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Old 03-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
Ducky4Disney
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A Trip of Firsts! Sept 2011 PTR *UPDATE* 8/30 The Train is WHAT?!


Having completed a TR with MEK I've decided to try a PTR for my September trip.
Which means, I'm officially planning my September trip!

This is the first family trip since Oct 08 DH went solo in April 09 and I went solo in Sept 10.

This trip will include the Fam:
Me - DH - DS5 - DS2

This is DS2's first trip! (out of the womb, anyway)

This is DS5's first trip as a paying customer!

We will also be celebrating our 10th Anniversary during this trip, on Sept 7!

This is also the first trip in a long time that we won't have extra family with us! So it's a first solo trip for the LaBossiere family!

Things to do:
Make a calendar of the travel dates
Book Auto Train Tickets
Make ADR's
Check park times
Change ADR's as necessary
Be on the lookout for MNSSHP dates/tickets
Check park times (again)

I've made the calendar and I'm starting to fill it in with ADR's.

I'm debating on what I want to do for our actual anniversary dinner on 9/7 and what to do on Labor Day. What about a dinner show? HDDR for Labor Day, or MBYBBQ? Maybe the Luau on 9/7?

I'll let you know what I have planned as I get it squared away.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear about some of your experiences with the Auto Train, dinner shows, anniversary plans at WDW.... whatever you're willing to share!

D4D


LINKS:
1 - A little history...
2 - History on Fast Forward
3 - How to get to WDW, let me count the ways!
4 - Sidetracked...
5 - Plane, Train, or Automobile: A closer look.
6 - De Train! De Train!
7 - A side note: Pins vs Vinylmation
8 - 1st ADR - Biergarten!
9 - 3rd ADR - Tusker House, maybe.
10 - Long time, no reply!
11 - To Loc8te, or Not to Loc8te!
12 - Check and recheck? Check! Chef Mickey's is Next!
13 - Lost in Real Life! But I'm Back!
14 - The Excitement is Building!
15 - Last Day Plans Thwarted, Curse you Shifting Park Hours!
16 -
Mickey Mail!
17 - Exploring MK Park Map
18 - Let's Look at Epcot!
The Train is WHAT?!


Last edited by Ducky4Disney; 08-30-2011 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Attempting LINKS!
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:46 PM   #2
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Am joining in and looking forward to hearing all your plans!

on it being your DS2s 1st vacation (out of the womb!) and your 10th anniversary during the trip!

Am afraid I can't be much help with Disney experiences as it will be our first trip in September! Look forward to reading the replies of more experienced Disney goers!
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Hey there Jen!! Happy you started a PTR!!
The Auto Train sounds like such an interesting means of travel....I know of a few that have done it.
Looking forward to hearing all about your plans

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Am joining in and looking forward to hearing all your plans!

on it being your DS2s 1st vacation (out of the womb!) and your 10th anniversary during the trip!

Am afraid I can't be much help with Disney experiences as it will be our first trip in September! Look forward to reading the replies of more experienced Disney goers!
Yea!

Congrats on your first trip this September! I feel like a rusty ol'pro at WDW planning. It's been a while since I've had to do this and the first time I've had to plan a trip with two kids. I'm going to use the PTR as a way to think my plans outloud and get suggestions and feedback from others; I think you'll get great feedback and ideas as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manntra
Hey there Jen!! Happy you started a PTR!!
The Auto Train sounds like such an interesting means of travel....I know of a few that have done it.
Looking forward to hearing all about your plans

Tracy
Yea!

I hope you like my PTR. I've never done this and I'm not sure what a PTR is supposed to be, but I'm going to think out loud, ask questions, maybe even take a poll along the way!

Hmm... I wonder how I can incorporate pictures in this PTR? I'll have to work on that.

D4D
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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A little history...

So let's start with some history to give you a better understanding of what I've already done at WDW and what's influencing me on this trip.

I first went to WDW while in high school as part of the Magic Music Days. It was late spring of 1992 and my marching band got to perform in the Roger Rabbit Surprise Parade in MK!!

Same thing, late spring of 1994, except this time we marched in Epcot. That's wasn't as much fun because I was on the Rifle Drill team and we weren't allowed to release the rifles at all. We had to do a modified routine that didn't involve any releases. If you picture yourself as a clock with 12 being your head and 6 your feet, we were only allowed to work between 10 and 2, and 4 to 8; so we had 45 degrees on either side of vertical to work in. Wasn't a very creative or fun routine.

Let's see... my younger sister was on the rifle team a couple years later and I went back as a chaperone with my mom. That's 3 trips in 5 years: 92, 94, and 96.

I had such a good time on those trips and my BF at the time (now DH) hadn't been to WDW since he was a kid that I really wanted to take him. I graduated college, was making good money for a 23 year old, and we went in Dec of 2000. It was a 5-night trip to CSR, booked through AAA. 5 whole nights! That felt like such a long trip! Little did we know that was just a drop in the WDW bucket...

Hmm... we were engaged when we went in 2000, and in 2003 we went as a married couple. It was April and WDW was having that 7-nights-for-the-price-of-7 deal and I kept hinting at a trip but DH wasn't catching my drift. I finally said it straight up; we haven't been in a few years, I really enjoyed the trip, and this was an excellent deal. DH just says "Oh ok, book it then".

There's more to this... but I can share some pics from those trips!

Dec 2000










Boy was I young... and my hair long! Heck so was DH's!

Oct 2003:



If you recognize this pic it's because you may have seen it on other websites; it's mine.


Remember when GG used to do this?


We did Leave a Legacy in 2000, so we get to visit ourselves in Epcot when we go back!


This was when we joined DVC! Our new home is being built behind us.

I think I'll tell you more later tonight (with pics if you like) and then move on to what I have planned so far (which isn't much).

D4D
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
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Jen - - PTR! I am very impressed that you really did it.

I know I have seen most of those pictures in your shutterfly book at work, but they are so fun to look at.

And, yes, all your dates do remind me that I am old enough to be your mother. But I'm not!

Great start. Can't wait to hear all about your plans!
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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Love the history - thanks for sharing it with us!

The pics are great! Think I have seen that night one before - what a great shot
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Jen - - PTR! I am very impressed that you really did it.

I know I have seen most of those pictures in your shutterfly book at work, but they are so fun to look at.

And, yes, all your dates do remind me that I am old enough to be your mother. But I'm not!

Great start. Can't wait to hear all about your plans!
So glad you stopped by!

See what you've done? Not only did I co-write your TR, I started my own PTR, and I'm trying to include pics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99
Love the history - thanks for sharing it with us!

The pics are great! Think I have seen that night one before - what a great shot
The history is also for me, I'm tyring to remember which trip was which! There's a lot that we've done and a lot left to be done, that's one of the reasons I love WDW.

D4D
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:19 PM   #9
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History on fast forward...

If I keep up with all the history we'll never get to the actual plans before the trip starts!

So I'll speed up a bit.

We bought DVC (YEA!) and have had numerous trips to our fabulous home at SSR. Lots of those trips were with some extended family. Just a couple weeks ago we had to sell our DVC contracts (BOO!). A house, dog, two kids, and the prospect of grad school this fall has pushed us to the edge financially and keeping DVC just isn't in the cards. This September trip is a nice way of remembering that just because we're not DVC members doesn't mean we can't go!

I booked this trip old school, using a good ol'fashion travel agent - AAA to be exact! There's a late summer room discount out for our dates so that really helped out. I thought about splurging and going to a deluxe resort, but none of them really struck my fancy for the price (even discounted). I also thought about going to back our old favorite, CSR, but I don't think it's the most kid-friendly resort. What we love about CSR is the wide open spaces, the nooks and crannies, the parking right outside your room, and outdoor feel to the place. CBR has a lot of those qualities, plus it's been totally refurb'd and the pool has been redone. It looks fantastic and I can't wait to stay there!

Here are some images taken by Dznefreek that I found on the DIS Community photo gallery that are really getting me excited!








Doesn't that look like fun!!!

The bright colors and beachy feel look so inviting!







We are checking in on 9/1 and checking out on 9/8.

First things first; planning arrival day!

The Auto Train arrives in Sanford, FL at 9:30 am and it's about an hour drive from there to WDW so I'm figuring we'll check in around noon. No guarantee our room will be ready so I think we'll head over to DTD and eat at EOS (yummy yummy yummy!). A nice tour of DTD after lunch and we can head back to CBR around 3:30-ish to a ready room! I think a swim may be in order, depening on how the kids are.

A nap might be a better option.

From there we'll head to the Boardwalk area for dinner at Kouzzina. ADR is for 5:20 and I figure we'll be done by 7 pm. We can either stroll around the Boardwalk or head to back CBR, depending on the craziness level.

Day One Complete!

And that's about all I have thus far

D4D
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:32 PM   #10
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Hello Jen, Since this will coincide with my trip & I enjoyed your trip with MEK I certainly have to follow this one!

Wow I even made the first page!

Doris
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:44 PM   #11
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Joining in!! This sounds like it will be an exciting trip full of firsts!

Has DS2 had his first haircut yet? If not, you should hold out till you can get to the Harmony barbershop! When kids get their first haircut there, the get a certificate and mouse ears! Though I guess that could mean some long hair by then, lol.

I have always wanted to do MBYBBQ, so I would go for that, but I can't give you any definitive opinions.

I enjoyed Kouzzina. We went a couple weeks after they first opened. It was pretty tasty!!

Looking forward to more!
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicket's Mom View Post
Hello Jen, Since this will coincide with my trip & I enjoyed your trip with MEK I certainly have to follow this one!

Wow I even made the first page!

Doris
Hi! Good to have you here! I have no idea what I'm doing on this PTR so it could go one of many ways!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephielela
Joining in!! This sounds like it will be an exciting trip full of firsts!

Has DS2 had his first haircut yet? If not, you should hold out till you can get to the Harmony barbershop! When kids get their first haircut there, the get a certificate and mouse ears! Though I guess that could mean some long hair by then, lol.

I have always wanted to do MBYBBQ, so I would go for that, but I can't give you any definitive opinions.

I enjoyed Kouzzina. We went a couple weeks after they first opened. It was pretty tasty!!

Looking forward to more!


Yes, DS2 has had his first haircut but that won't stop me from having a family haircut day in WDW. DS5 (and by 5 I mean 5 y/o, not my fifth child, maybe I should rename them DS1 and DS2... great, like I need that dilemma ) Where was I? Oh yeah, DS5 had his first haircut in WDW when he was 22 mos and it was lots of fun! But DS5 didn't have a lot of hair until he was over 2y/o. DS2 came out with more hair and kept it, so he needed on by the time he was a year and a smidge.

MBYBBQ feels like a nice Labor Day thing to do but I need to do a little more research. I ate at Kouzzina last Sept and it was very yummy. DH is a total Iron Chef geek (he's a foodie-freak in general) and to eat at a Cat Cora restaurant would be a great moment for him. He's already warned me "If Cat Cora is there I'm going to totally geek out, you know that right?"

Yes dear.

D4D
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:32 PM   #13
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How to get to WDW, let me count the ways!

Planes. Trains. Automobiles.

Oh my!

Traveling as a family of 4 is still a new thing for us. We've done plane trips with 3 and long car trips with 4. But a plane trip with 4? Flying will get us there the fastest, that's always a plus, but it's never just a plane ride. It's getting to the airport, parking the car, hauling our gear and 2 kids through the terminal, the plane ride itself, then doing that in reverse after arrival.

Do we take a shuttle to the airport to avoid the parking fee?
Do we take ME or do we rent a ca?
If we rent a car, do we pack car seats or rent them?
If we drive to WDW do we take my car or rent one to avoid wear and tear?

That can be a lot of fees and a major logistical nightmare!

My plan for this trip? AUTOTRAIN!

Best of all the options! It costs about $80 more than roundtrip on SW @ $78 each way for 4 people. BUT! We don't have to worry about getting to the airport or parking! AND when we arrive we don't have to rent a car! It takes a little longer than driving BUT we don't have to do any of the work! We don't have to make any stops and food/entertainment is included! AND when we get there our car will be there too - without 1000 extra miles on it! And it will already be packed - carseats and all!

How awesome does that sound?

So my next dilemma is coach or sleeping cabin on the AT and if coach then upper or lower level? The more I read about it the less sure I am about what option is best.

Going coach is the most cost effective option and not a bad one. I've traveled by train from MD to MI by train and I know that coach is super-roomy, but how do we corral the kiddo's? Then there's the upper vs lower level choice. I like upper level because it's more fun with great views. The plus to lower level is that the bathrooms are on that level and since you move between cars on the upper level, there will be less "traffic" moving around.

For 4 people we need a Family Bedroom which is $231 for the ride down, and get this, $443 for the trip back; what gives? Not sure I want to add almost $700 to this trip (at that rate I might as well fly!).

I thought I would have this figured out by the time I had to leave to pick up the fam. Not so much.

D4D
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:50 PM   #14
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I would love to take the car train, but it is really not cost effective for us. Also, my DH would not like how long it would take to get there. I like the idea that you won't have to worry about getting car seats there plus whatever else that you need with the small ones.
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:23 PM   #15
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I'm here! I followed you over from my PTR!
So far, your plans look great! Traveling with kids is always...interesting. I wish we lived in an area that has access to the AutoTrain! We'd do it in a split second!
Those pictures are really making me miss CBR. I thought I just wanted to stick with Pop Century to avoid switching resorts this time, but now I'm not so sure.
Anyway, subbing now. Can't wait to read your plans!
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