View Full Version : The McSparklesons Bring Their Own Fireworks..... The WHOLE Family!

11-13-2011, 12:07 PM
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Blue"]Well, for some reason, DISboards decided to move this TR into the completed trip reports section, BEFORE we even begin!!! I've asked twice to please reinstate but nothing is happening so...... I'll start again.....

[SIZE="7"]OLD THREAD REINSTATED - GO TO http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2784409

11-13-2011, 12:14 PM
You will see that I'm copying and pasting a lot from my "closed" PTR.... :rolleyes1

We moved to SC in June, 2010, and I took a week off work to get the house in order. So once I went back to work (I'm blessed that I can work from home and see my boss in TN about once a year, or less......), I REALLY went to work..... on our WDW plans!

Even though we were still about a year an a half away, Kami and I really wanted Mom and Dad to make some decisions. Yes, we have been there since the dinosaurs roamed Magic Kingdom and did the wave while watching fireworks, but we still felt that this vacation was for THEM.

Which is why The Notebook came to be.

Yes, I ade a big fat notebook and I must have used $50 in printer ink because this was a 2" binder packed FULL of info! I separated it into separate tabs - Resorts - Restaurants - Parks. Then I subtabbed it into Deluxe/Moderate/Value, and then a tab for each TS restaurant.

OK, so I have issues...... Have you read any of my other TRs? Cause that is old news. Turn the page.

Like I said before, Jeff and I really thought that Animal Kingdom Lodge would appeal to Mom and Dad, or even Wilderness Lodge. But the mini battles began with Kami and I when she informed me she would not stay at AKL if they chose there. She had a bad experience there a couple of years ago.

I really wanted an Epcot resort, but AKL was my resort of choice. So unless Mom and Dad opted for OKW or SSR, I was really okay with any choice.

Now here came another mini battle. Kami's family is a lot like mine in that they go commando in the parks. So a resort is really a bed and bath. But again, we are not just thinking of ourselves, we have to consider Mom and Dad and find a place for them that is special. And also a place that would be nice to come back to relax mid-day.

So when I suggested renting DVC points, Kami was a little skeptical and said they may try to do something on their own. So I stuck out my tongue and said have fun at All Stars while we pay about $30 more per night and live it up in a deluxe!

OK, she doesn't know I stuck out my tongue because she's in Ohio and I'm in SC so it was over the phone. Doesn't have quite the same impact that way.

I think eventually everyone was on the same page, and I found my DVC owner who was willing to rent me all the points I needed for three rooms for 5 nights.

That's when Jeff and I decided to head down a night early. Kami and her family decided to do the same. And we still have no idea when Gma and Gpa are coming. I think they are coming to our house first and riding with us to Orlando. But they are also considering taking the train to Orlando......

They don't get that they need to make their plans NOW! Kami and I are splitting the cost of food and tickets for mom and dad. So they booked their room and need to make their own travel arrangements. I'm thinking we need to initiate firm kick in the heiney here soon........

Up next.... ADRs and WDW Survival Kits!

11-13-2011, 12:15 PM
Well, my sister the rocket scientist DID say she figured out how to post pics, but I see they are still not here.

Just another reason why Mom and Dad love me best..... I'm reliable.

On to ADRs!

This is where we had a few "issues." Kami and her family like buffets and they like DDP, neither of which appeal to the McSparklesons.

Buffets creep me out. I don't care if it is Disney. I've seen kids pick up something and put it back, and they've spent the day running their hands along the rails in queue lines, right behind the guy that went to the restroom, blew his nose, did his "bidness" and never washed his hand. And I also saw what ELSE that kid did with his hand!!!!!

So buffets are just not our thing. They are ooky.

Not to mention, I'm kind of a food snob. There! I said it!!! But really, why eat chicken nuggets when you can get bacon wrapped filet for the same price (if you are using DDP!)? Just seems to be a no brainer to me.

Disney has some incredible dining options, and I like to try new things, so why not? It's not every day you can eat in Italy, Mexico, Morocco, and Japan all in the same day, right?

Since I"m an AP holder, I can get the Tables in Wonderland card. When we lived in Florida, we had this and saved a BUNDLE!!! To save 20% off your entire order is huge for us! We don't typically order dessert, but we do like appetizers sometimes, and TIW allows us to save on this, where DDP doesn't give you an option. Furthermore, TIW save you 20% off alcohol too! And our favorite CS in Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree BBQ ALSO gives a 20% discount with TIW.

Well, we had a hard time convincing Kami's DH Todd. He is convinced that DDP saves you money no matter what. And it can, if you eat high end for each TS credit, but eating buffet for each TS credit means that WDW loves you and hopes that you pay for DDP each trip.

So I made a spreadsheet and encouraged Kami to do the same. I literally went through our ADRs and guessed at what we might order. The TIW savings for my family alone was about $400 vs DDP. No brainer.

Now it was time to actually CHOOSE where we wanted to eat!!!!

I asked Kami to come up with one Must Do for her family, and I would choose one too. Although I had to change mine to appeal to everyone else because I knew they would not enjoy Sanaa at all.....

Kami's Must Do is Whispering Canyon Cafe at WL. This will be lots of fun for MOm and Dad, and it's low key and casual. I'm sure everyone will enjoy this together.

And Mom and Dad chose San Angel Inn as their Must Do. I'm still not sure they will like this because it's more authentic Mexican than what they are used to, but the ambiance alone will make it worth it.

Kami also wanted to do 50's PT and Sci Fi.... Sci Fi we are doing for lunch one day, and 50's PT will be great for us because it's one of the few we've never experienced so far (well, aside from the Tune In Lounge with the DISmoms.... ).

So here's where we are eating......

Arrival Day, Kami and her clan are doing their own thing so we are taking Mom and Dad to DTD and Raglan Road, one of my favorites!!!! I hate that Kami is going to miss it and I hope they change their mind and meet us there.

Day 1 - San Angel Inn
Day 2 - Currently have Tutto Italia booked for an early lunch but I just nabbed a Via Napoli ADR for 2pm. I think I will let Mom and Dad peek in each place the day before and then look at the menu and decide. That way I will cancel the day before and make a ressie available for someone.
Day 3 - O'Hana. This ended up being my Must Do because we have never been able to get an ADR here. We made a lot of last minute trips when we lived in FL so never got to book this. Very excited!
Day 4 - Sci Fi Dine In for lunch; Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner.
Day 5 - Cape May Cafe for all but Jeff and I for breakfast. Jeff and I are going to Kouzzina for breakfast ALONE!!!!! Then 50's PT for dinner.
Day 6 - Akershus - this is a surprise for Ally and my dad. Ally is still my little princess so why not see them right before we leave the World? And my dad will appreciate all the princesses have to offer......

I really wish we were doing Biergarten - my dad would LOVE it! And I was pleasantly surprised the one time we had lunch here a couple of years ago (even though it IS a buffet!). And Marrakesh is so different and fun, too. I think we have a pretty good mix, and staying at BWV, I'm hoping to hit Beaches n Cream one evening if it's a nice warm day.

11-13-2011, 12:18 PM
Another pic of Ally with Grandma and Grandpa in summer of 2010.


Sorry, Kami, but when I started the new TR for some reason it won't allow me to copy and paste the pics.... I have to go to my photobucket and repost them. I may try to copy yours again later....

11-13-2011, 12:19 PM
Mom and Dad booked their flight!!!! They are flying nonstop from their local little airport (Akron/Canton) and getting in around 4pm. I expect them to get to BWV around 5 or 5:30.

Although, they will not be doing the OJ through MCO, I'm sure they will have to stop to tinkle...... then backtrack several times on the way to Magical Express..... then Mom will yell at Dad because he gets them lost. Dad will then yell at Mom telling her he knows what he's doing..... Then she will pout. Actually, she hums when she gets mad......

Ladies and Gentlemen, when the humming begins, you will know the McSparklesons are all together in WDW and the trip has begun!!!!! It's just not a family gathering without a little humming.....

Anyone ever rented a wheelchair from an Orlando company? Despite two new knees, and a new hip, Mom just can't keep up so we will have a wheelchair with us most times. And NO, there will be no ECV. Been there, done that, witnessed the crashes........ I don't think there's enough insurance available to cover her driving an ECV again.

Let me just say, I rented one for our weekend in Charleston, SC, several years ago. She ran into a building....... I kid you not!

11-13-2011, 12:28 PM
And since we ARE and extension of the original McSparklesons.....

I'm thinking I need to bring all my ears. I have sparkly ears.....


Wild animal print ears.....


bouncy ears.....


And of course Minnie ears....


And did I mention our original ears????


Cause if it's ears you want, it's ears I've got.....

And I see a new ears purchase in about 3 months.....

11-13-2011, 12:39 PM
Glad to see you are still reporing Kara even though the Dis tried to shut you down. We are under 5 weeks, but you are much closer. Have a great trip!

11-13-2011, 12:57 PM
OK, now I'm going to try to repost Kami's post and pics.....

The sister has arrived!!!! Let me start by saying, I am not the witty writer my sister is, but I am just as disturbed!!!

Yes, my family too, loves the Mouse!!! We have been to WDW 3 times - 2004, 2007 and 2010. It is myself, Kami, 39, DH Todd, 40, DD Emma, 13 and DS Spencer, 11.

DS had a little trouble standing still so the twins had to help him out - 2004


Being goofy with Goofy in 2007


Gloomy times with Eeyore in 2010


Family vacation - 2011


Actually I am very excited about this trip!!! My DH, not as much. He has a few hesitations. The biggest being DDP vs TIW. I am a little skeptical as well, but KJ and I did our spreadsheets, and on paper, it will be a savings of at least $400. It is nice to pay and not think about it again, but hey - $400 is $400!!!

And what I keep reminding him is, we don't have to stay together for a whole week!!! We have our ADR's, but other than that, nothing is set in stone!!! We are actually staying in MK our last day as the rest of the fam heads off to other parts of the World.

We are arriving on Saturday and plan to get most of the day in the park. Not sure when KJ is getting there, but my parents probably about 5:30ish. It would be nice to meet them at BW and spend the evening checking out the resort. DH doesn't want to "plan" anything in case we are having a nice day in the parks, but I don't want to miss anything on the Boardwalk either!!! ( I have always wanted to see someone eat fire!!!!)

We are big time park people - resorts are a room and shower!
2004 - ASM (Loved it!!!!)
2007 - Pop Century (Was nice, probably wouldn't do again)
2010 - AKL - (Very bad experience!!!)

I was very surprised, like KJ, that the folks picked BW, but looking forward to a new experience!

Now the biggest difference with my sister and I - FOOD!!! She is all about the restaurants and trying new things. Me - Give me a burger and let me get back to the rides and shows!!!! So we have both had to give in here and there. We are buffet people, and as she has mentioned, they are not! I am pretty happy with the meals we have planned, although I need to see if we can get into CP at MK on our last day. I love the Pooh characters. And once again - buffet!

So I am ready! I have the boxing gloves, band aids, and video camera to record it all!!!!!

Well look at me, all cool like that!!! ;)

11-13-2011, 01:06 PM
And now I am current!!! Well, with the exception of all the replies, and replies to replies, and the rare, but quite entertaining replies to the replies to the replies.....

The shirts are.... ALMOST done! Still have to do Todd's when I head to Grandma and Grandpa's for Thanksgiving - Kami is giving me his shirts then. But I have everyone else's done! I still have to wash a few, but aside from that.....

Well, there is one more SURPRISE shirt for everyone!!!! Only Ally and I know about it.... ;)

This one is black for my family, green for Kami's and red for Grandma and Grandpa....


Front and back of one......


And the other one that I think we should wear on arrival day... let's make mom and dad wear it on the plane, sound good Kami? ;)


For the first time making shirts, I washed them AFTER I did the transfer (in addition to washing them before). I've had some bleed on me before so I think this will be better, even if they do fade just a bit......

AND, a wonderful arrival I got a few weeks ago. I wanted to get something special for Grandma and Grandpa BEFORE they went to WDW, so Ally and I met them in Minneapolis for my uncle's funeral back in July. I brought them a WDW survival package which included an over the door shoe holder, pop up hamper, travel size goodies, nightlight, hand sanitizer, rain ponchos, a Vera Bradley hipster for Mom for the parks, and a couple of other goodies.

I spent a week talking to the manager of the Boardwalk merchandising trying to secure something else that can only be bought AT the resorts..... But finally, a package arrived.....



Ta da!!!! Resort refillable mugs! And to think I was just there in May and FORGOT to get them! So I ordered 2 for Grandma and Grandpa and 2 for Jeff and me. Now if I can just get everyone to remember them when we go!

I think when we head up for Thanksgiving, I will get some of Grandma and Grandpa's things and bring them back with me and then take them to Disney for them. After all, we are driving and they are flying, no sense in packing all that stuff and possibly going over weight on bags when we can easily take it in our van.......

We are now...... 27 days from Disney!!!! :cool1: And for the record, YES, the packing has begun!!!!

11-14-2011, 10:32 AM
I know Ally doesn't want me to let Aunt Kami know, but I'm surprising everyone with another shirt..... so Kami, don't tell anyone else!!!

Here's the design.....


And I ordered shirts the color of the individual ornaments. So mine will be lime green (interesting as a DISer, huh?), Kami's is a deep purple, etc.....

Ally just loved this design, so we picked out all the shirts last night and they should be here tomorrow. Heading to Office Max to get more transfers tonight.....

Can't really pack until after Thanksgiving because I need the luggage! Plus, just don't know about that crazy Florida weather until just a few days before......

11-14-2011, 12:35 PM
I wondered where ur PTR went. Gkad you are back with some great updates!! Love all the cute shirts. Don't forget the resort mugs!!:)