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PittypatBR 04-16-2007 05:35 PM

NO COMMANDO?? . . . .ARGHH! Can I do this?

Now I am NOT talking about underwear here. I am 61 years old, and that is not an issue. :lmao: I AM talking about my type A personality, and my well researched, SEE EVERYTHING style of touring the World. Can I harness my inclinations enough to follow, rather than lead? Can I keep my mouth shut when people in my group want to shop, or eat, or visit the Hall of Presidents FIRST THING IN THE MORNING? Can I stop quoting the Unofficial Guide, or the Dis boards, or the Disney with Kids book? It’s gonna be a challenge, all right. Well, you say, why would I want to keep all that expertise to myself? I’ll explain shortly.

First let me introduce the players and then give you a little history.

First is Pittypat herself, mother of 3, Mimi to 8 (and another on the way). We’ll refer to her as Mimi in this epistle. Has read most of the guidebooks, has every known Disney site bookmarked on her computer, and visits most of them. Wears Mickey earrings, a Minnie watch, and has a Mickey house key, for Heaven’s sake. Maker of the PLAN. :thumbsup2

Next, DH of 40 years, Pop – we could call him Pokey, cause he just loooves to saunter along. (Do I need to mention that I walk fast?) He wants to be spontaneous. He’s along to watch the kids, not for the rides. :goodvibes

DGS, 8 will be called Dreamer, because he does tend to go off in his own world sometimes. This makes him very low maintenance, but you never know if he is actually hearing you when you tell him something. Does not like to expend a lot of energy. :3dglasses

DGD, 5 could be called Curly. Remember the little girl who had the curl in the middle of her forehead? Yeah, that one. We’re just going to call her Wild Child, Pop’s rather apt nickname for her. Usually non-stop energy.:yay:

DD, call her Sweetpea, is my precious daughter and good friend, fantastic mother, and fellow Disney fanatic. Aids and approves the PLAN. The trip was her idea. Wild Child had a terrible episode last year with childhood migraine and lost three months out of her life curled up on the couch when she wasn’t throwing up. That was when SweetiePie decided that delayed gratification was over-rated and her family would get another trip to Disney this year. The migraines are now under control, thanks to a fantastic doctor and several meds a day. :cutie:

DSIL will be YaYa, because this is what Dreamer called him when he was little and it stuck. He’s a great son in law, and likes to see my daughter happy. He thinks vacations are for relaxing. ???? :laughing:

I just wanted to jump in here and add an index. They merged my pre-trippie and TR, so a little navigational aid may be in order!

Beginning of Trip Report:

Day 1 – Arrival and MK, Part 1 Pg 5, # 63

Arrival and MK, Part 2 Pg 5, # 69
Day 2 – MGM-Disney Studios, Part 1 Pg 6, #80
DS, Part 2 Pg. 7, # 92
Extra Comments Pg 7, # 96
Day 3 – Epcot, Part 1 Pg. , #115
Epcot, Part 2 Pg. 8, #119
Day 4 – Magic Kingdom, Part 1 Pg. 9, #132
MK, Part 2 Pg. 9, #135
Day 5 – Animal Kingdom, Part 1 Page 11, # 151
AK, Part 2 Page 11, #159
Epcot again, page 12, #172
Our last day
A Bad Ending to a great trip
The Trip Home
Extra Pics and Final Thoughts, the good and the bad
The End

Now when I was growing up back in the dark ages, my family didn’t take vacations. I don’t think I even knew anyone in my small rural southern town who took vacations. When I grew up and got married, I didn’t even take a honeymoon – I got married one day, graduated from college the next day, traveled 300 miles to my new apartment and unloaded the uhaul the next day, and started my new job the next. Some years and three kids later, we took our first vacations, and went to the beach in the summer. Then my DH was sent to Brazil for two months to help build a plant, and I stayed home with the kids. After DH’s time was up, we had the choice of me joining him in Rio for a week, or getting the money to spend on a family vacation. Since my dad died during the time DH was gone, and I didn’t have anyone to keep the kids anyway, we took the money. So guess what we spent it on – our dream vacation – Disneyworld. :cloud9:

Next Time: The magic of Disney (very old photos coming up!)

timandlesley 04-16-2007 08:50 PM

Very good start, enjoying it so far. I don't think (o.k. I KNOW I wouldn't be able to do commando style Disney) everyone followed my lead last year and if you read my report when they questioned one thing I had a bit of a meltdown ;) so good luck to you :goodvibes
Looking forward to pics, always enjoy the reports with pics.

roxannensteve 04-16-2007 09:14 PM

Liking it so far - I'll be here waiting for more. :thumbsup2

PittypatBR 04-17-2007 12:08 AM

The Magic of Disney
Our dream vacation was in 1977, and Disneyworld consisted of the Magic Kingdom and WDW Village. Epcot, et al, were still a twinkle in an imagineer’s eye. ;) The only Disney lodgings were the Contemporary, the Polynesian, and the Wilderness campgrounds, I think. We couldn’t afford Deluxe, and didn’t want to camp, so we stayed in the Dutch Inn near WDW Village. I went back years later and tried to figure out which hotel had taken its place, but couldn’t remember its exact location. It was very nice, and had a swimming pool in the shape of a windmill. Very cool. :cool2: For years I saved a couple of those soaps with windmills embossed on them. DS’s were 8 and 6, and DD turned 4 while we were there. Here is Mickey kissing her on her birthday.

We took one day to go to Cypress Gardens, but otherwise spent the whole time at the Magic Kingdom with some time at the Walt Disney World Village, the precursor of Downtown Disney, and the abandoned and mourned Discovery Island.

Here's the whole gang 30 years ago!

I miss Discovery Island, but it surely wouldn't be practical with the mobs of people that visit now.

The characters were always friendly.

Remember the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? It was one of our favorites.

It was a wonderful trip, and totally infected me with the Disney bug. Watch out – it’s contagious! :cheer2:

Next – we learn to PLAN! (And I try to master the art of larger pictures!)

PittypatBR 04-17-2007 02:15 AM

The next trip - we learn to PLAN!
In the intervening years, my DH got tied up in building a camp in the swamp, and was more interested in that than in going back to Disney. So DD and I decided to take a girls’ trip when she was 22. That’s when we perfected our touring style – commando all the way! We bought several books, particularly the Unofficial Guide, and we TOURED!! We got up early, took a brief afternoon break, and stayed late. We basically saw it all and rode it all. (DD, DS#1, and I are the ones who ride everything – love the coasters!) This trip embedded the infection deep in our souls, and we vowed to return

Here we are having a blast.

Eventually grandchildren intervened, and to celebrate our 35th anniversary, DH and I brought DD’s DS to the World for his third birthday. (DD had 6 mo old DD at home, and was happy to share with us.) A big success for all of us, and DGS’s favorite thing was Disney transportation! Even more than the parks, he loved him some monorail, boat, train, and bus!!

Next up: a few flies in the ointment

NMAmy 04-17-2007 06:03 AM

Pittypat: This is great! I love the old pictures. Be sure to tell your dd how lucky she is to have a mom who loves WDW. My parents took us in 1976 and my mom says she has no need to go back because she's already been. :rotfl2: She doesn't understand that it's changed a bit since then.

Can't wait to read more!

roxannensteve 04-17-2007 06:34 AM

Wow, is this ever bringing back memories, I was there around that year too!!!:goodvibes

blue_river 04-17-2007 08:00 AM

The old pictures are a great touch :thumbsup2

I can't wait to see how this is going to turn out, it sounds like a lot of fun! :banana:

dddisrunner 04-17-2007 09:27 AM

What a terrific start! I love all the old pics. You and your daughter seem very close!:hug: She is very lucky to have you! I think my kids would be so thrilled if their grandparents loved Disney as much or more then them! Looking forward to more!:surfweb: Is there any another way to do Disney besides commando?:confused3 :rotfl:

PittypatBR 04-17-2007 10:46 AM

Thanks so much for all your kind comments. This is my first thread, so I am learning as I go along. I'm not up to quoting yet, so I will answer en masse! We always prepare for a trip by looking at all the old pics, not that we need much help getting excited. :rotfl: My daughter and I are very close - we talk on the phone every morning for 30 min. to an hour, since she now lives seven hours away. We see them about every 4-6 weeks, though, and the kids spend a week with us at every opportunity! :love: We have to share that Disney love with as many people as possible, don't we? If you like them, I will try to scan and post a few more of the old pictures when I get a chance.

PittypatBR 04-17-2007 11:23 AM

A few flies in the ointment
So, fast forward thirty years from the original to this vacation. Two years ago we made the trip with DD, DSIL, DGD 18, DGS 6, and DGD 4. It was a combination family vacation and graduation trip for DSIL’s oldest daughter, my FIRST granddaughter. (She's a sweetie, a soph in college, and we're having lunch tomorrow!) princess:

This was our big celebratory dinner at California Grill. Yummmy!

Now this was great, but there were a few tiny little flies in the ointment.

First, it rained. And it rained. And it rained. :sad2: The only day of sunny beautiful weather was the very first day we arrived at Coronado Springs. (You know, the one with the beautiful pool and fantastic children’s playground - which we were able to enjoy ONLY the first day we arrived!) So we did a lot of touring in the rain, dealing with wet ponchos, wet shoes, wet hair, etc. :umbrella: And obviously, no swim and play breaks to de-stress the kiddos (and the parents). :(

Second, 18 year olds aren’t really interested in the same things as 6 and 4 year olds. Plus they like to sleep late in the morning and stay up late at night. :cool: Of course, if the younger ones didn’t get to bed at a decent hour, they were cranky all the next day. :sad1:

Third, DSIL likes to relax when he goes on vacation. That means he DOESN’T particularly like being herded, or hurried. :rolleyes1

Fourth, DH has a bad back, and he likes a LONG mid-day break for a nap and TV news. :upsidedow

Coronado Springs is a lovely resort, and we had great connecting rooms in the Casas, close to the bus stop and the food. But certain members of the party wanted to spend a lot more time in those rooms than I did. :confused:

They DO sell wine in the resort gift shops – trust me on this. DD and I shared it. :laughing:

It was a fantastic trip, and we all had a great time, but I came home with the realization that if we went back to DW with them, I needed to REALLY back off on the schedule. My DSIL and I get along very well, and I want to keep it that way. :rolleyes1

So, the challenge for this trip is to see if I can make a plan to accomplish what everyone wants, make ADR’s for the right meal at the right time and place, build in plenty of slack time and options, and then back off and roll with the punches. :woohoo: (Hopefully the punches will be figurative and not literal!) :scared1: Sounds pretty reasonable, huh? My DH doesn’t think I can do it. We’ll see . . . . :dance3:

Next time: Here’s the PLAN

PittypatBR 04-19-2007 02:32 AM

Here's the PLAN
We are all flying into Orlando Saturday May 5, from two different locations and different airlines, but arriving (hopefully) about 15 minutes apart. :goodvibes DD and family are coming from Dallas, and DH and I are flying from New Orleans. We will meet at Magical Express, unless one of the flights is delayed. Then on to Pop Century. We wanted to try a different resort this time, and we are very excited about Pop. :banana: Sweetie Pie made the plans for all of this, and contacted the travel agent for both of us. We have the meal plan and got the special ticket package with parkhopper, water parks, etc. We have seven day tickets, but will probably change to eight day after we get there, unless we really don’t make it to a park one day.

I spent a lot of time checking the UG recommendations and crowd predictions, park and parade hours, and dining ideas, and consulting with DD. She really wanted to do the Fantasmic package at Mama Melrose, Coral Reef, Liberty Tavern, and Boma. I really wanted to try le Cellier, and she agreed. We both wanted to try Kona and also wanted to do 1900 Park Fare for the princess dinner especially for Wild Child. We went to Boma last time and Coral Reef back in 96, but all the others are new to us. (Well, we did go to Liberty Tavern 30 years ago, but I don’t think that counts!!) :rotfl: After all this agreement, Sweetie Pie left it up to me to decide when to go where, and I made the ADR’s. I was a little concerned about that, because we were only a couple of months out, but managed to get what I wanted with some compromises about time. :thumbsup2 We did Chef Mickey’s last visit on arrival day, and loved the character dinner to really start things for the kids with a bang. So Park Fare is on for arrival day. princess:

Saturday 5/5 Arrive 11:30-11:45. Check in and leave bags either in the room if we’re lucky or with bell service and head to Magic Kingdom. We are going to 1900 Park Fare at 7, and after that see how tired everyone is. We will either go back to MK for Spectromagic and Wishes, or spend some time checking out the Grand Floridian and watch the water parade and Wishes from there. :yay:

Sunday 5/6 This will be our Disney Studios day. Our Mama Malone ADR is early, at 4:20, so we will probably grab something small for breakfast and eat lunch very early. We can catch the parade at 3, and then Fantasmic at 9. We probably won’t get too early a start, so DS is pretty manageable with a later start. TofT and RRC really only appeal to DD and me, so if we don’t get to do them it’s okay. We don’t have a lot of must sees here, so we will enjoy whatever we get to do. :smickey:

Monday 5/7 Since this will probably be the busiest day while we are there, we’re going to Epcot that morning. ADR’s at Coral Reef for 12:20, so after that we probably won’t stay too long and will take a break at Pop and then go to DD, miniature golf, or whatever. (See, I am trying hard to build in flex time!) ;)

Tuesday 5/8 This will be another MK day. We have Liberty Tavern at 5:25 and will probably leave shortly after that. :bounce:

Wednesday 5/9 Animal Kingdom day, and we will play it by ear whether we stay for the afternoon parade or take an afternoon break at Pop. We’ve never seen the parade, and we have a 5:20 ressie at Boma. We want to take a little tour while there, because this is where we would love to stay next trip. Being able to watch the animals from the resort would be a big plus for us. We may try to catch the story time after dinner. :woohoo:

Thursday 5/10 We have flex time built into the morning, because our ADR at Le Cellier is at 4:20, and we need to get there early. They didn’t have a table for all of us together, so if we get there early we should be able to be close together. Also Nelson is playing that night, and I want to catch their show after dinner. We will stay for Illuminations. :rockband:

Friday 5/11 This is another flexible day. If we get rained out of something earlier in the week, we can do make-up. Otherwise we will probably do a water park in the morning, and Downtown Disney, Disney Quest, or miniature golf in the afternoon. We are going to Kona for 6:40, and will go to the beach afterward for the water parade and to watch Wishes. pixiedust:

Saturday is our departure day, but not until afternoon. Pop and I leave at 4:50, and Sweetie Pie, YaYa, Dreamy, and Wild Child leave at 6:30 . So we will check out, leave the bags, and go the MK to say farewell. We have a backup ADR at Crystal Palace for 10:30 in case we cancel one earlier in the week. If we have used our TS meals by then we will cancel it and do counter service, probably at Pecos Bill’s. We will have to allow plenty of time to get back to Pop and take ME to the airport. :sad1:

So that’s the PLAN. When we visited two years ago, we got to see most of the most important things, so if we miss a few this time it’s still okay. We want to catch Expedition Everest and the Finding Nemo show in AK, Turtle Talk with Crush and the new Nemo focus at the Seas in Epcot, and see the new themed Pirates of the Caribbean and the Monsters Inc Comedy Club in MK. We want to spend the most time in MK, because for our kids it is the biggie. Dreamy and Wild Child were not big on the coasters last trip. :eek: Dreamy is very cautious, and Wild Child was a little young. She rode BTRR, and they both rode SM, but that was about it. It will be interesting to see how they do this time. We would like to go to Fort Wilderness one evening. I think the kids would really enjoy the petting zoo, pony rides, hayride, and campfire. And this is our first time for the Flower and Garden Festival, so Sweetie Pie and I are looking forward to that. We haven’t been to Disney Quest before, and since Dreamy is really getting into the video games Sweetie Pie thinks he would enjoy doing some and watching others. That’s not something that appeals to me much, so Wild Child and I might go to a water park while they go there. Omigosh, there is SO MUCH to do and SO LITTLE time!! Can I really relax and go with the flow? I honestly don’t know, but I know I have to keep my big mouth shut and not try to get anyone to do more than they want to do. After all, that’s what vacation is all about! And the moments of joy for the kids are the BEST! :lovestruc

PrincessV 04-20-2007 02:26 PM

Terrific start! :thumbsup2 I love that you're making such wonderful WDW memories with three generations :goodvibes

I hear you on the whole Commando thing. I've gotten pretty good at taking mid-day breaks and even sleeping in one day, (like I have a choice with DS5, right?!), but I don't know how I'll handle lots of followers with varying opinions on what they want to do. Unfortuantely, I won't be back by the time you leave, and you'll be gone when I get back, so we won't be able to compare notes till it's too late!

Looking forward to more popcorn::

PittypatBR 04-20-2007 11:04 PM

Two weeks from now I will be PACKING THE CAR for the trip to the airport the next morning! :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: Okay, I think I have to go get everything out and spread it out in the guest bedroom so I can just look at it and see what I still need to get. It's amazing how every time I go anywhere shopping things just JUMP into my cart for the trip. :rolleyes1 I absolutely can't pass a Dollar Tree without going in and browsing some more. Today I picked up 4 more disposable ponchos and a small bound book and some Disney stickers to make a little book for the grandkids. I read the suggestion somewhere to put different stickers in and let the kids check off things they have seen to entertain them in lines. So now I have to go collect some more and different stickers tomorrow! I got a little distracted from the preparations because DGS 8 is doing a Flat Stanley activity with his class so I had to take Stanley around town for pictures. :woohoo: Then I had to print pictures, tape them on card stock, write captions, add trinkets for the class, etc. (Think his teachers will cop to the fact that I am a retired teacher?) :rotfl: Maybe she will be so happy that he will get in less trouble for missing a week of school for Disney. :rolleyes1 Anyhoo, I got that mailed off so can now get back to the important Disney stuff. I've gotta get those lime green Mickeys attached to everything! :dance3:

dddisrunner 04-21-2007 08:38 AM

Your ADR's sound terrific! I hope all your plans work out the way you want! You will be leaving about 2 days after we get back! I hope you have a terrific trip!:wizard:

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