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Old 06-06-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
DancinDaisyDuck
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Strike That, Reverse It! Let's start this PTR Again... 7/18 A free dining POPortunity

Well Hello everyone again! I hope you all had a lovely, enjoyable and exciting start to your New Year! It's now 2012, the year I will actually be headed back to WDW! With a new year always comes new changes, challenges and goals. This PTR is no exception...

If any of you who read this PTR before (all 2 of you!) would know it was originally titled "A J and a P go to Disney World" and the main idea was that it would be the first trip for me (an obsessive Disney planner- the "J" in the story) and my DBF (a casual Disney goer, the "P"). We have wanted to do a Disney trip together for a long time, and thought that October 2012 would be our year. Sadly, because I am a big planner, I thought we could make this happen and started planning back in June 2011.

Well, I shouldn't have been surprised when about a week ago our plans started to fade away, away, away (but in a good way). DBF will *hopefully* be enrolled in grad school classes in the fall semester and there's no way I will let him skip school for Disney. He really needs to get his degree ASAP. In the field we work in, it's nearly impossible to move out of entry level positions without a master's or higher. So, I would rather him skip our trip so he can do well in school, graduate, get a higher paying job and make more money so we can do crazy things like, say, get married and go to WDW.

But, just because he's out doesn't mean I have to be, right? All this means is that I'll either A) Go solo or B) it's the perfect excuse for another BFF trip with my #1 bestie Kim!

I chose plan B!

So, this PTR will now be filled with the upcoming adventures of Nikki and Kim, two late-20-somethings that have been on two previous trips together and are dying to go back. I have kept the original PTR entries here for posterity, and will create some handy links for my dedicated readers' ease of use (all 2 of you!)


Once again, I counted my chickens before they hatched and yet more changes have been made to my plans. Some good, and some bad. Corrections and changes are now in RED.

PTR Chapter Links
Dates and Dodging Wrenches
Watching and Waiting
Food Therapy Part 1
Food Therapy Part 2
Food Therapy - The best meal ever!
An Actual For Real Update! Dining Reservations!
Quick Service and Snack Plans!
Could it be? An itinerary! Part 1
Could it be? An itinerary! Part 2
Changes and a Check List
A Free Dining POPortunity

Hello! And welcome to my pre-trip report! I am so excited to begin planning this, what will be my sixth trip, to the World. So excited in fact, that we actually won’t be going on this trip for another year and a half. But more on that in a little bit. Let me first re-introduce myself…



This is still me, Nikki, the “J” in the title of this report. I know what you may be thinking um, if you’re the J why does your name begin with N? Great question! This will be further explained in a later post, but to give you a sneak peak the MBTI refers to your personality type. I happen to have “J” in my code which will play a HUGE role in the planning and execution of this vacation. I am a full time Career Counselor at Ithaca College, a small private liberal arts school in upstate central NY. I love my job and I love working with college students, they are so much fun but challenging and every day is different from the next so they definitely keep me on my toes! I made my first trip to WDW in March 2007 when I went to Orlando for a conference. I only spent one day at the Magic Kingdom that trip but it had always been my dream to go to WDW since I never went as a kid, and it was on that day I became a complete Disney fanatic! I have since made four other trips ranging from 4 to 8 days at a time, with the last trip being March 2010 (AHHH Over a year ago!) for four days with my sister. It was her first time at WDW and we had a blast! Since then I have been focusing on work and developing my money management skills, which is why I haven’t gone on another trip. I need to save for big life things that are coming up, like perhaps a wedding (maybe. More on that later) or buying a house in the next five years or so. But, I just can’t stay away for too long which is why October 2012 has been on my mind recently.

You may have noticed that in my opening sentence up there I said “we won’t be going…” Yep, WE! The “P” in this trip is my boyfriend Isaiah (also goes by Zay).Sadly this is no longer true. We are still together, don't worry about that, but Isaiah is no longer my travelling companion for this adventure. We will need to postpone our first couples trip to another time He has been on a couple trips to WDW as a kid, teenager and 20-something but hasn’t been back recently. When trying to decide where to go on our first vacation as a couple back in summer 2009 he brought Disney up as a possibility because he knew I loved it so much, but I said “No, I think I’d rather go to Maine.” Um, WHAT! I don’t know what I was thinking when I said that. Why in my right mind would I EVER turn down a trip to WDW, especially if the boyfriend brings it up?I seriously still don't know what on Earth I was thinking We ended up going to Maine that summer and we had a really great time but I was reminded on more than one occasion “this is nice, but it’s not Disney World.” Then I twisted the proverbial knife even more by going on a girl’s only trip with my gal pals the following October, and then taking my sister last March. Sorry honey! He has since declared that I am not allowed to go on any more trips to Disney unless he is with me. OK, I think I can do that! He has since bestowed his blessing on this upcoming trip instead. I think he's just relieved I am going with Kim instead of one of my other boyfriends

Before we changed jobs I was thinking that this summer would be the best time for us to make our inaugural trip to WDW together since at his previous job he had June and July off and I had tons of vacation time to use up. Until now. We have both started new jobs that are full 12 month contracts, and being the newbie somewhere means not only can you NOT walk in on the first day and say “oh hey, there. I am so glad to be here but I have had a vacation planned for months now and I need to take a week off. BRB,” but you don’t necessarily have the vacation time at your new job either. At Ithaca, all vacation, sick and personal days are front loaded at the beginning of the fiscal year. For Zay’s new job he begins at zero and accrues paid time away very slowly. One of the other reasons, besides grad school, that Zay probably wouldn't be able to come on this trip is vacation time. Since they are an office of 5, it's difficult for any of them to get approved for time off when the students at his college are in session I think it’s something like 1.4 days per month. So since I began May 2nd and he will start at his new gig July 6th, this summer was out before I could even bring it up to him. We’re lucky we can make a quick trip to Cape Cod July 4th weekend! I am so excited for that, by the way!

Oh, here’s a picture of my boyfriend, the “P” in this trip report equation, my best friend, love of my life, Mr.-Why-Won’t-You-Just-Propose-to-Me-Already???? (sorry for that last one, “J”s get very impatient when things aren’t moving according to their plan. Make note of that for later).


Isn't he cute??? He still is really cute! But still hasn't proposed.

Remember when I said my being a “J” would play a huge role in the planning and execution of our trip? The opposite of “J” in MBTI is “P.” And as clear of a “J” as I am, Isaiah is ever so much a clear “P.” Which means he’s going to make me nuts and I am going to drive him crazy. Just as a disclaimer, we get along very well and usually compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I help keep him in line and focused, and he helps me loosen up and not be so over scheduled. But that’s in our general day-to-day. This is Disney. This is different. We need touring plans, ADRs, a list of must-do’s, park hours, Magical Express, flights scheduled to the minute to maximize our park time, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets, park tickets, a dining plan, maps…. And at this point he would look at me with the “you need to CHILL” eyes and I’d continue to make the list in my head while coming over to the boards to research some more and make imaginary itineraries based on this year’s park schedules. Yes, I am a “J” through and through but I know I can take it (ok, I DO take it) to an extreme. I am actually glad to have his “P” influence this time because I know he’ll make me slow down and be more flexible and go-with-the-flow. He’s like the Crush to my Marlon. (Marlon is totally a “J” and every time we watch Nemo I cringe because I know that I am like that a LOT). Fun fact, Kim is also a "J"! So we have already started planning together. But, that's where her J-ness ends. More on that later.

I am so glad to begin this report though, even if it’s way in advance. I am also having a LOT of fun reading others’ reports. Right now I am following along with FreezinRafiki as he surprises his kids with a trip, BelleBookWorm9 as she plans her October 2011 adventure, and reading lots of yummy dining reviews from LuvLuvLuv and onelilspark. Check them out if you haven’t already! These are still great trip reports, and some of them have started new ones!

I will be back soon to write more about what we DO know about October 2012 and what exactly is this MBTI I keep mentioning. You could Google it, you may already know what it is, and you may have actually taken it and know your own personality code. I will now end the MBTI references. But you could also wait for me to explain it and not ruin the surprise for yourselves, lol. For now, I’ve got to go teach a Zumba class! OW OW!
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Last edited by DancinDaisyDuck; 07-18-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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All That's Known is Unknown

This is the part where Isaiah would look at me and say “Dear, I want to go to Disney just as much as you do. You know I love ya, but if we don’t know anything about this so-called upcoming trip then why are you even planning it?” I don’t have a good answer. My inner “P” is screaming the same thing to me. But this is how I function and that’s a good enough answer for me. Since he’s not going to be interested in any of this until about two months before we leave (and that’s even a stretch, I’ll give him three weeks tops) I need an outlet to organize all the thoughts floating through my mind that start to bubble up at the mere mention of planning a trip. So I come here! I know you guys get it.

I am the first to admit there is a lot unknown about this trip. All the things on my check list are ‘TBD’ because; hey we don’t even have dates yet! But there’s just something exciting to me about watching all the pieces coming together over time to create one completely amazing Mickey-shaped puzzle. So even though package prices haven’t even been released for 2012 yet let’s review what I DO know for sure…

When: October 2012. No dates yet, but I envision the weekend after Columbus Day like depart Thursday and travel back Monday. This is dependent on a couple things, 1) We both can get approved time off and 2) when other Disney friends are going.

Ok, so here comes a big reveal. I belong to another Disney board. Shocking, I know. I am not going to write about which one, but people, there’s a lot of information out there and there are many great Disney sites. It’s hard to find other Disney lovers who don’t belong to at least two Disney communities online these days. So this other board is planning a meet up, a BIG one, for October 2012 and I have planned on attending ever since it was announced. Suffice it to say, since they don’t have a date yet, I don’t have a date yet. But hopefully it will be the weekend I want! Either way I am pretty confident I won’t have a problem getting the vacation time and hopefully Isaiah won’t either.

Where: Disney World. On property. Affordable. That’s pretty much my criteria. I have stayed at Pop Century all five previous trips and would like to try something different. Being a “J” I am not a fan of a lot of change, especially if I know a) Pop is affordable b) I know my way around and know which sections to request, etc. and c) it’s comfortable to me. However, I am not so much a curmudgeon that I refuse to stay anywhere else. In fact, I am thinking that if there’s either a dining promotion or a good room-only pin code sent my way I will try one of the moderates. Right now Coronado Springs is at the top of my list, along with Port Orleans. It’s also exciting because Zay has never stayed on property so he won’t know any of this, lol!

What: We will probably try to squeeze in all theme parks and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in a span of three and a half days. I’ve done it before and it’s not easy but doable. When the board-that-will-not-be-named announces their dates and a schedule of fun meet-up style events this will become clearer. I usually like to make plans for which park to be in on what day, especially when ADRs are involved (more on dining soon) but if we have to we will skip Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. Since we will be on a relative budget I don’t anticipate buying Park Hoppers since we won’t be there that long and could use the extra $50 each or so on the NSSHP tickets instead.

How: We live in upstate NY and since it’s unlikely we can both take a week off in the middle of the fall semester, driving is out. What will probably happen is we will fly out of Rochester on Air Tran or Jet Blue. My dream schedule would be an early morning arrival Thursday so we can hit a park in the afternoon and a late afternoon departure so we can sleep in a little, go to DTD and eat one last meal before leaving Orlando.

Speaking of eating, my next post will be dedicated to one of our favorite past times. Lately I have not-so-subtly mentioned something like this while watching Food Network or Travel Channel “oh wow, that reminds me of this amazing dessert they have in Disney!”, or while watching History Channel “this special on the Gold Rush makes me think of the Wilderness Lodge where there’s this cool restaurant called Whispering Canyon Café” or “that corney joke you just made reminds me of the jokes they make at 50’s Prime Time Café. That’s one of the restaurants in Disney, honey, isn’t that cool?”

I am pretty sure he’s getting the hint.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #3
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I'm here! (Thanks for pimping my PTR ). I'm a "J" like you all the way. My mom is not quite a "P" but pretty close so I know exactly how you feel.

You and Isaiah are adorable together (sorry, I can't call him Zay. It's too weird).

Who goes to MAINE instead of Disney?! I am laughing out loud at that decision...and several other things I'm reading.

Rent DVC points! Seriously, best decision(s) I've ever made. Fantastic accommodations for less than a mod, sometimes a value, depending on where you stay! The people on the rent/trade board here are great.

Is this other board like Voldemort? If you say it's name will it come hunt you down? I guess I'm weird, I only "belong" here, unless you count allears where I review things.

If I had to I'd skip AK or DHS too (obviously, since that's what I'm doing this year). Probably AK, since DHS has Tower of Terror (my favorite tied with Soarin') Toy Story, which I just love. We don't ever get park hoppers and we're fine without them. I'd rather spend the money on the party!

Ugh. Rochester airport. So expensive. No Southwest. 'Nuf said.

Can't wait to hear about ADR plans (seriously, one of the biggest reasons I love Disney is the food!)-I do the same thing you do with the hint dropping.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:56 AM   #4
DancinDaisyDuck
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I’m Gonna Eat and Eat and Eat and Eat and Eat Until I Die!

Ah, food. One of my favorite topics. Not just to write about but also to partake in! Food to me represents different things – adventure, comfort, sensations, smells, textures, and traditions. I also have “N” in my MBTI code, which basically means I like to process information through theory and concepts in a very “big picture” way. But, I am only a slight “N” which means I can also easily slip into the opposite code, “S” in certain situations. I am so glad food is one of those situations. “S” people take in information through the five senses and most of their memories are directly linked to the senses. For example, an “S” could walk down the hallway at age 45 and get a whiff of cologne their old boyfriend from 10th grade used to wear and immediately be transported back to McKinley High or wherever it was they were at 10th grade. That’s why to a clear “S” food can be an important trigger. A tip: if you know you’re an “S” and have trouble remembering information on an exam, study chewing some gum or mints. Then during the exam chew the same flavor gum or mints and studies have shown you are more likely to remember the information because it is tied to that flavor memory. Isn’t that cool?

Ok, so back to me now. I would describe my food preferences as a bit on the adventurous side with clearly defined dislikes. I like authentic ethnic foods like Thai, Indian, or Jamaican as long as they don’t contain anything too hot/spicy and if I can identify what is in it. I don’t really do sushi except for the occasional vegetable roll but even then I’d REALLY have to be in the mood for it. My most favorite foods are of the comfort variety – mashed potatoes, pasta, chicken, mac and cheese, etc. I also have an unhealthy (literally and figuratively) affinity for breakfast food. I would eat pancakes for all three meals plus snacks. I have eaten at several Disney restaurants including: Liberty Tree Tavern, Tony’s Town Square, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Coral Reef, Le Cellier, Akershus, Sci Fi Drive In, Kona Café and Yak and Yeti; not to mention counter service. I’ve been on the basic dining plan before and after the changes, but sometimes I prefer to pay OOP. I do have a food allergy to strawberries and most melons so I have to be careful and ask for no garnishes or substitute with something else at most places.

Isaiah is not a very adventurous eater. His idea of Mexican is Taco Bell and Chipotle. He won’t eat anything too “out there” like Indian or Thai and would rather have fish sticks and cereal than anything else. I would describe it as the palate of a three-year-old. He also love comfort foods and bbq, and will wash almost any meal down with a nice beer. I am pretty sure he has never eaten Disney table service on previous trips, but I hope to change that!

We are on a relative budget for this trip and we are not going to be there for that long PLUS the Food and Wine festival will be going on. So, we will most likely go with the Counter Service Dining Plan. It also fits our touring style – Luckily for me Zay is also a Disney Commando! For a “P” this is rare, but he said to me the other day that sitting down to a meal would waste time, that he’d rather go up and get some chicken nuggets, sit for 15/20 minutes and relax while eating and then go on to the next attraction. Fine by me! I also like that we’ll get refillable mugs and two snacks a day with the plan in addition to the two counter service meals per day. Since this is a quick trip it’s the best option budget-wise and timing wise.

But, I just can’t let an opportunity to try a new table service slip by. And since we will be celebrating our first trip together I want to schedule in just one nice sit-down meal on Sunday, what will be our last full day on property. Over the past year or so since my last trip I have been racking up the Disney Visa reward points, and I can imagine in the next 16 months I will earn a couple more, and so I envision using that money to pay for this meal. But where to eat? And how on Earth will I be able to narrow it down to just ONE ADR out of the many, many, choice on the entire property?

We’ll have to wait and see to find out!
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #5
DancinDaisyDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
I'm here! (Thanks for pimping my PTR ). I'm a "J" like you all the way. My mom is not quite a "P" but pretty close so I know exactly how you feel.
Hey! Thanks for jumping on board so early, I have a feeling you'll be the only one here for a while, lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
You and Isaiah are adorable together (sorry, I can't call him Zay. It's too weird).
Thanks Was he ever your RD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
Who goes to MAINE instead of Disney?! I am laughing out loud at that decision...and several other things I'm reading.
Ok, here's the real deal. We hadn't been together that long when we started planning our trip and I didn't want to risk going to WDW and having a bad time because we discovered we couldn't get along, or we broke up after making all the arrangements or something. I didn't want to taint the WDW experience for myself if anything bad happened! Luckily we got along fine and I can't wait to take this trip together!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
Rent DVC points! Seriously, best decision(s) I've ever made. Fantastic accommodations for less than a mod, sometimes a value, depending on where you stay! The people on the rent/trade board here are great.
I have been going back and forth about this for a while now. I would LOOOVE to stay at the Boardwalk, it's my dream resort and since we (well, I) plan on being in EPCOT and the MK a lot I think it's a better location than Coronado, and if the price is right on renting points it may save us some $$$. But the only problem is since the EPCOT area is so popular during F&W I would want to rent as early as the owner could book (preferably from someone who owns at BWV so they can do 11 months) and that would be too early for us to know if we can go for certain. I am still torn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
Is this other board like Voldemort? If you say it's name will it come hunt you down? I guess I'm weird, I only "belong" here, unless you count allears where I review things.
No, It's just out of respect for the people here at Dis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
If I had to I'd skip AK or DHS too (obviously, since that's what I'm doing this year). Probably AK, since DHS has Tower of Terror (my favorite tied with Soarin') Toy Story, which I just love. We don't ever get park hoppers and we're fine without them. I'd rather spend the money on the party!
We are most likely skipping AK. I've seen the shows a million times and Zay doesn't like them, plus the only good thrill rides are Everest and Dinosaur which I can stand to skip until next trip. We will probably hit up Hollywood Studios on our arrival day so we can do ToT, Rock n' Rollercoaster, Toy Story, and get yummies at Starring Rolls

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
Ugh. Rochester airport. So expensive. No Southwest. 'Nuf said.
I've flown out of both multiple times and I prefer ROC. Last October trip I took on the same weekend we want for 2012 Jet Blue was only $179 round trip! Plus I love that ROC is NEVER busy early in the morning like Buffalo is. I've been able to get from check-in to the gate in under 15 minutes for a 7:30 a.m. flight. Southwest is nice, but I haven't found them to be much more affordable than Air Tran or Jet Blue and we'd have to drive to Buffalo and leave a car. ROC just works out better for us since he will be living in Henrietta, 5 minutes from the airport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
Can't wait to hear about ADR plans (seriously, one of the biggest reasons I love Disney is the food!)-I do the same thing you do with the hint dropping.
We're only making one ADR this trip and the rest will be counter service! Even so, I'm sure we'll eat well!

I am looking forward to more updates on your trip planning too!
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:43 PM   #6
DancinDaisyDuck
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The food list!

I've spent most of my free time at work today on the food pictures thread. I love looking at all the delicious foods and learning more about restaurants on property I've never been to.

Anyhow, even though there will be just one ADR for a table service meal on this trip, I do have a list of counter service places we will visit. I will say the nice thing about not being so ADR heavy is the freedom to chose where and what we want to eat and both be happy about it. For example, I can't wait to eat at Tangerine Cafe in Morocco but I know Zay won't go within five yards of it and run next door to the American pavilion for chicken nuggets and fries But, we'll meet up and still have a meal together while enjoying the food we like.

Ok, so here's my list - it's a mix of old favorites and new adventures!
Magic Kingdom
- Columbia Harbor House - love the fried fish basket! Sitting upstairs is also a nice break too!
- Casey's Corner - haven't eaten here since 2007 but I loved it and want to go back for corn dog nuggets!
- Main Street Bakery - Hello, chocolate croissant!

Animal Kingdom, If we even go to this park
- Yak and Yeti - I'd prefer to eat in the restaurant (oh my Lord the crispy Mahi Mahi was the second best meal I've ever had at WDW ) but getting some Crispy Honey Chicken and mango pie at the counter service is ok too

Hollywood Studios
- Starring Rolls - A new one for me, I've grabbed a croissant and coffee here before but since reading some dining reviews and the food pictures thread this looks like a great place for lunch. And a Butterfinger cupcake!
- Toy Story Pizza Planet - OK, here comes a Disney confession. I LOVE Disney pizza. For some reason, I love that it's doughy and sometimes when the crust isn't completely cooked all the way it makes it even better.

EPCOT, saving my favorite for last! Where do I begin???
- Kringla Og bakery - School. Bread. No other words are really necessary here!
- Tangerine Cafe - This was new to me last trip and I fell in looooove. I will get the lamb wrap again for sure!
- Yakitori House - Never been here but I am a fan of most cooked Japanese food so the combo platters look yummalicious.
- Karamel Kuche - Ohhhhhh am I looking forward to this!!!! I love caramel and the apple pie apple looks a-m-zing as well as the vanilla cupcake with caramel drizzle. And who could turn down a batch of caramel corn???
- Yorkshire Country Fish Shoppe - I've always walked by it and decided to pass but I am game for giving this a try if there's nothing else I feel like.

I know, realistically, I won't get to eat at everything on this list during our trip. But, I feel like if I have a good starting line-up I will be able to pick from the strong pool of food candidates and be happy! Not to mention, the F&WF is going on at this time with lots of other nibbles to pick from!

Here's what I imagine Isaiah's picks to be like. Obviously any place that has chicken nuggets will do, but maybe he will want to step out of his comfort zone juuuust a little? I have hi-lited in pink where we will overlap:

Magic Kingdom
- Columbia Harbor House - he is from coastal Massachusetts and will try any kind of fried seafood or clam chowder, I anticipate this being a winner for us both.
- Pecos Bill's - He is a burger kind of guy and I haven't even told him about the fixin's bar yet!

Animal Kingdom Again, only if we go to this park
- Flametree BBQ - He also enjoys various grilled meats in BBQ sauce. I was more of a fan of this place when they had cornbread.

Hollywood Studios
-Starring Rolls - He and I love sweets and sandwiches!
- Toy Story Pizza Planet - He and I love Toy Story so even if he doesn't want anything from here he will at least enjoy the theme.
- ABC Commissary/Backlot Express - He will be looking for the typical chicken nuggets and burgers.

EPCOT
- Cantina de San Angel - No argument or contest that he enjoys Mexican and I think he will want to eat here more than any place else in World Showcase.
- Karamel Kuche
- Lotus Blossom - He likes your typical Americanized Chinese but doesn't eat much of it at home so I wouldn't be surprised if he took this opportunity!
- Yakitori House - He will eat Hibachi, so if I can convince him it's the same food minus the show, then perhaps....

Some other places around property not in a park...
Resort Food Court
- Pepper Market? Cafe Rx? Everything Pop? Sassagoula? - Wherever we end up I am sure we will visit the food court, if only to fill up our mugs.

Downtown Disney
- Earl of Sandwich - DTD isn't even in our plans. I don't like DTD to be honest (another shocking Disney confession!) and anything souvenir-wise I want can be gotten in the parks. But, if we do explore I have been to EoS before and really enjoyed it!
- Ghiradelli's - I love ice cream, but every time I've passed this place it's been way too crowded for my impatient "J" tendencies. I have decided if given the opportunity to wait it out for a Gold Rush sundae!

So that completes Nikki's big list of counter service. Next up, figuring out that ONE pesky ADR!
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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Dates and Dodging Wrenches

I've got a couple quick edits to make here from my original PTR post, and then it will be on to 100% shiny new PTR fun!

Haven't updated in a while, but I suppose that's what you get when you start planning a year and a half in advance! There hasn't been a whole lot to do since June.

So, to update- the other Disney board having an awesome meet up/party/celebration/jamboree released the date yesterday! So the plan (for now) is to leave early in the morning Friday October 26th and return either Wednesday October 31st or Thursday November 1st. Strike That! the dates for this trip are now Tuesday October 23rd through Sunday October 28th.

I am still holding out hope for a good room discount pin code or free dining promotion during that time. It would be so much easier on my budget! Hopefully having a traveling companion to share costs with will do the trick. Kimmy and I usually do some damage at POP and we will probably go back since it's really affordable to split between 2 people AND we love it!But, another wrench in this plan has come up. We're not exactly sure if Isaiah can come anymore He recently started a new job that isn't very flexible when it comes to time off, and since it's at a Community College he needs to be around while classes are in session. On a brighter note, we are optimistic he will also be enrolled in grad school and will need to stay home to go to class anyway. But what will I do? Go solo?

Oh no. If Zay can't go, it's my BFF Kim to the rescue!

This is my bestie Kim! We met about 5 years ago when we were both the newbies at work. We quickly bonded over our mutual love of Disney World and took our first BFF trip in June 2008. We went again with some of our other girl friends from work in October 2009, and haven't been back together since.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:32 AM   #8
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Watching and Waiting

Only 10 more months to go!

Here's a recap of what we know so far...

1) Dates! Arriving in the early evening on Tuesday October 23rd and departing Orlando sometime on Sunday October 28th.

2) Friends! I will be traveling with my best friend Kim for the entire length of my trip. As mentioned in the old version of this PTR, the main reason for going to WDW is to attend a big meet-up and gathering of friends from another Disney internet site. The big meet ups and events will happen on the Friday and Saturday of the week Kim and I are there.

3) Location? Food? Kim and I have only ever stayed at POP Century for every trip we've taken, together and separately. We are creatures of habit, we are comfortable at POP, and (most importantly) it's a Value. Would we like to try other resorts? sure! Are we financially in a position to stay at a Mod or (dare to dream) Deluxe? Nope. I anticipate we will have a conversation about which resort to pick, and if there are good room discounts then I'd imagine we'd crunch the numbers and see what we can afford. It will likely go like this:

IF there is Free Dining offered during our stay, then we will stay at POP or an All-Star and pay the difference to upgrade to the Basic Dining Plan. We'd rather have the opportunity to eat our faces off for $15 or $20 a day and pay the Value room rack rate.

IF there is no Free Dining during our stay BUT a good PIN or some other room discount is offered we will stay at a Mod and not do the Dining Plan, instead paying for counter service meals and one or two table service out of pocket.

IF neither free dining or a room discount of some sort is offered, we will need to re-evaluate. This would be the worse case scenario, and I hope it won't come to this!

4) Party! F&WF! The MNSSHP will most certainly be part of our trip. We LOOOOVE this event! Also, if we are not on a Dining Plan I would assume that many of our meals will consist of Food and Wine Festival booths.

So, now that we have our general plan sketched out, all we can do now is watch and wait for any and all discounts, codes, PINs, or other such money-saving offers. Be on the look out!
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Food Therapy

It's been a stressful and frustrating time in my office and in my life, I won't lie. I'm surrounded by a negative office environment, which puts a damper every day on my normally cheery demeanor. Luckily I love my actual job more than I care about the other people in my office but some days that only takes me so far. Personally, being in a relationship long distance where both of us are lacking in free time to even talk on the phone most nights is taking a bit of a toll I'm afraid. It's not the most desirable situation and "making it work" isn't working for me lately.

So, what do I do when my work life and personal life have got me down? Look at food porn, of course. I've had some success leading a healthier lifestyle (and I can't jet down to a WDW restaurant very easily) so if I can't actually eat my comfort food looking at pictures of it is the next best thing.

My Favorite Disney Meals!
Magic Kingdom
Tony's Town Square - Yes, I know. This place doesn't normally get great reviews but on my October 2009 trip it was awesome! Is there better food on property? Absolutely. Did I care? not in the least. All that matters to me is a good atmosphere, good service, and tasty food. Tony's met all three criteria and I would gladly return. I had the mushroom ravioli (now mushroom tortelini)

About 9 or 10 ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and mushrooms, served in a mushroom cream sauce. AWESOME!

For dessert I had the Tiramisu

(picture from yelp.com)
I am used to a square cut with distinctive layers of lady fingers and marscapone so the presentation was hard to get used to but all the flavors were there! I don't mind a stronger espresso flavor in Tiramisu, and this wasn't weak at all but a good balance that was cut by the sweetness of the marscapone.

Columbia Harbor House - A favorite counter service spot that I've been visiting every trip since my very first time in the MK. I am very excited the menu has changed with healthier options and items that are much more New England-y than previous choices. On our visit in 2008 Kim and I took the Keys to the Kingdom tour which includes lunch here. She got the Anchors Aweigh Sandwich

(picture from allears)
and I can't remember what I ordered I've eaten here so many times it's hard to recall what I got each time. It was probably fish and chicken. For our upcoming trip I will certainly order the salmon with broccoli and couscous!

(picture from disneyfoodblog.com)

And sadly, that's it for the Magic Kingdom. I have eaten at Liberty Tree (for dinner with characters), CRT, Cosmic Rays, El Pirata y El Perico (now Tortuga Tavern), and Casey's Corner, but none of those meals really stood out to me. Maybe this trip we will try something new. The Plaza perhaps?

Hollywood Studios
Sci-Fi Drive In - Again, another place that is very polarizing for people. They either love it, or love to hate it. For me, I'm a simpleton when it comes to food and a sucker when it comes to old movies so this place is a good fit! Admittedly I don't try new things on this menu. I order the same meal because I know it's good!
First, spinach and artichoke dip

(picture from here on the DIS)
Creamy, hot, bubbly, chunks of artichoke, and salty crispy chips. LOVE!
Then, a bacon cheeseburger with red onions, sauteed mushrooms, American cheese and a side of fries (sadly, no pictures )
For dessert, I've gotten a couple of the choices but my favorites would be a hot fudge sundae or chocolate milkshake.

(picture from the Dis)
And to wash this all down, a custom made Cherry Coke! I love that they mix in flavors with the sodas, lemonade or iced tea. It tastes so much better that way!

That's it for Hollywood Studios too! This is a park I don't spend too much time in so consequently I haven't stayed around long enough to do a couple rides, grab a bite at Sci-Fi and go. Kim really likes Sci-Fi as well, and we usually make an ADR for lunch here but maybe we will go for 50's Prime Time?

I will finish the other two parks and resorts/Downtown Disney later! Now it's time for me to eat my "real" lunch of turkey sandwich, applesauce, yogurt and a banana. I'd much rather be at Sci-Fi.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:13 AM   #10
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Food Therapy Part 2

Continuing on with my favorite Disney food!

Animal Kingdom
Yak and Yeti - I had counter service here first in June 2008 on my trip with Kim. We had considered Flame Tree BBQ but the line was way too long! We both got the Crispy Honey Chicken

(picture from Allears)
There was so much food in the container we could have shared one and been full! We really liked the flavor of the honey sauce with the white rice and broccoli, but I seem to remember the chicken wasn't coated in the sauce? Didn't matter though because it was good anyway! I do remember we must have gotten a really fresh batch because it was piping hot. We weren't on the dining plan on this trip so we went with cups of ice water and no desserts.

My best meal at AK was also at Yak and Yeti in the table service restaurant in October 2009. I started with a Yak Attack drink

(picture from Disneyfoodblog)
I had been sipping on a Safari Amber while waiting for our reservation, and then after drinking this with my meal... let's say I was really feeling it by then. I'm usually a beer or wine with dinner person and don't usually order alcohol at lunch but couldn't resist this drink. It was delish!
Then, I made a wonderful choice and ordered the Crispy Mahi Mahi.

(picture from the passporter)
Oh. My. Lord. This was incredible (and not just because I'd had two drinks by then). A large filet of Mahi Mahi lightly breaded with panko crumbs and fried golden. Served with sauteed veggies and white rice with a sweet & spicy sauce. The flavors were so good and the fish was cooked perfectly, the breading very crisp and not soggy. I loved the sauce with it too.
For dessert, some in my party got the Mango Pie but I went with the cream cheese and pineapple won tons.

(picture from Trip Advisor)
Only I ordered mine without strawberries since I am allergic. These were also sooooo good! The sweet cream cheese slightly warm from being deep fried in the light pastry shell and the tangy sweetness from fresh pineapple. Plus a little scoop of vanilla ice cream for good measure!
Out of 5 trips and a number of restaurants, this remains my #2 favorite meal of all time at WDW.

Flame Tree BBQ - Sadly, Flame Tree is no longer on my list of 'must eat" places anymore. I have been unimpressed with the changes they've made to the menu and elimination of favorite selections including cornbread and Minute Maid frozen lemonade for dessert. But, circa 2007 this was one of my favorite counter service meals.

(picture from TheDisneyDiner.com)
It took me a while to find a picture of the chicken dinner with cornbread! This was really yummy when I had it but my last experience with a pulled pork sandwich from there was lackluster. This upcoming trip we will likely hit AK 2 times since it's Kim's favorite park and if we eat here for CS I will go to Yak & Yeti or Pizzafari. So long, Flame Tree. I'll always remember the good times.

EPCOT Center
Ok, I have saved the best ever for last! Well, last of the theme park restaurants that is. My #1 and #3 favorite meals in WDW of ALL TIME are in this park. Let's begin.

Akershus Storybook Princess Breakfast - In March 2010 my sister and I ate here because 1) we love breakfast food, 2) we were on a tight itinerary and wanted to eat and meet characters at the same time, and 3) We were paying out of pocket for food that trip and Akershus is a lot cheaper than CRT. My sister is also vegetarian and I knew the cold foods bar would yield great options for her. We were also brought out two hot breakfast plates,one with meat for me, and one without meat for her.
We really liked the food, but we also had some awesome Princess interactions here! I know I have pictures but can't find them just now so if I do come across them I'll post!

Le Cellier - Back when the dining plan was cheaper and included appetizer and gratuity, this place was worth the hype. I had dinner here in 2007 and enjoyed it very much. Based on recent changes to the dining plan structure and the menu, it's unlikely I will return unless for lunch and if Kim begs.
But, transporting us back to October 2007...
Cheddar cheese soup. Yummy!

(picture from talkdisney.com)
It was creamy, cheesey and a little smoky from the bacon, with a hint of tang from Moosehead ale. Extra yummy with some pretzel bread!
Of course, I had to go with the signature mushroom filet. I love mushrooms and risotto plus a good steak, so this was a good idea when ordering.

(picture from Disneyfoodblog)
This was a good cut of steak, cooked just how I ordered it. The risotto was creamy and mushroom-y and I liked the crispy parsnips on top. It was a very heavy entree and after the creamy soup and bread before I was stuuuuffed!
For dessert I got the trio of sorbet. I was so full from the meal (and eating a large meal at lunch too) that there was no way I could eat any of the other desserts and enjoy them. The sorbet flavors were good and it was the perfect light dessert to end the meal.

Tangerine Cafe - Here it is, my #3 favorite meal in WDW of all time! In March 2012 my sister and I staked out a spot between Japan and Morocco to wait for Illuminations. She wasn't hungry but I needed dinner so I went to Morocco because it was close, and because I wanted to try it. I love middle eastern, Mediterranean and Indian foods. I debated a bit but decided on the lamb wrap.

(Picture from Disneyfoodblog)
Woa. This wrap extensively exceeded my expectations. The lamb was tender, perfectly spiced and there were a lot of slices in the wrap. I picked out most of the tomatoes because I don't like them but it was dark where we were sitting and I missed a few. The sauce was like a raita cucumber sauce that went really well with the lamb. I can't really do this description justice because it was just that good! The couscous salad was hard for me to get used to because I usually eat my couscous hot and without anything in it, but it was still good and I liked the chunks of tangerines. The lentil salad was great! I love lentils in anything anyway.
I also got a frozen drink from the drinks stand called a Habibi, that was pretty much a raspberry slush with rum in it!
I will definitely be back to Tangerine Cafe for this dish again!!!

Coral Reef - And now, the moment of truth. My favorite meal of all time ever in the history of my trips to WDW......

In the next post!

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Old 02-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #11
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My best meal ever!

My best meal ever at WDW was certainly at Coral Reef. For me, growing up and never going to Disney as a kid, my only point of reference for knowing what it was like to be there was ABC sit coms in the mid-nineties. Rosanne, Boy Meets World, Step by Step and Full House all had episodes set in WDW, and almost all of them filmed scenes at Coral Reef. So this is a very iconic location for me, just as much as Cinderella Castle or Spaceship Earth is for others.

In October 2007 I was able to eat here for the first time. We were seated on the second tier in the middle of the restaurant with a great view!

(picture from about.com)
The table here in the foreground was the table I had!

The bread service

(picture from Disney Dining Reviews)
The bread was warm and had a nice crust. In subsequent trips the bread has changed a little but it's still very good.

I had scoped out the menu and knew what I wanted to order. This was also back in the good old days of when DDP included an app.

(picture from Tripadvisor)
The cod cake. I love crab cakes, so I thought this would be a good starter! I remember I liked it very much. There were good chunks of Cod and not too much filler, it was golden brown and I really liked the sauce it came with. It was like a spicy mayonnaise.

For my main course I ordered the blackened catfish with cheesy polenta and tomato chutney

(picture from the Passporter)
I need to request a moment of silence as we mourn the passing of this exquisite dish. Yes, unfortunately the best meal in WDW is no longer on the menu at Coral Reef.
.
.
.
.
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.
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When I returned to Coral Reef in October 2009 I read the lunch menu intently three times looking for this meal. I asked the server if it was on the dinner menu and could I still order it. No, he replied, this dish was not on the menu at all. I am not ashamed to admit I made my displeasure very apparent. I also pouted. A lot. Through the rest of the meal. I vowed never to come back to Coral Reef as long as the blackened catfish was no longer served. (That didn't last long ) In all honestly, I was severely disappointed I couldn't order my favorite meal anymore.

This is just one of those dishes that works. Every element, every flavor, every layer and texture was perfection. I had found my food match and I didn't want to let go. But, life goes on.

For dessert, there was only one choice. The Chocolate Wave.

(picture from Disneyfoodblog)
It's your basic lava cake as far as lava cakes go. I usually ask for a scoop of vanilla ice cream to go with it. A great way to have finished off an awesome meal.

I had to order something else on that fateful day I discovered the catfish no longer existed. I got the lobster ravioli instead

(picture from Disneyfoodblog)
This was ok. I fully acknowledge my opinion of this dish is heavily influenced by the sourness of disappointment, so this may not be the most accurate description. My sister ordered this dish when we went in March 2010 and she raved about it.

I also have ordered the Appetizer Sampler for Two, mostly because no other entrees appealed to me, and it still had the cheesy polenta at the time. I believe they don't even have that on the sampler any more.

(picture from Dis Unplugged)
When you are a single person ordering the Sampler for Two, you only get one cup of lobster bisque.

Coral Reef isn't a bad place, and I still like it. I would go back if Kim wanted to return next trip because the atmosphere is great and I am sure I will find a new thing to love on the menu. Now, this is also a restaurant that offers a NY strip. And I've heard from people sitting across the table from me that it's pretty good. Usually I had been busy adoring my blackened catfish and polenta to pay much more attention, but I may just have to order the steak next time. If there is a next time

Continued in the next post, favorite resort and DTD meals!
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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An Actual For Real Update!

Big news, I just made dining reservations!

Woa, that 180 day window really crept up on me. In fact, I'm probably a week late but since I don't have hotel reservations yet and couldn't do 180+ that's ok. I was still able to get everything I wanted!

Here they are!
Wednesday October 24, Lunch at Sci Fi Drive In. Kim and I LOVE Sci Fi and it's a great way to wrap up our first full day. If I am by myself I may keep this or I may cancel and get a sandwich and Cupcake at Starring Rolls. It will probably be a game time decision.
Strike that! Since Kim is no longer coming I canceled this reservation. It's a fun place, but I can live without it. I am also moving my day at Hollywood Studios to Sunday so I will be at the Magic Kingdom instead! No ADRs at all this day, I'll do counter service.

Thursday October 25, Lunch at Via Napoli I had originally booked this for lunch on Saturday but Kim wanted to squeeze in a meal at Coral Reef. I hadn't planned on being in EPCOT this day but I changed around the plans so I could eat at VN!

Thursday October 25, Dinner at 'OHANA!!!!!!!! I am SO excited beyond expression! I have wanted to eat here for the longest time. We will be sharing this meal with another friend who will be visiting the World at the same time we are. Now I get to dream of meat for another 4 months!

Friday October 26, Breakfast at Boma. Neither Kim nor I have eaten here and I needed to use up a dining credit since we won't have time to eat on Sunday before we leave. Everything I hear and read about breakfast here is amazing and it's likely we will be at Animal Kingdom this morning anyway, so it works out!

Friday October 26, Dinner at Tony's Town Square We will be eating here before the NSSHP. We both like this restaurant and enjoyed dinner here on our last trip together. I'm glad Tony's is also open on a Party night! It used to be just LTT but after the characters were discontinued at dinner I don't like it as much.
Strike that! I will be at Liberty Tree Tavern after all. I would prefer Tony's anyway, but the majority of friends who will be in WDW for the anniversary meet from the other board are eating at LTT and I was convinced to join them. I hope the food is still good even though there are no more characters.

Saturday October 27, Lunch at Coral Reef This is a quick addition, requested specifically from Kim.
Strike that! I cancelled this reservation too because there's a different restaurant I want to try for lunch... Chefs de France! I have a late reservation so I can grab some snacks from Food and Wine Fest for dinner.

Sunday October 28, Dinner at Grand Floridian Cafe Since I added an extra day I will be in Hollywood Studios but am not thrilled with the table service places. I would try 50's Prime Time, but not solo. So since I'm not doing a Park Hopper I needed a choice outside the parks but still on property. GFlo Cafe usually gets great reviews and it seems like a well kept dining secret.

Monday October 29, Breakfast at Kona Cafe My flight leaves at 2:55 p.m. so I will have plenty of time to pack up, check out, and go enjoy a Kona press pot and breakfast at one of my favorite places on property before catching the Magical Express.


Oh man, I am so excited to have these done. Nothing else is booked, or even set in stone, but somehow just having dining plans makes this trip more real!
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #13
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Quick Service and Snack Plans!

Since I posted the table service plans yesterday, here are my quick service and snack plans! Except for breakfast at Boma on Friday, all breakfasts of PopTarts and granola bars will be eaten in the room, accompanied by a hot steaming mug of Nescafe. Starbucks can't get to the parks soon enough!

Tuesday October 23, Late snack at resort food court. Exactly which resort is still TBD! I am hoping to get there sometime between 8 and 9 p.m. so I'll either get something at MCO to eat on the Magical Express Bus or grab a snack at the resort.

Wednesday October 24, Dinner at Captain Cooke's I won't be in the MK to catch the regular Wishes this trip but I don't want to miss it! So the plan is to grab a Counter Service meal here and then watch Wishes and the ELP from the Poly beach.
Strike that! I WILL be in the MK this day after all! Yay! I will be doing lunch and dinner at counter service places, likely Columbia Harbor House, Pinocchio Village Haus, or Cosmic Ray's.

Thursday October 25, snacks at EPCOT. Since I already have lunch at Via Napoli and dinner at 'Ohana this day, it's more than likely I'll grab a 4 or 5 o'clock snack at a F&W fest booth or Karamel Kuche to hold me over til dinner. I don't want to completely spoil my appetite for 'Ohana but a girl's gotta snack!

Friday October 26, Lunch somewhere? MK snacks! I have no clue where I'll be at lunch time on this day. Maybe Animal Kingdom, maybe the resort, and maybe the Magic Kingdom area. I plan on eating a lot at Boma breakfast and dinner is early, 5:00 p.m. at Tony's. I'm not sure if lunch will be necessary! This is the night we're hitting up MNSSHP so at least a funnel cake and Dole Whip is on the snack agenda! I may even pick something up at the Bakery for breakfast the next day!
Strike That! I will be in the Magic Kingdom at lunch time, but will still likely only snack for lunch. Perhaps a Mickey pretzel? Egg Rolls? Who knows!

Saturday October 27, Dinner at Tangerine Cafe and F&W Fest snacks. Lunch is at Coral Reef for now, but if I end up being by myself I will cancel it. Kim loves it, but it's fallen out of favor with me. I'd rather be at a World Showcase restaurant or snacking around F&W Fest. Either way, I'll be catching my last meal in WDW at Tangerine Cafe. I LOVE that place! If I have any food budget left I'll spend it in Karamel Kuche for snacks to take on the plane home and School Bread for breakfast the next day.
Strike That (kind of)! I will still get dinner at Tangerine Cafe, but cancelled lunch at Coral Reef for Chefs de France instead.

Sunday October 28, Breakfast ??? I haven't booked flights yet so I don't know what time I'll be leaving but it's doubtful looking at the schedules right now that I'll have time to get to a resort restaurant or get into a park to eat breakfast. Likely it will be something from the food court wherever I'm staying, or a snack I picked up along the way on the trip.
Strike That! I added an extra day so I will be in Hollywood Studios for lunch and will hot up Starring Rolls for a sandwich and cupcake! Yummy!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #14
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Could it be? An itinerary? Part 1

After some more planning around the blindly snagged ADRs the other day, it looks like these will be my (tentative) plans!

The When: this trip will be from October 23 to 28, 2012.Strike that! I am now departing October 29th!
The Why: A much needed return to WDW after over two years since my last trip. Plus, another Disney board I am a member of is hosting an anniversary meet the 26th to 28th.
The Who: Me! My best friend may come (she's still considering what her budget looks like) and if not I will be solo for the first two days. On Thursday the 25th I'll start meeting up with other WDW friends! Strike that! Kim is no longer coming, so I will be semi-solo for the trip
The Where: Resort is still TBD but likely POP or Animation. It all depends on what the fall discounts are, and those haven't been released yet.
The How: I am funding this trip solely through my side-business! In the past I've scraped and saved pennies from paychecks from my full-time job, but the goal is from now on I can fund my WDW addiction through my business. I am also receiving a small bonus from my full time job, so that will pay for my flight!

Tuesday October 23
I will be likely leaving from Hancock airport in Syracuse, NY. I will be attending a conference in that city that ends around noon on Tuesday, so after that's wrapped up I'll head to the airport (about 15 minutes away) and grab my flight. No tickets booked yet but I have my eye on a non-stop Jet Blue that leaves around 5 p.m. and gets into MCO at 8:45 p.m. It's $300 for a round trip ticket, which makes me go but if it's the best option I'll do it. Other tickets for later arrival times like 11:45 p.m. are only $50 cheaper at the moment so I don't mind paying the difference for a more convenient flight.
I BOOKED MY FLIGHT YESTERDAY! I am leaving Hancock Airport in Syracuse, NY on a direct Jet Blue flight departing at 4:55 p.m. and landing at MCO around 7:30.

No park time this night as there are no evening EMH and I will need to rest up for my first full day!

Wednesday October 24
This will be a rope drop day at Disney Hollywood Studios! If Kim's with me she'll kill me because she hates rope drop but I won't complain if she sleeps in and meets me later. I plan on doing the TSM race for fastpasses (maybe not necessary if they have XPass smoothly operational? Don't know how all this NextGen stuff will affect my plans), then hitting up the new Star Tours! Will grab another fastpass for TOT and get in the single riders line for RRC.

Currently have lunch plans for Sci Fi at 12:50 p.m. If Kim gets to come we will have a nice lunch here. If I'm solo this day I'll cancel it and get a sandwich and cupcake at Starring Rolls for lunch. I'll skip dessert at Sci Fi and get a cupcake to go for later! After eating I'll check wait times and see what I want to do again, and then catch a show of Beauty and the Beast. Probably around 3 or 4 I'll head out of the park and back to the resort for a quick break.

Then I'll get DTD out of the way. I don't like the DTD area at all. It doesn't feel Disney to me and I usually end up leaving in an hour feeling frustrated. But I do like shopping there and will get the usual souvenirs. When I'm done shopping I'll catch a bus to the Poly for dinner and watch Wishes and ELP from the beach, grab the ferry to the MK and a bus back to the resort. A quick soaking of feet in the pool, then to bed to get up for another day!
Strike That! Since I was able to extend my trip by a day I will delay Hollywood Studios to Sunday and go to the Magic Kingdom this day. There is no party that night so I am excited to see regular Wishes. Plus, I've never seen the Main Street Electrical Parade or Magic, Memories and You so I am really excited. I'll likely get there at opening, do the new stuff that's popped up since my last visit in 2010, take a resort break and go back to the park for evening fun!

Thursday October 25
Another rope drop day, this time at my favorite park, EPCOT! Since TT will likely still be closed (can only hold out hope for soft opening but I won't hold my breath!) EVERYONE will be rushing to Soarin'. I'll have another EPCOT day planned so I'll skip the fastpass line and get in standby for my first flight over California. Then a turn on Living with the Land, a skip over to the Seas with Nemo and Friends and Turtle Talk. The Seas pavilion is so nice and relaxing and I love looking at the sea animals and fish. Then a journey through communication history on Spaceship Earth, and then an adventure to Mars on Mission:Space.

Lunch this day is for 12:45 at Via Napoli and I'm really excited to try it! I can't get too full and I must avoid the F&W Fest booths as much as possible after lunch because I can't spoil my appetite for dinner. After lunch will be a needed resort break! Around 5:30ish I'll catch a bus to the MK.

No, I won't be going to MK. It's a NSSHP night and I've got other plans! But, since the Monorail won't be operational after 8 p.m. and I DON"T want to be sandwiched in with people on the ferry to the TTC or Poly (which is my destination) I'll catch the resort rail around the loop to check in for...

A 6:45 p.m. dinner at 'OHANA!!!! As in my ADR post above, this is probably what I am looking forward to the most on this trip. I have never been to eat here for any meal and despite mixed reviews I can't wait to check this off my WDW Bucket List. Up until this point, even if I am solo, I'll be sharing this meal with several other friends who are going to be in the World at the same time. And if we time this right, not only will be be able to hear if not view Hallowishes during dinner we will also get to watch the Electrical Water Padget from the Poly Beach, which I have NEVER done.

Days 3 and 4 in the next post....

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #15
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Could it be? An itinerary? Part 2

Continuing on...

Friday October 26
Not a rope drop day, but still up early-ish to catch an Animal Kingdom bus around 8:15. AK has early Extra Magic Hours this day but we will not be taking advantage of them. Instead, we will walk over to the Animal Kingdom lodge bus and take the trip to a....

9:15 a.m. Breakfast at Boma! Another restaurant on the Bucket List! The breakfast buffet here looks so good and includes a lot of the flavors Kim and I really enjoy. We've also never been over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge before and I'm really looking forward to seeing it!

After breakfast, here's where the plans get really unclear. If Kim is with me, we will be going to Animal Kingdom, there's no question about it. It's her favorite park and there's no way she'll skip it. There are about 4 things I like at AK: Everest, Dinosaur, the Safari, and Festival of the Lion King. There is only one thing I love there: Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade. It's my favorite parade on property. But, I wouldn't mind at all not visiting AK this time around. So, if it turns out I'm solo, I'll catch the next bus to the Magic Kingdom and spend the day there. The anniversary festivities will be in full swing at MK this day anyway and I'll want to catch up with my WDW friends.
Strike That! Since Kim isn't coming anymore (which I am sad about but she just got married and bought a house so money she's kissed her disposable income good-bye for now) I will be going to the MK!

No matter what happens after breakfast we will journey over to the Magic Kingdom around 4 p.m. because this is our Halloween Party night! I'm not planning on going in costume, but maybe will don some sparkly ears I have from last trip. I'm not the biggest Halloween fan ever but I love this Party.

We will either have dinner at Tony's Town Square, which I have an ADR for at 5:00 p.m., or Liberty Tree Tavern at 5:45 p.m. that my friends from the other Disney site have an ADR for. It will likely be a 24 hour in advance decision. I like Tony's better, but it is really fun to do a dinner meet too! I'm torn, but I have plenty of time to figure it out. Kim will eat anywhere, lol! As mentioned before, I'll be at LTT instead of Tony's

There are some fun items on the agenda for this night, including some ride throughs with members of the boards, Hallowishes and Boo To You parade viewing parties, and more. I do plan on spending until closing at midnight here! I need to ride Splash, Haunted Mansion, Pooh and explore the new Storybook Circus and whatever else happens to be open. There's so much that will be new in MK by then, there won't be enough time to explore it all, which is why I want to skip AK!

Saturday October 27
Our last full day and likely last park day will be spent at EPCOT. We may want to sleep in, but there's no way I'm wasting a minute of the last full day at my favorite park ever. The morning will be spent having fun in Future World and then a 1:15 p.m. lunch at Coral Reef. This is another "if I'm solo I'll cancel" thing. Like I mentioned before, this was Kim's request and probably her favorite restaurant, but I'm not as crazy about it as I used to be. So, if I'm solo I will have fun exploring F&W fest booths, Cava del Tequila, and a lamb wrap from Tangerine Cafe! And I can't resist a couple rides on Maelstrom!

The signature event of this anniversary meet is going to be another highlight of my trip. I won't give all the secrets away, but it involves a special meet with a classic character and private Illuminations Dessert Party. For anyone who's ever done any kind of formal or informal meet of any kind at WDW, you know how special it is to share moments in person with people who love Disney as much as you do.
Strike that! Sadly, Disney has changed their policies that during special events like Food and Wine Fest, private viewing parties for shows like Illuminations can not be booked. So, instead of dessert and fireworks we're having a private breakfast in the Seas pavilion before park opening. AWESOME! I am sure we will try to gather somewhere to watch Illuminations later that night anyway.

After Illuminations there's a gathering at Jellyroll's but I'm not sure if I'll go. It depends on how early my departing flight is the next day...
Perhaps I will go now that I know I'm not leaving until Monday!

Sunday October 28
I have no idea what will happen this day apart from the fact I need to go home. It's doubtful we'll have any time to get to a park in the morning since it's likely we'll need to catch Magical Express any time between 8 and 10 a.m. Breakfast will probably be in the food court, then check out and check our bags at bell services and be on our way back to MCO. I'm leaving my car at the conference hotel in Syracuse, and will drive an hour home to Ithaca and back into reality and work-mode on Monday the 29th. So sad to think my trip will be over!
Strike That! It was significantly cheaper, and more convenient, to fly home Monday and I was approved to take the extra day off at work so Sunday will be for Hollywood Studios!

Monday October 29
My flight leaves at 2:55 p.m. from MCO and lands in Syracuse at 5:30 p.m. So, I'm guessing Magical Express will come for me between 12 and 12:30. I won't try to go to a park but will have breakfast at Kona Cafe and maybe wander over to Downton Disney if there's time. But if not, I won't be disappointed.


So that's the deal right now! I am quite a planner, as you can see, and I understand things change, but I hope they don't change too much from my current vision! As more aspects fall into place I'll be sure to update!

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