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Old 05-30-2009, 03:13 PM   #1
jana616
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100 (Nope...It's just about time!!!) Days til Our First Family Trip!

Well, I have read dozens of other people's trip reports and PTRs, and have wanted to start my own for a while. This is at least partly because I am completely obsessed with the planning of this trip, and who better to share that obsession with than the friendly people on here, who have offered tons of great advice and who share my obsession? (And who don't think I'm insane, unlike my sweet, but clueless husband!)


So...let's begin!

The details: Our trip is set for September 7th-14th, 2009. That is exactly 100 days from today!! I am even more excited when my ticker will go into double digits-woo hoo! We are staying at POP Century, with free dining. In upcoming posts I'll try to explain the evolution of our trip-it has changed quite a bit from what we first envisioned, hopefully for the better!

The cast of characters (all from Indianapolis):

DH (Chad, 32) and myself (Jana, 31). Chad is a veterinarian, and I stay home with our boys. I lived in Florida growing up, so we visited fairly often, but I was little and don't remember much. Then Chad and I went for 3 days as part of our honeymoon in 2001. We had a blast, and are so excited to be sharing it with our boys!





ODS (Griffin, 4-will be just shy of 5 when we go). He's a sweetheart, very imaginative, very sensitive. He's been obsessed (and I mean way, way obsessed) with dinosaurs for about a year now. He is most looking forward to Animal Kingdom and the dinosaur rides there. We're planning on T-Rex for dinner, but I'm keeping that a secret! Likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, loves Special Agent Oso and Shaun the Sheep. He is very excited to go, especially since I told him they have humungous ice cream sandwiches. We watched some videos on youtube of the rides, and he told he would be a little scared, and a LOT excited-so cute!


YDS (Cooper, will be 26 months when we go). He was such an easy-going baby, but toddlerhood has morphed him into quite the little devil. He's a mama's boy-he's never far from me, and I can still make anything bad a little bit better. He's super charming, very fearless, very silly, and usually happy. When he's unhappy though, look out-he has a scream that can cause hearing loss. And lucky me, since he's usually no more than a few feet from me! He loves Sesame Street, but has seen me on the disboards enough to screech for Mickey Mouse when he sees him now! I wasn't sure how he'd do on the trip, but I am now quite convinced that he's going to have a blast.




And our bonus additions to the trip-grandmas!

My mom (Grandma Kathie) hasn't been there since the early 1990s. She's an RN who loves the Chicago Bears.



Chad's mom (Grandma Sue) hasn't been since the early 1990s as well. She's retired, just bought a lake house and loves working on it, and lives for being a grandma (they both do!).



OK, kids are up from naps and the basics are done! I'll post more soon, and I would be so thrilled to see anyone actually read this! ETA:I know the pictures are huge. Anyone know how to make them smaller?
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617

Last edited by jana616; 09-05-2009 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:04 PM   #2
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Nice start... Can't wait to read more about your plans... very cute boys too... You will have so much fun at Disney.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevyNat View Post
Nice start... Can't wait to read more about your plans... very cute boys too... You will have so much fun at Disney.
!!! Yay, a reader!!! Thanks for the compliments on my boys. I think they're pretty cute too, but I'm biased! I was pretty sure no one was looking at this thing, which given the one, super fascinating, post, is understandable, but now that I know at least one person looked at this, you have inspired me to keep going!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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Evolution of our Trip...

So the foundation for this trip began in the fall of 2008, when Disney announced their Buy 4/Get 3 deal. I broached the subject of a Disney trip with Chad. Now, something very important to know about Chad, and something that will come up numerous times over the course of the PTR, is the fact that Chad is cheap. I don't mean a reasonable amount of frugality, I mean, "sleep in his car to avoid paying for a hotel" cheap. So I knew this was going to be a tough sell!

Much to my surprise, he said to research the cost more thoroughly and give him some numbers. I played around on the computer, and contacted Small World Vacations who put me in touch with a great Disney TA right here in Indiana. We started looking for Spring of 2009, either January, March during preschool spring break, or May right after school let out. I was very undecided, because I want Cooper to be old enough to enjoy himself. We atually had holds on rooms for all three of these times briefly, and then the TA suggested September, because of free dining. Chad heard "free" and was sold!

In addition to the free dining, and Cooper being a little older, we are arriving on my birthday, so we'll get the $75 fun card (you know Chad liked this part too!). And it gave me about 10 months to plan, which anyone reading this knows is part of the fun!

Our original plan was for the four of us to go and to drive from Indy, which is just under 1000 miles. Now, we drove to the Outer Banks in September 2008, and survived, but I wasn't thrilled. Still, Cheap Chad said it was the way to go!

But then, in February, my mom started mentioning that she would love to come. And we knew my MIL would love to come if asked. So we decided to ask them to come along, and they both said yes! Well, now we had 4 adults and 2 kids crammed into our minivan. We were still planning on it, but I decided to keep an eye on airfare just in case.

A few weeks later, tickets on Delta were $158 total roundtrip for each of us, and we booked them. They aren't non-stop, but I will happily take 3 1/2 hours of plane rides to avoid 15+ hours in the car! Of course as soon as we booked them cheaper tickets came out on SW and Airtran, but I choose not to think about that!

So, here we are, 99 days to go and the basics of our trip all planned out.

Up next, ADRs...I would love some help on this one!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
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ADR Plans

Alright, I am choosing not to feel like a total loser since no one else has said hello. I may be talking to myself, but that's okay!

Today I want to talk about ADRs. The only times I've been to WDW were as a child in a family that didn't have a lot of money (we brought food into the park and just came for the day), and as a honeymooner that didn't have a lot of money (starving grad students who split CS every meal). So I have never eaten a sit down meal at WDW. We still don't have a lot of money,, but we have something better...free dining!!!! One of the biggest selling points for me in choosing September was the idea of eating for free. Besides saving us more money than a 40% code (since we're in a value), I know my husband, and I love him, but he would starve himself for a week rather than pay Disney food prices. I would also never be able to convince him to do character meals, etc. I am thrilled at the idea of eating whatever, whenever, without looking at the price. For "frugal" people such as ourselves, it will be a real treat!

So, I believe I have our list of meals narrowed down, as well as a few back-ups (though I am saying nightly prayers that we don't need them! I like Plan A!)

Without further ado, our first choices are....

'Ohana dinner
Le Cellier
Cape May cafe dinner
Tusker House breakfast
Crystal Palace dinner

and the 4 I need to choose 2 out of...

'Ohana breakfast with Lilo and Stitch or Garden Grill
Chef Mickeys or 1900 Park Fare

Any thoughts on these?

Back-ups are Whispering Canyon Cafe, Boma breakfast, Tutto Italia, and whichever 2 character meals we don't choose from those 4. We will also have some flexibility on some of those meals since we're planning 2 and a 1/2 MK days. Now I'm just waiting on the silly September schedule to assign parks to days...don't they know I need a few days to plan?

Speaking of ADRs, I have the greatest travel agent in the world. I e-mailed her asking for our reservation # to be sure I had it for June 9th. I mentioned how much trouble everyone is having, and she offered to book mine for me. I'm a control freak, and admitted such to her, and told her I was worried that if rearranging came up she wouldn't know how I'd want it, etc. So she is letting me call her at 6:30 on my ADR day and sit on the phone with her while she does my ADRs online. Isn't that awesome? She has been really helpful about this!

Up next: a few pictures of all the goodies I've bought so far. It's A LOT, and there's still 98 days to go-lots more shopping time left!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:46 AM   #6
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The Crystal Palace Dinner with the Characters is a lot of fun...the food is good too, lots to chose from.

I loved the Ohana breakfast with Lilo and Stitch, the food is brought to your table and you can ask for refills without a problem, again the food is great.
I did Garden Grill for Dinner and loved the food but the restaurant is a little crampy, not a lot of room to move around at all.

I did Chef Mickey a while back and enjoyed it very much, a lot of fun and excellent food... UHH! might try to get ADR for that one again... ha!
We also went to Whispering Canyon Cafe and had a BLAST there... if you want to have fun go there... You have to have a sence of humor, if you ask for Ketchup you get 11-15 bottles on your table ha! ha! if you ask for a refill of Pop, they will bring you a Gallon Jar with a huge straw Ha! and my son asked for a spoon to scoop up the milkshake and he received a gigantic spoon... it's a lot of fun.

I can post a few pics for you...
I hope this helps a little.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jana616 View Post

and the 4 I need to choose 2 out of...

'Ohana breakfast with Lilo and Stitch or Garden Grill
Chef Mickeys or 1900 Park Fare

Any thoughts on these?
I don't have any experience with the ones you're sure about, but we LOVED Ohana breakfast and Chef Mickey's dinner. Stitch is my son's favorite character aside from the pirates, and the character interaction with him was great. Without a doubt he's one of the most interactive, "in character" characters that we met!

We haven't done 1900 Park Fare since the change from Fairy Godmother & mice to Stepsisters, but when we did it the food was good and DD loved meeting Prince Charming (boy crazy at 7 - I'm in for some rough years ahead! ).
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jana616 View Post
Alright, I am choosing not to feel like a total loser since no one else has said hello. I may be talking to myself, but that's okay!
I know what you mean...but I decided it didn't matter...afterall I find myself talking to myself at work so it should come as no surprise if I do it here on the dis.

I think it is great that you are making plans as to what days to visit which parks. I am making this our laid back trip. Afternoons spent at the hotel for pool and nap time...more for DH than DD. Other than ADR's, manatory pool time, and MNSSHP, we are not planning.

We thought about driving as well since it is just 3 of us...that lasted about 30 seconds before DH figurative slapped me silly.

I am excited to see how your planning progresses so I am staying tuned for more.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:59 PM   #9
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I just came across your PTR and am all caught up! I love it. We go in October with our Little One's with a 4:3 adult to kids ratio!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:56 PM   #10
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Getting so close!!!!!

Can't wait to hear/see how the shirts come out. I made a ton for our trip in September! 16 total

Good luck with the sale
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:57 PM   #11
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Replies and Mickey Mail!

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Originally Posted by mommyof2Pirates View Post
Have fun selling/shopping. I need to get hooked up in the one I always see advertised around my house. I have so much stuff and yard sales just dont attract as much for kids items as a group childrens sale does. Good luck.
Thanks! The sale was a total success. I brought several big things to sell, and all of those were gone when I left there this morning. I sold a lot of smaller toys and some clothes, but I won't know how much until I go to pick up the leftovers in an hour. Hopefully I'll come back with a small pile! I also had great success shopping-I got 2 travel Magnadoodles for $.25 each, some books for Cooper's airplane bag, some take and toss sippies, and my best find...a Graco stroller rain cover for $1! I still need one more, but to find something I was about to go pay full price for at $1 makes me so happy! All told I spent $89 and left with 3 tubs full, including one whole tub full of fall/winter clothes. I love these sales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissie View Post
I just came across your PTR and am all caught up! I love it. We go in October with our Little One's with a 4:3 adult to kids ratio!!
Welcome! I've been having fun reading your PTR as well. It's nice to outnumber the kids, isn't it? I'm hoping it helps with my two wild boys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyTiger View Post
Getting so close!!!!!

Can't wait to hear/see how the shirts come out. I made a ton for our trip in September! 16 total

Good luck with the sale
I am hoping the transfers will come in the mail today, and then I can get started tomorrow. I only got about 5 hours sleep last night from being at the sale late and going in early today, so I don't know that I trust myself with an iron tonight! I have 18 to do, if they go well! I am so nervous about how they will turn out...what kind of surface did you make them on? An ironing board isn't hard enough, right?

The big news...we FINALLY got our Mickey Mail! It came yesterday, and I had a blast showing the boys all the pictures in the brochures and maps that were in there. They are getting really excited, even Cooper. But our DME tags weren't in there, just some cute luggage tags. Were they supposed to be, or do they come separate?
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jana616 View Post
Thanks! The sale was a total success. I brought several big things to sell, and all of those were gone when I left there this morning. I sold a lot of smaller toys and some clothes, but I won't know how much until I go to pick up the leftovers in an hour. Hopefully I'll come back with a small pile! I also had great success shopping-I got 2 travel Magnadoodles for $.25 each, some books for Cooper's airplane bag, some take and toss sippies, and my best find...a Graco stroller rain cover for $1! I still need one more, but to find something I was about to go pay full price for at $1 makes me so happy! All told I spent $89 and left with 3 tubs full, including one whole tub full of fall/winter clothes. I love these sales!



Welcome! I've been having fun reading your PTR as well. It's nice to outnumber the kids, isn't it? I'm hoping it helps with my two wild boys!



I am hoping the transfers will come in the mail today, and then I can get started tomorrow. I only got about 5 hours sleep last night from being at the sale late and going in early today, so I don't know that I trust myself with an iron tonight! I have 18 to do, if they go well! I am so nervous about how they will turn out...what kind of surface did you make them on? An ironing board isn't hard enough, right?

The big news...we FINALLY got our Mickey Mail! It came yesterday, and I had a blast showing the boys all the pictures in the brochures and maps that were in there. They are getting really excited, even Cooper. But our DME tags weren't in there, just some cute luggage tags. Were they supposed to be, or do they come separate?
I used an ironing board and it worked fine. I did put a think piece of cardboard in the middle of the shirt just to make it a bit firmer. It worked great! 18 ??? You beat my record Can't wait to see them!

DME does come seperate from your reservation stuff. Not sure why, but it does. You should be getting that any day now
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"Yes, someone stole our stroller"... and other magical moments - ASMo 9/21/11-9/26/11
Beach Club Villas 9/08 - We Finally took the kids! AKL 5/09 - The Boys Crashed Our Girls Trip! [URL="http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36040491#post36040491"]
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:32 PM   #13
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Finally...some projects finished!

Some progress has been made, woo hoo! I was a busy bee yesterday, and got the Epcot Passports and our autograph books made. I am so excited to have some things crossed off my list. All (ha!) that I have left to do is 18 t-shirts. No problem-that should take an hour or two, right?

So, without further ado...here's my stuff! (wait, that came out wrong!)

The passports, pressed penny tubes, and stroller tags (that I had to put our name on myself!)


Better look at the Passports. I am so excited about these. I have the Word document if anyone else wants to make them. They were pretty easy once we figured it out, and they look so cute!


The autograph books.




I spent a couple of hours on these, but I'm happy with how they came out. I covered chipboard in paper, and then used embellishments I'd already bought for scrapbooking when we come back to decorate. Then I punched holes in the 4x6 index cards and put it all on binder rings. What I like about this is that I can take out the pages as they are signed, so as to hopefully keep safe ones we've already gotten. I had no idea how many pages they'd need, so I put 50 in each. Do you think that's enough? I'm planning to make them albums with their pictures with the characters along with the signatures. But, really, if the books survive, maybe we can just add pictures to these. We'll see!

Oh, and this has nothing to do with Disney, but my baby started Pre-K today, so I have to post his 1st Day of School picture on here.

I can't believe he's this big already. I will be a blubbering mess next year for Kindergarten! Griffin is going 4 mornings a week (M-Th) this year, and Cooper is going 2 mornings (T&Th), which means tomorrow when they both go, will officially be the best day in the world! Any other SAHM on here knows what I mean, right?

Still no transfers, but hopefully they'll come today. I am totally ready and able to start t-shirts, so let's get transferring!!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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