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Old 02-24-2008, 12:33 AM   #1
patti2533
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Posts: 45

Two Sisters, One Husband, and Four Kids – Oh My! 6/28 - 7/6 - Countdown!

I have be a lurker on these boards for a long time, and I have finally decided to try a PTR/TR for our upcoming trip. I want to document all of the plans that we make so that we can count all of the times that we change our minds. I hope that you will join me as we plan for our upcoming trip, but if not, then I will just have fun typing to myself!

We will be at WDW from June 29 – July 6.

Here are the cast of characters for this adventure:

Me: I am 37… and a Disneyaholic . I have been to WDW too many times to count. We went as kids a few times in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I don’t remember to much about those trips, but I do know we went to EPCOT when it first opened because I still have the parasol that I bought in China . I then took quite a break from WDW and didn’t start going back until 1999. Since 1999, I think we have been to WDW about 12 times.

DSis: 39 (she is turning 40 this year!). She lives in CT and we don’t get to see each other that much. I thought this would be a great chance for us to do something together, and for our kids to be together at the happiest place on earth. She obviously went to WDW with me in the late 70’s and early 80’s (mom and dad didn’t make her stay home ). However, she has only been to Disney once since then in 2003. We have never vacationed together as adults so this could be interesting .

DH: 38. He is the love of my life! However, he was a Disney virgin when I met him, and I have now corrupted him. He has also been to WDW 12 times since 1999. He is not as much of a Disney lover as I am, but he is coming around. He actually posts here more than me now . You may see some posts from him in here occasionally (especially if he doesn’t like my plans since he may try to get you to change my mind!).

DS15 – I have raised him right because he is just as much of a Disneyaholic as I am. He is already planning to do the CP when he gets to college. I keep reminding him that he needs to study in high school in order to make it to college… He is the one that is in charge of our schedule for this trip.

DS6 – He will be seven prior to leaving on this trip. He does love Disney (I couldn’t love him if he didn’t ), but I think he takes after his father in his love of WDW. He is coming around. He is very competitive with his brother and therefore wants to help plan the trip.

DD3Months - She will be 7 ½ months when we go on this trip. And no, it will not be her first trip to WDW. She is already a WDW veteran at 3 months. We went to WDW for New Years Eve… and then again over MLK Weekend. This will be her third trip (did I mention that I am a Disneyaholic?).

DN8 – This is my sister’s daughter. She and DS6 love to hang out together, but we don’t get to see her too often. She was at WDW in 2003 with DSis. She was only 2 ½ so I don’t think that she remembers too much.

Here is a picture of my family:

DD3months is there in my tummy! I will post a picture of DSis and DN8 as soon as I can find one.

I am a lurker no more !

Up next: How this trip came to be/where we will stay?

Last edited by patti2533; 03-19-2008 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
patti2533
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Our planning for this trip started last year. Let me give you a little history. I love WDW so much that last January (2007) I convinced DH to buy into DVC. He agreed!!! I was so shocked … and then excited !! We got the paperwork started right away. I didn’t want to take any chances that DH would change his mind. Well, we bought enough points to stay at SSR for one week each year in a studio and to maybe have a few points left over each year to do a long weekend at WDW. We planned our trip for July 2007 as soon as the DVC paperwork was complete.

However, soon after the paperwork was complete and the summer 2007 trip was planned we got the news… if you read my cast of characters then you know where I am heading with this… we were going to have an addition to our family. WE WERE PREGNANT!!! Yay !!! As happy as we were, this posed a problem with our DVC purchase . You cannot put 5 people into a studio at SSR (after the baby is three, that is). We didn’t buy enough points to stay in a bigger place (and I was certainly not going to cut down my number of days at WDW to stay in a bigger place) so what could I do??? Well, I was able to convince DH to buy more DVC points (I told you that he is the best!) . But this time, he was able to pick the resort. He decided to buy at AKV. Not my favorite resort, but it was more DVC points so I didn’t care!!! Well, after settling on the number of points to buy at AKV we needed to decide what to do for our vacations in the future. I am a planner so I needed a plan… Well, we decided that we would alternate resorts. One year SSR, the next year AKV, and so on... Since we were staying at SSR in 2007, then we would stay at AKV in a one bedroom in 2008 (you can have 5 in a standard one bedroom at AKV).

Well that was our original plan for this trip… stay in a one bedroom at AKV for this trip (just the five of us, and no DSis and DN8). But if we were to settle on that and never change our minds, then this trip report wouldn’t be any fun!

So DH got the WDW bug (officially) and he started making changes . I was so happy to own DVC that I didn’t care. First, he decided that he wanted to try concierge at AKV. He was able to get a few of the days of the vacation in the concierge level, so he booked them. Now, we would have a split stay between standard AKV one bedroom, and concierge one bedroom… all at AKV.

Next, he decided that maybe he would like to try a two bedroom for part of the trip, so he changed the AKV standard one bedroom to SSR two bedroom. But, he left the AKV concierge at the end of the week. So now it was a few days at SSR two bedroom and a few days at AKV concierge one bedroom.

Are you still with me???

However, we finally started talking about how nice it would be to invite my sister and my niece to come with us. DS6 and DN8 just love to hang out together and we only get to see them once or twice a year now. They live in CT, and we moved from MA to NC about four years ago. So, this posed a problem. We would need a two bedroom for the entire time that DSis and DN8 would be with us. The problem that we ran into was… should we change our reservations and then ask DSis, or should we ask DSis first, and then change the reservations (what if she said yes and then we couldn’t change the reservations???) I am a planner, and I just don’t like uncertainty!

Well, we decided to do the safe thing. We changed the reservations prior to asking DSis. Now, we will be in a two bedroom at SSR from Sunday, 6/29 through Friday, 7/4. We were inviting DSis, DSis’s DBF, and DN8. for this time period. We will then change to a studio at OKW from Friday, 7/4 through Sunday, 7/6. DD is still young enough that we can do that.

Next, I created a cute Mickey and Minnie invitation that I emailed to my sister. I waited … and waited . I didn’t hear from her for almost a week. I was thinking that she didn’t want to come and didn’t want to hurt my feelings. But then the call finally came. She and DN8 would be coming , but her DBF would not.

We finally have definite plans! Will they change? Probably. Even the best plans change along the way. I have to accept this. I may not like it, but I have to accept change (I keep saying that to myself so I don’t freak out when the next change comes).

Travel related things that I know are still up in the air:

1. Where will we stay on the first night, 6/28?
2. When will DSis and DN8 arrive? When will they buy their airfaire?
3. What kind of WDW tickets will DSis buy?

This will be our first time inviting people to vacation with us, so I hope it goes well . Please let me know if any of you have had any experiences bringing family, and if there is anything that I should do to prepare for this.

Up next: Must Do’s at WDW

Last edited by patti2533; 02-24-2008 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:06 PM   #3
patti2533
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Must Do’s at WDW
OK, before we finalize any itinerary for this trip I did want to get a sense of what each person attending feels is a “must do” on the trip. I started with DSis and DN8. Here is what they said:

DSis
BATB Show
POTC

DN8
HSM2 Show
Teacups
Mickey and Minnie’s Houses in Toontown Fair
Princess Breakfast in the Castle (Cinderella's Royal Table)

This was all that DSis said that they must do (chalk it up to inexperience ). She did mention that she wasn’t too excited about AK and EPCOT. I am hoping to change her mind on both of those…

Then on to my family:

Me
I want to do a lot of things that we have not yet done on any WDW trips, so here are some things that I am thinking (let me know your opinion if you have done any of these):

Captain Jack Sparrow Show – I hope this is still going on during our trip. The “good” Jack walked right past me when we were there on New Year’s Eve. Wow is he cute! Now I want to see the show! We will talk about this more later!

Miyuki – We usually don’t spend much time in the World Showcase, but I am hoping to change that this trip. I am hoping one of the kids will get picked to have their animal made. DS6 wants a brown dog…

Grand Fiesta Tour in Mexico

Toy Story Arcade at DHS – I need to beat DH at this game too (we are very competitive at Buzz Lightyear)

Disney Animation – I want to try to draw one of characters. It will be funny because I have no talent whatsoever! Do any of you think that this is a bad idea with the ages of our kids?

DH
1900 Park Fare for dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming
Fantasmic

DS15
Space Mountain
Everest
ToT
RnR
Splash Mountain – It was dry when we were there over MLK weekend.
Test Track
Soarin’

Can you tell he is my thrill-seeker? I am more than happy to accompany him with all of these…

DS6
Swim, swim, swim… and use the waterslide at OKW. He loves the castle slide.
HSM2 Show
Teacups
Buzz Lightyear
Corn dog nuggets at Casey’s
Dinosaur
Star Tours
TTA (People Mover as we call it!)
POTC

He honestly would have gone on forever and named every ride (except the thrill rides...), but I had to cut him off

DD3Months
You would think that a 3 month old could not possibly have any “Must Do’s”. But you would be wrong…

Playhouse Disney – we are so excited that they have added Micky Mouse Clubhouse, since DD watches this every day with DH and she kicks her feet along with the music. I think this means that we have another budding WDW lover in the family!!



I am sure that all of us will come up with a lot more "must do's" prior to our trip, but this list really does sum up my family. Please let me know what you think of our must-do's. Do you have any suggestions for us? Most importantly, do you think we will get a reservation for Cinderella's Royal Table? You will have to wait for the next installment...

Up next: ADR's
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:26 PM   #4
Magic Kingdom Rocks
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I see all of your "must-see's" and i agree with most. One thing i would have to add is the Finding Nemo show at AK. That is the best show Disney has I think. The rest of them i think are pretty solid. I think you DS15 has great taste in rides also, i am a thrill seaker also and love every one of those rides.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:09 PM   #5
patti2533
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Posts: 45

Quick Side Note!

I have been in Tampa for business for the last few days. I was supposed to have a late flight today out of Tampa to come home. Yesterday, I found out that the meeting that I was attending was going to end early today. All of a sudden, I had a brilliant idea! I could get a direct flight out of Orlando and get home before I would have left Tampa! I had a friend that could drop me off in Orlando. It was a perfect plan.

It actually worked well, and I made it to MCO wihout issue. However, it was torture for me to get sooooo close to WDW and not get to even go to DTD. I could see the Swan and Dolphin, and I could see the signs for the parks... but I couldn't get any closer because we didn't have time to spare. Then, I saw the Magical Express bus, and I wanted to jump on. It really made me homesick for WDW . I want to go to WDW now... But then, once I was at the airport and I heard all of the kids whining that they were leaving WDW, it brought me back to reality and I just wanted to get home .

Up Next: ADR's

Last edited by patti2533; 02-27-2008 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
patti2533
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ADR's

OK, I might be just talking to myself here, but I am going to continue on... Although we haven't finalized our schedule yet, we wanted to make sure that we got some specific dining reservations... as you are probably aware, some can be very hard to get as you get close to the trip (I remember a time when this wasn't so difficult). So, here is what we have so far:

June 29 -1900 Park Fair (dinner)
July 1 - Princess Story Book at Norway (breakfast)
July 2 - Cinderella's Royal Table (breakfast)
July 4 - Chef Mickey's (breakfast)
July 4 - 1900 Park Fair (dinner - a second option for this one depending on our schedule)
July 5 - Crystal Palace (dinner) - this is one of our traditions - to eat here on our last night, right before Wishes begins.

Can you see a theme?? We seem to like buffets at WDW... which is weird since we never go to buffets away from WDW . We think that it is just very convenient and the kids love the character interaction (even DS15, although he may not admit it ). Also, I want to make this clear... we will cancel the 1900 Park Fair that we do not choose. We are good WDW vacationers (I keep repeating this to myself).

I am looking for a good sit-down option for our trip as well. Do you have any suggestions? It needs to be something that the kids will like.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by patti2533 View Post
DH
1900 Park Fare for dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming
I love that this is on your DH's must do list.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:24 PM   #8
patti2533
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagemomx3 View Post
I love that this is on your DH's must do list.
Thanks for reading my PTR. I am glad that I am not alone here! My husband says that he likes the "food" at this buffet, but I think he secretly has a crush on Cinderella.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patti2533 View Post
Thanks for reading my PTR. I am glad that I am not alone here! My husband says that he likes the "food" at this buffet, but I think he secretly has a crush on Cinderella.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:40 PM   #10
patti2533
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Quick TR From June/July 2007 Trip to WDW

Before I continue with the planning for this trip, I thought that I would do a quick TR with pictures from our trip to WDW last summer. We were there from June 30 - July 6.

Day 1 - June 30
We are off! Everyone is happy!




We arrive at our hotel about nine hours later... We stayed at the Holiday Inn Sunspree on our first night. Because of the picture below, there was a big milestone this night...

Our DS15 (he was 14 at the time) shaved for the first time! He finally admitted that he needed to after seeing the picture!

Day 2 - July 1
The next morning, I ran over with the boys to check into our hotel. We were staying at SSR for the rest of our trip.




After this, we went back to the Sunspree to get DH and check out and head to AK since our room at SSR wasn't ready at 7:30 AM


Here is what I did a lot of on this trip... sit


After a few rides:






My son drove us...


Over to the AKV to take a peek and to have lunch since we were in the process of adding on points for DVC at AKV.




DH really likes this resort. We then called and found out that our room was ready at SSR so we headed over... I was so excited that we were in Congress Park and had a DTD view

and I took a nap


We hung around the resort and had dinner at Captain Jacks at DTD



and then went to bed!
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:43 PM   #11
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Love the pictures, and the story of your son's milestone!
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:19 PM   #12
patti2533
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Day 3 - July 2
We started day 3 with a character breakfast at Cape May Cafe. I mentioned earlier that we like character meals, and I really meant it!


DS6 really loves Minnie Mouse!


We then headed to EPCOT!


I love Figment!


We spent some time at Innovations




And then DS6 tried to see if we could take this with us


But after all the fun in Future World, we decided to head to DHS (or MGM as it was called then...). Here is my son trying to look like he was working


He was doing this while DH was getting me a wheelchair since I couldn't walk anymore. I was miserable most of the trip. I was only about 18 weeks pregnant... A woman actually gave us her pre-paid wheelchair receipt (she had gotten one at the hotel) because she said I looked terrible. I was not sure how to feel about her saying that... but it was definitely true!

We watched HSM


Then we ate at Mama Melrose


Then the boys enjoyed Star Tours... although DS6 left his lanyard and pins on the ride and it was never found.


Later, we went back to SSR and looked around outside. This is the view from outside our room


Here we are enjoying the night, but then it was time for bed!


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Old 03-02-2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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Day 4 - July 3rd
Originally, we never intended to go to WDW over the 4th of July. The crowds are terrible and the weather is so hot! However, we had an issue with our kids' schools. My DS15 started high school this year and it on a traditional school calendar. However, DS6 is in the first grade, and during Spring 2007, we were notified that his school was changing to a year-round schedule. If you don't know what this is, I will explain. The new grade starts the week after the 4th of July week. Kids go to school nine weeks and then have three weeks off. They go to school all year until the week before July 4th. Therefore, they have their summer vacation split out throughout the entire year. Each kid is assigned to a track (1 through 4) and that track decides when the student has that 3 week vacation. We wanted him to get Track 4 which wouldn't start until July 30th (instead of right after July 4th), but we couldn't be sure until it was too late to change our vacation. That was how we decided on this week for vacation.

I will continue on with our TR now, so you can see if we liked the July 4th week at WDW (however if you read the beginning of my PTR, then you will know the answer since you will see when we are going again this year... )



OK, on with the TR... I wish I could remember why we are on the Monorail, but my memory has failed me! I am assuming that we may have decided to drive to MK but I don't remember why (we do usually take the bus). However, on this lovely morning, we were lucky enough to get the front car! That's right, we were your conductor if you were riding that morning...






Of course, we were heading to...


the Magic Kingdom!!!


Can anyone guess our first ride...


Yep, it is Buzz Lightyear! Dh and I are so competitive. You may ask who usually wins. I think it is pretty split... about 50/50. I can hold my own

Then we headed over to the Indy Speedway


Then we saw Alice and the Mad Hatter at the Teacups


So, of course, we had to meet them


Then we went and did something that we had never done before... we rode the Liberty Square Riverboat! I thought it would be a good chance to sit down, but who knew that there are not too many seats!


Then it was time for lunch. We ate at Casey's! Boy do I love those hot dogs! But then the boys started horsing around. Do you think he threw him over??


Of course he didn't! We are at WDW so even the boys need to get along.

Next, we did something else that we had never done...


We went to the barbershop and DS6 got his hair colored with gel and confetti. Can you guess what colors he got...


Red, White, and Blue... of course! It was July 3rd! DS6 felt like such a celebrity! People kept stopping us to talk about his hair, and some people actually asked to take a picture with him. He didn't want to wash it out, but I wasn't letting him sleep on the pillow with that stuff. It takes longer to get it out than it did for them to put it in.


After a break to go back to SSR to swim (and rest my feet ) we went back to MK. Then, this was our chance to see the July 4th fireworks in the MK. We weren't crazy enough to be at the MK on July 4th. We knew that they previewed the July 4th fireworks on July 3rd, so we wanted to see them tonight. They do them all around the MK, so you have to keep turning to appreciate the entire show.




And then we stayed for the Electric Lights Parade... I am only including one picture because I had the setting wrong on my camera and they all came out blurry...


While we watched the parade, DH and DS15 went on some of the thrill rides (BTR, Splash Mountain). After this we were really tired (at least I was. lol), so we went to bed.

Up Next... What will we do on July 4th? Will we go to a park?
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:00 PM   #14
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WOW! The castle looks awesome.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:17 PM   #15
patti2533
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Day 5 - July 4th
So did we go to a park on July 4th? Nope. But we did go to TL! It was great to get there for EMH since it is practically empty at 8 AM, and also we were able to get a spot with an umbrella... This was very important since it was July and it rains constantly. Unfortunately, it even rained too much for us under the umbrella so we only stayed until mid-morning.




We then went over to WL to check out the resort and to have lunch at Roaring Fork.




We then went back to SSR for a while to rest. I was really miserable on this vacation and I just wanted to lay down. But then we were off to have dinner with Prince Charming and Cinderella at 1900 Park Fare.


My DS6 absolutely loves Cinderella. He swears that he will marry her. He was actually stalking her during dinner. He was following her around and taking pictures of her with other guests... I had to keep going to get him so that she wouldn't call the police...


Although I wasn't feeling well, I certainly wasn't going to pass up the chance to have my picture taken with Prince Charming...


After dinner, we went outside and found a spot on the ground near the lagoon to watch the fireworks at MK. We had a perfect spot at the GF, and we knew from the night before that they do fireworks all around the MK, so it would be a perfect location to watch them. There was a small crowd that gathered near the lagoon, but it was not too bad and it was a very nice way to see fireworks on July 4th. Sitting there that night, I certainly remember thinking that it was a perfect way to spend July 4th with my family. Here are some pictures of us waiting for the fireworks to begin.




After the MK fireworks, we headed back to SSR. SSR has a pool party on July 4th in Congress Park at night where you can also view the Pleasure Island fireworks (I think at 11 PM). So we sat at the pool and let the boys swim, and then we watched the Pleasure Island fireworks. They also were amazing, and the best part was that our room was right there so I could fall straight into bed as soon as they were over. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures from these fireworks, but they were a great way to end our July 4th!

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