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Old 09-09-2009, 04:17 PM   #166
Flossbolna
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huge shock and a few bits and pieces

This morning when I got on the DISboards I had a PM from Brookelizabeth telling me that she had sent off the planning DVD she had ordered for me ( Yeah!!) and alerting me to the fact that she could not post on this PTR! It turned out that my PTR was moved to the completed TR board. I sent a PM to OhMari the moderator of the TR boards about it, but was really worried. I was afraid that I had violated some boards rules – I know they are rather strict about things here, which in a certain way makes this in general a rather friendly and safe place, but I was afraid that I was on the edge of being thrown off the boards... It turned out to be a mistake and the PTR is fully functional again!!

I have a few minor updates and let's start with the not so good news.

It looks like an act of the US Congress is going to make our trip more expensive... It's the Travel Promotion Act 2009. In short: In order to promote tourism from outside the US to come they have huge advertising campaigns. This is financed by charging international visitors an entrance fee to the USA of 10 $ (or maybe 20 $ as an amendment seems to suggest). Since political debate is one of those things frowned upon at the DIS (and I understand why), I will just quote European Commission’s ambassador to Washington, John Bruton: “Only in 'Alice in Wonderland' could a penalty be seen as promoting the activity on which it is imposed.” Well, supposedly this fee will be charged when you register for ESTA, the online registration system, every visitor from a country which does not require a visa to travel to the US, has to register with before traveling to the US.

Let's talk about nicer things!! I have a journal for taking notes during our trip!! Katharina got me a blank book from England:





It looks like lot's of spines of Penguin paperbacks. Penguin is a UK paperback brand, or better it is THE brand. I think they invented them. Their trademark is a penguin and they used to sell them colour coded: orange for fiction, green for crime, pink for non-fiction etc. I love to browse second hand book stores when I am in the UK for old orange penguins and have collected a nice shelf. So this journal was really a lovely present! They are really marketing their design now and at home in Nuremberg I even have two mugs from them! One is Pride and Predjudice (and therefore orange) and the other one is The Big Sleep (and green)...

And finally it looks like Katharina and I will have a mini DISmeet! RachelTori, whom I know from the AKL Jambo thread, will be at AKL at around the same time as we will be there. She is actually the first ever person from the DIS I met in person. When I was at WDW in 2008 we were there at the same time, too. I had posted a picture of myself on the Jambo thread and said we might see each other at AKL. Well, we bumped into each other one morning in front of the Muppets in DHS by chance. It was great to see her, and I hope we will manage a bit longer meet than the three minutes we talked last time!!
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:16 PM   #167
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I am so sorry to hear about that absolutely ridiculous surcharge on tourists entering the US...how insane it that...? uhhh so stupid and frustrating...

I WAS so excited to see your Penguin Journal...I love that design...I have some of their paperbacks from trips to England...I didn't realize that they come in different colors based on genre...cool...

Hmmm...a Penguin Pride and Prejudice mug...I'm going to have to go online to BN UK and see if they have those......

Lucky you-possible mini dis meet...
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:34 PM   #169
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I have to echo everyone else's sentiments when I say its absolutely ridiculous to charge someone to come visit the United States...ughh I'm sorry!

I love your journal, I'm a huge penguin fan so I just love it!!!! Great choice!
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:33 AM   #170
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Although I was quite surprised to read about the Travel Promotion Act some days ago in the German Newspapers and I'm not too happy about it, my mother taught me to always look for the bright side (I was a very pessimistic child...): We don't have to pay and queue for visas. I very well remember long queues early in the morning outside the American embassy in Prague. In winter it was freezing and still dark
I just I hope they won't increase the amount till january!!!

And I'll even have a DISmeet!
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:30 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
I am so sorry to hear about that absolutely ridiculous surcharge on tourists entering the US...how insane it that...? uhhh so stupid and frustrating...

I WAS so excited to see your Penguin Journal...I love that design...I have some of their paperbacks from trips to England...I didn't realize that they come in different colors based on genre...cool...

Hmmm...a Penguin Pride and Prejudice mug...I'm going to have to go online to BN UK and see if they have those......

Lucky you-possible mini dis meet...
We will able to afford the 10 $, but I think it just does not send a very welcoming signal...

I think it's funny how some of those old designs proof to be so good that thay become classics and now can sell all kind of merchandise! This is the company that makes those mugs: http://www.artmeetsmatter.com/penguin-classics.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Lallie View Post
That surcharge is absolutely ridiculous!

I love your journal, so sweet!
The journal also has the perfact size, it was a wonderful gift!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenjolt View Post
I have to echo everyone else's sentiments when I say its absolutely ridiculous to charge someone to come visit the United States...ughh I'm sorry!

I love your journal, I'm a huge penguin fan so I just love it!!!! Great choice!
It's good to hear that you guys would rather not charge me for entering your country!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nodnol View Post
Although I was quite surprised to read about the Travel Promotion Act some days ago in the German Newspapers and I'm not too happy about it, my mother taught me to always look for the bright side (I was a very pessimistic child...): We don't have to pay and queue for visas. I very well remember long queues early in the morning outside the American embassy in Prague. In winter it was freezing and still dark
I just I hope they won't increase the amount till january!!!

And I'll even have a DISmeet!
Love your new ticker! Goes very well with your avatar.

Were you really so pessimistic? I don't remember that!

I agree with you that it is better than having to apply for a visa. I think we Europeans are just very spoiled regarding the ability to travel. Considering that travel into Eastern Europe 20 years ago was nearly not possible and now we have no borders anymore within most of continental Europe, that's a great acchievement. And while I understand the need for security (especially after the tragic events of 9/11), it is sad that this causes borders to grow bigger again. And this charge goes into that direction, too.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:40 AM   #172
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I'm so happy things got straightened out with your PTR! I probably would have thought the same thing, "what did I do wrong?!" Glad your up and running again!!

I'm so, so sorry about the fee to enter the US! That really is the ridiculous! How can they charge a fee because they wanted to promote international tourism?! Stupid!

Very, very neat journal!! I have a few penguin paper backs around here!! No you have to document every single moment of the trip!!
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:44 AM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
And finally it looks like Katharina and I will have a mini DISmeet! RachelTori, whom I know from the AKL Jambo thread, will be at AKL at around the same time as we will be there. She is actually the first ever person from the DIS I met in person. When I was at WDW in 2008 we were there at the same time, too. I had posted a picture of myself on the Jambo thread and said we might see each other at AKL. Well, we bumped into each other one morning in front of the Muppets in DHS by chance. It was great to see her, and I hope we will manage a bit longer meet than the three minutes we talked last time!! [/B]
I'm looking forward to it!! The first time was more like a DISpass-by!! As we say in the south (although I'm not a true southerner and I really don't talk like this!) - "let's pull up a chair and set a spell!"

Oh, and I love the journal too!
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:29 PM   #174
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The fee is just a bit crazy. It just makes no sense.

I love how your new journal looks like a published book on the spine. Very cute!
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:15 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeysmyboy View Post
I'm so happy things got straightened out with your PTR! I probably would have thought the same thing, "what did I do wrong?!" Glad your up and running again!!

I'm so, so sorry about the fee to enter the US! That really is the ridiculous! How can they charge a fee because they wanted to promote international tourism?! Stupid!

Very, very neat journal!! I have a few penguin paper backs around here!! No you have to document every single moment of the trip!!
We will hopefully be good in documenting our trip! Last time we traveled to the US together in 92 we started a journal and never got further than the train journey to the airport I still have that journal, we used it to keep all our scrapbooking supplies. Which reminds me that I intended to borrow my DBIL'S scanner and the scrapbook to give you a tour of our previous Disney trips...

I was thinking that we should use the time in lines and on the bus to jot down notes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelTori View Post
I'm looking forward to it!! The first time was more like a DISpass-by!! As we say in the south (although I'm not a true southerner and I really don't talk like this!) - "let's pull up a chair and set a spell!"

Oh, and I love the journal too!
Laura, it really was a pass-by. Do you remember wether you went on ToT that very morning. I was in an elevator with just one other lady and always thought that might have been you... I would have loved to meet a real southerner, the South is really a region of the US where I have never been (only a short two day trip from Florida to Savannah which was wonderful!) and always has intrigued me. My mother got me to read the books she loved by an American author called Gwen Bristow and I loved those as a teenager, too. They were historic novels before that genre became so overflooded like it is now and I felt like I learned a lot about American history by reading them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by If U Had Wings View Post
The fee is just a bit crazy. It just makes no sense.

I love how your new journal looks like a published book on the spine. Very cute!
Yes, that's a nice feature! I am intending to keep it with my other penguins. Need to take a picture of that shelf next time I am in Nuremberg!
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:33 PM   #176
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Restaurants - Magdalene's choices

Ok, ADR time is coming closer... (well, it's still 45 days... ) I am a bit nervous about that with our stupid 27 October where we will try to get ADRs at the same time as everyone and their friends (I think that's the way you say it)...

Ok, one thing I am watching at the moment are those reports about online ADRs becoming available at 3 am Eastern time. That is a very relaxed 9 am for me. I checked the previous two days and everytime it rolled over at 3/9 am. So perhaps that's a good alternative for us. I guess a lot of DISers know, but that's only a small part of all the people making ADRs. I was fully expecting the system to crash at 6 am, but 3 am it might still be operational. But then I have to worry wether the window will open for me as I booked through a travel agent... I will monitor the situation and talks to my TA about it. I guess the agency she belongs to will have a strategy on how to do it. I also hope that Disney will be coming up with a solution. Perhaps they extend the window in phases??? Perhaps I ought to send the an email letting them know that they their customers are concerned...

But enough about that, you want to know about plans, not only about worries...

Katharina and I have a list of restaurants in our wiki and finally got around to rate those. We have a rating system from - to +++. We are using that on attractions and activities as well. They are defined as follows:

- = I would not do that under any circumstances (I think the only thing that got that rating was the Bibity Bobitiy Boutique from Katharina)
0 = I am not interested, but I can endure it
+ = if we have the time, we can do that
++ = sounds interesting, I would like to do that
+++ = sounds exciting, is a must do

Using that rating, these are the restaurants that made it into my + and ++ and +++ categories (since these are already more restaurants than necessary, I don't bother with the other categories), the ones that are new for me are in Italics:

+++
Boma dinner
Narcoossee's
California Grill

++
SciFi Diner
Tusker House breakfast and lunch/dinner
Jiko
Flying Fish
Garden View Lounge
Artist Point
Whispering Canyon Cafe
Boma breakfast

+
Biergarten
Teppan Edo
Liberty Tree Tavern
Plaza Restaurant
50s Prime Time Cafe
Boatwright's
Kona Cafe
Wave

As you see, there are too many restaurants for our nine days... Also, they look a bit negative with so many +-ratings. But this is due to the fact that I just can't decide. I guess I have eaten at most places that I was really interested in, so revisiting a few places is nice, but not necessary. And I am happy to follow Katharina's choices, since it's her first time (and I have already talked her out of the ones I don't want to go to...).

Also we have a few special issues to consider with our restaurant choices:

1) we want to eat at places that are special to us - so Whispering Canyon might serve mediocre barbecue in the eyes of those who can get barbecue on a daily basis. But for us it is something unusual or as I said before "ethnic". (tried to find an exotic smiley...)

2) Katharina has several food intolerances, the biggest ones being lactose (i.e. dairy), tomatoes and lemon.

Katharina already has started her ratings as well, but I let her post those herself. I hope she will find the time sometime next week!

Any input on our list would be very welcome!!
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:53 PM   #177
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Restaurants - nodnol's choices


Actually I should be preparing for a workshop tomorrow, but I thought - what the heck (hope that's not british english...) - you all can't reall comment on our list, as long as it's only Flossbolna's list...

So, here's my list - not astonishing, there are lots more of +++ I've never been to WDW, so it nearly all sounds exciting to me

+++
Artist Point
Boma dinner
California Grill
Flying Fish
Garden View Lounge
Narcoossee's
Tusker House Restaurant
Whispering Canyon Cafe

++
Boatwright's Dining Hall
Boma breakfast
Jiko
SciFi Diner
Teppan Edo
50s Prime Time Cafe

+
Biergarten
Kona Cafe
Liberty Tree Tavern
Plaza Restaurant
Wave

I already changed my mind of some of those in the last weeks... so let's see, what your input will change!!!
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:12 PM   #178
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Nodnol, thanks for posting the list! I see that there are some changes from the last wiki list...
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:06 PM   #179
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Glad you got your trip report straightened out! YIKES! Sorry about the fees and hope you'll be able to come up with the little bit extra!

YUM! Good food choices! I'll be honest, there are quite a few I haven't tried from your list, but I think you should try Sci-Fi Dine In because it's such a fun and unique experience. We're trying The Plaza Restaurant for the first time in a few weeks (before MNSSHP) and I hear nothing but wonderful things about it. I know it's very small so I hear reservations book fairly quickly. Keep us posted!!

Have a great weekend!

Heather
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:39 PM   #180
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Laura, it really was a pass-by. Do you remember wether you went on ToT that very morning. I was in an elevator with just one other lady and always thought that might have been you... I would have loved to meet a real southerner, the South is really a region of the US where I have never been (only a short two day trip from Florida to Savannah which was wonderful!) and always has intrigued me. My mother got me to read the books she loved by an American author called Gwen Bristow and I loved those as a teenager, too. They were historic novels before that genre became so overflooded like it is now and I felt like I learned a lot about American history by reading them.
Was that me? Well, that depends. Was the woman VERY nice? Yes, then it was me!! But if she wasn't nice, then.....um, no, not me!!!

Another thing that might tarnish my image, I'm definitely not a real southerner............... I'm a native NYer!!! Actually, the Yankees outnumber the true southerners in metro Atlanta!



Great restaurant choices, ladies! Did you notice though, Katharina has a lot more +++'s than you!
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