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Rajah
01-10-2001, 04:27 PM
WDW Trip Report -- December 14th through the 19th

Cast:
Tammi, "Rajah", primary trip planner and trip report writer. 4th trip to the World

Michael, "VonDrake", once again seriously in need of a vacation. Finals are rough on the instructors too ;) 3rd trip to the World

Supporting Cast:

Becky, long time friend of Tammi and Michael, CM at outdoor foods at MGM

Art, new friend (this year), CM at Innoventions

Trip dates:

Thursday December 14, 2000 through Tuesday December 19th, 2000

Stayed at:

Caribbean Beach Resort Thursday through Sunday, transferring to Wilderness Lodge on Sunday

This trip follows right on the heels of our 2.5-day November trip to the Food and Wine festival. Before we were there in November, we had a tentative idea that we'd come out for the Christmas decorations... after all, we *could* still fit one more trip in on our annual passes. We even had tentative room reservations for Caribbean Beach, but when we left for the World in November it was all still tentative.

While we were at the Food and Wine festival, though, we kept complaining that we didn't have enough time and we thought several times that the lines were too long for our favorite attractions so we'd "just see it next month". That feeling was wonderful, to be able to relax and say "we'll see it next time" while knowing that "next time" would only be a few weeks away. So, when we returned home, Michael and I both checked with our supervisors to see if we could arrange some time off somehow to get back out there again. Considering I had no vacation time and Michael had only one day, it was iffy...but my work allows me to occasionally work up comp time to *make* my own vacation time plus by the time of the trip I *had* worked up some vacation hours, so with some hard work it was possible.

Luckily both of our supervisors also appreciate the Disney parks, so I had no trouble at all and knew right away that I could go, and when Michael had a chance to ask his supervisor a week or so later he got the go ahead as well.

YIPPEEE!!!!! We're heading back out there! "I knew you were going to go, I was just waiting for you to make up your mind" was what one coworker and "mentor" of mine said at work when I told him. Even though I've only been working with him for a couple of months now, he knows me pretty well wouldn't you say? ;)

So I rushed back into the planning stages. When could we go? That was answered by Michael's supervisor and schedule. I could go at any time in December as long as it included a weekend. I wanted to change our dates from the tentative Thursday night through Monday we had to a Tuesday through Sunday. He, however, was restricted one specific weekend and he couldn't leave until our original date. *However*, he was granted one day more than we were asking for, so we were able to change the return date from Monday to Tuesday!!

I was on the phone that evening to CRO and talked to the most wonderful CM I've had the pleasure of working with from CRO to date. "Floyd", if you're reading this, many thanks!!! That evening alone I spent nearly an hour talking to him and communicating with Michael via E-mail and pages so we could make our plans, and when I hung up we had reservations at Caribbean Beach for Thursday through Sunday, then we were transferring to a courtyard view of the Wilderness Lodge on Sunday and checking out on Tuesday. In both instances we had MKC rates: $99/night at CBR, and $200/night at Wilderness Lodge! We were more than thrilled to have a courtyard view because we absolutely love the courtyard there!

We also made PS for Crystal Palace the first morning, tickets for MVMCP the night of the last party and after our first full day at the parks (15th), dinner PS for Liberty Tree Tavern for 5:40pm that same night, tickets for the last showing (8:15pm) of Candlelight Processional for Monday the 18th with the dinner package at Chefs de France (we wanted to try Le Cellier, but it was booked), and breakfast for Garden Grill for Monday morning.

Over the next several days, I worked on planning the remainder of our trip. I think I had the most fun planning this trip of any of those I've planned in the past. It was literally like putting together one of those logic puzzles. We knew we had to start with Magic Kingdom, just because a trip doesn't start until we're at MK. We didn't start there in November and it really didn't feel like we were at the World until we arrived at MK the night of day 1. We knew we wanted to end the trip at MK as well for the same reason. We didn't want to go to any parks on early entry day except to see the evening shows, and we were constrained to be at Epcot on Monday all day between priority seating and the tickets for the Candlelight Processional (CP). We also knew we wanted to go to every park at least for a couple of hours during this 4.5 day trip, wanted dinner at Flying Fish and Artist Point, wanted some time at both Disneyquest and Pleasure Island, and we'd be transferring between resorts which meant we had to have a late start on the mornings of checkout. We really wanted to see the latest showing of Tapestry of Nations and Main Street Electrical Parade, and wanted to see Fantasmic, the Osborne Lights, Illuminations 2000, and Fantasy in the Sky...that's a lot to try to fit in and my usual planning methods weren't working.

What I ended up doing was putting together boxes of "time" in Adobe Illustrator as well as the hours of all those things we wanted to see and do with requirements locked into place, and then it became a puzzle to piece together. Michael about fell over when he saw what I was doing for planning this time, but because of that method I was able to fit *everything* we wanted to see and do into the schedule...but it couldn't rain during the evenings and cancel our shows as we only had one opportunity to see any of them.

During this planning stage, we also had to get our plane tickets. Unfortunately, while we were trying to decide how and when to fly out and whether we should wait until I could call AAA the next morning to look for any discounts, the airfare per person went up $50. There was also the brief scare because it appeared that the only flights we could really take there and back were already booked. After a very anxious evening and morning, I did finally get our tickets through AAA at $299/person round trip -- no discount and a little more expensive than we wanted or expected, but at least the flights were available.

From there, it was just a matter of waiting patiently (yeah, right) for the trip date to arrive. And actually the trip came up before I expected it to, as this was the first time it had been less than 3 months between trips. But the day did arrive, and a little tweaking of our packing list and we were about ready to go.

On the Saturday before our trip, my parents asked us to come over and open one of our Christmas packages before we went. They were quite mysterious about it, insisting only that it was something we really needed *before* the trip, so we complied. Turns out they had gotten us a couple of 14-channel two-way radios that were compatible with the two two-channel radios my parents had...the two radios we'd been borrowing every trip. They were afraid we would get some radios of our own -- which I *had* been considering -- before we went so we had to open them before we got some for ourselves.


On to Day 0 -- Arrival (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?a=tpc&s=40009993&f=12309246&m=352092546)

-Rajah
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/tigerbow.gif

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/mickeymoonsm.jpg

cdrtrisal@aol.com

Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/membook/index.html)

Rajah's Disneyland Crossword Puzzle (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/dis/rajah1.html)

Mackey Mouse
01-10-2001, 04:40 PM
Great planning techniques Rajah and I especially like the reference to Floyd at CRO, sounds like he was very helpful. That is the Disney way..

Mac-key Mouse QOBGOC http://www.marshantiques.com/clipart/dancecindy.gif
<font color=red>Coordinator of the First Annual Official Dis Convention </font>

Aerobics
01-10-2001, 08:45 PM
Go you w/the planning, girlfriend!

Love it so far! Looking forward to seeing if you were able to do all of your "blocked time" events. I tried the same sort of thing on my trip, but due to rain and "high-wind" incidents, I did have to do some last-minute swapping between events.

Hope that didn't happen to you! :)

Somebody call I-X-I-I!!!

Rajah
01-11-2001, 08:13 AM
Actually, amazingly enough, we pretty much stuck to the schedule this time. We were running just about everywhere, but at the same time taking it easy if those two can be together :D

-Rajah
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/tigerbow.gif

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/mickeymoonsm.jpg

cdrtrisal@aol.com

Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/membook/index.html)

Rajah's Disneyland Crossword Puzzle (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/dis/rajah1.html)

Marla Hellwig
02-08-2001, 05:44 AM
It's amazing how complicated the planning for a trip to the world gets. Thanks for posting!