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Old 06-05-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
holleypie
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"Honey, I want to see the Gin Blossoms. BTW it's at Epcot." Oct/Dec PTR -Update 11/30


In our family, my husband is the Disney planner. He keeps track of our DVC points, knows when to make ADRs, and informs me of new stuff and ride closures and whatnot. I typically don't even get excited until a month before our trip. Until then, I won't entertain any ridiculous questions like, "Where do you want to eat dinner on a Tuesday night six months from now?" because I don't even know what I want to eat TONIGHT.

So, between that and being a total lurker, I am probably the person on the disboards least likely to ever start a pre-trip report. But something happened to me recently. After five years with Brian, I've been assimilated. Our next big trip is six months away and I can't wait. No, really, I literally can't wait, so we're taking TWO trips this year: A quick trip in late October and then a 12-day extravaganza in December.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introductions
Past Trips
All About the October Trip
October: Basic Itinerary So Far
October: Food!
MNSSHP Costume Ideas
My F&W Checklist! & Brian's list
Last Minute Itinerary Changes
All About the December Trip
December: Basic Itinerary So Far
December: Food!
Candlelight Processional: Narrators Announced!
Where Are We Going to Eat Cake???
Fretting About the Fantasyland Expansion
Four More Months! (just some general thoughts)
Three More Months! (updated itinerary and dining plans)
Top Ten Snacks
Vacation Traditions
Our First Disney Movie Night
Two More Months! (Halloween costumes, flights booked, etc)
Our Pin Collections
One More Month!
Life Update: Running and Zombies (And Cake)
December Update (Added two extra days!)
Magical Thanksgiving Update
29+1 things to do on our birthday trip


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Old 06-05-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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Introductions



I'm Holly. I'm a medical transcriber and writer. I like reading, running, and eating. Here's a picture of me a few days ago right before I ran (/walked) my second half-marathon:



Favorite Disney Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite Character: Winnie the Pooh
Favorite Princess: Cinderella
Favorite Disney Movie: Toy Story
Favorite Disney Song: When You Wish Upon a Star
Favorite QS Restaurant: Columbia Harbor House, Earl of Sandwich
Favorite TS Restaurant: Sanaa

My husband Brian is a customer service representative. He likes movies, TV, games, and a bunch of nerdy stuff. Here's a picture of him with Roy Disney and Mickey Mouse at the WDW dedication ceremony.



Favorite Disney Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Ride: Haunted Mansion
Favorite Character: Donald Duck
Favorite Princess: Snow White
Favorite Disney Movie: Aladdin, Jungle Book
Favorite Disney Song: Les Poissons
Favorite QS Restaurant: Columbia Harbor House
Favorite TS Restaurant: Sci Fi Dine-in (for atmosphere), Sanaa (for food)


We have an adorable six-month-old named Luke. He likes going places, being a good boy, and sticking things in his mouth.




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Old 06-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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Past Trips

In September 2007, a few months after we started dating, Brian and I took our first trip to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, and decided to do one day at Disney. We debated between MK and DHS and picked DHS. We rode a few rides, saw a few shows, and decided we were done. But the day wasn't even half over, so I suggested that we buy a park hopper and head over to MK.

As we walked down Main Street, it felt just like that commercial where the grownups turn into little kids. I'd never seen Brian so happy (The first time I saw him smile at Luke I thought, "OMG, that's his Disney World smile!")

We had a fun time, but Brian was disappointed that his favorite ride was closed.



And I was disappointed that the line closed before I could meet my favorite character.



So we had to go back!



We went back to Orlando in May 2009 and did Universal plus all four Disney parks. We'd just gotten engaged, so to further solidify our lifelong commitment to each other, we dropped some big bucks and became DVC members.






We got married on May 2, 2010. I wanted to do something different and special for our honeymoon, but we also had all these DVC points to use now, so we compromised and took our first trip to Disneyland. We spent nine nights in a studio villa at the Grand Californian with side trips to Knott's Berry Farm, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica.







In October 2010, we had our first WDW DVC stay--three nights at Old Key West then ten nights in a one-bedroom at Animal Kingdom Lodge (our home resort). My younger sister Tabby and our friend Tom joined us for the first week of the trip. This was our last trip before we started trying for a baby, so we wanted to do it ALL. We celebrated Brian's birthday, did all four Disney parks, both water parks, both mini-golf courses, both Universal parks, Downtown Disney, Disney Quest, the Food and Wine Festival, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party.







I was jealous that Brian got to wear a birthday button around Disney World, so we started planning our 2011 trip for my birthday week in December. My parents and my youngest siblings also planned to come along. Then early in 2011 we found out I was pregnant! And the baby was due...December 9th. Right in the middle of our trip. I loved the idea of giving birth in Cinderella's Castle, but due to concerns regarding out-of-network insurance coverage, we decided it would be prudent to bump up the trip. So we spent eight nights at Old Key West in late September/early October, and our last night in a studio at Bay Lake Tower.

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Old 06-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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All About the December Trip


I always imagined that my kid would be four or five on his first trip to Disney World. But Brian? Well, he had other plans. Since we had to skip our December 2011 trip to bring Luke into the world, Brian wanted to take him to the World in December 2012 for his first birthday.

In the interest of compromise, I told Brian there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I was taking a one year old baby on a plane. I didn't want to be those annoying people with the screaming kid. So, we would have to drive.

Surprisingly, it wasn't too hard to talk Brian into a road trip. Since we want to stay at all the DVC resorts anyway, he decided we could stop on the way down and visit...



The beach probably won't be a whole lot of fun in December, but it looks like a nice place to relax.

After that, we'll spend nine nights in a studio at...



Our 2010 visit to AKL was in a one-bedroom, so I hope it won't feel like too much of a downgrade. This time we'll be staying in Jambo House instead of Kidani, so that will be new.

When my mom found out we would be at Disney for Luke's first birthday, she decided she needed to be at Disney too. My dad was still bitter that he missed Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in 2011, so he agreed that they could come down with my four youngest siblings for a long weekend.

Since my parents were going, Brian invited the other two sets of grandparents. Brian's mom said she'd rather wait until Luke is a bit older to accompany us on a Disney trip. Brian's dad was very interested in going because Brian's brother and sister are only 11 and 6 and they've never been to Disney, but their mother didn't want them to miss school. We also extended invitations to our old traveling companions, our friend Tom and my sister Tabby.



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Old 06-07-2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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Four YOUNGEST siblings? Wow! How many do you have? And as someone who had to just sit behind a crying baby on a 7 hour flight, thank you for taking others into consideration when bringing a baby on a plane
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
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Four YOUNGEST siblings? Wow! How many do you have?
Six! I'm the oldest and the rest are 24, 20, 14, 13, 5, and 4. Plus my brother and his wife have a three month old. So yeah--big family.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #7
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Hello Holly, Brian, and Luke. First, congrats on little, adorable Luke. I did not realize you were so busy since I'd last followed your adventures at Disney World.

Quote:
Originally Posted by holleypie View Post
Here's a picture of him with Roy Disney and Mickey Mouse at the WDW dedication ceremony.

This is hilarious! If I find myself here, I may have to steal this pose. Too good.

I'll have to catch up on your planning later -- we're packing and heading to Disney World soon!
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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Brian, the DH. here with a couple of comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by holleypie View Post

I typically don't even get excited until a month before our trip. Until then, I won't entertain any ridiculous questions like, "Where do you want to eat dinner on a Tuesday night six months from now?" because I don't even know what I want to eat TONIGHT.
I never ask what she wants to eat 6 months from now. It's at least 7 months. I like to be prepared when that 180 day mark rolls around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by holleypie View Post

Here's a picture of him with Roy Disney and Mickey Mouse at the WDW dedication ceremony.


In case you were wondering, I'm not really standing there with Roy and Mickey. Roy was sick that day so they had an Audio-Animatronic fill in for him.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:52 PM   #9
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Lantern Checklist

Green Lantern reporting for duty at Space Ranger Spin.


White (water rapids) Lantern


Indigo Lantern at Mickey's house.


Violet Lantern having breakfast with a fox (she's not pictured). Also this guy.


Orange Lantern at Italy pavilion enjoying an adult beverage.


Yellow Lantern with Pooh.


Red Lantern at Knott's.


Passing the torch (of nerdity).
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
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October: Food!

One of the only reasons I'm sad about not having a car on this trip is that we won't be able to make a run to the supermarket and keep breakfast and snack foods in the room, so we're probably going to end up eating out more often than I'm used to. We don't have much planned--the "plan" is mostly just to eat counter service wherever we happen to be. I'm sure we'll try Artist's Palette (quick service at SSR) at some point. The salads and flatbreads sound pretty good.

On Friday, I figure we'll just make lunch out of the F&W booths. All of the booths and menu items haven't been announced yet (I think they do it in late July?), but the two items they announced for the vegan booth sound good: Trik’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice, and Chili Colorado with House Made Chips and Cashew Cheese. I am SURE that Ireland will have my old favorite again this year--Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Ganache. I can't wait to see the full menu so I can make a checklist of what I need to get. Because I am a huge dork.

On Saturday, we're having lunch at



Brian wanted to eat there last year, but since we had to bump the trip up, he missed the beginning of the booking window and couldn't get a reservation. So this year he tried to make a reservation for our December trip right at the 180 day mark...and there wasn't anything available. But there WERE openings during our October trip. Go figure.

If we don't end up having a meal at Earl of Sandwich, I would at least like to go there on Monday before we leave and grab a sandwich for the road. My sandwich is the All American without turkey and cranberries...so basically it's just a glorified cheese sandwich. But the bread is SO GOOD. Back at home, I miss Earl of Sandwich more than anything else at Disney.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #11
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December: Food!



As much as I hate making decisions months in advance, I love looking at and thinking and talking about food, so I waste entirely too much time over at the Disney Food Blog, looking at restaurant menus, and reading food reviews. Here are my thoughts so far. Suggestions welcome!

Hilton Head Island: The resort doesn't have a real sit-down restaurant on property, just a counter service kind of place that closes at 5pm. I haven't really looked into our options yet, but I read about a pizzeria called Mellow Mushroom that looked intriguing.

Speaking of Pizza: I LOVE pizza, but the pizza at Disney...well, it's not so great. So we've found two off-site pizzerias that we love.



Flippers (my pick) which we learned about...on the disboards.



and Giordano's (Brian's pick). Brian went to Giordano's in Chicago a few years ago and then told my parents how much he liked it, so they ORDERED A PIZZA FROM CHICAGO and liked it too, so we all went to Giordano's on our 2011 trip.

Birthday Meals: I considered having my birthday dinner at Sanaa, since Brian and I both really liked it. But I felt like we should try something new, so I decided on Boma for breakfast. For Luke's birthday, we're having breakfast at 1900 Park Fare. I feel like we need to do something "special" that night for dinner too, but my family will be on the quick service dining plan so I'm not sure yet what we'll end up doing.

Old Places I Would Like to Visit Again:

-Earl of Sandwich (DTD)



-Columbia Harbor House (MK)



The vegetarian chili is sooooo good.

New Places I Would Like to Try:

-Wolfgang Puck Cafe (DTD) I've always been turned off by the 1980s look of the building, but the menu looks really good.

-The Mara (quick service at AKL). I figure we'll end up there at least once, if just for convenience.

-Landscape of Flavors at the new Art of Animation resort. I can't believe that the restaurant I'm most looking forward to is a resort food court. But the menu! Looks so good! It has the kind of selection I would have expected at The Mara. My family is staying at AoA, but even if we don't end up eating there with them, I still want to go.

-Restaurantosaurus (AK). Mostly because the decor just looks really cool.

-Starring Rolls Cafe (DHS) Brian has gotten a cupcake there once or twice, and I think I might get one this trip.

-Tortuga Tavern (MK). If it's open.

We wanted to try one new restaurant at each of the parks on this trip, so I think we're still missing Epcot and DHS. Or maybe Brian already picked places and I forgot. Haha.

Suggestions?
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:14 PM   #12
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Candlelight Processional: Narrators Announced!

Usually Brian tells me everything, but this time I got the scoop myself: Yesterday I saw that the celebrity narrators for the Candlelight Processional have been announced! Ahhh!

You might recall that I really wanted to see this guy:



Really, really, really, really REALLY wanted to see that guy.

But it looks like I'll be missing him again this year. His dates are November 26-29 and we won't be arriving at WDW until December 3rd. Oh well.

So who IS narrating the Candlelight Processional during our trip???



Yeah. Only 5 of the 13 slots are still TBA, and three of those nearly cover the entire span of our trip. Jodi Benson will be there our last night, but should I admit that I didn't even know who she was until I googled her just now?

So that's disappointing. I wanted to start making some real plans!
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:08 AM   #13
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Four More Months!

Our "spontaneous" fall trip is now four months away! I felt like I should mark the occasion with some random thoughts.

1. We had a powwow with Friend Tom over the weekend to discuss his plans. He's going to come along and help us with Luke! Okay, that's not really news, but since he hadn't bought plane tickets or park tickets or anything, I still mentally had him over in the "maybe" column, and now I'm moving him to "confirmed."

2. Yesterday I downloaded an app for my iPod called Ride Counter that is basically what it sounds like...it keeps a running tally of the rides and attractions you do. It's broken down by park, and there's a "Transportation" category too. I played with it yesterday to see how it worked, and the only downside is that I can't figure out how to delete the practice entries I made. Oops.

3. One of my 2012 objectives was to get back down to my fighting weight by the end of the year. I've already lost all the weight I gained DURING the pregnancy, but I also gained about 30 pounds after our wedding because I couldn't wait to have a baby so I immediately started eating like I was eight months pregnant with triplets. I've lost 54 pounds so far and I have 24 to go. I've been losing slowly (SO slowly) but I would love to drop about four pounds a month before the October trip. If I don't make some serious progress before the trip, I'm afraid that between our vacations and the holidays, I won't be able to hit my goal by the end of the year. So. I have to get serious. Like, right now.

4. Last week I started marathon training! I ran my first marathon in 2008, sprained my foot halfway through, and it was overall one of the most miserable experiences of my life. So of course I trained for another marathon a year later. I hurt my knee about a month before the race and had to drop out at mile 9, so that was a great experience too. I've never been a fast runner, but since having the baby I am SUPER DUPER SLOW. So obviously attempting another marathon this year is a FABULOUS idea. The marathon is six days before we leave for Disney, so if you see a short girl hobbling around World Showcase pushing an adorable baby in a stroller, you should say hi because that's probably me.

5. Another 2012 objective was to write a new novel. I just pulled about six disparate ideas into one plot, and I'm so excited about working on it. I'm hoping to have a solid draft or two finished before the trip.

So that's what I'll be up to between now and October. Plus, you know, stalking the Disney Food Blog website for Food and Wine Festival news.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #14
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great PTR thus far.... Your son is adorable!

My son's due date was on December 9th too ((2009 though)) he ended up being born December 15th. (I had to be induced) He just didn't want to come out.. He's always been stuborn. I see Luke was born a day early. You lucky girl!

Well I love Road Trips, most of my trips are road trips. Your son will do well I'm sure.

I look forward to reading more.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:17 AM   #15
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great PTR thus far.... Your son is adorable!

My son's due date was on December 9th too ((2009 though)) he ended up being born December 15th. (I had to be induced) He just didn't want to come out.. He's always been stuborn. I see Luke was born a day early. You lucky girl!
Thanks! I was so ridiculously enormous, everyone was convinced I'd give birth two weeks early to a 12 pound baby, so I really appreciated his punctuality. He's such a good boy.
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