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Old 07-06-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
scoot241
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Aurora's Going to See Me for My Birthday - LEAVING SUNDAY!!!

Title Change 7/23/2009

Intro:

Well, it's finally happening. This trip has been over 3 years in the making, but the right deal and the right timing is finally getting my DD her first trip to WDW. Even better, I was able to make the trip fall on her 4th birthday to take advantage of the "What would you celebrate?" campaign.

I took my first trip to WDW when I was 2, so I wanted to have DD's first trip at a similar time. Life got in the way, though, so she'll be 4 instead. It's about time we took this trip.

In February, long before free dining was announced for everyone, I recieved a PIN for free dining in my e-mail and decided it was time to take the plunge. DW agreed, so at least the three of us were going. Then I spoke to my parents, and they and my sister decided to go too!

So it's the six of us on free dining. Where to stay? I definitely wanted to stay Value for this trip, so I read and read about about the 4 different value resorts (having never stayed in one). The 4 values aren't much different, and since we decided to book 2 rooms, we went with Pop Century. The theming is nice and the buses aren't shared, so that worked well for us. We'll probably be using the buses often to rest in the afternoon, so to not have to compete with 2 other resorts is a plus for us.

We live just outside of Houston, but my parents live just outside of New Orleans (we moved to Houston right after I finished my MBA; both my wife and I were born and raised in LA), so we had to book flights separately. All of us like flying Southwest, so we both got morning flights and should land at MCO within minutes of each other. We're taking DME to Pop.

This trip we already weren't planning on taking it at breakneck speed and flying around everywhere. However, we're probably going to take it even a bit slower now; not long after we booked our trip, we found out my wife is pregnant. She's still ready to go and has clearance from her doctor to do so. I think the only thing she was looking forward to ride but can't is the Safaris.

I booked ADRs June 8, not long before the online system came up. We got our most important ones, and the only restaurant we couldn't get into was Le Cellier. We also weren't able to get a Fantasmic package, but I understand it's not as good as it used to be.
9/6 - Ohana dinner
9/7 - Chef Mickey's dinner
9/9 - CRT breakfast (DD's really excited about this one)
9/10 - Mama Melrose dinner
9/11 - Teppan Edo dinner

Our general plan is:
9/6 - Check in, dinner and Wishes (MK evening EMH for some of us perhaps)
9/7 - EPCOT in the morning, MK in the evening
9/8 - AK for most of the day (it's only open from 9-5), mini-golf and Downtown Disney in the evening, try to get to bed a bit early
9/9 - CRT before MK opens and a full MK day
9/10 - DHS for the day, Fantasmic
9/11 - MK in the morning, EPCOT in the evening with Illuminations (and possibly EPCOT evening EMH)
9/12 - Pack up, maybe go do one or two things, and fly back home

With 62 days left to go, the excitement is building. I've been ready to go for a long time now. As of the last time I measured a few days ago, DD's 39" tall, so hopefully she'll sprout another inch in the next 2 months. Even if she doesn't though, we'll have a great time. She's princess obsessed, so she's most interested in seeing Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Belle, etc.

Edit: Oh yeah, one more thing I forgot. I bought a Canon XSi D-SLR camera a couple of months ago and will be taking it on the trip, so I'm hoping to get some good pictures with it.

Quick Links:
Magic Kingdom Attraction List
Strollers?
Picture Itineraries:Random thoughts about Le Cellier and Dining
Countdown Calendar - Finished Product Screenshot
The Cast
Next stop: The Offtopic Zone! (Harry Potter movie rant)
Two Bits of Randomness
RideMax, etc.
Pal Mickey Arrives
Unveiling of the Countdown Calendar, Disney Mail Arrives!
Precious Moments Event

Last edited by scoot241; 09-04-2009 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #2
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I do realize there's not much to comment on here since everything's pretty much set. The pre-trip report on this one probably should have been done in February, and even then half of the trip would have already been set, since I've been working on this for a long time now.

The trip report should be filled with fun and vomiting after riding the tea cups for the 10th time... I mean fun, just fun.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoot241 View Post
I do realize there's not much to comment on here since everything's pretty much set. The pre-trip report on this one probably should have been done in February, and even then half of the trip would have already been set, since I've been working on this for a long time now.

The trip report should be filled with fun and vomiting after riding the tea cups for the 10th time... I mean fun, just fun.
That's how I feel after the 10th time on Small World... but for different reasons...

Welcome to the late PTR Club! I started mine yesterday, and I leave this Friday!
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorweJenNY View Post
That's how I feel after the 10th time on Small World... but for different reasons...

Welcome to the late PTR Club! I started mine yesterday, and I leave this Friday!
I have no idea what could cause vomiting on Small World unless... oh I get it, you get seasick easily! What a shame...

Have fun on your trip, and steal some of the airline barf bags so you can enjoy Small World!
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:17 PM   #5
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So one thing I still need to do is figure out all the "must-do" attractions for the Booper (something my DD called herself when she was about 2 and it stuck).

She's usually not scared easily, so I'm not too worried about that (except for a couple of attractions - I'm looking at you HISTA and ITTAB).

So let's start with MK:
Fantasyland - just throw the whole land in there, even Snow White's Scary Adventures (she's seen the movie 100,000 times)

Tomorrowland:
Speedway
Monsters, Inc.
Buzz Lightyear
TTA if it's open
She also keeps saying she wants to go on the Stitch ride. I don't think she'd actually like it that much, but she's not quite tall enough (39" last measurement) so I don't have to come up with any other excuses.

Main Street - gotta take a ride on the train

Adventureland:
Jungle Cruise
The Aladdin version of Dumbo
Tiki Room (isn't it time to throw out the "new" management?)
Pirates

Frontierland:
Country Bears perhaps, but no one in my family (myself included) seems to like the Country Bears

Toontown:
Barnstormer
All the character meet-and-greets

Liberty Square:
Haunted Mansion
Hall of Presidents (maybe)

Spectromagic and Wishes are also must-sees, and perhaps we'll catch the daytime parade (the name escapes me right now) too. The castle show is another probably see; is the current one the Mickey show or the Cinderella show? Cinderella show would turn into a must-see.

Will do the run down on more parks later...

Last edited by scoot241; 07-07-2009 at 01:16 PM. Reason: wow did I really forget PotC and HM? someone slap me...
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:20 AM   #6
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Question: what other special things can we do for DD's birthday on the Wednesday of this trip?

We have CRT planned in the morning, but other than that it's an open day... planning on MK for the day but could go elsewhere.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:50 AM   #7
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Strollers...

Obviously, we're going to need to have one. 3-year olds aren't known for hiking for miles a day, and even if they did, the amount of time it would take to get somewhere would be crazy.

Case in point: DW, DD and I are at the zoo. DD wants to walk, so we let her. We're moving at a snail's pace, but then she starts doing her "Pinnochio walk" and she's skipping around and weaving back and forth and nearly running into everyone in a 5 foot radius. Just imagine what would happen in a packed MK if this were to occur. She's running into people, people are running into other people, strollers are overturning, cats and dogs living together, and soon enough you have a pileup that takes hours to clear. I'm not going to be the one who causes the Liberty Square bridge to be closed for the day.

We currently have two strollers: a big Graco, and a cheap umbrella stroller. Personally, I like the Graco and can't stand the umbrella stroller. Option number 3 is to find a better umbrella stroller, which might be a good idea too. I know WDW has a fleet of unimaginable size of strollers, but for the cost of renting a stroller for the week, we could buy a nice one.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoot241 View Post
We currently have two strollers: a big Graco, and a cheap umbrella stroller. Personally, I like the Graco and can't stand the umbrella stroller. Option number 3 is to find a better umbrella stroller, which might be a good idea too. I know WDW has a fleet of unimaginable size of strollers, but for the cost of renting a stroller for the week, we could buy a nice one.
I hate most umbrella strollers, but they are convenient to carry on buses.

Personally, as a former Graco owner, I can tell you Disney World is where our Graco got the most mileage... (Actually, we had two Gracos... started with the single, then got a double too).

It may be a little bit of a pain to fold up every time you want to get on a bus, but it's only a minor negative considering the convenience of it in the parks. If yours is anything like mine, it's easier to maneuver than most umbrella strollers, it has convenient storage space underneath for storing your stuff (not just 3yo's), and although some umbrella strollers have it (ours didn't) - a nice shady covering for the little one is a big plus! Not to mention the convenience of cup holders for adults pushing the stroller...
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Apr '96-Offsite / Dec '01-Jan '02-Honeymoon - CBR / Apr '03-Off Property / Jul '04 - OKW
Jul '06-Offsite / Aug '07-POP / May '08-OKW / Jun '08-SSR / Jul '09-POR & WL / Sep-Oct '09-ASMo
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Oct '11-POR / Dec '11-10th Anniversary - BWV / Jan '12-BCV / May '12-AKV
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoot241 View Post
Strollers...

Obviously, we're going to need to have one. 3-year olds aren't known for hiking for miles a day, and even if they did, the amount of time it would take to get somewhere would be crazy.

Case in point: DW, DD and I are at the zoo. DD wants to walk, so we let her. We're moving at a snail's pace, but then she starts doing her "Pinnochio walk" and she's skipping around and weaving back and forth and nearly running into everyone in a 5 foot radius. Just imagine what would happen in a packed MK if this were to occur. She's running into people, people are running into other people, strollers are overturning, cats and dogs living together, and soon enough you have a pileup that takes hours to clear. I'm not going to be the one who causes the Liberty Square bridge to be closed for the day.

We currently have two strollers: a big Graco, and a cheap umbrella stroller. Personally, I like the Graco and can't stand the umbrella stroller. Option number 3 is to find a better umbrella stroller, which might be a good idea too. I know WDW has a fleet of unimaginable size of strollers, but for the cost of renting a stroller for the week, we could buy a nice one.


I decided to start with your most recent post and work my way back. I may have some good info to share with you since we took my DD3 for the first time in April.

We decided to take our big Graco stroller (it is actually the one her car carrier fit into when she was an infant) when we went. We've never found an umbrella stroller that we like and I couldn't see renting a stroller for a week at Disney prices, plus I wanted to have the stroller at the resort. We liked having our Graco, and with 4 adults and just one little one, there was always someone to fold and hold the stroller on the bus while someone else took DD. I loved having the storage underneath and the cup holders. When we were walking around the parks we never had to carry anything, and then when we went on rides we would grab the camera bag and a small backpack that had all the valuables and we were all set. The mammoth stroller worked well for us, I don't think we would have been happy with an umbrella stroller. You may find the same thing, unless you are able to travel lighter than we did. We carried snacks, drinks, 2 changes of clothes for DD, 2 cameras, a camcorder, a first aid kit, and a notebook with our touring plans so we needed the storage space.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoot241 View Post
Question: what other special things can we do for DD's birthday on the Wednesday of this trip?

We have CRT planned in the morning, but other than that it's an open day... planning on MK for the day but could go elsewhere.
Don't know how you feel about Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, but that is an option. My DD is really not into dress up, so I talked myself out of it for her first trip. Then when we were walking around the park, we saw lots of little girls who looked a little too made up (and my mother commented on each and every one of them, she is trying to scare me off BBB for good). My DD didn't express any interest in it when we were there so I have put it on the back burner until she shows an interest. You said your DD is into princesses so she might enjoy this.

My DDs favorite thing in all of the World was playing in the fountains at Epcot. So much so, that she says Epcot is her favorite park. You never know what they are going to love and it always seems to be the simple things that you never would have thought of. Your DD may be good with just CRT and maybe BBB, being in the Magic Kingdom and eating breakfast with princesses will probably be more than enough for her.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:58 AM   #11
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Yeah I'm really leaning toward taking the Graco. If you've ever seen two people with a sherpa and a donkey following them along at the mall holding all the bags, you probably saw my mother and sister.

Thankfully at WDW you can send your packages back to the hotel, so we won't need to hire the sherpa.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:37 PM   #12
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Day 1:

We are flying out of Hobby Airport:


On


My parents and sister are flying out of Louis Armstrong Airport:


Also on


Arriving at MCO within minutes of each other.


From MCO, we're taking:


(Hopefully Mickey won't be driving... I heard he's been involved in a few incidents.)

And arriving at:


After checking in, we'll probably explore a little while and then it's off to dinner at:


Following dinner, we'll most likely ride the


to the Magic Kingdom for


After that, it's EMH at the MK; not sure that everyone will stay for it (DD will have to go to bed, and DW will probably be the one to go with her since this will be the time to ride the bigger rides) but I think I am planning to stay out.

Finally, back to Pop for bed.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #13
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Love the picture itinerary. I wish I could send everyone back to the hotel to enjoy evening EMH. For some reason, we all stick together as a group the whole vacation. I bet we could all use some alone time, or at least I could

If you are traveling with avid shoppers I think you will enjoy the storage with the Graco, even if you are sending most of it back to the resort. I am pretty sure they won't let you send any food though, so try not to let them go too crazy with the treats or you will get stuck carrying them.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:45 PM   #14
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Back from a long weekend in New Orleans for a wedding. Had an incredible time!

Day 2:
Starting the day in:


I miss that lucite sculpture that was in front of SSE. Did you know it was sold on eBay a few years ago?

Dinner for today will be at:


Followed by another spin on the:


Arriving at:


While at MK for the evening, we'll take in:


Day 3 coming soon.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:54 AM   #15
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Be sure to pack a bathing suit or change of clothes for your DD for your Epcot day. My little one's favorite thing in all of Disney were the fountains in Epcot. She loved playing in them and getting drenched each time we were there. She even says Epcot is her favorite park.
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