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mommys3 07-25-2012 09:50 PM

Sometimes things don't always go according to plan TR! (8/27-9/1) UPDATED 9/7
My first (pre) trip report! We have been lucky to have had many visits to WDW and thought it would be fun to write a trip report and share it with everyone since I have so much fun reading about everyone else's vacations :goodvibes Let me introduce our little family (pictures are from our WDW trip last July)-

Cast of Characters:
Me, Helen! I am 31 and a stay at home mom to my four beautiful children. My husband, L, and I have been married for almost 12 years (September 9). As a matter of fact, we will be celebrating our 12th anniversary while we are down at Disney :lovestruc I LOVE LOVE LOVE Disney (who here doesn't :rotfl:) and am the vacation planner of the family- which is why when we go on vacation, we go to WDW :rotfl2:
Favorite Park: EPCOT
Favorite Ride: Haunted Mansion
Favorite TS Restaurant: Sci-Fi Dine In (I know it doesn't have the best food in the World, but I just love the atmosphere!)
Favorite CS Restaurant: Cosmic Rays
Favorite Snack: Dole Whip
The husband, L. He is 35 and does not really "get" the fascination with Disney, although he does enjoy it when we are there...don't let him tell you otherwise! He works hard to provide for our family and is the one that makes these trips possible. The looks on our children's faces (ok...mine too!) when we are there makes it all worth while and he seems to "get" it, even if only for the duration of our trip! I don't know what his favorite park is, but he LOVES to eat at 'Ohana. A must-do every trip!
L3 is our oldest son. He is 11 years old and a rising 6th grader. I think he is outgrowing Disney already :scared1: He is more of a thrill seeker and loves roller coaster. He would choose Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure :eek: over WDW.
Favorite Park: Hollywood Studios
Favorite Ride: Mission:Space
Favorite TS Restaurant: 'Ohana
Favorite Snack: DTD Goofy's Candy Co. create your own treat
J is 9 years old and a rising 4th grader. He still loves Disney (thank goodness!) and is finally tall enough to ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (woohoo!). Yes, he is a little on the short side :laughing: He also says he will ride Tower of Terror this trip :cool1: Last time he would not ride it because he was too scared.
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Ride: Space Mountain
Favorite TS Restaurant: 'Ohana (see a trend here? :rotfl2:) He loves the coconut races!
Favorite Snack: Mickey ice cream bar
B is 8 years old and a rising 3rd grader. She shares my love of Disney and will sit there and watch youtube videos with me of the rides and parades :love:
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite TS Restaurant: Cinderella's Royal Table
Favorite Snack: Mickey ice cream bar
I is our youngest. She absolutely LOVES Mickey and Minnie. She is tall enough to ride the Barnstormer (or Goofy roller coaster as she refers to it) and is pretty excited about it!
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Ride: anything her height allows her to ride :rotfl:
Favorite TS Restaurant: Princess Restaurant! aka Cinderella's Royal Table
Favorite Snack: Mickey ice cream bar

Joining us on our vacation will be my lovely sister-in-law and her family (husband and 2 boys- 2.5 years and 6 months old).

Our vacation will be taking place from Aug. 27-Sept. 1. We will actually be leaving VA bright and early Saturday morning (Aug. 25). We (or should I say my husband :laughing:) will be driving straight through, other than the occasional gas/restroom/food pitstop. It is about a 14 hour drive to Lakeland, FL, where we will be visiting with my in-laws. They live less than an hour away from WDW, so the plan is to be on the road by 6:00 am on Monday morning (Aug. 27) to get checked in to the hotel and be at Akershus for our 8:30 am ADR. When I say our ADR, I mean the girls (me, B and I!). L and the boys will be eating breakfast at the food court. Oh, we will be staying at All Star Movies from Monday (Aug. 27)- Friday (Aug. 31). Friday when we check out, we will be checking in to the Polynesian (Club Level! First stay at the Poly AND club level!) for one night. Saturday (Sept. 1) is our last day, but I have reserved a pool cabana for a half day and then Kona for lunch. After Kona, we will be headed back to the in-laws. Monday morning (Sept. 3) we head back to VA, with the kids returning back to school the next day!

Bear with me...this was originally only supposed to be a dining report, but changed my mind (I tend to do that a lot. Don't ask me how many times I've switched around ADRs :rolleyes1) and decided to dedicate a report of our entire trip! So I apologize in advance if there are more moments in this TR that focus solely on food popcorn::. This go around we will be trying a few new restaurants, as well as returning to some old favorites.

Monday, August 27 (ARRIVAL DAY!!!)
Breakfast- Akershus (girls only!), All Star Movies food court for the boys.
Lunch- Via Napoli
Dinner- Cape May Cafe
Snacks- something from Boulangerie Patisserie, Karamell Kuche, kaki gori
Drinks- Welsh Dragon from Rose and Crown Pub, Grand Marnier Slush (France)

Tuesday, August 28
Park- Animal Kingdom
Breakfast- All Star Movies food court
Lunch- Flame Tree Barbecue
Dinner- 50's Prime Time Cafe
Snacks- Jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzel
Drinks- ??? ETA: triple yeti blast

Wednesday, August 29
Park- Magic Kingdom
Breakfast- The Crystal Palace
Lunch- Cosmic Rays
Dinner- ???
Snacks- Dole whip, churros, popcorn
Drinks- obviously nothing at MK....

Thursday, August 30
Park- Hollywood Studios
Breakfast- All Star Movies food court ***Changed to Hollywood & Vine Play n Dine
Lunch- Sci-Fi
Dinner- Hollywood & Vine (F! dinner package)
Snacks- cupcake from Starring Rolls
Drinks- Orbiting Oreos at Sci-Fi

Friday, August 31
No park, DTD/Polynesian day!
Breakfast- All Star Movies food court
Lunch- Earl of Sandwich
Dinner- 'Ohana
Snacks- something from DTD
Drinks- Island Sunset from Tambu Lounge

Saturday, September 1
Check out day :(
Breakfast- something from CL lounge
Lunch- Kona Cafe

The new restaurants we will be trying are Akershus, Via Napoli, Cape May Cafe and Kona Cafe. I have not really had drinks while at WDW (other than the Orbiting Oreos at Sci-Fi), so I am really looking forward to my adult beverages (I am not a heavy drinker...wish me luck haha!). I will be taking lots and lots of pictures (of us, the resorts, parks, food, rides, etc, etc!) because I love reading TRs when they include plenty of pictures (I am more of a visual person. I am guilty of skimming through TRs just to look at the pictures LOL). I hope you have as much fun reading my TR as I do writing it :cloud9:

mommys3 07-25-2012 09:51 PM

Table of Contents


Update 1!
Update 2! (Day 1)
Day 1 First time/Must-dos!
Day 2
Day 2 First time/Must-dos!
Day 3 and First time/Must-dos!
Pictures at the MK 7/2011
Small update and the 100 Disney Foods to Eat Before You Die Challenge
Oh no...another ADR!
3 more weeks!!!
Change of plans.....
Day 4 and First time/Must-dos!
Friday, Aug. 31
Saturday, Sept. 1
9 more days!
5 more days!


And we're off!
Day 1: Check-in and Akershus!
Breakfast continued and starting our day in Future World

mommys3 07-26-2012 09:43 AM

Update 1!
(Let me preface this with me referring to my youngest daughter as I*- I realized that when I just use I without the asterisk (see, I've done it several times already :lmao:), readers will think I am referring to me! There are times I will use their actual names, but it's just easier to use their initial. Yes... I am that lazy :rotfl2:)

32 more days! Yesterday we received a little order I put in to the Disney Store. They were having a sale- 25% off and free shipping over orders of $75 more more, so I could not pass! I wanted to keep it from the kids, but they saw the UPS truck drop off something at the front door :rolleyes: We will still do a majority of our shopping at WDW (I've tucked away a $100 gift card for each child) but this was just to start us off!

-2 autograph books (B and I* are looking forward to collecting autographs this time!)
-2 trading pin starter sets (for J and B)
-2 sets of 2 trading pins for their lanyard
-a pirate Mickey hat for J pirate: (B and I* want ear hats as well but are waiting for a better selection at WDW!)
-mickey ear hat for my 2.5 year old nephew (I am waiting to get something when we are there for my 6 month old nephew)

As for things I've already purchased for this trip, we have:

-handheld water mist fans
-Brita water bottles
-park tickets
-gift cards
-outfits from Etsy for B and I*

I need to collect pennies and quarters (L3 wants to do pressed pennies...I think he will be the easiest to please. Pressed pennies, snacks, and thrill rides...can't the other kids be this simple :confused3).

Today I think we will start the countdown chain I've been meaning to make with the kids for the past few weeks. With 32 days left, now is as good a time as ever :thumbsup2 Pictures to come!

tangled up 07-26-2012 09:52 AM

Hi there, what a beautiful family you have. Looking forward to reading more xx

mommys3 07-26-2012 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by tangled up (Post 45614600)
Hi there, what a beautiful family you have. Looking forward to reading more xx

Aw,thank you :goodvibes And first reader!!! :cheer2:

mommys3 07-27-2012 11:20 AM

Update 2! (Day 1)
:cool1:31 DAYS LEFT :cool1: And finished our countdown chain just in time! We started last night and used construction paper, glitter pens and princess stickers.

Here are the girls waiting for the glitter to dry

And the final product this morning! The 31 links together in all their glory :cheer2:

B cannot wait to tear off the first link tonight! I wasn't sure whether to count down to the day we leave for FL (8/25) or our actual first day at WDW (8/27). I decided to go with our WDW day. We'll just bring the 2 links left over with us :rolleyes:

I also decided to take a picture of our Disney Store purchase-

A close-up of B's pins

and J's pins

So, I decided to go a little further in depth on what we plan to do each day at WDW. Here we go!!!

DAY ONE- Monday (8/27)

*Wake up at 5:30 AM, leave in-law's house by 6:00 AM
*Arrive at All Star Movies by 7:00 AM, check-in (I probably won't be ready), check out resort
*The girls leave ASMovies by 7:40 AM for 8:30 AM ADR at Akershus, boys eat breakfast at ASMovies food court
*Meet with boys (and sister-in-law and family) at 10:00 AM somewhere in Epcot (FW).
Now here is where it gets tricky. We will try and ride a few things (Mission:Space, Spaceship Earth). I have an ADR at Via Napoli at 11:30 AM. I know it's early. Right now the only time slots they have available are 11:30 AM and 2:00 PM...BUT I have an ADR at Cape May Cafe at 5:15 PM. So unless another ADR for Via Napoli opens up between 12:00 PM-1:00 PM, 11:30 seems to be the reasonable time slot. I'll keep checking...and I guess I can bump up the ADR for Cape May Cafe (if one comes up). I just don't want it too late since we'll be re-entering Epcot through the International Gateway. I don't want to give up Via Napoli or Cape May Cafe...and since we only have 6 days at WDW (4 park days), there isn't much room to plan it for another day without shifting another ADR. And I thought vacation was supposed to be laid back and relaxed :sad2:
*12:30 PM- 1:00 PM (depending on when we finish lunch) we will walk around WS until 4:45 PM
*5:15 PM- 6:30 PM dinner at Cape May Cafe. Walk back to EPCOT WS
*7:00 PM- 9:00 PM, try to hit The Seas/The Land/Imagination
I would love to see Illuminations...but I don't know if time will allow for that to happen. We have seen it before, but it's been a while!

Seeing all this written down makes me realize that my expectations may not be very practical, but we'll see! It'll be interesting to see how my plans coincide with our actual vacation :upsidedow

tangled up 07-27-2012 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by mommys3 (Post 45614733)
Aw,thank you :goodvibes And first reader!!! :cheer2:

You are very welcome, loving your choice of restaurants.

Great purchases from the Disney store, I have our Mickey ears from last time, so saving myself some cash this time.

Well done to your girls on their countdown chain, they did a wonderful job:thumbsup2 I designed one for our children, and they love it. It went up at 150 days to go, and now down to 70 days to go.

Your first day looks brilliant! Hope you manage to get everything in. :)


mommys3 07-27-2012 02:09 PM


Originally Posted by tangled up (Post 45627566)
You are very welcome, loving your choice of restaurants.

Great purchases from the Disney store, I have our Mickey ears from last time, so saving myself some cash this time.

Well done to your girls on their countdown chain, they did a wonderful job:thumbsup2 I designed one for our children, and they love it. It went up at 150 days to go, and now down to 70 days to go.

Your first day looks brilliant! Hope you manage to get everything in. :)


The only ears we have (other than our recent purchase) are a pair that read "First Haircut" from when I* had her first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop last year :earsgirl: The girls will be choosing their ears when we get to WDW...I can't wait to see what they pick out! Sadly, L3 is too "old" for that :sad2: I think I will have to get a pair of ears to wear myself to make up for him :rotfl:

Wow, 150 day chain?! That is dedication, my dear :thumbsup2 I don't think that would have lasted that long with my kids...they are dying at one month out :lmao:

mommys3 07-27-2012 02:39 PM

Day 1 First time/Must-dos!
I have started a list of things that we must-do at each park, as well as try something new that we have never done before- trying to prove to the hubby that as many times as we go to WDW...there is always something new and exciting to do!

There's a first for everything :dance3:

*Living with the Land- we have passed this attraction a lot, with never really giving a second though about it. When I was doing research for this trip, I decided to watch a video of it on youtube. Two words came to mind: relaxing and educational. It actually looks like something we'll all enjoy!

*Sum of all Thrills- Looks like something the kids would love, especially since they will be missing Test Track :sad2:

*Agent P's World Showcase Adventure- the kids LOVE Phineas and Ferb and I know they would have a blast playing this...they have no idea this exists!

*Akershus- really looking forward to meeting the princesses with my little princesses :cloud9: We usually eat at CRT, but are looking forward to something different!

*Via Napoli- I have been dreaming of this pizza for a few months now...authentic (tasting) Italian pizza??? Yes please:worship: This was originally supposed to be a Le Cellier ADR, but we have eaten there before. And the kids prefer pizza over steak :rolleyes:

*Cape May Cafe Clam Bake- I know it's not in Epcot, but it's located in an Epcot resort and we'll be doing it on our Epcot day :) This wasn't originally on our list of places to eat, but L3 asked for a place with crab legs and clams. I had no clue this place existed until that specific request!

Must-Dos at Epcot

*Spaceship Earth- do I need a reason :rotfl: The kids could care less about it, but this is one ride I refuse to miss!

*Mission:Space- kids absolutely love this ride. J is the only one that had yet to ride Team Orange...maybe he'll try it this time?

*Soarin'- a family favorite!

*Club Cool- we love tasting different sodas around the world! Hopefully Beverly will be working this time ;)

*Mouse Gear- HELLO shopping!!! :love:

*Japan Pick-a-pearl for B (this is a first, but a MUST-DO!!!)

*Snacks at Karamell Kuche (again a first, but a MUST-DO! That display of caramel goodies has been haunting me from the moment I saw it online :blush:)

*Grand Marnier Slush from France and Welsh Dragon from Rose and Crown for mommy :drinking1 (first and must-do!)

mommys3 07-27-2012 05:58 PM

Day 2
DAY TWO- Tuesday (8/28)

*Wake up around 7:00 AM
*Grab a bit to eat at ASMovies food court
*Leave ASMovies around 8:30 AM, get to Animal Kingdom (hopefully) before opening (9:00 AM)
*Ride the rides (Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), watch the shows (Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo the Musical, It's Tough to Be a Bug), visit the Boneyard to tire the little ones out.
*Lunch (afternoonish...maybe 12:00 PM-1:00 PM) at Flame Tree Barbecue
*Jammin' Jungle Parade- 3:45 PM
*AK closes at 5:00 PM. Head to ASMovies for rest/swimming.
*Leave ASMovies by 7:30 PM, arrive at Hollywood Studios before our 50's Prime Time Cafe ADR at 8:15 PM
*HS closes at 9:00 PM, so head back to ASMovies after dinner.
*SLEEP! :faint:

VACamm 07-27-2012 06:23 PM

I'm joining in!

mommys3 07-27-2012 06:38 PM

Day 2 First time/Must-dos!
Last time we went to AK was in's been a while!
(sorry for the bad picture...picture of a picture :rotfl:) We are in the first row, with hubby on the left of the second row. L3 was 6 when this was taken!

There's a first for everything:dance3:

*Affection Section- I think the kids will love seeing the animals and being able to pet them

*Finding Nemo- the Musical- I've heard mixed reviews about this show. Watched some of it on youtube...looks like it could have potential :cool2:

*Primeval Whirl- Last time we have been to AK, no one was tall enough to ride. Now 3 out of 4 of the kids can ride it :cool1:

*Dinosaur- I can't remember if I rode this with my hubby or by myself...but I know for a fact that none of the kids have ridden it. I can't wait to see the photo at the end of the ride :lmao:

*50's Prime Time Cafe (dinner after AK)- I* and I have been to 50's PTC for onion rings and a PB&J milkshake last September. Looking forward to going with the entire family...and trying the fried chicken!

Must-Dos at Animal Kingdom

*Festival of the Lion King- my favorite WDW show :thumbsup2

*Expedition Everest- L3 is the only one that has ridden it...B and J are super excited to finally meet the Yeti!

*Kali River Rapids- just because it will be HOT :firefight

*Kilimanjaro Safaris- something everyone can ride :goodvibes

*Flame Tree Barbecue- YUM

*Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade- We are going to try to see all the parades while we are at WDW :goodvibes

*The Boneyard- for I* and her 2.5 year old cousin, but I'm sure the older kids will have fun, too ;)

mommys3 07-27-2012 06:44 PM


Originally Posted by VACamm (Post 45632196)
I'm joining in!

:welcome: Thank you for reading along!

sushi candy 07-27-2012 08:09 PM

I'm in! I love your dining plans and your family is lovely! I have a little one the same age as your adorable daughter.

Are the kids the only ones pin trading or do you do it too? I am thinking about getting into it for my trip. Any tips you can share?

mommys3 07-27-2012 09:02 PM


Originally Posted by sushi candy (Post 45633080)
I'm in! I love your dining plans and your family is lovely! I have a little one the same age as your adorable daughter.

Are the kids the only ones pin trading or do you do it too? I am thinking about getting into it for my trip. Any tips you can share?

Thank you, and:welcome: This will be the first time trading pins for us. The kids will be doing it, but I may join in on the fun...not sure yet! We bought the pin starter set (lanyard and 2-4 pins) and 2 extra sets of 2 trading pins from the disney store online when they were having the 25% off sale. I just found out that you can buy the pins on ebay for a lot cheaper. Just make sure it's a reputable seller that sells authentic disney pins. Also, I have heard that the backs they come with (black rubber mickey heads) aren't very secure and pins can fall off the lanyard pretty easily. I am going to look for locking backs (they have them on ebay as well as Michael's or JoAnn's). Also, CMs that have green lanyards only trade pins with kids 12 and under.

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