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Old 12-05-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
pjstevens
Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder for our 25th!
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First Christmas Trip to Disney 12/07

Our First Trip in December – What an amazing deal we got!!!!

We have been to Disney five times (one of those was without the kids). BUT, we have only gone to Disney in August!!!! The hot hot heat of August is a killer, but it’s the most affordable time to go. We did the free dining twice, so it made it even a better deal.

Our dd, Aubre , is in the Walt Disney World College Program (cp from here on). She went to work for the mouse on September 5th and is returning home on January 4th. I didn’t think we’d make it that long without seeing her and not being able to celebrate Christmas with her was going to be heartbreaking. Soooo, I talked dh (Dale) into an early December trip. I’ve read before about Pop Warner being there the first week, so we decided on the second week of December. We will arrive December 10th and leave to go home on the 15th.

Now for the really good news…. Because dd is in the cp, she is considered a cast member (cm), she is able to get discounts on rooms for us. But, at this time of year there is a special Disney Family Holiday discounts!!! WOOHOO!!!!

I guess I need to do an intro:

Me – Patty (the mom) the Disney obsessed planner. I work 33 hours a week as an administrative assistant. I have some slower days where I then surf all the Disney planning sites and plan and plan and plan some more.

DH – Dale (the dad) the one who puts up with all my planning and obsessing.

DD – Aubre our princess who is doing the Walt Disney World College Program. She is working at Sunshine Seasons in the Land at Epcot. She LOVES being in this program. She is meeting so many awesome people from all over this great big world.

DS2 – Tyler, our youngest (he’s 16 and now driving by himself ). He likes going to Disney, but isn’t obsessed like his mom.

DS1 –Dale, Jr. our oldest. He has been married a little over 1.5 years and still comes home all the time to ‘eat our food’, lol.

DIL – Stephanie, our daughter in law. The love of our sons life. She is a wonderful addition to our family.

Back to our wonderful discount… When we had first decided we were ALL going to Disney during December, we thought, we better get something booked since we don’t want to get stuck without a value resort. So we actually booked two rooms at AS Sports in late August. Then when dd was officially a cm, we were able to get a great rate. We got our room (since she is staying with us) for 50% off and our ds & dil's room for 40% off. This is a friends and family discount that Disney offers to their cm’s.

The weekend of October 19th, Dale and I were able to go to see Aubre for a weekend. We attended our very first MNSSHP!!! I was so excited. It was great to see where our dd was living and how well she was being taken care of.

Shortly after this trip, Disney released a new discount for their cm’s. The Disney Family Holiday Discounts!!! These discounts were up to 65% off a room. There were also offering the Disney Dining Plan for $21 per person!!! You know you cannot eat for $21 a day, no matter what you eat there. When we called Disney to see if we could add the dining plan on to our existing reservation (since DS and DIL were in a separate room, wasn’t sure if they would qualify for that deal). While talking to the reservation cm, she said we would have to cancel and rebook our rooms (this is normal to get a new code or discount offered). When she put our info in the system, she said, I can’t get you in AS Sports, but I have a family suite in AS Music or two rooms in AS Music!!! WHAT DID SHE SAY!!!! A suite was available? I asked what would that cost us? With the cm discount, we are paying $405 (total, w/tax) for the five nights!!! Can you believe this?

Granted I know it will be close quarters, but we honestly are only in the room to sleep. The room has a small fridge, a microwave, small (4 cup) coffee pot, two bathrooms, two TVs, a queen size bed in the master bedroom and the other room can sleep four (the full size sofa sleeper and a chair and ottoman that fold out to beds).

Up next, our itinerary.


Itinerary

We leave in the morning!!

We're Back - Day One Part 1

Day One - (Epcot) Part 2

Day One - Part 3

Day One - Party 4

End of Day One (FINALLY) - Boy was this a long day!!

It's Our Christmas at Disney (a few weeks early)- Day Two Part 1

Photopass

Day Two - Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom part 2

Grand Floridian Cafe

Grand Floridian Photo Shoot

Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party

MVMCP Part 2

Holiday Wishes video

MVMCP Parade

Day 3 - MGM & DD Graduation from the WDW College Program

Lunch at Sci-Fi Dine In

Hollywood's Holly Day Parade (MGM)

MGM (Stitch)

The Osborne Family Specticle of Dancing Lights

Video of Osborne Lights (short)

A Better video of Osborne Lights

Day Four - Animal Kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safari

Rafiki's Planet Watch - Great photos

Rafiki's part 2

Animal Kingdom continued

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Expedition Parade

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (part 2)

Animal Kingdom Lodge

End of Day Four

Day Five - Magic Kingdom

End of Day 5!

Our Last Day & A Trip to the ER!!!
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Last edited by pjstevens; 12-04-2008 at 09:46 PM. Reason: updating index
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:23 PM   #2
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Congrats on the great rates!! Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacy347 View Post
Congrats on the great rates!! Looking forward to reading more.
Thanks Stacy. I've never started my trip report ahead of time (oh, of course I have mentally, but never on paper). I thought if I got started on it this week, I'd have some done so when we get back I'll be able to stay caught up.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:38 PM   #4
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Day 1 - 12/10 – we have a very early flight from Philly (7am), praying for good weather (it’s snowing here today). We should arrive in Orlando by 9:30. We’ll be renting a minivan for this trip. Some of us may use magical express as we’ll have to swing by and pick up dd from her apartment (Disney owned – Vista Way). We’ll go to AS Music to get checked in. If our room isn’t ready, no big deal. It’s off to Epcot. We have a late lunch reservation for the six of us at Chef’s de France (this was dd pick). I want to see the Candlelight Processional, but we could not get a package. Hoping to get a seat standby.

Day 2 – 12/11 – Magic Kingdom in the am. We have a lunch reservation at the Grand Flordian Café. After lunch we have scheduled a photo shoot with the Photopass photographer at the Grand Floridian. This is normally a $50 fee, but if you pre-order the Photopass cd, it’s only $25. Being the first vacation with everyone in a very long time, I wanted to do this. What’s even better, the prepurchase price of the cd is just under $100, but with DD being a cm, guess what we got????? Another wonderful discount. I preordered the photopass for $60!!!!
Later on our second day we have tickets to MVMCP! I can’t wait. We have never been and want so badly to enjoy this. I’ve recently read some not very good reviews, hoping we’ll have a wonderful time.

Day 3 – 12/12 – MGM – Hollywood Studios. It’ll be a while before I get use to that. This day, DD will be ‘graduating’ from the College Program. She isn’t done until January 4th, but they have graduation early (when they can get time off for it). We’ll be having lunch at Sci Fi. The key points to this day are that I want to see the Hollywood Holly Day Parade and the Spectacle of Dancing Lights (Osborne Lights).

Day 4 – 12/13 – Animal Kingdom. Main thing here is Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. We have a LATE dinner at Ohana planned, but we may do an evening at the Boardwalk and try the ESPN for dinner.

Day 5 – 12/14 – This is an open day. Probably Magic Kingdom in the morning since we didn’t have a lot of time there on Tuesday. We have a late lunch at Whispering Canyon Café.

Day 6 – 12/15 – We have to say good bye to our DD once again this day, but luckily we have a late flight home (not til 8pm). We’ll probably go to Epcot for some

During this week, we’ll be having a small Christmas celebration since we won’t have our dd home with us. I’ve bought stockings for everyone, Disney gift cards for all the kids. Got everyone their Christmas pj’s (a tradition in our house). I have a tiny tree to take, Christmas light for the window along with lots of other little decorations. We'll also hit DTD at some point.

I know I have a LOT crammed into a little time, but unless DS decides to do the CP program when he's in college, we'll never get back at this time of year (especially for these great rates)!!!
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:57 PM   #5
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I wish my dd would have gotten into the program. She tried for Security in the Corporate Office. I told her she should have put a 2nd or 3rd choice to work in the parks as a regular CM.

Have fun on your trip.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:25 PM   #6
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I have heard that if you put more choices it is easier to get in. Aubre wanted to do 'anything' to go, so she didn't care. I've heard some stories about how bad the quick food service is, but she has LOVED her job. Maybe your daughter can try again (not sure if she's still in school).

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Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
I wish my dd would have gotten into the program. She tried for Security in the Corporate Office. I told her she should have put a 2nd or 3rd choice to work in the parks as a regular CM.

Have fun on your trip.
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Off-site 1992; off-site 1999 (w/o the kids) off-site 2000; All Star Movies 2005; Pop 2006; Pop Aug-2007; All Star Music suites Dec 2007; DFTW – DCL – Pop 2008; Pop – Jan 2009; AKV – May 2009; Grand Californian Aug 2009; BWV – Jan 2010; AKV Dec 2010; AKV – Jan 2011; Disney Dream/AKV Sep 2011; Dec 2011 AKV; Magic-Canada June 2012; Fantasy-Eastern Carribean December 2012; SSR August 2013; Wonder-Alaska June 2014
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:14 PM   #7
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Your trip sounds absolutely fabulous. I am jealous. I was a CM at the Magic Kingdom ions ago, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I think I grew up a lot during that time of being away from my family. Have a great time. I have always wanted to visit during the holiday season.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:25 PM   #8
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I think my daughter also has grown a lot during this time. Our relationship has also grown. I am sure she'll be coming home with such wonderful memories. If it weren't for Aubre and the College Program, we'd never be going at this time of year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2boyz12 View Post
Your trip sounds absolutely fabulous. I am jealous. I was a CM at the Magic Kingdom ions ago, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I think I grew up a lot during that time of being away from my family. Have a great time. I have always wanted to visit during the holiday season.
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Our Disney Dream Weavers Cruise 9/1/11
Our NO KIDS Disney Trip! - finally finished 9/11 Welcome to Disney Alaska (Marathon Weekend 2010)
Our First Trip HOME (May 09) DFTW VR (Sept 08) Christmas 2007 August 2007
Off-site 1992; off-site 1999 (w/o the kids) off-site 2000; All Star Movies 2005; Pop 2006; Pop Aug-2007; All Star Music suites Dec 2007; DFTW – DCL – Pop 2008; Pop – Jan 2009; AKV – May 2009; Grand Californian Aug 2009; BWV – Jan 2010; AKV Dec 2010; AKV – Jan 2011; Disney Dream/AKV Sep 2011; Dec 2011 AKV; Magic-Canada June 2012; Fantasy-Eastern Carribean December 2012; SSR August 2013; Wonder-Alaska June 2014
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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We leave in the morning

In 12 hours we should be in the air heading towards Disney. I can't believe it's here already. I had to take my 'girls' (Abbey & Snoopy - our dogs) to my sisters house for the week. We adopted Abbey from a rescue about 18 months ago. She's never stayed any where but our house since then. When we went away, my son would come stay with her. I was really worried about leaving her, but know she'll be getting lots of love this week. Snoopy is actually our sons dog, but she lives with us.

I've got just about everything packed (except for the last minute stuff that you can't throw in the suitcase until morning).

This time tomorrow night, I hope to be watching the candlelight processional.

I'll be sure to update as soon as we get home!!! Can't wait!!!


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Old 12-18-2007, 04:54 AM   #10
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We’re BAAAACK!!!! (finally un update)

Sorry for the delay in starting this TR, but with Christmas one week away and me not even remotely ready, things have to be prioritized.

Oh my goodness, Disney is beautiful in December. I can’t believe how pretty everything looked. I took tons of photos (like more than 700) so it will take me a bit to get this TR going along with Christmas and I haven’t done a thing to prepare (no tree, no decorations, little shopping done, etc!!!!)

Day 1 – December 10th
Boy was it quiet without our ‘girls’ last night. Being they both snore, it is obvious that they aren’t here. Also, that extra room in the bed is a big hint, not that I was in the bed much last night.

DH awoke at 3:30 and was so kind to wake me to get moving (remember we have to leave by 5am)!!! 3:30 am is an awful time of the morning, considering I didn’t get to bed until midnight or later. Needless to say, excitement makes all things possible. We called DS around 4:30 to make sure they were up and getting ready. I get knots in my stomach when ever we are going to travel (nerves I guess). I really don’t think I am nervous, but my stomach does. We actually were in our car and picking up DS and DIL by 5am. Had to make a coffee run to prepare for this day.

We always have someone who can take us to the airport (remember we live only about 15 miles away), so we don’t normally park at the airport. This was our first experience using a park and ride service. I had doubled checked all my papers, directions, coupons etc before leaving. Now we are traveling I-95 and I can’t find my directions to the stupid park and ride. What’s up with that? I was so organized. Needless to say, we found it pretty easily going from memory, but I was annoyed with myself. Of course, once at our resort, guess what I found?? You got it, the directions!!

Having never used this service, I can’t believe how easy it was. No dragging the luggage through the rain. Oh did I mention that? It was raining! The van pulled right up to the back of our van and transferred the bags and off we go to the airport.

We breezed through the incredibly long line at security. Something I did not know until this day was that with the five terminals Philly airport has, they only have ONE security check point. Luckily for us, it was at the entrance to our terminal.

Dale and Steph before our flight



Tyler



Hubby


Me (as a friend said, the only proof I was on this trip, see I’m the photographer in the family)



We had an uneventful flight (thankfully) and arrived in Orlando just after 9am. I checked the kids into the Magical Express. Since five of us flew down and we were picking up our daughter, I knew there wouldn’t be enough room for all the bags and people. We rented a minivan from Alamo for $230 for the week (this was the best deal I had found for months). Within a short time, we were off to pick up Aubre!!!

YEA, we’re spending time with our daughter!!!!

Up next, checking into All Star Music!!
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Old 12-18-2007, 02:59 PM   #11
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Day one continued

We arrived at Vista Way to pick up our daughter (Aubre). I can’t say enough good things about the College Program and how safe I feel my daughter is there. The guards are all nice, but stick to the policy of getting id’s, signing in guests, etc. We even got them a fruit basket to say ‘thanks’

This is the main building at Vista. I love the banners.


Aubre’s apartment is more prepared for Christmas than our home. Like the mickey ornaments.


We left Vista with all of Aubre’s ‘stuff’ and went to check in at All Star Music. I love when you see the first Walt Disney sign!!!


Checking in was a breeze (especially the money we saved with her being a cast member). It was only 11am and our suite was already ready!!! YEA!!! I was so glad, just to be able to put our stuff somewhere. We got to our room and what was there to ‘surprise us’?

A ‘towel’ wreath hanging in the window….

And a Mickey head on the bed (made out of towels)…

Up next, we are off to Epcot.
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Off-site 1992; off-site 1999 (w/o the kids) off-site 2000; All Star Movies 2005; Pop 2006; Pop Aug-2007; All Star Music suites Dec 2007; DFTW – DCL – Pop 2008; Pop – Jan 2009; AKV – May 2009; Grand Californian Aug 2009; BWV – Jan 2010; AKV Dec 2010; AKV – Jan 2011; Disney Dream/AKV Sep 2011; Dec 2011 AKV; Magic-Canada June 2012; Fantasy-Eastern Carribean December 2012; SSR August 2013; Wonder-Alaska June 2014
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:22 PM   #12
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can't wait to read more.

I love the towel wreath.
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Old 12-18-2007, 07:09 PM   #13
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Congratulations on getting such great rates on your room. I know you will miss your daughter on Christmas Day, but what a fantastic opportunity to work in the CP at WDW. Looking forward to reading and seeing more.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:20 PM   #14
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Love it,
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:29 PM   #15
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Finally an end to Day 1

The Epcot Christmas tree

It was getting dark so we started towards The Tree…


Needless to say, I was not prepared (remember no previous holiday trip experience) for the crowd at the front of the tree. It was actually roped off so you couldn’t walk down the main walkway if you wanted to leave at that point. So, we just stood behind (more to the side) of the tree and waited (and waited).

Then the ‘bus’ came….


and the celebrities were ushered to the front stage. We could hear the show, but unfortunately we could not see what was going on (wish they had one of those big screens that they have a sporting events so you can see what’s happening).

Then there was a tiny bit of light (and then a little more)


Finally a beautiful lit tree


It was now time to finally use our fastpasses for Soarin. We have all done this before and we have always been fortunate to be in the front row. This time, we were in the last row… we saw FEET!!!! Hey I never knew someone could see my stinky feet when we were up front!!!!

We then did Living with the Land. As anyone knows this is almost always a walk on as it was again this time. But this time, there were Christmas decorations also!!!


Well it’s time to head back (granted we didn’t see Illuminations, nor did we do a lot or rides), but we’ve been up since 3:30 am and we are all beat.

When we got back to our suite we had a the lovely ‘surprise’ of the Christmas elf who had left us all our new Christmas pjs. This is a tradition in our home and since we were here to celebrate Christmas with Aubre, we had to have Christmas Eve tonight (so of course the elf had to bring pjs). When everyone went to bed (very quickly), I put all the stockings together. In the morning when they awoke, each one had a stocking by them (in their bed).

Don’t they all look so cute when they are sleeping!

Up next Christmas Day (our Christmas Day)!!!
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Our Disney Dream Weavers Cruise 9/1/11
Our NO KIDS Disney Trip! - finally finished 9/11 Welcome to Disney Alaska (Marathon Weekend 2010)
Our First Trip HOME (May 09) DFTW VR (Sept 08) Christmas 2007 August 2007
Off-site 1992; off-site 1999 (w/o the kids) off-site 2000; All Star Movies 2005; Pop 2006; Pop Aug-2007; All Star Music suites Dec 2007; DFTW – DCL – Pop 2008; Pop – Jan 2009; AKV – May 2009; Grand Californian Aug 2009; BWV – Jan 2010; AKV Dec 2010; AKV – Jan 2011; Disney Dream/AKV Sep 2011; Dec 2011 AKV; Magic-Canada June 2012; Fantasy-Eastern Carribean December 2012; SSR August 2013; Wonder-Alaska June 2014
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