4 days until we get to He-ea-ven! 4 days until we get to Dis-ney World! Sept'12 PTR
95 days and counting. It seems every year we go to Disney, and every year we say 'Well now we can't go back next year. We're broke." Then along comes the next year, and we (as in 'I') get jittery. Next thing you know we're talking about how we might be able to make it work. And low and behold, we're going again. :cool1:
Of course there is a chance we can't go - after all we technically haven't paid for it yet, but I like to keep things positive. And seriously we need to take this trip. Our little girl just hit 40 in. it's not like I can wait until next year for her to ride Splash Mountain. ;)
Tomorrow: Get passport photos for Princess Aurora and renew her passport!
July 23rd: 45 days away. Time to pay!
Sept 6th: Time to fly
Sept 15th Time to say good-bye to the mouse for yet another year.
First up Cast of Characters:
Our little Tinker Bell was about 9 mos on our last trip and will be about 19 mos on our next trip. She LOVED the characters last time and we really hope that doesn't change this time! Preparations have begun in earnest.
Our big girls: Pirate Lilo turned five on our last trip and will be 5.5 this trip. Last trip she rode the 40 in rides, but this year she's big enough for Space mountain. Princess Aurora was three last trip. She had her first visit to the bBB. This trip she'll be just four and big enough for Splash and BTMRR.
DH. The once reluctant Disney traveler is happily going back for his 5th (or is it 6th?:rotfl2:) trip. He doesn't enjoy Disney as much as I do :confused3 but he enjoys it a lot more than most people enjoy any of their vacations.
Then there's me. I took my first Disney trip when I was about seven (I don't think even my parents know how old any of us were). I've been there pretty much every year since. Growing up my family was very focused on making the most of our time at Disney to ride rides. To see and do as much as possible. Over the years Dh and I have found we like to experience the magic more than the amount of Disney.
Gluten-free desserts. For the last three years and as many trips, we've been strictly gluten-free. Which is one of the biggest reason we LOVE going to Disney. Eating is so delicious and easy. Though this trip we might have a few curves thrown into our dinning plans.
Well that's it for now. I have to check to see if I've done these pictures right, and organize myself a bit better to get things rolling here.
Resort choice and how this trip came to be
Which parks which days and the method we use to choose them
What we do to prep the kids for 12 hours of travel and a week+ at Disney
Until next time: M-I-C See ya real soon K-E-Y Why? because we like you M-O-U-S-E
Welcome back! 94, well 93 by the time I finish writing this, days until we're back at Disney World.
We never intended to take this trip. Money's been tight this year. We just bought a new house and have expensive landscaping to do so there wasn't going to be a trip at all.
But then we found a great deal on DVC and after 5 years of talking about it, we decided to buy in. The paper work arrived and we told the girls our exciting news. Tinker Bell ran around squealing about he Mickey Mouse colouring book. But Lilo and Aurora we're less than impressed with Animal Kingdom Villas.
They wanted to stay at the Polynesian, we said that wasn't going to happen> They were upset, but said they'd be okay with Art of Animation. We broke the news to them. DVC would mean no more stays at the Polynesian and we wouldn't stay at AoA at all. They refused. Lilo had unusually high levels of sadness for someone her size and not even desserts would fix it.
We called, cancelled the DVC purchase.
There we were with a considerable sum of money that we didn't plan to have. We could pay off a credit card, put money toward retirement, but hey we might not live that long anyhow. So I suggested we take a trip to Disney after all. I mean in a sense it was already paid for :teacher: besides If it turns out the money is better spent else where we have until mid-july to cancel. ;)
We talked it over with our girls and they both agreed, they had to stay at the Poly.
To the computer I ran, checked prices (a couple dozen ways based on every possible discount) and booked our trip. Ten days at the Polynesian with DxDP. :love:
For the second year in a row we're heading to the Polynesian for over a week on a year we said we couldn't afford to go. :rotfl:
It seems I'm a horrid sister and forgot my sister's due to have her second baby during our trip (she lives near Disney), so it'll be very difficult for her to visit us (we take the ME to and fro, and don't leave Disney property while we're here). I've been feeling bad about this and considered renting a car, but then we'd also have to hope for good carseats, or haul our own (can you say heavy?) but if we haul our own we'd need to purchase a flight for our Tinkerbell because I don't trust gate checking a carseat without them damaging it.
Soooooooo - we've got a new plan! pixiedust:
After our Poly stay we'll stay 2 nights at AoA since we'd love to see it and I really want to see if I can actually hear Dory in the pool or not! :fish:
Plus Aurora thinks the girl in the picture slide show on the Disney AoA page looks like her and is holding HER Simba toy. Depsite their insistence that they'll never stay anywhere but the Poly, we've convinced them to spend 2 nights at AoA before we come home. We won't do any parks, but think we might try mini golf or go to a watermark, or spend some time at DTD. The possibilities are endless!
What would you do at Disney if you weren't going to a park (and you had 3 littles)?
Hi there! I'm here to join in and read along! I'll be down in Disney from Sept 10-21, with two different parties of people as well!! Your little ones are just adorable! I'm excited to read more!
As for things to do those last couple of days, I'd say take a relaxer, sleep in a bit, have some pool time, Downtown Disney and the Boardwalk have a lot to explore. Maybe explore some of the other resorts?
Thanks for joining in - and a fellow Albertan too! :good vibes
We're very excited to check out all AoA has to offer, especially the pool and the Elephant's graveyard - we can hardly wait. As we plan our first 10 days, we'll see if we've missed any must dos that we can catch on the last two days of relaxation.
We approach Disney differently than many people we know. When we go, we want to make the most of the magic pixiedust:. This means we don't care if we don't maximize rides or shows, but rather come away from each day with a smile. As such we don't follow touring plans, and we don't watch crowd trackers. Though we did try that once - we ended up with the worst trip (crowd wise) ever. I'm not blaming the site we used, just saying it didn't work for us. We're not really planners. Of course once you see our list of ADRS you might not believe me:rotfl2:
For this trip we'll be heading to MK first thing. Last year we tried going to HS first b/c it was advised due to crowds, also advised since we have young kids and 'they'd be let down if we went to MK first, then went to HS the next day instead of back to MK'.
Our middle girl :sad1: cried the first day "When are we going to Disney World? You promised we were going to Disney World!" It was heart breaking.
So this trip we're taking back the reins and doing it our way :banana:
First stop Magic Kingdom ON 9/07
Animal Kingdom on 9/08
Hollywood Studios on 9/09[/COLOR]
EPCOT on 9/10
back to the Magic Kingdomon 9/11 and MNSSHP that evening
Because the 11th will be mostly busy with party stuff, we'll head back to Magic Kingdom on 9/12
Animal Kingdom on 9/13
Our last official park day will be back to Magic Kingdom on 9/14
We only have one day each for EPCOT and HS because we know our girls aren't overly interested in those parks right now. We could spend more time there, but we know they'll enjoy Magic Kingdom so much more. We do have two more park ticket days we can use if we decide to go back to any park on our extra days. We'll play it by ear.
Next up ADRs - my favourite part of trip planning!
Subscribing! Your girls are beautiful :) We are also going in September (15-23)...we are new DVC members and we will be doing a split stay with an AoA/DVC resort - too bad your girls talked you out of DVC but the Poly is gorgeous!!
There are rumors that DVC is coming to the Poly so maybe in a few years you can have the best of both worlds.
I've dreamed of DVC since I found out about it many years ago, but it wasn't always feasible. Now that it is feasible the girls are big enough for their own opinion, BUT we'll be taking them for a tour this trip and see what they think. Though lsat time we mentioned it they said they're sure they'll love AK, but don't want to give up the Poly - so we really are hoping they announce a Poly DVC soon! lol though if the GF goes ahead that could be worth it. Haha Dh is still a little concerned about how DVC ownership would change our vacations and wonders if it would really be worth it financially. Since we've bought ourselves another few months to consider this gives us more time to number crunch and talk to more people about DVC.
Oh hi!:wave2: I can't believe it took me this long to find you here!! So nice to put a name to a face, and your girls are precious. Looking forward to this report! popcorn:::goodvibes
Today it hit. Vacations angst. :sad2:
This trip is going to cost us a fortune. Do ya wanna know how much? Flights by themselves will be between $2000 and $2500 :scared1: Room, tix, and DxDP is $6174 for the 6th to the 15th, room and no dining for the 15th to the 17 is $890. Just shy of 10k without gratuities, spending, or magical extras. :teacher: That equals a LOT of money!
By itself that wouldn't be that big of an issue, however, you might recall me saying we weren't planning a trip this year b/c we have so many other expenses already. Yard work starts sometime in the next week. We're building a fence, patios (two of them), a raised (stone wall) flower bed/herb garden, sod, and some trees. All of this is costing us $$$ and then we'll add a vacation on top of it?
The bonus is DH is working a ton of OT so we'll have the vacation paid for - but then the yard is on credit. If we don't take the vacation, then the yard will be almost completely paid for, with only a tiny bit on credit - and that would be paid off by October. So the big debate. Should we or shouldn't we? :confused3
We have talked about taking a smaller vacation. If we stayed moderate we'd get almost $2000 off the price. If we stayed at an All-Star resort we'd get close to $3000 off the price. BUT then we'd have a very different vacation :snooty:. We'd end up bussing it everyday (with 3 kids, a double buggy, and all the paraphernalia that goes with them). We'd have to rethink our ADRs (I am almost giddy with the choices we have this year!!). Plus we'd end up in 2 double beds (lets all sing :dance3: 'there were 5 in a bed, and the little one said...') instead of 2 queen beds plus a daybed. It was so nice last vacation to have so much space in our room. We could push the buggy in, unfolded, load it and be ready to go the next morning. All other rooms, we'd have to unload it and fold it in order to even get in the room.
So we've pretty much said we're too much of a snob to ever go back now that we've stayed deluxe :laughing: and we don't want to stay anywhere else. So should we go a head with the vacation? Should we cut the number of days down?
Cutting the days down to a week would really only save us about $1000 on rooms, maybe $500 on gratuities. To us, when we're talking about so much money $1000 really doesn't make that big of a difference.
This is a debate we have every year - which is the number 1 reason we decided to purchase DVC - if we bought it - and paid dues we'd take the trip. No questions asked.
So advice from the DIS is needed - Who better to ask for advice as to whether to go to Disney or not:goodvibes.
I am not a good one to ask!!:laughing: My views on money have dramatically changed since sniffing the Disney air in 2010 for the first time. We too have things that we would love to have done around the house...but we seem to have no problem putting some of them on hold for now. We know that we won't always have the kids this age, and they won't always be with us. So...we don't talk about the shed too much, or the backsplash in the kitchen, or the hardwood floor. Those are just wants for us, and we will get them someday, we just want Disney again more., even though it is costing us a fortune too!:eek:
So....good luck making your decision. I know for us after this trip, it's going to be a moderate or value suite. The poly is supposed to change, and if we want to keep going every year, or twice even...:cloud9: this might be our last deluxe stay for a while. I vote for Disney!
See vacation angst doesn't last long :lmao: all it takes is a couple days for reality to set in - we have miserable neighbours and a ton of things going on - a vacation is needed and there's no better place for vacationing, than Disney!
Up next ADRs!
Yay!! Kindred souls we are!!:hug: Glad you are still coming!:goodvibes
Some people go to Disney for the rides, some for the shows, some for the magic. We go to eat! :good vibes
Oh don't get me wrong, we love the rides, shows, and magic as much as the next person. But we're gluten-free. Strictly gluten-free. Eating out is difficult to begin with and bland at best, but not at Disney. :cloud9:
So we've weighed the pros and cons of many different restaurants and booked as many as possible.
One year we'll stay at BC with a park hopper just so we can eat in EPCOT most nights, but for now we stick to the base ticket. We decide what park we're going to each day, then book the ADRs at the same park or in the surrounding resort area.
One of the worst things about being gluten-free is traveling. Airports have very few options, and those they do have tend to be ridiculously expensive. We have to be careful which airport we fly through to make sure there'll be an option at all - we also need to be sure our flights allow us to feed our children at home before we leave, and arrive in time to feed them an (almost) guaranteed safe meal.
Arrival day we have dinner booked at Kona Cafe for 7:45PM. It's cutting it a bit close, but I found a flight that should have us at the resort and checked in by 6:30 with time relax before dinner. We'll hopefully have time for a swim, then an early bed for everyone so we can make the most of the next day!
Sept 7th: We have a late breakfast ADR for 9:35 at O'hana. This way we'll make sure everyone has a good sleep, we can grab some fruit if anyone wakes up earlier, maybe even swim then off to breakfast at our favourite (both on and off property) breakfast location. We love the service we receive when we go, the Mickey waffles are fabulous,a dn the potatoes are so yummy. Nothing overly special about the meal, but filling enough that we'll only need a snack for lunch.
Dinner is Spirit of Aloha. This will be our first time seeing this show (eating this meal). The girls are thrilled at the prospect. We didn't go last trip b/c I thought the girls might be too young, but they were so upset we didn't go that I had to make sure I got a seat this time. I still need to contact special diets to be sure we'll have options at this meal. We've heard mixed reviews from other gluten-free diners.
Sept 8th: Breakfast is at Tusker House. We don't normally do breakfasts in the parks. It tends to be more stress than we'd prefer, and we don't like setting alarms :lmao: but we think we'll manage with an early night after SOA everyone should be awake with plenty of time to get dressed and hop a bus.
Lunch is at Yak & Yeti. It's been couple trips since we ate here, and last time we did Our Lilo ended up exposed to gluten (and was incredibly sick as a result. However, it was our fault, and not the restaurant's that the exposure happened. The service was fabulous and the food was wonderful. We hope for a similarly delightful lunch.
just prior to park close, we'll hop over to DTD so we can eat at Raglan Road. So far we've eaten here for every trip. MY favourite dish is 'It's not Bleedin' Chowder', though I've tried quite a few other options as well. The girls loved the gluten-free fish and chips and Dh loves having a flight or two of Scotch or Irish Whiskey while we're there. PLus dessert is amazing. Piles of fresh fruit and pavlova :cloud9: We've always enjoyed the service and expect nothing less this trip.
Sept 9th: Breakfast will be fruit and yogurt and then off to HS for the day.W e have no set time to arrive, and that's the way we like it. We're pretty laid back while we're at Disney. Lunch is at Hollywood and Vine. Not my favourite. the food was nothing special, the restaurant was ridiculously loud and I'm expecting the same this trip. However, it has characters and it's all you can eat so it'll do.
WE are really looking forward to dinner. Friends from high school and their children will be joining us at Jiko. We've eaten here once before, and enjoyed ourselves. However our children (then 18 mos and just turned 3) decided to take off down the bench (that runs the length of the restaurant) and knocked several (empty) wine glasses off tables. :eek: We were mortified, paid and left very quickly. Our reservation's for earlier this time. Unfortunately the earlier reservations also means more people in the restaurant - instead of it just being us.
Sept 10th: Heading over to EPCOT for breakfast with royalty: Akershus. This is one of Dhs favourite dinner restaurants. IMO, it's okay, but not as great as he thinks it is. I expect breakfast will be the same as pretty much everywhere on property, but it has princesses, so the girls will love it.
We've never eaten at Teppan Edo, but we all enjoy sushi so we'll eat there for lunch.
Dinner will be another signature dinning experience. We finally secured Le Cellier ADRs after 5 years of trying :rotfl2: We hope it's as good as everyone claims, but suspect it'll be over priced for what we get - considering we come from the land of beef. Dinner should be finished in time for Illuminations, then off to the land of Nod in preparation for our BIG day.
Sept 11th: We'll have a late breakfast at Kona, then quickly head over to MK to prepare for MNSSHP!
Today we have more than just ADRs. We also have the Pirates League and BBB reservations for all members of our party over age 3. Though DH and I are looking into other options for costumes, so may cancel our reservation closer to the date. Lilo's been both a pirate, and a fairy, she wants to be a mermaid this time, Aurora is all about the princesses this time around - so back to the BBB.
Lunch is immediately after our PL and BBB ressies - so up to the castle we go to dine at Cinderella's Royal Table.
Dinner will be immediately before the party begins - at Tony's, we've heard many bad reviews about Tony's, but we've always enjoyed our meal, plus it's in the park and easy to head any direction once MNSSHP begins.
Sept 12th: Lunch at Crystal Palace, we've booked this one b/c we don't want to leave the park, don't want to eat at the other options. The past two trips we've ended up with poor service and poor quality food for both lunch and breakfast, but there's Winnie the Pooh.
Dinner will be at 1900 Park Fare last year we had a fabulous dinner here and loved the Step-sisters. We're really eager to see if it's as wonderful this time. The gluten-free dessert picture shown above is from 1900 last trip. The chef apologized that he didn't have anything special for us, so he created the fruit/brownie shish kabob pictured, and also brought us a chocolate Mickey.
Sept 13th: We'll eat fruit and yogurt for breakfast, Mickey bars for snacks, and Flame Tree BBQ for lunch. We'll have an early dinner at Tusker house followed by dole whips in the resort and swimming and other resort activities.
Sept 14th: Breakfast at O'hana's again. Lunch will be QS, though specifics are undecided. Dinner shall be at Narcoossee's :love: we've never eaten here before, but the menu looks fabulous. Hopefully we'll have the option for the items we like the looks of the most. We ate at Citricos last rip and the chef was fabulous modifying several dishes so we could all eat what we wanted. Just because it's signature, doesn't mean we'll receive the same service, but we do expect it.
Sept 15th: we currently have breakfast at 1900 Park fare for check out day at the Poly. This should give us time to pack and walk over to the GF. We'll see the mad hatter and Alice before we say good-bye to the Poly for another year and bus over to Art of Animation.
We don't have any other reservations made at this point. we'll reassess our dining plan credits throughout the trip and decide if we should make other for the 15th or not.
Otherwise the 16th and 17th are likely to be quick service right at AoA, possibly heading to DTD and dining somewhere we've never dined before. We're not really sure yet.
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