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Old 06-30-2013, 12:40 PM   #316
eandesmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
The view from your room is just so stunning. Wow!
It was! So perfect, couldn't have asked for more

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Still cannot understand why they don't make all the coffee mugs dishwasher safe!
Me either! Although interestingly enough, my "replacement" OKW one got put in the dishwasher last week by well meaning E's and it surrvived. Thank goodness! I did look at the bottom of the Aulani one (which is actually an O'leo room one) and it definitely had the handwash only or not dishwasher safe labeling so that was a deal killer for sure.

I wish melamine was dishwasher safe too, so many cute summer plates and things I would get...maybe it is for the best. Bad enough I have to hand wash my mickey salad tongs/servers as it is

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Your morning at the spa sounds heavenly. So glad it lived up to the "hype" and that even Jeff liked it. Definitely adding to the "must dos" for whenever I am able to make a trip out there!
It really did live up to the hype, and then some!
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #317
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The coffee mug is nice.
The spa pools sound nice but I do not care for anyone touching me. It looked pretty.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:46 PM   #318
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The coffee mug is nice.
The spa pools sound nice but I do not care for anyone touching me. It looked pretty.
Thanks! It is beautiful there. Unfortunately they don't sell just access to the Kula Wai, I imagine it would be very crowded if they did as it would be popular, you only get it with some kind of spa or salon service...which unfortunately does involve touching.

I like my mug too
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:07 PM   #319
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Followed you over from your TR with Mary Ellen!

Now off to catch up
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:42 PM   #321
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Ahhhh those massages! What a lovely and relaxing experience! Coconut butter and a 50 minute massage - yes please! Glad that Jeff enjoyed the experience as well. I thought I spied the new Beautiful cosmetics in the spa gift shop. At least the packaging look familiar.. not sure.

I completely get your mug selection process - size, shape, color, what mood you're in - makes sense to me. Lovely choice by the way! It must be fun to see your collection at home and recall the special vacation memories. Didn't you have a "dishwasher" issue with your Vero Beach mug?

Oh poo that work was calling your name! Even for an hour I'd be pissy about having to give up some of my vacation time for work. I'm sure they appreciate all that you do!
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:03 AM   #322
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All caught up!

What an AMAZING view from your second room. I mean, the first one was fine too, but this one...Heavenly.

Good to know that there are grocery stores nearby We are definitely like you guys. When we go to Disneyland, I usually always pack fruit, oatmeal, greek yogurt and Starbucks coffee for breakfast. Also, i'm pretty sure the restaurant prices are outrageous there!

Oh my goodness. Your spa day sounded AMAZING! And what a cool little 'spa garden' to partake in as well.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:25 AM   #323
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Well, that really DOES sound like heaven! And glad Jeff enjoyed it, too. I love the warmth whenever I get anything like that done. But now I'm off to get beat up at a training class! Maybe I'll have to book a massage before I go back to school.... hmmm....
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:29 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Ahhhh those massages! What a lovely and relaxing experience! Coconut butter and a 50 minute massage - yes please! Glad that Jeff enjoyed the experience as well. I thought I spied the new Beautiful cosmetics in the spa gift shop. At least the packaging look familiar.. not sure.
Could be, I admit I wasn't engaged by much in the shop but I'm not a big cosmetic shopper either so didn't look closely. The massage was heavenly!


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Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
I completely get your mug selection process - size, shape, color, what mood you're in - makes sense to me. Lovely choice by the way! It must be fun to see your collection at home and recall the special vacation memories. Didn't you have a "dishwasher" issue with your Vero Beach mug?
I did! OKW and Vero are part of a new adorable series of resort specific mugs. My first OKW melted in the dishwasher at Vero. Vero was babied after that and OKW replaced my mug. I emailed merch just to say I thought having non DW safe coffee cups was a very bad idea and was sad as they were so cute and they gave me a merch credit for both mugs which was very nice. Vero lasted for a bit but did get put in the DW by a well meaning child and it too, melted. The replacement OKW was put in by same well meaning child last week (they are allowed to load but NOT run for this reason and others) but somehow it didn't melt. At any rate, the O'leo one wasn't in the same series and I wasn't risking it!

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Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Oh poo that work was calling your name! Even for an hour I'd be pissy about having to give up some of my vacation time for work. I'm sure they appreciate all that you do!
You know it was one of those things. I'd done all I could to get it out the door before I left and the hold up was out of my control. Which my boss "got" and after last summers stress level over the same thing I decided I truly didn't care and whatever. I'd work on it but wouldn't kill myself and it likely wouldn't go out until I got back. Which is what happened and ended up being a good thing as one of my proofreaders massively failed at her job and some of the content changed due to unforeseen but very good reasons so it was better it was delayed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
All caught up!

What an AMAZING view from your second room. I mean, the first one was fine too, but this one...Heavenly.
It was! I'd like to be there right now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
Good to know that there are grocery stores nearby We are definitely like you guys. When we go to Disneyland, I usually always pack fruit, oatmeal, greek yogurt and Starbucks coffee for breakfast. Also, i'm pretty sure the restaurant prices are outrageous there!
They are Disney food prices, I wouldn't say any better or worse on that front but until the new CS location opens it's slim pickings on the CS stuff. Standard resort food prices, really for anywhere in Hawaii I think. Which of course, is high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
Oh my goodness. Your spa day sounded AMAZING! And what a cool little 'spa garden' to partake in as well.
It was amazing! Next time I think I'll hit the Kula Wai before AND after my service!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
Well, that really DOES sound like heaven! And glad Jeff enjoyed it, too. I love the warmth whenever I get anything like that done. But now I'm off to get beat up at a training class! Maybe I'll have to book a massage before I go back to school.... hmmm....
People who get beat up at training classes deserve a massage for sure! And before going back to school, and while on vacation, and for their birthday, Christmas or just because!

You are rocking the workouts!
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:01 PM   #325
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ADR Time - The Disney Experience Dining Debacle

The best laid plans&.

Holy Cats.

I've spoken to Disney Dining 3 times and Disney IT 2 times today for a combined total of about 2.5 hours!

As you all know, my BFP (Big Fat Plan) was to try and book our reservations with two tables, one under my name and one under Jeff's so that gave us flexibility. The original thought was a table of 6 and a table of 8. After chatting last night we decided to go for 2 tables of 8. There is an outside chance we could be as many as 17 but the more probable "high" number is 16, medium number is 11-12 and "low" is 8.

Sounds great. Except for 2 things. 180+10 only works if you have a room reservation to tie it to. The system would not let us break apart our adults; it would show it as a double booking and not allow it as it was all the same room reservation. Had my mom actually made her reservation, we could have used that, but of course she hasn't. Big picture it is probably just as well as I'd rather control them all but oh, wasted a good 30 minutes making reservations for a party of 8 to then go in and try to add the 2nd table and&be unable to. Sadly, the CM on the phone thought it would work too even though I explained exactly what I was trying to do. It is possible that the problem really lies with the issue that the ADR's I was making were already for more people than showed in my room ressie. It is possible I could have done 2 different 4 tops under 2 different adults tied to the same room ressie and get the 180+10 but we were working with bigger numbers. As you might imagine, finding the same reservations, all for parties of 16 was a tad more difficult.

Then, add the fact that

1. For whatever reason, between this week and last they significantly dropped the hours at DHS
2. Certain restaurants were asking for CC guarantees on 1/1 as its a high no show date

And there was some scrambling involved

Here is what I ended up with to start, theoretically booked under my name and my Disney Experience account.

29-Dec
Kouzzina Breakfast 8:30 am. Party of 8.

I really have NO idea who will be doing the red eye but dont expect it to be everyone. We may well be able to walk in but you never know.

29-Dec
Biergarten Dinner 6:30 pm. Party of 14.

I wanted a CP package. The dining line said they cant book those till next Tues. Some folks have been able to book them online but the website did several different wacky things when I tried, none of which included letting me actually book it. They did say theyd have to rebook the CP package and cancel this one but I made the ressie anyway. I really dont think even if all 16 go, all will be there by 6:30 that night, some may just be landing or arriving the next day. Earlier than we normally eat but would allow us to hit the 8:15 CP. Apparently you have to eat before the CP to get the "tickets".
Do I really need the package? Will stand by line be as horrible as I fear or should I just risk it.

30-Dec
Ohana Dinner 6:20 pm. Party of 16

This is a CC hold, which surprised me. They told me its because the system cant tell which meals are character and which are not...which sounded fishy. Anyone else had a CC hold here? It is supposedly "officially" booked as 2 tables of eight and I was assured easy to adjust down but, we will see huh! Earlier than we normally eat but didn't want to risk missing the pre NYE fireworks, plus Ohana seems to always run a good 15-30 minutes behind ressie time as it is. Beach will be super crowded but at least we will be there, right? I just can't see eating earlier than that. Fireworks are at 9.

Allegedly.

31-Dec
R&C Dinner 6:50 pm. Party of 10.

This is the big one stressing me out. While I have a work around for back up ressies, it only works on 180 days out, not 180 days +10 unless my mom gets her ressie made between now and the 4th, which is the 180 day booking window to try and get a 2nd table of 6. 10 was as large as I could get. Mom is working on it but it will probably be tomorrow before shes booked. Nothing like lighting a fire lol!

1-Jan
Trails End Dinner 7:25pm. Party of 16.

Original plan was for Big River Grille. They dont take reservations, even for large parties. They used to take large parties but not anymore. While we may try to walk up, I didnt want to risk it. I first booked WCC for this night but they wanted a CC hold. Given the whole "day after" scenario, I decided to swap a few things and move to a non CC ressie to be safe. Plus it does put TE at night to see the decorations which would be cool!

2-Jan
Margaritaville Dinner.
Ressie not yet made. Backup plan is dinner in villa or walk in at BRG

3-Jan
PTC lunch 12:30 pm. Party of 16.

Ok this was not in my plan at all. However after the 31st, the latest DHS is currently showing open is 7pm which means no late dinner reservations. Wed all like to eat here but thats a big lunch so very likely this will get cancelled unless hours change and we do some dinner rearranging.

3-Jan
WCC dinner 7:30 pm. Party of 16

4-Jan
Flying Fish Adult Only Dinner 7:30pm. Party of 7. CC Hold

The kids were rather upset at the idea of a date night but less so about an all adult night out (very concerned that Jeff and I would ditch the other adults lol). So I made this and figured we'd feed the kids in the treehouse! I will probably make another full group back up ressie once I get to 180 out on this one. 7 is the largest group I could get via Disney Dining, you have to call direct for anything beyond that. 7-9 is max the number of adults we will have, I will call to increase size if needed if we end up keeping this.

5-Jan
Raglan Road Brunch 11:00am. Party of 10
My guess is our group will have dwindled by this ressie and this may be large enough. It is the largest I could get. I will probably add a 2nd table on July 8th to be safe, as thats the 180 day booking window for our THV ressies and I should be able to make those separately and in addition without conflict. We will see!

5-Jan
Be our Guest Dinner - Couldn't get.
Disney Dining told me that for parties of 8 or larger I had to send a special email to a BoG addy they gave me. Which bounced!

6-Jan
Olivias Dinner 7:40pm. Party of 10
Amazingly the largest I could get but I don't expect real issues with changing as needed and 10 may well be plenty or more than enough.

7-Jan
Via Napoli lunch 12:45 pm Party of 10
Also the largest I could get but I just don't anticipate needing more, or even maybe that much.

So thats what I did in my first 2 phone calls. 1st call to book the bulk, 2nd call to swap WCC and Trails End to avoid the CC hold at WCC.

I then went online and made this

5-Jan
Be our Guest Dinner 6:25pm. Party of 7. CC hold.
This is the largest I could get. I will try for a 2nd table on the 8th but as with the rest I expect our group to be smaller and this may be enough, or some might opt out based on the menu. After hearing mixed reviews lately Id have been ok with lunch (though hopefully its better by Dec) but the boys are DYING to go here so I am happy to have this and hope it works out.

I then went online to link all the reservations through My Disney Experience.
They "seemed" to link but only 2 actually showed up, the Kouzinna Breakfast and The BoG dinner. When I'd go back in to re-link, it would tell me they were linked by the primary guest. Which should be me, but it showed me as a "regular" guest and no primary.

Huh.

I then went online to make a few backup ressies for the 29th. I don't know our flight times or how many are arriving so I wanted some options. I know what flights I want but...we will see how the $$ goes as I track prices. I booked 2 under Jeffs account which I deliberately didn't link to our room reservation.

Captains Grille Breakfast 8:00 am party of 4.
I can't decide where I'd rather eat for the post red eye breakfast, Kouzzina or CG. Need to show the kids the 2 menus and let them pick but this gives me options. Probably totally unnecessary.

Biergarten Dinner 8:00 pm party of 12.
This assumes we don't do a CP package, eat more at our normal time and watch the 6:15 CP either from outside or by waiting in line. Also assumes less people have arrived by this point.

Interestingly enough both of those showed up just fine in his My Disney Experience account.

Now. As you all know, I am a dork. A planner. And a bit of a techno geek. I live by my calendar and on trips, by TripIt. Great that it all shows in My Disney Experience except a) it wasn't all actually showing, b) it doesn't integrate with my calendar. You used to be able to email yourself confirmations or send to others. They've taken that functionality away. I did not receive ONE single confirmation email. For any of the FOURTEEN reservations I made.

Sigh.

The idea of manual entry on all of that gives me hives.



So I called Disney Dining back, thinking the issue was the whole "primary" reservation name, that 2 had me down correctly and the rest didn't, other than the 2 under Jeffs name. The CM was busy trying to figure out what was what, everything showed fine on her end, wed been on the phone for a good 20 minutes when BAM, I'm transferred into the survey you get after the call is done. I call back. System is in the middle of an "enhancement" and they can't look at ressies, give it a couple of hours. So I did. I call back. Nice CM goes in...same thing, everything looks fine on her end but oh, wait, 2 of the ressies don't have an email with them. The Kouzzina one and the BoG. The 2 of course, that are actually showing in My Disney Experience. She fixes it and BAM, they disappear from my Disney Experience. She actually laughs and assures me, repeatedly that all will be well, they are all there, dont worry, give it a few days, yadda yadda yadda. Ok thats nice and all but um, I need this stuff in my calendar and with multiple CC holds out there I want to be able to SEE it. And share it with the folks dining with us, when ready. I have maybe a 50/50 track record of those confirmation emails ever coming though. She tells me that she is unable to send a confirmation email on any of it, that their system doesn't allow it. Yeah&doesn't make me feel better. Nor does horror stories from folks with lost ressies even when they have a confirmation number! I've never had it happen to me but know plenty of folks that it has. Of course I typed it all down but...seeing it in their system and then having hard copy emails would go a long way towards my comfort level being increased. So she gives me the phone number for Disney Internet Technical Issues.

Who I call and speak to the fabulous Haley. Haley tells me that on her end, "My" Disney Experience Profile doesn't actually have an email tied to it. Even though it sure does on my screen, and within the DVC member site, both of which I was uber careful to make sure finally got linked and used the same user name and password. She also tells me on her end that the 2 reservations that were there, and disappeared are now showing up in Jeff's My Disney Experience. Apparently the CM (who laughed) put his email on those 2 ressies, instead of mine. According to the fabulous Haley, I actually have 4 different Disney accounts and apparently they aren't playing nicely but she can fix it. But, it will take some time so she will go work on it and then call me back in 30-60 min. While on a work call (yes I did get SOME work done today though not much) I get a call and am able to listen to the voice mail afterwards. She fixed it and I can check online. Sure enough, she did! And she linked Jeff and I so that the backup ressies also show in My Disney Experience but with him as primary and dont cancel each other out as double bookings.

YAY Hayley!




But...still no email confirmations or any way to get them. So I call. Again. Back to IT/Internet. This time the nice CM, who isn't the fabulous Hayley but is still a very nice guy, tells me that they can take up to 24 hours. Me, I'm pretty sure they are never coming thanks to the initial email glitch. He also tells me that Disney Dining CAN resend them. Some CM's are on systems that won't allow for it but if so to just ask for Guest Services who can resend them. He of course tells me I can see them all in My Disney Experience and I explain why I want them via email.

His response

Oh wow, I never thought about that! That makes complete sense! I'm going to bring that up at our next meeting.

As I told him, nothing against MDE but it's not what I use for my scheduling. I use outlook, the calendar on my phone and TripIt. All which play nicely with each other. Emails are great as I can just forward to TripIt and they import all the data both into trip it AND into my calendar. Downloading ical to my calendar would work too and other dining reservations such as Open Table, most hotel booking sites, let you do that. But to not have either and then an app/system that crashes all the time and loses stuff (I didn't mention that last part mind you but we all know better) gives you no backup and a lot of manual entry.

So, as it stands here is what we ended up with. 14 reservations, 10 under my name and 4 under Jeff's. The 2 that the CM "moved" stayed with Jeff. Figures.
  • 29-Dec Kouzzina Breakfast 8:30 am. Party of 8. OR Captains Grille Breakfast 8:00 am Party of 4
  • 29-Dec Biergarten Dinner 6:30 pm. Party of 14 OR Biergarten Dinner 8:00 pm party of 12
  • 30-Dec Ohana Dinner 6:20 pm. Party of 16 CC Hold
  • 31-Dec R&C Dinner 6:50 pm. Party of 10.
  • 1-Jan Trails End Dinner 7:25pm. Party of 16.
  • 2-Jan Margaritaville Dinner. Ressie not yet made. backup plan is dinner in villa or walk in at BRG
  • 3-Jan PTC lunch 12:30 pm. Party of 16.
  • 3-Jan WCC dinner 7:30 pm. Party of 16
  • 4-Jan Flying Fish Adult Only Dinner 7:30pm. Party of 7. CC Hold. Kids eat in the treehouse. IF DHS extends their hours this could go to a group PTC
  • 5-Jan Raglan Road Brunch 11:00am. Party of 10
  • 5-Jan Be our Guest Dinner 6:25pm. Party of 7 CC Hold
  • 6-Jan Olivias Dinner 7:40pm. Party of 10
  • 7-Jan Via Napoli lunch 12:45 pm Party of 10
Still "to do":

1. 7/3 Moms 180+10 day window possibly opens
a. If my mom has a reservation number: Book a 2nd table at R&C for NYE under her name.
b. Call Disney Dining if no confirmation emails yet and try to get re-sent. Elevate to Guest Services if they wont.
c. Get all ressies into TripIt for safekeeping.
2. 7/4 Jeffs 180 day window opens for NYE (no plus 10)

a. If my mom doesnt have a reservation number yet: Book a 2nd table at R&C for NYE
b. 7/4 if I cant get a 2nd table at R&C, look for a back up ressie for the larger group but keep the one for 10 for now.
3. 7/8 New 180 day+10 window opens tied to the THV reservation
a. Try for a 2nd table at BoG
b. Try for 2nd table for Raglan brunch
4. 7/9 unless I hear earlier those bookings are working via the phone or online.
a. Book CP package for some or all but try to keep 2 ressies for backups based on arrival times and number of folks. OR decide to skip the pacakge and take our chances with the standby line
5. Between now and End of September.
a. Flights
b. Number of people actually going
c. Tweak ressies accordingly and hope dropping folks if needed doesnt cause issues. I was told repeatedly that it wouldnt but...
d. Consider any special experiences
e. Buy Universal Tickets, possibly Express Passes
f. Get Jeffs Park Ticket
g. Keep an eye on park hours and consider what I'd move to get PTC at night instead.
6. Between now and 10/30.
a. Figure out the whole My Magic + nightmare as it applies to us and fast pass bookings, etc. UGH.
On the topic of #6. I figure this may well be a bit of a train wreck for us. As I understand it, paper tickets issued before a certain point can only be converted on property, at Guest Services. We will have a mix of vouchers issued before, vouchers issued after, actual tickets and a confirmation code for my PAP. The PAP falls into the "before" category and it would appear that there is no way for the system to recognize that confirmation code until it's converted. Can't worry overmuch about it but I have a feeling only some of us will actually be able to make those FP+ ressies and we are going to have to make a call on whether to do it or stick with paper or what have you. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Too early to tell but hopefully there will be some data coming out before I hit that 60 day window. I personally do not want to do online check in either and folks seem to think that will be required to enable the My Magic Band/FP+ bookings ahead of time anyway so...who knows.

Bleh.

And there you go. That's about as much of a PTR as I've got right now.

Back to Aulani soon!

Last edited by eandesmom; 07-02-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:54 PM   #326
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Cynthia, what a wonderful update. If for no other reason, I would go to Aulani for that massage alone (I do love my massages and just booked a hot stone massage for a week from Sunday). It sounds like heaven.

I am loving most of your ADR's (a few we didn't care for but everyone has different tastes). That is a lot of ADR's with a lot of people.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:01 PM   #327
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WOWZA!!!! I'm exhausted just reading about all the phone calls and confusion, I can't imagine how you felt with all that calling and holding and calling back.

Regarding the CP, we went in early December and were unable to get in using the stand by line. We were able to stand in the back and listen to everything, but it wasn't the same. If it's important to you to sit and see the presenter/chorus I wouldn't chance it with the standby line.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:15 PM   #328
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As usual after I read one of these posts I feel like I need to

I had a lot of trouble with my Disney Experience and somehow managed to have a separate account under Brian's name. Go figure. I could not get my BOG reservation to show up, no matter what, but I had the confirmation number so I left it.

I usually copy and paste my ADR's and email them that way. I didn't know there was ever an email option.

Sorry your day was tied up with ADRS and tech stuff. What a major pain in the you know what.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #329
rentayenta

There's never enough vacation time
I'm always thinking about it
I can't imagine being in it alone
 
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<------ Head spinning too Just over buy groceries and walk up everywhere. Oh wait.......


I sure hope your group appreciates all of the time and effort you're putting in to this. It's a lot to plan dining for so many people.
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
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You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 07-02-2013, 09:13 PM   #330
jedijill
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Holy mother of ADR and IT madness! You missed your calling in life...you should work for the Pentagon planning invasions!

Jill in CO
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