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Old 06-21-2009, 08:36 AM   #16
Lady Lallie
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I'm sure long flights like that are not glamorous but seeing as our planes are so teeny and barely serve a snack...the fact that you get a meal and have lots of seats makes it seem glamorous.
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:54 AM   #17
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Your flights sound good. Smart move to do a non-stop into the U.S.! I've been on two trips where my luggage didn't make it with me when I cleared customs in a city other than my final destination.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:07 PM   #18
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The flight does sound glamourous. But I am nevertheless thankful for my 2.5 hour flight.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:18 PM   #19
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I was finally able to read this afternoon with Henry down for a nap.

I'm so excited for your trip!!!! 9 nights.

I love that your sister is coming with, it will be such a great trip! Is C not doing Disney at all this year, or might there be another trip in the makings?

Great idea on the flights too-I can't imagine clearing customs and then having to get on ANOTHER flight. It would make me nervous as well.

I love the DLRP pics! So pretty.
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:21 PM   #20
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Hi Magdalene! I found your link on Brook's trip repot!!

I'm so excited to read about my fellow NUE'er and your travels with your schwester! Gosh, did I get that right? Funny, like another pp stated, you are almost my age and your sister is almost my sisters age! Another funny coincidence - my sister always said if she had a daughter she would name her Magdalene! She is a huge Sandra fan and I think she got the name from one of her songs. Be nice to the German weather - I do know what you mean though!

That Airbus is freakin' huge!!! Air travel sure has come a long way since I moved back here. At least the last several trip overseas have been on the Airbus versions so we could watch our own movies or watch tv - makes a huge difference flying International!

FRA is a madhouse, eh? It's better to have a long layover however, and not risk anything. You definitely made the right choices and everything sounds perfect! I booked our flights for our upcoming September trip about two weeks ago and already, 3 flights have changed. One, pretty dramatically in my opinion. We now get into MCO 2 hours LATER than we planned, but it's still the first flight for their day. What can you do?

Looking forward to hearing about your plans!

Heather
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Lallie View Post
I'm sure long flights like that are not glamorous but seeing as our planes are so teeny and barely serve a snack...the fact that you get a meal and have lots of seats makes it seem glamorous.
It is not glamorous at all! But I understand what you mean, even though I know that it is cattle class, it still has this aura of long distance travel! Just imagine what travel was like when you actually had to take a boat to travel between Europe and America, that were the days of real glamour!

Still, those planes are nicer than the normal short distance planes. Also Lufthansa is always very good in keeping their planes nice and updated. And you get alcohol for free on the planes. They offer wine and beer for dinner and even have spirits before and after dinner drinks. I just stay away from them as alcohol really makes jet lag much worse...

Quote:
Originally Posted by teruterubouzu View Post
Your flights sound good. Smart move to do a non-stop into the U.S.! I've been on two trips where my luggage didn't make it with me when I cleared customs in a city other than my final destination.
I never thought about the possibility of luggage problems!! I have had my share of it, but only when arriving at my final destination! Her in Europe you normaly clear customs after your last leg of the journey... What do you do in such cases??

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
The flight does sound glamourous. But I am nevertheless thankful for my 2.5 hour flight.
Oh, I would prefer being able to fly to WDW in 2.5 hours, too!

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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
I was finally able to read this afternoon with Henry down for a nap.

I'm so excited for your trip!!!! 9 nights.

I love that your sister is coming with, it will be such a great trip! Is C not doing Disney at all this year, or might there be another trip in the makings?

Great idea on the flights too-I can't imagine clearing customs and then having to get on ANOTHER flight. It would make me nervous as well.

I love the DLRP pics! So pretty.
Hi Brook, welcome to my PTR!

While C is a dear friend (she is the one who travelled with me on my previous WDW trips), we actually don't travel that well together, so I had been planning not to ask her anyway for my next trip. But my BFF had been thinking about going to WDW with me, too, so who knows when we will end up going to WDW together. Of course, you will not be surprised to hear that I have future trips planned out... There is the idea that I might want to attempt running the half marathon in 2011 and then in November 2011 I will turn 40 and what better place to celebrate that nasty birthday than at the MK which will share that age with me in 2011!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBelieveInTheMagic View Post
Hi Magdalene! I found your link on Brook's trip repot!!

I'm so excited to read about my fellow NUE'er and your travels with your schwester! Gosh, did I get that right? Funny, like another pp stated, you are almost my age and your sister is almost my sisters age! Another funny coincidence - my sister always said if she had a daughter she would name her Magdalene! She is a huge Sandra fan and I think she got the name from one of her songs. Be nice to the German weather - I do know what you mean though!

That Airbus is freakin' huge!!! Air travel sure has come a long way since I moved back here. At least the last several trip overseas have been on the Airbus versions so we could watch our own movies or watch tv - makes a huge difference flying International!

FRA is a madhouse, eh? It's better to have a long layover however, and not risk anything. You definitely made the right choices and everything sounds perfect! I booked our flights for our upcoming September trip about two weeks ago and already, 3 flights have changed. One, pretty dramatically in my opinion. We now get into MCO 2 hours LATER than we planned, but it's still the first flight for their day. What can you do?

Looking forward to hearing about your plans!

Heather
Hi Heather, great you made it over here! Your German is perfect!! It's great to have so many people our age group reading along.

You are right, Sandra had a song called Maria Magdalena (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m12OA-BUvE). It was a huge hit!!! And it reminded me of the fact that Magdalena is much more common in Germany than Magdalene and I always had to tell everyone "with an 'E' at the not, not an 'A'." It's interesting that your sister wants to use it for her daughter, I never came across my name in an English speaking country, besides if used in a religious context.

Sorry for those flight changes! Fortunately this is something Europeans are not much into! But, really, here it seems that once a schedule is set, the airlines keep to it. FRA can be huge and with the additional security checks for flights to the USA connecting through there needs time! Munich is so much nicer! Last time we arrived at one end of the Lufthansa area and had to get all the way over to the other side, it took me 30 min brisk walking!! And if there is snow and ice, we still have a chance!
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Hi Brook, welcome to my PTR!

While C is a dear friend (she is the one who travelled with me on my previous WDW trips), we actually don't travel that well together, so I had been planning not to ask her anyway for my next trip. But my BFF had been thinking about going to WDW with me, too, so who knows when we will end up going to WDW together. Of course, you will not be surprised to hear that I have future trips planned out... There is the idea that I might want to attempt running the half marathon in 2011 and then in November 2011 I will turn 40 and what better place to celebrate that nasty birthday than at the MK which will share that age with me in 2011!
Ah - makes sense about C-one of my BFFs and I are like that. We get along great for a while, but...after time...well.... That is great about a future trip your BFF though! And I like your idea of celebrating your 40th at WDW--and to say you ran the half marathon then too, that is a great accomplishment!

I like to think that someday I'd be able to run a half marathon. Or even a quarter marathon. Heck, how about an eighth of a maraton....or even 3 blocks?
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
Ah - makes sense about C-one of my BFFs and I are like that. We get along great for a while, but...after time...well.... That is great about a future trip your BFF though! And I like your idea of celebrating your 40th at WDW--and to say you ran the half marathon then too, that is a great accomplishment!

I like to think that someday I'd be able to run a half marathon. Or even a quarter marathon. Heck, how about an eighth of a maraton....or even 3 blocks?
Actually running is easier than one would think! If anyone would have told me 15 years ago that I would think about running a half marathon, I would have laughed at them! Even two years ago I would never have believed that I would be running a 10k in August 2009! You just need to start slowly!
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:14 PM   #24
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Short Update: Passporter and Wiki

Short Update: Passporter and Wiki

Nothing new really to report, so I thought I'd tell you a bit about our planning process. As most DISers, I really like planning my trip and this love for planning is a family feature. So Katharina is enjoying it as well.

Just after we had decided to go on this trip, I ordered a Passporter travel guide for Katharina at amazon. I really love the internet, 17 years ago when I first started reading English books on a regular basis, I got them from a specialized bookstore in Munich and they were incredibly expensive! Now you just order any book you want at amazon (we have an amazon.de) and you get it for the same price as it would be in the UK or the US. With the exchange rate as it is, English books often are cheaper than German ones.

Katharina is diligently working through the book to get a basis for all the planning discussions we will need to have. I think the Passporter is a really good guide book to get an overview over everything. It is also fun to use and we are planning to use it in the way it is intended and fill in all our data and fill out the pockets in the back and so on. It will be a nice memory of the trip!

Besides that we are using our family wiki as a planning tool. My DBIL (Katharina's DH) got the family wiki set up when we went on a trip to England with our parents in 2008. In order to share all the information for that trip and for anything else that is interesting to know for the family members, he set up the wiki. A wiki is a website that can easily be edited by the users and is generelly used to share knowledge. The most famous application of this principle is of course wikipedia. But even the WDWToday podcast has a wiki: http://www.wdwtoday.com/wiki/index.php5?title=Main_Page

Our wiki includes for example planning for my parents upcoming move from their house to a new appartment, about all family member's vacations and such. My DBIL even regularly puts a new cartoon on the main page. Katharina and I now have the subgroup WDW where we collect all information: flights, links to all important Disney websites for Katharina, a to do list and so on. It really is a work in progress!

We have started to write a pro and con list for a number of resorts we are thinking about. Once we feel like we have it complete, I will post it here and hope that I will get a lot of input!!

And to add something to look at, here is a picture from the family trip to England in 2008. We went hiking along the coast of southern England:



Oh and on a final note: Katharina has joined the DISboards, her screen name is nodnol. I think she has not posted anywhere yet, but I hope you will all meet her here at some point!

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Old 06-25-2009, 10:27 PM   #25
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Welcome, nodnol!

I think the planning is half the fun. The wiki idea is a great one! I've never read the Passporter book. Do you think it's useful even if you already know your way around?
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:29 AM   #26
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I love my Passporter - it was very handy to quickly write down the days events on the schedule pages and made it much easier to write the TR!

That is a great idea about the family wiki! And so handy for planning.

The picture of the the coast is STUNNING.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Actually running is easier than one would think! If anyone would have told me 15 years ago that I would think about running a half marathon, I would have laughed at them! Even two years ago I would never have believed that I would be running a 10k in August 2009! You just need to start slowly!
The starting part is the problem for me.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:36 AM   #27
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The wiki is a wonderful idea! I have never bought a passporter....but it seems on the DIS everyone loves them. Maybe I will have to check them out tonight, I am going to the bookstore.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:31 AM   #28
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I'm a bit late, but I'm here!

Your plans are sounding wonderful so far! You and your sister are going to have a wonderful time.

I bought a Passporter for the first time last year. I loved it, mostly for the pockets at the back. Every night I'd fill out the envelopes and tuck away all the receipts and little memorabilia items I had picked up over the course of the day. When I eventually get around to scrapbooking the trip It will be much easier since I'll have all my good things tucked away with notes.
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:01 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teruterubouzu View Post
I think the planning is half the fun. The wiki idea is a great one! I've never read the Passporter book. Do you think it's useful even if you already know your way around?
I got my first Passporter before my first trip in 2004 and thought it was a great starting point. I still use it for easy reference sometimes. And I am looking forward to Katharina finishing reading the new one so that I can get to read it, too.

But to be honest, I am not so sure how much it offers for someone who is a regular DISer. I still think that it is a lovely book and since it is reasonably priced, it could still be fun to get it. But I don't think it is essential. It offers a few things, others don't, especiall park maps with walking distances in minutes.

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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
I love my Passporter - it was very handy to quickly write down the days events on the schedule pages and made it much easier to write the TR!
Yes, I hope we will use the daily pages for that purpose! On our USA trip in 2004 Katharina and I started a travel journal - it has the flight in it and that's it!

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Originally Posted by Lady Lallie View Post
The wiki is a wonderful idea! I have never bought a passporter....but it seems on the DIS everyone loves them. Maybe I will have to check them out tonight, I am going to the bookstore.
They are really fun books, but as I wrote, I am not sure a DISer needs them. For a first timer I think it's the essential guide book!

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Originally Posted by If U Had Wings View Post
I'm a bit late, but I'm here!

Your plans are sounding wonderful so far! You and your sister are going to have a wonderful time.

I bought a Passporter for the first time last year. I loved it, mostly for the pockets at the back. Every night I'd fill out the envelopes and tuck away all the receipts and little memorabilia items I had picked up over the course of the day. When I eventually get around to scrapbooking the trip It will be much easier since I'll have all my good things tucked away with notes.
Great to see you here, welcome!! Yes, I am intending to use the pockets. The good thing is that if you don't get around to scrap booking, everything is already stored in a nice and accessible way instead of a box!
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:10 PM   #30
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Pondering on Resorts...

As I had told you, we are in the process of finding out where we want to stay... So here are our thoughts:

1. Which category of resorts?

When I was thinking about perhaps going on a solo trip I had thought about renting DVC points. The thing I liked about it that by the going rate of around 10 $ per point, it is actually very affordable. Also, the DVC properties are generally very nice. So of course this was still an option we were considering when we started to plan the trip for the two of us. However, we have ruled this option out by now due to a number of factors: First of all, besides OKW (which I was not interested in at all) all have one queen bed and one sofa bed in the studios. One of us would have to stay on the sofa bed. I have slept on many sofa beds in my life and none was ever really comfortable. Besides that, we really like to have daily housekeeping services. Of course you can do without, but it's just that tiny bit of extra, which makes a vacation special. And finally, it involves a lot of trust – on both sides. Since I am a lawyer and used to work for the prosecution office, I know how things can go wrong. And being from abroad, I don't know wether people would have been happy to rent to me.

Deluxe resorts are of course the ones we would love to stay at – perhaps not the Grand Floridian for me, it just isn't my style at all. Of course they have one huge disadvantage: their price! So, the only ones we are considering are the two cheap ones: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge.

Moderate resorts: those are still very nice and offer possibilities of relaxation away from the parks. Staying for 9 nights we will use our hotel more than just as a place to sleep. I think we would be crazy if we did commando touring for such a long time. What we don't like about them is their lack of private balconies.

Value resorts: While they look like fun places, the only reasons for me to stay there would be the price or for a short trip where I would spend most time at the parks. Fortunately value season rates make the moderates rather affordable, so we aren't really considering the values.

2. Which specific resorts?

So what are we thinking about the specific hotels? It looks like we have five resorts picked out that appeal to us: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans French Quarter.

These are the pros and cons we have so far selected on the different resorts:

Animal Kingdom Lodge:

pros:
extremely beautiful place, I think it's design and theme appeals to both of us the most
has two very good restaurants (Jiko and Boma)
Magdalene likes the counter service place (Mara)
all rooms have balconies
offers interesting activities (culinary tour, cultural safari, night goggles animal viewing)
transportation direct to the parks, only one stop at Kidani on way from parks

cons:
more expensive than moderates
some bus rides can be long (MK: up to 20 min)
you can't walk around the resort a lot outside, no jogging path

Wilderness Lodge:

pros:
close to MK
great theme
two good restaurants
counter service gets good reviews and menu appeals to us
all rooms with balcony or patio
beach
jogging path
close to other resorts (easy access to dining) including boat to Contemporary

cons:
more expensive than moderates
rooms appear to be rather dark
transportation shared with other resorts and therefore might be slower

Coronado Springs:

pros:
looks beautiful
beaches
jogging path
newly renovated rooms
duvets instead of sheets and blankets on beds (I hate it having to deal with sheets and blankets! We don't have that in Germany)
transportation reviews generally positive
Pepper Market sounds good to us

cons:
very large resort
table service restaurant gets not very good reviews
mixed reviews on Pepper Market (even though we think we will like it)
convention center (there will be a conference Feb 2-7, the USPS National Meeting, which might seriously diminish room capacity)
no balconies

Caribbean Beach:

pros:
beautiful landscaping
beaches
possibility to book preferred room and therefor guarantee to be close to food court
rooms recently renovated
rooms larger than at other moderates
jogging path

cons:
very large resort
transportation involves a long bus ride around the whole resort (7 bus stops!)
no balconies
food court generally does not get very good reviews
Katharina does not like look of new rooms

Port Orleans French Quarter:

pros:
everything close together
reviews say it is very quiet
urban atmosphere, unique theming (in a way very “American” to us)
jogging path
boat to DTD

cons:
no quiet pools
shares buses with Riverside
no TS restaurant

In addition to that, there is the question whether I want to try a new resort (I have stayed at AKL, POR and Poly so far) or whether I want to go back to my great love, AKL.

As you can imagine, we are a bit confused... So please, let us know what you think! We would really appreciate any input on that issue!! The good thing is that we can't really book anything until August. And then if a code comes out we might have to adjust our plans anyway due to availability...
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