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Old 10-31-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
itJeff
I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.
 
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 406

We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy.

Welcome to my first attempt at a PTR.

WHO
There are 5 of us. DW and myself, our girls will be 11, 7 and 5 at the time of travel. This is the 2nd trip for the youngest two, the 3rd for the oldest DD and myself, and the 4th(or 5th?) for DW.

WHAT
We have 7 day base tickets. I'm thinking we'll forgo the 'Hopping', and add it on there if we find we need it. We'll pay OOP for the Water Park instead of adding WPM, since we don't plan to do DQ or anything else.

WHEN
We'll be heading to the world for our dates of May 23 - 30 2010.

WHERE
We are from Arkansas.... Oh, that's not what you wanted to know.
We are staying at POR, probably in the AB section since that's were the trundle beds are.

HOW
We are driving from Arkansas. (I knew that went in here somewhere ) We will go trough Memphis to Atlanta, then down to Orlando. The vehicle is a 2006 Toyota Sienna (mini van). We'll need to get a DVD player before we go.

THE PLANS
I've tried to think far enough ahead to know what our ADRs will need to be based on where we'll be that day. I want to be sure I'm not missing something important. Hopefully I don't have anything planned that is too difficult to accomplish with 3 kiddos in tow. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated. TIA

Dining is in DarkOrchid
Parks are in Green
Entertainment is in Red

NOTE: An updated Itenerary is located on page 2
Fri May 21 - Partial Travel Day
Leave town around 4:00pm and drive 5 hours. Hope to stay with DW's cousin in Memphis that night.

Sat May 22 - Travel Day
  • Drive, Drive
  • Potty break
  • Drive, Drive
  • "We just took a potty break! Do you really need to?"
  • Drive, Drive, Drive
  • Spend the night somewhere in GA - We may decide to try to finish the drive and stay somewhere cheap around Orlando that night so we'll be closer to the world the next morning.

Sun May 23 - Partial Travel Day - DHS
Finish driving (maybe 4 hours) if needed. Arrive no later than noon.
  • 'Check-in' @ POR
  • head for DHS
  • Tour the park until dinner
  • 5:00 Dinner @ SciFi DineIn Theatre (we've not eaten here)
  • After Dinner secure seats for Fantasmic!
  • Possibly more touring while someone saves seats
  • 9:00 Fantasmic! (if it gets rained out we plan to try again another night)
  • Back to POR- Sleep!
Mon May 24 - Epcot FW
  • Breakfast in Room
  • Tour FW
  • CS Lunch @ _________
  • More Touring
  • REST in park (DD5 and DD7 will probably collapse in our lap on a bench somewhere)
  • 6:00 Dinner @ Garden Grill (We've not eaten here)
  • 9:00 Illuminations (or back to DHS for Fantasmic if we didn't see it the night before)
  • Back to POR - Sleep
Tue May 25 - AK
  • Breakfast in Room
  • Tour AK
  • CS Lunch @ _________
  • More Touring until Park Close
  • 7:30 Dinner @ 1900 P.F. (We've not eaten here)
  • Back to POR - Sleep
Wed May 26 - MK
  • Early light Breakfast in Room
  • Arrive for Rope Drop - Tour MK
  • 10:30 Brunch @ Crystal Palace (youngest two haven't eaten here)
  • More Touring
  • 3:00 Parade
  • Dinner @ __________
  • 9:00 Wishes
  • Back to POR - Sleep
Thu May 27 - Un-Theme Park day
  • SLEEP IN!!!!
  • 11:00 Head to Blizzard Beach
  • Lunch in Water Park
  • Spalsh! Swim. Slide! Splash! until around 3:00
  • Possibly DTD???
  • 6:00 Dinner @ Wispering Canyon (We've not eaten here)
  • 7:30 Chip & Dale's Campfire Sing-along @ Ft. Wilderness (we've never done this)
  • 9:45 View Electrical Water Pagent from FW (we've never seen it either)
  • Back to POR - Sleep
Fri May 28 - Epcot WS (pm EMH until midnight)
  • Breakfast in Room
  • Tour WS
  • 11:00 Lunch @ Akershus Princess Storybook Lunch(we've not eaten here)
  • More Touring
  • Dinner @ ____________
  • 9:00 Illuminations (if we didn't see it on Monday)
  • More Touring
  • Back to POR - Sleep
Sat May 29 - MK
  • Breakfast in Room
  • Tour MK
  • CS Lunch @ _________
  • More Touring
  • Head to Contemporary
  • 5:30 Dinner @ Chef Mickey's (We've not eaten here)
  • Back to MK
  • 9:00 SpectroMagic Parade (we've not seen this)
  • 10:00 Wishes
  • Back to POR - Sleep
Sun May 30 - MK Partial Travel Day
  • Breakfast in Room
  • Pack up Car
  • Tour MK
  • CS Lunch @ _________
  • One Last Ride
  • Head Home
Mon May 31 - Travel Day (Memorial Day)
  • Drive, Drive
  • Potty break
  • Drive, Drive
  • "We just took a potty break! Do you really need to?"
  • Drive, Drive, Drive
  • Arrive Home still singing "It's A Small World After All, It's A Small World After All. It's A Small World After All. It's A Small, Small World!"
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We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy. My Pre-Trip Report (Updated 5/18)



2001 FW Cabins - 2007 CBR - 2010 POR

Last edited by itJeff; 11-25-2009 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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I quite a full trip you have planned.
First off, you'll need to add in a few more "We just took a potty break! Do you really need to?" for each travel day. Heck, add in a few for each day in the parks as well.
As for CS eating a Epcot - I highly recommend Seasons. It's in "Land" pavilion. We stumbled upon it one time while leaving Soarin. You get enough of the burgers and fries at other locations - Seasons has really nice sandwiches, wraps, etc. I don't recall what they had on the kids menu, but my kids (4 and 2 at the time) both got stuff that they really liked.
For AK, I loved Flame Tree BBQ, but unless they changed it, I don't recall a kids menu. What we've done in the past is sent DW and the kids over to Pizzafari (gotta love the air conditioned dining rooms), while FIL and I got some food from Flame Tree. It's not too long of a walk over to Pizzafari with the food to join the rest of the family already eating their pizza.

It's hard for me to accurately critique at touring plan because I'm so used to having mine changed, sometimes weeks or months in advance, sometimes on 5 minute notice.
Anyway, enjoy your trip!
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #3
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WHISPERING CANYON!! YOUR IN FOR A TREAT!! SUPRISE! SUPRISE!! HAVE FUN!!
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:01 PM   #4
itJeff
I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the4princesses View Post
WHISPERING CANYON!! YOUR IN FOR A TREAT!! SUPRISE! SUPRISE!! HAVE FUN!!
Yeah, I know to ask for ketchup. Just not sure what happens when we do.

Any other tips?
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We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy. My Pre-Trip Report (Updated 5/18)



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Old 11-02-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itJeff View Post
Yeah, I know to ask for ketchup. Just not sure what happens when we do.

Any other tips?
We've been there twice, and it can be very different each visit. One thing to keep in mind - there is a "back" dining room. There's about half a dozen or so tables back there and you really feel left out of all of the fun going on out front. You don't have to sit back there. If the seater leads you back there, you are completely within your right to request a different table. It happened to us last trip. We had to wait another 10 minutes or so, but we were seated in the main dining room. Just be polite but insistent.

Oh yeah, and they have free refills on the milk shakes.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:48 AM   #6
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I'm sure those driving beside me thought I was nuts
 
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We have never been to SciFi but we go to Mama Melrose once every trip we really love it there, food is great.

One thing we love to do if the kiddos are not too pooped is get off the bus at the FQ side and walk back to POR along the river in the evening. Really nice and peaceful and helps work off all those burgers and fries at the CS's. (even though nothing counts when eating at Disney)

Have a great trip, looks pretty good to me.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
itJeff
I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.
 
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 406

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
I quite a full trip you have planned.
First off, you'll need to add in a few more "We just took a potty break! Do you really need to?" for each travel day. Heck, add in a few for each day in the parks as well.

As for CS eating a Epcot - I highly recommend Seasons. It's in "Land" pavilion. We stumbled upon it one time while leaving Soarin. You get enough of the burgers and fries at other locations - Seasons has really nice sandwiches, wraps, etc. I don't recall what they had on the kids menu, but my kids (4 and 2 at the time) both got stuff that they really liked.
For AK, I loved Flame Tree BBQ, but unless they changed it, I don't recall a kids menu. What we've done in the past is sent DW and the kids over to Pizzafari (gotta love the air conditioned dining rooms), while FIL and I got some food from Flame Tree. It's not too long of a walk over to Pizzafari with the food to join the rest of the family already eating their pizza.

It's hard for me to accurately critique at touring plan because I'm so used to having mine changed, sometimes weeks or months in advance, sometimes on 5 minute notice.
Anyway, enjoy your trip!
My girls know that we only stop if we need to get gas. (with three DDs plus the DW that obviously isn't happening.)

I'll add Seasons to the 'look for' list while we're in Epcot. I haven't heard of it.

I've heard good things about Flame Tree BBQ. We'll probably try to hit it while we're there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
We've been there twice, and it can be very different each visit. One thing to keep in mind - there is a "back" dining room. There's about half a dozen or so tables back there and you really feel left out of all of the fun going on out front. You don't have to sit back there. If the seater leads you back there, you are completely within your right to request a different table. It happened to us last trip. We had to wait another 10 minutes or so, but we were seated in the main dining room. Just be polite but insistent.

Oh yeah, and they have free refills on the milk shakes.
Thanks for the tip!
Free milk shake refills?!?!?! Awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyDaddy-O View Post
We have never been to SciFi but we go to Mama Melrose once every trip we really love it there, food is great.

One thing we love to do if the kiddos are not too pooped is get off the bus at the FQ side and walk back to POR along the river in the evening. Really nice and peaceful and helps work off all those burgers and fries at the CS's. (even though nothing counts when eating at Disney)

Have a great trip, looks pretty good to me.
I thought about Mama Melrose, so we could get the F! package. But, I don't think we'll have any trouble getting seats for F! in May (at least I hope).

We'll have our car, and will probably drive ourselves to the parks. But, I have heard how beautiful the PO resort is. Is it worth the walk from POR to FOFQ? We'll probably see a lot of the riverside part anyway. How far is it, and is there anything special you recommend doing?

Thanks for all the tips!
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We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy. My Pre-Trip Report (Updated 5/18)



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Old 11-03-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.
 
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Now I'm reconsidering our arrival day.

Park hours for May show that on the 23rd MK has EMH hours from 11pm until 2am. I wonder if we would have a better time in MK the first day.

Obviously, if we did this we would not be able to anything the next morning. We would have to sleep until 11 (at least). So, that blows half the day.

Another problem with this is that Fantasmic isn't showing when I thought it would be. It's on the schedule now for Sun 23, Tue 25 and Wed 26. So, if we didn't see it on Sunday, then we would need to go to DHS on Tue or Wed. But that messes the whole rest of the schedule up, and I can't seem to fit everything in nicely.

What do I do? I guess if we added the park-hopper back on, we could do DHS on arrival day, see F! then hop over to MK for the EMHs until we drop.
That would leave us sleeping in until 11ish on our first Epcot Day. So we still lose half a day there. But, we'll be in Epcot for late EMHs later in the week, so I think we could use that to make up any lost time.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........
Are late EMHs in MK worth $277, and losing half a day in Epcot?
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We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy. My Pre-Trip Report (Updated 5/18)



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Old 11-08-2009, 05:20 PM   #9
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Staying at POR as well... and very excited after all the great pictures I’ve seen on here. They have entertainment there Wed-Sat nights that’s supposed to be great; Yehaw Bob is the performer’s name. FQ has jazz type entertainment that’s supposed to be good as well.

We are not doing park hopping this time either. At $55 extra pp, we’d rather go to Cirque du Soleil.

Just heard a podcast on WDWToday’s archives about counter service meals at the parks.
Here are their suggestions:
AK – Yak & Yeti Express, Flame Tree Barbeque
Studios- Backlot Express, Starring Rolls, Catalina Eddies
MK – Pecos Bill
Epcot – Sunshine Seasons (which another poster mentioned), Boulangerie Patisserie (France), and Tangierine Café (Morocco)
Also - Since you will be near Downtown Disney, they recommend Wolfgang Puck Express and Earl of Sandwich there
I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the Sci-Fi Drive in. They play a very short loop of movie previews so you see the same ones over and over during your meal. If you haven’t been to the 50s Prime Time Café, 50s is supposed to be monumentally better.

We went to the Disney website and picked our favorite rides and just got our customized maps in the mail a couple days ago. They’re amazing and they’re FREE! It’s a must do in my opinion.

My advice for parks is to avoid MK on Sat and Mon if you can, and if you know you aren’t going to stay up late (or get up early) for EMH, to go to a different park on that day. DH and I are going to take advantage of the Evening EMH a few nights of our trip, but on days where that is not a factor our strategy is to go to a park that had EMH the day before. The idea is that they will be the deadest park that day since most people went the day before.

Enjoy your trip!!!!
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:32 PM   #10
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If you see Illuminations on Monday, I would definitely block Friday evening (after 8:30) to catch Bob "The Piano Man" Jackson at POR. You will not be disappointed that you did. Bob is some of the best family entertainment at Disney and is well worth making some time for.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:59 PM   #11
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I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.
 
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Thanks yourMaire83 & MiJo. Several people have said to make sure we go see Yeehaw Bob. We should be able to do that one night. Our girls will love that.

I get to make my ADRs tomorrow. I think. Tomorrow is the 190 day mark. I'm NOT going to get up at the crack of dawn. I mean, it's Saturday. I sleep in on Saturday. I just hope all the good times aren't gone by noon!
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We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy. My Pre-Trip Report (Updated 5/18)



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Old 11-14-2009, 12:47 PM   #12
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I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.
 
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... or not.

Apparently I misunderstood the "10 extra days" thing. Resort guests get to make reservations @ 180 days, for the day they check in and 10 days after that. Makes perfect sense.

So, I have to wait 10 more days...
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We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy. My Pre-Trip Report (Updated 5/18)



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Old 11-19-2009, 10:23 AM   #13
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Only a few more days until ADR time. Have you finalized your dining plans?
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.
 
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Wow, Barry! Someone is reading this! I need to do better about making it a true trip report. Life has been a little hectic the past couple of weeks, with the girls activities and school, and my classes and church and etc, etc, etc.

So, yes to answer your question. I have changed a few things up and (hopefully) finalized the dining plans. Tuesday is the day to make the ADRs. At least that's what the CM said when I tried to call last week.

So, here's the plan for TS dining as it stands now. Selections haven't changed, just the days. We'll see if anything changes when I make the ADRs.

Sun May 23 - 7:30 pm 1900 Park Faire
Mon May 24 - 6:00 pm Garden Grill
Tue May 25 - 6:00 pm SciFi Drive In
Wed May 26 - none
Thu May 27 - 6:00 pm Wispering Canyon (before C&D campfire singalong)
Fri May 28 - 9:30 am Akershus
Sat May 29 - 10:30 am Crystal Palace
- 7:30 pm Chef Mickeys

The one for Crystal Palace is supposed to be a late Breakfast, a brunch, a substitute for lunch that day. But, I don't know how late they serve breakfast. So, that may move to a little later time slot depending on how late it runs.

The next post will outline some other potential changes that could happen.
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We're driving 17 hours??? AGAIN??? Yes Dear, I'm THAT kinda guy. My Pre-Trip Report (Updated 5/18)



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Old 11-21-2009, 08:19 PM   #15
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Well, it's either read the DIS boards or actually do work. Not much of a competition there.

I don't know how early of a riser you are, but at 6:01am Central Time Disney's Online Reservation system opens to the next day. (At least is did this summer when I made my ADRs.) You get a full hour before the phone lines open.

Looks like Crystal Palace servers breakfast until 11:30

Good Luck!
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