Is he going to make us all do the hula? - Now with Tie Dye pics!
Hi all! This is my very first ever PRE-TRIP REPORT! I actually have two trips planned in the next four months, so I’m going to start this one first then write for the other one too! When I jump into something, I jump in BIG!
The first trip is November 10-17, 2012. This actually started off with all the intentions of a shorter trip! We were just going to do my immediate family, maybe Monday-Friday. Ha! Then, we decided we wanted to take my parents along. Still, we were just going to do Sunday-Friday. I planned it all out with our DVC points so that I could get studios for my family and for my parents. Then, at our 7 month miracle, I miraculously managed to score a Value studio for my family. Hrm, that gave us enough points to add another night! We started talking about our trip and our friends decided to come along, too! Then, we started looking at flights and decided to add bookend nights to either end of our DVC stay so that we could have better flight times. Well, you know how that goes. Our “shorter” trip turned into eight nights!
Cast of Characters
Tiffany (that’s me) 33
Dave (DH) 33
Scott (DS) 13
Kate (DD) 5
Sophie (DD) 20 months
Faith (my mom) 55
Ray (my dad) 55
Ziva 17 months
Table of Contents:
Plans for each day-
The 45 day itch!
Stocking the Owner's Locker
Talking about the spreadsheet!
Me – Tiffany
I am the planner extraordinaire and the mastermind of this trip! I have had the Disney bug since I was a wee lass. I grew up spending quite a bit of time in my grandparent’s RV at Fort Wilderness but as an adult I have vowed never to willfully sleep in an RV or a campground again. Unfortunately, there was a period of time in my life where there were no Disney trips (from 1996-2011!) so I’m working hard to make up for that now! This trip in November will be Sophie’s third trip! I’m an accountant by day and something else that rhymes with shmavel gragent as a hobby at night. I love planning the heck out of my own Disney trips, complete with color-coded, laminated spreadsheets distributed to everyone in the group!
DH – Dave
Dave is a new Disney convert but he is turning over that leaf, slowly but surely! He had only been to Disney one or two times in his life until last year, and not any time in his adult life. Now, he’s into deciding ADR’s and hotels with me! Up next: Touring Plans! :lmao: His new obsession is to collect enough Disney themed Hawaiian shirts to have one for each day of our November trip! He will be turning 34 during this trip and we have a special birthday lunch at Le Cellier planned for him!
DS (13) – Scott
Scott is my oldest child. He’s usually mellow, mild mannered and pretty easy going. He went on a Disney trip with his grandparents when he was 4 but the only thing he remembers about that trip is the Buzz Lightyear ride! Since our first trip back last November and our second trip back this April, he’s a hardcore Tower of Terror fan. He even got the themed Mickey Ears to go with his obsession! If I let him, he will spend all day in Hollywood Studios riding Tower of Terror over and over and over and over and over.
DD (5) – Kate
Kate is my sassy, firecracker princess! She started Kindergarten last week and is fast on her way to achieving BIG GIRL status! We are hoping that this trip will mark her need for a button announcing she’s celebrating 44 inches! ;) She loooooooves roller coasters and is dying to get on Space Mountain! Her favorite Disney character is Doc McStuffins. Sadly, she isn’t in the parks. Otherwise, she loves Cinderella’s stepsisters but it still amazes me how sassypants clams up and becomes shy whenever characters approach!
DD (20 months) – Sophie
Sophie will be 20 months when we go on this trip in November. She has been to Disney World at 7 months old and at 14 months old. She’s just starting to speak a lot but since birth she’s been pretty laid back, except when her sister irritates the heck out of her! Sophie loves taking in the sites to be seen from her stroller and I have a feeling she will really enjoy identifying and pointing out characters she’s familiar with! We are really excited because she gets to go with her baby BFF Ziva!
My Parents – Faith & Ray
My parents live in New Orleans and we live ON Long Island, NY. (Don’t say IN Long Island. Learned that lesson! Eeeesh!) We only get to see them a few times a year so I’ve sort of decided to make it my mission in life to see each other on vacation as much as possible so there’s not a whole lot of sitting around in a house trying to entertain my brood. My dad hasn’t been to Disney since the 80’s sometime and my mom hasn’t been since 1996. Boy, are they in for some surprises! They’re admittedly not Disney people but they’re going to experience it with the grandkids and us.
Mark, Ali & Ziva
Mark is Dave’s best friend. They’ve known each other for a bazillion years. Ali and I are pretty close since I moved up to New York three years ago and we all spend a lot of time together. My youngest DD (Sophie) and their only DD (Ziva) are only 4 months apart so we are already planning their lives out as lifelong best friends! ;) Ali & Mark have been to Disney World and Disneyland but this is their first trip with a child and their first visit with an uber-planner! (Edited to add info from Ali) I sent the link to this PTR to Ali so she decided to add some background info of her own. She said, "I went yearly as a kid but only stayed on property once before - in 02 - with a friend so this is all new for me. Mark only went once as a six year old and then on my extended family vacation from hell which ruined Disney for him and he never wanted to return. We went again when I was pregnant and he realized how fun it was but said we didn't want to go to Disney with babies. Then you used your devil magic and somehow convinced us to go for 3 weeks with you"
We're a sarcastic bunch. :rotfl2:
It's fun going with a group of people. This will be the first time since we've had kids that we'll be going without any other friends or family to help out. I'm excited for that but I'm going to miss having the extra hands when we want to ride the big kid rides.
We'll be there in November as well. Some of the same dates as you. :thumbsup2
I'm exctied to read more, see some pictures, and see if we have any of the same plans.
Have fun! ;)
We'll be there in November as well. Some of the same dates as you. :thumbsup2
I'm exctied to read more, see some pictures, and see if we have any of the same plans.
Oh, I'll go check out your PTR to see what you have planned!
I mentioned earlier that we are DVC owners and we are using our points for my family and my parents. But that’s just for part of the trip! Here are the full plans:
My Family –
11/10 Coronado Springs
11/11-11/17 Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House in a Value Studio
11/18 Port Orleans Riverside in a Royal Room
My Parents –
11/12-11/16 Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House in a Standard Studio
They’re quite the homebodies so we really are sticking with the SHORTER trip for them!
Mark, Ali & Ziva –
11/10 Coronado Springs
11/11-11/17 Art of Animation in Little Mermaid rooms
11/18 Port Orleans Riverside in a Royal Room
We plan on using the pool at Coronado Springs and just enjoying the resort. My dad is a nature lover so we HAD to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I’m so excited to get to see him there! He’s going to have his binoculars, I’m sure! O.O Ali and Mark are big Pixar fans, so Finding Nemo and Cars lured them in to Art of Animation, though they weren’t willing to shell out tons more $$ for a suite! Our last afternoon/night is going to be slooooooooow and early since Mark, Ali & Ziva need to be on the Mickey Bus (that’s what my kids call Magical Express!) at about 5:20 in the morning so we will relax in the on-the-bayou atmosphere!
I’m really very, very excited about the Royal Rooms. I love all the detail! Aladdin’s lamp as the faucet does me in! I can’t wait to fight with the kids to press the button for the fireworks in the headboards!
I love food. I love eating out at restaurants and I love trying new things. I converted my husband from a pizza and spaghetti-only eater to someone who will eat just about anything (mushrooms and olives withstanding). My parents are no so adventurous. Ali & Mark are probably even more adventurous than Dave and I. When it came time for our first family trip in 2011 I hit the internet running looking for reviews of good places to eat, the best choice on the menu and the best overall experience. Then, there’s that part of me that wants to try everything, even if it gets bad reviews because I want to experience it for myself! So, I sat down with these factors and the requests of my kids to decide what we should do!
We bring breakfast foods for the room. Granola bars, pop tarts, cereal (grab milk from the store), and sometimes we bring bagels and cream cheese. I’m really not a huge fan of Disney breakfast, except for the Mickey waffle and I don’t like to waste that prime park touring time eating. I also really like to sit on my balcony in the morning while drinking my coffee and waking up for the day so that's a perfect time to eat! :coffee:
11/10 – We arrive at MCO just after 5pm. We figure we will just check in to the hotel and head to the pool, either eating at the food court or sending the guys out to pick up pizza. Mark wants to eat Giordano’s so maybe we’ll get that.
11/11 – We move from Coronado Springs to Jambo House and Ali & Mark move to Art of Animation. We have a car but they won’t so we will help them get moved then we will probably grab lunch at The Mara. I really like their options. This night we have a 6:40 reservation at ‘Ohana. I’m hoping that we can get through dinner in time to watch the fireworks from the beach. Maybe we will show up just a tad early and see if we can get seated.
11/12 – My parents arrive this day, so we will probably try to grab a quick service lunch in Magic Kingdom before going to meet them at the hotel when the Mickey Bus drops them off. We have a 7:45 reservation at Whispering Canyon Café this night so we can mosey casually over to the Wilderness Lodge when the Magic Kingdom closes at 7 for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! The last time we went to Whispering Canyon Café, Kate was MORTIFIED at the ketchup thing. We are hoping since she will know it’s coming this time that she will get more into it. I like the skillet there and I’m looking forward to it. Dave and I like to get one soda and one refillable milkshake and share!
11/13 – This is our Animal Kingdom day. Lunch will likely be quick service at either Flame Tree Barbecue or Yak & Yeti. The park closes at 5pm and we have made a reservation for 7pm at Boma. I loooooooove the smell of Boma. That wood-fire smell that hits when you walk into the lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge makes my mouth water! We have been there for breakfast but this is our first time for dinner!
11/14 – We have a lunch reservation at 50’s Prime Time Café. Scott, usually very shy and reserved, loves the shtick here. He also loved the food, so anywhere I can get that picky kid to eat well I’ll go back again and again! I figured my parents would also get a big kick out of this place. Kate was a little harder to convince. She remembers very well that Cousin Joey told her to get her elbows off the table and she’s still a little miffed. She’s got it all planned this time though! She says she will tell him, “You’re not my daddy!” and stick her tongue out. Knowing full well that she will never actually follow through with this, I’ve given it my blessing. Whatever gets her excited about going! No idea what dinner will be this night. Lunch is at 12:15 but Fantasmic is kind of early – 6:30pm. I guess it depends on if we are hungry before Fanstasmic or not. If so, we can grab something wherever we are at the time. If not, we can all just eat when we get back to our respective hotels. I really like the hot dog with mac & cheese at Fairfax Faire but I’d also enjoy a second trip to The Mara!
11/15 – Dave’s birthday. We have a late lunch reservation at Le Cellier this day to celebrate. We haven’t been and have wanted to try it. Now, we are getting in before they change lunch to two table service credits, too! Lunch isn’t until 2:25 though so we will likely be stuffed until it’s time for a late dinner. Maybe we will share something breakfast-y around 10 or so to hold us over. Or we can just get snacks. The kids are staying with my parents this night while Dave and I go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Ali & Mark are on their own, so everyone will just fend for themselves for dinner.
11/16 – My parents leave late in the afternoon. I’m thinking we will likely spend the morning in the Magic Kingdom with them but that’s up in the air! So, lunch this day will depend on what we actually decide to do. We, along with Ali & Mark have a dinner reservation at Les Chefs de France this night. We want to see Remy!
11/17 – Saturday is another moving day, and we have no ADR’s. Food is totally up in the air this day as it’s going to be a slow, relaxing day. Maybe we will hit a park, maybe not. Maybe we will have quick service credits left, maybe not. I’m a lot less type-A about quick service restaurants so I’m willing to just go with the flow here! Hahah! :hippie:
So, those are the dining plans! They’re pretty firm since they’ve been set for a while.
I just edited the introductions to include some pictures!
I said above that Dave is newly obsessed with collecting Disney Hawaiian shirts. Well, he just texted me from the thrift store. He got these two beauties for a grand total of $5.21! What a steal!
I choose my park days using a combination of Touring Plans & EasyWDW’s crowd calendars. (What??? You use BOTH? Where’s your allegiance?) Yes, I use both. I read the recommendations and the reasons for the recommendations then I make a decision on where to go that day but still make sure we get everything in. It helps that we don’t travel in super busy times of the year.
Since we are traveling with a group, I realize that everyone probably has different ideas of how to tour the parks and different things they specifically want to do. I said this to our companions: This is where we will be and what we will be doing. If you want to join us, great, but if not, that’s perfectly fine too! We will all meet up for a meal a day at the very least!
I was going to write the tentative schedule for the whole trip then go back and write out detailed plans for the individual days but that seems redundant. Instead, I’ll just start with the first day and go from there. I’ll combine the first two days in this post since our arrival day is actually evening.
11/10 – Our plan leaves Islip at 2:20 and arrives in Orlando at 5:10pm. We are renting a car but Ali & Mark are taking Magical Express. I might end up sending Dave to get the car with maybe Scott and/or Kate and I’ll ride the bus with them and Sophie. Don’t know yet. Once we get to Coronado Springs we’ll decide on dinner. Either the guys will go get pizza or we can just eat at the Pepper Market. I’m not too worried about it. We won’t starve. The idea is to kick off our vacation in grand relaxing style. I’m sure my kids will be tired from traveling so we will probably head to bed at a reasonable hour!
11/11 – The idea on Sunday is to sleep until we wake up. Maybe I’ll go for a jog to check out the resort! Once everyone is up, we will have breakfast goodies in the room. If the kids want to, we can go out to the pool again. Once everyone is showered and dressed we will start the moving process. We will help Mark & Ali get over to Art of Animation since they won’t have a car. I’m dying to check out the resort! We will get ourselves packed and over to Jambo House. Hopefully our room will be ready, but I’m not counting on it! If not, we’ll either leave the luggage in the car or have them hold it.
By this time, I’m figuring we might be ready for lunch. I’d like to go to The Mara. After we eat, we are going to do something I’ve never done before! Play bus roulette! We will go down to the bus stop and get on the first bus that comes! Yes, this is how an uber-planner is spontaneous, by planning for it to happen months in advance and preparing myself! :rotfl2: I’m not sure what Ali & Mark plan to do this day, if they want to join us or not. Whatever park we end up at, we’ll ride a few rides and just lazily wander the park with no set agenda!
Eventually, we will either have to come back to Jambo House to get the car or catch a bus/boat/monorail (depending) over to the Poly. We all have a 6:40pm reservation at ‘Ohana. I’ve been to ‘Ohana for breakfast but not for dinner so I’m really quite excited! Ideally, I’d like to show up just a bit early for our reservation so that we can comfortably make our way out to the beach to watch Wishes. Since its November, the parks close sort of early and Wishes is at 8pm this night. After Wishes, we will make our way back to our respective resorts. I need to get my family into bed so that we can get up early for rope drop the next day!
Can't wait to follow your planning! I might have to borrow some of your amazing organization!
11/12 – This will be our first full day in the parks! Yeah! We are morning people because of the way our everyday lives work. Dave starts work usually around 4 or 5am. I’m up around 6 with the kids. Getting up early at Disney is not any struggle for us, especially because the little kids are used to getting up and that’s what they do.
We plan on making it to rope drop at the Magic Kingdom today. Even though we will have a car, I prefer to take Disney transportation to MK. Navigating the TTC isn’t my idea of a good time. I feel like in the extra time I spend walking through the parking lot, waiting for the monorail or ferry, etc, that I could have just taken the bus from my resort and been there at the front gate already!
The opening show at Magic Kingdom is a tear-jerker! I can’t help myself! I get so excited that I’m there and the anticipation of getting in the park makes me so emotional! Then we’re off! I haven’t quite determined our rope drop strategy yet, mostly because we have no idea what will be in soft opening in Fantasyland. Our must-do’s for the pre-lunch our definitely include Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. Others will be the Barnstormer, Pooh, and Peter Pan for the littles. I personally don’t like Dumbo! (Now I’m going to be ex-communicated from the Disboards…) I call it the scariest ride in all of Disney World! Lol! I hate heights and you’re just sitting out there in the wide open in a plastic elephant! I keep picturing myself falling out! That said, I’ll gladly sit that one out while the rest of the group goes for an elephant flight! I would like to check out the new tent though! I love Haunted Mansion, but we’ll have to see if we can convince Kate that it is “pretend spooky” this time. She goes back and forth. The Tiki Room is fun for me, but I can do without the Jungle Cruise. Dave loves Carousel of Progress (kinda funny for a guy who supposedly isn’t a Disney fan, huh?), and Scott will want to do Buzz Lightyear.
Sometime in here we will eat lunch. No one has any real preference here so we’ll just eat wherever we are at the time.
My parents will be arriving at MCO around 1:00pm. Dave, the kids and I will go back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to meet them when they arrive on the Mickey bus and make sure they get settled (quickly!) then we’ll corral them back on the bus to the park. While we are getting my parents, Ali & Mark will be getting Ziva’s first haircut done at the Harmony Barber Shop! We had Sophie’s done last year. It was so much fun! Her certificate and her “first haircut” mouse ears are proudly displayed in her room!
We’ll spend the afternoon with my parents, probably doing whatever they want to do in Magic Kingdom given how long it has been since they’ve been there. Maybe we’ll even get my Dad in some Mickey ears…
The park closes at 7pm for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We’ll meander our way down Main Street when it’s time to leave and take the launch over to the Wilderness Lodge to eat dinner at Whispering Canyon Café. We had Ali & Mark over for dinner this weekend and we were discussing this ADR. We figure between the ten of us, including two toddlers, there’s sure to be some misplaced silverware, lots of refills and definitely the need for some ketchup. This should lead to good times! I also really, really love the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge and I’m thinking my parents will too.
This was Kate's opinion of the ketchup last time! Scott found her reaction hilarious!
Because of the party, we will easily be able to take the launch back to the Magic Kingdom then hop a bus back to our respective hotels this night.
Early to bed isn't imperative tonight, as we're having a lazy morning tomorrow. Maybe we will hit the pool when we get back, depending on the time!
11/13 – Tuesday is our Animal Kingdom day and the first full day that we’ll have our group together. We also chose it as a sleep-in day. This doesn’t mean we will sleep until noon, because my kids sure won’t, but it means I probably won’t set an alarm for myself and we’ll just get up when the little ones wake us. We’ll let everyone know what our assumed timeline is at that point and figure out a meet up time for Animal Kingdom. I’ll probably make my parents actually go to the park with us! I’m leaning towards taking the bus this day since Animal Kingdom is so close to Animal Kingdom Lodge. I can’t really see saving a ton of time by driving, parking, and making the hike to/from the parking lot. Plus, if we take the bus I can be sure my parents go with us!
I’m figuring even with the kids “sleeping in” we will end up getting to the park around 10am. I’m assuming Ali & Mark will probably meet us there around that time. We will head straight for Kilimanjaro Safari. I like that my whole family can ride this together. I think my dad is going to enjoy this one. I actually think my dad will enjoy the detail in the whole park. I know I love going from land to land and getting the real feel like you’re there. My mom and Mark have never been to Animal Kingdom either so it will be a first for them.
I know Scott and I will want to ride Expedition Everest as many times as possible. Hopefully Kate will make that 44” mark and can come too! If not, Dave and I will just swap out riding with Scott while the others take the little girls to do something else fun. I’ve never been on the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch so maybe I’ll actually make it a point to do that this time. I’d like to see the Finding Nemo show but I’m worried that it’s too long for the little ones. Unless we can time it at nap time, of course!
Lunch will probably be Flame Tree Barbecue or maybe we’ll try the counter service at Yak & Yeti. I like sitting down by the water at Flame Tree and we really liked their food the last time we had it.
I’d like to go all day without leaving for a break since we’ll have a late arrival and the park closes at 5pm. I think we can manage, especially if we take it slow and go at the pace of the little ones. We bring a stroller for Kate too because she sure does need it and it helps to keep her from meltdown mode. I’m sure Sophie’s going to need a lot more time out of the stroller on this trip than the past two trips so we will check out the Boneyard for playtime.
Once the park closes at 5pm, we will all head back to Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is another reason I want to take the bus, so Ali & Mark can ride back with us. We have a dinner reservation at Boma for 7pm. I figure we’ll show them around the resort, take some time to view the animals and just explore. The lobby itself is awesome. After dinner, we can head down to the pool for a while and when Ali & Mark are ready, Dave or I will drive them back to Art of Animation.
Overall, this will be a really easy, slow, relaxing day while still exploring a park that I love.
Oh my!!!! That picture of Sophie getting her hair cut is adorable! Those chubby legs are precious. ;)
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