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Old 02-08-2008, 07:40 PM   #1
Quacktatty
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A Commando on Valium - A 7 Day Solo Trip at AKL ***Update 3/23 page 19

Welcome to my Pre-Trip Report!

Index:
Introduction/Back Story - This page, scroll down!
Past trip pictures - post #2
The trip is booked - post #3
Cha-Ching - post #11
Old Favorites or Trying something new? - post #12
How can I fit it all in? - post #15
Schedule, take 1 - post #16
ADRs, take 1 - post #20
Le Cellisuck - post #22
To Free Dine or not to Free Dine... - post #27
ADRs, take 2 - post #30
Cameras and Touring Plans - post #32
Schedule, take 2 - post #33
Double Digit Dance, Crocs and Flights - post #35
Crocs and Discounts - post #39
Calling CRO - post #46
Schedule, take 3 - post #47
Visual Itinerary - post #49
Flights and Snacks - post #53
Photopass Share - post #55
1st Day Itinerary Change - maybe - post #62
My New House! - post #68
House Stuff and DME - post #72
Mickey Heads Galore - post #76
1 Month to go and Dinner Doubts - post #78
ADR Dilemma - post #82
Pins - post #83
One Last ADR Change - post #84
Schedule, Take 4 - post #85
3 Weeks to go! - post #90
No Rest for the Single Rider - post #92
Final Itinerary, probably - post #99
2 weeks to go - post #106
My bags are packed and I'm ready to go! - post #107
A Single Digit Dance and a Solo Trip Pledge - post #119
Dining Changes...maybe? - post #126
Itinerary - The Final Edition - post #132
A Look Back - post #141
A Proper Send-Off - post #154


Click Here to Skip to the Trip Report


Let me introduce the cast -
It's me, myself and I off to the world on my second solo trip!

My first solo adventure to the world was January 2007. It was so much better than I ever thought it would be and I have been thinking about going back ever since. So one year later, I seriously started planning. I figured going in September would be my best bet. Crowds will be fairly lowish, weather will be great, and I don't have anything to tie me down at work during that time.

There was only one hitch, I am in the process of transferring to a new job. I had to check with the new boss before anything could proceed. Of course, I should have known there would be no problems. My new boss (who I have actually worked for before) is big Disney fan as well. And she would be going in September too! Her trip was planned for about a week after mine, and she wanted to have me move my trip so we could meet up! Nothing to worry about there I guess!

Now that I had the go ahead, I started to get to planning pretty seriously. I already even have dining plans and a tentative park schedule - I'm just a little obsessed and spend countless hours on the boards.

So now that you know a little bit about this coming trip, here's a little bit more about me:

I'm 26 years old and after my trip last year, have a new found love of solo traveling. I love the idea that there is nobody to hold me back from doing what I want to do.

My parents think I am absolutely nuts to want to travel alone, to Disney World of all places. They took me a number of times when I was a kid to both WDW and DLR, but just don't feel the love of the parks like I do.

Dad is not a ride person, and was the main photographer for the trips. Mom likes rides, but doesn't really get into Disney. She recently has gone a few times for work, but due to a back injury, can't really ride the way she used to be able to. Eventually Mom and Dad got sick of going and they started sending me on trips with other family members

There was a high school band trip made in the Spring of 1999. We played on stage at Cosmic Rays - a super cool experience; at Downtown Disney - a super windy experience; and got to see some backstage areas and get some hands on training from Disney music type folks. It was a lot of fun - but of course, we stayed offsite

My senior year of college, March 2003, my friend and I made a one day trip to MK during Spring Break. It was a great day, but no where near enough to quench my Disney thirst.

That fall, October 2003, I took my 17 year old cousin for her first trip to the World. We spent 4 days at the parks and stayed at ASMo. This trip also included MNSSHP - dcousin's first experience in Trick or Treating! It was a lot of fun, but this trip was probably my inspiration to try it solo. DCousin was not as adventurous as I would have liked - didn't want to ride TOT, etc. and we had very different ideas of how we wanted to tour. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time and I would go again with her in a heartbeat, but it was not my ideal trip. We also did the Silver Package, which at that time was basically like the Deluxe Dining Plan. It was a LOT of food that we didn't even come close to eating all of. Thus, my aversion to the DDP began.

It wouldn't be until January 2007 that I went back. Those years in between, I was debating with myself...did I want to go alone? Did I want to spend the money? Would it be fun? Was I too "grown-up?" I finally bit the bullet and on Halloween 2006, I booked the trip. I will NEVER regret that decision. It was a wonderful trip. Which you can read all about by clicking the link to my trip report in my siggy

That brings us to today and the start of planning for another trip! In just 218 short days I will be back at WDW for 6 nights and 7 days!!!!

Up next, some pictures through the years in the World.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008


Last edited by Quacktatty; 03-23-2009 at 06:55 PM. Reason: New Title
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:49 PM   #2
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Me and Dad by the castle



Baloo and his special way of giving me an autograph



DCousin and I on the Teacups



Me on the Segway tour

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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

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Old 02-08-2008, 07:52 PM   #3
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I did it, I did it!!! My trip is officially booked!!!

I called this evening and booked a 6 night/7 day stay for September 14th-20th. I'll be staying at AKL - Savannah view. I can't wait!!!!

Of course, calling CRO cannot go off completely without a hitch, I have called twice and will most certainly be calling back again soon.

The first CM I spoke with was very friendly, very helpful, didn't push the dining plan on me, all was well, right? She even told me when I could call back to book my dining! I happily pulled out my credit card, gave my AAA number to get a great 15% discount and paid my deposit of one night + tickets. When I got my confirmation a short time later, I realized my address was wrong. She had put it down as Apartment A when I was really Apartment B. No big deal though - an easy enough fix.

I then went online to book my flights. I was doing this through my credit card points. Last week I only had to use 27,400 points, but this week it was up to 31,000. No worries - I had the points to spare and anything is better than spending the cash. Now that I had my points, I could call back and get my Magical Express information in the system.

The second CM I spoke with was again, super friendly. It did irk me a little bit that he kept referring to my travelling party as "you all" when it was a solo trip, but whatever, I'm sure he's used to dealing with multiple people travelling and solo trippers are not as common. I told him that I needed to add my ME info and change my address. He then tried to push the dining plan on me. No thanks, said I, I'm not a dining plan person, plus I couldn't get it because I booked room only - not a package. Then he decided to tell me that all I had to do was go to my local AAA and book through them - um, no way buddy, I did this myself and I'm staying with it!!! No way am I going to hand over control to my local AAA. He also told me I hadn't added tickets...ummmmmm...yes I have, AND I paid for them already

I gave him my ME info, and as he was entering it he was saying the dates out loud, I thought I heard him say, 9/04 instead of 9/14 but I didn't think anything of it - why would I have ME pick me up 10 days before my arrival? He must have just said it wrong. I hung up and decided just to be safe I'd check online. Oh how wrong was I, he really did put down 9/04!!! So that will be yet another call to CRO...but I'll save that for another day.

Of course, none of this will get to me because I'm going to Disney World!!!! I saved more money than I thought I would and I got my room ressie with no problems! It gives me a little hope that those bounce back free dining crowds won't be as bad as I thought!

Stay Tuned for Dining Details and more itinerary planning.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

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Old 02-08-2008, 08:57 PM   #4
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Oh you are so much braver than me. I would hate to travel alone. I always need someone to go with me. Well it all looks good. Can't wait to hear what ADR's you snagged.

-Becca-
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamer17555 View Post
Oh you are so much braver than me. I would hate to travel alone. I always need someone to go with me. Well it all looks good. Can't wait to hear what ADR's you snagged.

-Becca-
hey Becca - thanks for joining in!! I used to think I would hate being alone too, but I really love it. You really can do anything you want and nobody will argue! My last trip I rode Buzz about 15 times in a row

I've got 218 days until my trip, so stay tuned, there will certainly be more to come!
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

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Old 02-08-2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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Hi

I just found your PTR and what a wonderful trip you have planned! Sounds like fun

AKL, savanah view...nice I'd like to stay there a couple of nights one of these days!

Glad you got everything corrected as far as ME goes.

Can't wait to hear about your itenerary.

We just got back from WDW 2 weeks ago and we're going back Sept. 25th for 11 days ~ It's a surprise trip for the kids Can't wait for MNSSHP again!!!

I can't do a PTR this time because I don't want my 11 year old to find out about the trip until we're on our way, so I will be here with you getting my Disney fix until then
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by earthfaries View Post

We just got back from WDW 2 weeks ago and we're going back Sept. 25th for 11 days ~ It's a surprise trip for the kids Can't wait for MNSSHP again!!!
I had so much fun at the MNSSHP I went to back in 2003. The park was nearly empty and while the families with younger children focused on the trick or treating, we went on Splash Mountain and got to ride 3 times in a row without getting off! It was a lot of fun.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

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Old 02-08-2008, 10:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacktatty View Post
I had so much fun at the MNSSHP I went to back in 2003. The park was nearly empty and while the families with younger children focused on the trick or treating, we went on Splash Mountain and got to ride 3 times in a row without getting off! It was a lot of fun.
We LOVE MNSSHP, it was hard to miss it last year.

We'll make up for it this Sept. though, we're going twice!!!

Once to ride the rides with no wait all night long, and then again to enjoy the face painting, trick or treating, and the Halloween atmosphere!!!

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Old 02-10-2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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I just found your PTR, and I am excited to read! I have just recently contemplated going on a solo trip, but haven't built up the nerve yet. My DH just thinks I am crazy. I am hoping your trip will help give me that kick to plan a solo adventure. Ok...now I'm off to read your trip report from last year.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:45 AM   #10
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found ya i'll be back to read and comment
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:42 PM   #11
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Cha-Ching!!!

7 months from today I will be in WDW!!!! Even better is that at midnight tonight, my annual bonus will be deposited into my bank account. This promises to make my trip a little less stressful. I no longer am doubting myself about booking that AKL Savannah view.

Park hours for September will be released in just over 2 weeks and that means it's time to get serious about planning my ADRs and tours.

Tours are the easiest, so I'll start there:
Last year I did the Segway Around the World tour at Epcot. It was so much fun. It was a rainy, freezing cold day, but I still had a great time. This is something I plan on repeating. This tour runs every day at 7:45, 8:30, 9, and 9:30. I took the 9:00 tour last year and really thought it was a great time to go. I'll be certainly booking that.

Because I love the Segway tours, I also plan on doing the one that is offered at Fort Wilderness. This is a slightly different style of Segway - off-road tires and the like - so it should prove to be a little bit different experience. There is an 8:30 and 11:00 tour for this one. Since it would be next to impossible to get to FW at 8:30 with Disney Transportation, I'll be doing the 11:00. The toughest part about this one is that I'll have to find a good day to do it. It's only offered on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Since I will be checking out of my hotel on Saturday - that is pretty much out of the question. So that leaves Tuesday and Friday. Tuesday is my tentative MK day - so I might do that, realizing that it will leave me with less than a full day there.

The other tour that I am planning to book is Backstage Safari at AK. I have heard good things about this tour. This one runs Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I believe at 8:30am. This would be best to do on an AK morning EMH day so I can ensure that I will get to the park in time. I probably wouldn't have a problem on a non EMH day, but I'd rather not risk it. So hopefully when the schedule comes out, I'll be in luck. Monday's are historically AK EMH days, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

The way I see it, my two options are to #1 - do a tour every other day (M , W, F) or #2 - spend my first three mornings doing the tours (M - Backstage Safari, Tu - FW Segway, W - Epcot Segway).

Since I can't book the tours until 180 days out, I have until March 18th (or really the night of the 17th) to decide. I'm also guessing that the tours won't book up that fast, so I could probably change if needed to.

This one went a little bit longer than I expected so I'll pick up with dining in the next post.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #12
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Old Favorites or Trying something new?

First let me explain this - I don't do the dining plan. I attempted this once on my October 2003 with my cousin. I wanted to make it special for her and "brainless" and since I was fitting the bill and didn't want to put any pressure on her to pay, the easiest was for me to get the dining plan. Or so I thought. We were on what is now equivalent to the Deluxe DDP and it was just too much food.

On my last trip, I chose no dining plan and when I went through all my receipts for all the food for my trip, it came out to 37.99 a day - and that was including tip. I also have no desire to do a sit down meal everyday. It's just too overwhelming for me. When I heard that appetizers and tip were no longer included in the DDP, that sealed the deal!!

But wait you say, you are going during September, what about free dining?? Well since I have booked a room only with my AAA discount and dining requires a package, even if free dining became available to the general public, I would be losing money on this deal. I'd have to change my ressie over to a package and pay rack rate for the room This would cost me approximately $260. The dining plan has a "value" of $37.99 a day so in reality and tip is not included. So lets say I'm a real cheapo and don't tip that great - maybe $5 for each sit down meal. Times that by 7 and I'm now paying more for my trip just to get something for free??? No thanks Disney, you can't trick me!

Plus, I'm an appetizer girl, not a dessert girl. Oh don't get me wrong, I love dessert as much as the next person, but I'd rather get a bag of cotton candy or a mickey bar or a frozen banana. If I'm at a restaurant, I always get an app. Which I would most certainly be paying out of pocket for if I was on the DDP.

On to the important things - where to eat?? Know this about me, I'm a picky eater. Although, I hate when other people call me picky I will actually try any food once, the problem is, I don't like most of what I try. I also have what I believe to be some minor food allergies that affect the way I eat when I'm in public, if you know what I mean My list of not good foods is as follows:
No fish - but I will eat a limited amount of seafood (crab cakes, some lobster, some clams, tuna from a can )
Any chicken must be fried - no rotisserie, baked, etc.
No weird textures - beans, some cooked veggies, things like that
Limited pork
Pasta is fine - but I don't really like tomato sauce and my stomach can't handle cream sauces
Oh, and I also don't like burgers or sandwiches very much. I'll eat them in a pinch, but certainly not my first choice by any means!!

My list started out with the following restaurants:
Le Cellier - lunch
Jiko - Dinner
Liberty Tree Tavern - lunch
Sci-Fi - Dinner

I ate a Le Cellier last year and loved it - I got the filet with the cream cheese potatoes, delicious! I'm pretty sure this will be a repeat for next year.

I liked the idea of Jiko since I will be staying at AKL - but when I looked at the menu, I realized the only thing I would eat was the filet and I also didn't really like the idea of mac and cheese in a red wine sauce So Jiko came off the list and was replaced with Boma for breakfast (I considered dinner, but nothing sounded remotely appealing on the menu).

In Jiko's place came lunch at Whispering Canyon. Again, looking at the menu didn't give me a lot of options, so that got pulled off too. At the same time, Sci-Fi dinner became Sci-Fi lunch.

Beaches and Cream was also an option, so that became a tentative. But since ADRs can't be made there, it was only something that could be added to the itinerary.

Then I saw it - something I thought I would really enjoy - Cape May Cafe! They have ribs and corn on the cob. I really couldn't ask for more! I also liked the idea of the Clambake feel. Although I wouldn't be going for probably any of the seafood offerings, it still seems like a good choice for me.

So if you are following along the list currently stands as this:
Le Cellier - Lunch
Liberty Tree Tavern - Lunch
Sci-Fi - Lunch
Cape May Cafe - Dinner
Boma - Breakfast
Tentative plans to do Beaches and Cream

The more I consider this list, the more it seems likely that it will get knocked down quite a bit more. Sci-Fi and Beaches and Cream are known more for their burgers than anything. Since I don't like burgers, these will probably get taken off. Also, I'm not a huge breakfast eater (and believe that I have an allergy to eggs) so Boma is also unlikely. Instead, I think I will plan to do room service one day.

That leaves:
Le Cellier - Lunch
LTT - Lunch
Cape May Cafe - Dinner

I'd like to maybe add one more. And as much as I really love Le Cellier, I'm considering replacing it with another World Showcase restaurant. But that will all depend on what looks appetizing on the menus.

I've never had this long to plan a trip and I think it is wreaking havoc on my brain. Too many choices and too much time!!! If anybody can suggest some other ADRs, I'd be willing to listen! I prefer lunch over dinner.

My next post will probably be when the September hours are released (supposed to be 3/1)
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

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Old 02-14-2008, 11:07 PM   #13
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I'm liking the pre trippie so far. Good for you for getting back on the horse so to speak The only place I can think of that you didn't mention that we have ate at is brown hat derby at disney hollywood studios and we've had dinner there, but it was really good. Also tonys at mk. Its on the right when you walk into mk in the building where you can get your photopass pics(drawing a blank on the name of the building) Both of those places were yummy and tonys we did for lunch. So I don't know if that helps you, but I thought I'd suggest them. So it sounds like your ready to go. I wish I could get matt to let me go in sept, but I think only he is going to be working so we need to cut down just a tad and me going to disney in sept would not be cutting down although I totally love the thought. Can't wait to hear more. Keep up the great work
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:03 AM   #14
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Have you looked at the menu from Trail's End at Fort Wilderness? They have fried chicken for lunch, and lots of other great stuff. I bet you'd like it. It's a wonderful place with great food and a fun atmosphere.

I suggest you keep Boma. It is the best rest. at WDW!!

They have lots besides eggs. I would also consider it for dinner. My two little ones are so picky, and so am I. There are lots of foods I won't eat too. At Boma they had such a wide variety of foods, the menu at first had me wondering, but it was wonderful!

The best thing was the Chefs really interact with you and want you to be happy.

They made fried chicken fingers just for my kids and me and brought us the plate of them to our table!

They also found us some cereal from breakfast for my kids when they didn't want anything else.

They also made them triple decker grilled cheese sandwiches upon request, all for no extra charge!

I love Boma, it's wonderful and I'm really looking forward to going back in Sept.

Cape May sounds like it would work for you, but as for Sci Fi and BEaches, they are known for their burgers.

The tours sound great!

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Old 03-01-2008, 02:26 PM   #15
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How can I fit it all in??

The park hours for September were released today...well at least some of them were anyway. Thus, the planning begins. I have spent most of the day tweaking and re-tweaking. Here is what is hopefully a solid first draft of my itinerary:

Day 1 -
Arrive at MCO 10:40am
DME to AKL hopefully by noon
Check-in and then head to AK hopefully by 12:30 or 1:00
AK until close (5pm)
MK until close (7pm??)
E until close (9pm)

Day 2 -
Backstage Safari - AK (8:30am)
AK until close
DTD

Day 3 -
MK
FW Segway tour (11am)
DS until close

Day 4 -
MK all day
Plaza Restaurant for Lunch

Day 5 -
EP all day
Around the World Segway tour (9am)
Le Cellier - Lunch

Day 6 -
AK until close
EP for EMH

Day 7 -
Check-out
DS for EMH
AK until 2:00pm
ME to airport

I plan to make only two ADRs. After much deliberation, I settled on two places where I know I will be happy. The Plaza and Le Cellier. I may go to Trails End while I am at FW, but I won't be making an ADR for it. I just won't have enough time to get to all the things I want to do and the best way to gain more time is to cut out TS meals.

Once the rest of the hours are posted, this will hopefully be a little more firm. I make ADRs on the 18th, so it has to be set by then!!!
__________________
Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

Quacktatty is offline  
 



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