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Old 01-10-2007, 04:13 PM   #1
cmp1111
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The Decoy Trip that turned into a Dream - The End. 7/5, Page 22.

My pre-trip and ACTUAL trip reports have been merged. Here is an index to where the newest links are, and I'll keep it updated! New readers can start on page 6, post 86 if you want to skip the pre-trip...
Introductions and planning recap, page 6, post #86
The Journey, page 6, post #89
The Check in, page 7, Post #93
The Pool and Mara, page 7, Post #94
Magic Kingdom, page 7, Post #102
Day 2, MK Morning, page 8, Post #109
Day 2, MK Mid day, page 8, Post #110
Day 2, MK Afternoon/evening, page 8, Post #115
Day 3, Epcot Morning , page 10, Post #138
Day 3, Epcot Afternoon, page 10, Post #148
Day 3, Epcot Evening, page 12, Post #176
Miscellany, a small update, page 13, Post #187
Day 4, Animal Kingdom Morning, page 13, Post #195
Day 4, Animal Kingdom, page 14, Post #202
Day 4, Date Night, page 14, Post #209
Day 4, MGM Morning, page 16, Post #231
Day 4, MGM Afternoon, page 17, Post #254
Day 4, Down time and Dinner at Boma, page 18, Post #266
Interruption - Mini NYC Trip Report, page 19, Post #283
Day 5, MK One Last Time, page 21, Post #313
The End, page 22, Post #327





Typing that first word is just intimidating! I became a DISer only a short month ago, when my friend sent me to read a trip report. I was so impressed with both the knowledge base and the quality of writing that I am now certifiably obsessed with the DIS.

I can't guarantee that I'll live up to the most entertaining reports here, (or my own expectations) but I figured I'd dabble a little in the pre-trippy and see how things go.

First, as always, the characters in order of appearance:

Me: cmp1111 - my first name is distinct enough that I'm not sure how comfortable I am sharing it - it would make me awfully easy to find. I had a really weird amazon.com experience when using their "real name" feature for reviews, and I've been wary ever since. So, for now, at least, I'm just "Me". I'm a 34 (will be 35 by the time we hit the World) year-old stay-at-home-mom. I grew up in central Illinois, but now live in NH. I love to read, play with my kids, hang with my DH, and read some more.

DH: I'm trying to come up with a clever name for him, but can't figure it out. He says he'd go with Brian, for the character on Family Guy. Sure, why not, though I don't know if I'll remember to refer to him that way. He's also 34 (will also turn 35 before our trip) and is a pilot. He went to WDW once as probably a youngish teen, but hasn't said much more than that. He's not exactly a Disney fanatic, but cheerfully watches the movies with me or the kids, and is a very good sport. He likes to read, obsess over our lawn, and play outside.

DS: As it happens, we have twins. Boys. Not at all identical. They will be five by the time we hit the World. "Twin A" in pre-natal speak is my melodramatic one. We'll call him Woody. He tends to get upset if routine is messed up or if people don't behave in the way he thinks they should, but is also very charming and good-hearted. He is usually very happy, but can also get very unhappy very quickly. He thinks he is the sheriff, for sure. Sweet kid, loves, at the moment, Cars and Power Rangers. He was a Power Ranger (red, his favorite color for EVERYTHING) for Halloween, which I found funny as at that point we'd never seen the show. Santa got them a DVD for Christmas, and it's very, very exciting for him.

DS: "Twin B" is the mellow one. I'd like to call him Buzz for symmetry, but he's not very Buzz like (though Buzz is his favorite.) Ah, what the heck. I can't think of a good name for him, at the moment, so we'll call him Buzz anyway. He is very "go with the flow" which is handy, considering his brother wants to be in charge, anyway. He can get very silly, and, every once in a while, to keep us on our toes, very, very stubborn. Then, mellow goes out the window, but it's pretty rare. A little bit of a mystery - we're often not quite sure what he's thinking... Also very sweet, loves Buzz (obviously) and his biggest wish for Christmas was a "light saver" (that would be a light saber to the rest of us.) He also has expressed a wish to see "Twinkerbell." Buzz is bigger - he was the smaller twin at a preemie birth, but is now 2 inches taller and about 5 pounds heaver than Woody. Woody will tell you that he's older, though - 4 minutes. Most people seeing them now do not think they are twins.

My best friend: We'll call her Belle, because she is independent, smart, loyal, and also a brunette with brown eyes. My dearest friend since elementary school. Defends her dissertation on Friday, woohoo! (Did I mention that she's smart?) She lives in IL, but we stay in touch constantly. She's my Disney expert-in-residence. We lived together through most of college, and she was a College Program intern at WDW one summer while we were in school - did food service at MGM. She doesn't go with us this trip, but I will mention her, probably, more than once, so I thought you should know who she was.

I'm sure various other people will appear, but that's the basic cast.

OK, so now (trumpet fanfare) The Trip!:

We have planned a 5 night, 6 day stay at AKL starting 5/27. I have the package booked, with the DDP, but no ADR's made, nor do we have flights. I really want to fly Southwest, as they tend to be pretty cheap out of our local airport, but they are still only booking flights through 5/10. I check every day, and am waiting impatiently for them to put the schedule out. We bought 6 day MYW's, hoping that when we CAN book the flights, we'll be able to do something on both the afternoon/evening of arrival, and maybe even the morning of the departure. And, the difference between 5 and 6 day passes was $8. Total. It didn't seem like a big waste if it doesn't work out.

I feel like this is getting wordier than I meant for it to. Thanks, if you're still with me!

So, the story of the "Decoy Trip" goes like this: Our anniversary is in November. A few weeks prior, my DH won't get off the internet once the kids are in bed. I ask what he's up to, he won't tell me.

We make jokes about mail-order brides. This goes on for a while.

One Sunday, we were sitting around, and he says to me, "Do you think it's time to start talking about Disney?" See - it's HIS idea! We've been talking about it for a while, off and on, but want to be sure the boys are big enough to do enough things, since we don't have any older kids, and we've been kind of asking around, but this is the first time I've heard anything definite from him. I say that I've heard of some good deals at the value resorts, but he says, "If we're doing this, we're doing it right. Look at the deluxe." I am doing the happy dance. And, again, this is all his idea!

See, I went to WDW in '77 when I was 5, but stayed with family friends in FL and just drove in an out the same day. Epcot didn't exist. I went back with Belle for a 3 night stay at ASMo for a friend's on-property wedding, and thought it was great - this on-property thing has some definite advantages! I did DL a bunch as a kid/teen/younger adult because I have an aunt who lives in southern CA, and I went to visit her kind of often, but obviously have more experience with an MK/DL kind of deal than with the whole WDW routine. I've always loved Disney, but just haven't gotten down there (or to DL) for a long time. I am a definite WDW newbie.

I immediately get on the Disney web site and also, simultaneously call Belle. "DH says we can go. DH says we can go to a deluxe resort!!!!" We talk for quite some time. Belle & her fam LOVE WL. My boys, looking over my shoulder, insist on bunk beds. DH, however, just falls in love with the pictures of AKL. I read great things about AKL, so we focus on that. Belle mentions SSR, as that's where her folks and also brother have DVC, but no. We are now locked in on AKL. (I'm by no means sad about this. I think it's going to be absolutely awesome.) Belle makes her first mention of "You should check out this site called the DISboards," but I didn't.

Yet.

So, frantic (obsessive?) web surfing goes on for several days. We start looking into January prices. January is cheap! However, I happen to be a bridesmaid in a wedding in IL in the beginning of February. We often drive to IL, but have to fly this time, as we are only taking a long weekend. The kids have preschool. I absolutely don't mind them missing preschool - I don't think it will affect their chances of getting into Harvard - but I pay for it, of course, whether we're there or not. SO, January might not be the time to go. That pulls them out of school for a week, back in for a week, back out for a week for the wedding. Plus, knowing what I know now for the DIS, I'd have been in bad shape.

I start saying, "I think we should go around Memorial Day." Contrary to anything I had growing up in IL, school here goes until mid-June. However, our preschool gets out the week before the Mem. Day weekend. Flights probably won't be crowded. The kennel for our doggie won't be full-up. We'll have a tax refund and maybe DH's bonus $.

Our anniversary (if you're interested - we have been a couple for almost 12, but married for 6. The 5 y.o. twins aren't so scary if you understand that we knew each other forever before they came along...) rolled around. DH and I have a lovely date night, and as we are sitting around at dinner, he says, "I hate to mention this now, but I was really planning a trip to Ireland for the two of us. I only mentioned Disney so that you wouldn't figure out what I was doing, but now you're so excited about that..."

AACK. I have wanted to go to Ireland for a long, long time. In 2004 and 2005 we managed to get away, just the two of us, for a week. It's nice for me, because he's away so much for work. (I don't mind this. I'm an only child. I enjoy my alone time, but I also didn't count on twins. However, I still do get "me" time when they are in bed. They are getting much easier to deal with each and every month. And, I know I'm much luckier than people who have spouses in the service, or are completely on their own. But, I do enjoy the time to get away.)

We cannot afford both trips. Now I am very torn. However, we did decide that the kids will only be 5 once, but Ireland will be there for us in another year or two. This assumes, of course, that we won't decide to do WDW again, and again, and... I'm not sure that won't happen... Disney it is!

OK, this is hard work. Part of my problem is that I'm more of a natural-born editor than a writer. I want everything to be perfect, and so continually am changing a word here or there, and it makes for slow going. I'll stop for now.

Next up, a month of stress over "maybe we will join you's..." and finding the DIS!
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See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here

Last edited by cmp1111; 07-05-2007 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
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Moderators, Help!

I don't know how I managed to post twice. This was the final edit, but either one can be deleted. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:21 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the first pre-trip report!! I love reading, but still haven't built up the courage to do one. Great job and a good read! I can't wait to hear more!! BTW, we'll be getting to WDW May 31st for a 7 night stay so we'll overlap our stays by a couple days!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:28 PM   #4
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Oh, thanks. All those great trippies make me nervous, but what the heck! I'm so excited to have a reader!

I'm also so excited to meet someone who will actually be there when we will be there! Where are you staying?
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
Oh, thanks. All those great trippies make me nervous, but what the heck! I'm so excited to have a reader!

I'm also so excited to meet someone who will actually be there when we will be there! Where are you staying?
We'll be at WL. I don't have anything else set in stone as to which parks we'll do which day, but we do have ADR's set. I'd be great to meet up with you though!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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Cool! I have a tentative park/day plan, which will come up shortly. Keep an eye out!

I see you're in MO. I grew up in central IL, as I may have mentioned. I LOVE St. Louis, and have some relatives in central MO. My DH actually had a job in Festus, MO for a year.

Go Cards! (Sorry if you're not a fan, but I had a good fall.)
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See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:01 PM   #7
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Chapter 2: The Stress that Went on Too Long

So, where was I?

We had decided to forego the surprise trip to Ireland (thank goodness he had not yet booked anything) and go with WDW. This is great - I call Belle.

Belle says again, "There's this board. There's a lot of awesome info, but even if you don't read anything else, read "The Meanest Mother in the World" trip report. She's from NH, too. You will find her really funny."

I think, "Uh, huh." The only other board I've ever joined has been one about laptop computers, when I was researching buying a new computer. I'm not much of a joiner, normally.

I have a theory about this. I grew up in a TINY town. In many ways, it was ideal. I don't think my parents have a front door key. If they come to visit, now, I think they lock the front from the inside, and they might have a back door key, but there is no locking when they are just away for the day or whatever. I graduated in a class (in a public school) of 39, and that was only because we had consolidated schools with a neighboring district my junior year - "my" class was only about 22. That meant that, in order to have any activities, anyone could (and almost had to) join. Therefore, I played basketball and ran track, played numerous instruments as needed in the band, sang in the chorus, did stats for the boys' basketball and football teams, etc. etc. I find this appealing. There was no "you're not good enough" for any of this. If you were breathing, you were in. We may not have been great at what we did, but we had fun. I feel "well-rounded" (in more ways than one - tee hee!)

However, this life was also somewhat limiting. The k-4 and 9-12 grades were in the same building. There was only one classroom for each elementary grade, because, well, we didn't need more. My mother was the first grade teacher for the district, so she was my first grade teacher because there was no other option.

In high school, she was in the same building. She often knew the gossip before I did, because the teachers would all chat in the lunch room, and teachers know more than most students realize. Teachers are scary. There was no messing around for me. Everyone knows everyone. The guys you might have a crush on remembers when you fell on the gym floor in 4th grade and tore your jodphurs. (Why I was wearing jodphurs, I have no recollection. Must have been an early 80's thing.) That does, however, tend to put a crimp in the "I'm so cool, you surely want to date me" vibe.

So, I chose to go off to college a mere 30 miles up the road, but it was to the largest university in the state. And I chose to live in a dorm rather than commute. And I didn't join anything. I think I really enjoyed the anonymity. It was a sea change from what I had growing up, and it has kind of stuck to this day.

For example, my twins are in a playgroup. The other moms all met in an official Mothers of Twins group - fate came calling and I luckily met one of them randomly in a park. Even when some of my dearest friends were officers, I did not join. Partially it was about my DH's schedule - I have a h.s. girl as a babysitter, and my DH is often not home on weeknights. The meetings are on weeknights, and the babysitter is often not available. However, I think I still have this underlying thing about groups.

I understand, really, that reading TR's does not a joiner make. Still, I was busy. We ended up driving to IL and WI for a Thanksgiving trip, and there was not a lot of time for doing much planning. I do think this might have been around the time that I convinced DH that May was a much better option than January, even if the prices were higher. He had forgotten, I think, about the wedding in February, and that seemed to sway him.

We returned from our Thanksgiving trip and my DAunt (the one from southern CA, though she now spends more of her time in her vacation home in UT) arrived for a visit.

I remember distinctly that she was still here when I sat down with my computer and looked for Meanest Mama's report. I had to Google it, because my memory was just OFF this holiday season, but up popped the DISboards. I think I sat here (with company, mind you - great hostessing) and read for about 3 hours straight. But, for reasons completely unclear to me now, I didn't even look at anything else on the boards.

It had to also have been around this time that my stress over the trip started. We had talked and joked about Belle "having" to join us. She is (aside from being my bestest friend) an awesome WDW resource, and we travel well together. However, looking at rooms and so forth, we were not sure what was going to work. The boys really wanted bunk beds, but we weren't sure another adult would go in such a room. We hadn't picked specific dates yet - just had in the back of our heads that we'd skedaddle about as soon as preschool ended. She couldn't go in January - pesky dissertation and also job interfered, but since she is a college instructor, the end of May might work.

That's kind of what was on my mind - and then DH talked to his DSis. I think I mentioned before that I'm an only child. I don't really "get" siblings. Yes, many of my friends had siblings, but it's not the same as knowing first-hand. Anyway, she'd been having some health issues. They did not see us at t-day, which is our normal time with them, and I think she was asking him about our travel plans for the year, so that maybe we could get together. DH says we are probably going to WDW in May. She says, "We should come with you!" (As reported by DH; I was not on the phone.) Now, she and DH are fairly close. They happen actually to be step-siblings, but she's the youngest of her bio family, and he's the older of the two boys in his. They are fairly close in age, and are pretty good friends. I just don't know her as well - she had moved away from IL by the time we were dating, and I just don't have the same background. He is thinking that this might be OK. I am a little baffled, however, because perhaps most siblings feel OK inviting themselves along, but I don't know this from personal experience, and am not very excited about sharing this experience. I don't really want a big group to corral and have to agree on things (more on this later) and am not sure how this will work.

Therefore, when DH gets off the phone and says, "They may come with us to WDW," my immediate reaction was a "No."

I bring up that I don't want this trip to be a stress with plans and groups. I bring up that we are staying in a deluxe resort (we think - remember nothing has been booked.) and that they are generally a little shy on moolah. I bring up that though we travel with the boys a few times a year, it is ALWAYS to see our families, who all still live in the Midwest or West, and wouldn't it be nice to get away, just the four of us? We love our families, please do not get me wrong, but there is almost always some drama. I do not like drama. I will bend over backwards and tie myself into pretzels to avoid conflict or drama. And, I tend to worry ahead of time about drama, so that I probably get myself more worked up over the little things that come along, just because I am not looking forward to the drama.

He says he will tell DSis. I say that I can do it, but I also don't care if he wants to make me "bad guy" and just say that he hadn't talked with me, and I was the one who said no. I don't want them to have conflict, but I thinking it's better if she's mad at me than at him (a big step for me!) and so... But, this will work best if it's he who calls, and not I. He agrees to call her, but, well, doesn't.

About a week goes by. I am having a relaxing afternoon - DH has taken the kids out to swim at our gym, and it was the night of his company holiday party. I was having a bubble bath when the phone rang. I admit it, I screened. Saw the caller ID, saw it was DSIL, didn't answer. I did listen to the voicemail right away, in case there was a crisis. No, but she did need to know fairly soon what our dates for WDW were, as DBIL's family also was talking about a fam. reunion in May, and they would need to know what dates to avoid for that.

AACK.

DH comes home, I remind him again to call her. He continues to not. I should really have remembered that she has known him for a long time. DH and I share the (unfortunate, since we both have it) trait of not loving to make decisions about plans. We honestly don't get strong opinions about a lot of things, which makes, for example, picking a restaurant hard, and that tendency often extends to not rushing to make the big decisions, either. We like to weigh options and take our time. Speaking at least for myself, it's truly that I don't care - unlike another IL who says she doesn't care, but has a secret agenda, and we get in trouble if we don't guess correctly. But, that's another story... Anyway, DSIL doesn't call back, probably fully aware that DH will get around to telling her something, sometime. I, however, am not thinking this at the time, and have now spent at least two weeks, if not more, stressing over what will happen when DH talks to her. Also, now, starting to stress about Belle, because we can't very well tell DSIL that we want to go alone, but take Belle, who would likely appear in pictures, etc. I DO care if Belle is mad at me, so I also stress about that...

Belle, of course, is entirely awesome and will think I'm silly if she reads this.

The end of this story is a huge anti-climax (see how I cleverly made you read a ton before revealing this?)

I called Belle on New Year's Day and explained the whole story about DSIL. Belle is cool. Belle says we don't have to take her anyway, plus, as it turns out, she can't go at the end of May because of a professional conference in Asia. This seems to give DH the courage to talk to DSIL (We had had brief and group conversations with her around the holidays, but not a time for a "real talk."), who says, "Great, that will be fun for you." No hurt feelings, no recriminations for the delay in getting back, entirely reasonable.

Huh.
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Me - C.E.! DH - D. DS10 - Woody DS10 - Buzz
See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here

Last edited by cmp1111; 01-10-2007 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Grammar gets in the way. So does clarity.
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:20 PM   #8
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Decisions, booking, and starting to feel really unprepared

I realize that, in telling my "stress for no reason" story, I didn't manage to mention that I got over my "joiner" fear and, at some point before New Year's, starting really reading the DIS. I know I started by just browsing. Check out a question here, a question there. Lurk. Try to figure out all the acronyms.

Then I decided to start asking questions. I've asked several questions. I've gotten up the courage to post comments on at least one other person's TR.

My first and biggest question was about the AKL. AK itself had just opened the last time I was at the World. I thought it was cool, but we certainly didn't go to the lodge, even if it was open. I thought the rooms and the savannah looked awfully cool, but I also know it's further out from MK than many of the hotels. I kind of anticipate my kids wanting more time at MK than the other parks, but I also just don't know.

Belle, my best resource, likes the AKL and thinks it's cool, but she particularly loves WL. Another mom from the preschool owns DVC at BCV and highly recommends it. No one I know is raving about the AKL, and I worry because I know we're probably going to need afternoon breaks from any park. However, a bunch of nice people on the resort forum convince me that it is going to be OK.

I check the price, we're still OK.

And, again, I'm backtracking, but I remember a conversation on New Year's Eve that was another decision point. My DH is a corporate pilot, and there are more than enough pilots for the planes, but it's not a huge group. So, we were at a NYE party with a couple of other work buddies. I was talking to some other PW's (Pilot's Wives - we are a strange group) and realize that there is a fairly long trip going out the week before we want to leave for WDW. As it happens, both of their husbands have family obligations for the weekend and already we know those two won't be available for the day that the long trip leaves, which does make it more likely my DH will have to fly on it. That's normally fine, but he wouldn't get back until the day after we had wanted to leave.

I remember, vaguely (there was wine) telling him that night that he'd need to really examine the schedule. I was aching to book at this point, but he'd not officially requested vacation, and now it looked like our dates weren't going to work! Good thing I hadn't jumped the gun!

OK, now I am caught back up. But, during this whole period, I am obsessing on the DIS. I am always on the computer. DH keeps asking what I am doing. "Um, reading trip reports..."

(He has yet to read a trip report. When he gets home this weekend, I think I will force him to read at least a little bit of one, so that he can understand.)

I am also completely starting to freak about my planning.

Normally, I don't like to plan vacations overly much. I am a "go with the flow" kind of gal. I will not be laminating index cards with my daily itinerary of rides. I think, had I not discovered the DIS, I would have booked the room/ticket package and then just shown up at WDW. I would have been less confused and stressed, but also pretty clueless.

And, we've really started to think about the DDP. A lot of people seem angry, over on the DDP board, because of some changes to the Child portion. But, I've never used it, so I don't know any better. And, my kids are small - they aren't 8 yo's who really want the good steak. They would eat hot dogs and mac & cheese every meal if I allowed it. I am a little concerned (still) about the TS meals. They would probably be happy at CS all trip long, but DH and I like food. We are not unhealthy - we just enjoy good food and trying new places. But, I'm looking at the price of Chef Mickey's and realize we'd spend about on one meal what we'd spend for the day on the DDP, and we'll probably want more than one cool themed meal. I talk DH into the DDP.

This is good on the one hand. It's more money now, but less worry about spending in the parks. But, it also forces me to think about dining. We've nixed the PH option because I just don't see my kids making it through a whole day at one park, let alone trying to introduce a whole 'nother place after lunch. But, that means if I really want to eat at Marrakesh, it will have to be on the day we are at Epcot. Huh. That means deciding ahead of time (oh, the horror) which park will be which day. Planning some meals. Making some ADR's.

I mentioned before, though, that DH and I are neither one good at making these kinds of decisions, "Where should we eat? What do you want to do today?" etc. So, in the long run, I think this semi-forced thinking ahead thing will be good. Otherwise, we'd be standing in the parks, huddled around a map, wishing for a laptop so that we could see the reviews on the DIS.

Anywho, I'm doing all this - checking out allearsnet.com for the menus, reading the DDP brochure, asking a bunch of newbie questions... And, of course, we're still not even sure DH can get the vacation time.

But, he did go into the office the first week of the year, and checked it out. Yes, he might go on the long-ish trip. But, we could still leave on the 27th. Hmmm. That puts us at WDW at the beginning of our vacation on Mem. Day, but schools still aren't out the rest of the week (around here, or in FL. I've checked on the DIS. ) Let's go ahead and book!

So, we are now actually booked. 5 nights, 6 day MYW's, for 5/27-6/1. Woohoo!

I even already reserved space at the kennel for the L-dog.

This is great. I am so excited! However, I'm also still stressing about planning. I don't want to overplan. It's just not me. But, I know that I'll need to do some. I still haven't done anything more. I have time, I know, but... I'll need some encouragement here.

I've started having dreams, though.

I worked my senior year of college at a TGI Friday's, and then, having figured out in the middle of said year that I really DIDN'T want to work in advertising (good time to realize it, no?) I stayed on full-time for two more years. I worked up from waitress, to bartender, to what they called a "city trainer" where I taught the classroom portion of new waitstaff training, and also tried to teach the kitchen staff how they should train new hires also. I was miserable. The money was pretty good, but I was to a point where I thought I'd rather work days and actually get paid vacation and some other benefits (health insurance, anyone?) than work nights and weekends. It was a college town, so for a while I really did always work the day shift, because I was available, but that's not where the money is, and I was just done. I wound up giving two weeks notice without another job in sight, but signed on to work as an office temp at the university, and wound up being hired full-time in no time, at a great job, the likes of which I haven't found to this day.

I only bring this up because I used to get stress dreams when I worked at Friday's. Other waitstaff people can back me up on this - it's a hard job. I used to dream that we'd sent a bunch of the waitstaff home because it was so slow. Then, the restaurant would get slammed. We'd be getting a new table every few seconds. And, we used a computerized ordering system, as so many restaurants do. But, in the stress dream, you'd have to win a computer/video game that came up on the screen before you could put your guests' orders in. I was too busy for this, and couldn't win the game, and more people kept coming in... I call this dream a "Fri-ghtmare."

Yes, I have been having them in the past week or so. I haven't worked there since 1996. Terrific.

I know, intellectually, that the slight stress I'm feeling now (or maybe more than slight) will really help in the long run, as I won't (hopefully) be feeling it in May. Still, I'm feeling so weirded out about the conflict between my "go with the flow" self and the "make it great" self, that I sit here and read and re-read menus and haven't done anything else.

I think I'll go visit the restaurant thread again. More to come, as I make some decisions!
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
Cool! I have a tentative park/day plan, which will come up shortly. Keep an eye out!

I see you're in MO. I grew up in central IL, as I may have mentioned. I LOVE St. Louis, and have some relatives in central MO. My DH actually had a job in Festus, MO for a year.

Go Cards! (Sorry if you're not a fan, but I had a good fall.)
Not so much a Card fan. I'm on the other side of the state, near KC! Go Chiefs!!
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:58 PM   #10
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Not so much a Card fan. I'm on the other side of the state, near KC! Go Chiefs!!
Not a problem. I care not about the Rams. Living in Red Sox country, I was just happy to have some redemption of 2004.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:37 AM   #11
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Some pictures, and some thoughts...

I sat down for a bit last night and thought about some ADR's. I welcome any suggestions.

Part of my worry is that I can't do my flights yet, so I hope to need to eat at WDW at least for dinner on the 27th. But, we have a 5 night stay, but a 6 day adventure, we hope. So, the DDP will cover 5, but not all, days that we are there.

And, I'd like to have a date with DH, but also realize that some of the more romantic restaurants are "signature" dining, so that we will use up 2 TS credits apiece, while DSs will use none that night. I know we can use up their TS credits and pay oop for ours, if need be, but that's kind of what I wanted to avoid by doing the DDP in the first place. Ah, well.

So, I'm thinking we'll probably head to MK after arrival, and just do some sort of CS meal that evening, in the park.

The 28th, our first full day, I think we'll do MK some more. I am thinking of doing the LTT character deal at either lunch or dinner. We'll do CS for whichever meal we don't do at LTT, and hopefully either pack something and/or use snack credits for breakfast.

The 29th, I think we'll do Epcot. I have to check with DH to see if he has any particular wish on food there. Again, will probably do B'fast in AKL, one CS and one TS in Epcot. I'm thinking maybe the Biergarten? Coral Reef sounds beautiful, and my kids would probably love the aquarium, but neither kids nor I are seafood/fish lovers, so probably would be kind of silly.

The 30th will probably be AK day. I'd like to do the Donald character b'fast, and CS for lunch. This is probably our "leave early and do the date thing" day. Kids will go to Simba's Club, and DH & I will find something for the two of us. Maybe PI. We may also pay oop for our date, because otherwise, with the b'fast in the morning, we'd be using possibly 3 TS credits a piece that day, and would have none left for the rest of the trip. Uh uh. That's not gonna cut it.

The 31st will be MGM day. I ate at the Sci-Fi in 2000 and thought it was fun. I don't know about the kiddos there. Any thoughts? Any other TS that someone would recommend? Or, we could just do Pizza Planet as a meal there, then apparently we really should try Boma, especially since we're at the AKL. So, maybe no TS at MGM, and do Boma for a meal that day instead.

We leave on the 1st, but again, I don't know what time. I hope I'll be able to get a late flight, and we can at least do morning at a park. I understand that DME will want to get us about 3 hours before the flight, so it will definitely have to be a late one to get us anywhere. This is why we bought the 6th day of MYW, but since it was so cheap, I don't mind writing off $8 if it doesn't work out.

So, if I can figure this out, here are a couple more pictures. This is Woody and Buzz. Buzz is taller. This is one of my favorite pictures, but it's a couple of months old now.

And, here's our dog, Linus. He's a shelter rescue from when DH and I lived in TX BK (before kids). He's 8. He's great!
I have to go get the kiddos from preschool, so I shall skedaddle for now.
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Last edited by cmp1111; 01-13-2007 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Be back later to try and figure out why the pictures didn't go in! Can't be late to pick up kids!
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:52 PM   #12
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Belle here

Although, technically, I am now Dr. Belle. (That's right, I'm not only a Disney-aholic, but I'm also a grad school geek.)

I'm chiming in with a suggestion for TS at The Studios. The 50's Prime Time Cafe is a silly, casual place with a menu full of comfort food. I think the boys would love it.

Your server will "make" them set the table, yell at, uh, Brian for putting his elbows on the table, and insist everyone clean their plates. If you fail to comply, your "cousins" at the other table will hear about it.

Plus, the food is yummy.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:22 PM   #13
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More ADR thoughts...

Yes, I wondered about that. I really want to eat at Boma, though, and that was tentatively what I was thinking on our MGM day - maybe eating Pizza Planet for lunch and doing Boma for dinner.

I think, too, that I mentioned trying to do LTT at one point, but looking at allearsnet.com, I don't know that the boys would eat much of what's on the menu. Buzz claims not to like cheese or mashed potatoes or chocolate. If he didn't look exactly like me (except the blue eyes), I'd wonder whose kid he was.

Anyway, I don't think they'd like the "Thanksgiving" kind of food there. I am now thinking Crystal Palace for a character meal at MK. The menu looks better for us.

I also have been looking at the EMH hours, and think I'll switch my Epcot and AK days, as we could then take advantage of Epcot's evening EMH on the 29th.

DH is flabbergasted that we CAN make ADR's now, let alone that we probably should. He was gone for a week, and I hit him last night with all these ideas. I think I made his brain hurt, but he is being very funny about saying how excited he is that I'M so excited. Good man.

Still no flights further out than 5/10 on Southwest. I am getting very impatient for that!

I hope to call in the next couple of days for at least some of the ADR's. Woohoo!
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:06 PM   #14
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A down day for planning

I'm sitting in the dark at a Holiday Inn. I know we have nothing compared to those folks in the OK/MO area, but we had big ice storms today, and lost our power at about 11:00 this morning.

You don't realize how addicted you are to the DIS until you can't access the internet.

Though we live in a very populated area, we are "rural" in that we have our own well. So, when the power goes out, we have no water, as our well pump runs on electricity.

It's hard to convince 4 yo's not to flush, after 2 years of trying to explain how very important flushing is.

In light of the fact that we a) had no heat, b) had no way to cook, and c) had no water, we decided to go to a hotel.

This is a very fine Holiday Inn Express, but it's no AKL.

It does have free wi-fi, but it seems slow compared to my home network.

And, this is my least favorite part of travelling with the kids - I have a hard time sleeping in the same room. They, of course, should have been in bed much earlier than they were, but we had to watch Cars. But, now they're in bed. I have no desire to be in bed, but they don't settle down unless the room is relatively dark and very quiet. We booked a "suite" even for our one-night adventure, but that means we have a mini-fridge and a loveseat, but no room dividers. (We once stayed, when driving home from IL, at a lovely Country Inn & Suites where there was an actual DOOR between the living and bed areas. It was a beautiful thing.)

So, DH and I are sitting here by the light of our laptops (yes, we each brought one), being very quiet, except for the tapping of keys.

The upshot of this post is that I got nothing done today. Aside from having no power, we use Vonage, so that when our modem is down, so is our home phone. I was trying to conserve cell phone power, so...

The other side is me now starting to wonder about sleeping at WDW. If anyone is reading this who has stayed at AKL, can DH & I sit on the balcony easily to escape the forced dark and quiet post-kid-bedtime?

Of course, we may be more worn out there than they are, in which case it will be moot.

Wish me luck with the power coming back tomorrow - I have some research and ADR's to do!
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:36 PM   #15
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Finally, maybe, normal at our house - for tonight at least

We actually ended up being without power for 49 hours. Again, it wasn't the worst thing in the world - we had access to our house and our things, we stayed close to home - but it is a hassle. Not the end of the world, but not a lot of fun.

The temperature also dropped on Tuesday to frigid, so that our house was still only about 58 degrees when we headed to bed Wednesday night. And, though it did get above freezing today, only about half the ice fell off the trees and power lines. We are under a high wind warning for tomorrow - gusts to 60 mph, sustained at 40 - which will NOT be good with power lines still ice-coated. I may lose power again.

The only WDW planning I've gotten done over the last couple of days was to order some guide books. I picked up the Official Birnbaum's guide at a Disney Store last weekend. I think it would be a great book if you were in the very earliest "we should go to Disney sometime in the next year or two" phase of planning, but I knew a lot of the info from being on the DIS and the official site. It has some good itinerary suggestions, and did have at least a paragraph on each ride/attraction, but is very big on hotel details and "when to go" suggestions - too late for me on that!

I was still looking for a bit more of the "great things/downside" kind of critique/guide, so I just last night ordered both the Unofficial Guide and the Passporter from amazon.com. The Passporter just looked cool to me because of the organization. I decided to be at least a little fiscally responsible and did the free shipping, so now I am waiting impatiently for them to arrive.

We did go to Home Depot this evening, and I grabbed my first small stack of LGMHs.

So, now I am waiting on the other guides before making the ADR's. I like my day plan - which is good, though I know that if my kids decide that they only want to go to Epcot and sit at the pool, we'll probably chuck everything and do it - but I am just wanting a little more suggestion stuff on some of the meals.

Southwest STILL doesn't book past 5/10! I check that obsessively every day, noon, and night, too.

Anyway, that's where I'm at. Still trying to get everything back from being away from home for a couple of nights, and hoping that it doesn't happen all over again tomorrow. Waiting, waiting, for flights and guides and such...
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