into one we could use at any ride (except Test Track or Soain) at any time – so we decided to continue our way around the world and hit up Norway again after.

Our other snacks included dole whips, London to meet Tigger and Pooh, Creme Brulee in France (and FINALLY track down the Chip magic shot!), and meeting Aladdin and Jasmine in Morroco.  Aladdin had me freaking CRACKING UP omg. I dont even know why everything was so funny, but Aurora told me at lunch that Jasmine borrowed a carpet and never brought it back.  Jasmine said that she didn’t know what Aurora was talking about and she must have dreamt it!

We also had some bread in Brazil and then headed through the store in Japan because it is cute and it was hot and we wanted to steal some AC for a bit.   We made it back to America but storms were coming so we headed down to Norway – rain jackets on – and Maelstrom was up and running! Hooray! So I took what I believe to be my first – and last – ride on it.  When we got out of the ride it looked like the skies were about to open up.  We quickly hopped on the scooter and found a place to hide in China and it poured and poured.

Watching the weather on a phone app, we made a break back to America so we’d be in position to scoot down for the Hanson shows….

But more on that later!


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Disney Trip: EPCOT Day 1 Part 2

For the first Hanson show, we didn’t bother getting in line and hoped we would have a handicapped spot waiting for us.  We did.  There are what I like to call 4 “prime” handicapped viewing spots and we were 2 to the side from one of the four.  I knew I would have to stand to see because everyone in front of me stood – but the ECV was pretty cool and between the controls in front of me and the seat behind me I felt pretty secure!

The setlist for the first show was

Fired Up
Ive Got Soul
Where’s the Love
And I Waited
Minute Without You
Get The Girl Back
Waiting For This

There was a medical emergency during this show – I believe that a girl had a seizure and had to be taken away. (I hope everything turned out ok there!) and you could tell that the guys were concerned. Taylor mentioned her after a couple of songs and stopped after a song to talk to security to see what was going on as well. But the show must go on and they pushed through their set.

The second set we pretty much did the same approach and got the exact same spot haha  For this show t he setlist was

Scream and Be Free
Thinking Bout Somethin
Runaway Run
This Time Around
Tragic Symphony
Give a Little
Minute Without You
Lost Without Each Other

We left before the last song and got back in line – only to be cut by a couple more wheelchairs and scooters so we were 1 off from the “prime” spot – until I spotted a friend next to one of the 4 prime spots.  She called us over and I had a pretty much amazing unobstructed view for the 3rd show. (Thanks Jillian!)

The setlist for the 3rd show was

Fired Up
Ive Got Soul
Where’s The Love
You Can’t Stop Us
Thinking of You
Penny and Me
Get The Girl Back
It’s a Long Way To The Top


We didn’t hang around for Illumiations even though we had wristbands because we needed to be up early for the Hanson Beer Seminar the next morning. We thought maybe we would catch it the next night…



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Disney Trip: EPCOT Day 1 Part 1

Our second day in Disney was our first day at EPCOT.  We had 3 fast passes for the day – Soarin’, The Seas with Nemo and Figment.  First thing we rented an ECV and then made our way over to the “Leave a Legacy” to find the NSYNC pictures.  We also got several sets of photos with the PhotoPass photographers and 2 magic shots with Stitch!

EPCOT was typically a park that my parents would do without kids when we went on trips, so there aren’t many rides that I can recall ever being on.  When I was at EPCOT 2 years ago for Hanson shows – we only rode Spaceship Earth (which this trip we were unable to fit in, which was fine!)  So Soarin’ was a ride I had never been on before.  We ended up in the front row and it was really cool. (Though I did get a little motion dizzy in the beginning, fortunately that calmed down relatively quickly)

Then we made a stop in Club Cool where you can flavor Coke products from around the world including Italy, Greece, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Peru and Brazil.  I had actually tried Inca Kola before – and it was one of my favorites of the bunch.  Italy has “The Beverly” which is very bitter and there are videos all over of people making grossed out faces after drinking it.  I guess my Italian roots came in handy as I didn’t make any faces.  I can’t say it is something that I’d want to enjoy regularly, but I was hoping for it to taste a bit nastier than it did!

Next up was the Nemo ride.  It was very cute, Nemo is one of my favorite movies. Unfortunately the whole trip I never did figure out how to get photos on the rides in low light when we were moving so I have a lot of blurry pics of everything! There is a new song at the end of this ride which was pretty cute too.  After the ride we checked out the aquarium tanks around EPCOT and got to see some of the fish being fed. We also found out that they change up the fish in the exhibits a lot, so the ones featured around the tanks aren’t always everything inside the tank.  We were trying to figure out what one of the animals was but a nice cast member told us it was a shrimp fish! (And gave us the tip on the info around the tanks)  After that we got our photos taken outside with the Nemo statues and headed to Figment!

Figment was nothing of what I remembered from when I was a kid – but I guess that it is because it is completely different. (Good to know it is not my memory failing!)  We paid our respects to Robin Williams whose character from Flubber is featured in the ‘Imagination Institute Inventor of the Year Awards Recipients’ photos on the way in to the ride queue.  Afterwards we played around in the area after the ride and made some music.  Then we too a break to enjoy some Mickey ice cream! I opted for the ice cream sandwich and Maribeth got the classic Mickey Head on a stick 🙂

We made a quick stop to the Festival Center to find out about Hanson’s appearance there the next day and then headed to the World Showcase as we had lunch reservations with the princesses!  We first met Belle and got a photo with her and then were greeted while we ate by Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel and Aurora!  I liked that Snow White and Aurora talked to us about Hanson and our shirts.  Cinderella liked that we matched and said she wanted to make outfits for Gus and Jack but they could never decide on the same color! Snow White left our table and told us to “Enjoy your Hanson!” which pretty much made my life. (Snow has been my favorite since I was a kid!)  Ariel just talked to us about Eric because he’s so cute haha and Aurora asked if Hanson was the name of a Prince!  We told her it was the name of THREE Princes and she asked if they had any fairies.  We didn’t think so, so she said she would send her fairies over to help them out.

We spent some time in Norway getting pictures with trolls and then headed to the special Disney Visa cardholder meet and greet where we met Mickey and Goofy.  Mickey really liked our shirts!

After that we headed back up to the World Showcase to get ready for the Hanson shows! I’ll recap those in another post 🙂



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Disney Trip: Magic Kingdom

Our first day at Disney we decided to go to the the Magic Kingdom. I had not been in 15 years and neither my friend Maribeth nor I had seen New Fantasyland.  We opted to skip rope drop to sleep in a bit, but managed to get there just a bit after opening anyway.  We rented my scooter and got “celebrating” pins from a cast member that was from PA (where Maribeth is from and where a lot of CM seemed to be from that we encountered lol) and headed to Main Street.

We did a Memory Maker share so instead of paying $150 for the Memory Maker package we split it with several other families.  So our first photo of the day was between the pumpkins (everything was decorated for Halloween) with the castle in the back.  Then we made our way up to the castle, got another photo from a photopass photographer and headed to Buzz’s ride which we had a fast pass for.  I had read a cheat online about how to get max points on this ride but apparently did not remember it as I should have because Maribeth kicked my butt! After we got off the ride, Buzz had just come out to do his M&G so he was our first character meet. I had also spotted Stitch, but unfortunately by the time we got through Buzz’s line (which was pretty quick) he was long gone.

Next we did Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor which was a lot of fun because they really get the audience involved.  Our first 3 rides / shows we ended up getting one of the red time keeper cards which has to be some sort of a new record! 😉

After our time in Tomorrowland we went back up to the castle and there was a dance party going on in the hub. We got more photos taken by the castle from a different angle and then headed to New Fantasyland. Our other 2 fast passes were Enchanted Tales with Belle (more geared towards little kids who want to be in the show they put on for Belle, but worth it to see the animatronic Lumiere that is incredibly impressive!)  and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  We also had a fast pass for lunch at Be Our Guest which was so amazingly well done you really feel like you stepped right into the movie!

We tried 4 times to meet Gaston – but the first time he was walking away as we arrived, one time the line was cut and then the weather just was not working in our favor after that.  We did stop to meet Ariel in her grotto though because that was pretty high on my must-do list – I really wanted to see her in her fin!

At around 3 we wanted to head to main street for the parade, but it looked like it was going to rain.  We stopped and grabbed our rain gear just in time as the skies opened up and we had trouble finding a spot to hide. Finally we did and waited out the rain storm.  Then we rode It’s a Small World until it was time for the Mine Train.  The ride was very short, but the 7 dwarfs are my favorite so I loved it. The animatronic dwarfs were amazing and the witch at the end made me jump haha.

We also rode DUMBO which sends you through a play area that was obviously geared for those a bit younger than us 😉  Fortunately our ticket to Dumbo buzzed within a few minutes of us hanging around in there.  After that ride it seemed like it was going to pour again so we ducked into a store and put on hats to take pictures and kill time and then found a plug in the corner to charge phones.  We were discussing maybe riding Pirates when a cast member said he had fast passes and gave them to us! Awesome!

From the store we headed down to Haunted Mansion where we had gotten a 4th fast pass for.  The line was long and we considered not even getting on, but then they started letting everyone in again and things moved quickly.  Good thing we decided to get on the ride because we ended up being on the ride with Hanson!  When we stopped to get photos with the photo pass photographer the whole family walked by us. How cool!  (We didn’t bother them as they were with their families and we figured it was not the time or the place!)

After Haunted Mansion we ended up BACK in Fantasyland to ride the teacups and Ariel’s ride. (She told us that it was a good ride except for Ursula’s singing)

After that Maribeth rode Pirates but I sat it out because I wasn’t sure I was up to get in to another boat ride.  We had to go around and a head of the parade to get there.  Then we grabbed a spot for the 2nd showing of the parade and got to see part of the fireworks (though not from a great angle, but we had to sacrifice a bit if we wanted a good spot for the parade!)

After the parade we made our way to the exit, returned the scooter and headed to our resort bus.  It seemed like once midnight hit – our day went downhill.  We were a bit exhausted and minding our own business in the bus line when something landed on my head. I turned to Maribeth and asked her to help me and her response was “that’s a big bug!” She hit me on the head with our poncho bag and a FROG was on the ground.  Yes, a FROG jumped on my head.  We have no idea where he came from and then I was scared to walk past him to get on the bus because I thought that he was going to jump on me again! He ended up jumping off to the side and I heard a little girl shriek – here’s hoping he didn’t actually land on her too!

Next week I will recap our first day at EPCOT!

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