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Old 01-30-2007, 03:40 PM   #16
cmp1111
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ADR's Made! Maps & DVD arrived! Still obsessed!

With nothing happening for a couple of weeks, I had a great day today!

My Passporter and UOG arrived last week. I LOVE the Passporter, as far as organization. I need all the help I can get! The UOG is much more to my taste than the official guide as far as giving pro's and con's to rides, restaurants, etc. Again, the OG would be good for the initial stages, but I felt that I was past it.

My customized maps arrived on Friday. They are SO cool. I don't know that they're really that useful for taking to the parks - they are big - but they are absolutely goregeously rendered and will make awesome keepsakes. They also included tips for the smaller kids. If you haven't ordered them, do.

My planning DVD arrived today. I am very torn. We are not exactly keeping this a secret from the boys, but we haven't exactly told them we're going for sure, either. They see me with my nose buried in the UOG, on the DIS, etc., and say, "Mommy, you're looking at Disney again!" but I just tell them that I'm checking things out to "see if we can go," or "just seeing what we might do IF we go." So, I really want to watch the DVD, but I'm not sure that I should, yet. I have heard it is great for getting smaller kids into the ideas of the rides, so I definitely want them to watch it before we go.

Their birthday is actually one month exactly before we leave, so we're hoping to tell them as a birthday surprise. We'll see if I can last that long! I can always watch the DVD while they're sleeping.

So, having read the recommendations in the UOG, I called just now to make my ADR's.

It went GREAT! I got all the restaurants I wanted (even Crystal Palace on Memorial Day) at the times I wanted. Here's what we have:

5/28 - CP for lunch, 11:30. (I decided on lunch in case we take the nap/swim break and want to be out of the park at dinner.)
5/29 - Restaurant Marrakesh for dinner, on the early side, 5:30.
5/30 - Donald's Breakfastosaurus for breakfast at 9:00 and then the boys are set in the Simba Club at AKL while DH and I do date. We haven't decided where to go for us, so that will have to be added later. Thoughts for a romantic dinner, anyone? We'll pay oop for that - but we don't mind pricey if it's good...
5/31 - dinner at Boma, on the later side - 7:00, after our MGM day.

We are on the DDP, and I actually still have one TS meal for the 4 of us to play with. We arrive on the 27th, but I still don't have flights, darn Southwest... So, assuming we get flights we want and get in around noon, we could use our last TS for dinner on the arrival night, or we could add a TS at Epcot or MGM on those days, as a lunch. We'll have to see what the flight times actually are - we may also need a meal on the 1st when we leave, if we get a late enough flight out.

The CM at WDW-DINE was extremely pleasant and helpful, so that was great, too! She gave me lots of good advice on when to show up and what to do (not that I didn't know it from the boards, but hey, she didn't have to tell me.)

Woohoo! More plans made. I have a feeling that a couple of the times might change, but for now this looks good. I am excited!
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See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
With nothing happening for a couple of weeks, I had a great day today!

My Passporter and UOG arrived last week. I LOVE the Passporter, as far as organization. I need all the help I can get! The UOG is much more to my taste than the official guide as far as giving pro's and con's to rides, restaurants, etc. Again, the OG would be good for the initial stages, but I felt that I was past it.

My customized maps arrived on Friday. They are SO cool. I don't know that they're really that useful for taking to the parks - they are big - but they are absolutely goregeously rendered and will make awesome keepsakes. They also included tips for the smaller kids. If you haven't ordered them, do.

My planning DVD arrived today. I am very torn. We are not exactly keeping this a secret from the boys, but we haven't exactly told them we're going for sure, either. They see me with my nose buried in the UOG, on the DIS, etc., and say, "Mommy, you're looking at Disney again!" but I just tell them that I'm checking things out to "see if we can go," or "just seeing what we might do IF we go." So, I really want to watch the DVD, but I'm not sure that I should, yet. I have heard it is great for getting smaller kids into the ideas of the rides, so I definitely want them to watch it before we go.

Their birthday is actually one month exactly before we leave, so we're hoping to tell them as a birthday surprise. We'll see if I can last that long! I can always watch the DVD while they're sleeping.

So, having read the recommendations in the UOG, I called just now to make my ADR's.

It went GREAT! I got all the restaurants I wanted (even Crystal Palace on Memorial Day) at the times I wanted. Here's what we have:

5/28 - CP for lunch, 11:30. (I decided on lunch in case we take the nap/swim break and want to be out of the park at dinner.)
5/29 - Restaurant Marrakesh for dinner, on the early side, 5:30.
5/30 - Donald's Breakfastosaurus for breakfast at 9:00 and then the boys are set in the Simba Club at AKL while DH and I do date. We haven't decided where to go for us, so that will have to be added later. Thoughts for a romantic dinner, anyone? We'll pay oop for that - but we don't mind pricey if it's good...
5/31 - dinner at Boma, on the later side - 7:00, after our MGM day.

We are on the DDP, and I actually still have one TS meal for the 4 of us to play with. We arrive on the 27th, but I still don't have flights, darn Southwest... So, assuming we get flights we want and get in around noon, we could use our last TS for dinner on the arrival night, or we could add a TS at Epcot or MGM on those days, as a lunch. We'll have to see what the flight times actually are - we may also need a meal on the 1st when we leave, if we get a late enough flight out.

The CM at WDW-DINE was extremely pleasant and helpful, so that was great, too! She gave me lots of good advice on when to show up and what to do (not that I didn't know it from the boards, but hey, she didn't have to tell me.)

Woohoo! More plans made. I have a feeling that a couple of the times might change, but for now this looks good. I am excited!
I think Chef Mickey's Dinner the first night.. sets the mood! Then You can get on the monorail and do the entire loop so they can view it. Heck you can even switch monorails and ride the EPCOT loop.. The they get their 1st ride.. and you dont have to use any passes.
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:45 PM   #18
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Ooh, that's a good idea! Once I get flights, I'll work on that!
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
Ooh, that's a good idea! Once I get flights, I'll work on that!
Very awesome.. Also, a DIS tip.. If no one is in the front of the monorail you can ask to sit up there. 4 people can sit up with the driver.
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:54 PM   #20
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Quick weekend trip that gave me insight

So, I swear I wrote this yesterday, but it's not here. I hope I didn't put it in some other thread.

Anyway, a couple of updates that are not directly related, but a couple that are...

We traveled home to IL for a wedding for 5 nights last week. This isn't related to Disney except that it a) showed that the boys might actually behave on an airplane; and b) showed me that we could handle easily flying with 5 days worth of luggage. We usually drive to IL, so I am used to having tons of stuff with us - toys, books, food, pets, clothes for forever, not just a week, etc.

With the same number of nights gone, however, we were easily able to transport our luggage, and, in fact, I think it will be easier packing for FL in May than for IL in February. Clothes are less bulky for May. Things like tank tops take up a LOT less room than sweatshirts. The boys were willing to roll their suitcases (Cars ones, from the Disney Store), though they probably won't need to do that with ME.

Also, while we were gone, Southwest finally published their schedule/fares for a time past 5/10. I would be more excited about this except that it's a lot more expensive, even for pre-vacation time here, than it is for early May. Grrr. However, our other options, just slightly cheaper, are not direct, or for flying out of Boston. We kind of refuse to do that - the local NH airport is so much more convenient, and much cheaper and more convenient for parking, arriving on time, etc. So, that was a bit of a disappointment.

The good news, however, is that they have flights when I want - getting to MCO before noon and leaving to come back after dinner.

The other good news was that my Turbo Tax software arrived and I do think (I always double check my typing, though I trust them to do the math) that we'll get a refund that covers the MYW, hotel, DDP and airfare. I know we'll spend plenty more once we get there, but that's OK. I am VERY pleased to have the rest of the stuff covered.

I think we'll make the decision on the flights soon - DH thinks that it's not worth saving a hundred bucks if we have to change planes and take more travel time, and I tend to agree - and I'll be even more set! Woohoo!
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:15 PM   #21
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Flight Success!!!

I am SOOOO excited! We had horrible drama with flight planning. I mentioned in my last post that Southwest had published their fares, but they weren't as cheap as I had wanted. We kind of hemmed and hawed and just waited.

Last week, Southwest raised their fares even more.

So, I finally bit the bullet and started looking at flights out of Boston. We don't live too far from Boston, but traffic and parking are MUCH harder for us down there, so if we can fly out of our NH airport, we will. However, we were going to save $500 on flights. It would cost us around $50 more in parking, but I finally decided to really resign myself to the parking problems to save $450.

I *almost* bought my flights last night. The fares were steadily going up (try the site www.kayak.com if you haven't. They are purely an info service, gathering the fares and trends, but take you directly to the airlines' sites for booking, so that they are not taking fees or anything.) Anyway, kayak assured me that flights were not going to head down, but I just didn't do it last night. No good reason, really...

THANK GOODNESS!

I sat down just now to book, and just for kicks decided to look at Southwest one last time. They have dropped the price over $700 since yesterday (for the four of us total) and it's about $200 less than the flight out of Boston, plus the savings for our parking, the 20 minute drive to the airport instead of the hour, the shorter security lines... Have a magical day!!!

So, I am booked. We fly in just before noon - plenty of time to take the ME and do something fun that afternoon/evening. We flight out at about 5:30 our last evening, so that we ought to even be able to do a couple of last fun things that day, too. It's exactly what I wanted.

I still need to call - I am hoping that since I've not paid WDW except the deposit, they may give me the PH option that they would give had I booked now. No big deal if not - I have my plan - but it never hurts to ask.

Tax money came in fine, and we are good to go.

Belle gave me a Baggalini for my b-day last month, fully stocked with supplies. She is the bomb.
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See my " The Decoy Trip" Report here. May 2007 - AKL Aug. 2008 - The Big Group Pre-Trip Report is here. And the Rain, Rain, Rain TR: Here
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:52 PM   #22
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Guidance needed for final ADR!

I need to call in the next several days to make my final payment. I also have one TS meal left on my DDP credits. Since I was able to get the flight times I wanted (bless you, Southwest) I can either book an ADR for the evening meal of the day we arrive (5/27, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend) or for a breakfast or lunch on the day we leave (6/1, the following Friday.)

We do not have Park hoppers, and with the deal seemingly gone, I doubt that we'll get them.

I had thought of arriving, checking in (our flight arrives at 11:50 a.m.), then heading to MK. MK has EMH that night. However, I also wouldn't mind going somewhere else and "saving" MK for the first full day of fun... I can't find anything as a TS meal that appeals to me within the MK for dinner. We are doing Crystal Palace for lunch the next day.

So, should we instead go to Epcot that first night, for example, as a partial day thing that day, and make ADR's somewhere in the 20 restaurants that sound good to me there? Should I try to have a breakfast or lunch on the day we leave - our flight leaves at 5:45 p.m., but I don't know when they will want us to show up for ME back to the airport.

I don't have any ADR's at a resort aside from Boma, as we're staying at AKL. How easy would it be to eat at another resort and then get to or from a park on our "partial days" at the beginning or end? Should I forget it and just add another TS meal during my full days at any park? As a reminder, my plan is:

5/27 (Sunday) - arrive noonish, was thinking MK, but can change it.
5/28 (Monday, Mem. Day) - MK with lunch at CP
5/29 (Tues.) - Epcot, dinner ADR at Marrakesh
5/30 (Wed.) - AKL, breakfast ADR at Donald's B-saurus, kids in Simba Club and date night for DH & me!
5/31 (Thurs.) - MGM, dinner ADR at Boma
6/1 - ??? park in the air, was thinking of letting kids pick favorite to return. Flight out at 5:45.

Suggestions, guidance, whatever, will be vastly appreciated!
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:44 PM   #23
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Hey, girl.

This is, um, Belle, cmp's enabler.

I'm so excited about your airfare. It just occurred to me over the weekend that hadn't heard lately about your quest for reasonable airfare. Great score.

Someone suggested earlier that Chef Mickey's sets a great tone for the trip, and I think that's a great idea. The food is fun, the atmosphere is fun, and there's no standing in line for characters. It'll also give you a chance to gauge how the boys will deal with characters (love 'em or leave 'em) for the rest of the trip.

AND, because Chef Mickey's is conveniently located to MK, you can go to MK for a few hours, walk or monorail to the Contemporary, and then go back to MK for EMH if you're feeling brave.

Plus that means you start the trip at MK where the magic started. Even though it's not my favorite park, it's hard for me to imagine starting a trip at any other park.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:07 PM   #24
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2 votes for Chef Mickey's

Quote:
Originally Posted by csuzannet View Post
it's hard for me to imagine starting a trip at any other park.
Yeah, see, I think it may be their favorite, and, with my lack of WDW history, it's the one I know best. I have read on some other threads that if we start there, they may not want to go to the others, or none of the others will measure up. I think they'll like the others fine, but didn't know whether or not to start off with a bang. And, with EMH, it may be totally crowded. But, it's my instict to go there, and Chef Mickey's would be fun if we can get there easily. They could sing "Monorail!"

Thanks, darlin'. And, yes. I was very, very excited about my airfare.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:39 PM   #25
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Hmmm. Will the other parks measure up?



Hmm.

I'd say "yes" because they're all offer such different things.

For instance, for your aviation-inclined family, Soarin' will just be amazing. Then, Woody (oops! blanked out on name you chose for him in the cast of characters and thought I would need to refer to him as the short kid) can't see the Red Power Ranger anywhere but the Studios. And we all know that the hippos at AK are cooler than the ones on The Jungle Cruise.



However, if they become fixated and their fixation causes your DH anxiety, just remind him that the point of vacation is to have fun--not to mark off items on a check list. All of Mel Happyhaunts trip reports point out that ride reiteration can be a good thing.

Last edited by csuzannet; 04-09-2007 at 08:42 PM. Reason: double-checked my facts
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:51 PM   #26
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Final payment made. We're going to Disney!

So, I made the final payment today. Woohoo!!! We're really, truly, going. (I knew this, but still...)

On other news - treating this more like a blog than a pre-trip report - it snowed about 7 inches last Wed. night and we lost power for 16 hours. Most of the snow has melted, but now they are saying we are under a winter storm watch for this Wed. night/Thursday morning. I am angry at this. Very, very angry. Florida sounds better.

Also, I saw a moose in my driveway this evening! A real, live, huge moose.
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:18 AM   #27
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Here's how you know when you're obsessed with Disney and all things Mickey Mouse.

When your eyes read "moose" and your brain thinks "oh, a mouse, it's a good sign for cmp's Disney trip!"

I've gotta get my behind to WDW before December, because I'm clearly going through withdrawal. Who knows what other words I'll mis-read in this state!

Last edited by csuzannet; 04-18-2007 at 01:19 AM. Reason: clarity and my proofreading OCD
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:56 PM   #28
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Nope, Marty Moose, not Mickey Mouse

Yeah, no, it was a moose. Linus started barking and I looked over expecting to see the neighbor's dog, his best friend, and it was a moose. I ran in the house yelling, "Moose, moose, moose, moose!!!!" but DH and the kids couldn't get out in time to see it.

SO, on the actual trip front, my ME passes and tags arrived today! I was thrilled to see more proof!

On another happy note, the weather finally seemed like spring today - 61 and sunny - and so I am a much happier mama. I am solar powered. Of course the weather is supposed to be back to 50's and rain by the boys' birthday next Friday. Sigh.

I started a thread on the family board for suggestions on the wrapped present that will announce to the kids that we are going on the trip, but if anyone who is reading this report has suggestions, I'd appreciate them. Something fairly simple and obvious for kids who can't read much yet, and nothing too expensive as the trip is the main course.
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:57 PM   #29
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Here's what I ended up with!

So, here's a picture of the calendar that DM and I ended up doing. She's a retired first grade teacher - great with the scissors and glue - and we had fun with construction paper Mickey ears, etc. The big birthday is Friday, so I'll let you know how the secret revealing goes, but isn't this cute?







We cleverly used our LGMHs from Home Depot and traced them on red construction paper - those are the actual trip days. The small blue numbers are the real dates, the large black ones are the countdown days. She is making 30 Mickey gloves out of construction paper to use to cover up the days (rather than x-ing them out.) I am really pleased!

On another happy note, my formal itinerary papers and the luggage tags (not the ME ones, but the hard plastic name-and-address ones) arrived in the mail yesterday. Woohoo! I paid AmEx with the tax money, so that is done. Spending money for souveniers (and adult beverages, let's be honest) is all that I have left to worry about on that end.
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:10 AM   #30
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Carp.

Totally my fault, but I kept meaning to call to make the ADR for Chef Mickey's, but just remembered today. Now, they have nothing until VERY late for dinner. So...

First night at MK, should I try to stick with a character meal and try Liberty Tree, or should we try Tony's to stay in the Park, or try Ohana? Or, again, I could use the last TS meal on a different day, and not do anything that first night.

Help!
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