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Old 11-07-2012, 09:56 PM   #1
TinksThree
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And a Very Happy Birthday to ME!! A Journey in October 2012 That's a Wrap! 4.27.13

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson


Welcome to one and all to my Trip Report! I find myself extremely blessed to be writing my third Trip Report for the year 2012!! That totally shocks me and I never would have considered this possibility at the beginning of the year.

I love traveling and I have many favorite places to go but since I went to Disney in 2009, I have become pretty addicted to the place! (I count this addiction as a good thing!) Some of our other favorite locals are the Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, New Orleans and Williamsburg, VA just to name a few. Of course there are many, many other places we have been and I find the planning to be as much a part of the experience as the actual journey! I just love to go!! It is nothing for us to take a road trip on any given weekend. Exploring, learning and just making memories are what I adore about the whole travel experience!

As for my journeys to Disney this year, I had the wonderful opportunity to join my DD16 (Madison) and her high school band in March where they marched in the parade at Magic Kingdom. Yes, you did read that correctly that it was a wonderful opportunity even with over 100 teenagers! (If you are new and want to read about that journey the link is in my signature Led Zeppelin Collides With the Magic Kingdom).



My second journey was in July and it included myself, my DH Keith and two of our three children-Madison and DS18 Chris. This was a great trip and I will not say much else on it since it is still currently in progress (Stop and Smell the Roses...But Watch Out for the Bees!).



Which brings me to my third journey...

Shortly after we returned from our trip in July, Disney released one of those big announcements that Disney fans everywhere wait impatiently for: DISCOUNTS!!! And the one released on this particular day included FREE DINING. The dates for this promotion just happened to fall during the Food and Wine Festival which also happens to fall in the month of October which happens to be my favorite month of the year and also happens to be my birthday so I thought this a perfect opportunity to go at one of the times of year I have wanted to go plus enjoy the Food and Wine Festival which I have long desired to go to. I brought this up to Keith and after working out schedules around Madison's fall school activities and making sure we could afford yet another trip, it looked to be a go. Soon I was off to planning and making decisions (a task I perform very poorly in when it comes to my trips)!!

Me and My Traveling Companion (aka my wonderful husband!!):



Our trips almost always consist of the family. It has been on rare occasions we venture out without taking at least one if not all of the kids! This time around it was just me and Keith. We left Chris and Madison home for school and soccer and work. (Our third, Evan, is currently living in Australia). At first we felt extremely guilty and this was especially true as the trip got closer and as we traveled south. Thankfully guilt improved and the kids never gave us too much grief about leaving them behind.

Getting my husband on these trips to Disney has been a revolving miracle! He was always one to claim he hated Disney although he had never been. I took Madison and Chris alone in 2009. Upon our return and their constant talking about the fun we had, he decided to let us return in 2010. In 2011 I took my mom and it was to be a girls trip (my mom, Madison and me). Then both Keith and Chris decided to join us...see a trend here?

Well, Keith is never one to concede being wrong on anything but slowly he was letting things slip. Yes, I was making him at least a believer in the magic to be found. I was satisfied with this even if it isn't the love I hold for Disney! In March 2012, I was discussing restaurants for us to go to one day and he suggested we return that summer! Not one to allow him to reconsider, I was making reservations ASAP! Thus our trip in July was formed and you know the rest of this story!!

Me? Well, I love Disney, traveling, photography, and stories. Thus you will see my adoration for Disney, lots of photographs (although not as many as in past trips if you are familiar with my past reports) and in some cases wordiness since I love to talk and I report as I talk!

When?

The trip was planned for October 27-November 1, 2012. These dates fell perfectly between the final home football game and Madison's first soccer game of the season!

How?

We drove....I really wanted to fly but I also wanted money to spend at Disney so driving saved us $400!!

Where?

Ah...the where do you want to stay conundrum! In getting quotes, I had prices for a mod and a value. The difference was about $250. Remember what I just said in the "How?" Well, yeah, I wanted more money to spend at Disney! Keith gave me the choice and he says plan it but has no interest in offering opinions until it is too late!

I am going to rewind to 2010 since I now know that what I believed at that time when booking a resort was 110% correct and had I not made changes, all of those other trips I mentioned probably would have never happened!

Keith is retired from the Air Force which means we are lucky enough to take part in the amazing deals Disney offers service members! I am forever grateful for these discounts but our trips have been a combination of the military discounts and other offers.

In 2010, it was all about the military discounts and I had booked POP Century as our resort. Somewhere along the way I got to thinking that the moderates have discounts also and what would the cost difference be? Well, I called, got a quote, and soon I had a moderate booked. Which one was my difficult decision and in the end I had chosen Port Orleans Riverside.

As soon as we got on property, Keith (who had never been) was walking around with his jaw dropped and commented to everyone that Disney knows how to do things first class. That was my first indication that I had persuaded him slightly. That trip also resulted in us adding a few nights at Coronado Springs, another resort we really liked. The future trips were all at Port Orleans French Quarter and it is our personal favorite at least thus far.

My choices for this trip was between Caribbean Beach or POP Century. I really, really wanted CBR but in the end the money savings won out.

I am going to go ahead and just speak on this part! All the way to Orlando-an 11 hour drive-Keith kept saying I had booked us at a "dump". Of course he was joking but I secretly hoped that it would measure up.

As soon as we drove up, Keith said "It looks like a mall". Yikes! I defended it and said the values just have a different vibe going and it is about the larger than life icons.

He lets me out to go check in and as soon as I walk into the entrance I think Oh, great! I am in a malls food court!...if I think that I can only imagine what Keith will think! Sure enough, that is his opinion also. What else did he notice/say?

1) Once in the elevator to our room, the elevators wood paneling has a huge portion missing, torn off, broken...great!!
2) The rooms feel much smaller and the beds are doubles
3) The bathrooms are tiny
4) The first night someone lost their cookies on the sidewalk...the next evening the lovely cookies and the smell was still there.
5) There is no boat to anywhere (he loves riding the boat from PO to DTD)
6) The grounds are not kept as well as at Port Orleans
7) The bus area does not have benches and it is not covered

Okay, I will stop there...I will say that in many ways he was not being very nit-picky and was joking due to the whole dump jokes but honestly these were very noticeable differences. Our stay at POP was not bad and if that is my only opportunity to go to Disney, I will stay at a value but this is my second time at a value (the other was All-Star Sports) and both times honestly was a let-down.

Walking around different places and going through different resorts, I know that our next visit (as a family or couple) will be in either Caribbean Beach-moderate-or a Deluxe. Keith has made definite approval mentions of Boardwalk, Beach Club, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Polynesian and (surprised me!) the Contemporary! As a matter of fact, on one of our visits to Hollywood Studios, he stopped and looked at the DVC info. He asked me questions and I answered best I could. I have a feeling once we stay at a DVC location (I plan to rent points next trip) he may look into it more&from comments he made. I tell you, he is becoming a believer!!

Next we move on to the meat of this story...the actual trip!!!! And I promise less words and more pictures!!

Last edited by TinksThree; 04-27-2013 at 08:17 AM. Reason: punctuation issues...font choice chose to do it its way
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
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Table of Contents
Introduction

Day 1: Travel Day!! October 27, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Interlude: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 and Part 5
Day 2: Hollywood Studios!! October 28, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 2: Hollywood Studios continues!! October 28, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 2: Hollywood Studios: marching on! October 28, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 2: Hollywood Studios: More Streetmosphere and TSMM!! October 28, 2012
Day 2: Epcot and dinner at San Angel Inn October 28, 2012
Day 3: Animal Kingdom October 29, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 3: Epcot/Food and Wine Festival October 29, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3
A Real Life Update...with a twist!!
Day 3: Magic Kingdom October 29, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3
Day 3: Hollywood Studios and Hoop Dee Doo!! October 29, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 4: A Walk down Memory Lane and Behind the Seeds October 30, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3
Day 4: More Food & Wine and Hollywood Studios Wanderings! October 30, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 4: Hollywood Studios, POP Century, Ohana and wrapping the day watching Hallowishes! October 30, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 5: The Final Day, Hollywood Studios! October 31, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2
Day 5: The Final Day, POP-Art of Animation, Epcot, Biergraten, Illuminations and The Boardwalk October 31, 2012 Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 and Part 5
Day 6: We go home....That's a Wrap!!! November 1, 2012

Last edited by TinksThree; 04-27-2013 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:47 PM   #3
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I'm here! I can't wait to hear all the trip details!!

If the only way I could go to Disney was to stay at a value, I wouldn't even hesitate to book it. But, I will say that the only value we've stayed at was All-Star Sports and it was definitely less than stellar.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
I'm here! I can't wait to hear all the trip details!!

If the only way I could go to Disney was to stay at a value, I wouldn't even hesitate to book it. But, I will say that the only value we've stayed at was All-Star Sports and it was definitely less than stellar.
Welcome!! You're first!!
I definitely wold stay at a value if that's my chance to be at Disney! The rooms are clean and there really isn't anything wrong with the resort but I think we just missed the tranquilness at POFQ. Now I did like the Hippy Dippy or whatever pool!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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I'm in! POFQ is my favorite Mod too....although I'm really spoiled by DVC now.

Jill in CO
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
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I'm here and ready to hear all about your latest adventures!
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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Checking in also! We have only stayed at Deluxe resorts and in a couple weeks we are staying value at ASMovies....our son is 4 and LOVES Toy Story and 101 Dalmations plus the price difference was HUGE so we are staying value but I am nervous that I won't have the same feel as I have before but it still is DISNEY and that alone makes it worth it!!
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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I'm in! And I'm very glad there is no mention of bees in this title
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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I'm here too!
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:17 AM   #10
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Im in!!!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
I'm in! POFQ is my favorite Mod too....although I'm really spoiled by DVC now.

Jill in CO
We really love POFQ but I have a feeling once we try a DVC we may be spoiled as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
I'm here and ready to hear all about your latest adventures!
Woohoo!! Glad you have made it over!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangelders Ahoy View Post
Checking in also! We have only stayed at Deluxe resorts and in a couple weeks we are staying value at ASMovies....our son is 4 and LOVES Toy Story and 101 Dalmations plus the price difference was HUGE so we are staying value but I am nervous that I won't have the same feel as I have before but it still is DISNEY and that alone makes it worth it!!
I agree...just being at Disney makes it worth it! I went in knowing the differences and was prepared. Since Keith doesn't like to discuss plans on any trip he wasn't as prepared. I think he made me more aware of the differences than had I not had someone noticing every little thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by solana131 View Post
I'm in! And I'm very glad there is no mention of bees in this title
No bees being mentioned has to be a positive sign, right!? So glad you in!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by burly View Post
I'm here too!
Glad to have you on board!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soarin4Disney View Post
Im in!!!!
Hooray! Glad you're here!
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:22 PM   #12
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Never any doubt that I would join in! 3 times in one year?!?! I'm jealous!
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saintstickets View Post
Never any doubt that I would join in! 3 times in one year?!?! I'm jealous!
I knew you would make it! You have Hawaii on me so I think we're even!!
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
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Wow! I'm 3 days late! Oh, well, I'm here now and can't wait to hear all about your wonderful trip! (btw, I can pretty much assure you once you stay DVC you WILL be spoiled!)
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherylcin View Post
Wow! I'm 3 days late! Oh, well, I'm here now and can't wait to hear all about your wonderful trip! (btw, I can pretty much assure you once you stay DVC you WILL be spoiled!)
You aren't late at all! I have only gotten to the intro but I am hoping to do an update this evening! I am slightly afraid (or optimistic ) that if I get Keith to a DVC he (we) will be spoiled! From what I have heard, that could be a very good thing!!
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