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View Full Version : Masters of the Disney Universe--a PTR


jsantini
08-21-2009, 11:23 PM
My family is going to WDW to celebrate my December graduation from graduate school, hence the thread title as I will have earned a Masters degree! :cool1: This will be my sixth trip to WDW, but my first trip with my husband and both my parents in tow at the same time. We'll also be celebrating my parents' 30th wedding anniversary! :thumbsup2 This trip is all about the food!

In the past, I've gone on three mother-daughter trips to the World, and one trip with my now-husband, where we got engaged. I've always dreamed of having both my husband and I and my parents go together as we often travel together and have a blast. My dad has never been really excited about a trip to Dis :confused3 However, my university is quite large, and I explained that if we all went to WDW together to celebrate, I wouldn't expect any of them to sit through the hours-long graduation ceremony! :rotfl2: So off we go, to CSR in Dec!

Now, in order to meet that Dec. graduation goal, I have a thesis to finish, but I don't think a little DIS in moderation will interfere with that. Famous last words...:happytv:

It's almost time for the 90-day ADR window, so I thought I'd get my first pre-trip report ever started to help pass the time. Here's the cast for our upcoming trip:

:wizard: Me, 27, a WDW fanatic. Everything about it is just relaxing and fun to me. Planning for the trip is ALMOST as fun as being on the trip for me. The biggest challenge on our upcoming trip for me will be slowing down and respecting a slower pace for those in our party who aren't as excited as I am to see everything and do everything in our time there.

:coffee::DH, 28, a convert to WDW by means of free dining on his one past trip. He loves the food at the World and has already been talking about where we are going to eat when we're there. Otherwise, he has a good time, but would rather be in Vegas--his version of WDW. There are many reasons I love CSR, but one reason I chose it for this trip is the great espresso bar. I am the only one out of the 4 of us who doesn't have a total addiction to strong coffee.

:cheer2:DM, my Disney partner in crime! My mom and I took our first trip to WDW in 2003. Convinced it would be our only trip (who here has said that before?! :lmao:), we pretty much ran ourselves ragged, but had an awesome time. We've managed to go back a couple of times since then. We are already planning to leave the guys at the resort while we close down DTD each night with our adventures in shopping.

:surfweb:DD, our reluctant travel buddy. He doesn't see the appeal of WDW yet, but after a few days at Epcot and all the great meals I have planned, I think he'll be a convert. :thumbsup2 He doesn't tolerate crowds well and likes to tour things at a slow pace, so I'm working on a new kind of touring plan to make sure he has a good time. We'll plan breaks and I won't worry if I don't see everything again on this trip--we'll be back. :rolleyes1

When the 4 of us get together, food is always on the shortlist! We love to cook, eat, share meals, and try new things. So this trip is completely arranged around our ADRs. We booked before the free dining announcement, so that was an amazing bonus that saved us $600! :woohoo:

We'll be at the World for 7 nights. I've been mulling over restaurant choices for months, but I tried to choose based on places we've enjoyed in the past, things we thought my dad should experience, and some new places none of us have eaten at. Here are the places we're planning to eat so far:


Mama Melrose (dinner) (DH requested this one, so we'll kick off the trip with it and see the Osborne lights to get in the holiday spirit):santa:
Boma (breakfast)
Flame Tree BBQ
Ohana (dinner)--hoping to see Wishes during dinner or before/after from the Poly. beach :yay:
Kona (breakfast)--never been!
Sunshine Seasons (lunch)
La Cellier (dinner)
Crystal Palace (breakfast)
Cosmic Rays
Earl of Sandwich (dinner)
Tutto Italia (dinner)
Pepper Market (breakfast and probably a lunch)
The Wave--never been!
Chefs de France (lunch)--never been!
Wolfgang Puck Express (dinner)
Jiko--dinner


We're also planning some pastry breakfasts from Main St Bakery and Epcot. We have some lunches open where we'll eat Counter Service, but I'm not sure where yet, as those days are pretty open so far on our touring plan.

I've also started thinking about snacks I want to try that I've never had before, like school bread and a dole whip! Definitely time to make sure I try those this trip!! I'll post my snack plan another day.

I saw today on the DIS that the Candlelight Processional dining package is now 2 TS credits for a set menu, so I don't think we are going to do that. :sad2: It's just not worth that high of a cost to me. DM and I have seen it and while I think DH and DD would enjoy it, I don't want to pay OOP for a set menu or use the 2 credits. We're already planning to pay OOP for Jiko and a couple of breakfast meals. I'm frustrated with the new CP guidelines, and it's annoying that WDW hasn't published all the costs yet for those who don't want to use 2 TS credits. :mad:

That's all for now--time to get back to work on the classes I'll be teaching starting next week. I'll check back in with planning updates as they come up. The DIS makes planning and waiting so much more exciting!!:lovestruc

reyasmommy
08-22-2009, 11:26 AM
Congratualtions on your upcoming graduation! I hope you all have a magical time, which I'm positive you will! :thumbsup2

I'm also really looking foward to all the yummy food at WDW for our trip in March. I'm currently pregnant and plan on dieting like crazy after the baby is born before my trip, so I know I'm going to REALLY enjoy eating, eating, eating when on our vacation! :banana:

LOVEMY3KIDDOS
08-22-2009, 01:02 PM
Hi! Joining in! We will be there at the same time! (Well, you arrive a few days before us, but for the most part...) Sounds good so far! Can't wait to hear more! You will be making those adr's in just a few days!!! Good luck getting everything you are looking for! pixiedust:

SilverL
08-22-2009, 05:15 PM
Take your dad to see Lights! Motors! Action! at DHS and he'll be hooked. My dad can still gripe about the price of the first vacation we ever took, I'm sure, but he will admit that he liked that show! :rotfl:

jsantini
08-22-2009, 07:17 PM
Congratualtions on your upcoming graduation! I hope you all have a magical time, which I'm positive you will! :thumbsup2


I'm also really looking foward to all the yummy food at WDW for our trip in March. I'm currently pregnant and plan on dieting like crazy after the baby is born before my trip, so I know I'm going to REALLY enjoy eating, eating, eating when on our vacation! :banana:

Thanks! Eating around the world while preggers sounds like a great way to get the baby hooked on Disney from early days! :)

jsantini
08-22-2009, 07:18 PM
Hi! Joining in! We will be there at the same time! (Well, you arrive a few days before us, but for the most part...) Sounds good so far! Can't wait to hear more! You will be making those adr's in just a few days!!! Good luck getting everything you are looking for! pixiedust:

Thanks! Are you counting down to ADR day?

Take your dad to see Lights! Motors! Action! at DHS and he'll be hooked. My dad can still gripe about the price of the first vacation we ever took, I'm sure, but he will admit that he liked that show! :rotfl:

That's a great idea! Will do!

jsantini
08-22-2009, 07:21 PM
I just booked our La Nouba tickets. It's the one "extra" thing we are doing while at WDW. All 4 of us are huge Cirque fans, and these tickets will be a surprise gift to my parents for their 30th anniversary while we are there. 98 days to go...

LOVEMY3KIDDOS
08-25-2009, 10:14 AM
[QUOTE=jsantini;33267932]Thanks! Are you counting down to ADR day?


Absolutely!! Just over one week to go!! Can not wait!!!!

jsantini
09-01-2009, 06:57 PM
A few days ago, we had all booked our flights, so I went in to my Disney Vacation account to add the flight information to the Magical Express stuff. The dropdown list of airlines didn't include my airline, though. Indignant, I called Disney to add the flight info over the phone. Turns out my airline wasn't included because it does NOT fly into MCO! :headache: Arghgh! How did I miss that? :confused: We're flying into Sanford. This trip is to celebrate my graduation, but apparently being in graduate school isn't really making me any smarter. :rotfl: Grrr. So, now we'll have to book transfers as we've decided we don't want to rent a car, even though it's cheaper.

We decided to fly Allegiant because we saved several hundred dollars, and it's our only option for a direct flight. However, in researching the transportation issue here on the Dis, I found that many people think Allegiant is unreliable. I've only flown them once, to Vegas, and it was fine. We could have weather delays in Dec. and then I guess we'd be in trouble since Allegiant only flies to Orlando/Sanford twice a week from our area. :mad: I'm going to try not to think about it. The flights are booked, and we'll hope for the best.

jsantini
09-01-2009, 09:26 PM
On Aug 31, I got up at 5:40 am to prepare for booking my ADR's online. After my flight debacle, I wasn't going to mess this up! I'd bookmarked all the restaurants we wanted and was ready with multiple tabs open. I had my ADR wish list out, with ideas for backup plans if my top picks didn't work out. I was nervous about using the online system for the first time.

But it went awesome!:banana: We got all our times, with one compromise on a later time for Le Cellier. I've listed our dining plan below. That being said, I do feel really bad for people who really do plan ahead, but still aren't able to get the reservations they'd like or who just don't know how far ahead you really do have to plan for that. It just seems wrong to pay so much for a vacation and not be able to eat at many of the restaurants you'd like to by the time the vacation finally rolls around. By the time I'd made all my reservations, many of my top picks were already unavailable. The next day, most of my top picks were unavailable for the whole week of our vacation! I do hope that reservations will open up for people who haven't been able to get what they wanted if some people cancel.

Here's our dining strategy since our trip revolves largely around food at Disney! :love: I've put an * next to all the restaurants we're trying for the first time.

Day 1--Arrive in Afternoon, Disney Studios
Dinner at Jiko*

Day 2--Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom
Breakfast at Boma
Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ
Dinner at Ohana

Day 3--Epcot
Breakfast at Kona*
Lunch at Sunshine Seasons
Dinner at Le Cellier

Day 4--Magic Kingdom
Breakfast at Crystal Palace
Lunch at Columbia Harbor House or Cosmic Rays
Dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express*

Day 5--Resorts Touring and Magic Kingdom
Breakfast at Pepper Market
Lunch at Earl of Sandwich
Dinner at The Wave*

Day 6--Epcot
Breakfast at France or Norway--pastries :worship:
Lunch at Chefs de France*
Dinner at Tutto Italia

Day 7--Disney Studios
Breakfast at Starring Rolls
Lunch at Mama Melrose
Dinner at Downtown Disney somewhere

Day 8-We leave our resort at 4 am to get to airport :sad2: so we'll grab some pastries and fruit from Pepper Market the day before to take with us for breakfast.

AlohaPolynesian
09-01-2009, 11:05 PM
Hey there! Congrats on graduating...mine is a graduation celebration trip as well. Your thread title reminds me of the song "Princes of the Universe" by Queen so I just HAD to click!

Have you considered upgrading the free dining to deluxe dining? It was only about $150 total for the upgrade for my mom and me, so it might be worth it if you are already thinking about paying for things OOP!

ADR's look good and I am excited to hear more about your plans!

LOVEMY3KIDDOS
09-04-2009, 11:40 AM
Congrats on all the ADR's! I did mine yesterday with much success...a little rearranging, but not too much!