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Old 12-31-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
mommytothreeboys
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Mom's At It Again! ***Updated 4/30/2009~Trip Report Link**

Ok...This is my first attempt at a Pre-Trip report, or a report of any kind for that matter. I LOVE reading these and decided since I had three months to kill before we leave for our next trip, this would be a great way for me to pass it without driving my family crazy! In all fairness, they are really good-natured about my planning "problem" and play along for the most part, wanting to hear about restaurant options, daily schedules, touring plans, etc...but I know my DH listens with only one ear!! He's awesome and LOVES WDW as much as I do, but planning is really my "thing" and he lets me have it!

So...a little history. My first trip to WDW was when I was 13, 1983ish, with my grandparents. We stayed outside the world and had NO plan whatsoever....I was 13 and had not fully developed into a plan-a-holic as yet. We had a great time and my best memory was getting my grandfather on Space Mountain because he had no idea it was a roller coaster! He never let me live that one down..."Never again, Melissa...never again!" It's one of my most treasured memories of my grandfather who passed away in 1994.

My next trip was for my honeymoon in 1992 and again I went with NO PLAN! The only excuse I have for that time was that I had just finished planning my wedding and the honeymoon was up to DH. In all honesty, I went kicking and screaming because I was under the impression at the time that a honeymoon should be in someplace exotic and romantic and WDW did not fit the bill in my opinion. Boy was I wrong! We had the best time! We again stayed outside the World and encountered several problems due to Hurricane Andrew which hit the morning after our arrival! But WDW is always open and the Hurricane did little to spoil our trip. We made a vow then and there that we would bring our kids back someday.

Flash forward 14+ years and 3 children later! I am a stay-at-home mom and love it. My DH works hard and by early 2007 we knew that we, as a family, needed a break! We had been putting a trip to WDW off till we could "afford it", but we were tired, worn down, and needed some good ol' family time. Our oldest DS was 12 and we knew we had a window of opportunity with him that was quickly closing. We made the decision to JUST GO and so we did! We went to WDW in late April/early May of 2007 and had the trip of a lifetime. We stayed onsite at POR and loved every minute of our trip. I spent the 3 months I had to plan on the DIS and soaking up all the Disney knowledge I could so my family could have a once-in-a-lifetime vacation! And we did....but now we are going back!! So much for once-in-a-lifetime!! YAY!

DH and I decided on that trip that our family time was too precious and we needed to make a concerted effort to go on a real vacation at least every other year. (Not camping or to visit family!) We made our plans then to return to WDW in 2009 and the waiting began....agony! The boys talked of nothing else and I thought the day would never come when I could begin my planning process again! But it's finally here....woo-hoo!!

Thus the title of my Pre-Trip report...."Here mom goes again!!" But they know that if I'm planning that means we're going soon!

Better go for now, but I'll introduce the cast of characters in my next post. Happy New Year everyone!
__________________________________________________ ________________________________
Links to Updates!

The Cast
Our plans so far
Oh Mom, matching shirts...really???
EMH's, and ADR's and Touring Plans.....oh my!!
No Space Mountain??????
The In-Laws are doing Disney!
YUMMM.....When do we eat?
Yes, No, Maybe---Animal Kingdom Edition
The DUCK steals the show...and not Donald!
Yes, No, Maybe---Disney Studios Edition
I'm FREAKING out!
Yes, No, Maybe---Magic Kingdom Edition
What's in YOUR Box??
Got my ONE ADR!!
Yes, No, Maybe---Epcot Edition
1984
Leaving on a Jet Plane!!
Random Stuff
Sleepy Pics
A New And Improved Itinerary!
DH Listens!
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Good News!
The "Not too much to Update" Update
What Am I Celebrating?
A Rockin', Croc-in' Birthday!
Mickey Mail, MouseEars, and Missy's Binder
A TINK gift!
Project Time!
Hop, Skip, Step....BOWL!!
I'm thinking SNACKS!!
Lgmh!
Jeff's Turn to Weigh In
Touring Plans--AK
Pictures!
Touring Plans--MK
Doin' the "PAID IN FULL" Dance!
Let the Countdown Begin!
A Girl and Her Bag
More Mickey Mail and Arts and Crafts!
Please Respect Our Silence!
Three Cheers for the US Postal Service...and FedEx!
DHS Touring Plans and a 30-day DANCE!!
Weekend Pics and a Shopping List
A Vacation Donation
Our "Can You Believe We Don't Have a Touring Plan?" Epcot Touring Plan
Mousekeeping Envelopes by the Boys!
April Fool's FUN
All I Want for Disney are Lots of Cute Pics!
Time for a To-Do List RECAP!
10 Days till Disney Celebration
SINGLE DIGITS!! and 10-day Celebration Pics
Day 9 and Day 8 Celebration Pics
Happy Easter and Day 7 Celebration Pics!
Comin' Down the Home Stretch List Update
Day 6 Celebration Pics
MOROCCO DAY! Celebration Pics
Day 4 Celebration Pics, etc!
Day 3 Celebration Pics
Oh boy....let's go!!!
I'm Home!
TRIP REPORT LINK

Last edited by mommytothreeboys; 04-30-2009 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:52 PM   #2
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The Cast

It's quiet here with the kids playing their new Guitar Hero game and the snow falling outside, so I decided to sit and write installment #2.

The Cast for our trip April 19-27, 2009!

Me (Missy), age 38. I've been to WDW 3 times and each time I go I get bitten harder by that pesky Disney bug! I love Tinkerbell and Snow White is my favorite princess (I believe she is overlooked far too often!). I am a self-confessed plan-a-holic and enjoy the planning almost as much as the trip itself.

DH (Jeff), age 38. Lovingly goes along with my planning obsession and secretly loves Disney as much as I do. You should have seen him when he saw Pinocchio on our 2007 trip! His face lit up like a little boy! Priceless!

Here is a pic of us on our Disney honeymoon...16 years ago!

Remember when the big attraction on the backlot at (then) MGM was the Ninja Turtles and not the Power Rangers?? Wow...were we young??!!!

DS1 (Dan), age 13. The child most likely to become a plan-a-holic like his mother. Dan is a great student, plays baseball for his school, plays bassoon in the school band...you name it he does it. He is an avid Disney fan and loves Donald Duck.

DS2 (Isaiah), age 11. This one is gonna kill me. If there is a limit to test, he'll be the one to test it. Not surprisingly his favorite Disney character is Stitch, a fellow troublemaker! Although he is the one to most often make me growl...he is also the one to most often make me smile with his sense of humor and loving nature.

DS3 (Jonah), age 8. The youngest, but most certainly not a baby anymore! Jonah loves Mickey Mouse and LOVED Expedition Everest on our last trip. He is most looking forward to being tall enough to ride RocknRollercoaster in April!

Here is a pic of the "boys" on our last trip.



And a couple of my favorites!








That's all for now....gonna go rock out with the boys!

Last edited by mommytothreeboys; 01-08-2009 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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Our plans so far!

I'm not sure anyone is reading this, but it's proven to be therapeutic for me so I'm gonna keep right on going! I'd love any feedback though if anyone is out there!!

So we knew that we were planning to go back to WDW in spring of 2009, but that was all we knew. In 2007, we took the kids out of school for a week. At the time they were in Kindergarten, 4th grade, and 6th grade. It worked out fine then, but as the time passed I realized that it was just not going to be a good idea to take them out of school this trip. My oldest, DS13, is in 8th grade and taking accelerated classes and for him to miss a week would be devastating. So.....we made the decision to go over our school's Spring Break....April 20-24. Now we have the time frame, let's make the reservation!

My mom called me in late November and told me about the 4/3 deal. I had heard about it, but thought it was just for Value resorts so really didn't think about it twice considering we are a family of 5. Then I decided to do some more research...good thing I did! I called Disney and found that we could indeed use the deal for a stay at POR and that the blackout dates for Spring Break ended the 18th......OK....book us for the 19th through the 27th! Now for details.....

Dining......we did the DDP on our 2007 trip and loved it. We are on a more limited budget this trip, so decided to look into our options. We found the new Counter Service Plan and that is PERFECT!! We like a sit-down meal now and then, but cost wise, it is less expensive to pay for one or two meals out of pocket than to pay for the DDP which now does not include tips. So...we added the Counter Service dining to our ressie and are very excited! I LOVE the snacks so getting two of them is a real treat! And we all get a mug.....BONUS!!

The one thing I have not done is make an airline reservation. I have been tracking the prices of flights out of both Buffalo and Rochester and they seem to be going down. I am very irritated at the new Airtran baggage fee, so am seriously considering flying Southwest. A family of 5 needs luggage and to add $15 per bag each way just seems ridiculous! I'm not worried about getting good tickets, just anxious to finally have all the plans made!

As much as I wanted to...I didn't let myself do any SERIOUS planning until after Christmas. I knew that I would get the New 2009 Unofficial Guide and then the real fun would begin!

I now have that little gem in my hot little hands and I'm so ready to start planning out our trip...day by day!

Side note: I got those cool little bottles of bubbles that go on the kids lanyards for them and they're in my "FOR DISNEY" box! I love collecting little things for the trip!
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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I'm here I'm here!!!!!!!!

Your family is so beautiful and I love the throwback pic from the Disneymoon. hehe

Oh, and we also stayed at POR for our honeymoon!
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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Count me in too!

Hi,

I just found your PTR. I am a fellow planner nut that was last at WDW in 2005. I am planning our summer 2009 trip. Thanks for sharing your family and plans with us. It will be fun to check in with you and your plans.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfacowgirl87 View Post
I'm here I'm here!!!!!!!!

Your family is so beautiful and I love the throwback pic from the Disneymoon. hehe

Oh, and we also stayed at POR for our honeymoon!
Hi Brittney...I see you found me! Thanks for the kind words about the fam! They're awesome...most of the time...they do have their days!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsouth View Post
Hi,
I just found your PTR. I am a fellow planner nut that was last at WDW in 2005. I am planning our summer 2009 trip. Thanks for sharing your family and plans with us. It will be fun to check in with you and your plans.
YAY!! I'm so glad you are with me!! When are you going this summer?

Can't wait to share more planning with you guys...anyone else on board??
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:24 AM   #7
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Hi!! I'm here! Great PTR so far!! You have a beautiful family. I spent last year planning our "once in a lifetime" vacation also. But we had such a wonderful time we decided to head back again this year!! We are so excited!! We loved going in April. We are doing the quick-service plan also and I agree the more snacks the better!! Anyways can't wait to read more.....
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Hi!! I'm here! Great PTR so far!! You have a beautiful family. I spent last year planning our "once in a lifetime" vacation also. But we had such a wonderful time we decided to head back again this year!! We are so excited!! We loved going in April. We are doing the quick-service plan also and I agree the more snacks the better!! Anyways can't wait to read more.....
Hi and Welcome!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who plans a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip and then goes back! Looks like you're going the week before we do.....jealous!!
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:16 AM   #9
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Oh Mom, matching shirts...really???

LOL!!

We are not a "matchy-matchy" family. Let me start by making that clear. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.....! ) But my boys would probably laugh in my face if I got them anything that matched anything their brother might be wearing. Case in point, my oldest son (DS13) is smaller than my middle son (DS11) and it's definitely a sore point for him so we don't discuss it! Anyway...he gets the clothes that my middle son grows out of, but if it is something he finds to be too "uniquely Isaiah" he won't put it on his body. It doesn't help at all that DS13 has a very different sense of style from DS11. But I digress....the "matchy-matchy" thing just wouldn't fly in my family.

Or would it!!

I tried to skirt this issue this year by getting them "special" shirts for our Disney trip. They don't necessarily match, which is a definite plus, but they are very similar and different all at the same time. SO...we're all happy! I get my matched look and the boys get to be unique....WIN-WIN!!

Here's a picture of the shirts I surprised everyone with for Christmas.



I should say it's a miracle of sorts that I didn't give them the shirts before Christmas morning. I happen to be the worst secret gift giver on the planet. I get so excited I just want to give the gift right away. I could never pull off a "surprise" Disney trip as I've seen some do here on the DIS. I couldn't take it and would explode! But...I did it. I purchased the shirts online at Disney shopping and carefully picked out each character for each person. I made them all open them at the same time on Christmas morning...and I almost burst with excitement. Over shirts....I know....I'm easy to please! It doesn't take much to make me giddy! My plan is for all of us to wear them on our first MK day. And they'll all like it....if it kills them, or I do!

Next up......daily plans! To EMH or not to EMH, that is the question! I'll answer that and oh so much more....stay tuned!

Last edited by mommytothreeboys; 01-03-2009 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:24 PM   #10
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EMHs ALL THE WAY! They are my favorite

And those are some freakin cute shirts. On the last day of our last trip I talked DH into getting "matching" shirts. His was Mickey and mine was Minnie of course...we wore them on the trip home and he hasn't put his on since.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:18 AM   #11
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I just found this PTR, and I'm in. You have a very interesting family. I have 2 girls, so I am looking forward to hearing about a trip with 3 boys. I wonder if our experiences will be different?

Looking forward to more.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Planning fanatic mom View Post
I just found this PTR, and I'm in. You have a very interesting family. I have 2 girls, so I am looking forward to hearing about a trip with 3 boys. I wonder if our experiences will be different?

Looking forward to more.
Hi there and welcome! I see you are from Hanover, PA....is that the same Hanover that is outside York, PA? I lived in York for several years, so just curious!
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:46 PM   #13
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EMH's, and ADR's and Touring Plans.....oh my!!

So I've introduced our cast of characters (so appropriate in our case!) and given some history...I guess now it's time to start talking specifics! Here we go!!

Like I said before we are doing the Quick Service DDP, so we don't have a lot of ADR's to make. However, we do want one character/sit down meal so we will be paying out of pocket for that. I would prefer a character meal...we did 2 on our last trip and thoroughly enjoyed both. I was trying to decide between Chef Mickey's and Ohana because we did not do any resort restaurants on our last trip. My thought was that we would do it on Arrival day as it would be a nice way to "warm up" to being in Disney and would not require using a park admission day. DH wanted to do a meal with some different characters and since DS11 LOVES Stitch, we decided on Ohana. However, much to my disappointment, Ohana only has characters at Breakfast. So much for Arrival day! Ok....well now what??? Still set on Ohana, I think we are going to do it on our first MK day instead. I can't call and make an ADR until January 19th, but my dialing finger will be ready! WOO-HOO!! Our one and only ADR out of the way....moving on......

Daily Schedule: I printed out the parade and daily schedule from wdwinfo and got down to deciding which park on which day. We have added the water park option this time so that adds a little bit of a planning twist. Here's what I have so far....

Arrival Day (April 19th, Sunday)--because we don't have airline tickets as of yet, this day is up in the air....LOL, I made a joke!! I hope to arrive in Orlando by mid morning and take DME to POR, hopefully arriving just after lunch time-ish. We will probably spend that day enjoying the pool, maybe taking the boat to DTD or possible hitting a waterpark in the late afternoon.

Day 2 (April 20th, Monday)--Early EMH at Animal Kingdom. Here is my philosphy on EMH. I LOVE them! We did both early and late EMH on our last trip and I don't regret even one. This time we are going to switch it up and try to do the opposite EMH from last trip, for example, we did late EMH at AK on our last trip, so we will try early EMH this time. This will be good for our first full park day because AK closes at 6 and we can go back to the resort and hit the pool or do some exploring!

Day 3 (April 21st, Tuesday)--Early EMH at Disney Studios. We LOVE Fantasmic and there is a show at 8:30. Awesome!

Day 4 (April 22nd, Wednesday)--Breakfast at Ohana and MK. The park is open 9-9, with Wishes at 9:00.

Day 5 (April 23rd, Thursday)--Water Park and DTD. This is our non-park day, so we will do the waterparks and shopping, etc. We did not have a non-park day on our last trip and wanted to be sure to schedule one this trip.

Day 6 (April 24th, Friday)--Late EMH at Epcot. We totally love the World Showcase and want to devote more time to it this trip. Epcot is one of my boys' favorite parks so we have 2 full days planned here. Because we can stay late, we may end up heading back to POR at some point for some rest, pool, exploring, etc. We'll see!

Day 7 (April 25th, Saturday)--Epcot again and maybe water park.

Day 8 (April 26th, Sunday)--Late EMH at MK. We are SO excited about this because we did early EMH last time and are looking forward to being at MK late! Spectro is at 9 and we can skip Wishes since we saw it earlier in the week. I would skip Spectro as well because we saw it last trip...well, most of us. My DS (12 at the time), was not feeling well the night we had scheduled to see it and my DH took him back to the resort. Needless to say, the MOM who plans everything was devastated, but DH insisted that I "let it go".....go figure!! So....I guess we should plan to see it this trip. I have learned my lesson though and will not attempt to see it from Main Street. We had a terrible experience last time with very little space, etc. We'll definitely find a better viewing spot if we see it this time!

Day 9, Departure Day (April 27th, Monday)
--again not sure about this day because we have no plane tickets yet. I'm hoping to depart Orlando around 7pm or so, so we should have most of the day to tour. Since we have 8 day park tickets we could do a park or maybe a water park....gonna play this one by ear for now.


That's what I have so far. Very tentative, but at least it's a start! Oh...and I may take our park days down from 8 to 7...won't save a ton of money, but every little bit helps!


My Disney Binder:
Ok, I'll admit that I have a binder. It has dividers for Restaurant info, Resort info, Park Schedules and Touring Plans, Airline info, Budget info, and our Trip Journal. I love it!! I am a list-girl by nature and office supplies of all kinds make me giddy. Highlighters, post-its, pens, paper clips... you name it.. I love it! Go ahead, laugh! Most of my friends do, but I can take it! LOL!

So that's it for now....Let me know what you think...I'd love any suggestions!
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:55 PM   #14
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Hi from another mom of three boys. I'll be back soon to read more about your upcoming trip.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:34 PM   #15
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I'm back and all caught up!

You had me laughing with "my planning problem". I think all of us here have the same problem.

I had not heard of the counter service plan! I will have to look into that.

I'm the same way about giving gifts. I hate to wait! I'm always so anxious for the person to open it.

Only serious planners have a binder! I had one for our last trip too. There might even be a few posts about Binder in my last TR.
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