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Old 02-21-2011, 03:27 PM   #1
afwdwfan
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I will never go to WDW pushing a stroller! - Nov/Dec 2011 PTR, Final? Itinerary 11/18

Welcome to my first effort at writing a PTR. We will be taking our first family vacation with just me, DW and DS this fall the week after Thanksgiving. We plan to drive on Friday and Saturday to St. Pete Beach where we will spend 2 nights, then drive on to Wilderness Lodge where we'll stay 5 nights before heading back home.

Here is our agenda for the trip:
  • Nov 25: Drive to St. Pete Beach
  • Nov 26-27: Spend some time relaxing by the water
  • Nov 28: Eat a late (11:20) breakfast at Chef Mickey's and check in at WL
  • Nov 29-Dec 2 Spend 4 full days at the parks (Detailed plans to follow)
  • Dec 3 Check out and spend a few hours at the parks
  • Dec 3-4 Return home
Now a little bit about us:

Me: My name is Andy. I'm the Dad and a proud member of the DIS Dads Club. This will be my 7th trip to WDW.
  • My favorite park is MK
  • My favorite ride is Rockin Rollercoaster
  • My favorite character is Goofy
  • My favorite Disney movie is Peter Pan
DW: This will be her 4th trip to WDW. She likes it, but is nowhere near as addicted as I am.
  • Her favorite park is MK
  • Her favorite ride is Rockin Rollercoaster
  • Her favorite character is Eeyore
  • Her favorite Disney movie is all of the Pixar movies
DS: Well, he will be 22 months when we go... therefore it looks like I will be pushing a stroller (watch your ankles). This will be his first trip and I'm not sure who his favorite character is, but he loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

We know it will be hard to do everything having a 22 month old with us, but we are planning accordingly. There is a slight chance that we could be going back in 2012 with my parents so we won't feel the need to do it all. We're going to take a laid back approach to things and take it easy. I tend to be the commando type personality that wants to be in the parks from Rope Drop to closing time. DW always wants to sleep in and relax. I've already been given permission to go to morning EMH solo and hit the big kid rides as long as I promise to come back and get them to go to whatever park we're visiting that day.

Since we're going to try to stay flexible and not overplan, we're going to use the Quick Service Dining Plan this time. We're going to do a few table service meals as well, but I haven't decided which ones we'll do. We love Italian food and in 2008 the Italian pavillion in WS was under renovation and I don't think the restaurant was open. We're going to have to visit at least one of those. We're also going to plan a character meal but haven't decided which one yet, although I'm leaning toward Chef Mickey's. As you can see we still have a lot of details to iron out, but a lot of time to do it.

This is a bit of an introduction for now. I'll post some more background information about how this trip came to be later.

Thanks for reading!

Table of Contents
How This trip came to be
A Little bit of Disney Magic
There's something to Celebrate
Where do we want to eat?
Will our Timing Work?
Prelminary pre-ADR plans
180 Days to go!
Can we make it 2 years in a row???
Tweaking some ADRs
Independence Day Weekend
Kings Island - Part 1
Kings Island - The Waiting Game
Kings Island - Snake Bit
Lessons Learned and a Change in Plans
Can we fit in Beaches & Cream?
The Update About Nothing
Can we still add someone to the reservation?
Harvest time update
Final???? Itinerary

Last edited by afwdwfan; 11-18-2011 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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Hey, look what I found! Time to make someone else the butt of the jokes for a change...

Sounds like the planning is fully underway!
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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Jumping over here from my PTR! Hope you don't mind the addition of a teenage girl to your DIS Dad's Club party!
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Hey, look what I found! Time to make someone else the butt of the jokes for a change...

Sounds like the planning is fully underway!
Well, I usually am the butt of the joke so I guess I'm just resuming my normal role. Thanks for stopping by and welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZFamily5 View Post
Jumping over here from my PTR! Hope you don't mind the addition of a teenage girl to your DIS Dad's Club party!
Everybody's welcome, glad you stopped by. I'd been meaning to start a PTR for a few weeks now. Turns out a slow day at work and reading a few others today was what I needed to get me going.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:25 AM   #5
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Make sure you put a nice heavy duty brush guard on the front of the stroller. It helps "persuade" people to stay out of your way.
Oh, and big spikes coming out of the hub of the wheels, like in those Bugs Bunny Chariot races.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Make sure you put a nice heavy duty brush guard on the front of the stroller. It helps "persuade" people to stay out of your way.
Oh, and big spikes coming out of the hub of the wheels, like in those Bugs Bunny Chariot races.
Also, airhorns work wonders to clear a path.

-------------------


I'm in, looking forward to hearing about your planning and eventual trip.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:08 PM   #7
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Sounds like a wonderful plan so far. We have actually planned a beach vacation after our Disney trip (May 29- June 3) I will need to relax after my "Drill Sargeant" hubby is done with us at Disney (ha!) ! My dh is a real Disney fanatic. I need to tell him about the DIS Dad Club. Cannot wait to read more!
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgirl29 View Post
Sounds like a wonderful plan so far. We have actually planned a beach vacation after our Disney trip (May 29- June 3) I will need to relax after my "Drill Sargeant" hubby is done with us at Disney (ha!) ! My dh is a real Disney fanatic. I need to tell him about the DIS Dad Club. Cannot wait to read more!
Welcome... both to the DIS and to my PTR. I'm a little harsh on my criticizm of the beach. It is definitely fun and relaxing, I just need it in moderation. It looks like your husband meets the first requirement for the DIS Dads Club. If he likes immature humor and fart jokes he could run the place.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:18 AM   #9
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How Disney helped me negotiate a compromise and some Disney Magic

Just when I thought I was going to be sitting on a beach for a week, our good friends at Disney sent us a pin code for a 40% discount on stays at a Deluxe Resort. I started working on a spreadsheet (thanks to the example set by my fellow DIS Dads) and showed DW how we could stay at Wilderness Lodge for relatively cheap, and even comparable to what our usual place at the beach costs. DW isn’t quite as crazy about Disney as I am, so she wasn't quite sold on the idea. My compromise was to take a couple of days driving down, spend 2 nights at St. Pete Beach and then spend 5 nights at Wilderness Lodge. She was still a bit hesitant until I showed her all the pictures of the lobby and pool that were provided complements of the many WL lovers on the DIS. I have always loved the theme of WL and wanted to stay there, and I knew she’d feel the same way after I showed her the pictures.

We have never been to WL, and are really looking forward to it. DW loves the rustic look and our living room is decorated with things that look like they belong in the lobby of WL. I’ve noticed that some of the light fixtures with the cutouts of evergreen trees and animals on them are actually similar to a ceiling fan we have in our living room. We will definitely be very much at home there. With DS taking his first trip, it will be really nice to be just a boat ride away from MK. When I was little, I always thought that the Contemporary was the coolest thing ever. I mean it is a hotel with a monorail running through it!!!! I would have loved to stay at one of the monorail resorts, but the theme (and lower cost) of WL made it an easy choice for us.

I checked into booking the package through AAA because we've dealt with them in the past and I knew I could communicate with them by e-mail from work. I don't know why Disney won't allow you to use a pin code to book online instead of having to call in. When I looked at the AAA website after the pin code arrived and saw that January was Disney month, it was just some more incentive to book with them. We simply wanted a standard view room, but by the time we booked there were none available so we had to upgrade to the woods view. I’ve got to admit, it concerns me a bit that the Standard View rooms were already booked up nearly 11 months out. I just hope that it means there were none left for the discount rate and not necessarily an indication that crowds will be ridiculous. I guess I’ll be able to answer that question later in the TR.

I went to the AAA office on a Saturday morning to make the down payment on our reservation and secure my complementary Disney Gift Card. I shared this story with the DIS Dads already, but I got to experience some Disney magic that morning. I had to wait while the “Disney TA” took care of a family that was booking an October trip. They had a cute little girl with them who was probably 3 or 4 years old and apparently had no idea they were booking a trip to Disney World. She was acting kind of bored and impatient while mom and dad were working things out with the TA. Finally as their paperwork was printing the TA started handing out some materials including a kid’s travel guide for the little girl. Once she saw the pictures she began to open up a little bit and started asking questions. Her mom leaned over and started telling her about all the rides that were in the pictures and explained to her that they were going to Disney World and they were going to eat breakfast with Handy Manny. Apparently the magic words are “Handy Manny.” This shy, quiet little girl quickly began to resemble Chip (or Dale) after about 7 or 8 Red Bulls. She started running around the office telling anyone who was (or wasn’t) willing to listen that she is going to go to Disney World and eat breakfast with Handy Manny.

After they left, it was my turn with the TA. I sat down and we started chatting about that little girl. She told me she loves seeing children get excited like that, but it is going to be a long 9 months until she gets her breakfast.

This is the kind of thing I love about Disney. Just the thought of being there can give you that special feeling. It is almost like the goosebumps I get anytime I see the castle at the beginning of a Disney movie or hear “When you Wish Upon a Star.” I don’t know who that little girl was, but I think about her every time I sit down to write something for this PTR or work on planning for our trip. Her excitement was infectious and that is really what it is all about. I wasn’t at Disney and all I was doing was making my wallet a bit lighter that day, but still I came away feeling a healthy dose of Disney magic.


Next update: past visits to the mouse
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:03 PM   #10
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I've only stayed one night at the Wilderness Lodge (Down on the DVC end), but it's an awesome hotel! You're going to love it!
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:25 PM   #11
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Hi! Your trip sounds like a lot of fun. Disney with a toddler is an interesting experience. I never wanted to be the people pushing the stroller, either, but once it came down to being the people with the stroller or not going to Disney for several years, it was an easy choice.

I had something similar happen when I booked our Oct. trip. I booked with a pin code over the phone with DRC and was told there were no standard view rooms available at CBR. I called back the next morning and there were standard view rooms available. Maybe it's some sort of Disney scheme, to claim standard view rooms are unavailable with the pin discount.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:01 PM   #12
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Lucky getting a PIN code! We've never (to my knowledge) gotten one! Good job convincing your DW!
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Pixie Dust in Paris!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post47067772

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:53 AM   #13
afwdwfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
I've only stayed one night at the Wilderness Lodge (Down on the DVC end), but it's an awesome hotel! You're going to love it!
Well, it is on Disney property, so yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateKate View Post
Hi! Your trip sounds like a lot of fun. Disney with a toddler is an interesting experience. I never wanted to be the people pushing the stroller, either, but once it came down to being the people with the stroller or not going to Disney for several years, it was an easy choice.

I had something similar happen when I booked our Oct. trip. I booked with a pin code over the phone with DRC and was told there were no standard view rooms available at CBR. I called back the next morning and there were standard view rooms available. Maybe it's some sort of Disney scheme, to claim standard view rooms are unavailable with the pin discount.
Yeah, I always thought the whole stroller thing looked like a pain, but an opportunity to visit Disney arose, and who am I to say no to that?
Good point about Disney blocking off standard rooms from the pin. I kind of hoped that was the case. It was only $100 more for the upgrade to Woods View for the week anyway, so it didn't bother me much. I guess that they probably counted on me having that attitude though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZFamily5 View Post
Lucky getting a PIN code! We've never (to my knowledge) gotten one! Good job convincing your DW!
I'm pretty sure I've gotten them before and had no idea what it was. Some time on the DIS filled me in on the details and when this mailer came I was all over it.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Welcome to my first effort at writing a PTR. We will be taking our first family vacation with just me, DW and DS this fall the week after Thanksgiving. We plan to drive on Friday and Saturday to St. Pete Beach where we will spend 2 nights, then drive on to Wilderness Lodge where we'll stay 5 nights before heading back home.

Here is our agenda for the trip:
  • Nov 25-26: Drive to St. Pete Beach
  • Nov 26-28: Spend some time relaxing by the water
  • Nov 28: Check in at WL (I'm thinking lunch at WCC and possibly hit MK and/or tour monorail resorts)
  • Nov 29-Dec 2 Spend 4 full days at the parks (Detailed plans to follow)
  • Dec 3 Check out and spend a few hours at the parks
  • Dec 3-4 Return home
Now a little bit about us:

Me: My name is Andy. I'm the Dad and a proud member of the DIS Dads Club. This will be my 7th trip to WDW.
  • My favorite park is MK
  • My favorite ride is Rockin Rollercoaster
  • My favorite character is Goofy
  • My favorite Disney movie is Peter Pan
DW: This will be her 4th trip to WDW. She likes it, but is nowhere near as addicted as I am.
  • Her favorite park is MK
  • Her favorite ride is Rockin Rollercoaster
  • Her favorite character is Eeyore
  • Her favorite Disney movie is all of the Pixar movies
DS: Well, he will be 22 months when we go... therefore it looks like I will be pushing a stroller (watch your ankles). This will be his first trip and I'm not sure who his favorite character is, but he loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

We know it will be hard to do everything having a 22 month old with us, but we are planning accordingly. There is a slight chance that we could be going back in 2012 with my parents so we won't feel the need to do it all. We're going to take a laid back approach to things and take it easy. I tend to be the commando type personality that wants to be in the parks from Rope Drop to closing time. DW always wants to sleep in and relax. I've already been given permission to go to morning EMH solo and hit the big kid rides as long as I promise to come back and get them to go to whatever park we're visiting that day.

Since we're going to try to stay flexible and not overplan, we're going to use the Quick Service Dining Plan this time. We're going to do a few table service meals as well, but I haven't decided which ones we'll do. We love Italian food and in 2008 the Italian pavillion in WS was under renovation and I don't think the restaurant was open. We're going to have to visit at least one of those. We're also going to plan a character meal but haven't decided which one yet, although I'm leaning toward Chef Mickey's. As you can see we still have a lot of details to iron out, but a lot of time to do it.

This is a bit of an introduction for now. I'll post some more background information about how this trip came to be later.

Thanks for reading!
I hope we get the cahnce to meet up in one of the parks. Maybe Italy at Epcot since we share a love of Italian food. Gelato anyone
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:55 PM   #15
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Hey Andy.. just catching up...

Seems like you aren't worried about work ending on time anymore!

Adding an extra beach day sounds like a good idea. You can catch up on your rest after the drive and you can be ready to tackle the parks.

I've always wanted to eat at Beaches & Cream... maybe you can just skip dinner all together and just eat ice cream.
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