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JustADreamAway 06-10-2012 01:06 AM

We're too excited to sleep! - An August 2012 Pre-Trip Report
Hi Everyone! After being obsessed with The Dis for the past month or so, I decided it was about time I finally posted something! After 6 long years of not going on a family vacation, my family is finally heading back to the happiest place on earth!! For a Disney fanatic like myself, this is the best news I could have ever hoped for! :yay: But who are we you might ask? Let me introduce us all:
Allison (me)- I just turned 24 years old and am a HUGE Disney fan. I graduated college with a degree in architecture in 2011 and just finished up my master’s degree in sustainable architecture a few weeks ago. I work as a designer for a national homebuilder, where I have been for the past year. I am a huge Disney fan. While Tinkerbell is my favorite character, I don’t think there is anything Disney that I do not like. My first trip to Disney World was in 1991 when I was three years old. Since then I have been back 10 times (soon to be 11!) Growing up, WDW was my family’s vacation spot and I looked forward to each trip. Now that I am older, I feel like I appreciate being able to visit Disney World even more because I can understand all of the time, money and planning that my parents put in to give us the opportunity to make memories as a family.
Mom- My mom is a teacher by day and so much more the rest of the time! While she won’t admit it, she is an extreme crafter and always has a new project in the works. This is a picture of our very first trip to Disney World in mom doesn't like getting her picture taken very much so finding a photo of her was quite a challenge!
Dad- For being an accountant, my dad is a pretty laid back guy, but living in a house with 5 women must drive him crazy! Again, sorry for such an old picture!
Jeannine- Sister #1. Jeannine is two years younger than I am and is finishing up her degree in deaf education next May. Her favorite character is Piglet, and she reminds me of him: kind, shy and always worrying about something. In 2009 when we were both in college we took our first solo trip to WDW and it was amazing. We went over our winter break, right after New Year’s so all the holiday decorations were still up and it was truly magical. We loved this trip so much that we made it one of our own traditions to go back at this time every year.
Megan: Sister #2. Megan is 2 years younger than Jeannine and is currently going to school studying pre-veterinary medicine. She is obsessed with animals of all kinds, even the ones that freak most people out. With that being said, obviously her favorite park is the Animal Kingdom. She loves the safari, as well as all of the trails that let you see the animals up close. Megan joined in on our winter break trip for the past two years and she had a great time. We managed to sneak in a few surprises for her to make her visit extra special, which she still talks about!
Kayla- Sister #3. Kayla is going to be a senior in HS this fall and is leaning towards going to school for deaf education like Jeannine is. Kayla hasn’t been to Disney as much as the rest of us, but loves it just the same. She played Maleficent in her summer camp’s production of Sleeping Beauty, so I think that character resonates with her the most.

So that is a little introduction to all of us. But I have left out the most important part! When are we going? For this wonderful family vacation 6 years in the making we will be traveling in August; August 12-18 to be exact.

Ok, I am not going to lie, I am quite nervous about this. Like I have mentioned, for the past 4 years, I have gone to Disney World in the beginning of January. We have been lucky enough to have pretty good weather (with the exception of 2010 when it was like 35 degrees all week long) and low crowds. We were able to do everything we wanted with a minimal wait and get all of the reservations we had hoped for. Going in August is a first for us. The last trip we all took was in 2006 during our April break; this was the last year that we were all on the same school schedule and we knew that it would be our last family vacation for a long time. All of the trips we took before that were also in April or May, so we knew what to expect weather wise and crowd wise. But with Jeannine and Megan in college, Kayla in HS and my mom teaching none of our school breaks align anymore. Only my dad and I have somewhat flexible schedules

At this point I am going into this trip expecting the worst- huge crowds and high temperatures/humidity. But will that stop us? No way! We are in Disney! We LOVE Disney and will make the best of whatever comes our way (although I am hoping it won’t be as bad as I am imagining right now!) But if anyone has any experience with going around this time or any tips/tricks for surviving the heat, I'd love to hear!

Up next: Where are we staying? Were we able to make any ADR’s?

JustADreamAway 06-10-2012 01:08 AM

Pre Trip Report- Part II

Pre Trip Report- Part III

marDgreen88 06-10-2012 01:28 PM

Hey! Joining in!

I don't think you need to apologize for the old pics! It's cool to see them!

It's so cool that yall can finally go on a vacation together again! :cool1:

I'm going in August too (at least the very beginning of August), and I've never been at that time before so I don't know what to expect either! I hope it's not too terrible! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your plans! :)

Queenofallthings 06-10-2012 03:58 PM

Here! This is our first year in 6 years not going in`s my favorite time to go!! Can`t wait to hear all about your plans!

firechick139 06-17-2012 09:39 AM

Subbing! popcorn::

Saw you on our August 2012 thread. We had to cancel our August trip, and I've been looking for TR's during that time. I'm excited to read along with your adventures!

reyasmommy 06-17-2012 11:48 AM

How fun growing up with so many sisters. ;) Always wanted a sister. Instead I have a stinky little brother. J/k ... Love the guy!

Pictures are great, I'm looking forward to reading more. :coffee:

JustADreamAway 07-29-2012 07:02 PM

Wow, I just realized how long it’s been since I first posted!! I don’t know where the time has gone!! :confused3:
Two weeks from now we will be at the Happiest Place on Earth!! :woohoo:
So back to the details…

My family will be staying at Pop Century from August 12-18.:hippie: I have only stayed there once before, but I thought it was nice and the theme was great. My parents and youngest sister stayed there last spring when they went down and seemed to like it as well, so when I got my PIN offer in the mail we settled on staying there. Compared to the other Value resort we stayed at, we liked the variety at the food court and most importantly that it had its own bus service (because waiting for a bus at All-Star Movies was definitely not fun at all!!!) And now with the Art of Animation resort open right across the bridge, we now have an excuse to go visit! :)

And now onto the dining aspect of our vacation: The PIN offer that I got in the mail and booked with offered free quick service dining at any resort. When my sisters and I went in 2010 and 2011 we had the free quick service plan, and everything about it sounded great! That is, until we got to Disney and realized just how much food it was. Typically when we would go as a family, we would have one full meal a day, plus share some snacks along the way. Well now we were each given 2 full meals and two snacks (at that point it was still two) per day….and we also had scheduled some ADR’s (to keep with our family tradition of breakfast at the Crystal Palace, plus a few more that sounded interesting to us) so we came home stuffed and with tons of extra snacks that we never ate. So while it seemed like a good deal at the time, it was just way too much for us.
This year when we went in January, we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside during free dining, so we had a taste of the regular dining plan, and found it much more suited to how we liked to eat on vacation. So for our upcoming trip, even though the quick service plan was free, I decided to upgrade us to the regular dining plan so we could eat at some of our family’s favorite quick service places and still get to try some new table service experiences, all without coming home (too) stuffed :rotfl:

JustADreamAway 07-29-2012 07:07 PM

So Here's the Plan!!!
So here’s our plan for the week:

Sunday, August 12- Arrive in Disney sometime in the late morning or close to 12pm (did I mention we are driving? My mom dislikes flying, not to mention plane tickets for 6 are pretty pricey!) After checking in at Pop Century, we might grab a quick snack/lunch at the hotel before heading out to the park! Our first park at Disney is always the Magic Kingdom, so that’s where we will be headed. Hopefully (and this is totally wishful thinking) it won’t be too hot or too crowded and we will get to ride some of our favorites and maybe explore the new Fantasyland a little bit before our dinner ADR at the Crystal Palace at 8:30. On our January trip we came here for dinner for the first time and really enjoyed it, so hopefully lightning strikes twice and it is just as good this time around. We should be finishing dinner right as Wishes is about to start (10pm ) so we will probably go outside and try to get a spot somewhere to watch…..or if no one is set on watching them this night, we can hopefully go on some rides without much of a wait! Either one would be great! The park also has EMH until 1am, but we might be too exhausted to stay that long…so we are going to play it by ear.

Monday, August 13- Our first full day in Disney!! On this day we were torn about what we should do, but I think we have decided to go to Epcot in the morning (and hopefully be there for rope drop) so we could ride Soarin’ (one of my mom’s top three rides) and get fastpasses for later on in the day. Basically with Test Track being down for refurbishment, everyone else is going to have the same idea…so we will probably send my sister to run and get fastpasses and then meet her over there. Depending on the crowds and the heat, we will probably try to hit all the rides in Future World before heading over to World Showcase for lunch in Mexico! I love the new menu at their quick service place and my parents haven’t been there in a while, so that’s our lunchtime destination. After lunch, our plan is to catch a few of the shows around world showcase (esp. Off Kilter and the group in the U.K. pavilion…I forget what they are calling themselves now) before heading over to Hollywood Studios for the evening. We have dinner ADR’s at the Sci-Fi Drive In Theater at 8:00, which we are all excited about because we used to come here when we were younger. I know it hasn’t gotten great reviews on here, but we chose it more for the experience and ambiance than the food. The park has EMH until midnight, so maybe we can get a few rides in after dinner (while everyone else is at Fantasmic!)

Tuesday, August 14- We are headed back to the Magic Kingdom this morning for our tradition of breakfast at The Crystal Palace!! I absolutely love this place and it is at the top of my character meal list! The Pooh Puffs are to die for, and getting into the Magic Kingdom before opening isn’t bad either. After breakfast we will try to hit up some of the rides we didn’t get to on Sunday ( or ride them again) and then we will head back over to Epcot in the afternoon and hang around there for Illuminations and maybe EMH.

Wednesday, August 15- I can’t believe this is the halfway point of our trip!! We are heading over to Animal Kingdom in the morning since it is my sister’s favorite park and then playing it by ear for the rest of the day. Our only other plans are for dinner at Ohana’s at 9:30. My sister and I loved this meal the last two times we were at Disney so we wanted our parents to give it a try. I am hoping that maybe we will get a good seat so we can watch Wishes, but if not at least they pipe in the music (which at least for me is the best part!)

Thursday, August 16- Today we are planning to go back to the Magic Kingdom in the morning because we have a lunch ADR at Liberty Tree Tavern. We visited here in January and liked it quite a bit….especially the Colony Salad and the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake!! So we’re back for round two! We don’t have plans for the afternoon, so we are going to play it by ear and see what we feel like doing. At night, we have plans to go to Downtown Disney to do a little shopping and grab a bite to eat at Cooke’s of Dublin. We stumbled across this a few trips ago and loved their Fish and Chips (in our opinion, its leagues better than the kind you can get in Epcot) so we are going to grab dinner there, and then go to T-Rex for dessert. My sister Megan absolutely loves this place. We surprised her with a visit here on her first trip with us in 2011 and she was in heaven. We actually have never ordered entrée’s here….our first visit the three of us shared the Chocolate Extinction Cake (oh boy was it delicious!) and then last year we shared some appetizers and a dessert, so we are thinking that dessert is the way to go. Plus, since this place is so loud, I don’t think I would be able to sit through an entire meal here anyway. And since this is the only night we are able to visit DTD, we will obviously be doing some shopping (and hoping that my dad won’t be too bored

Friday, August 17- Our last full day in Disney….We are heading over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for Breakfast at Boma. We have gone here for our past two trips in hopes that we might be able to see some animals, and were pleasantly surprised by the meal itself. The juice (frunch or jungle juice or whatever they are calling it now) was delicious and I really liked their scrambled eggs and French toast. So we are giving it another shot and hoping that we get to see some cool animals. After breakfast, we are going to spend the rest of the morning at Animal Kingdom to get in a few more rides and shows before going to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon/evening. Our plan is to catch Fantasmic!pixiedust: at 9 and then maybe head over to the Magic Kingdom for EMH.

Saturday, August 18- The saddest day of our trip :sad1:….the day we have to say “Goodbye” to our home away from home. As per tradition, we will be spending the entire day (at least until around 3pm) at the Magic Kingdom. Another part of our tradition on our last day is eating lunch at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. I’m not sure when this started, but I can’t remember not having lunch here on our last day, so I think it is safe to say that we have always done this. I am curious to see what the new menu is like here, since they changed it sometime between our trip in January and now. In January they already had the new desserts (the gelato is delicious) but they still had the old entrée menu because I was able to get chicken strips and French fries (another tradition that sadly will not be carried on ) so fingers crossed that their new Italian style menu is good!

So that basically is our plan for the week. I feel like we might have been a little aggressive in our planning, not knowing how bad the crowds and the heat might be at this time of year. I think that by sticking to only one table service meal a day, we still have flexibility if we had to change some of our plans around to accommodate whatever might happen.
But if anyone has any suggestions for our plan, or just general tips on what the crowds/weather etc. is like this time of year I would love to hear them! Also, if you have any recommendations for quick service places I would really appreciate those- I feel like we keep going to the same places and we would love to try something new!

Thanks for following along!!! I promise I will be more prompt when writing my trip report than I was with writing this!!

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