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Old 01-05-2012, 10:59 AM   #1
BDL
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Our 2nd Trip in 3 Years. This Time, She's In On It (Dec 2012) CP Narrator Update 9/13

12/7/12-12/13/12 Port Orleans Riverside


Hello All.

This is my first Pre-Trip Report, so I hope I don't ruffle any feathers through the course of it. As the tagline says, this will be our (me & fiance') 2nd trip down to Walt Disney World in 3 years. Our first trip was a surprise Valentine's Day/Anniversary/Birthday gift to her. From Feb-Oct I planned, and paid, and booked, and reserved (and re-reserved, and re-booked. Anyone else a victim of that computer upgrade last year?). The whole time without letting her in on it. I even made an excuse of having to go to work early 1 day so that I could book the Candlelight Processional/dinner combo without her knowing. But, on her birthday, I let her in on the gift and gave her some Disney Dollars as a bonus. This last trip is also where she became my fiance'. I semi-spontaneously proposed to her on our last day there in front of the castle at a photo-pass location. I say "semi-spontaneous" because I went down with just the intention of us having a long overdue vacation together. On our last night there, I snuck away from her for a short period and puchased her a Mickey ring. The next day, I spent the whole day trying to keep up the gumption to go through with it (and keep her on my right side, the ring was in my left pocket). On the way out of the Magic Kingdom, with only the airport to look forward to, I suggested that we take 1 more photo-pass shot. We got the pic, and I begged the photographer for 1 more shot, to the grunts and groans of people in line. But those turned to "oohs" & "ahhs" when they realized what was happening. We even got some applause from some teenaged girls walking by. Thanks girls. By the way, she said "Yes".

But that was last year. This report will deal with the upcoming trip. And like most trip reports, you have to wait for that 1 committal moment or act that will cement that you are going. For me, it was emailing my AAA rep. I know it sounds simple, but there is no turning back now... This time, we hope to be traveling with some family. We are hoping that her sister (and my future SIL) will be joining us. She doesn't know if she will be travelling with a friend or family member yet. I'll have to update you on that later.

The general plan, as it stands now, is that we will be returning to WDW in early December. We went Dec 10-15th last year and had a ball. We are looking to repeat as much of that experience, not just so we can share it with my future SIL, but for selfish reasons as well. WE WANT TO EXPERIENCE IT AGAIN. But we will do our best to book a Candlelight Processional/dinner combo, take in the Osbourne Lights (RIP Jennings), MVMCP tickets (LOVED the non-existent lines), a couple of character breakfasts (DF' loves cheesy potatoes at Akershus) and we will set aside 1 morning to ride the monorail to check out the decor of the monorail resorts (anyone who has seen the Home&Garden Network special on Disney knows what I am talking about). First and foremost, we want to secure the resort that we stayed at last time. The Port Orleans Riverside. We probably won't try for the princess rooms, but I have always loved my stays there and the boat ride to DTD is so convenient.

So, here we are, January 5th, 2012. I am looking to book our trip for approximately 12/5th or 6th for 6N/7D. I am just waiting for a couple of things to fall into place. There are a couple of variables that I am trying to lock down and a couple that I am weary of (Pop Warner tournament UPDATE: PW Tourney 12/1-12/9). But as it stands, here are some important dates.

May 1st: MVMCP tickets go on sale
MVMCP Dates:
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will be held on the following dates:
November 9, 12, 15, 16*, 25, 27, 29 and 30*
December 2, 4, 6, 7*, 9, 11, 13, 14*, 16, 18, 20* and 21**
*Advance Sale pricing is not available for these dates. Even when purchased in advance, "Day Of" pricing is in effect.
Advance Sales $58.95 Adult / $53.95 Ages 3-9 (plus tax)
Day of Event Sales $64.95/$59.95
** Premium Night Dec 21 $67.95/$62.95

May 14th: December hrs and EMH are releasedhttp://media.disneywebcontent.com/St...lendar_dec.pdf
ADR's - Post 111 (YUM!!!)
Dec. 2012 Cancelled ADR thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2883873 )
Roster of narrators for CP released
Narrator lists from 08-11 post #56
Oct 22nd: Trip must be paid in full

I will list our cast of characters in a later post and will update any info as it comes. If anyone reads this and has some helpful hints, tips, tricks or insight. Please let me know. Also, I'll probably be the only man on this trip, so if there are any guys that have had similar trips and can tell me what to expect, I'd appreciate it.

Thank you. Hope you have a Happy New Year. And I hope to see some of you in December.
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Last edited by BDL; 09-13-2012 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Completed Itinerary
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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CAST OF CHARACTERS:

Me: I am a PC technician by day and a bouncer at a bar on weekend nights. And in the Spring/Summer, I labor on weekend days (gotta pay for Disney somehow...). I'm a huge Boston sports fan. Especially the Pats and Bruins (follow my Bruins thread here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2804514 ). Me and my fiance' have season tickets to the Bruins. In my leisure times, I like going to the gym, creative writing and reading Star Wars novels .

I have been to Walt Disney World (what I would call) many times. Twice when I was a kid and several times as an adult. My friends and I (who are all larger than average guys) would plan 5d/4n trips every other year. We'd always go in late Spring. The sweet spot between Spring Break and college graduation. Even though every trip was different, 3 things remained the same. 1) We'd stay at the Port Orleans Riverside. 2) We'd do at least 3 nights at Pleasure Island (RIP). And 3) we would ride Small World for no other reason than taking in the faces of those around us. Seeing 3-6 mammoth men in line for Small World, carrying on like guys are want to do, and not a kid or girlfriend in the group. Yes... Their expressions were worth it every time . Went last year in early Dec with a girlfriend and came back with a fiance'.

Fiance': She is an office manager for a landscape company. And, she puts up with me, which is a full time job in itself. She is a very animated Bruins fan. You would not expect the streams of obsenities that would come from her on a blown call during the games. With her free time she likes to play with her iPad (she crushes it on Words With Friends and Hangin With Friends ).

She, like me, had been to Disney a couple of times as a kid. On one of the trips, she got sick and missed a whole day . But last year, I hope I helped fill that wound. The trip was a gift to her from me. Our first day there, I knew it was gonna be a good trip. She had been an exchange student to Italy. As such, she doesn't like American made, Italian desserts because they didn't measure up. That was up until the dessert from our lunch at Tutto Italia. She raved for days about the tiramasu. From there it was all down hill. Just kidding. One of the highlights for me (aside from her agreeing to marry me) was seeing how agitated she was dealing with the crowds in front of the castle at MK and at Streets of America at MGM, and then seeing it all melt away the second that the castle was lit and Osbourne lights start. Those moments make the trip worth every penny.

Fiance's sister: She is a pre-school teacher and has been living in envy of our first trip. Which is why I am excited that she'll be joining us . Like her sister, she had been a couple of times when she was a kid but never as an adult. She loves photography and creating movies with her Mac book. So, she is really looking forward to this up coming trip. She has already started to mention some of the shots ahe wants to get when we get down there and the type of media she will do with her pics when we get back .

Fiance's mom: (aka LIL, see below for why) She is an accounts payable rep during the week and dedicated to her church and church functions on the weekends. She, like her daughters love playing games on her iPad. LIL is very musical, in her own right. She will break into song on a whim and add her own spin to it. Early on in BDLsGal and my relationship, LIL shared the stories (some embarrassing) from their Disney trips in the 80's. I think she will really enjoy this trip. 1) she hasn't been to Disney in a while. 2) she is a fellow Christmas-aholic. And 3) she will LOVE LOVE LOVE the choir and the narration of the Candlelight Procession

Insert additional characters here:
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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Sounds like a great cast of characters so far. Can't wait to hear more of your story
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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It was a crushing loss for the Pats last night. But I did win a couple of squares, but it didn't raise my spirits like it should. Then the fiance' said something to me that made it pertinent to add to my PTR.

"Look at it this way. You just won our deposit for Disney."

Leave it to our significant others to always find the silver lining and brighten our dark moments.

Thanks hon...
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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First update in just under a month (thank you Leap Day).

Well, looks like our fourth companion has been all but confirmed. Not only that, but looks like more people may be coming down the same time that we're there. I would say that they were coming down with us. But they keep pushing to get a condo off resort. Call me a resort snob if you want, but I just LOVE the convenience that staying on resort allows. Not only that, but the opportunity to get the DDP and hold out hope for the FREE DDP.

Anyways, I emailed my AAA rep today to see what kind of planning/booking I'd be allowed to do for the whole group. Anxious to see what she comes back with and what I can tell them "Sorry... You'll have to take care of that yourself." (Just kidding ). I actually hope that I can book things that everyone will like.

Any hoo... Our fourth partner in crime is my future mother-in-law. Otherwise known as LIL. There is a story behind that. When BDLsGal and I started dating, whenever I addressed her parents, being the good Irish Catholic boy that I am, I referred to them as "Sir and Ma'am". That is until she threatened to smack me for calling her ma'am. When I asked what she would like to be called, her reply was "Call me Lady for all I care. Just don't call me 'ma'am'". So I called her "Lady". When BDLsGal got engange, she then became my "Lady-In-Law" or LIL. Now you know the story.

I'll be putting some info about LIL in the cast of characters, and let you know what my AAA agent tells me as it becomes available.

Til next time.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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Just saw your post about the Super Bowl and I am glad it helped. Those bad memories of the game will be long gone when we are in the midst of everything that is Disney at Christmas!
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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I have to admit, I'm mostly hopping on because you're a hockey fan...
I can't say I like the Bruins much (I have their cup t-shirt,though!) but they have by far the best marketing in the entire NHL. BY FAR. And I'd never seen the ad in your sig before. My favorite so far
(I'm on Chara's side...who calls 911 for a hockey hit?! And comparing him to Bertuzzi? puhleease...)


Anyways, your trip sounds awesome so far! I got married last year and we did WDW for our honeymoon (I can't get my husband to go back, though he wants to go "other places"??). Have you guys planned a honeymoon yet?!
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:06 AM   #8
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Awesome morning!!! Congrads on getting both dining packages!!
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RooRach0906 View Post
Awesome morning!!! Congrads on getting both dining packages!!
Thank you. But I couldn't have done without the help of my good friends Dr. Maxwell and Dr. House.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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General Itinerary

Well, thanks to a very fortunate day yesterday, I have pretty much nailed down the itinerary of our vacation. Bare in mind, these are always subject to change (especially now that I have an itinerary, the in-laws will FINALLY offer their opinion). I think that we will have a healthy mix of activity and rest (rest = tending to foot, knee and back issues). So, without further fanfare, here is our general itinerary. I have asked everyone that will listen and read what I have written done, and that question is "Am I being too Griswald-ian with this plan?" If you think so, let me know and PLEASE , for the love of God, tell me what to do. I crave feedback.

12/6
Fly out of Boston Logan Airport mid/late afternoon, land in Orlando that night and stay at an offsite motel

12/7
Wake up before 8am. Check out, take a cab to Port Orleans-Riverside. Hopefully, the room will be ready at check-in. If not, leave bags in the baggage waiting area and hop the 1st bus to EPCOT. On the bus ride there, take in the scenerey and the facial expressions of BDLsgal, SIL and LIL as they can start making out the "golf ball" on the horizon. Once inside, pictures galore and walk to the World Showcase. Make our way through the countries until our ADR.

11:30am Tutto Italia

After lunch, head back to POR for refresh and clothes change. If we were unable to fully check-in, I'll give the keys to the women folk, while I get the bags and try to get a golf cart ride to our ROYAL GUEST ROOMS . It takes me less time to shower and get ready, anyways. Do the turn-around and head back to EPCOT for our.

4pm CP/ADR Garden Grille

BDLsgal and I have never eaten here before and SIL really wanted to see Chip n Dale. After dinner, leisurely walk to the American Pavillion for our 6:45 Candlelight Processional (Narrator: still TBA). The show will let out about 7:30-45 which will leave plenty of time to walk to Karamelle Kuche and still make it to the CP viewing area fro Illuminations. I can't wait to see everyone's reactions to Illuminations. BDLsgal LOVES fireworks and I think the in-laws are the same. After the show, this night is an EPCOT EMH. Short lines for TT, M:S and Soarin' (hopefully). But if some people are tired, we can split up and meet up again in the morning. But when we finally do go to sleep, it will be to the LED fireworks of the light up headboards.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:12 PM   #11
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Sounds like such a magical first day!
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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General Itinerary

12/8
Ahhhhhh... The first wake up, on property, always takes a little time for me to get my barings. Then my Cheshire Cat smile kicks in when I realize where I am. Oh well... Up and at 'em. Make sure everyone else is up. Then we take that oh so beautiful walk along the river towards the main building. From there, it's on our way to Animal Kingdom and our breakfast.

9am Tusker House

I had originally, wanted to see the welcome to the park show, but seems the parks except Magic Kingdom have done away with them. So, this will allow us a slight head start. On the way to TH, try to grab fast passes for the Safari. We'll have our buffet with Donald and friends and then it's either off to the Safari or Expedition Everest. Either way, it's win/win. In our travels between the rides, we'll stop by and check out the Tree of Life and the monkeys at the temple. It is just awesome watching them fly around. But, my "I'm going to Hell" moment will come when we go on Dinosaur. When SIL and LIL will be riding it for the first time. Those that have been on the ride before know what I mean.

From AK, we can either head back to POR to change or head straight to MGM. Depending on what time we get there, BDLsgal has STRESSED that we must do Star Tours. I keep telling her it's ok, but she wants to guarantee that we get to go on it since it was closed for refurb, our last trip. And to be honest I CAN'T WAIT!!!! After that, it's dinner time.

4:40pm Sci-Fi Dining theater

From there, I think you can all guess where we head to next. Yep, that's right. It's off to the Streets of America to see the Osbourne Dancing Lights. Anyone who says that you can go to Disney at Christmas time and NOT see the Osbourne Lights, either call the men in white coats or the men in black. Because that person is either insane or an alien. You feel a swell inside of you when you are surrounded by the lights. Especially if you are there for the initial lighting of the night. After we've soaked up all we can, it is back to the POR and hoping to sing along with Yee Haw Bob.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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Joining in from the Roll Call thread. No idea what took me so long!! Love the pics of last year's trip!! We also went last December and loved it so much we are going back this December. Feedback--Day 1 meals seem awfully close together. Maybe a lighter lunch or late breakfast?? Day 2 looks awesome. We rode Star Tours over and over. So fun!! And I agree the Osborne Lights are AMAZING!!!!
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #14
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General Itinerary

12/9

This will be the day when we start to slow things down. We will still have to be up and ready before 9am to make our breakfast:

9:30 Kona Cafe (Mmmmmmm coffee... Mmmmmmmm... TONGA TOAST!!!)

Anyone who has been to Kona Cafe, can not find enough nice things to say about it. The coffee is the ultimate pick-me-up. The Big Kahuna ( French toast, Pancakes topped with Pineapple sauce and Macadamia Nut Butter, eggs, home fried potatoes, ham, bacon, and sausage ) is a very filling breakfast. And don't even bother trying to ask someone, who ordered the Tonga Toast, if you can try a piece. You will get 1 of 2 reactions. 1, they may snarl at you like a dog and his bone . Or 2, they may come back with something like, "...when you can pry it from my cold dead hands." Once again... Ask anyone who has been there before. They will tell you, I'm not exaggerating.

From there, we will start our resort hopping. If you haven't dedicated a 1/2 day to check out the decorations at the other resorts, you may want to try to squeeze it in. Great photo ops. Amazing decorations. And life-sized gingerbread structures. Last time we stuck with the monorail resorts. This time, I'd like to see if we can check out the campgrounds, and the boardwalk resorts (AKL is too isolated to just check out). After this, it will be a prolonged rest period. Because this night will be our MVMCP night . So it's back to the POR. Rest... Maybe squeeze in a nap or hot tub (or both). Then it's off to the Magic Kingdom.

We'll enter the park at 4:01pm with our MVMCP hard ticket. We'll have time to stop for a couple of photo ops, maybe some shopping, but we'll have to make dinner.

4:45pm Crystal Palace (And, yes...... I do like hanging with Pooh, Tigger and Eyeore.)

After dinner, we'll try to get on a couple of the rides before the Castle lighting ceremony. The stage show is a little hokey, but it is fun. Watching the Disney characters argue about how to decorate Cinderella's Castle is pretty entertaining. The castle lighting itself, is jaw dropping. You literally do not know how long you've been standing there with your mouth open until the 1st person that bumps into you as the crowd disperses. The plus side of that, is that maybe the last time someone bumps into you (unless you are at a Thanksgiving MVMCP or the last MVMCP of the year). There is lots of elbow room at the MVMCP. From this point til the Wishes fireworks display, it's all riding the E-ticket rides with no lines. Hopefully, Haunted Mansion will not break down, again, just when our Doom Buggy is right next to a speaker. Then it's time to make our way back to the castle to see Wishes. After Wishes, the park REALLY clears out. And the length of your time in a queue area depends on how fast you walk through the maze or the ropes. We will take a break from the rides long enough to line the street for the 2nd parade of the night. It is a really cool parade. Then maybe a few more rides. There are 2 more "must-do"s that I haven't mentioned yet. The 1st, make sure you load up on the free cocoa and cookies. The 2nd, make sure you snag all the MVMCP specific merchandise as possible. They fly off the shelves and are not available at any other times besides at MVMCP's.

In closing, I'd like to share a little story with you. Last night, my sister was over. And she has always given me and BDLsgal grief for choosing to go to Disney, instead of going on the random cruises that her, my sister-in-law, my folks, and other family members and friends. To the point where she literally said "Why do you go down in Decemeber? There's nothing to do in December." So, last night, I had BDLsgal show her the itinerary that I had come up with, for our trip. Her response was priceless. The symphony of "Oooohs and Ahhhhhs" was music. Then she got to the part where I printed out the menus of the restaurants we were going to. You'd think she was ordering her last meal from death row the way she was looking at it. Same thing with the cocktails and wine lists. But the cherry on top, was when I got my Kindle Fire (thanks LIL) and showed her youtube's of Osbourne Lights and the Castle lighting. Her response was AWESOME. My sister, who has never been wrong or mistaken in her life said "If you guys are going in 2014, we'll consider going."

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Old 07-09-2012, 07:47 PM   #15
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Great plans for your sleep in day! DTD is always relaxing compared to the parks and you can't beat Ghiradelli!
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