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Old 08-19-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
kelmac284
I wish I lived near one of the parks so I could go anytime I wanted
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1 mom, 1 granny and 2 kids hit the world :)

Well I will first introduce myself and say that I have been a part of the Dis boards for about 5 years now. I first came to these boards when planning my 2nd trip to the world in 2005.

My name is Kelly and I am 43 and married to Shane 37 and we have two daughters Katy 10 (11 in December) and Shelby 9. We live in Northern CA and are frequent visitors to the orig Dland park in SoCal. In fact I have been a Deluxe AP holder since 2006.

I took my first trip to Disneyland at the age of 8 and have since taken so many trips back that I don't even know how many there have been. And it was during the planning for one of those trips that we decided to venture to the "world". I had my two daughters in 1999 and 2001 and during that period we did not take any trips. Or I should say we took ONE trip when my daughter Katy was about 10 months old and right around that time I found out I was pg with my youngest and ended up going to DL while I was about 3 months pg. I had horrible morning sickness so it wasn't my best trip LOL.

After that we didn't take ANY trips again for awhile while the girls were babies until Katy was a little over 2 and Shelby was just about 1. We decided that they were finally old enough to venture back and it was at that time that I received a fax talking about a cheap trip to Disney World.

Upon further investigation I found that it was really a cleverly disguised ad for a timeshare but when we started to investigate we found really cheap airfare and my husband was in the military at the time so we were able to secure a room at Shades of Green and get discounted tickets through the military as well.

So we were off in May of 2002 for a week. It was our first ever trip and we were newbies but we had a wonderful time. Shades of Green, as it turned out, was under rehab so they switched us to the contemporary which we loved being that it was right on the monorail. We used Disney transportation and never left the property the entire time. We had a GREAT time and before we even left we vowed that we would be back in about 5 years or so when the kids were older and could go on more rides.

Well as luck would have it we were able to come back sooner and planned a trip for Oct/Nov of 2005. That is what brought me to this site and that was the first trip that I used the Dis boards to really ask questions and really plan things out. I honestly can't even remember if we had made priority seatings for the first trip or not but for the 2nd we planned everything to the T. We were going to be there 2 whole weeks and THIS time we were staying in my mom's timeshare. We were also planning a day at Universal, Cape Canaveral and a day to visit relatives in Tampa. So much more on our plates.

Then wouldn't you know it fate stepped in and Hurricane Wilma came calling. Talk about stress. Up until a few days before the trip we didn't know if it was even going to happen! We had mad alternate hotel reservations and considered moving our trip both up and back but in the end the airlines said they wouldn't cancel the flights until the actual hurricane hit and we decided to just take our chances. Luckily the day we flew it was fine although the storms were starting to come in and as we were landing in Orlando there were thunder clouds and we had to circle around for an extra 1/2 hour because of lightening. Then when we finally landed there was a mass exodus of people trying to get OUT and we were the only idiots trying to come IN!

Anyway we finally made it and the hurricane hit on Monday and we only lost part of one day. We had a WONDERFUL time with low crowds, GREAT weather and we got to try Universal, see Cape Canaveral and visit with family. It was a GREAT trip!!

Then our most recent trip was in November of 2008 when we went over Thanksgiving week. THIS was a bit more interesting in that we went at a VERY busy time. The pros were that we got to see a lot of the christmas decorations, got to go to the Mickey's Christmas party, see the Osborne lights and the Holidays around the world as well as the Candlight Procession but the Con's were that it was VERY crowded and luckily I had the trip well planned out because had I not called at exactly 180 days out for my ADR's I doubt we would have had ANY dinning ressies.

We truly enjoyed all the holiday offerings although I preferred the Candlight Procession in Disneyland to the one in Disney World and our Mickey's Christmas Party got rained out so that was a dissapointment but otherwise we had a really good time despite the crowds.

Now what has brought me to THIS particular trip...As I had mentioned after the last couple of trips we knew that we were def coming back in 3 years but after the 08 trip it was the first time we had NO immediate plans of coming back.

We KNEW we would be back eventually but we thought we would like to try some other trips to possibly Mexico, Hawaii or possibly even Europe. Unfortunately the economy being what it is that didn't happen. We have made a few trips to Disneyland and my husband and I went to New York City last summer but otherwise no real plans. Well then my mother found out that she had two weeks reserved on her timeshare that she had not booked but nonetheless she had to use them or she would lose them. We found this out over a year ago and have since been trying to figure out just what to do.

She wasn't really wanting to go back to Florida so soon and was thinking about exchanging it for a cruise or even going somewhere else but the airfare was astronomical to go most places so that was out of the question.

We have been hemming and hawing and there have been a lot of other stressful life events that have been going on that have made things hard to decide but FINALLY when I heard about the free dinning I told her that we should just go ahead and use it for that.

SOOOO that is where we are at.

About a month ago we booked a 6 night package that we are going to split up between the property and the time share.

Our plans are as follows:

We are going to leave our town approx 6 a.m. on Thursday November 11th and should arrive in Orlando around 4:30. We are staying at the Coronado Springs. We will be taking the Magical Express to the hotel and not too sure at this point what we will be doing that evening. We will probably either go to Downtown Disney and look around and eat or just hang out at our hotel and eat there.

Then on Friday the 12th we are going to MGM and since we have the free dinning we will most likely just have breakfast at the hotel, lunch at counter service somewhere in the park and our plans for dinner is Mama Melrose. Then we plan to stay for the Osborne Lights that evening.

Then on Saturday the 13th we will be going to the Magic Kingdom. Again breakfast at the hotel, counter service lunch and dinner this day will be at Tony's Town Square. We ate there last time and really enjoyed it. And yes we know that that is Italian 2 days in a row but there is really no other places at MGM that appeal to us and we really like Tony's and don't want to do Liberty Tree or Crystal Palace. SOOOO that just leaves Tony's.

Then on Sunday the 14th we will go to Epcot and do the first hour in Future World and then when World Showcase opens we will spend the entire day working our way around the "world" trying all the foods from the countries as it is the last day of the food and wine festival! I am REALLY excited about this!! We won't be using any vouchers that day as we will be just sampling the foods.

Then on Monday the 15th it is back to Magic Kingdom for the day and we will leave around 7:30 for an 8 p.m. ressie at Citrico's at Grand Floridian for our 1 sig meal. I am very anxious to try this as we have never been here!

On Tuesday the 16th we are going to Animal Kingdom and that evening will head to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our favorite place, Boma!!

And for our last day the 17th it is BACK to Epcot for Future World and most likely we will do 2 table service meals. Not sure where for lunch yet as we are still deciding but the food is SO good here we don't want to do counter service! But for dinner we are fairly certain we want to go back to Le Chefs de France! We haven't eaten there since our first trip in 02!

Then we will be checking out of the Coronado and into the timeshare that day and hopefully sometime during our stay we will have had time to swim in the pool, go to Downtown Disney and possibly check out some of the other resorts etc.

Then on Thurs the 18th we are going to Islands of Adventure to check out the new Harry Potter section and not sure again about meals that day.

Then on Friday our tentative plan is to go to Cape Canaveral again. My mom did not go with us in 05 when we went so hopefully it works out but that is up in the air at this point if we will do that.

And lastly on Saturday it is open. I am thinking we may do Downtown Disney and possibly Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for the girls. We also would like to check out Ice at the Gaylord Palms but some of this stuff may not get firmed up till we actually get there.

Anyway those are my tentative plans for now.

For the time being I will share a few pics from our last trip for my friends who have never been.



This was at Islands of Adventure



Everest at Animal Kingdom



Tree of Life AK



Epcot



Magic Kingdom



Osborne Lights at MGM



Islands of Adventure



The British Invasion at Epcot (the "beatles")
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:48 PM   #2
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hi, just joining in
is this your first time staying @ Coronado Springs? I've only stayed there once before but we loved it. The pool was beautiful and the whole atmosphere was rather nice. They have a great food area called the Pepper Market, it counts as a quick service meal but they also have a bunch of snack options available as well for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
happy planning
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:57 PM   #3
kelmac284
I wish I lived near one of the parks so I could go anytime I wanted
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Hi and welcome!! Yes it is. We have been a total of 3 times. 02, 05 and 08. We stayed onsight at the Contemporary in 02 but the last two times we stayed at a timeshare so this is only the 2nd time we will be staying on property. Actually that's not totally true. On our last trip in 08 we stayed in our timeshare for a week and then for the last 2 days of our trip we had to check OUT of the timeshare (as you only get it in week increments) and so we stayed in Pop Century for the last 2 days. I hate to say it but I was NOT impressed with the rooms.

They were VERY small (double beds) and I guess we just got spoiled on the with the space etc of the timeshare. It was so nice having the kitchen, washer and drier and living room. We orig were going to stay at the Carribean but heard that they only had double beds and someone said that Coronado had queens. Do you know if this is true? I sure hope so since my mom and I will have to share a bed. I HAVE heard of pepper market and am glad to know that they have a nice food court!

By the way I see you are from NY State. We were in DC/NYC last summer and absolutely LOVED it! Didn't have NEARLY enough time to explore the city and despartely want to get back there. SO much to see and want to get to upstate and some of the other areas of New England, Boston and such.

Thanks for subscribing and I will add more as we move along.

Our next step is to purchase our airfare tomorrow and then I need to firm up our ADR's.

We discussed it at lunch today but we need to make final decisions about if we want to forfit our vouchers and do a lunch and pay our own way etc.

Anyway thanks for looking and hope to see you again.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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This is so weird! I'm the mom, taking 2 of my kids, and my mom (Granny) in October! I can't wait to read your plans
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
kelmac284
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Yay! Do you have a trip report on here? How fun. I have my tentative plans in my first post. Most of it is fairly settled except for the meals which we are honing in on in the next few days and then our days once we move to the timeshare. The IOA days is a for sure although we don't know about meals that day but Fri and Sat are up in the air at this point.

When my dh and dad were going to go Kennedy was def on tap for Fri and we were going to go golfing on Sat but NOW that they have cancelled things have changed a bit. I don't like to drive where I am unfamiliar and so it is up to mom whether or not she wants to tackle the drive to Kennedy and as for our last day, Sat, it all depends. I think we are just going to leave it open and if we decide WHILE we are there something we would like to do we may just do it.

But all the Disney days are pretty much set. Like I said it is just a matter of making our ADRS at this point.

NOW as I am looking up at your post I see a link to your report. I will have to go check it out!
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:01 AM   #6
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Nice start Kelly.....I have nothing to add since I've never been....but I'm very excited for you, your mom & the girls!! I would love to go to WDW for the holidays....I've seen so many things on all the activities & it all looks so beautiful all decorated & lit up!! You know I'll be looking for LOTS of pictures!!
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
kelmac284
I wish I lived near one of the parks so I could go anytime I wanted
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Well I have been 3 times and I will admit that just like DL I much prefer the parks during the holidays. Whether it be Halloween or Christmas. They look so neat all decorated up! I have done the Mickey's Halloween party AND the Christmas party there as well as the halloween party in DCA twice and enjoy all of them.

They ARE expensive though so as you said if you have a big family it CAN get cost prohibitive. As you can see when my step daughter was living with us and then when both my parents went there was 7 of us. So not QUITE as many as you but still a lot. EVERY meal we had was over 200 bucks and it gets spendy!

This time it will be a lot easier because we will only need the one room and will have the free dinning but even if we DO need to buy a few extra meals like breakfasts (those aren't included) or the occasional extra meal it won't be NEARLY as spendy!

Plus this time we aren't doing NEARLY as many "extras". Last time we did the candlight procession and did the special meal, we also did the christmas party and it seems a few other "extras". Other than our day at IOA that is the only special thing we are doing. It is going to be fairly low key this time. Oh and of course Kennedy if we decide to go but it is relatively inexpensive compared to the rest and then if we decide to do BBB I will pay for that and the girls will just get their hair done.

Anyway I am pretty excited that it is actually going to happen although nervous at the same time. Nervous that the girls are going to have to miss so much school and nervous about going without the guys because esp shane is a lot of help, driving and getting groceries, fp's etc. My mom can't walk good and gets tired easily so if he were there she could just go back to the room and we could stay but now I will be there alone with the girls but I think I can manage now that they are older.

I "think" we are going to buy the airfare today or monday for sure since we NEED to get that done and then we have a tentative idea for meals and as soon as I can get mom to firm it up I will call and make the adrs. I am not AS worried since we aren't going over Thanksgiving like last year but that first weekend IS Veteran's day weekend so I am expecting SOME crowds so I hope we don't have any issues.

Probably won't post TOO much on here cuz once we get the airfare and ADRS done there won't be much else to do but the cool thing is it isn't that far away!! I just wish I knew what the stupid weather was going to be!!

When we went that time in 08 it was pretty cold so I need to know what to pack! And unfortunately I have put on some weight since last year so most of my jeans no longer fit. I don't think I can lose enough weight by then either and I REALLY didn't want to buy any more "fat" clothes so what to do what to do??? I may be wearing sweats the whole time LOL
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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I'd be clueless to the weather there....my worries would be figuring out when hurricane season is......surely wouldn't want to go during that time....lol

Once you have that airfare paid.....it will make it very real!!!

Sounds like you're in for a fun time.....even without any men along. Sounds like you'll enjoy the parks at a slower rate.....and that's not all bad!
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:30 PM   #9
kelmac284
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Yeah they have a LONG hurricane season. It starts I think in May or June and goes all the way to the beginning of Dec I believe. We got hit with Hurricane Wilma in 05 but the good thing is Orlando is inland from the ocean and they have Disney World built to withstain hurricaines. In fact we heard that it is a shelter for people around the state during hurricaines and we ran into a really nice couple at Biergarten who were staying from Key West last time which is where Wilma hit head on. Not to say that the hurricanes don't hit in Orlando they just usually don't hit nearly as bad. And in fact the day it hit where we were it was just a really bad storm. Heck I have seen worse here LOL.

They made us stay in our timeshare for the morning when the storm hit and everything was closed so I was really glad we WERE in a timeshare and had a kitchen and food because you weren't allowed to go out and all restaurants and such were closed! They kept calling with updates and then as soon as the storm passed you never would have known. The sun came out and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It turned out to be a beautiful day and luckily it hit at the beginning of our trip and actually made it not as hot and we scored some great adr's since people had cancelled!

I know now that if we go it is not that big of a deal although this time we would lose a park day since we can't rearrange but hopefully that won't happen. I haven't heard anything about weather this year.

And you are right no matter what we will have a good time I am sure! I am just looking forward to the break. Things have been so hectic and it will be nice to get away!

And the best part Shane decided that he is bummed that he is not getting to go and he hasn't been on vacation with us since last Oct so now he wants to take a weekend and go to DL in Dec. We will have to drive of course to keep the cost down and we haven't done that in years and we won't be staying on property either since at that time of year it costs a mint but the girls and I have our passes and we can go the weekend before xmas and they are out of school and our passes aren't blocked out. So I am excited. I LOVE it during the holidays and miss it!

So it is tentative for now but looks like a pretty good bet! So another short trip! YAY!
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:49 PM   #10
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Well hopefully tomorrow we will FINALLY be purchasing the airfare after hemming and hawing around and I think I am going to be making our ADR's. I have NEVER waited this long before a trip to make them and am hoping we have no problems. It is not thanksgiving week BUT the first few days IS Veteran's day weekend and since it is on a Thurs I am a bit worried about people taking that Friday off to make it a 4 dayer. SOOO I hope we don't have any issues getting any of our restaurants.

I guess I will find out tomorrow!

Also now that we are thinking about our DL trip I need to at least get a room reserved since that is SUCH a busy time of year. Since we are driving I don't have to worry about airfare and the girls and I have AP's so I only need to get Shane a ticket and I can literally buy that the day before we leave so other than making any possible dinning ressies once I get a room reserved we are pretty much good to go.

So I guess I will have to make ANOTHER trip report.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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Well hopefully as I am doing this my mom is getting our airfare but I can officially say we HAVE ADRS!!!

Here is our official schedule for the time being. Not saying that a few things might not change but for now this is how it is going to go:

Thursday 11/11 Arrive and dinner at DTD at Fultons 8 p.m.

Friday 11/12 MGM dinner at Mama Melrose 5:20

Saturday 11/13 Magic Kingdom dinner at Tony's at 5:30

Sunday 11/14 Epcot no ADR'S today as we are going to eating around the world for the F&W festival

Monday 11/15 MK again and dinner at Narcosses at the GF at 6:40 and hopefully can stretch it out and get lucky and get a window table to see fireworks!!

Tuesday 11/16 AK and dinner at Boma at 6:25

Wednesday 11/17 back to Epcot and our last day on our dinning plan. Lunch at Marakesch at 12:30 and dinner at Le Chefs de France at 5:20 Check out of CSR and mom pick up rental car and check IN to Vistana.

Thursday 11/18 IOA. No plans for meals at this point

Friday 11/19 DTD day. BBB at 11 a.m. shopping and then Flying Fish for dinner at Boardwalk at 5:30. Hope to catch a photopass photog to get some nice pics along the way!

Saturday 11/20 open. Possibly a water park, possibly kennedy, possibly ICE at gaylord palms or maybe a combo of the two. Not sure. Probably won't decide till we get there.

But that is the schedule for now and hopefully the next time I post it will be to say that we FINALLY have our air tickets!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:57 AM   #12
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We have air tickets!! YAY so it is DEF more real and a lot harder to back out now so I think it is on for sure!! YAY!!

AND I just booked our hotel for our Dec Disneyland weekend! So now I have TWO trips on board!! So excited!!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:51 PM   #13
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Your ADRs sound great sure you will have fun! I went with my DD and DGS in 2005 and it was great...since then the whole team tags along but I wish we could do it without the guys sometimes as it was fun.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:56 PM   #14
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Thanks! Yeah this is the first time going without my dh and I usually go a lot with just mom and the girls so it is fun but I must admit on the big trips it is nice to have my dh to help with the luggage, getting the rental car, groceries, fast passes etc. I won't lie LOL. He can be very helpful and esp on that LONG flight with the kids although they are older now which helps. Plus my mom is older and has bad knees so it is nice if she gets tired and needs to go back to the room then I am not left alone with the girls but this will be a new experience for us.

I am really excited and hope it all works out!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:54 PM   #15
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Great ADRs! I'm always stuck at kids meals, so I'm jealous of all your grown up dinners!!


You are going at such a perfect time. DD and I were there that time frame last year and it was wonderful. No crowds, great weather.
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