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Old 03-24-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
khertz
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Winter Wonderland in Sunny Orlando Dec 2009 PTR~NEW 12/18 We're Back! TR Link Posted!

My name is khertz and this is my first ever pre-trip report! I decided to give this a try, given my DH has resorted to eye-rolling when I start talking Disney, and a co-worker said she wishes she had $1 for every time I mention Disney World! I’ve been reading up on other pre-trip reports to get a feel for what I’m supposed to be doing with this, so wish me luck!

Intro - below
Where are we staying?
Food Food FOOD! & trip purchases
Reminiscing
MVMCP Tickets are in!
My First Dole Whip...in Hawaii!
Pre-Mini-Trip-Report: Wedding Pictures!
Mini-TR Post #1 - Arrival Day at POFQ
Mini-TR Post #2 - Day 1 Part 1: Animal Kingdom am EMH
Mini-TR Post #3 - Day 1 Part 2: Magic Kingdom pm EMH
Mini-TR Post #4 - Day 1 Part 3: Magic Kingdom pm EMH continued...
Mini-TR Post #5 - Day 2 Part 1: Epcot am EMH
Mini-TR Post #6 - Day 2 Part 2: Epcot continued...
Plane Tickets...Halfway There!
Disney Challenge!
Random Things
Mini-TR post #7 - Day 2 Part 3: Magic Kingdom pm and Day 3 Part 1: MGM
Park Tickets & Trip Purchases!
Disney Planning Weekend
Scrapbooking Supplies & Disney Planning Binder Pics
Mini-TR Post #8 - Day 3 Part 2: MGM continued...
Mini-TR Post #9 - Day 3 Part 3: MGM and DTD
Preliminary Itinerary
New Camera & Transportation Drama...SOLVED!
Park Hours Are Here!!
ADR's...Attempt #1
ADR's Finished!!
Keys to the Kingdom Tour booked!
TSM Practice & Camera Bag
Mini-TR Post #10 - Day 4: MK & DTD...last Disney day!
Revised Itinerary & Countdown Calendar
Touring Plan Cards
OT Post: Hanson concert! & ADR Additions
ALMOST THERE! - Mears Shuttle & Rental Car booked!
In-Depth Itinerary: Days 0 & 1
In-Depth Itinerary: Days 2 & 3
In-Depth Itinerary: Days 4 & 5
In-Depth Itinerary: Days 6 & 7
In-Depth Itinerary: Days 8 & 9
In-Depth Itinerary: Days 10 & 11
LEAVING IN THE MORNING!!!
TR Link Posted!

The players for this trip report are:

khertz (me! 23, will be 24 on the trip). – This will be my 7th trip to the World! My very first trip was in 1994 when I was 9 years old with my aunt, uncle, and a huge CYO group of high school seniors. It was one day in MK, MGM, and Epcot, and a day at Universal Studios & Busch Gardens each. It was the middle of July, hot, no Fastpass, and I mostly remember just standing in line! But it started my love for Disney World. Over the years, I visited WDW four more times with my family, and once in October of 2007 for my Disneymoon! I’ve taken over the planning of this trip, and the planning has taken over my life!!

dhertz (My DH! 24, will be 25 on the trip) – My Donald Duck loving husband! He’s excited about the upcoming trip, but doesn’t share my enthusiastic planning 24/7. He’s been to Disney 5 times, three times when he was younger, once with my family when we were dating, and of course our Disneymoon.



We have been happily married for a year and a half, and we’re super excited to be returning to the place where we had our amazing honeymoon!! It is also a milestone trip for us in that it will be our last time visiting Disney World alone, since we plan to start a family soon after returning! That’s right, the next time we visit Disney World, we will be seeing it through our child’s (or childrens’!) eyes!! So we are going all out and getting in every last ride on all the big coasters until we’ll be resigning to Fantasyland exclusively. LoL

Also joining us:

My DMom and DDad – My mom is a self-proclaimed Disney World freak, and Winnie the Pooh fanatic! She taught me all I needed to know about obsessively planning for Disney World, and has happily passed the reigns on to me. My dad also loves the World, but is fine to go along with whatever my mom has planned. He’s game for pretty much anything, and loves to enjoy new dining experiences. They went for the first time in the early 80’s on their honeymoon, and didn’t go again until 13 years later when taking me and my sister on our first big family trip. We followed that up with 3 more family trips to the All Star Music Resort at Mardi Gras, and they have since been 2 or 3 more times without me while I was suffering through nursing school. They are very excited to be joining us this time around!



My DMIL and DFIL – My husband’s mom and step-dad will be tagging along. They haven’t been in about 15 years, since they took my DH when he was a kid. I think they may be a little overwhelmed by all of the changes that have taken place in the parks since they were last there, and with all of the information my Mom and I have been sending their way. But they are ready to go with the flow and have an awesome trip!



This trip originated in my brain when I saw a friend’s pictures posted on Facebook. She had just come back from a December trip to WDW, and her picture of the castle in icicle lights absolutely took my breath away. I decided right then and there than a trip to Disney in December to see the Christmas decorations and take part in the Christmas activities was a must! Our dates are December 4th through December 14th. Our parents will be with us until the 11th, and then DH and I will stay a couple extra days before flying home. It is everyone’s first time to Disney in December, since my family is a Mardi Gras week family, and DH’s parents went in the Spring and Summer months.


Here's the whole group of us, plus my little sister who is very upset to be missing out on this trip! But college finals, unfortunately, take priority over a Disney trip!

I think I’ve provided enough (maybe too much!) info for an intro post…so I’ll save the rest for later. But that’s the gang, should you choose to follow us on our December Disney Adventure!
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Last edited by khertz; 01-10-2010 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:40 PM   #2
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Hi there!

Sounds like you've got a fun trip planned. You have almost as long to wait as I do. I'm going in Febuary of 2010 and I just started my very first pre-trip report too.

Have a great day!
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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December is amazing! I went tho the world the past 2 Decembers with my DF and it is the best. Just remember to pack a sweatshirt or 2 lol, it got a bit breezy at night, nothing us northerners couldn't handle though lol! You guys will have a blast! Make sure you do MVMCP while you are there, it is a must see at Christmas-time
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumeria View Post
Hi there!

Sounds like you've got a fun trip planned. You have almost as long to wait as I do. I'm going in Febuary of 2010 and I just started my very first pre-trip report too.

Have a great day!
Isn't it so frustrating?! On the one hand I'm so ready for the trip to be here, but on the other hand, I don't want it to come & go too fast, if that makes sense.

I'll have to check out your PTR and we can be newbies together! Thanks for stopping by!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggersam00 View Post
December is amazing! I went tho the world the past 2 Decembers with my DF and it is the best. Just remember to pack a sweatshirt or 2 lol, it got a bit breezy at night, nothing us northerners couldn't handle though lol! You guys will have a blast! Make sure you do MVMCP while you are there, it is a must see at Christmas-time
Our plan is to do ALL of the Christmas offerings, so MVMCP is definitely on our must-do list! And I'm planning to pack for all weather possibilities. I actually got a few pairs of cute cropped sweatpants that will keep my legs warm in the morning but that I can roll up if it starts warming up! I'm a south Louisiana girl, so I get chilled easily...a sweatshirt is a must!! Thanks for the December tips, and throw any more my way if you think of something!!
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
Our plan is to do ALL of the Christmas offerings, so MVMCP is definitely on our must-do list! And I'm planning to pack for all weather possibilities. I actually got a few pairs of cute cropped sweatpants that will keep my legs warm in the morning but that I can roll up if it starts warming up! I'm a south Louisiana girl, so I get chilled easily...a sweatshirt is a must!! Thanks for the December tips, and throw any more my way if you think of something!!
I will make sure I pass on all the WDW December tips... although truth be told, there where never any crazy waits or lines when we go so the tips are pretty minimal.... it really is the perfect time to go

Oh one thing we don't wait for was the candlelight processional... the wait for that is literally hours long... I did book a dinner on our last night at Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot and we sat right by the window and watched Illuminations (they add a Christmas ending to it that time of year) and had a wonderful meal. IMHO the perfect way to end a trip to WDW
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggersam00 View Post
I will make sure I pass on all the WDW December tips... although truth be told, there where never any crazy waits or lines when we go so the tips are pretty minimal.... it really is the perfect time to go

Oh one thing we don't wait for was the candlelight processional... the wait for that is literally hours long... I did book a dinner on our last night at Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot and we sat right by the window and watched Illuminations (they add a Christmas ending to it that time of year) and had a wonderful meal. IMHO the perfect way to end a trip to WDW
That's good to hear! I'm hoping for minimal waits on things, but I keep hearing that December is getting more & more crowded. But I'm optimistic! I plan to make the best of it, no matter what is thrown our way (especially since we'll be there during the dreaded Pop Warner week! )

I'm really hoping to be able to book the Candlelight Processional dinner package for us for this very reason. I don't want to spend hours in a line, and then still not even make it into the show! And we all really wanted to eat at Le Cellier, so I'm hoping that's where I can get the package to knock out two things at once.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
That's good to hear! I'm hoping for minimal waits on things, but I keep hearing that December is getting more & more crowded. But I'm optimistic! I plan to make the best of it, no matter what is thrown our way (especially since we'll be there during the dreaded Pop Warner week! )

I'm really hoping to be able to book the Candlelight Processional dinner package for us for this very reason. I don't want to spend hours in a line, and then still not even make it into the show! And we all really wanted to eat at Le Cellier, so I'm hoping that's where I can get the package to knock out two things at once.
Don't worry about POP Warner week at all! That is when we went and it was fine, I even saw one of my students (I'm a dance teacher) there for her cheering comp, waiting in line at the Malestrom. You will see a few groups all wearing matching outfits and having fun, but it was no big deal at all. I think people on here make it out to be wayyy worse then it actually is.

Ohhh I am dying to try Le Celier, we eat there in 3 days yippee! The line for the CP was all the way past Japan! It was really insane! But you could stand behind the stage and watch it from there without a wait at all so that was fine with us!
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:21 AM   #8
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I just loved reading your story about you and your family. I will be coming aboard to continue reading about your adventure. When you do have your family and travel to WDW it is the most amazing next adventure in your life. My DD(7) has been going to WDW since she was 22 months old, twice a year, and it is the most wonderful feeling I have just watching her having sooooooo much fun. I am "training" her to be a WDW fanatic just like me. Her father is almost there but will never admit it to anyone. I wish you all the best in the future and I hope you have a "magical" time in WDW with your family.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggersam00 View Post
Don't worry about POP Warner week at all! That is when we went and it was fine, I even saw one of my students (I'm a dance teacher) there for her cheering comp, waiting in line at the Malestrom. You will see a few groups all wearing matching outfits and having fun, but it was no big deal at all. I think people on here make it out to be wayyy worse then it actually is.

Ohhh I am dying to try Le Celier, we eat there in 3 days yippee! The line for the CP was all the way past Japan! It was really insane! But you could stand behind the stage and watch it from there without a wait at all so that was fine with us!
I'm really not TOO worried about PW week, just because most of the horror stories seem to involve value resorts and Disney busses, both of which we'll be avoiding this trip.

I can't wait to read your experience at Le Cellier! I'm absolutely dying to eat there...I love me some steak!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomLC View Post
I just loved reading your story about you and your family. I will be coming aboard to continue reading about your adventure. When you do have your family and travel to WDW it is the most amazing next adventure in your life. My DD(7) has been going to WDW since she was 22 months old, twice a year, and it is the most wonderful feeling I have just watching her having sooooooo much fun. I am "training" her to be a WDW fanatic just like me. Her father is almost there but will never admit it to anyone. I wish you all the best in the future and I hope you have a "magical" time in WDW with your family.
Thanks for joining! I really can't wait to start my future children in on the Disney love! I've already started collecting the movies from my childhood on DVD since all I had were VHS tapes from back in the day. I'm ready to start them on the Mouse young! My DH just laughs because I'm already planning my first visit with my kids in my head, and that's many years away!!

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
khertz
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So where are we staying??

NOT ON-SITE! I know, I know, sad, right??

For the first time since my very first trip as a kid, Iíll be living the offsite life at Disney World. Iím admittedly a little nervous about it, but I think itíll be great nonetheless. In the past I have stayed at the All Star Music four times on family trips, and at the Port Orleans French Quarter once on our honeymoon. My parents have also spent a couple of trips at POP Century. The in-laws have stayed at the Royal Plaza and offsite, so I donít think they will really know what they are missing out on! Can we survive without EMH to take advantage of? I sure hope so!

Instead, we will be staying at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek. My DH and I bought into Wyndham on our honeymoon, and so far have had a great experience with staying with them in Las Vegas. This will be our first time at the Orlando resort, though. For the first 7 nights, we will be shacked up in a 3 bedroom deluxe, which if it is anything like our Las Vegas suite, will be PLENTY of room for the 6 of us. After our parents leave, we will spend 3 more nights in a 1 bedroom deluxe. We are hoping for a fireworks view on one or both reservations!

If you have never seen or heard of the Wyndham Bonnet Creek, here's a link to a website with some pictures & information on the resort: http://wyndhambonnetcreek.com

Also, a couple of days, I went out to the mailbox and saw this waiting for me!:


I have been reading up like crazy...I even brought it to work with me this weekend! And if you work in a hospital, you know you are asking for trouble when you bring something to do in the hopes that the shift will be "quiet"!

I've enjoyed the access to touringplans.com so far that I got after purchasing the book. Even though it is WAY too early to be working out park strategies, I started playing around with the pre-made and customized touring plans just to get an idea of how everything works. And I'm sure I'll be watching the crowd calendar OBSESSIVELY in the coming months!! So far, it's looking good for the days we'll be there, with the only big numbers (9s) coming on both Saturdays. The first Saturday is the parade taping at MK, so that's not a surprise. The second 9 on Saturday the 12th was surprising, but that's a day DH and I will be straying to "the dark side" and visiting Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure anyway, so no biggie!

Hope everyone has a great week & thanks for reading!
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:17 AM   #11
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Food Food FOOD!

Even though it is WAY TOO EARLY to make ADR's, I've been thinking a lot about...DISNEY FOOD! I've been reading reviews & looking at pictures non-stop. So I thought I'd post what I'm looking forward to now to see what changes/compromises are made when ADR-makin' time rolls around!

We are not the type to indulge in many table service meals while in Disney. In fact, on our honeymoon, DH and I lived entirely off of counter service! But, we tend to be picky eaters, and our parents definitely are not! My parents have done the dining plan the last few trips, but since we are staying off-site dining plans are a no go for us. We have decided to schedule just a few sit down meals for our upcoming trip. Almost all of them will be in the parks so we donít have to spend a lot of time traveling to and from resorts for our ADRís. Here are some of the meals we are considering at the moment:

1. Chef Mickeyís breakfast Ė Ideally, weíd like the earliest sitting possible to scarf some breakfast from the buffet, meet the characters, and make it to Magic Kingdom at a decent time. My parents are the only ones to have ever done character meals, but this isnít one theyíve tried. The other four of us will be character meal virgins! Iím excited to have the opportunity to get pictures with Mickey and friends without having to stand in long lines!

2. Tusker House breakfast Ė This one will be just DH and I! DH is a huge Donald Duck fan, so we thought one more character breakfast where we are guaranteed to see him wouldnít hurt. For this one, we are planning on a later sitting so that we can hit some rides in the early hours then stop for the grub.

3. Le Cellier lunch or dinner Ė My goal is to book this meal for the Candlelight Processional package. Iím hoping for lunch just for the lower prices, but Iíll just be happy to book it, quite honestly! DH and I have been excited about eating here, we both love a good steak! Iím also excited to try the cheddar cheese soup and the chocolate moose.

4. Beaches and Cream Ė I know this place doesnít take ADRís but we are hoping to get in without too much of a wait for some ice cream one night after EpcotÖmaybe even the Kitchen Sink!

5. Rainforest Cafť (Animal Kingdom) lunch Ė This one is a maybe. Probably only for the atmosphere. But I donít know that itíll be worth missing time in the parks for this place. Opinions?

6. The Melting Pot dinner Ė Not on Disney property, I know! But DH and I had a GREAT meal at this restaurant in Houston and would like to take our parents to experience it. For those that donít know, it is a fondue restaurant. Thereís a location between Disney World and Universal, so we may try to eat there one night after visiting Universal Studios.

All other meals will be counter service. We have always had good luck with Cosmic Rayís in Tomorrowland, and weíll probably also eat at Pecos Billís and Pinocchioís Village Haus while in the Magic Kingdom. DHS has slim pickinís when it comes to counter service, but Toy Story Pizza Planet isnít bad. Same goes for Pizzafari in Animal Kingdom (we love pizza, obviously!). As for Epcot, we may stick with the Electric Umbrella or Sunshine Seasons, though Iím looking to give the Cantina de San Angel a try this year also for something a little different than burgers.

Any other suggestions are welcome & encouraged!!

And I made another vacation purchase! I actually bought it for the trip to Hawaii DH and I are taking in a few weeks, but the lazy river at Bonnet Creek is calling my name!


The front


The back of the bottom

Have a great weekend & thanks for reading!
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/"I Wanna See My Castle!" October 2013 TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge Adventures at 40"! May 2014 TR
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:18 PM   #12
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I just figured out how to link to individual posts! Yes, I am a dork & extremely excited about this discovery!!

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Old 04-25-2009, 09:47 AM   #13
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So I popped in for a look at your first PTR after you visited mine, and so far the plans look good!

A few comments:

1. Rainforest Cafe---we have those around us and while we went to the one in DTD last trip because we couldn't get an ADR elsewhere, I don't know if I would go again. It was fun, but the food is nothing out of the ordinary and if you are just looking for a place with better themeing, I would seriously consider trying to get Sci-Fi Dine In Theater in DHS instead. Can't beat the themeing there, IMO.

2. The Melting Pot---I don't blame you at all for going off-site for this one. We have a few of those around us in NJ and while we have only gone once and it was a little pricey, it was well worth it, especially for the dessert fondue part of the meal. Mmmmmmmm.

I was trying to hold off on posting my "Desired ADRs" or "To Eat" list until the trip got a little closer, I feel like I'm posting stuff left and right and will run out of things to say. After reading yours though, I think I might go ahead and get mine done too---so much good food to think about in the coming months!
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by annnewjerz View Post
So I popped in for a look at your first PTR after you visited mine, and so far the plans look good!

A few comments:

1. Rainforest Cafe---we have those around us and while we went to the one in DTD last trip because we couldn't get an ADR elsewhere, I don't know if I would go again. It was fun, but the food is nothing out of the ordinary and if you are just looking for a place with better themeing, I would seriously consider trying to get Sci-Fi Dine In Theater in DHS instead. Can't beat the themeing there, IMO.
Sci-Fi is a maybe for DH and I. My parents LOVE 50's Prime Time and want to eat there with his parents, but my DH hates it. We might just stick with CS, but we are toying around with the idea of eating at Sci-Fi instead while they eat 50's Prime Time.

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Originally Posted by annnewjerz View Post
2. The Melting Pot---I don't blame you at all for going off-site for this one. We have a few of those around us in NJ and while we have only gone once and it was a little pricey, it was well worth it, especially for the dessert fondue part of the meal. Mmmmmmmm.
We don't have any of these close to where we live, and we LOVED it when we went in Houston. As soon as we decided to go to WDW, I immediately looked to see if they had one in Orlando! So so so good!!

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Originally Posted by annnewjerz View Post
I was trying to hold off on posting my "Desired ADRs" or "To Eat" list until the trip got a little closer, I feel like I'm posting stuff left and right and will run out of things to say. After reading yours though, I think I might go ahead and get mine done too---so much good food to think about in the coming months!

I'm trying to keep this thing up so I don't forget about it and let it fall by the wayside. But I also don't want to post a ton of stuff now and run out of things by December! I guess we'll be in the same boat for awhile. It's so much fun though!!

Thanks for the food suggestions & for reading!
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:38 AM   #15
annnewjerz
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More than happy to try to keep another December WDW vacationer motivated and updating their PTR. I have liked reading yours so far since we're sort of in the same boat: Both will be 25, going in December, going with at least one parent (or in law), taking the KTTK tour---the only difference so far are the dates!

I understand about not wanting to run out of material too quickly when the trip is like 7 months away, but c'mon---there is always stuff to talk about. I'm thinking of starting a "Disney thought of the day" on my PTR just to keep it bumped and get more readers on board!!

Looking forward to more updates!
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