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Old 07-28-2010, 05:40 PM   #1
lauren5406
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 262

Not "Just For The Weekend" Trip PTR - Sept 24 - Oct 3 - Dining Reses added 8/25

HELLO

I think I’ve done one PTR before but this trip is getting to be bigger than my normal Disney OCD brain can handle so since I need it all down on paper to help with my neurosis anyways I figure I might as well share it with the community and hopefully get a little feedback/suggestions from others.

I am an obsessive Disney traveler and to be able to afford my habit for the past several years I have been taking several short trips at various times of the year. That hasn’t changed – so far this year we have been on 3 trips but only for a weekend at a time. From my house to Disney the ride is 4.5 hours with good traffic so it isn’t too bad for me. And while I am single and childless (just as much by choice so don’t worry) my extended family is more than willing to tag along for the ride.

What has changed this year was my parents decision to become Vacation Club owners at AK. So for the first time in history the entire crew will be taking an extended trip on the Deluxe accommodations level.

Another odd thing about this trip is that it will basically be split into three portions – and essentially be 3 different vacays but more on that later.

First up my cast of characters and I think I’ll utilize the nickname method for the remainder of our story:

ME – 27, single, work full time in accounting, and have 2 basic obsessions – Disney and dogs. We will get to the Disney here and for the dogs I have 3 – room in my heart for hundreds but only room in my house for 3. I also have 1 cat that I came across alone at a hotel while I was at a wedding in Mississippi. I’ve also developed a running habit lately and this trip leads up to my first ever half marathon. Here I am with my niece at our birthday dinner at Coral Reef back in Feb.


DSis – 24, single, works full time at the hospital while in nursing school and being a mom. She is also my roommate and best friend. She brings a daughter and 2 cats into the mix that is our crazy life. We will call her Mel as in Maleficent. Here she is showing off her dessert from that same dinner.


DNiece – 5, her favorite Princess is currently Tiana but this varies with mood. She is a big fan of HSM and sings the songs constantly and I don’t mind because I’m not ashamed to admit I love them too. She loves thrill rides already and her happiest moment last year was finally being tall enough for the Yeti. We will call her Sharpay. Here she is with her love Figment at Epcot.


DMom – I blame her for all of this. When I was younger we would make nearly weekly trips to our local Disney store. After church on Wednesday nights she would take us here before making us suffer through her time at Gap Kids right next door. We only went to the parks a couple of times though – I think I was 3, 6, 10. She isn’t big on the actual theme park aspect of it – walking, rides, lines so this will be more of a relaxing trip for her. I’ll take the kids and she’ll sit by the pool. I’ll refer to her as Eilonwy because my first recollection of going to a movie is The Black Cauldron. Our Thanksgiving meal at Crystal Palace a few years back.


DDad – If I had to choose one Disney character to sum my father up it would be…Grumpy. I love him to death but the man can be “difficult” to say the least. He does humor me on these trips though and goes along with whatever I throw at him. His name will obviously be Grumpy. With his ray of sunshine waiting for Spaceship Earth.


DBro11 – A-typical nerd (I mean that in a good way). He loves video games, comic books, Star Wars, Roller Coasters, ect. And somehow he still loves his big sis and wants to be with her above all others. If/When he doesn’t feel this way anymore it will break my heart. We will call him Marty because one of his favorite things is hearing the joke he texted in at the Laugh Floor. Having dinner at Tony's when I took him to Star Wars Weekend back in May.


DBro9 – Words don’t do him justice but he handles his autism like a champ. There are some communicative issues but with love and medication he is more than we could have ever hoped for. He LOVES Pirates and Dinosaurs so Disney is a wonderful place for him. I will call him Capt. Jack. This is at DisneyQuest in January.


Sidebar – My brothers are adopted. When I was 14 my parents stared doing Foster Care in our home. I was 17 when Marty came to live with us at 18 months old. Capt. Jack was 1 month when he moved in 6 months after Marty. They are biological brothers. While none of us could have seen it coming; our family was not complete without them.

Now that you’ve met everyone I’ll start breaking down the trip on my next post! Until then!
__________________
Lauren
2007 - January, March, August, December 2008 - January, April, August, November
2009 - February, May (2), October (2), December 2010 - January, April, May, September, December
2011 - May (2), September, November, December 2012 - January, May
Me DSis DN (6) Lola Sandy Winchester Lilla Alice Miss Ippi
SPAY AND NEUTER
APOPT - DON'T BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE

Last edited by lauren5406; 08-24-2010 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:49 PM   #2
lauren5406
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Part One - The First Weekend

The Breakdown:

As I said in post one, this trip is essentially being split into 3 different trips:

Part One – Begins Friday September 24th and runs through Sunday September 26th. This portion of the trip is focused on Universal and more specifically Halloween Horror Nights 20. The only two participants on this portion of the trip is myself and Mel. No kids allowed and my parents aren’t really interested. This will be our 4th annual trip to HHN and every year we do it a little better. The first year we were completely oblivious as to what we were getting into – we thought it would be fun to be scared we had no idea the level of spectacle – or interest for that matter. We ended up in complete awe but didn’t get to do a whole lot because we spent most of our time in lines ranging from 1 to 2.5 hours. Year 2 we bought Express Passes and it went much better. Year 3 we bought Express Passes, utilized Stay and Scream, and stayed at an onsite hotel. This year we have already purchased a Frequent Fear Pass with Express. The ticket was $150 after our annual passholders discount but well worth the enjoyment we will receive out of it.



This trip will begin the moment I get off of work on Friday – I can officially leave at noon even though I rarely do. It will be noon on this particular (maybe earlier if I can manage, but who knows considering I won’t be back for a week plus) day and after a quick stop by the house to pick up Mel we will be on our way to Orlando to hopefully make it to the gates of Universal by 5pm for Opening Night of HHN20.



Our hotel options for this trip are a little original. Friday night is still to be determined – I do know though that we will be using Thankyou Points from my Citi Card to spend one night in a less than desirable location I am sure. I will have at least one more statement drop between now and then and hopefully a few more points to utilize but last time I looked the locations were 2 – 2.5 stars at best but we will only be at the hotel for 6-7 hours tops.

Saturday morning is a very early start to get over to Loews Royal Pacific Resort and get our hotel keys and the car parked to make it to Islands of Adventure for early entry into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The anticipation on this has been more than I can bear. There have been soooo many weekends I’ve thought about hopping in the car and just heading down to see it – I have an annual pass after all! I have been resisting temptation though and this trip may feel even more special. After seeing HP for the first time we will probably hop on some more of our favorite IOA attractions (Spiderman, Hulk) and then head back to RPR to sit by the pool a little and prepare for night 2 of opening weekend of HHN! I will also need to work in a run – according to my training schedule it’s a 5 mile day. More on this in Part Three! Every year I invite everyone I know to come down to HHN with us – this year I may have a few takers. That is very exciting for me because my overall theme park obsession is not matched by any of my close friends. Sharing a little of my expertise with them is a dream!




Sunday will require a little time to sleep off the inevitable over priced beer and blood bag hangover but we plan on hitting the parks a little before this leg of the trip is complete. Sunday is also the beginning of Part Two, the addition of the remainder of the family, and check-in day at Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani Village.

The things I still have to figure out about this portion of the trip:

Where will we eat?

Where will I run?

Should I bring a change of sheets for Friday Night?

Coming Soon:

Part Two - 5 nights, 6 days of Family Madness



Part Three - Alone Time at SSR and My First Half Marathon
__________________
Lauren
2007 - January, March, August, December 2008 - January, April, August, November
2009 - February, May (2), October (2), December 2010 - January, April, May, September, December
2011 - May (2), September, November, December 2012 - January, May
Me DSis DN (6) Lola Sandy Winchester Lilla Alice Miss Ippi
SPAY AND NEUTER
APOPT - DON'T BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:27 PM   #3
lauren5406
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Part 2 - checking into AKL and our DINING RESERVATIONS

Part 2 of our trip is definitely the family extravaganza portion – 5 nights and 6 days of family madness. All 7 of us trying to get along and keep it Magical. We will be checking in to Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani on Sunday – we have two deluxe studio rooms.

We chose this room option to not only be thrifty with the dvc points but also because I don’t care if there are separate bedrooms I cannot begin to even imagine the havoc being in one room would wreak on the sanity of all adults involved.

I haven’t decided what our park schedule will be yet but it will obviously be very closely determined by our...

DINING RESERVATIONS

My absolute favorite part of any trip. We are going to be on the regular dining plan and here are my dining plan thoughts when asked if it should be purchased. Would you eat that much anyways? Then yes get it and save a little. If you can’t/won’t eat like a pig then maybe the dining plan isn’t the best option.

Sunday – Sanaa – this will be our first visit to the restaurant at our resort but it seems like a fitting beginning to our family trip.



Monday – Tutto Italia – one of me and my sisters favorites but our parents have never been here – I think they will enjoy it.



Tuesday – early dinner at Wolfgang Puck Café – hoping we’re done in time that it won’t affect MNSSHP which we have planned that night. We should be okay with a 5pm reservation right?



Wednesday – we have split reservations – Mom and Dad are at Grand Floridian Café and the rest of us will be at Kona. I’m very excited for Kona – a couple years back I needed to adjust our dining schedule last minute in favor of more park time and ended up having dinner at Kona instead of Ohana and I was so pleased with this spot. After dinner I plan on having us all meet on the beach for the fireworks like last time!

Thursday – this will be our last night here and no trip would be complete for our family without a meal at Biergarten our all time favorite!!! Don’t even get me started on the Bavarian Cheesecake!



I’ll go into the details of making our days work around these because lets face it – dining reservations are of the utmost importance. Plus now I’ll need to figure out lunch!
__________________
Lauren
2007 - January, March, August, December 2008 - January, April, August, November
2009 - February, May (2), October (2), December 2010 - January, April, May, September, December
2011 - May (2), September, November, December 2012 - January, May
Me DSis DN (6) Lola Sandy Winchester Lilla Alice Miss Ippi
SPAY AND NEUTER
APOPT - DON'T BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE
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