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Old 01-10-2007, 03:13 PM   #1
cmp1111
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The Decoy Trip that turned into a Dream - The End. 7/5, Page 22.

My pre-trip and ACTUAL trip reports have been merged. Here is an index to where the newest links are, and I'll keep it updated! New readers can start on page 6, post 86 if you want to skip the pre-trip...
Introductions and planning recap, page 6, post #86
The Journey, page 6, post #89
The Check in, page 7, Post #93
The Pool and Mara, page 7, Post #94
Magic Kingdom, page 7, Post #102
Day 2, MK Morning, page 8, Post #109
Day 2, MK Mid day, page 8, Post #110
Day 2, MK Afternoon/evening, page 8, Post #115
Day 3, Epcot Morning , page 10, Post #138
Day 3, Epcot Afternoon, page 10, Post #148
Day 3, Epcot Evening, page 12, Post #176
Miscellany, a small update, page 13, Post #187
Day 4, Animal Kingdom Morning, page 13, Post #195
Day 4, Animal Kingdom, page 14, Post #202
Day 4, Date Night, page 14, Post #209
Day 4, MGM Morning, page 16, Post #231
Day 4, MGM Afternoon, page 17, Post #254
Day 4, Down time and Dinner at Boma, page 18, Post #266
Interruption - Mini NYC Trip Report, page 19, Post #283
Day 5, MK One Last Time, page 21, Post #313
The End, page 22, Post #327





Typing that first word is just intimidating! I became a DISer only a short month ago, when my friend sent me to read a trip report. I was so impressed with both the knowledge base and the quality of writing that I am now certifiably obsessed with the DIS.

I can't guarantee that I'll live up to the most entertaining reports here, (or my own expectations) but I figured I'd dabble a little in the pre-trippy and see how things go.

First, as always, the characters in order of appearance:

Me: cmp1111 - my first name is distinct enough that I'm not sure how comfortable I am sharing it - it would make me awfully easy to find. I had a really weird amazon.com experience when using their "real name" feature for reviews, and I've been wary ever since. So, for now, at least, I'm just "Me". I'm a 34 (will be 35 by the time we hit the World) year-old stay-at-home-mom. I grew up in central Illinois, but now live in NH. I love to read, play with my kids, hang with my DH, and read some more.

DH: I'm trying to come up with a clever name for him, but can't figure it out. He says he'd go with Brian, for the character on Family Guy. Sure, why not, though I don't know if I'll remember to refer to him that way. He's also 34 (will also turn 35 before our trip) and is a pilot. He went to WDW once as probably a youngish teen, but hasn't said much more than that. He's not exactly a Disney fanatic, but cheerfully watches the movies with me or the kids, and is a very good sport. He likes to read, obsess over our lawn, and play outside.

DS: As it happens, we have twins. Boys. Not at all identical. They will be five by the time we hit the World. "Twin A" in pre-natal speak is my melodramatic one. We'll call him Woody. He tends to get upset if routine is messed up or if people don't behave in the way he thinks they should, but is also very charming and good-hearted. He is usually very happy, but can also get very unhappy very quickly. He thinks he is the sheriff, for sure. Sweet kid, loves, at the moment, Cars and Power Rangers. He was a Power Ranger (red, his favorite color for EVERYTHING) for Halloween, which I found funny as at that point we'd never seen the show. Santa got them a DVD for Christmas, and it's very, very exciting for him.

DS: "Twin B" is the mellow one. I'd like to call him Buzz for symmetry, but he's not very Buzz like (though Buzz is his favorite.) Ah, what the heck. I can't think of a good name for him, at the moment, so we'll call him Buzz anyway. He is very "go with the flow" which is handy, considering his brother wants to be in charge, anyway. He can get very silly, and, every once in a while, to keep us on our toes, very, very stubborn. Then, mellow goes out the window, but it's pretty rare. A little bit of a mystery - we're often not quite sure what he's thinking... Also very sweet, loves Buzz (obviously) and his biggest wish for Christmas was a "light saver" (that would be a light saber to the rest of us.) He also has expressed a wish to see "Twinkerbell." Buzz is bigger - he was the smaller twin at a preemie birth, but is now 2 inches taller and about 5 pounds heaver than Woody. Woody will tell you that he's older, though - 4 minutes. Most people seeing them now do not think they are twins.

My best friend: We'll call her Belle, because she is independent, smart, loyal, and also a brunette with brown eyes. My dearest friend since elementary school. Defends her dissertation on Friday, woohoo! (Did I mention that she's smart?) She lives in IL, but we stay in touch constantly. She's my Disney expert-in-residence. We lived together through most of college, and she was a College Program intern at WDW one summer while we were in school - did food service at MGM. She doesn't go with us this trip, but I will mention her, probably, more than once, so I thought you should know who she was.

I'm sure various other people will appear, but that's the basic cast.

OK, so now (trumpet fanfare) The Trip!:

We have planned a 5 night, 6 day stay at AKL starting 5/27. I have the package booked, with the DDP, but no ADR's made, nor do we have flights. I really want to fly Southwest, as they tend to be pretty cheap out of our local airport, but they are still only booking flights through 5/10. I check every day, and am waiting impatiently for them to put the schedule out. We bought 6 day MYW's, hoping that when we CAN book the flights, we'll be able to do something on both the afternoon/evening of arrival, and maybe even the morning of the departure. And, the difference between 5 and 6 day passes was $8. Total. It didn't seem like a big waste if it doesn't work out.

I feel like this is getting wordier than I meant for it to. Thanks, if you're still with me!

So, the story of the "Decoy Trip" goes like this: Our anniversary is in November. A few weeks prior, my DH won't get off the internet once the kids are in bed. I ask what he's up to, he won't tell me.

We make jokes about mail-order brides. This goes on for a while.

One Sunday, we were sitting around, and he says to me, "Do you think it's time to start talking about Disney?" See - it's HIS idea! We've been talking about it for a while, off and on, but want to be sure the boys are big enough to do enough things, since we don't have any older kids, and we've been kind of asking around, but this is the first time I've heard anything definite from him. I say that I've heard of some good deals at the value resorts, but he says, "If we're doing this, we're doing it right. Look at the deluxe." I am doing the happy dance. And, again, this is all his idea!

See, I went to WDW in '77 when I was 5, but stayed with family friends in FL and just drove in an out the same day. Epcot didn't exist. I went back with Belle for a 3 night stay at ASMo for a friend's on-property wedding, and thought it was great - this on-property thing has some definite advantages! I did DL a bunch as a kid/teen/younger adult because I have an aunt who lives in southern CA, and I went to visit her kind of often, but obviously have more experience with an MK/DL kind of deal than with the whole WDW routine. I've always loved Disney, but just haven't gotten down there (or to DL) for a long time. I am a definite WDW newbie.

I immediately get on the Disney web site and also, simultaneously call Belle. "DH says we can go. DH says we can go to a deluxe resort!!!!" We talk for quite some time. Belle & her fam LOVE WL. My boys, looking over my shoulder, insist on bunk beds. DH, however, just falls in love with the pictures of AKL. I read great things about AKL, so we focus on that. Belle mentions SSR, as that's where her folks and also brother have DVC, but no. We are now locked in on AKL. (I'm by no means sad about this. I think it's going to be absolutely awesome.) Belle makes her first mention of "You should check out this site called the DISboards," but I didn't.

Yet.

So, frantic (obsessive?) web surfing goes on for several days. We start looking into January prices. January is cheap! However, I happen to be a bridesmaid in a wedding in IL in the beginning of February. We often drive to IL, but have to fly this time, as we are only taking a long weekend. The kids have preschool. I absolutely don't mind them missing preschool - I don't think it will affect their chances of getting into Harvard - but I pay for it, of course, whether we're there or not. SO, January might not be the time to go. That pulls them out of school for a week, back in for a week, back out for a week for the wedding. Plus, knowing what I know now for the DIS, I'd have been in bad shape.

I start saying, "I think we should go around Memorial Day." Contrary to anything I had growing up in IL, school here goes until mid-June. However, our preschool gets out the week before the Mem. Day weekend. Flights probably won't be crowded. The kennel for our doggie won't be full-up. We'll have a tax refund and maybe DH's bonus $.

Our anniversary (if you're interested - we have been a couple for almost 12, but married for 6. The 5 y.o. twins aren't so scary if you understand that we knew each other forever before they came along...) rolled around. DH and I have a lovely date night, and as we are sitting around at dinner, he says, "I hate to mention this now, but I was really planning a trip to Ireland for the two of us. I only mentioned Disney so that you wouldn't figure out what I was doing, but now you're so excited about that..."

AACK. I have wanted to go to Ireland for a long, long time. In 2004 and 2005 we managed to get away, just the two of us, for a week. It's nice for me, because he's away so much for work. (I don't mind this. I'm an only child. I enjoy my alone time, but I also didn't count on twins. However, I still do get "me" time when they are in bed. They are getting much easier to deal with each and every month. And, I know I'm much luckier than people who have spouses in the service, or are completely on their own. But, I do enjoy the time to get away.)

We cannot afford both trips. Now I am very torn. However, we did decide that the kids will only be 5 once, but Ireland will be there for us in another year or two. This assumes, of course, that we won't decide to do WDW again, and again, and... I'm not sure that won't happen... Disney it is!

OK, this is hard work. Part of my problem is that I'm more of a natural-born editor than a writer. I want everything to be perfect, and so continually am changing a word here or there, and it makes for slow going. I'll stop for now.

Next up, a month of stress over "maybe we will join you's..." and finding the DIS!
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See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here

Last edited by cmp1111; 07-05-2007 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:14 PM   #2
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Moderators, Help!

I don't know how I managed to post twice. This was the final edit, but either one can be deleted. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:21 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the first pre-trip report!! I love reading, but still haven't built up the courage to do one. Great job and a good read! I can't wait to hear more!! BTW, we'll be getting to WDW May 31st for a 7 night stay so we'll overlap our stays by a couple days!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:28 PM   #4
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Oh, thanks. All those great trippies make me nervous, but what the heck! I'm so excited to have a reader!

I'm also so excited to meet someone who will actually be there when we will be there! Where are you staying?
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
Oh, thanks. All those great trippies make me nervous, but what the heck! I'm so excited to have a reader!

I'm also so excited to meet someone who will actually be there when we will be there! Where are you staying?
We'll be at WL. I don't have anything else set in stone as to which parks we'll do which day, but we do have ADR's set. I'd be great to meet up with you though!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:07 PM   #6
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Cool! I have a tentative park/day plan, which will come up shortly. Keep an eye out!

I see you're in MO. I grew up in central IL, as I may have mentioned. I LOVE St. Louis, and have some relatives in central MO. My DH actually had a job in Festus, MO for a year.

Go Cards! (Sorry if you're not a fan, but I had a good fall.)
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #7
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Belle here

Although, technically, I am now Dr. Belle. (That's right, I'm not only a Disney-aholic, but I'm also a grad school geek.)

I'm chiming in with a suggestion for TS at The Studios. The 50's Prime Time Cafe is a silly, casual place with a menu full of comfort food. I think the boys would love it.

Your server will "make" them set the table, yell at, uh, Brian for putting his elbows on the table, and insist everyone clean their plates. If you fail to comply, your "cousins" at the other table will hear about it.

Plus, the food is yummy.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:22 PM   #8
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More ADR thoughts...

Yes, I wondered about that. I really want to eat at Boma, though, and that was tentatively what I was thinking on our MGM day - maybe eating Pizza Planet for lunch and doing Boma for dinner.

I think, too, that I mentioned trying to do LTT at one point, but looking at allearsnet.com, I don't know that the boys would eat much of what's on the menu. Buzz claims not to like cheese or mashed potatoes or chocolate. If he didn't look exactly like me (except the blue eyes), I'd wonder whose kid he was.

Anyway, I don't think they'd like the "Thanksgiving" kind of food there. I am now thinking Crystal Palace for a character meal at MK. The menu looks better for us.

I also have been looking at the EMH hours, and think I'll switch my Epcot and AK days, as we could then take advantage of Epcot's evening EMH on the 29th.

DH is flabbergasted that we CAN make ADR's now, let alone that we probably should. He was gone for a week, and I hit him last night with all these ideas. I think I made his brain hurt, but he is being very funny about saying how excited he is that I'M so excited. Good man.

Still no flights further out than 5/10 on Southwest. I am getting very impatient for that!

I hope to call in the next couple of days for at least some of the ADR's. Woohoo!
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:06 PM   #9
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A down day for planning

I'm sitting in the dark at a Holiday Inn. I know we have nothing compared to those folks in the OK/MO area, but we had big ice storms today, and lost our power at about 11:00 this morning.

You don't realize how addicted you are to the DIS until you can't access the internet.

Though we live in a very populated area, we are "rural" in that we have our own well. So, when the power goes out, we have no water, as our well pump runs on electricity.

It's hard to convince 4 yo's not to flush, after 2 years of trying to explain how very important flushing is.

In light of the fact that we a) had no heat, b) had no way to cook, and c) had no water, we decided to go to a hotel.

This is a very fine Holiday Inn Express, but it's no AKL.

It does have free wi-fi, but it seems slow compared to my home network.

And, this is my least favorite part of travelling with the kids - I have a hard time sleeping in the same room. They, of course, should have been in bed much earlier than they were, but we had to watch Cars. But, now they're in bed. I have no desire to be in bed, but they don't settle down unless the room is relatively dark and very quiet. We booked a "suite" even for our one-night adventure, but that means we have a mini-fridge and a loveseat, but no room dividers. (We once stayed, when driving home from IL, at a lovely Country Inn & Suites where there was an actual DOOR between the living and bed areas. It was a beautiful thing.)

So, DH and I are sitting here by the light of our laptops (yes, we each brought one), being very quiet, except for the tapping of keys.

The upshot of this post is that I got nothing done today. Aside from having no power, we use Vonage, so that when our modem is down, so is our home phone. I was trying to conserve cell phone power, so...

The other side is me now starting to wonder about sleeping at WDW. If anyone is reading this who has stayed at AKL, can DH & I sit on the balcony easily to escape the forced dark and quiet post-kid-bedtime?

Of course, we may be more worn out there than they are, in which case it will be moot.

Wish me luck with the power coming back tomorrow - I have some research and ADR's to do!
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:36 PM   #10
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Finally, maybe, normal at our house - for tonight at least

We actually ended up being without power for 49 hours. Again, it wasn't the worst thing in the world - we had access to our house and our things, we stayed close to home - but it is a hassle. Not the end of the world, but not a lot of fun.

The temperature also dropped on Tuesday to frigid, so that our house was still only about 58 degrees when we headed to bed Wednesday night. And, though it did get above freezing today, only about half the ice fell off the trees and power lines. We are under a high wind warning for tomorrow - gusts to 60 mph, sustained at 40 - which will NOT be good with power lines still ice-coated. I may lose power again.

The only WDW planning I've gotten done over the last couple of days was to order some guide books. I picked up the Official Birnbaum's guide at a Disney Store last weekend. I think it would be a great book if you were in the very earliest "we should go to Disney sometime in the next year or two" phase of planning, but I knew a lot of the info from being on the DIS and the official site. It has some good itinerary suggestions, and did have at least a paragraph on each ride/attraction, but is very big on hotel details and "when to go" suggestions - too late for me on that!

I was still looking for a bit more of the "great things/downside" kind of critique/guide, so I just last night ordered both the Unofficial Guide and the Passporter from amazon.com. The Passporter just looked cool to me because of the organization. I decided to be at least a little fiscally responsible and did the free shipping, so now I am waiting impatiently for them to arrive.

We did go to Home Depot this evening, and I grabbed my first small stack of LGMHs.

So, now I am waiting on the other guides before making the ADR's. I like my day plan - which is good, though I know that if my kids decide that they only want to go to Epcot and sit at the pool, we'll probably chuck everything and do it - but I am just wanting a little more suggestion stuff on some of the meals.

Southwest STILL doesn't book past 5/10! I check that obsessively every day, noon, and night, too.

Anyway, that's where I'm at. Still trying to get everything back from being away from home for a couple of nights, and hoping that it doesn't happen all over again tomorrow. Waiting, waiting, for flights and guides and such...
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Old 05-26-2007, 04:56 PM   #11
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OK. About 12 hours until the alarm goes off. I have everything packed for myself and the boys except what needs to be washed as it comes off our bodies. I have mousekeeping envelopes made. I have some LGMH's. I have my papers gathered in the Passporter.

I have probably one more bag than I need, but where I used to pack the electronic chargers, a book, and my toiletries together (plus a swimsuit and first day stuff) now, since I can't check the makeup and shampoo, etc. it has to be separated. Oh well. The clothes are fitting nicely in the suitcases, so that part is good.

I bought some dry snacks and packed them in a checked bag, which will turn into the souveneir bag on the return trip.

DH has done his laundry but isn't yet packed. He's a pilot, though, so he is very quick and good with that part. He is meeting a friend post-boy bedtime for a drink - they used to work together, and it's actually good with me, as I can have some alone time to gather and prepare! And, the kids will be asleep, so it's not a hardship.

I think I'm going to take a page from Princess V's book and start a new trip report when I return. I'll post the link here, though, and will also stick it in my signature. That way, if I happen to get new readers, they could skip the power outages, the moose and such! (Of course, I'll link back to the pre-TR in the new one.)

So, watch for updates on 6/1! Wish us luck!

C.E.
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See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here

Last edited by cmp1111; 05-26-2007 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:40 PM   #12
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ADR's Made! Maps & DVD arrived! Still obsessed!

With nothing happening for a couple of weeks, I had a great day today!

My Passporter and UOG arrived last week. I LOVE the Passporter, as far as organization. I need all the help I can get! The UOG is much more to my taste than the official guide as far as giving pro's and con's to rides, restaurants, etc. Again, the OG would be good for the initial stages, but I felt that I was past it.

My customized maps arrived on Friday. They are SO cool. I don't know that they're really that useful for taking to the parks - they are big - but they are absolutely goregeously rendered and will make awesome keepsakes. They also included tips for the smaller kids. If you haven't ordered them, do.

My planning DVD arrived today. I am very torn. We are not exactly keeping this a secret from the boys, but we haven't exactly told them we're going for sure, either. They see me with my nose buried in the UOG, on the DIS, etc., and say, "Mommy, you're looking at Disney again!" but I just tell them that I'm checking things out to "see if we can go," or "just seeing what we might do IF we go." So, I really want to watch the DVD, but I'm not sure that I should, yet. I have heard it is great for getting smaller kids into the ideas of the rides, so I definitely want them to watch it before we go.

Their birthday is actually one month exactly before we leave, so we're hoping to tell them as a birthday surprise. We'll see if I can last that long! I can always watch the DVD while they're sleeping.

So, having read the recommendations in the UOG, I called just now to make my ADR's.

It went GREAT! I got all the restaurants I wanted (even Crystal Palace on Memorial Day) at the times I wanted. Here's what we have:

5/28 - CP for lunch, 11:30. (I decided on lunch in case we take the nap/swim break and want to be out of the park at dinner.)
5/29 - Restaurant Marrakesh for dinner, on the early side, 5:30.
5/30 - Donald's Breakfastosaurus for breakfast at 9:00 and then the boys are set in the Simba Club at AKL while DH and I do date. We haven't decided where to go for us, so that will have to be added later. Thoughts for a romantic dinner, anyone? We'll pay oop for that - but we don't mind pricey if it's good...
5/31 - dinner at Boma, on the later side - 7:00, after our MGM day.

We are on the DDP, and I actually still have one TS meal for the 4 of us to play with. We arrive on the 27th, but I still don't have flights, darn Southwest... So, assuming we get flights we want and get in around noon, we could use our last TS for dinner on the arrival night, or we could add a TS at Epcot or MGM on those days, as a lunch. We'll have to see what the flight times actually are - we may also need a meal on the 1st when we leave, if we get a late enough flight out.

The CM at WDW-DINE was extremely pleasant and helpful, so that was great, too! She gave me lots of good advice on when to show up and what to do (not that I didn't know it from the boards, but hey, she didn't have to tell me.)

Woohoo! More plans made. I have a feeling that a couple of the times might change, but for now this looks good. I am excited!
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See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
With nothing happening for a couple of weeks, I had a great day today!

My Passporter and UOG arrived last week. I LOVE the Passporter, as far as organization. I need all the help I can get! The UOG is much more to my taste than the official guide as far as giving pro's and con's to rides, restaurants, etc. Again, the OG would be good for the initial stages, but I felt that I was past it.

My customized maps arrived on Friday. They are SO cool. I don't know that they're really that useful for taking to the parks - they are big - but they are absolutely goregeously rendered and will make awesome keepsakes. They also included tips for the smaller kids. If you haven't ordered them, do.

My planning DVD arrived today. I am very torn. We are not exactly keeping this a secret from the boys, but we haven't exactly told them we're going for sure, either. They see me with my nose buried in the UOG, on the DIS, etc., and say, "Mommy, you're looking at Disney again!" but I just tell them that I'm checking things out to "see if we can go," or "just seeing what we might do IF we go." So, I really want to watch the DVD, but I'm not sure that I should, yet. I have heard it is great for getting smaller kids into the ideas of the rides, so I definitely want them to watch it before we go.

Their birthday is actually one month exactly before we leave, so we're hoping to tell them as a birthday surprise. We'll see if I can last that long! I can always watch the DVD while they're sleeping.

So, having read the recommendations in the UOG, I called just now to make my ADR's.

It went GREAT! I got all the restaurants I wanted (even Crystal Palace on Memorial Day) at the times I wanted. Here's what we have:

5/28 - CP for lunch, 11:30. (I decided on lunch in case we take the nap/swim break and want to be out of the park at dinner.)
5/29 - Restaurant Marrakesh for dinner, on the early side, 5:30.
5/30 - Donald's Breakfastosaurus for breakfast at 9:00 and then the boys are set in the Simba Club at AKL while DH and I do date. We haven't decided where to go for us, so that will have to be added later. Thoughts for a romantic dinner, anyone? We'll pay oop for that - but we don't mind pricey if it's good...
5/31 - dinner at Boma, on the later side - 7:00, after our MGM day.

We are on the DDP, and I actually still have one TS meal for the 4 of us to play with. We arrive on the 27th, but I still don't have flights, darn Southwest... So, assuming we get flights we want and get in around noon, we could use our last TS for dinner on the arrival night, or we could add a TS at Epcot or MGM on those days, as a lunch. We'll have to see what the flight times actually are - we may also need a meal on the 1st when we leave, if we get a late enough flight out.

The CM at WDW-DINE was extremely pleasant and helpful, so that was great, too! She gave me lots of good advice on when to show up and what to do (not that I didn't know it from the boards, but hey, she didn't have to tell me.)

Woohoo! More plans made. I have a feeling that a couple of the times might change, but for now this looks good. I am excited!
I think Chef Mickey's Dinner the first night.. sets the mood! Then You can get on the monorail and do the entire loop so they can view it. Heck you can even switch monorails and ride the EPCOT loop.. The they get their 1st ride.. and you dont have to use any passes.
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:45 PM   #14
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Ooh, that's a good idea! Once I get flights, I'll work on that!
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
Ooh, that's a good idea! Once I get flights, I'll work on that!
Very awesome.. Also, a DIS tip.. If no one is in the front of the monorail you can ask to sit up there. 4 people can sit up with the driver.
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