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Old 11-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
Geistmeister
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December '08 Pre-Trip Report - Part Deux!

Okay - so it looks like I neglected my pre-trip report so much that the thread was closed. So I've been forced to start this new pre-trip report thread. If you're interested, here's the first part.

So we're getting really close. Down to only 20 days! We told the kids about the trip a couple of weeks ago. They're 5 (DS) and 2 (DD), so we didn't want to tell them too far in advance. We sat them down on the couch and put the planning DVD in. They knew what it was (at least DS did) and we asked them if they wanted to go there. They said yes and we told them that we're going in early December! DS was pretty excited as was DD -- although with her I think it was mostly her reacting to our excitement. They're also pretty excited about their first plane ride.

I bought six day park hoppers for everyone (minus DD since at age 2 she won't need a ticket) from UndercoverTourist.com last night -- $272/adult and $238/child. That was with the MouseSavers newsletter discount code. I wanted to buy them earlier but when I found that I could save a few more $$$ with that code I decided to wait until 11/15 to get them (since the newsletters come out on the 15th of every month). I was rewarded with a $2.95 savings off of each ticket. Far from a huge discount, but I'll take the extra savings. Overall it was a $20 savings per ticket over buying them rack rate at WDW. Not too shabby. Undercover Tourist guarantees 12 business day shipping which means the tickets will arrive 4 days in advance of our departure at the latest.

One change in plans -- my parents have changed their flights. They're going to visit with my sister and her husband in SC for a week before the trip, so instead of flying out of Philly they're now going to be flying out of Charlotte, NC. Also, they're now going to be arriving only about a half hour after we arrive. Before they were getting there a good six or so hours after us, but now we'll probably be able to meet up with them right away.

We've been talking with DS and DD about WDW and since they haven't been there before they don't have a great sense of what it's actually like. But we've shown them the planning DVD and the customized park maps that you can order online, so they've got a bit of an idea of it. DS thinks that his favorite ride will be Spaceship Earth (somehow I doubt it ). And DD really wants to go on "the elephant ride". Me: "You want to go on Dumbo?" DD: "No, want to go on the elephant ride." DD also asked if she could hug Mickey when we're there. We told her that she would definitely have the chance to hug Mickey. She's since expressed interest in meeting most of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gang. Our breakfast at Chef Mickey's should be a hit! We're not sure how she's going to react to the characters, though. In September we went to Kings Dominion (theme park in Virginia) and she met Dora, but despite being a big fan she didn't want to get very close. Definitely no hugging going on there. So we'll see how Mickey and pals stack up to Dora in the hugging department.

Another DD item -- right now she's in a stage where all she wants is to be carried around by Mommy. That's not going to work at WDW. So we've been laying the groundwork for getting her to ride around in a "cart" (aka stroller). Hopefully she'll take to it, otherwise things are going to get a bit rough.

Needless to say we're all getting VERY excited with the trip being so close now. Yesterday we made paper chains (with Mickey ears on the links) to count down the days to the trip. The kids enjoyed making them and it gives them a good visual on how far away the trip is.

That's all for now -- back with more soon.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:09 PM   #2
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wow!
it's gonna be fun, i'm excited for you!!
=]
we're going on december 21-26!
we just started our PTR!
i'll keep checking up on yours, it's interesting!
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitcharoo View Post
wow!
it's gonna be fun, i'm excited for you!!
=]
we're going on december 21-26!
we just started our PTR!
i'll keep checking up on yours, it's interesting!
Hey Sticharoo -- thanks for dropping in. I took a peek at your PTR -- sounds like a great Christmas waiting to happen!


Well, I can tell by the paper chain that we're down to only 18 days to go! It's hard to see from the picture, but the little dots are actually Mickey ears. The kids are having fun tearing off a link each day.



I thought that I'd share some thoughts and concerns that I have about the kids' first trip to WDW. First off, I'm a big fan and reader of the Unofficial Guide and while I don't expect to follow their touring plans exactly, I am planning on incorporating little bits of them into our touring. Mostly early in the day. We're planning on getting to the parks at opening and then hitting the high traffic rides first off. This is where I'm expecting a possible problem. We had season passes for Busch Gardens Williamsburg this past year, so the kids are very familiar with the theme park concept. However, the kids are used to instant gratification -- see a ride and ride it. So when we get to MK at opening, I expect that it will be difficult to get back to Dumbo and the other rides in Fantasyland without taking an hour or so to check everything out (Main Street, the castle, etc). Ditto the other parks. Hopefully we can explain to the kids what we're doing and that we can come back and check everything else out later. But at ages 5 and 2, that could be a tough sell.

Another thing that I'm worried about is naps. DS is okay without a nap these days, but if DD doesn't get one then she is CRANKY the rest of the day. We're definitely planning on heading back to the hotel every afternoon and we'll be attempting to get DD to nap. We've got a 2 bedroom villa at the Beach Club and we're going to let the kids sleep in the studio piece (the far right third of the room in the picture below). That closes off from the rest of the villa, so hopefully we'll be able to get DD to nap for a little while in there.



Another possible sleeping issue... We recently took a trip to Baltimore to celebrate DS's birthday. We stayed overnight in a hotel there and had major problems with the kids getting to sleep at night. Part of the issue is that they're in the same room and part of it is that they're very excited to be on vacation. We were thinking for WDW we would get DD down and fast asleep before sending DS in to bed. That was something that we weren't able to do in our hotel room in Baltimore that we can try in the villa. And maybe I'm making too much of this and maybe the kids will be so exhausted from the parks that they'll fall asleep without any problems. That would be a good thing.

The other thing that I'm wondering is how DS will do with some of the bigger rides. On our trip to Kings Dominion in September DS was big enough to ride on a number of rides that he'd never been on before. A couple of small roller coasters, some bigger spinny rides, etc. He showed little to no interest in riding them and hence didn't get on any (we weren't going to force him on anything). I'm hoping that he'll be up for Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, Splash Mountain, Test Track, Soarin, and a few others. If he goes on one of these first and gets scared by it, then I don't think he'll ride any of the other ones. Ditto for DD and the smaller rides. We'll definitely avoid the rides with the possible scare factor in the early going. Otherwise I don't think we'll be able to get her on much of anything.

Anyway these are some of the concerns that I've been mulling over in my head. Any tips or tricks from parents out there that have taken their kids in the 2 to 5 year age range?
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:10 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Goin' surfin' at the Beach Club !

Hello out there!
I was just browsing, hitting on the previous thread option, and ran across yours. I went to WDW in October with some my family. We stayed at the Yatch Club a couple of nights because some one had goofed up on our ressies. It was SUPER nice. The rest of the time, we stayed at ASSp, where we had originally booked for. We had 6 kids, aged 9 and under, with us that had been or were involved in all kinds of sports activities. That place is TOTALLY geared to sports, no matter the age group. We really enjoyed there, too. I will try to find you again to read your trip reports. Be safe and enjoy !
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:35 PM   #5
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Talking

Hey - thanks for checking in daisyduck7! Pretty sweet deal getting bumped to the Yacht Club!

Well, the paper chain has only two links left on it now!

In a couple of days we'll be there. Needless to say, we're all very excited! I've got a little bit of apprehension about how the kids will do with this trip, but I think they'll be fine and that we're going to have a GREAT trip. Stay tuned for the actual trip report after our return!
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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Well, we just got back home late this morning. The trip had its moments, but overall it was a great trip! Stay tuned for the start of the actual trip report...
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
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Trip report started here!
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