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Old 10-08-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
SteveandAli511
Earning My Ears
 
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You're STILL Hungry!? 5 Days of DxDDP and more! UPDATE 12/10- Reviews on the way!

Hi all, I'm Steve and all be hosting this PDR with you for the next couple of weeks!

I've been debating for a couple of weeks whether or not to write a PDR and finally decided to do it, mainly because it lets me flex my writing muscles that have been woefully underused for the last couple of years. Let's see if I can shake the rust off!





As you can tell by our screen name we're Steve and Ali, newly married this past May but have been together over 8 years. She's definitely the better half in the relationship (but don't tell her I said that! ) and when you have no problem staying in on Friday and Saturday nights because you'd rather hang in and watch Gordon Ramsay yell at people then you know you've got somebody special. I booked this trip as a special birthday present to her as she's going back to school to obtain her degree in Nursing (we both have Bachelor's in Psychology but we've found it extremely hard to find any kind of job openings that don't want at least a Master's or years of experience behind it.) She's been hitting the books harder than I've ever seen her do and wanted her to have a week away in our home away from home before she gets into her science classes next semester and we cut back on going out and vacationing. I couldn't be more proud of her and I know she'll find a ton of success in the nursing field.

She encouraged me to start writing this as a way to get the creative juices flowing and I'm looking forward to sharing our experiences with you and hopefully add some humor and witty banter along the way. I've written and helped my friends on screenplays in the past (some in college, some as part of their independent film company) and it's something I always enjoy doing. While I've done little of that in the last couple years I'm hoping to change that going forward.

Well, that's enough about my daydreaming of relaxing on the deck of a Hollywood villa, onto the Disney details!

We'll be spending 4 nights at CBR in a Standard View Room but have taken the advice from those on the CBR thread and requested one of the better locations on property, so we're hoping for some good luck there! We had originally planned on being there 5 nights and spending 1 at AoA in a Little Mermaid room but after crunching some numbers and thinking about what could be our last Disney vacation for a couple of years we decided to knock a night off of CBR and do 2 nights at Wilderness Lodge! (Thanks in part to the 25% room discount!) This was the hotel we always said we'd love to spend two weeks at and when we saw we could spend two nights there we weren't passing it up!

Now here's a bit of information you'll come to find out about me when we report back after our trip: I love to eat. For 9 years working anywhere form 45-65 hours a week and working from as early as 6 A.M. to as late as 2 A.M. you tend to develop a habit of being hungry at any given point in time, especially when you're on your feet for 8-10 hours a day and regardless of when and what you just ate. Ali has no idea how I can eat a roast chicken dinner and then half an hour later be in the cupboard eating Wheatables straight from the box (The honey wheat ones are crazy addictive!) Just had ice cream? I think I could go for a roast beef sandwich. Just had a bowl of cereal? Man, I wonder if there's some salad mix in the fridge. She finds it entertaining, I'm just looking for my next meal!

With having free dining it was a no-brainer for us to upgrade to Deluxe, especially given the change to try a few of the signatures that we normally wouldn't. I've been a peruser of the DDP Board and always enjoy reading posts between OOP vs. DDP. One of the things I plan on doing in my DR is a cost analysis breakdown at the end of the trip to factor in how much we actually saved. When Disney released the room discounts that corresponded to our dates I found out how much we would have saved if we had gone with the room discount as opposed to paying rack rate. I also added in the cost of what it was to upgrade to the DxDDP for each of us and it came to $413.20 total. That's $413.20 spread over five days plus eight snacks for each of us. With the ADRs we have we think we'll end up going way above that number.

Two disclaimers:

1. I know that because we're doing a split stay we're treating it like it's five days of DxDDP when it's actually four, but this is one of the reasons we decided to spend the extra $ for two nights at WL. That won't work for a lot of people but for those doing S/S it can be an added benefit.
2. This goes out to some of the biggest opponents of the DP. At no point did we plan our ADRs around where we can get the most value of the DDP and only wondering entrees that would help increase the $ difference. We will be ordering what we want when we want it, even if it means ordering the cheapest entree at each signature restaurant (although I can assure you with my appetite that won't be happening much.)

We always enjoy trying to get the most out of our money and doing a cost analysis report will determine for us if we'd want to return without FD or buying it OOP for the future. Should be interesting!

Let me get to our ADRs for the trip! After way too much canceling, shimmying and finagling we're 99% sure we've made up our minds, but an earlier Ohana or primetime California Grill opening may change that. Here's what's on the schedule:

Wed. Oct. 24th- Arrival Day

Lunch- Sci-Fi Diner
Dinner- Flying Fish

Thur. Oct. 25th- Ali's Birthday!
Breakfast- Cinderella's Royal Table
Lunch- Via Napoli
Dinner- ??? We'll be at MNSSHP that night so we'll probably end up snacking around the MK, hopefully with a stop at Sleepy Hollow!

Fri. Oct. 26th-
Breakfast- TBD
Lunch- Le Cellier Steakhouse
Dinner- California Grill

Sat. Oct. 27th-
Breakfast- Tusker House
Dinner- Narcoossee's

Sun. Oct. 28th-
Breakfast- Cape May Cafe
Dinner- Artist Point

Mon. Oct. 29th-

Breakfast- Kona Cafe (If only for the Kona Press Pot!)
Dinner- 'Ohana


Tue. Oct. 30th- TBD


We do plan on using some of our snack credits at the F&W Festival (another reason why we chose October!) but we think we'll end up doing more on Monday and Tuesday due to being off the DP and those being (hopefully) slower days. We have our eyes on a bunch of new snacks to try (Jalapeno cheese pretzels, cupcakes, anything from Main St. Bakery) but we'll still be having a few Dole Whips!

We feel like me made some really good choices based on times, park hours and menus and always have fun at character meals. We had some great interaction with Piglet and Tigger at Crystal Palace back in 2010 and it definitely turned us on to trying more of them. While we may make some last minute changes we're hoping to try everything on our list this trip!

I know I've been a bit long-winded but I hope you've enjoyed my PDR and join on for our dining reviews when we get back. We're looking forward to spending a week in one of our favorite places and can't wait to see what kind of experiences (both foodie and otherwise!) we have when we get there!

Last edited by SteveandAli511; 12-10-2012 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Updating post
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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You guys are adorable!

We will be there the same time, might bump into you
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
SteveandAli511
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Thanks! As Rhode Islanders I wouldn't expect anything less than to see you a couple of times, lol. At least once a week I bump into someone who I haven't seen in a while!
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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Sounds great! I'm along for the ride! I'm looking forward to reading all your dining reviews AND your overall review of the DxDP.
My husband and 14 yr old son are both bottomless pits and I'm considering upgrading our discounted standard dining to deluxe when we go in Feb. So many people say that deluxe is just too much food--but I can't imagine there being too much food for my guys. I'll be interested to hear what you think--and to check out your cost analysis!
Have a great trip!
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Sounds good!
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:10 PM   #6
SteveandAli511
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Thanks nanhol, I'm really interested in seeing how my appetite truly stacks up against the DxDDP. My friend (he's a really big guy) was over on Sunday for football and we both ordered large steak and cheese subs (We have an awesome greek sub place a few minutes down the road from us!) and a couple of hours later I was making a roast beef sandwich! I go about 6"1, 210 so a lot of people are surprised when they see what I can eat in a meal, lol. Only a little over a week to go!
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
SteveandAli511
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Only 4 days to go and with it brings ADR changes!

I was able to grab an awesome time (7:40) on the 26th for California Grill so we'll be able to see HalloWishes either during (or after) our meal. Since we're going to MNSSHP the night before we'll be able to have two different perspectives on the show and we're looking forward to both views!

With the CAG pick up we had to shuffle things around a bit, so we decided to move Flying Fish to our arrival day and bump 'Ohana back to the 29th, when we'll be off the DxDDP. We figure that it'll end up being a wash between dining credit values (since we'll have to pay OOP for one of our character breakfasts, most likely TH) but since we've paid OOP the last two times we went there it won't seem as bad.

We also added Kona for breakfast that morning to try our first pot of Kona Press Coffee, so it looks like we'll end up exploring the Poly at some point during the day (where we'd love to stay if $ were no object.)
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:09 PM   #8
SteveandAli511
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It's been close to two months since we've been back but I'm rising this post from the ashes to finally start my LONG OVERDUE reviews!

It's been crazy for us with my new job (and still covering a couple of days a week at my old one) Ali back in school and studying nearly 24/7 and not a lot of time for us, so we've been trying to take advantage of it when we can.

That being said I finally have some free time while she's going all-out getting ready for Finals so it's time to get going on reviews! I'm going to have all the reviews reviewable from the first post to make it easier to navigate but probably not right away as I try to scrounge up receipts and pictures.

Unfortunately we didn't get pictures of some of the items because we either a) forgot, b) were starving, or c) both! Hopefully these can be informative for some as I'll be doing a cost analysis along the way to see if we really got value out of the DxDDP.

We also ended spending an extra two days at Wilderness Lodge due to Hurricane Sandy so while we enjoyed the extra time at our new favorite hotel my wallet wasn't as much of a fan!

I hope you guys enjoy the reviews and I'll try to update with at least one every couple of days (if not more) to make up for the lot time. Thanks again for reading!
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:56 AM   #9
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I'm looking forward to your reviews!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveandAli511 View Post
It's been close to two months since we've been back but I'm rising this post from the ashes to finally start my LONG OVERDUE reviews!

It's been crazy for us with my new job (and still covering a couple of days a week at my old one) Ali back in school and studying nearly 24/7 and not a lot of time for us, so we've been trying to take advantage of it when we can.

That being said I finally have some free time while she's going all-out getting ready for Finals so it's time to get going on reviews! I'm going to have all the reviews reviewable from the first post to make it easier to navigate but probably not right away as I try to scrounge up receipts and pictures.

Unfortunately we didn't get pictures of some of the items because we either a) forgot, b) were starving, or c) both! Hopefully these can be informative for some as I'll be doing a cost analysis along the way to see if we really got value out of the DxDDP.

We also ended spending an extra two days at Wilderness Lodge due to Hurricane Sandy so while we enjoyed the extra time at our new favorite hotel my wallet wasn't as much of a fan!

I hope you guys enjoy the reviews and I'll try to update with at least one every couple of days (if not more) to make up for the lot time. Thanks again for reading!
YaY you are back! Can't wait for review,,woot woot for 2 extra days at WL
Too bad for your wallet!!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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I can't wait for your reviews!
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