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Old 04-02-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
Those hand sewn buttons, I tell ya!
mphalens's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,102

Christmas Comes Early PTR Nov 27 - Dec 3 2011 **What's YOUR Opinion?**

I need your opinions on a couple of things:

More opinions/suggestions needed:

WooHoo!!! Celebrate With Me!!!
ADRs Have Been Made!!!

Gotta Love Free Dining!

I've been busy. . .
My Soapbox Update

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled PTR
Who wants to look at fabrics???

Welcome to my PTR! This is my first PTR and I'm excited to get lots of imput as I try to plan a magical trip for my family! I've been roaming around the disboards for a little over a year now . . .

I was raised in Rhode Island by a complete Disney nut (as we lovingly refer to my mom -aka Mimi- ) and my Dad (-aka Papa- who tries his best for his grandsons) and first visited WDW at age 4. I returned at age 11 for a super quick trip on the way to visit my grandmother in Florida. I didn't get to go back to The World after that until I was 22 and married to DH (aka Dave). The trip ruined "Disney on the Cheap" for me ... my mom, who was a travel agent at the time, had won an all-expense paid 4 day, 3 night trip to WDW that she gave to DH & I to use. This was back in 2002 when Disney was trying out different Dining Plan ideas ... and the one they gave us was INSANE! EVERYTHING was INCLUDED... we stayed at the Yacht Club, we were given all kinds of extras . . . it just ruined us
Anyway! Even DH, a Florida-raised boy, was impressed. His parents are Disney-Haters so he had only really gotten to experience "The Magic" once or twice with extended family or friends.

Needless to say, we were shocked when his parents suggested a family trip to Orlando for DS1's 3rd birthday. DH told them we didn't really want to go to Orlando without going to Disney and we didn't want to take DS1 to Disney for the first time without my parents (the Disney lovers) along ... so all 7 of us ended up on that trip ... really, it was all 8 of us, because I was 4 months pregnant with DS2 by the time we were at WDW.
That trip was a lesson in how NOT to do Disney for DH & I. We were off property, which wasn't a huge deal, but with that many people, having to travel back & forth to our condo was a huge undertaking! We weren't on the dining plan (obviously) and the only reservations we made were for Chef Mickey's on a day we didn't go to the parks. Oh yeah! and those Disney-Haters we were traveling with? Yeah they sucked lots of the magic out of everything

So, imagine our surprise when they wanted to go BACK to Orlando for DS1's 5th birthday! WHY? They obviously DON'T like Disney, they even said they didn't want to go to Disney AT ALL for that trip! Yet their ONLY grandchildren LOVE Disney and wouldn't want to be in Orlando without going to WDW! So, we stayed off property again (but Bonnet Creek this time) and WE got park hoppers for 5 days while they only purchased 2 day tickets. I had joined the disboards by then and knew to make a couple of ADRs and about some other fun things but still, stressful trip.

So... why all that backstory? Well, you need to know where I'm coming from in the planning of THIS TRIP. My mom (I'll refer to her as Mimi from now on) and I have been talking about taking my kids to Disney for as long as I can remember. We'd agreed we wanted to wait until age 3 at the earliest. We knew we'd want to stay on site. After my 2002 trip, we decided we wanted the Dining Plan. From our two previous trips with kids, we had a few more ideas of what we wanted (and didn't want) this trip to be.

I started trying to get a pin code last fall. I tried all the tricks and suggestions I could find here on the boards. I sat down with a local Disney specialist and got some prices and more suggestions. Mimi got out of the travel business a couple of years ago, but still has friends that work for AAA Southern New England, so she had them run some numbers for her as well. We hoped to be able to stay in a DVC Villa and my first choice was the Boardwalk area.

I'll pause here and introduce our cast of characters...
On the Go Mommy to Phalen (2/05) & Finn (6/08) - my two little Disney Maniacs! Happily married to DH since 7/02!
We can NEVER get enough of the Mouse!

You Want Me to Sew WHAT? A Photo-Journal Trip Report
Christmas Comes Early PTR Nov 27 - Dec 3 2011

Last edited by mphalens; 10-23-2011 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Title edit
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