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Old 02-05-2008, 03:58 PM   #1
ddstratton
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Talking First-Timers Take on Disney World - Pictures!!! Multiple Updates - 10/10

I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna write a pre-trip report. I’ve read a bunch of great pre-trippies, and trippies, and have been inspired to do my own! (list of installments available at the end of this post)


First things first. Let’s meet the crew.

Cast of Characters:


DH – 38 (turning 39 on our trip). Never been to Disney World. Not over-the-top thrilled about going, either. He’s pretty easy-going on our vacations. Most likely will not ride many rides. He just likes to go along.


Me – 36 (turning 37 on our trip). Never been to Disney World either. Definitely an obsessive planner type. But I don’t get upset if each little thing doesn’t go as planned. I just love the fun of planning. I plan on going on as many rides as I can.


DD – 9. She’s never been to Disney World. Is very excited to be going. Her main goal in going to Disney World is to meet Pluto. She says she’ll go on all the rides with me, but will likely change her mind on a few of them…


DMom – 58. Never been to Disney World. My mom. VERY excited to be going. She WILL ride all of the rides with me.


DMIL – 76. Never been to Disney World. She is kind of excited to be going, but really not sure what to expect. Most likely will not ride many rides, but will enjoy the experience.

That’s the crew! A group of five first-timers, ranging in age from 9 to 76, and two birthdays to boot!



Installments:

The Start of Our Plans
How We Became Five
We WERE going to stay at the POP Century Resort
How To Get From New York to Florida
Comparing Flying to Train Travel
Some Questions
Change of Mode of Transportation
A Small Peek at our Last (Non-Disney) Vacation
ADR Time!
Day 2 ADR's
Disney Days 3 and 4
Days 5 and 6
Why I've Been a Bit Absent
Disney Days 7 and 8
Disney Days 9 and 10
Made a Few Changes...
Changes, Changes, Changes
Days 1 and 2 - Tentative Itinerary
Day 3 Tentative Itinerary
Grrr -- Day 3 Changes Already
Day 4 - Tentative Itinerary
Changes, Again.
Fun Saturday and Practice for Disney?
Big Time Changes
More Major Changes!
ADR Madness
Current Updates...
Back to Days 1 and 2
Back to Day 3
Back to Day 4
Back to Day 5
Day 6 Plans
Another Trip Next Year??
Day 7 - Tentative Plans
Day 8 - Tentative Plans
Day 9 - Tentative Itinerary
Day 10 - Tentative Itinerary
Day 11 - Tentative Plans
Day 12 - Tentative Itinerary
Day 13 - Tentative Plans
Day 14 - Tentative Plans
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May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; 10-10-2008 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:25 PM   #2
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There's nothing like the first time!
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:24 PM   #3
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What an exciting trip for all of you! Have fun with the planning and everything!
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:06 PM   #4
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The Start of our Plans

Our original plans were for a party of three (DH, me and DD) to take a seven-day trip in May 2008, celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary while we were there. I had originally wanted to stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort. To me, it just seems like a vacation within a vacation – the whole theming of that particular resort just seems to have the “islands” feel to it.

BUT – and it was a big but in my planning – the main pool was going to be closed while we would be there. I know, I know, the Caribbean Beach has many other pools. For us, part of the draw for a moderate/deluxe resort was the “nicer” pools. You see, our DD is part fish. At least, she acts like it. So I started looking at other resorts. The Pop Century FAQs, here on the DIS boards, convinced me that I’d like to stay there. Sure, they didn’t have the “fancy” pools, but there were enough other fun things going on there to keep the kiddo entertained.

So now we were a party of three, staying at the Pop Century in May 2008. But do to some family circumstances, we became a party of four. DMIL was going with us now. This could be a very good thing, as our DD is very attached to DMIL. She’s with her most of the day. We homeschool, you see. DD is at home during the daytime, with DMIL.

Up next – how we went from a party of four staying at the Pop Century in May to a party of five staying in October…
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May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; 06-13-2008 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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Darla - what a great start and so exciting. My FIL planned the first trip we ever went on, but I took over after that and DH says I LOVE the planning as much as being there...little does he know! But the planning is so fun.

Ty
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Trip of New Phases, Friends & 40 - Sept 09 - CR/AKV
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:35 PM   #6
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Sounds like a great trip in the works! I have heard good things about October and May so both sound like good times to go! I'm going in May so we will see!
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:24 AM   #7
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great start. All 5 first timers WOW! what fun that will be
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:06 PM   #8
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How we became FIVE

When we last left off, we were a party of four first-timers staying at the Pop Century in May 2008.

In November 2007, I started thinking about how much my Mom would love to go with us on this trip. See, we took her on vacation with us in May 2007, to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area in Tennessee. We all had a great time, and my mother just had a blast, as you can see below...



However, it would be a bit of a squeeze financially to add another person to our trip that is only about 6 months away. Shortly before Christmas, DH and I decided to move our trip from our traditional May to October. We usually take a vacation in May, as that is our wedding anniversary month. October works for us just as well – DH and I both have birthdays at the end of October.

Since we are now going in October, it's not as much of a financial squeeze to add another person to our group. We'll have a few more months to save!! I go into last-minute planning mode. I had to make up a great way to surprise my mother with a Disney trip, and it was only a week before Christmas! When we took my mother on vacation with us last year, we surprised her with the trip at Christmas. I had made up a little brochure and gift certificate, placed it in an envelope, duct-taped that envelope to the inside bottom of a large computer box, then filled the box with wadded newspaper. This was wrapped up and given to my mother. She had so much fun trying to find her gift in that box!!!




This year, I made up a travel booklet and put it in a soft-cover binder. Below are a couple of pictures of my mother opening this gift. At first, you can tell that she doesn't quite get it. Then you see it dawning on her. I love this sequence of pictures.









So, at this point, we are now a party of FIVE Disney first-timers, staying at the POP Century Restort in October 2008. More changes coming…..
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May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; 06-13-2008 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:35 AM   #9
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I LOVE the photos of your Mom opening the gift. Priceless. You guys are gonna have so much fun! And you will read that crocs are fabulous shoes for the parks. Make sure she brings them.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredkid View Post
I LOVE the photos of your Mom opening the gift. Priceless. You guys are gonna have so much fun! And you will read that crocs are fabulous shoes for the parks. Make sure she brings them.
Oh, yes. Crocs are definitely coming with us! I will be wearing them, and my mom. DD might wear them as well. Won't be able to convince DH or DMIL, but the three of us will have comfy feet
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May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:27 AM   #11
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We WERE going to stay at the POP Century Resort...

When we last left off, we were a party of five first-timers, staying at the POP Century Restort in October 2008. Then one fine January afternoon, something wonderful comes in the mail.


I HAD A CODE!!!!! 40% off room-only for moderate resorts during selected weeks. Hmmmm… What do you know??? One of those "selected weeks" was the week we were planning on being at Disney!



So what could I do? I got on the phone, of course. We could stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort! This was my first choice of resort when we had first decided to visit Disney. I just loved the looks of the resort. It seemed like it would be a vacation within a vacation. BUT….. the main pool was scheduled to be closed for refurbishment when we had planned to be there in May. Well, guess what?!? The refurbishment is scheduled to be completed more than a month before we will be there in October!! Woo Hooo!!!!


I spoke with a very nice young man at Disney Reservations. He gave me a price and switched my POP Century reservation to a new one at the Caribbean Beach. After I got off the phone, I started thinking that the numbers he gave me were a bit high for being 40% off room rate. So I checked online at Disney's site, to see how much rack rate was for the package we have. SAME PRICE. The very nice young man I spoke with gave us no discount at all!

Back on the phone! This time I spoke with a superb young woman. She was so very friendly and helpful. She said there were no notations on my reservation about having a code. I gave her my PIN and other information. She did her little bit of magic and came back with an amount that was $1,500 less than the previous CM had given me!!! We were now staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort, two rooms (hopefully connecting), 10-day MYW tickets with Park Hoppers, and Deluxe Dining for four adults and one child -- for $500 less than we were going to be paying for the same package at POP Century!!! I was doing such a happy-dance when I got off the phone with her!!!

And that is how we went from a party of three first-timers staying at the POP Century in May to a party of five first-timers staying at the Caribbean Beach in October!

Up next, more planning… Such as – how do we get there and back?
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May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; 06-13-2008 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:15 AM   #12
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40% off code! You are so lucky! It is gonna be an amazing trip. You are just gonna love it.

-Becca-
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:24 AM   #13
winkers
I was stuck in that position and ... It took 4 strapping young boys to hoist me back on my feet
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Woohooty for getting a code!
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:09 PM   #14
retiredkid
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what a fabulous surprise!!! You did really well. Caribbean Beach is a great resort. You're gonna LOOOOOOOOVE it!!!!! Congrats!
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:21 PM   #15
TyRy
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Congrats on the 40% off code!
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May 1995 - 1st Trip! Offsite --- May 2000 - Ramada Offsite & POFQ --- Oct/Nov 2004 - POFQ, 1st MNSSHP on HALLOWEEN!
06 Trip Report - Mickey's Hand is in My Pocket! Sept/Oct 06 11 days!!! WL, AKL, 2nd MNSSHP & Dining Extravaganza Reviews & Pics 9/23-10/3/06
Mickey's Hand is Back in my Pocket - A Trippie for Sept/Oct 08 and 1st Trip Home to AKV
Trip of New Phases, Friends & 40 - Sept 09 - CR/AKV
*A Giraffe Meets the Beach - Oct '10 BCV/AKV* *Oct '11 AKV/Poly *1st Birthday Trip and Disney Dream Cruise - Dec '11 AKV* *Oct '12 - 18 days! AKVJ, BWV, AKVK*
*Nov 2013 AKVJ* *Extra May 2014 Trip SSR* *Oct 2014 Trip AKVJ, BLT, AKVJ*
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