We Just Can't Make Up our Minds- Link to TR added 8/7*
So I have decided to start a PTR, my first ever! I have enjoyed reading everyone other Trip Reports and Pre-trip reports so much I decided to write my own!
So lets start with the basics! This trip has been three years in the making. We last went to Disney in June 2010 and had planned to return the following year one last time before we had a baby. But sometimes miracles work on their own time and we ended up having our DD June 2011 so no Disney for us! We decided to put our trip off until summer 2013 when we could enjoy WDW as a family for the first time.
So who is going on this trip? Let me introduce you to our family:
First up me, I am Jackie, 30 year old wife and mother. I have been obsessed with Disney since I can remember. As soon as I found out there was a WDW it was my mission in life to get there! My parents finally took me when I was seven and even though we stayed off site I was hooked! We went again when I was nine and then it was a long 13 years before my next Disney trip. When I met my DH he agreed to take me to DL for the first time and we have been going every three years or so since. WDW is my favorite place on earth and I am always planning my next trip! Before having my daughter I was a high school FACS teacher (FACS used to be home ec). I mostly taught sewing which is another passion of mine. I LOVE to sew and spend every second of free time doing it. The best type of sewing...Disney sewing! Sorry for the tangent there. I am now a stay at home mom and loving every minute of it!
Next up is my DH Bob, he is a high school social studies teacher, student council sponsor, department leader and principal in training. This man does it all! When I first met DH I told him how much I love WDW and he said "But that place is for kids" I talked him into going with me and he learned how much you can enjoy Disney as an adult. I know Bob is not as into Disney as I am but he tolerates it because he loves to see his girls happy! Even though he won't admit it, he does really enjoy our trips to WDW.
Finally there is DD, Charlotte. She will be two in June. I am really looking forward to Charlotte's first visit. She never sits still for long but I have been exposing her to many Disney movies so she knows the characters. So far her favorites are Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Beauty and the Beast. The beast is probably her favorite character, she smiles and says "doggie" whenever he comes on screen. So she is kind of weird like that, the things that other kids don't like she loves. This child also prefers veggies to dessert, so I'm not complaining.
So now that you know who we are you have to stay tuned to find out other exciting details like where are we staying (that is a can't miss saga!), when are we going, what are our ADR's, what outfits will Charlotte be wearing? So I will be back soon with more details!
Hello!!! I just booked my July trip on Saturday, so I have just started looking for July PTRs, and found yours first! I just had my last day in the classroom on Friday, and am moving onto a new job at a museum. I think I will always consider myself a teacher! Your daughter is so cute. I love that she loves veggies and the beast! Can't wait to read about your plans!
In!! Can't wait to hear about your plans. :goodvibes
I am so excited I have readers!:wave2:
When should we go to Disney?
The when for us is kind of tricky, we can only go at the busiest times of the year since DH is a teacher we have to go when school is out. Dh also usually goes on a trip or two with his school in the summer to explore historical sights around the country, so he is hard to work around. We also wanted a full 7 day week for our trip so shorter breaks would not work. Our past two trips were the second week of June. June 2007 we went on a Disney cruise and then spent a week at POFQ for our honeymoon. Then, in June 2010 we went back to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. We really liked the second week in June. This year however, June was a no-go because Bob has to teach summer school now that I am a SAHM, and summer school is the month of June. So between his history trips, workshops and summer school that left us with one full week the entire summer, July 25- Aug 1. The idea that teachers have all summer off is very wrong, many teachers do lots of things over the summer and DH is defiantly not alone in that he only has one or two weeks in the summer with nothing to do. I am getting a little off topic here sorry!
Anyway so that is how we arrived at our dates. I am well aware that this time of the year is crowded and hot, but its better than not going right? Well, to me it sure is! We booked this trip July 18, 2012 a little over a year before our trip was to take place. I could not wait to go, and booking it then made it feel so much more real! I also purchased a subscription to touringplans.com to start the planning process. At this time we thought we knew where we would be staying however, little did we know we would change our minds about that, a few times. That is how this pre-trip report got named! I will be back with more planning fun soon! Thanks for reading.:banana:
I've only been during the most crowded times! It is definitely going to be fine. Just the fact that you are a DISer puts you at an advantage over the masses. The amount of knowledge that we have going into trips can allow us to likely do more during peak season than an average person could do during low attendance. And plus, being at Disney anytime is better than not, right? I am most concerned about the heat, though. My goal is to start researching things to bring to help with that.
Where are We Going to Stay?
Alright so now you know the who, DH Bob, Dd Charlotte and myself Jackie. You know the when July 25-Aug. 1. Now you need to know the where!
Well the big where is Walt Disney World of course, but which resort? Well that is where the title of this PTR comes from, we changed our minds a few times about this. Let me start off by saying I am no resort snob, I would sleep in my car as long as it is on Disney property. I am just happy to be "home". We stayed in a moderate resort (POFQ) and a value resort (ASMo) when we went back in 2010, and we had a nice time in both, no complaints. We did prefer the feel of POFQ over the ASMo as it was more peaceful, quite and private. The rooms were also just a little bigger which was nice. However, I was so excited about the new AoA resort, I thought it looked like so much fun. I loved the Little Mermaid, it is my favorite Disney movie of all time. Seriously one of our dogs is named Sebastian, I'm a fan. So, it was a no brainer last July when we booked our trip AoA LM room it was. I felt good about, DH felt good about it, settled right? Nope not yet!
I started doing a lot of research for our trip and one thing I noticed was that if any discounts were to come out, the LM rooms would not be included. Can you really blame Disney for that? I mean if they are filling up the rooms at full price why discount them? It just makes good sense for them. But, for me however, if a discount came out I would want to take advantage of it for sure! So, we started pricing moderate resorts. What we discovered is that is was not that much more to upgrade to POR and if a discount came out it would be cheaper. So we called the magical reservation line and magically changed to POR. (I love calling WDW!) My DH was very happy about this. He is the type of guy if he does something and likes it he is sold, he always wants to do things the same way. Since he liked POFQ so much, he thought he would love POR the same way and was very happy with our choice. Once he is sold on something he is settled and doesn't think much more about it. I however, am not like that. I continue to do research and weigh all the options. So I started doing lots of research and one thing I kept coming back to was that we would be spending lots of time on buses. Our DD has to have her afternoon nap and a lot of ADRs we wanted are at other resorts. I just had this feeling so much of our trip would be spent commuting. I know lots of people do POR with a toddler who naps so, it can be done. But, I just felt like it might not be the best option for us. So, I kept pricing out deluxe resorts mainly ones that were in the MK area. After a month or so of doing this I found that upgrading to WL would be costly, but the benefits might just be worth the extra cost. So, I presented my plan to DH. He said no way, he was really looking forward to POR and wanted to stay there, end of discussion. Or was it?
In December, DH was approached by a friend of his that works for a nearby college. He asked him if he would be interested in teaching a night course for a professor who decided to take a last minute sabbatical. DH has always wanted to do that, so he said he would. He came home and told me that we could apply the funds from this course to our trip and upgrade to the WL. YEAH! I was so excited. I have always dreamed of staying in a deluxe, I could not wait to call and change our reservation once again. DH asked that I wait until he got the contract signed and turned in before changing our reservation. Well, that came over the holidays and we put off changing the reservation but still had plans of changing to WL. Then one day (a great day) DH came home and said "Is WL on the monorail line?" I told him that is was not, but I was curious as to why he would ask. He said he was talking about our WDW trip with some other teachers and they told him with a 2 year old you should defiantly try and stay on the monorail line. DH asked me to price out monorail line resorts. (Thank you fellow teachers, thank you!pixiedust:) So after looking at the prices, we decided that CR garden wing, garden view room would still fit within our budget. So DH told me to call and change it. I was in total shock, I mean me in a deluxe resort, the CR of all places, it just felt too good to be true! Within just a few minutes I was magically on the phone with a less than helpful, kind of cranky CM (didn't matter I was upgrading my resort!!!) and we were booked in the CR. Words can not explain how excited I am about this. We are NOT changing resorts again. We are set. This is totally a dream come true for me! So, that is the story of how we started out in a value resort and now booked in a deluxe on the monorail line.:cheer2:
Sorry for the text heavy updates, I will have some pictures in some of the upcoming updates. Stay tuned for exciting updates, like where our ADRs will be, what outfits Charlotte will be wearing, and what our daily plans will be.
Planning Day 1 and 2
Well, we have had a very busy few weeks around here. One of my life long friends got married and I was a bridesmaid. Boy, being a bridesmaid after having kids is totally different, still fun but a lot more stressful. Then we had DH's cousins in town for Easter weekend and dinner for 20 on Easter, whew I am still tried from all of this, but we survived!
So on to our trip plans! Good Friday brought some wonderful news, a Disney Visa discount! Yay! So we called and of course our room type was not included in the discount, so we had to upgrade to a Garden Wing king size room in order to save, but overall, we saved $720, which was great! :banana:
As for getting there, for most of our Disney trips we drive, the only time we flew was in 2006 when I tagged along with DH who was going to the Swan for a conference. Since were not technically going to WDW we did not get the perk of taking the ME to our resort. We like driving (neither of us are good flyers), but we took a driving vacation to the beach last summer with our DD, we decided flying might make this trip a little more enjoyable. We also looked at the numbers and found that driving would actually cost about the same when you factor in that we would have to stay overnight in a hotel, gas and food, and it would take us about two days to get there. So, we found a great deal on Southwest and took it, so we are flying! :woohoo: I am pretty excited about this, when we drive it feels like you lose the day you arrive and leave because you are so tried from the drive. I think this was an all around good move for us.
We are also going on the dining plan. I know people have mixed feelings on the DP, but we really like it. We liked it better in 2007 when tips were included but, we still like it now. We like doing the sit down meals and not having to worry about prices and we like all the different dining experiences we get that way. So we went with the basic plan that includes one TS, one QS, and one snack per day. We plan on purchasing a few breakfast buffets out of pocket because DH and DD are big breakfast eaters and we prefer a later evening meal so a big breakfast works better for us. I considered the deluxe dining plan, but even with paying for 4 meals OOP we will still save $ on the regular plan, plus the DxDDP seems like sooo much food!
So on July 25 we arrive at 12:40 and should be to our resort around 3:00 which works out perfectly! When we drive to WDW we typically don't plan anything the day we arrive we relax and head to DTD for one of our favorites, EoS. This time we decided to change things up just a little bit. We made an ADR for our favorite 'Ohanna! We will be going there later in the trip as well. We will be paying for this one OOP since one of our meals later in the trip take two credits (more on that later!). When I made our ADR's I thought we would be staying at POR so I thought we would head to the Poly have a late dinner and then watch wishes from the Poly beach. Now we are thinking after we eat we will hop on the monorail back to the CR, explore our resort and watch wishes from there. But regardless day 1 will be super laid back. Our only for sure plans are: arriving, 'Ohanna, and what Charlotte will wear to dinner. I am going to go on a little tangent now, I have been dreaming of having a DD and taking her to WDW since our honeymoon. I saved ideas for outfits to make for my DD trips to Disney since before I even had a DD. I started making clothes for DD as soon as Christmas was over. When I started sewing I planned on making her 5 outfits for our trip, but every time I finished one outfit, I would get an idea for another which eventually led to plans for 16 outfits! Two for each day, a little crazy I know, but I had so much fun making them. I still have two left to finish up, but otherwise they are all done! So with out farther ado here is Charlotte's outfit for our first night in Disney:
Yes, I made that pettiskirt. You are looking at 90 yards of chiffon, ruffled the old fashioned way. It was a challenge, but I loved doing it. I also made a cute bow to match it with a minnie head on it but of course she would not let me take a picture of that side of her head!
So that is day 1, I am pretty happy with these plans. Vacations are always a compromise between DH and I, he likes a very laid back vacation and I like to go and see as much as possible. So, we have to balance days with lots to do, with days with little to do. That way everyone has a good time.
I have decided in this update to go ahead and do day 2 as well since there wasn't much to report about day1.
So on to Day 2!
Day 2 will be our first park day. We have always done AK as our first park day not sure why, I think we kind of like to get it out of the way. I mean we like a few things about the park but both DH and I agree it is our least favorite park. I think it has something to do with the fact that we live in an area with a great zoo that we visit often (you can even get a Dole whip at our zoo!) So the park while nice just doesn't have lots to offer us. Anyway Park day 1 we will be at AK. We will most likely hit the QS restaurant in CR and split a breakfast and then head to the park. Like I said before my DH (DD too) is not a schedule person so rope drop is out of the question, we will get there when we get there. It makes it easier for everyone if I am flexible. I do however know Charlotte will be wearing this when we finally get there:
We plan to head to the safari and ride it if the line is not too long or get fast passes (unless we get the bands by then). Then, we will head to character meet and greats to see how our DD does with them. I will ride EE alone (DH hate roller coasters) and we will hit at least one of the shows, my favorite is It's Tough to be a Bug. I would also like to try and catch the parade, we have never seen it before. After that, we will see how DD is doing we might grab a QS lunch at Flame Tree (DH's fav QS) and then we will probably head back to resort for a swim and a nap. That evening we have an ADR but we won't going far, its at Chef Mickey's! This is a first for us, and I am excited to try it. Of course Charlotte has a head to toe look for the occasion:
After dinner we might walk over to the MK (we have park hoppers) so DD can see the castle for the first time and maybe just take in some of the atmosphere there and then we will head back to the resort for bedtime. Just typing this makes me so excited! I can't wait! :banana::woohoo:
So in addition to planning our trip I have also been having movie nights for DD and DH. After all, she needs to be familiar with the characters, right?
So far, I have not really been doing too much with them, but I have been reading the movie nights thread and I am now bursting with ideas, I am totally going to step them up a notch!
So way back in Nov. we did our first movie night and watched The Princess and the Frog.
DD and DH colored while I made dinner:
For dinner we had jambalaya, cornbread, and king cake.
DD helped with the cornbread:
Then, we watched the movie. DH thought he would hate it, but he said he actually liked it a lot.
The next few movie night I did not take any pictures, but we did:
Cars: Racer sandwiches, salad, motor oil, and tires for dessert
Cinderella: Cindy's Cream cheese french toast, fruit salad and sauasage
Toy Story: Pizza Planet Pizza
The Three Caballeros: Nachos, corn and churro chex mix
Brave: Guinness Stew, biscuits and pudding
Wreck It Ralph: Arcade pizza
We are going to start having our movie nights once a week since we have a lot to get through before we head to the world! This Friday we will be doing A Bug's Life. I can't wait!
Subscribing now! I am a fellow Missourian :thumbsup2 Loving your PTR so far, especially the cute outfits you have made for your adorable daughter!:)
You are very talented!
Love the dresses! I wish I could sew. Maybe I should learn???
I am getting so excited about our trip, I just can not wait! So updating my PTR makes me happy and makes me feel connected to our trip that is only 113 days away! We are getting there.
Another planning item. We always get a photopass CD. I love pictures, but hate that on trips I never actually get to be in the pics. Although a photopass CD is not cheap, I think its well worth the price to have photos of your whole group in each park. DH hates it though because I get crazy with the PP. I mean we stop at ALL of them! You never know where the will be the best photo will be from and I want the most for my money. After the trip though he says its worth it. So, this time around I have decided to do the PP+! I am really excited about this. We will be dining at most of the restaurants you get photos so, I think it will be worth it. DH was a little upset with the price, but he said he was going to trust me that its worth it. I ordered that way back in Nov. because I just couldn't wait to order it and it was $20 off. So, that's out of the way.
So what else will we be doing? Well day three is going to be jam packed with some of my personal favorites! I mentioned in my last post that my family (me not so much) loves breakfast, a lot. I am a grab a quick bite and move on to my day kind of person but my DH and DD love a long leisurely large meal. Their whole approach to mornings is slow and easy. When DH and I got married I didn't really change my habits for his but when DD came along and she preferred his style to mine, I had to readjust. I make her a hot breakfast most mornings and we relax and take our time getting going. This will have to be our vacation style as well, so that everyone has the best time possible. As some of you might know its just easier to work on a toddler's schedule rather than fight it. So, we have decided to try a few of the breakfast options this trip. Last time we tried a breakfast, 1900 PF, which was one of my favorite experiences of our trip. I love the atmosphere at that restaurant! It is so beautiful! I also love the Full House episodes where they are at the GF (I know others have mentioned this in their TRs as well :)) so it's fun to see the GF in person! I love that you get to see Alice, the Mad Hatter, and Mary Poppins, who you don't see all the time in the parks. Plus Pooh and Tigger too, it doesn't get any better than that! The character interaction there really is great! Did I mention that Charlotte LOVES Alice in Wonderland, I mean she loves it! She laughs the entire time it is on. My friends who have kids around her age say their kids are afraid of that movie, not my DD, she thinks it is so funny! My DD is weird like that, but, I love that about her. Okay off the tangent now, I can not really put into words why I loved the 1900 PF experience so much, other than it is all really grand! My DH also really liked it because well, its his big breakfast he loves so much, and since we are seeing characters, it doesn't make me anxious to get to the parks. I don't feel like we are wasting time, so, I am okay with a nice slow paced meal. Its a win for all! :yay: So we are going back the morning of day three, not too early though, I have to keep everyone happy. This is another meal we will be paying for oop, but, its worth it for the character interaction and great food! Seriously that strawberry soup is fantastic! On a side note the last time we went to WDW I purchased the cookbook that had the strawberry soup recipe in it and we have it every now and then. So, DD never had it at PF but she has tried it and loves it! Now as far as wardrobe goes I had so many ideas what Charlotte might ware. I considered Mary Poppins themed dresses. and Alice themed dresses. I also considered princess themed dresses since the GF is fit for a princess and all. Then one day I was browsing the fabric aisle at Wal-Mart (I am not a big Wal-Mart shopper, I prefer Target, but I just happened to be there) and this bright green fabric caught my eye. It just looked so fresh, and summery. Then when I looked closer it was a Winnie the Pooh themed fabric. :idea: I suddenly knew what Charlotte would be wearing to 1900, a Winnie the Pooh dress! Its perfect! I knew exactly which pattern to use to make the dress with. The "Kate" dress from one of my favorite websites, You Can Make This.com. It's a fast dress to put together, always fits, and looks girly and cute! Plus I think it will be nice and cool for that hot July FL weather! I have to say I love how this one turned out. What do you think?
You may notice she was crying in this pic. She really likes wearing this one, I swear, she was crying because she wanted to hold the camera. She is a feisty one! I really like the daisy buttons in the back!
After a nice breakfast we are going to head to DTD. We normally go there the first and last day of our trips, but we made other plans the first day so we will head there on day three instead. I love DTD its a fun place to look around. That is just what we are going to do look around.
After a few hours at DTD we will head back to the resort for an afternoon nap. Maybe a swim depending on how time goes. Then we will be cleaning up because on this night we dine with royalty!
After getting dressed we will head to MK and Charlotte will be wearing this:
I bet you know exactly where we are going...CRT!
DH and I ate there on our 3rd wedding anniversary, exactly one year before DD was born (Yup she was born on our anniversary!) And loved it. We had such fun time! I can not wait to take DD there. She LOVES Cinderella. She calls her "Relly". As you can see from her picture she also loves to dress up like "Relly". So I think this will be lots of fun for her! I am not loving the bow I made to go with this dress. I may make a new one, or I may try to find a small crown I can pin into her hair, but I still have 113 days to figure that out. :rotfl2: The Cinderella dress was the first I decided to make for my DD. I wanted her to have a princess dress but all of the ones at the store seem so scratchy and uncomfortable for the baby girls. After looking at tons of them in stores and online, it was DH that said just make her one. I though yes that is a fantastic idea! I made it out of light weight cotton so it is cooler and not scratchy, so that way she will enjoy wearing it! I have experience with making princess dresses, this was her Snow White from last Halloween:
Okay, that was just a shameless plug of my DD. I just think she made the cutest Snow. Oh, and I haven't introduced you to our fur babies, Sebastian and Daphne:
Daphne was also Snow White this year (but she is always Snow White, I found that on clearance several years ago and she has worn it every since). Sebastian won't wear a costume, so we just called him grumpy that night:rotfl2:
Wow, I really got off topic there, I tend to write how I think, which can go all over the place sometimes, sorry!
Back to our trip. After CRT we will just do MK things. We will probably look for the shortest lines on the toddler friendly rides. We will ride rides and walk around until DD poops out and then we will head back to our resort. I am not concerned with catching wishes since you can see it at our resort. However, I would like to see it at least once in the park. So maybe this will be the night, maybe not, who knows? But, its okay, we will be back....
I hope someone is actually reading this, if you are comment! Or you don't have to, I have lurked on my fair share of TRs. But even if you aren't I am still really enjoying this, its fun to write a PTR. Day 4 will be coming soon!
It looks like you are from Southeast MO (I am not a stalker, I was just looking at your avatar) I went to SEMO for undergrad and my masters, I loved it there!
Thank you! You should totally learn to sew! Its my favorite pastime. There is nothing more relaxing than everyone else in the house sleeping and quite and me at my machine. Somedays, I look forward to it all day!
I am so glad you both are joining in!
Maybe I will look into classes to learn to sew. My sister doesn't live near me so she won't be able to teach me.
What would you suggest as a beginner sewing maching?
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