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Heidi Lou 07-01-2012 01:23 AM

Our biggest trip yet!10 years and counting...:) My 1st PTR!
Well, I have been saying for literally MONTHS now, "I need to start our PTR!". Then, today I looked at our wall countdown calendar (we have a chalkboard wall in Chris' "gameroom" and i decided it need a touch of Disney so I drew a huge calendar and we draw a Mickey head over the numbers as we count down) and realized we were at 55 DAYS! That's right...55! EEEECK! Glad I noticed bc that meant we could start on our OTHER countdown board, one i made when we planned a more last minute trip about 3 years ago with 55 days left. This board had a note card with a Disney quote or fact everyday, and as the days pass, the cards come down! All that to say, this is long overdue! :rolleyes1

Enough of all that, meet the cast of our trip!

Huge cast, right? hehe It's just the 2 of (heidilou) and that handsome fella (cjjenkins).

Anyway, I will be making him help me with intro's and plans tomorrow, but I figured if I could at least get a start...FINALLY...then maybe we would sit down and start this thing!:thumbsup2

Hope some of you will read and I said, this is my first....but I'll try to be entertaining. And if I am not, CJJ sure is! ;)

Heidi Lou 07-04-2012 09:22 PM


First up is me, Heidi Lou.

I took a Mickey waffle around the world with me last trip and took a pic in every country with their hat on! I still have that waffle! :lmao:

I just turned 28, and i have been to Disney World more times than I can remeber...starting from before i was even able to walk! It was pretty much always our go-to vacation when we need to get away or even if a hurricane was coming. My dad would say, "Gatlinburg or Disney World?" (although my dad did also plan some pretty spectacular other trips). We have always loved it and i still can never get enough! So, i saw other people use this approach to introduce themselves so i figured we'd try it out as well...QA section of Disney Favorites! (We have some similar answers)

Park: Epcot because I love walking arounf World Showcase
Ride: Tower of was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride :(
Resort: Beach Club (although when i say that i feel like i am cheating in Polynesian since that is where my most vivid Disney childhood memories are)
Restaurant TS: Cape May Cafe
Restaurant QS: Harbor House
Non- Ride Activity: resort is my dad's first night tradition and i always thought it was such a great one!
Character: Stitch or Mary Poppins
Movie: Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, or Mary Poppins
Memory: probably anytime i have been there with my dad or chris (especially the first time chris and i went together bc it was his first time in like 15 years or so and watching his face was priceless!) or when we were there the day after a hurricane one time and MK was empty. We rode splash moutnain and right when we were about to drop the ride stopped and we got to get out and walk around the ride to exit!
Hooked: as long as i can remeber i have been hooked!

Next up is CJJ or Christopher james!

Chris is 30 years old and just graduated law school from Loyola in New Orleans! i am so proud!!! All he ever does is work and I love our trips bc he needs a break every now and again! He is a care- taker for people with disabilities and has the biggest heart. His passion in life is his car. haha Anyway, here are his answers!

Park: World Showcase at night
Ride: Splash Mountain
Resort: Beach Club
Restaurant TS: Cape May
Restaurant QS: Harbor House
Non-Ride Activity: Winter Summerland
Character: Alice, then Peter Pan
Movie: Alice, then Peter Pan
Song: Yo ho, Yo ho a Pirate's Life For Me
Memory: Seeing the MSEP (blah) from Splash Mountain at night...or being the last to get off the top of Space Mountain(it broke)
Hooked: When we went the first time in 2009 and stayed at Pop!

So that's us! In my next post i will explain a bit about the title of our PTR...

ljcrochet 07-05-2012 09:00 AM

Can't wait to read about your trip planning.

Riles_and_Gabe 07-05-2012 09:03 AM

I am entertained already :). I am looking forward to hearing about your plans!!

Heidi Lou 07-05-2012 12:59 PM

YAY!!! thanks for reading!

midwesternbelle 07-05-2012 01:37 PM

I am starting my first year at LOYNO in just over a month! So expired to see an alum on the DIS!
Hope ya'll enjoy your trip... i too am planning a disney vacation *pokes siggy*
Subbed your PTR!

Heidi Lou 07-06-2012 12:11 AM


Originally Posted by midwesternbelle (Post 45382188)
I am starting my first year at LOYNO in just over a month! So expired to see an alum on the DIS!
Hope ya'll enjoy your trip... i too am planning a disney vacation *pokes siggy*
Subbed your PTR!

NO WAY!!! what a small world! haha get it ...disney joke! seriously though, he loved Loyola and i am sure you will too! Everything about it is just so nice...especially the location! If you have any questions you should send him a message! HE BETTER BE COMMENTING IN HERE SOON!

CJJenkins 07-06-2012 12:54 AM

Good luck at LOYNO! It's a great school! You'll love it!

So about our trip, almost all of our trips have been pretty much last minute. I think the longest out we planned was 2 months. The shortest was about 10 days. We never booked way in advance so we have never gotten to do EVERYTHING that we wanted, especially dining reservations. Well this time we knew free dining would be coming for August so we started planning back in February, made our initial reservation about a week before FD was anounced, and added the FD once it was released. This trip we got litterally EVERY dining reservation that we wanted, including some that we had never gotten before, such as Chef Mickey's character breakfast. We are big character breakfast people, and would eat character breakfast every day if we could!

One thing that I HATE is a trip ending and feeling like we didn't do anything! Our last trip was only 5 days, but in that 5 days it seemed like we didn't do anything at all. This is partly because in the hustle and bustle of trying to get "everything" in, you waste so much time traveling back and forth, walking or riding to destinations that are nowhere near each other, or putting things off to do later, and then never getting to them. I'm a planning freak, so naturally this drives me CRAZY! But Heidi is more laid back, and sometimes likes flying by the seat of her pants... or more accurately she likes casually strolling by the seat of her pants :) This is our longest trip that we've taken (11 days total! 8 parks, 3 waterparks/free days), and it's booked the farthest out, so I definitely wanted to plan out as much as possible to make sure that we utilize our time the most effectively.

During my last few weeks of school I was already pretty much checked out mentally, so I would sit in my night classes and literally work out a plan for every day. I don't plan out like every moment as far as what rides we will go on, but I've planned out what parks we will go to on what day, mostly according to EMH. I also planned out time for extra stuff like going to Down Town Disney, Disney Quest (my first time!!!), and a quick 9 holes at Oak Trail! (Heidi is a great caddy!) Having 11 days to fill really makes it fun shuffling around stuff to do and fitting everything in. The schedule has changed so many times it's ridiculous, including changing almost every dining reservation at least once, but still getting exactly what we wanted! One night it hit me that a lot of time could be saved by figuring out what mode of transportation was the quickest from one destination to the other. I found the website which has a really neat Transportation Wizard section. You put in two destinations in the resort, and it will tell you the amount of time that it takes get between them on all of the different modes of transportation. We love using the resort transit system (busses, boats, MONORAIL!!!) and while driving is almost always the fastest, we try to do it as little as possible. I also try to schedule in some boat rides or walking whenever it's not that big of a time killer. Both of these can be so relaxing, which is nice to do sometimes, because we all know that a week in the WORLD is anything but relaxing! One of our favorite things is eating breakfast at Cape May on an Epcot day, then walking from the Beach Club :beach: over to the International Gateway and entering the park through the back enterance. Nothing super exciting or secret, but one of the little things that we like to do each trip!

I have a spreadsheet on my laptop that is a grid broken down hourly for each day. It's color coordinated to indicate what times we will be in a park, at a dining reservation, at a WPnM option, even a few special surprises that Heidi doesn't know about! pixiedust: I may be a dork, but I get so excited working on my spreadsheet, shuffling stuff around, and finding more efficient ways of getting everything in. My latest obsession with the changes was getting in the most Monorail rides that I could for us! I'll have to be careful as I share stuff with everyone that I don't spill the beans on any of the surprises, but later I'll give you guys an example of some of the planning that I have done so far. And know that I am ALWAYS open to suggestions for changes to our plans, better ways to get from place to place, and even maybe a few activities to add!!! :idea:

Heidi Lou 07-06-2012 01:10 AM

The story behind the title!
So "Our Biggest Trip yet, 10 years and counting!" is weird i know...and unfortunatley, it does not mean we are going for 10 years :sad: BOO HOO, right?

Our Biggest Trip yet:
All this means is this is the longest trip we have ever planned. It was orginally a 10 day-er, but about a month ago, CJJ called to see if I would mind if we added another day........:rotfl2:Is this a trick question??? :rotfl2: I mean i seriously was this guy laughing for a while after i hung up. Heck NO i don't mind. Add-on!!!
I think we are both excited about the length of the trip for some different reasons. You see, I am such a "go-with-the-flow" kinda girl that the most common phrase out of my mouth is, "I don't care." And i mean it with my whole heart, not in a "I'm saying I don't care but you better be reading my mind" sorta way. I honestly am usually okay with WHATEVER. This can tend to drive CJJ :crazy2: CRAZY!!! He is the COMPLETE opposite. When I tell you he has his days planned out minute-to-minute it's possible I am understating it. I could probably say second-to-second if I was being really honest. But it's one of those things that makes CJJ, CJJ and i love it. Helps me not have to make decisions!:cheer2:

So i am excited about the length of the trip bc in my mind, it is going to be a laid back, yet fun-filled trip. CJJ is excited bc that means he can squeeze more stuff into the day....we'll see how this goes! But I do have to add how thankful I am that he plans so I usually do just do it (no matter how badly my feet hurt!) He has a lot of surprises planned for this trip so I think I will be excited from beginning to end and not even realize how busy we are. Our first trip we did character breakfast, straight to the park that extra magic hours, and then stayed til closing every day. I almost died on day 1. But now i Know what to expect.

This was me at the end of day one of our first trip...This was my please can i go to sleep face!

and CJJ's response was probably thumbs up...for more rides! There's no sleeping in Disney!

10 years and counting...
Chris and I met 10 years ago when I was just starting college. It was his 3rd year at Southeastern Louisiana University. I lived in the honors dorms on the first floor and he lived in the fraternity house for his fraternity, which was right behind my room! Our windows were actually probably like 50 ft away from one another! I became friends with some of the guys and one day was introduced to CJJ! I won't go into all the details bc it is a funny and crazy story, but we dated, got engaged, broke up, stoppped talking, became friends, went to a CRAZY church, weren't allowed to be friends basically(crazy huh?), were friefnds on and off for a while, now we are here...our 10 year anniversary! We have been best friends now for as long as I can remeber. We have been through so much together and I couldn't ask for a better person to face some of life's hard stuff or celebrate life's good stuff with! I mean, you have to have up's and down's to grow and to appreciate one another and we are there. I am so thankful for that!

This is us 10 years ago!

Hope you don't mind me putting that all out there, CJJ, just telling our tale!

Heidi Lou 07-06-2012 01:11 AM

haha I didn't even know he was adding this while i was also adding to this! Hope y'all enjoy a double post night!:cool1:

Heidi Lou 07-09-2012 01:22 AM

I can't sleep so I decided I'd add some info about our trip! Chris and I LOVE the value resorts, and while we would love LOVE LLOOVVEE to stay at a deluxe (Beach Club to be exact), for now we can do value...

Our first trip we stayed at POP Century. I absolutely love everything about this resort...the only thing I don't like is that they decided to not do the earlier years , and instead, they built AoA.:rolleyes2 I really wanted a 20's section- It's my FAVORITE decade ever since I read the Great Gatsby. Hopefully, when we go check out the new resort this trip I will be able to let it go a bit but I dont know! haha Anyway, we were lucky enough to get the exact section i wanted---

The 80's! CJJ and I are huge arcade game fans. Not only do we go to the movies early to play arcade games, but we even have an arcade game at the house...Bust- a -move is our favorite... and no it is not a dance game! We find arcades where ever we are and usually it's the most fun everytime. For CJJ's birthday we went to Destin and found an arcade called Fat Daddy's.

We ended up there at some point everyday of that trip!haha Anyway, based on that I am sure you can understand our excitement!:cool1:

Our second trip we stayed at All Star Movies, and then our last trip was so last minute that we stayed off the grounds...I hate to even admit it being such a Disney Resort addict. Gotta do what you gotta do to get to the world though...can I get an amen???!!!!! It actually wasn't bad at all, especially for a 25 dollar a night room. The only thing that aggravated me was that the first day when the maid came she spilled my B&BW wallflower all over....and I had bought it specifically bc we were staying off the grounds! o well!:crazy2:

As I mentioned earlier, we knew we'd be staying at a value resort. CJJ likes to try new things and I am all for that! Although I know POP is my fav value, it's always fun to have variety! So this trip it could be between ASMusic or ASSports.....and the winner is..................
(This image is from the internet..sorry)


I haven't stayed here in quite some time so I am excited about it. My only real concern is the bus situation. While I do not recall ever really having a problem, I know that buses at The ALL Stars are shared, which can be frustrating. I know the World will be crowded, but I'm hoping the transportation is as good as i remember it. :scratchin

Up next, THE PLAN!!!

Heidi Lou 07-12-2012 03:01 PM

The PLAN (kinda)
As I mentioned earlier in the PTR, I am so not a planner...I leave all that up to CJJenkins unless i have a strong opinion on something. Therefore, there is not a whole lot for me to share here. haha I DO know a bit about the front end of the trip so ill break that down as well as i can:

August 24- Leave bright and earlier (even though it is techinically still going to be dark outside). Start driving toward FL but stop in Dothan, Alabama to eat breakfast at Shoney's, a little tradition of ours.(we have quite a few traditions for our Disney trips!) Hit the road again until we get to the FL welcome center so we can be the obnoxious tourists who drink orange juice, grab every disney brochure, and take pictures like this:

Then we will hit the road again and drive til we reach Lake City! We stay here the first night of every trip, and it is amazing to us how much it grows each year. Once we check in and get settled, we will go pick up some chinese food from a place called YUMS. Last year when we went and got our food the owners 7 year old son was ringing us up. I asked if I could get my sweet and sour sauce on the side. In his little sassy-pants attitude with his cute little accent he snapped right back," Sauce is on da side!!!" and gave me the "you idiot" look. We still crack up laughing at this and quote him regularly! After getting our food we head back to the room, eat some yummy yums, watch hopefully a Disney movie, and get some sleep.

August 25: D- Day (Disney)- We leave Lake City probably around 4ish and head to the happiest place on earth.

First thing we will do is check- in at All Stars Music. We do online check-in, which we learned was so beneficial after arriving on the 1st day of free dining a few years back and trying to check in at POP with every other person there! They had to re-checkin to get their new dining passes on tickets. the line would have taken at least 2 hours, but thanks to online check-in, we took maybe 20 minutes! Anyway, so we are hoping to get checked in quickly bc we have our first ADR! Tusker House at 8am then a day at AK. Originally, we planned to do AK this day and just relax and then have dinner at Cape May. However, due to our schedule changes, we had to move Tusker House. This was the only day we could fit it. What better way to start a Disney trip though than with a character breakfast, right? So as soon as we are done eating, we will head to DinoLand for the 1st ride of the trip....DINOSAUR (I still liked it being called Countdown til Extinction better but o well), and maybe grab a FP for Everest on the way. Dinosaur is my 2nd favorite ride in all of Disney world, however, it is the scariest by far and i have NEVER kept my eyes open through the whole thing, and it takes at least 2 rides for me to even opene them for half the ride. SO SCARY! This pic is from CJJenkins 1st ride ever...and he made me promise i would look.

So we will do all the AK things you do- Kilamanjaro, Kali River Rapids, It's Tough to be a Bug, and some shows and so on then head back to ASMu to get ready for dinner at our Favorite Dream Resort!!! :worship: Beach Club. I think it will be a nice relaxing night and am so excited about it! We love everything about Beach Club and, as you will see, soend more time there than any other resort. haha We ALWAYS find a reason!

I am going to have to get CJJenkins to help me out from here on bc i kinda know the park schedule but that is it! Have a great day!

Heidi Lou 07-25-2012 02:12 PM

It's been a while since i have posted on my PTR but i have big news...we got a new car!

I am so excited that CJJ decided to do this bc it is roomy and NEW!!! It is so nice and i cant wait to take our 1st Disney Road trip in this car...we usually take Blackie Joe -my corolla!

30 DAYS!!!:banana:

LaurNY 07-25-2012 03:35 PM

Can't wait to hear more about your plans and the trip!

ljcrochet 07-25-2012 04:39 PM

Congrats on the new car. how far of a drive is it for you?

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