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Old 06-06-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
JennisSilly
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A Princess in Training and an OCD Mom- an OCT-13 PTR (I told you I was OCD) X2 6/10!!

Hello- and welcome to my second Pre-Trip report! My first PTR (found here) did not result in an actual trip, however, we wouldn’t have had it any other way, as the trip was cancelled due to the arrival of our baby girl!

This trip has been in the making since Disney announced that Fantasyland would be going through a massive overhaul and re-opening in 2013. My family (extended and immediate) are all Disney loving folk, so we decided to plan a large family gathering in Florida.

Life happens, and right now we’re not sure who all is going, however I do know that my family (DH, DD, &I) are all going, as are my parents and my sister. So, for now I am making plans based on that.

To start- our cast of characters:

Me- I’m Jenn (if you couldn’t tell). I currently work full time for a large university in operations, however as of August 2nd, I will be a stay at home mom with our little princess. I recently obtained a part time job at a local baby boutique that is known to local moms for their selection of cloth diapers and baby carriers. I am a cloth diapering, baby wearing mama, so I am absolutely thrilled to be working there! I also have an obsession for TOM's and own more pairs then I should, but seriously I adore them.



I grew up at Disneyland, and visited many times a year as a child/adult. I visited Disneyworld for the first time in 2005, and returned the following year in 2006 with my parents and sister. DH and I also visited in 2009 as part of our Disneymoon. I purchased DVC in 2005, and honestly it’s been one of the best investments I’ve made.

Personally, I prefer Disneyland to Disneyworld for the Disney factor. In my opinion Disneyland has much more of a magical, clean, and just pure Disney feel. However, I do love the variety and total inclusion Disneyworld offers.

DH- Aaron. Aaron has not always been a Disney fan. In fact he hadn’t even visited Disneyland before we started dating. While he’s not the avid fan I am, it’s growing on him, and he often suggests last minute/spontaneous weekend trips. Aaron is a financial analyst, so you will see my cost breakdowns through our planning stages. Aaron’s first (and only) trip to Disneyworld was for our honeymoon in 2009. Aaron also LOVES Perry/Agent P, so getting to meet him at MNSSHP at DLR last fall was his favorite character interaction to date.



DD- E., is currently 14 months old, but will be 2 and a ˝ by the time of our trip. Don't let her age fool you, she is a Disney veteran already. E took her first Disneyland trip at 4 months old with her Mommy, Grammy, and Auntie Andie. She returned with the whole family in September, and recently went with her mommy and daddy for her first birthday to meet Rapunzel, who she LOVES.





E loves Disneyland already. She is not afraid of characters (quite the opposite actually- she'd love to eat their noses/facial features) and LOVES Jungle Cruise.






That rounds out our little family of three.

Also accompanying us are:

My Dad- Bob. My dad is a huge Disney nut as well. He LOVES the trains (we will be doing the backstage train tour this time) and loves his Grandbaby. Let's just say that when the two of these combined this past fall, my dad was in heaven.





My dad is also an avid pin collector, and I think that was his favorite part of Disneyworld, though he made it clear he prefers Disneyland.

My mom- Dorothy. My mom is the queen of Disney. Seriously, she's the first one to suggest a last minute trip to make sure we are at Disneyland for the release of new items (specifically purses). We've been known to drive all night to be in line at Vault 21's opening to purchase our new Disney Dooney's! My mom likes the variety of Disney World, and that they still have a Villains shop (or did in 2006). But she too prefers Disneyland.



My sister- Andie. Andie is young, but excited that we'll be in Disneyworld over food and wine and she's finally 21.



We have several other family members thinking about joining us (and I really hope they do) but at this time things are to up in the air to know for certain if they'll be joining us. (Remember, I'm OCD/Type A, and honestly one of the very few in my family who are. Most of them are still planning their summer vacations- for this year!)

Up Next- The When and The Where.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:46 PM   #2
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The "When" and The "Where"

So now that we've answered "The Who" I guess the more important questions are "When" and "Where".

When: Tentatively planning on October 12th-19th, however this may change to Sunday-Sunday or maybe even Saturday-Sunday (the 12th-20th).

Where: DH and I have discussed this at length, and I think we've decided that while there are certainly other resorts we'd like to stay at, DD would absolutely love and adore Animal Kingdom Lodge. She shares her mama's affection for animals, and loves the zoo. I think she would adore stepping out on the balcony every morning and seeing a variety of animals.

When we visited for our honeymoon, every morning and afternoon we saw views like this:



If we end up staying at Animal Kingdom (which I'm 98% sure we will), we'll be using our points for a concierge level room. On our honeymoon we did the Wanyama Safari and dinner at Jiko, and while it was cool, it's certainly not something I feel I have to do again (it was quite pricey and I don't imagine a 2.5 y/o would quite value or enjoy the meal at Jiko). However, I do think she'd LOVE the Sunrise Safari, which you can only reserve if your a concierge level guest.

Additionally, in all my years of Disney travel I've never stayed on a concierge level (I have at other hotels- mainly Marriott) but the idea certainly appeals to me. We'd like request a 1 bedroom, but if that wasn't available we'd get a studio if we had too. We'll likely put my parents in a studio if we get a 1 bedroom (or vice versa) but not book them on the concierge level (sorry mom and dad).

If we don't end up at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we'll likely end up at either Bay Lake Tower, Beach Club, or if by some miracle they're done early, the Villas at the Grand Floridian- though I don't imagine DD would enjoy either of those nearly as much as she'd enjoy AKL.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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Great intro and updates! I think AKL is a great choice! Is it your home resort?

I find that going with family is so much fun! Sure, there are interesting personalities in the mix and that can sometimes lead to tense moments, but it is nice to have those memories!

I am so excited to cloth diaper when my time comes. Do you plan to cloth diaper at WDW? I am thinking about it-- since we will most likely by in a villa with washer/dryer.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by oboedm View Post
Great intro and updates! I think AKL is a great choice! Is it your home resort?

I find that going with family is so much fun! Sure, there are interesting personalities in the mix and that can sometimes lead to tense moments, but it is nice to have those memories!

I am so excited to cloth diaper when my time comes. Do you plan to cloth diaper at WDW? I am thinking about it-- since we will most likely by in a villa with washer/dryer.
Awe thanks!

My home resort is actually Saratoga Springs- but I've never stayed there! I do like owning there, because the resort is so big, I always am guaranteed to get the size of room/week I want when I book at my 11 month booking window, it's also such a large resort, that our maintenance dues are pretty low because they're split among so many people. Have you picked a home resort yet?

Honestly, I'm hoping that DD will be potty trained by the time we go to WDW. She's already showing awareness signs- which I'm hoping is an indicator that she'll be ready to start potty training around 2. But we shall see. If we happen to be blessed with a second child in that time frame, we'll likely cloth diaper on our trip since we'll have access to a washer and dryer (and liners in our diapers so we're not trekking poop around WDW with us- ha!) I hope you have a little hiney to diaper soon!
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:33 AM   #5
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We are airplane ready!

In my previous career, I traveled for work a lot. When I say a lot, I mean, a lot. I would spend 3-4 weeks a month on the road traveling all across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. During that time I became quite a savvy traveler.

I shelved my trusty rollerboard (carry on sized suit case with wheels) about two years ago, and in that time have stepped on an airplane for a total of 3 trips. I can honestly say that I didn't miss airplanes, airports, or business class hotels one bit.

However, about a week and a half ago, my mom, E, and I headed off to Tennessee (a small town about an hour and a half out of Memphis) to visit with my uncle. To get to Jackson, TN, we had to take 2 planes there, and 2 planes back, for a total of 4 plane rides. It was E's very first plane ride.

Security was a breeze (not as easy as it used to be) but with E in her Ergo, she was contained and I was able to get our stuff up and through the scanners without to much issue.

Her first flight (from our home town to Denver) was easy breezy- she pretty much slept the entire flight.



We had a four hour lay over in Denver between flights, which allowed us to feed E, give her some time to run around, and of course, change her diaper a few times. We then boarded a super small plane and flew to Memphis, which she again did wonderful with.

Two days later, on our journey home, her flight from Memphis to Denver, didn't exactly go well. The flight was again on a super small plane, and was quite turbulent. We ended up having to change elevations often in order to find smoother air due to turbulence. The flight was bumpy, and ears were popping. Needless to say, about an hour and a half in, E was just- done. She screamed and cried for about 35 minutes until she fell asleep. Most people were quite kind, and understood. We got a few snarky remarks and looks- but really, who cares. Thankfully we had another long lay over in Denver that allowed her to stretch her legs with Grammy!



Her last flight, the flight home, she did even more amazing. She stayed awake for the entire flight, and between looking out the window, and playing with her Disneyland App on mommy's iPad, she didn't make a peep other than laughs, giggles, and "ooo's". She was however, anxious to get off the plane once we landed.



So, having 3 successful flights (out of 4), I am now feeling much more confident in our distant, but upcoming Orlando trip. My only debate now is if we want to take a direct flight (which we have the option of on two airlines) or if we should break it up by stopping half way in between (flying American and stopping in DFW).

Thankfully, we have some time to mull that over
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A May WDW Trip- Cancelled!


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Old 06-11-2012, 02:02 AM   #6
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Hi! Your daughter is adorable! We are also planning a trip for October 2013! I am looking forward to following along. It seems we have a few things in common, I am from CO, cloth diaper and baby wear. I actually borrowed the exact ergo from a friend for our last trip to Disneyland.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #7
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Hi! Your daughter is adorable! We are also planning a trip for October 2013! I am looking forward to following along. It seems we have a few things in common, I am from CO, cloth diaper and baby wear. I actually borrowed the exact ergo from a friend for our last trip to Disneyland.
Thank you so much! I'm glad to have you along! I absolutely love baby-wearing, in the begining/newborn stages, as an adoptive parent it really helped facilitate bonding, and honestly gave me that "feeling" of carrying my daughter. Now, I just love it because it negates a bulky stroller, keeps my hands free, and people are much less likely to want to touch/get super close to DD when she's on my back/hip/or tummy to tummy with me.

When did you go to Disneyland? Do you go often? I can't wait to check out the new cars land, though we likely won't go until DD's birthday again (March of next year).
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:18 PM   #8
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It's great that she is already showing awareness signs! I hope she is potty trained... although it would be have another little cloth diapered bum!

We are thinking about buying into SSR, resale of course. =) It is cheap there is still 42 years left on the contracts, etc. It's good to know that you can get other resorts. Not that I would mind staying in SSR, but we would like the opportunity to stay other places. I think the kids/family we are going with would LOVE AKL, so that is a possibility as a home resort as well. We shall see!
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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Your daughter is a cutie, I LOVE that picture where she's holding onto Mickeys nose. Precious! My DD was terrified of the characters at that age. When we took her to DL and did the PPH Character breakfast she hid under the table the whole time.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by oboedm View Post

We are thinking about buying into SSR, resale of course. =) It is cheap there is still 42 years left on the contracts, etc. It's good to know that you can get other resorts. Not that I would mind staying in SSR, but we would like the opportunity to stay other places. I think the kids/family we are going with would LOVE AKL, so that is a possibility as a home resort as well. We shall see!
I get so confused on the length of contracts especially because it appears that some seem to change? Mine is a 52 year contract, purchased in 2005, so all I know is that our contract is good for a long, long time

I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you!

Quote:
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Your daughter is a cutie, I LOVE that picture where she's holding onto Mickeys nose. Precious! My DD was terrified of the characters at that age. When we took her to DL and did the PPH Character breakfast she hid under the table the whole time.
Awe thank you! Yes, our little princess is not shy about characters one bit (or strangers for that matter ).
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #11
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To Deluxe Dining Plan or Simply Dining Plan- That is the Question!

I’ve participated in the dining plan for each of my three trips to WDW. I love the Dining Plan. Most of the time we end up saving money, but we at least break even at every meal. However, what I love most about it is that it’s DONE. I love knowing that all I have to pay for is optional stuff. So, we know we will be doing A dining plan, we just don’t know WHICH dining plan that may be.

When I first thought about the dining plan, going deluxe seemed silly. We’ll have a 2.5 year old, and wasting time at 3 sit down meals a day plus 2 snacks seemed excessive- not to mention time killers. I mean we’d be dedicating 4.5 hours (easy) per day to eating. Plus, that’s just SO much food. Not to mention at current prices it would be an additional $450. All of these factor’s combined made it seem completely off the table.

Until, I started thinking about it. At 2.5 E will be able to share with us, and I’m hoping by then she may be more interested in eating (she’s a bird eater right now- pick, pick, pick, pick done). With a larger food selection, she’d have more options to share from.

Doing the Deluxe dining would also give us the opportunity to do more character meals- and my daughter isn’t lacking on the love of characters (see above). This also wouldn’t make me hesitate booking one or two signature meals (or CRT) and using up 2 table service meals.

So my question to you- do you do Deluxe Dining? Was it just way to much food? Have you done it with a toddler?
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:57 PM   #12
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We love the dining plan as well, for the same reasons you do. I am thinking about doing TIW on the next trip, but I have to calculate where we are staying, first! =)

We love the DxDP because we like the table service restaurants and do the character meals, especially breakfast character meals. It gives us a nice break from the parks around dinner as well. Yes, it is a lot of food. However, if you space out your meals right, you will be hungry again by the next meal. We save our snack credits and bring home souvenirs for family/friends. I don't think that $450 is that much. Then again, I have been pricing DVC today, so that may have me jaded. =)

A "few" extra bucks per day is worth having a nice breakfast to fuel up for the parks, though. Plus you could do a few signatures! You will have other adults there as well, so maybe you can do a signature restaurant date night, while the others order room service. =)
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:27 AM   #13
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We love the DxDP because we like the table service restaurants and do the character meals, especially breakfast character meals. It gives us a nice break from the parks around dinner as well. Yes, it is a lot of food. However, if you space out your meals right, you will be hungry again by the next meal. We save our snack credits and bring home souvenirs for family/friends. I don't think that $450 is that much. Then again, I have been pricing DVC today, so that may have me jaded. =)

A "few" extra bucks per day is worth having a nice breakfast to fuel up for the parks, though. Plus you could do a few signatures! You will have other adults there as well, so maybe you can do a signature restaurant date night, while the others order room service. =)
I am hoping that we end up doing the DxDP. After listing out the restaurants I'd really like to do, plus the character experiences I think E would enjoy, I really think it'd be worth it, so for now I'm setting our savings plan for the extra $450. Thanks for the input!
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:32 AM   #14
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Son of a Monkey's Uncle...

It always amazes me to read back on a "historic" record or account of something because you're able to see where all of the sudden you hit a big "derail"... Like when I look back on my blog and read postings I made regarding infertility and wanting to be a parent so much it hurt and remembering what that felt like- even though it feels like it was SO far away.

This trip report is about to take a turn, not a "it's cancelled" turn, but one that will be a large impact.

About a week and a half ago, I found out that my parents who have been married for 30 years, are divorcing. That being said, I don't think they'll both be accompanying us on this trip as we had anticipated.

So... our updated cast of characters for now are just Me, Aaron, and our daughter E.

The positive: We can literally stay wherever we want (nothing is out of point range because I've been banking DVC points for this trip for all of us). Also, I don't have to worry about making dining arrangements around my parents likely regular dining plan and our hopefully DxDP, nor do I have to finagle reservations to allow this to happen.

While both of those seem like silly things to be "positive" about, I guess sometimes we have to find the good {even if it's miniscule} in situations to get through them.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennisSilly

Thank you so much! I'm glad to have you along! I absolutely love baby-wearing, in the begining/newborn stages, as an adoptive parent it really helped facilitate bonding, and honestly gave me that "feeling" of carrying my daughter. Now, I just love it because it negates a bulky stroller, keeps my hands free, and people are much less likely to want to touch/get super close to DD when she's on my back/hip/or tummy to tummy with me.

When did you go to Disneyland? Do you go often? I can't wait to check out the new cars land, though we likely won't go until DD's birthday again (March of next year).
All the reasons I love babywearing! We went to DL in Nov. 2010 and again in Sept. 2011. My sister lives in Orange County so we stay with her then visit DL for a few days. We are now planning on going again in March of next year, who knows we may end up at both DL and WDW the same time as you!

We are also considering the deluxe dining plan, we prefer table service restaurants and it seems to make sense even with young children.

I am sorry to hear about your parents, glad you are able to see just a bit of positive in what must be a difficult time for you.
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