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Old 01-06-2007, 12:08 AM   #1
KangaFan
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Smile It's Pam's Fault . . . Updated 7/10 Chapter 7: DDs Princess Day!

Get comfortable, because this is a long cast of characters . . .

Cast of Characters:


Me, 33, full-time Mom. This is my first time ever going to Disney World. To my husband’s dismay, I am probably more excited than our two children! The only way I can possibly stand the wait is to obsessively and compulsively plan for said trip.


DH33, an officer in the Coast Guard, went to Disney a few times with his parents in the 70s & 80s. Has given up hopes of containing my excitement and just prefers I keep him in the dark as to my ever-tweaked itinerary. Has been know to wave off other family members or friends who start to or look as if they are about to ask me what our plans are for Disney.


DS8, loves Legos, video games, Star Wars & roller coasters. It was a dream come true for him when we found out about the free ticket upgrade that will allow him to head to Disney Quest!


DD4, can’t wait to meet the Princesses, especially Ariel, her favorite. My
DMIL has always called her Princess, and she has learned to like it. In fact, she's looking for an upgrade. Once, while wearing a tiara, someone called her a Princess and she said, quite formally, “I’m not a Princess, I’m the Queen.” –just what we needed, royalty in our home, Thanks Grandma.


DM48, yes, DM means dear mother and yes all you mathematicians she is a very young Mom. In fact, I think spiritually, our ages should be switched. My DM loves to go out, drink & be merry. Although she is planning to take the kids for a night so DH & I can do Le Cellier, adult style, she is not your typical grandmother. She has plans to live it up and to check out the Disney nightlife.

(sorry, I don't have a picture handy, but will add one later)
Mom’s DBF60, of Irish descent and is a real wise guy. Rides and Disney really aren’t his kind of thing, but he’s going for Mom and when his fun meter gets pegged, will most likely retreat to one of Disney’s many lounges for a cigar and some adult refreshment--I'm sure there's a few spots/drinks you can all recommend!


(DSis on left)
DSIS24, works at a group home and will be celebrating her birthday the day before we arrive. Although she is not thrilled about rooming with Mom & Mom’s DBF, she can’t complain about the price of her accommodations—free!


DMIL & DFIL, 50-somethings (DH isn’t quite sure), are retired teachers. The last time they went to Disney World, they camped with DH and his 2 other teen/pre-teen brothers at Fort Wilderness. DFIL is looking forward to Epcot at an adult pace while DMIL can’t wait to share It’s a Small World with DD4. **As I type, whether or not DMIL & DFIL are going to be able to make it is uncertain. DMIL just found out that she needs to have back surgery and it doesn’t look as if it is the kind that can wait.

(pic to follow)
DUncle 50 this year & DAunt, 40-something, are Annual Passholders and big Disney fans who live in Sanford. Their reward for answering my many phone calls/questions in the last year about all things Disney and supplying my children with numerous Disney pins and other park essentials is a great excuse to play hooky (spelling?) from work while they join us for random parts of our 1st vacation.

(don't even have a pic of these guys, sorry)
DAunt’s Sister & DAunt’s Sister’s Boyfriend will also be joining us for a couple of evenings

Key facts:

When: Arriving January 20, Departing January 28th via Magical Express
Where: Port Orleans French Quarter
Why: Because it looked so beautiful and with the Jan upgrades/discounts and the dining
plan, it was cheaper than Shades of Green

ADRs: O’Hana
Garden Grill
Le Cellier (DH & I to celebrate our 10th anniversary)
Cape May Café (Mom, Mom’s DBF, DSis, DS & DD, while we’re at LC)
Crystal Palace
50’s Prime Time
Boma
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Whispering Canyon Café
Sci Fi Dine-in Theater
Chef Mickey’s

The kids are doing the Pirate Adventure at the Grand Floridian, DD will be heading to the BBB before our lunch at CRT and we are all ending our stay with the GG Magical Fireworks Voyage.

Okay for those who just want the facts, stop now. However, if you’ve got some time and would like to know how this “Grand” gathering came to being, grab some popcorn and keep reading . . .

The whole Disney extravaganza is really my friend, Pam’s fault. About 18 months ago, Pam mailed my DS8 some books, one of which was the Carole Marsh mystery that takes place at Disney World. Somewhere between Liberty Square and Frontierland, my son asked me, “Mom, when can we go to Disney World?”

These words really tugged at my heart strings. Growing up, my Mom had always wanted to take us to Disney World, but for a single Mom of 3 girls living on a bank teller’s salary, it wasn’t even a remote possibility. Not that we never went anywhere. Mom always found a way to swing a day trip to Riverside Park (Agawam, MA) or Story Town (Lake George, NY) just about every year. It was a fun trip, slipping and sliding our way down on the vinyl seat in the back of my Mom’s friend’s pick up truck. (By the way, my safety-freak-since-I-had-kids side is just dying at this complete lack of seat belts.)

Anyway, I’m getting off track---back to Disney—okay, so at this point, I know that I want to go and since DH had said that he wanted to wait until the kiddies were old enough to remember it, I think I have a good shot of talking him into it now that they are 8 & 4. I don’t really remember how that conversation went, but I’m sure there was begging, pleading, and maybe even conniving on my part. Anyway, DH finally gave the go-ahead, but did not want DS to miss any school and we are northerners at heart and climatically (possibly not a word, but you get what I mean) so we tentatively plan for April 2007.

The obsession begins . . . I can’t say for sure, but I’m willing to bet my favorite pair of comfy pants that I went out to the bookstore and bought not 1 or 2, but 3 Disney books that very same day. I hadn’t discovered the DIS or TGM yet, so these were not the “right” books, but they were a start. Again, obsessing begins, I start to read at all free moments and quickly discover that April vacation time is one of the worst times to go. Yikes! You have to understand, DH and DS do NOT do well in crowded, long line situations. I have visions of spending thousands of dollars only to be starring in my very own film, Disney with the Cranks. Mercifully, a friend mentions that our county has published the 2006-2007 school calendar and she thinks there are two consecutive days off in January. N’est pas, you don’t say? Well, it’s a Thursday/Friday combo and the previous Monday is a half day, so we can get 8 days at Disney with only 2.5 days of school missed. I present my case to DH, showing him the little colored attendance graph from my guide book along with my own not so professional graph of the $$$ we will be spending and he agrees! Woo hoo, our first crisis averted.

I thought I had pleaded my last case before the court, but then I thought of something new—wouldn’t it be GREAT if we could take my Mom. She always wanted to go and sacrificed so much when we were little. (You have to understand that my husband loves my Mom, but he also cherishes time alone as a family, so this is why I needed to plead my case.) The other great thing about DH is that he loves me and genuinely wants to make me happy, so if I present a good case, he will usually capitulate (I love the sound of that word—haven’t had a use for it since the SATs, but it’s just a great word.) to my wishes.

Mom’s birthday is in March, so we wrap a Disney guide book with a note asking her to come with us and she is very excited!!! I mention the trip to my dear in-laws and they would like to meet us for a few days. Mom wants DBF to come along, so we add him to the tally. A few months later, DSis asks if she can come along and voila, we have one Grand Gathering!

I think we’re up to somewhere in the neighborhood of June or July. From then on, I was a plan-o-holic. It seemed that each day I found some new source or tidbit. I’ve lost count, but there were many, many drafts to our itinerary and then I found the DIS in October.

I wish there was a way to add sound, because it seems like this should be the moment when the choir pipes in with Halleluiah! Halleluiah!, (I’m not sure what that overture is called and it’s too late to call DMIL, who is a retired music teacher, but you get the idea.) I Dissed and found more information in 1 month than I had in the last 9! I started reading my first TR, Lexmelinda’s, and was hooked. By the way, LM, if you’re reading, TGM needs to give you a commission. I thought I was done planning, but after your TGM praise, with only a few months to go, I subscribed and revamped my itin yet again.

So here I am, pretty much done planning and twiddling my thumbs with 15 days to go and yet still I DIS because you all are just too funny! So thanks for all the advice and the entertainment! I have so enjoyed visiting Disney vicariously through so many of your trip reports. I can’t wait to share the rest of ours in just a few weeks!

(Okay, so at 9 pm, when I started writing this, it was 15 days to go, but now it's 14--who knew that a TR installment could take so long!)
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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Okay, it was waaay past my bedtime when I finished last night and I forgot an important update. DH is now getting excited and has started reading all my planning materials. At first, this was great, but then he started messing with my binder, making suggestions and I had to tell him, hands off, the time for his input was 6 months ago! LOL!

Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful Saturday! I am going to go rake some more leaves that finally fell!
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:49 AM   #3
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Your excitement ooozzees from the post. I cant wait to read your trippie! Sounds like it'll be great!
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pooksma View Post
Your excitement ooozzees form the post. I cant wait to read your trippie! Sounds like it'll be great!
Thanks for reading! As we get closer I'm getting that nervous feeling you get after cramming for a final exam (my binder's just about as thick as a semester's notes, LOL!) I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a final, it's a VACATION and it will be fabulous no matter what!

Do you know where your staying in August yet? I think planning is almost as much fun as the vacation itself!
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:35 PM   #5
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This trip we are split staying as a surprise for DS (6). 8 nights at POP since he really liked it there, and last 2 nights at AKL as a shocker for him. DH is also really excited about staying at AKL.
(only 203 more days)
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:11 PM   #6
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Awesome start! I can't wait to here about your trip!
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pooksma View Post
This trip we are split staying as a surprise for DS (6). 8 nights at POP since he really liked it there, and last 2 nights at AKL as a shocker for him. DH is also really excited about staying at AKL.
(only 203 more days)
I love the idea of a surprise! I could never have pulled it off for this trip because I was just too excited, but am definitely planning to try for the next one! AKL--yeah for you! It looks beautiful! We're doing a dinner there and I can't wait to check it out!
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouseketeer_mom View Post
Awesome start! I can't wait to here about your trip!
You must be getting pretty excited yourself! I think it was about two months out that I became totoally addicted to TRs--LOL! Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:12 PM   #9
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I think the planning and anticipation is half of the fun!!
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amykathleen2005 View Post
I think the planning and anticipation is half of the fun!!
Absolutely! DH is already saying that he doesn't know what I am going to do with myself when we get back. He thinks I'm going to need a post-Disney plan for withdrawal symptoms. I haven't told him the proven Disboard cure--another trip!
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:26 AM   #11
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Wow!!! Talk about a GRAND GATHERING! Thta's alot of people!

Hope we see you there!
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:43 AM   #12
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Planning is a major part of the fun for me. I am the ONLY one in my group that PLANS anything around here!!! Cant wait to here your trip report. I am actually going to try and make one for this trip coming up.


Can't wait to read more!!!!!
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:38 AM   #13
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Princess@Heart: You bet, it is a GRAND Gathering and they all characters in the true sense, so it should be a LOT of fun!

Disneyfreak74: I am definitely having planning withdrawal already, I even took over my Mom's itin since she still hasn't finished it yet--LOL! When are you going in Jan? Maybe we'll see you there!

Thanks for reading and helping me pass the time . . .
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:58 AM   #14
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Just a little update . . . we're almost 100% certain that DMIL is going to have back surgery and will not be able to make the trip. She was hoping to find a doctor who would agree to just keep her on prednisone for the rest of her life, but no luck. She is the kind of person who is always taking care of everyone else, so this is hard for her.

On the planning front, I still continue to tweak our itinerary and am wondering how many versions the average disser creates of said itinerary. I've lost count--LOL! Here's what we have so far, but you never know, it could change tomorrow. Since this is my first trip, I'd love to hear any thoughts on our proposed touring:

Saturday: arrive via ME around lunch time (I'm packing a lunch to eat on the
way from MCO so we don't have to waste time eating when we
get there)
head to Epcot and to a little World Showcase/less busy
attractions at Future World
Head back to POFQ by 8 for an early night

Sunday: head to MK for rope drop
Do half the rides on our must see list
Grab an early CS lunch
Do Mickey’s Philharmagic w/fastpasses if necessary
Head back to POFQ for pool or surrey bike break
Early dinner ADR @ O’Hana

Monday: head to Epcot for rope drop
Do Soarin, Nemo, Turtle Talk, Test Track, Mission space (DH & DS)
Early lunch at the Garden Grill
Head back to POFQ for break
Early dinner for DH & I at Le Cellier, DM & kids at Cape May Café
More World Showcase, adult style for DH & I, followed by
Illuminations

Tuesday: head to MK for rope drop
Do the other half of the rides on our must see list
Early lunch at Crystal Palace
Head back to POFQ for break
Grab early CS dinner at food court or at MK while waiting for Spectro
Head to MK for spectro

Wednesday: since we’re taking afternoon breaks, I didn’t want to take a
whole day off, but planned this one to be more relaxing
hang in a little, taxi to Pirate Adventure for kids
brunch for the adults at GF café
Head to MGM for afternoon shows/parade
Early dinner at 50’s Prime Time Café
Fantasmic

Thursday: head to Animal Kingdom for rope drop
DH & DS do EE w/kid swap while DD & I go get FPs for
Kilm. Safaris
DS & I do EE while DH takes DD around to some other
attractions (she loves animals)
All do some Dinoland together and then head to Safaris
Early CS lunch at Flame Tree or Tusker House
Festival of the Lion King show
Wildlife express train & Conservation Station (I know, but DD
LOVES animals)
Nemo show (if time)
Afternoon parade watched near entrance
Early dinner at Boma

Friday hang in & then boat to DTD
BBB for DD
Lego store/Disney quest for DS & DH
Taxi to MK for lunch at CRT for the girls
Afternoon? Whatever we feel like doing at this point
Early dinner at WCC

Saturday head to MGM for EMH
Thrillers for DS & DH, maybe some kids swap for me
Star Tours & Muppets for the whole family
Some character visiting
Lights Motor Action
Early lunch @ Sci-Fi
Indiana Jones Stunt show (if we feel like it)
Head back to POFQ for a break
Early dinner @ Chef Mickey’s, followed by Grand Gathering Magical
Fireworks Voyage

Sunday In denial about Sunday, this is the day we come home

Any thoughts suggestions??? I’d love to hear them. It will give me an excuse to tweak my itin yet again.
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KangaFan View Post
Any thoughts suggestions??? I’d love to hear them. It will give me an excuse to tweak my itin yet again.
I think it looks like a great plan! You have rest breaks and adult time. You factored in FastPasses.

Are you planning on spending any time at Disney Quest?
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