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Old 11-24-2007, 09:52 PM   #1
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I'm BAACK!! Moms dream vacation a success! Trippie is COMPLETE tons of pics... 1/21

OK so I have JUST stumbled upon these boards.. sadly only SEVEN days before my trip to WDW! AHHH!!! I can't believe I never have been here before..it's overwhelming! I want to read EVERYTHING!!! I found the trip report section this morning but again...got sucked into a few awesome trips and had to hold off writing my pre trip report.

So lets see...where should I begin... I guess I'll answer the normal 'questions' that were on the 'how to' thread.

* Who is in your party
The trip will be just me and my mom. I'm 27, mom is...64 but shhh... I didn't say anything! I've been to WDW at least 30 times ever since I was 3, can navigate the parks blindfolded, and most of the trips were with my parents when they were still married. They've been divorced for about 15 years now and my mom hasn't been back since (I've been back with dad a few times). For the past year or so, every time those 'Year of a Million Dreams' commercials come on, my mom starts to get whiney and saying 'when are we gonna gooooooooo?! I want to go back to Disneyyyyyyy!' ha..no joke. she has. I've always wanted to do something awesome for her cause...well..she's mommy. hehe She also hasn't had the best health the past few years (heart problems and such) and most recently we had a slight breast cancer scare that thankfully came back negative. I figured after all the stress the past year or two we needed a break and a vacation to the happiest place on earth. So about 2 months ago I booked a trip for me and mom as a Christmas celebration for the two of us! yayyyyy!

oh...here's a pic from our VERY first trip to Disney... August 1983

* Your travel dates
We're heading out next Sunday! YIKES!!!! Dec 2nd to the 9th. (also side note...one of my friends from home is also going down there with his mother on almost the same dates so hopefully we all get to meet up for a little bit!)

* Where are you staying
Pop Century Would have loved to splurge but umm... I still have to survive in the real world. Neither of us have ever stayed at a value resort before but we only hear (mostly) great things about Pop. All of my friends from home always stay there so I booked it!

* What Advanced Dining Reservations you have made (if any)
Whew! This whole dining plan thing has made ADR's crazy! I'd heard LeCelier was impossible to get...and of course it was. Mom is also a picky eater (pretty much vegetarian except for shrimp and sole/flounder. she also isn't a HUGE fan of most of the vegetarian meals either!) I did make ADR's for every day (we're on the dining plan...first time for that too so wish us luck!) so here they are... (all of them are dinners...we'll do counter service for lunch)
Kona our first night, Tony's twice (2 nights in MK... we didn't want to do Crystal Palace and when I went 2 years ago to Tony's it was decent), Chefs de France, Concourse Steakhouse or Mama Melrose (mama's is a late lunch..it depends on if we go to MGM or AK that day), Teppan Edo, Grand Floridian Cafe (again...depends on what park we go to that day), Ohana character breakfast on our last morning before heading to the airport. We're also going to check out Yak and Yeti when we're at AK and decide if we want to do the walk up lunch/dinner there that day.

* If you have a set itinerary
I was raised by a dad that needed every day of our Disney trips planned out. Not every single detail but he had to know what park he was going to at least. I think it had to do with our family being big food people. We're Italian...we love our food..what can I say? If any of us are the tiniest bit starving...we get cranky. I think that planning gene has rubbed off on me because I'm the same way. I don't need to know exactly what I'm doing every second of the day but... I need a general idea.. So here's our plan...

Oh...every day at the park I'll be renting a wheelchair for mom. She put up a small fight because she doesn't want to seem 'helpless' but last week we went out for the day with some decent amount of walking and she was EXHAUSTED and pretty much crashed at 6pm. With her heart problems she gets very tired VERY quickly so after that episode she finally gave in and agreed that we'll have a much more enjoyable time if she has energy! I've never done the wheelchair thing before either so this should be interesting. Hopefully everything goes well! I just know that we'll have a much more enjoyable time if she's feeling ok.

day 1: getting in around 3pm to MCO so taking it easy today and just going to head to the MK hotels and look at the Christmas decorations. Semi-late dinner at Kona. We'll miss the first showing of the Electrical parade but was told there's another one around 10-ish. Mom might be too tired though to wait so we'll play that by ear.
day 2: for us, every trip must be started with the magic kingdom. Just seeing the castle and main street makes us feel 'at home'. that was my moms one request. so we'll spend the day at the park and have dinner at tonys.
day 3: epcot and dinner at chefs de france
day 4: not really sure. either AK or MGM. it really all depends on if we/I do the very merry christmas party. that would be on day 6 but I'm still not sure if I'm going to do it or not. I know my mom will never be able to stay awake that long but she did say she's willing to head back to the hotel and relax while i head to the party. I have a good friend in florida who said she'll join me for the party so hopefully I get to go! and hey... I'll probably even go by myself if I can! I don't mind doing the solo thing!
day 5: back to epcot and dinner at teppan edo and the candelight processional
day 6: again..either AK or MGM... see notes for day 4
day 7: spending our final day back in the MK. tradition..first and last day have to be at the MK. and dinner at tony's again (hopefully it's good enough the first time for us to want to go back! if not..we'll wing it)
day 8: leaving but not before a late character breakfast at ohana's first!

Oh and did I mention I'm an obsessive Disney trip planner?! I have document upon document of trip details... and I've scoured countless Disney sites and podcasts. whew! I think when I get back I'm going to go through withdrawl because I'll have NOTHING to plan!!! AHHH!!!

I still can't believe it's only 7 days away now. I feel like a little kid again waiting for the day we leave! Wish us luck!
Here's a little index to help some newbies navigate around (although I doubt there will be any new readers!)

Some Pre Planning
Mousekeeping envelopes almost ready!
Starting to Pack!
I'm hoooommmmmeeeee!!!
Day 1 Part 1 - Arriving, Pop Century, Dinner at Kona, Electrical Water Pageant
Day 1 Part 2 - Drinks at Pleasure Island
Day 2 Part 1 - Magic Kingdom - Adventureland & Frontierland
Day 2 Part 2 - Magic Kingdom - Frontierland, Liberty Square, Main St, Dinner at Tonys
Day 2 Part 3 - Magic Kingdom - Tomorrowland & Extra Magic Hours
Day 3 Part 1 - Epcot - Futureworld and heading into the World Showcase
Day 3 Part 2 - Epcot - American Pavillion, Wandering the World Showcase, Dinner at Chefs de France
Day 3 Part 3 - Epcot - Leaving Epcot & Wandering around an abandoned construction site
Day 4 Part 1 - MGM - Wandering around MGM
Day 4 Part 2 - MGM - Dinner at Mama Melrose, Harlem Gospel Choir, Osbourne Spectacle of Lights, Drink at Raglan Road
Day 5 Part 1 - Epcot - Future World to China and Starting to Drink around the world!
Day 5 Part 2 - Epcot - More countries
Day 5 Part 3 - Epcot - Dinner at Teppan Edo & Candlelight Processional
Day 6 Part 1 - AK - Seeing some animals!
Day 6 Part 2 - AK - Lunch at Pizzafari, More Animals
Day 6 Part 3 - AK - Expedition Everest, Dinner at Yak & Yeti
Day 6 Part 4 - AK & MK - Leaving AK & MVMCP
Day 7 Part 1 - MK - Our last full day! Dinner at Tonys & Spectormagic
Day 8 Part 1 - Ohana and our sad farewell!
Photopass Pictures
More Photopass pics

Last edited by disneygirlinnj; 04-22-2008 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 11-25-2007, 07:55 PM   #2
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Ohhh I'm first!!! Your trip sounds fantastic!! How great of you to be taking your mom down there.

I can't wait to hear all about your trip, so lucky to be going down so close to the holidays!! Take tons and tons of pictures.

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Old 11-25-2007, 09:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tinkerbell87512 View Post
Ohhh I'm first!!! Your trip sounds fantastic!! How great of you to be taking your mom down there.

I can't wait to hear all about your trip, so lucky to be going down so close to the holidays!! Take tons and tons of pictures.
Thank youuuuu! I think I'm losing my mind. I keep remembering things I have to do/buy/get ready! Yikes!
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:35 PM   #4
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O.k. I'm in!! I love that you are doing this for your MOm!!!
Originally POP is where we were told we'd be staying and I read some very good things about it. I've been on several TR's where they stayed at POP and loved it.
Can't wait to read all about it. And all those hours you've put in planning?? Well they can be spent writing a report all about it for us to share in your magic!!!!


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Old 11-25-2007, 11:19 PM   #5
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Thanks LeeLee!! I can't wait to see Pop in person! I love all the pics I've been checking out.

So as for my planning... hmmm.... it's not too photogenic right now since I usually do all of my planning online while I have some free time at work or at home. Everything is pretty much in Word documents so not so pretty! I also figured my mom reeeallly wouldn't be THAT impressed with a countown calendar (which by the way.. I LOVE every one of the ones I've seen on here! putting that in my mental rolodex for when I have kids) so instead of making a calendar I just tell her every day 'Guess where we'll be in x amount of days?!'

I started making my last minute check list for stuff I need to do/bring/buy. Just before I started writing today, I put all paperwork that I need (can't forget those Magical Express tags!!!) in one envelope. I also have touring plans I printed out in case we're stumped as to what to do (which ha... I'm sure won't happen! )

Drum roll please....

Tada!!! That's as pretty as I can make it for now... I put little mickey heads when I dotted each 'i'.

For the buying part I have to go run and get some ponchos or rain jackets to prepare for that lovely unpredictable Florida weather. I also plan on trying to take some great pics of the fireworks and illuminations so i want to run out and try finding a cheap tripod for my camera. if I can't find a cheap one? oh well.. I'll manage. I also wanted to scrounge around the house and try finding 7 envelopes to leave mousekeeping a few dollars every day. Even though we don't have any real kids... I still want to thank them and hopefully get a few towel animals out of the deal! Maybe thats when I'll start getting a little creative with my artistic ability.

I also started my packing list today and GEEEEZ! Florida weather in December is going to make me pack my whole house!! Checked the weather just now and they only have the first 3 or 4 days of our trip listed. I'm CROSSING MY FINGERS that the weather they're predicting is the actual weather we're going to have. 80 degrees and sunny! WOOHOO!!! Considering it was 40 degrees here today and it snowed the other day... I can use some heat! With my luck we'll get there and it'll be 30 degrees and snowing. hmph!

I will say I'm excited though because for some reason I had NEVER heard about the Illuminations Christmas piece they do right after the normal Illuminations. I was just listening to a podcast and they mentioned it so that is definitley on my list of things to do. We were going to watch illuminations anyways but we probably would have got up and started walking away when we thought it was over. That would NOT have been good

Also talked to my mom today about Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. She's still on the fence on if she's going to feel up to it so we'll play it by ear. I can tell she really wants to go so we'll see! I've been reading that they don't usually sell out this early in the season so I'm crossing my fingers that the party on the 7th won't either.

Talked to my friend Sarah today too who lives down in Ocala and HOPEFULLY I can see her on the day we arrive (it's her bday and her parents are bringing her to Disney for dinner). If not though she told me she's free Wed, Thurs, and Fri while I'm there so I'm going to make her tag along for at least one of the days and def the xmas party if I go! We'll definitely have some entertaining pics when the two of us get together.

Here's us trying to be pirates the last time we saw each other in Alabama (Sarah on left, me on right)

OK...I've babbled enough! I'm sure I'll be back tonight or tomorrow while I'm at work
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:34 AM   #6
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Aww I love the mickey heads on the documents! Very cute!

I had never heard that about the Chrismas ending to illuminations. You will have to post how that is.

I forgot to mention that you will love Pop century! I've stayed there 4 times so far and the atmosphere is just so fun. I've been to everyother value (except All star movies) and Pop is by far my favorite.

Ohh I hope you get to go to Mickey's very merry Christmas party. Even if you have to go solo it's not bad at all!

Looking forward to more...5 more days!!!

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