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Old 09-21-2012, 01:44 PM   #16
tiffrobyn
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11/14

Today we will be heading to Hollywood Studios. This will be a rope drop morning. We’ll wake up bright and early, I’ll have my breakfast and coffee out on the balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge then get the kids up and moving. If my parents and Ali & Mark would like to join us at rope drop, that will be awesome. If not, they’ll know where to find us. We will be driving to Hollywood Studios.

The park opens at 9am so I’d like to be out of the parked car and walking to the turnstiles by about 8:30am. With the morning rush to Toy Story Midway Mania, you really feel the difference if you’re at the back of those lines instead of near the front. Ideally, I’ll be able to send Dave or Scott up ahead to get fastpasses for later while the other stays behind with me and finagles the stroller through the throngs of people. Again, I love that feeling up of walking into the park in the beginning of the day, when all the CM’s are waving the white mickey hands at you and saying good morning!

By the time we get to Toy Story Midway Mania, hopefully Dave/Scott will have our fastpasses for later and we’ll all get in line for the ride. The queue should be fairly manageable first thing. This is a cute ride but not really one of my favorites. I’ll never, ever wait in those 70 minute lines for it.

What we do next will really be dictated by our fastpass return times and who else has managed to meet us at the park by this point. I know Scott will be itching to get to Tower of Terror. Kate wants to go on it again, too, but just once! Dave and I will also want to ride, so our strategy here will depend on if we have someone willing to stay behind with Sophie. If not, we’ll have to do swap off. We’ll use the same plan for Rock ’n Roller Coaster.

Other must-dos for the day include:
Star Tours
Indiana Jones (Dave’s never seen it)
Disney Junior
Muppet Vision


Things I’d like to do if they can be worked in the schedule:
Beauty & the Beast
The Magic of Disney Animation

Fantasmic is at 6:30. I’d definitely like to see this and I’d like my parents to see it. This is actually a great time, because we could potentially make it over to Epcot to see Illuminations after. If we take an afternoon break we can leave the car at the hotel and take Disney transportation back to the park. Then, after Fantasmic, we can walk from Hollywood Studios to the International Gateway at Epcot and we’d already be in the World Showcase for Illuminations. This is something to consider. I think Hollywood Studios is a great afternoon break park for the little ones. We can do everything Kate is interested in by lunch then I can take the little ones (and probably my parents) back to the hotel for a swim and maybe a nap while Dave and Scott stay behind to ride RnR and ToT.

Hollywood Studios is definitely Scott's favorite park. I can do without spending a whole day there so this could be a good compromise!
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:28 PM   #17
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11/15

Thursday is Dave’s birthday and we chose our park for the day based on this. His favorite park is Epcot, so it made sense. Ideally, this will be a rope drop day. I like to get to Epcot early and tackle most of what we want to do before lunch so that we can leisurely walk around the World Showcase in the afternoon. Again today, I don’t know who else I can expect to make it to the park when we do.

Assuming we make it for rope drop, we will head to Soarin’ first. This is another attraction that I like to grab fastpasses for then ride. In the past it has usually worked out for us that we can ride, go for a spin on Living with the Land, then it’s time for the fastpass return. We have an awkward meal time today so maybe we will split a breakfast meal from Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavillion while we’re doing our Soarin’ runs.
We also want to ride The Seas with Nemo & Friends, then head over to Figment and Captain EO. Scott will surely want to ride Mission Space. I really like the Sum of All Thrills. Maybe we’ll make time for Ellen’s Energy Adventure this time. Maybe not. I’m always afraid that Kate and Sophie will get too antsy.

After our Future World adventures, we will head over to the World Showcase. We have a reservation at Le Cellier for 2:25pm. I’d like to see a movie in Canada, France or China if we have time. We always enjoy riding Maelstrom in Norway too.

This will be our first visit to Le Cellier. I’m excited about the cheese soup! Scott’s favorite food on the planet is steak so he will enjoy this meal. We’ll celebrate Dave’s birthday while we are here. After we eat, we will be turning my kids over to my parents so that we can have a DATE NIGHT!

When I first approached Dave about celebrating his birthday, I gave him a few options. I suggested the ride along at Richard Petty Driving Experience, the Segway tour in Epcot, the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. He surprised me when he chose the Christmas Party! That was probably the last one I expected him to choose! But ok, I’ll take it.

We’ll make sure my parents are all set with the kids and that they’ll have it all under control for the evening. Dave and I will head over to Magic Kingdom straight from Epcot. I honestly haven’t even given much thought to a touring plan for the party. Here we go again – the uber planner is going to go with the flow! All I know is that we will see the second parade, not the first! We’ll just go with the flow the rest of the night! Because of the three kids, Dave and I don’t get to ride things together very often. We’re always with one kid, or another, or taking turns with the bigger kids. This will be a fun opportunity for us to ride things together and to just do what we want as we feel the urge instead of having to move the whole group.

I know that we are going to be super tired at the end of this night, especially if we make it for rope drop in the morning! We’ll be crawling down the hall at Jambo House when we get back this night!
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #18
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The 45 day itch!

45 days! 45 days! 45 day until Disney!

While we don't have a package, the 45 day mark is still significant to me! It also means that I got THE ITCH. What itch? The itch to make changes to the plan! I always know going into a plan that there are things that will need to be changed and I'll always have that lingering thought in the back of my mind until - AHA - everything clicks into place!

I was mentally going over the plan in my head and I just felt like I was forgetting something. I know that I want to make sure we see all the fireworks because they're fairly early in the evening and we don't usually make them because the little ones go to bed fairly early. I kept looking over the plan, checking them all off mentally, not quite remembering what I was missing. Then, it hit me! The Osbourne Lights! I really, really want to see these and I know my mom will, too.

I quickly sent out a text to Ali asking what meals they were vehemently attached to and which I could feel free to rearrange. Ali came back saying she doesn't care because she trusts she's in good hands but that Mark really wants 'Ohana & Boma. I can deal with that! 'Ohana dinner is my MUST DO this trip & Boma makes sense since it is in our resort. So, I hopped online to check out what Dining was available and restructured our plan!

On Monday, 11/12 we had originally planned to head to Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge after Magic Kingdom closed at 7pm. Instead, we will be heading over to Epcot. I booked a 7:40pm reservation at Les Chefs de France which should be perfect. We will come out just in time to see Illuminations! We also won't have to worry about transportation logistics. We won't be driving to MK anyway so it will be super easy to just hop a bus back to our respective resorts from Epcot at the end of the night! I'm going to keep my eyes open to try and snag an Akershus reservation instead of Les Chefs but I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't happen.

We had originally planned to go to Les Chefs de France on Friday, 11/17 after my parents left. We had a reservation at 5pm to see Remy so we'll miss him now, but that's ok. Instead, we now have no table service plans for Friday. I rescheduled our Whispering Canyon Cafe dinner to a late breakfast on Saturday morning. I won't go into detail on changes since I haven't talked about the plans for those days yet.

It's funny how a plan falls into place and I get a sense of calming! I know, I know...
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #19
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11/16

Friday, 11/16 is a day that isn’t set in stone. In fact, with the recent ADR changes I made, we have no firm plans. However, I think we will probably end up spending this day in the Magic Kingdom. We’ll at least start the day there since my parents will only get a brief afternoon in the Magic Kingdom on their arrival day. Their plane leaves MCO at 7pm so whatever we do they’ll have to be back to Animal Kingdom Lodge before 4pm to catch the Mickey Bus.

I imagine that we’ll get a late start on Friday morning since Dave and I will be out late at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party the night before. My parents will also need to pack up their belongings. We can bring their bags to the desk to be checked and they can store their carry on belongings in my room instead of with Bell Services. In Magic Kingdom we’ll probably hit anything that my parents didn’t get to do on Monday and anything that the kids demand to see again. We’ll probably end up heading back to the resort with them to say goodbye. This would be a perfect opportunity for some relaxing pool time! I have no idea what we’ll do in the evening! And I’m not worried! Ha! We’ll see what the kids feel like doing. Maybe we’ll go visit Ali & Mark at Art of Animation and check out their resort! I definitely want to get over there at some time during my trip. The pictures of the Cars & Nemo areas look AMAZING!
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:13 PM   #20
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We will be at Disney the same week for DD's MAW trip. Maybe we will say hi and !
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:13 PM   #21
tiffrobyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alyssaswish View Post
We will be at Disney the same week for DD's MAW trip. Maybe we will say hi and !
That would be fun! Stay tuned because I'll be talking about our outfits pretty soon! Then you'll know how to spot us!
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:02 PM   #22
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11/17

I wish I had something more exciting to write about Saturday. For now, I think we just plan to sleep in, which for my kids probably means 7:30 then pack up our belongings. We are moving out of our DVC digs and Ali and Mark are moving out of Art of Animation. We're all going to stay in the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside! I have a late breakfast scheduled at Whispering Canyon Cafe. I'm calling it brunch actually because it is for 11:00am. I guess we'll figure out the logistics of moving everyone and luggage once we are all up for the day.

I'm looking forward to brunch at Whispering Canyon Cafe. It was originally going to be dinner on Monday night so I've already professed my love for the Wilderness Lodge but it is worth noting again. Such a gorgeous resort and I love the ambiance. I'm hoping to be able to spend some time exploring since we have no other concrete plans for the day. The breakfast menu at Whispering Canyon Cafe looks pretty tasty to me too!

At some point we'll need to check in at Port Orleans. I also would like to spend some time exploring the resort. Maybe we'll pop over to a park for a couple rides, depending on what the kids still want to do. Ali & Mark will have to make it an early night since they will have a Mickey Bus pickup at around 5:20am! We have it a little better. Our flight doesn't leave MCO until 2:50pm. That's nice because I'll be able to wake up lesiurely on Sunday morning and by check out time we'll just about need to head to the Mickey Bus anyway.


Up next... TIE DYE!!
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:46 PM   #23
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Ok, I lied. I didn't get around to my tie dye post this weekend. Instead, I'll bring you Hawaiian shirts!

The name of this pre-trip report came about because of my husband's sudden obsessive love for Disney Hawaiian shirts. When we last visited the world in April, I suggested he buy one. It looked really comfy. That was all it took! When we got home, he began scouring eBay obsessively. He set an upper price limit for himself and began bidding! He has also taken to hunting in thrift stores for discarded Disney Hawaiian shirts and even came across two a few weeks ago that he got for $5 total! There's a post about that up above! So, this morning, I went into our closet to take a picture of our "Disney tote" and the accumulation already on top of it.



It is about to get much larger as I swap out summer clothes for winter clothes. I'll just add the appropriate number of shorts and skirts to this pile instead of packing them away. But then, after I took the picture I noticed Dave's Hawaiian shirts all hanging neatly on his side of the closet. I decided to pull them down for some pictures so we could take a real good look at decide our actual chances of being forced to do the hula. He's up to 8 total shirts! For your viewing pleasure:












The last two aren't exactly Hawaiian but they're of the same style. Maybe they'd be more aptly called bowling shirts? In any case, the bottom one is my favorite of the bunch!




Last edited by tiffrobyn; 10-04-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #24
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Tie Dye!

I remember perusing some Disney internet forum, may have even been here, sometime last year and coming across a post with a family wearing Tie Dye Mickey shirts. Well, then, OF COURSE I had to make some for my family! So, when we went in April I made these:




This time, there are ten of us going so naturally we have to have matching tie dye Mickey shirts on one of our trip days! I think we’ve settled on Dave’s birthday as our day to match. So, I started with my cardboard Mickey head stencil. Sorry for the shadow!



I used the stencil to trace the Mickey head in the center of the chest of the shirt



I then used waxed dental floss to sew around the outline of the Mickey head. I read somewhere that making the stitches close together makes a better defined Mickey head. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I do it anyway!



After I sew all the way around the Mickey head, I pull both ends of the floss taut and tie them in a knot. You end up with a small Mickey head shaped poof on the front of the shirt.



I go ahead and rubber band the area under the Mickey head next. Make sure all the floss is above the rubber bands.



Next step, I soak in soda ash. It says you only have to do it for 20 minutes, I think, but I let mine sit overnight.



When I take them out of the soda ash I wring them out just a little then I begin the spiraling process. Put the shirt down on a flat surface with the Mickey head sticking up then twist until you’re satisfied with the cinnamon bun shape it’s produced.











Wrap in rubber bands until you’re happy it’s secure. For an adult shirt, I use about 4 rubber bands.



Now it’s time to get messy! For these shirts I used regular tulip brand dyes. I put them in ketchup and mustard bottles I found at the dollar store and labeled the outside so I could see what colors they were.



I didn’t get any pictures of the actual coloring process because it’s so messy! I will tell you that I always hold the shirt upside down first and squirt the Mickey head, then cover the mickey head in saran wrap with an additional rubber band. Then, I go on to color the rest of the shirt. After it’s all colored, you’ll want to wrap the whole shirt in saran wrap.



I put the saran wrapped shirt into a plastic grocery bag for good measure. Then I put all the shirts wrapped in grocery bags back in the bucket.



The bucket sat in my laundry room for about 5 days before I got to them again. I take the bag and saran wrap off and start rinsing the ball. After the initial deluge of dye is gone, I cut the rubber bands off and rinse the rest of the shirt until it runs clear. Back in the bucket with the rinsed shirts then I dump the whole bucket in the washer. I throw an old towel in with the wash to soak up any stray dye.

Here’s the end result of the shirts from this batch!










After the matching shirts were done, I bought a multicolor tie dye kit at WalMart and went crazy dying everything white I could find! This is my favorite shirt from that batch:



And this is one that I did for Kate that the Mickey head didn’t come out quite right. After it was out of the dryer, I used a bleach pen to draw a Mickey head then put it through the wash again.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:05 PM   #25
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Amended 11/11

Well, I have to make a change to my plan of Bus Roulette on 11/11 but for a very good reason! We got into the AP previews of the Fantasyland Expansion! Well, the kids and I did. For some reason it wouldn't accept Dave's AP? Grrrr.

So, new plan:

Check out of Coronado Springs. Either let the resort handle our luggage transfers or pile everything up in the rental. Kids and I will head to MK to partake in the Belle version of the preview. Dave will go check us in at Animal Kingdom Villas. Then, he has the afternoon to himself! He gets to do WHATEVER he wants until 4pm! I assume he'll meet us at MK when the preview ends. Or maybe we'll go get everything in the room if it wasn't ready at check in. Then we'll still head to 'Ohana for 6:40pm dinner!

I'm excited about the preview! I know it is in unofficial previews now but this will be fun! We get to ride Under the Sea, experience Enchanted Tales with Belle and have a tour of Be Our Guest!

I feel bad that Dave's AP wouldn't work. There seemed to be a lot of people on the Passholder facebook page saying they had the same problem.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #26
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Packing / Owner's Locker

19 days until Disney!!


I can’t believe we are in the teens! It is SO close now!

Seeing as how I am a crazy over-planner, with lists and spreadsheets, I was starting to panic a little last week because I knew I still needed to make some purchases for the trip and get everything together.

The few custom outfits I had made for the girls are shipping today, so that’s one less thing to worry about. I need to match the shirts up with shorts/skirts/pants but I also need to wait until it gets closer so I can get a weather forecast. At this point we are thinking shorts and t-shirts with jackets for the mornings evenings but I want to wait until we get closer to make a final decision in case Florida gets a random cold snap the second week of November.

We are also getting an Owner’s Locker on this trip so I need to stock that. We have trips planned in January and April of 2013 and I have a Jan/Feb 2014 trip in my head so we have decided to bite the bullet and keep our stuff there instead of in the proverbial “Disney tote” in my bedroom closet!

This is my inventory list as of now and I’ve purchased all but two things off of it:

2 baby blankets
Coffee filters
Individual packs of coffee
Toothpaste
Toothbrushes
Hair brush
Baby shampoo
Sunscreen
Shaving cream
Razors
Power strip
Lotion
Deodorant
Ziplocs
Chapstick
Advil
Kids Tylenol
Qtips
Nail clipper
Nail file
Laundry detergent
First aid kit
Dental floss
Batteries
Pop up hamper
Trash bags
Stroller lights
Bath/pool toys
IPhone charger


I'm having trouble finding the single pot packs of coffee. I feel like they used to be EVERYWHERE but I guess with the explosion of Keurig pods they're no longer necessary. I found a huge CASE at BJ's but I really don't need 50 pots worth of coffee, ya know?

After my shopping this weekend I feel much better and much more prepared for this trip! I'm so excited!
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