"But WHY did you do it?" Our Annual Disney Christmas trip PTR/TR Completed 10-17-11!!
Why did he do it??
I will certainly explain the title later!
Hi all! My name is Jess and welcome to my latest PTR/TR!
I've been a member of the boards since June 2008, but have only done 1 trip report of my last 3 trips...I think it's the Disney blues of the trip being over with that I run out of steam on the TR, so bear with me as I'm trying to stick with this one! :thumbsup2
The cast members:
Jess, 26, that's me...I'm the disney girlfriend, I love planning and being a usual OCD disney planner, and spend at least a few times a week browsing the food boards and keeping up with my fellow dis'ers! If I could go to Disney just to eat all day and night, I would.
I'm an aquarist, I take care of salt water fish, sharks and eels. I have my Master's in Environmental Biology. I love all food, mostly chicken, fish, steak and of course dessert. I'm allergic to milk products, so have to be careful in the world, but thanksfully Disney is great at accomodating the non-dairy ice cream!
Fav Park: Magic Kingdom, with Animal Kingdom following a close second
Dream Resort: Poly or Beach Club
Random Disney favs: TTA, cosmic rays, peanut butter, pirates, toy story mania, the lion king and little mermaid, coconut, test track, green tea, dinosaur, the mountains (space, thunder and splash), haunted mansion and mickey waffles
Blake, 26, the disney boyfriend...we've been together for 6 1/2 years. He also has his master's, but with a concentration in Fisheries Science. As you can tell, he does it very often. That's his citation flounder from this past summer.
Blake is a breakfast guy, we have to do a big table service breakfast at least once on our trip, while the rest of the days are devoted to devouring mickey waffles and french toast at our resort. He also loves fish, steak and brownies.
Favs: Magic Kingdom and Epcot
Dream Resort: Poly or Beach Club
Random Disney favs: Test track, pretzel and cheese sauce from germany, pirates, expedition everest, toy story mania, rock and roller coaster, the mountains (space, thunder and splash), breakfast sausage, jungle cruise, the burger toppings bars
Blake and I have been going to Disney in december since we've been together. As you can see in my signature, we went in 2005, 2006, 2007, always booking our trip in the summers for christmas time, then 2008 came...and we said maybe we won't go this year....and we booked around October.... 2009 comes, and we say...nope, we're skipping this year....and we booked in late November...and this year, after finally swearing this is the year we're going to skip, we're going to do an early spring trip instead...we book last night... with 13 days to spare before the start of our trip :laughing:
It's just something about Christmastime. To us, it's not that Christmas makes Disney, it's that Disney makes Christmas. All the lights and trees and decorations...case in point, a little taste of the holidays:
Now, don't you feel more Christmas-y already?
Stay tuned...for more details, including the whens and wheres!
Saved for Links
Saved for chapter links:
1. Who are we? Look above!
2. The Nitty Gritties
3. A bit of sad news
4. ADR's of Christmas Past
5. ADR's of Christmas Future
6. ADR's of Christmas Present
7. This time next week...Day 1
8. Final ADR's? And some Goodies!
9. This time next week...Day 2
1. The reason behind the trip
2. The night before and travel night
3. Our first adventure
4. Starting the morning in Epcot
5.A perfect afternoon
6. A trip to Mexico and some fishy friends
7. Beyond Beaches and Cream
8. The end of a perfect Disney day and night
9. Day 2..movies and the 50's
10. Backlot, One Man's Dream and some sun worshippers
11. The best meal of our entire lives
12. A long overdue update...Osbourne Lights
13. Rain Rain on Our MK Day
14. Rain Rain on Our MK Day part 2
15. Rain Rain on Our MK Day part 3
16. Rain Rain on Our MK Day part 4
17. Rain Rain on Our MK Day part 5
18. The end..sadly without pictures
Am I first? :cool1: That is a rarity for me!!!
I'm so excited for you last minute trip plans. Part of me thinks doing that would tame the trip planning OCD. Just pack your bags, hop a plane and vacation on a whim!
I'm so excited to see your christmas trip! I'm still hoping to go next year and your pictures already get my juices going :goodvibes
Woo Hoo!! I'm so excited for your trip!! :banana:
Part of me thought it was good that Blake booked it last minute, but my freak out mode came out at first, as I'll explain later :rotfl:
The Nitty Gritties:
The Continued Story:
So here's really what happened. Let's call this Jess' freak out mode entry.
Over the last few weeks now that Christmas has been getting closer...Blake and I have been getting a little sad as it's finally setting in that we weren't going to the world because we always go the same week....sometime between the 14th and the 22nd depending on when it overlapses with the weekend. Why you ask? Because with my job and the way school has been, we've either always been done finals early in the week, say around wednesday, or fridays are just easier to take off because the work load is lighter. Currently, I have a buddy at work (there's only 5 of us that work at our company) that switches fridays with me when he wants to take a fishing or hunting trip and I switch back with him whenever I want to drive home to Baltimore to see my family or have something extended that I want to do over the weekend.
So things have been a little stressful lately, Blake and I have been bickering a lot about moving, he wants to move one place, I want to move another and he has been traveling a lot lately for work so I haven't been able to see him much. On thursday, he took off because he is traveling this weekend in Rhode Island and thursday I'm normally off by 1. So, we made it a date day...we ate sushi at our favorite place down here at the Oceanfront called Soya, then went to the Virginia Aquarium (yes, I do realize that seems very, very wrong of us), then grabbed a few red box movies (The Expendables and Growns Ups). Before we went to make dinner and watch the movies, he said, just play around and see what it would cost for us to go. Now, this does not seem strange to me, as I get the urge sometimes and we play around and make up mock trips a lot. So I pull up the hotel, the ticket package, the dining...oh look, it's still free dining...and then price out plane tickets on Southwest. $1,559 is I think what I came up with. Then, I say "you don't have a secret trip planned do you?" and he kinda laughs at me and I get my sad face on and we head downstairs for dinner and movies.
I fell asleep on the couch about 9:30PM and Blake woke me up to get ready for bed around 12AM. I came upstairs, was in the middle of washing my face, when Blake pulled out our Year of a Million Dreams ears that we had won a few years ago and put mine on my head. I'm thinking "get that thing off my head, I'm tired" and he says "here, now we can wear these while we're down there." And me, being tired, half asleep is looking at him funny, when he holds up 2 pieces of paper. I'm tried to wipe the sleep out of my eyes and focus on them, when I see: Confirmation Number....
He says "it's all booked!"
"All booked?" I said..."What does that mean?"
"We're going...put your ears back on"
And what do I say? Do I jump for joy? Do I cry tears of happiness? Do I smile uncontrollably? No.....
I say..."But WHY did you do it??"
He just stares at me and his smiles fades...all I can think of is..."Oh my god, I didn't switch with my buddy at work yet, we don't have Riley (our dog) signed up for boarding, I don't have anymore valium to take with me on the trip" I'm going on and on about..."but, I wasn't there to supervise you! Did you get free dining? Are we staying where Iwe had talked about wanting to stay? I don't even have any ADR's established yet!! WHY did you do it!?! I thought we were just playing!"
Way to go Jess...so he gets sad, then I finally come to my senses...take the Confirmation Number from him and read up on what he did.....he tells me that he had been planning a trip all along, because a few weeks ago, he got a surprise check in the mail for $1700 from a rebate...he just wanted me to edit the details like I always do. So now I feel stupid...:sad2:
The next day...I ask my buddy to work for me on that friday...call boarding..2 out of 3 done already..and start snatching up whatever ADR's I can find that are still available. Ok, feeling better...
Wednesday, December 15th-Monday December 20th
Originally he had booked Music, because he couldn't figure out how to navigate over to Pop Century, but, I called yesterday and changed it because we've stayed at Music before...and the CM was able to do it without an additional fee.
So we have 5 nights in a Standard room at Pop Century (a new one for us!)
5 day Magic Your Way Tickets
Even though the Quick Service plan was free with the value resort, he upgraded to the regular dining plan because it was only $100 to change it and hey, can't argue with that!
We're flying out of Norfolk in the evening after I finish work on Wednesday the 15th, normally I'm done about 1pm or so, I'll take Riley to boarding, get cleaned up and we'll head out. Blake is in the middle of his interium period at work, so he's off from Dec 15th until Jan 2nd until the next student semester starts back up. We're flying Southwest...were able to snag $89 down and $99 back. Then we're flying back a.m. on Monday the 20th, and I'll be able to get back in work. So, in reality, I'm working wednesday, thursdays I can change because they're my shop days at work, and I move my stuff to earlier in the week without a problem, my buddy is taking Friday and I'll be back monday, so I'm not losing any time at work.
Was I able to snag any good ADR's? Were there any left?! Stay tuned...
Awww...what a good boy you have!! That's too funny that instead of excitement, you panicked :lmao: Glad you came to your senses ;)
Yesterday started off normal...got up, got some breakfast, started doing some cleaning (vacuuming, organizing some random floor and end table piles), then got a shower, got gas for my car, took the recycle down the road to the recycling center, and then got some lunch at panera. Then Blake's family calls me, and asks me if I want to go to dinner, which is a little weird because they're about 40 mins from us and we're not as close as we really should be after Blake and I being together for 6 1/2 years. While we're at dinner, my mom calls a few times, which is also weird because she never calls back to back so I know somethings up. The last time she called, I said "is there something wrong?" And she said, "well, I just have something to tell you, but want to wait until you're done dinner" and I said, "is it something bad?" and I think she kinda lost it a little and let it go that my grandmother died this morning. My grandfather came downstairs and found her. So, my dad had called Blake, Blake had called his family and they had set it up to be there around me when I found out, so I wouldn't be alone and then spent the night with me here last night.
The way my neighborhood is, we live in the old school rowhomes of the 50's (older name for townhouses), there's 6 in each group attached together and then each end has a larger yard. We live in the 2nd one, my dad's parents (my grandfather died in 2008) live in the 3rd one and my mom's parents live in the 6th one. So, having to lose grandparents is even harder because up until college, I've always lived right there by them.
But...I'm trying to take it easy today. I feel like maybe last night having his family spend the night will help with our relationship, especially Blake's sister who is 25 and has gone on several Disney trips with us before, but we have just never got that connection down.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, just wanted to take a second to say a few things about her, so rest in peace Betty Sue Ramey, I will miss you...and you want to know the weird thing....my grandma had on her calendar that yesterday, the day she died was the 3rd anniversary of her stroke. But take care grandma.:angel:
So, after scrambling to find any and all ADR's I could, I pulled out my notecards of ADR's past and reserved any restaurants that were available, knowing full and well that I could cancel them, but just to have options if our plans changed. We've only been on the dining plan once before, but for you fellow food junkies out there, I wanted to do a little mini dining review more or less listing the places with pictures of where 1) we've been to already, 2) want to eat at and then 3) the reservations I was able to get.
Because you know what...we all know and love lists :rotfl:
Places we have eaten at before:
We ate here in 2007. This was during the time I learned of my dairy allergy, but was having trouble finding a country to get reservations at and chose this one. We were lucky with this one because we drove this year and I had scheduled an ADR in the evening of the night of our arrival, and thankfully made it on time after checking in at Music. Having the appetizers still, I remember there was salad and meatballs, but don't remember the main dishes because we were starving. The tiramisu though was to die for and we really enjoyed our meal. The only thing we didn't like, was that by the time we were finished, Illuminations was almost over and we practically ran around World Showcase to get back to Future World to beat the crowd back to the buses.
Blake had never been here before, but I had been here several times with my mom in the past before the dining plan came into existence...remember when you didn't need reservations? Now you try that and the CM's will laugh at you. We loved this one, just as I remembered, we had onion rings as our app, Blake got the burger and I got a turkey sandwich.
Desert, which we barely touched was this apple crisp and chocolate thingy, there were good, but we were too stuffed to eat more than a few bites. Knowing they have a peanut butter item now makes me a little curious to eat there again ;)
Grand Floridian Cafe:
Blake and I knew we wanted to go into the GFC to see the lobby and the gingerbread house but weren't really sure about trying some of the fancier restaurants like Citricos or Narcoosse's, until I found out about GFC. We absolutely loved this place! It looks like a diner, but the food was a lot fancier and outstanding.
Blake had crabcakes, which I'm from Maryland originally and am picky with crab cakes, but these were awesome. I had a pear salad with an apple vinegrette which was delicious, then Blake had steak and I had a chicken sandwich. Because the desserts are mini, we were allowed 2 per person, a hazelnut chocolate thingy and a tiramisu and Blake opted for a cappuchino. FANTASTIC! We would definitely eat here again! I've also heard their breakfast is supposed to be good!
This was another one we thougth we weren't going to do because of mixed reviews. But back in 2007, we thought it was really good, up there with some good authentic mexican restaurants for some of the dishes, but I've heard they've changed their menu several times, so I don't know what it's like now.
Hard to get a great pic inside, but man, it's so pretty inside, especially mixed with the Christmas decorations!
Blake had an arepa for an app, well I ate most of it, then I had chicken tacos with onions and peppers and Blake had a combo plate. Desserts weren't too great, we got one of the flan's, which at least back then, wasn't great and their white chocolate bread thing was a little weird, especially texture wise. Overall though, we liked it.
We couldn't get reservations for Coral Reef in 2007, so we tried GG. It was fantastic and we will definitely go back! The atmosphere is very simple, but the food comes straight from the Land pavilion! We had fresh organic salad, cornbread, veggies, turkey, beef, and a big apple crisp for dessert (not pictured)
Plus, the characters were so cute in their farmer outfits!
Look we kinda matched!
Again, fantastic meal. Huge, lots of food. We had fresh fruit, pineapple macademia pastry, sausage, eggs, mickey waffles, biscuit, bacon and potatoes. Plus, juice and coffee. We were stuffed!
Look at Blake concentrating to pick out that last sausage...yum
And the characters...oh gosh, you should go just to get pictures and interact with Stitch. We've had pics with Stitch before in Tomorrowland in MK, but this one was hysterical. We went from this:
He was trying to eat my hair
Funniest thing ever. Definitely definitely would recommend, especially if you have young kids! We do want to eat here for dinner eventually.
Up next....is the ADR's we want to try what we end up getting?
Thanks for joining in!!
Joining in. My girls and I will be at POP thurs the 16th and fri the 17th before moving to AKV Kidani. Maybe we will run into you :) Curious about your ADR's, girls and I are not doing DP while at POP but have an ADR at 1900 PF on the 19th before MVMCP!!
So, we all know, if we had our wish, we'd love to build our perfect itinerary and have all of our times and places available. Alas, with this trip, I knew that probably wouldn't be the case because we had booked so late and I know certain prized ADR's would be snatched up well with the 180 days booking. So being happy that we're even going, I knew I wasn't going to get upset if something wasn't available. No biggie I said. But, just for giggles, here's a list of places that someday, I would love to eat at.
Boma (breakfast or dinner)
Kona Cafe (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Cape May (breakfast)
50's Prime Time
Crystal Palace (breakfast)
If I had my ultimate wish for this trip, my perfect line-up would have been:
Kona (breakfast)-All the rave I've heard about Tonga Toast and authentic Kona Coffee, Blake and I have a keurig that my mom got us a few years ago and it has truly made us coffee snobs
California Grill-sushi, and the fireworks, this seems like such the perfect dinner ending to a perfect Disney day
Ohana's (dinner)-we love to eat and I love variety, especially those noodles, potstickers and banana bread pudding
50's Prime Time-just because we eat at Sci-Fi all the time and always wanted to try this one
But..you know the drill, that didn't quite work out, however, I'm still happy with our ADR's and will fill you in with the details later ;)
If you could build a perfect ADR list what would yours be??
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