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Old 08-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
pld5
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A Pirate, a Jedi & a Platypus walk into a Lounge Ė A Feb 2013 Pre Trip Rpt

Hello and Welcome to my Pre Trip Report! We are a family of 3 who will be celebrating my sons 7th birthday in February 2013 at Walt Disney World! For the sake of this trip report, we will call him ObiWan (for as long as I remember to do so).

We will be staying Club Level at Wilderness Lodge from 2/24/13 to 3/2/13. This will be our second time staying at WL and our first CL stay. This is also our second time staying on property, our first being January 2012 and we became hooked.

Who are We, you may ask?



I am Patty, mother of ObiWan, wife of Paul. Benefits Director by day, Soccer Mom and Disney Planner (obsessor) by night. I also ski, read and drink wine. I am a fan of most live music and met my husband at a Dead show. I am thisclose to my mid forties and have been visiting Disney World off and on since about age 4.

I have very few pictures of just me alone, but here is one from Memorial Day weekend while we were camping at Delfest in Cumberland, MD.



Paul is a great husband , a wonderful father, an avid reader, a pretty good skier and lover of airplanes. He works for Uncle Sam and is quite impressed at the sheer number of employees , sorry cast members, that it takes to run Walt Disney World. Paul is 36 and I am a cradle robber. This will be his 4th trip to Disney World. All of his trips have been with me.

This was taken on his birthday last week. He is such a good sport!



ObiWan is currently 6, and will turn 7 on February 26. He just finished his first week of first grade and is pretty much counting the minutes until he gets to celebrate his birthday in Disney World (well, that and he is counting the minutes until he gets a good report card and can get the Super Mario Brothers 2 game for his 3DS, hopefully in 9 weeks). When not in school, he plays soccer, reads, rides bikes, plays Super Mario Brothers or Mario Kart on his Nintendo 3DS and watches tv (current favorites are Ninjago, Star Wars The Clone Wars, Phineas & Ferb and Gravity Falls). He is also a fan of dragons, fireworks and has quite a large collection of plush toys: Angry Birds, Mario Brothers themed, and some cats and tigers among various others.

This picture was taken in Washington DC in August 2012 and if you look closely, you can see his future home in the background....



This one was taken on his first day of 1st grade which was on Monday of this past week.



This will be ObiWans 4th trip to Disney World. The first time was in my belly in October 2005. The second time was right after his 4th birthday in March of 2010 (it was very cold then). The third was in January 2012 (really warm weather which we were not expecting!)


So, what can you expect in this Pre Trip Report? Well, in the immediate future, you can expect the usual stuff, hopes, dreams, plans, ADRs, itineraries, requests for advice or pictures, etc. Ill also explain the Pirate , the Jedi and the Platypus, as well as the Lounge, but for those familiar with Disney and The Disboards and parents of 6/7 year old boys, I probably wont need to explain too much.

As we get closer to our trip, you can expect some obsessing about packing, obsessing about weather, some changing ADRs, some complaints about closures and refurbs, and more requests for advice or just me looking for someone to tolerate me talk about the trip when my family cant stand it anymore&&

So there you have my intro. I hope you stick around (if you have made it this far). I had intended to add some pictures to this first installment, but photobucket and my browser are not cooperating. Hopefully they will cooperate soon.

Up next: How and Why I Planned This Trip.
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1972 - 1987 -WDW semi-annual trips with parents & brother -offsite hotels, 10/2005 - Pregnant with DS - offsite rental home (DH's first trip), 3/2010 -DS's first visit for his 4th birthday - offsite rental home, First stay onsite -WL "]Better Late Than Never January 22-28, 2012, They Don't Make Pencils in PA? Feb/Mar 2013 TR, Why Do I Have To Ride By Myself? Feb/Mar 2014 TR

Last edited by pld5; 11-05-2012 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Adding pictures
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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Following along! I enjoyed your last trip report and look forward to this one!
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A trip of firsts- starting with my first PTR for October 2013!
Did Someone Say Adventure?! An Oct '13 TR!
I Think We Should Go Again! A Nov '14 PTR

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Old 08-31-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
pld5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missangelalexis
Following along! I enjoyed your last trip report and look forward to this one!
Yay, I have a reader! Hello missangelalexis! Thanks for following along. I hope my pc cooperates this weekend so I can add more. If not, I think Best Buy or Staples will be getting some of my Disney money. :-(
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Table of Contents

For a day into the future when I hope to be able to add one.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:02 PM   #5
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How and Why I Planned This Trip

So, after our trip in January, I remembered thinking that it was so great, but expensive, so we should plan to do another trip when ObiWan turned 8.

What makes this funny to me now is that when we got back from our March 2010 trip, I told my mother that I thought that going every 4 years would be a good way to go to Disney and to see ObiWan at the various ages and interests that would change from being 4, 8, 12 and 16 (when he wonít want to be seen with me). So it definitely looks like we will be going to Disney when he is 8.

Anyhoo, I started lurking around the Disboards again in May and June of this year and lo and behold, they announced 2013 rates in July, so guess what, I booked a trip for February 2013. Well, I emailed my AAA agent to check on rates the day before they were due to come out.....

During this time, I was also interviewing for another position and dealing with a lot of unknown in the interview process as well as my current job, so I really needed something to take up some of my thinking time in those few months. I didnít get the job, and things are settling down at my current job, but I really needed that stress reliever of planning to spend a few thousand dollars 6 months into the future, you know?

It has turned into a nice thing to look forward to for all 3 of us and ObiWan and Paul are much more involved in the planning this time around since they were there and got to experience (and enjoy) a lot of what I researched and read about before January 2012.


We are all looking forward to this trip in February and think it will be a great way to celebrate ObiWanís 7th birthday that will not involve a trip to Chuck E. Cheese and presents that we do not need in the house. He still has not opened some of his gifts from his last birthday, so Iíve been embarking on a plan lately for us to have Experiences, not Presents for all of our family celebrations. Of course, we will end up including some presents for him (he is 7, after all), but Iím trying to plan ways for him to feel special the whole week we are there and remember that feeling rather than the trinkets we bring home. If we do a party at home, it will most likely just be his best friend and the grandparents and cousins, which I think will be plenty for a kid who will be going on a trip (or coming back from one) in the middle of a school year.

Here is a picture of him on his birthday from February 2012. Instead of bowling, Chuck E Cheese or the like, I rented out the back room at our local Elks Club and just played music and the kids LOVED not having a structured party and being able to just dance. The place was big enough to hold our extended family and his kindergarten class and it was a nice day, but not one I'm in a hurry to replicate.



Speaking of his grandparents, my parents inspired my love of Disney and I got a chance to share some onsite first time experiences with them on our trip in January 2012. They are curious about our February 2013 trip but have not made a commitment to join us just yet. However, if they do not decide to come, this will be my first time to Disney without one of my parents. Here is a picture of them from the January trip.



And although they will not be coming with us, here are pictures of our other members of the family, Spencer and Sasha. This will be sort of a birthday trip for them too because we acquired them from the local animal shelter in February 2012. Spencer is estimated at 3 years of age and Sasha is estimated at 2 years of age.

Spencer


Sasha


One of the reasons for this trip also came about because of certain rides and attractions being closed while we were there in January 2012. Fantasmic, Main Street Electrical Parade and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad were all closed while we were there last year. Dumbo and Goofyís Barnstormer were also hidden away in the unopened FLE at that time as well. Iím hoping we get a chance to see and experience these attractions this time around, and am just waiting and hoping not too many things are down while we are there in February. Iíve never seen Fantasmic or MSEP. ObiWan enjoyed Dumbo and Barnstormer in March 2010 and he is being brave enough to try BTMR since he will be 7. I couldnít ride BTMR in 2005 while pregnant, and I donít think the lines cooperated for us to do it in 2010.

Up next

Where will we be Staying, How Will We Pay for our Food and How Will We Get There?

Here are two hints:



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1972 - 1987 -WDW semi-annual trips with parents & brother -offsite hotels, 10/2005 - Pregnant with DS - offsite rental home (DH's first trip), 3/2010 -DS's first visit for his 4th birthday - offsite rental home, First stay onsite -WL "]Better Late Than Never January 22-28, 2012, They Don't Make Pencils in PA? Feb/Mar 2013 TR, Why Do I Have To Ride By Myself? Feb/Mar 2014 TR
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:40 AM   #6
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Im in on this onee! ive never been to Disney in Feb or stayed CL so i will be looking to your trip to live vicariously through you :D (i have to wait till Oct 2013 !)
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Past Trips: 5/96' Offsite with Family
11/05' With my highschool Choir -ASMu
5/08' Graduation Trip - Shades of Green
5/09' Memorial Week Trip - Poly
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megveg View Post
Im in on this onee! ive never been to Disney in Feb or stayed CL so i will be looking to your trip to live vicariously through you :D (i have to wait till Oct 2013 !)
Welcome! Do you have an idea of where you want to stay in October 2013?
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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Where will we be Staying, How Will We Pay for our Food and How Will We Get There?

We will be staying at Wilderness Lodge, Club Level this time.

Like last yearís trip though, we originally booked the trip at the Yacht Club, Club Level. We were thinking that staying at Yacht Club would maximize our Epcot time. Paul and I love Epcot and when we asked ObiWan what he wanted to do on his birthday, he told us he wanted to go to Epcot and ride Soariní. So when I contacted AAA in early July, the ressie was made for Yacht Club.

A few nights later I was looking at pictures of YC on the boards, and on the Disney site and then came across a few more for WL. ObiWan came into the room and said ďI canít wait to get back there!Ē when he saw the WL pictures. I told him we would visit there but that we were going to stay at YC and showed him those pictures. And he said "you gotta be kidding me." And I just couldnít get excited anymore about YC because it looked, well, kind of blah to me after seeing WL. Now, I know pictures donít tell a complete story but we never even visited YC in January or on any previous trips, so we will rectify that in February with an afternoon visit to check the place out. But I called our agent the next morning and switched the reservation to WL.

We all fell in love with the place in January, and I know we will feel ďat homeĒ there. It also helps knowing what the transportation and dining options are at a resort because you already experienced them. Not as many unknowns allows me to obsess about some other things.







How Will We Pay For Our Food?

We booked our trip with the dining plan, but if you read my last report, weíre not sure we want to be limited by the dining plan options, nor limited by ADRís. That being said, I have carefully planned out ADRís for our trips at certain times and places, but if the dining plan does not turn into Free Dining, I will more than likely cancel most of them.

Iíll update you on ADR plans throughout this PTR, but it looks like we are only eating at 2 of the places we ate at in January this time around.

Hereís 2 hints.




So how will we get to Disney World and how will we get back?

We flew Southwest in January and decided to give that another try. I found very reasonably priced ($114 per person) oneway flights from Pittsburgh to Orlando that leave Pittsburgh at 730am and get to Orlando at 950am. Nonstop is important to me, and it will be nice to have all of Sunday (or some of Sunday if there are weather or flight delays) available to hang out in the CL Lounge, go to Epcot, and take advantage of MK late EMHís on our first night there.

The flights coming back havenít been that great yet (the lowest I can find is $161). Our agent thinks that figure will come down in the next few weeks, so Iím waiting until at least the end of September to book the return flight. We have our choice of 3 separate nonstop return flights and the one that interests me the most is the 340pm flight.

We also chose the early bird option and will do the same thing on the return flight so that Iím not trying to check us in 24 hours before only to get B seating. In February, I was checking us in while in line for Soariní!

Well, I already filled you in on our plans for Day One (Epcot, CL Lounge, MK EMH's), with one exception. We did ask our AAA agent to reserve preferred fireworks viewing at MK on our arrival night. Since we booked with them, we get a spot outside of the Plaza restaurant to view the fireworks. We reserved this last year but plans changed during our trip and we didnít get find out how it worked. We werenít concerned about missing them last year because we had Wishes Dessert Party reservations later in our January week. We enjoyed that experience in January but not sure if we will do it again. Not because we think its not worth it, just not sure we have a free evening to make it work!
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pld5

Welcome! Do you have an idea of where you want to stay in October 2013?
I have a few ideas haha whenever I book a trip, i pick the reasort Id love to stay in and if the budget gets moved a bot, I know I can always downgrade. Im looking at BC or WL, but will probabaly end up at AoA. My travel partner isnt giving me any info about where he'd like to stay other than "that looks fine,dear" haha

I hope once he makes it through the planning DVD that he'll feel the nees to include some imput haha

WL is the only hotel I visited on my last trip and I definitely need to stay there I really want to stay at the VWL someday too

Im also debating the dining plan, but if I got CL, id prob go QS dining

Looking forward to moreee!
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Hi, I'm Meghan.

"Some days you eat the bear,
some days the bear eats you,
but always dress for the hunt!"
KUNGALOOSH!


Past Trips: 5/96' Offsite with Family
11/05' With my highschool Choir -ASMu
5/08' Graduation Trip - Shades of Green
5/09' Memorial Week Trip - Poly
Nov 2014: Homestead for NASCAR + a lil Disney/UO
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=megveg;46025151] My travel partner isnt giving me any info about where he'd like to stay other than "that looks fine,dear" haha

I hope once he makes it through the planning DVD that he'll feel the nees to include some imput haha
QUOTE]

Good luck with the planning DVD and getting input! The only way I got any input from my boys (DH and DS) was to get them there once and now I get to hear all kinds of feedback on what they thought we should have done. I'm also pleasantly surprised by their reactions to some things that I planned for ME and they both ended up really enjoying and wanting to make sure we do them again in February (not the least of which is WL).
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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Hope to provide some details of our plans for our first full day there, 2/25, soon

Last edited by pld5; 01-06-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:52 AM   #12
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Excited

I was so excited to see your post we are going to WDW for our 1st time EVER those exact dates its good to see someones plans for the same time that has done it before, gives me some piece of mind to say the least!

We are doing All Star Movies form Feb. 24 - March 1, 2013 !!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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I was so excited to see your post we are going to WDW for our 1st time EVER those exact dates its good to see someones plans for the same time that has done it before, gives me some piece of mind to say the least!

We are doing All Star Movies form Feb. 24 - March 1, 2013 !!!
Welcome Grumpylady! 1st time EVER? How exciting! Who will be traveling with you?
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:07 AM   #14
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Travling Partners

My Husband (28) who has also never been
My Daughter (5) and my son (4) <---- at the time of travel

I can't WAIT to see their faces. Heck I wish I could see my own lol
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:54 AM   #15
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My Husband (28) who has also never been
My Daughter (5) and my son (4) <---- at the time of travel

I can't WAIT to see their faces. Heck I wish I could see my own lol
5 and 4 are great ages for Disney. I'm almost afraid that at age 7, Disney will already have lost some magic for my little boy who seems to be growing up too fast.

This trip will be more about Jedis and Pirates though to help keep him interested and growing up.
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