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Old 06-25-2009, 01:40 PM   #1
raider97
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A 2009 Magical Christmas Anniversary Pre-Trip Report

Hi!!

I have read a lot of trip reports since our last trip in 2007. I love them. I love reading about the planning, decisions, etc. that goes into their trips. It helps me make decisions about my own trip and helps me pass the time until I am able to be back at my happy place.

So, I am trying to write my first pre-trip report. I hope it is enjoyable to you as the ones I have read.

Stephanie

Index:
Cast
A Little Background
How This Trip Came To Be
Where Should We Stay
Dates, Dates, Dates...That Is The Question
Pictures? Where Are The Pictures?
First Picture Answer
My Latest Find
More Picture Challenge Answers
Additional Cast
Airfare and Date Change
A Surprise Trip It Is
Safety and ID Ideas for Kids
Recent Pictures
A Pirate Costume
Let's Talk Food
Too Much Too Do And Too Little Time
San Antonio Trip Report
Safety Tats Review
Long List Of ADR Wants
MVMCP
What Parks Which Days?
Checking On Our Dates
Our Grand Gathering Grows
I've Been Busy...Doing What You Ask?
First Plans....Subject To Change
Checking The Plans Again :0)
Planning Tools...Which Ones Do You Use?
What's New Today?
We Have Our First ADR
Grand Gathering Dining Issues
Narrowing Those ADRS
Autograph Book Decisions
Candlelight Package Changes And I'm On My Soapbox
Some Trip Purchases
And A Little Disney At Home
Happy Dance
More ADR Changes
Found Money
100 days
ADRs are DONE!!
Another ADR
Re-checking Our Days
Day 1 Itinerary
Day 2 Itinerary
Day 3 Itinerary
Day 4 Itinerary
Latest Purchase
Day 2 Itinerary Changes
MVMCP Touring Plan
Day 5 Itinerary
New Bounty Purchases
BBB Dresses
Autograph Books
Day 6 Itinerary
Day 7 Itinerary
Day 8 Itinerary
Day 9 Itinerary
Day 10 Itinerary
Day 11 Itinerary
My shirts are done!!
Updates
Surprise Boxes!!
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?

Last edited by raider97; 01-05-2010 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:45 PM   #2
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Cast

Me ~ (34) I'm a stay-at-home mom to three wonderful children. I love everything disney.

DH ~ (32) My high school sweetheart. Tries really hard, but doesn't love disney like me. He tolerates it. Crazy, I know!!

DD ~ (7) Shares my love of disney. Can't wait to go. She rode her first adult roller coaster this spring. She is very tall for her age and will be able to ride Rock-n-Roll roller coaster the next time she goes. I hope she will like it.

DD ~ (5) She loves theme parks. She is constantly asking to go to Sea World (we live a couple hours from one) and she loves Tinkerbell. I am hoping we will get to visit with the fairies at Pixie Hollow this trip. She would love it!!

DS ~ (3.5) He will be turning 4 on the trip. He is a scaredy-cat. I am hoping he outgrows some of it before our trip. He loves everything Star Wars, and I am hoping he will be able to reach the 40 inch mark so he can ride Star Tours at DHS. He is only at 38 inches, but he is due a growth spurt, so wish us luck!!

Nana and Papa ~ (60's) My parents. They are excited to be going. Hopefully, everything will work out so they will be able to spend this vacation with us as planned.
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?

Last edited by raider97; 06-29-2009 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:03 PM   #3
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A Little Background

Growing up my parents had taken me to WDW once. We drove and went during the summer. I remember it being miserably hot and humid!!! And we are from Texas, so I am familiar with hot and humid.

One year, my husband, then boyfriend, and I got to talking about WDW and how he had never been growing up, a sin I know, so when we were in college together we decided to go one year for part of our Christmas break. So in 1997, we planned our first budget trip together.

We flew out there, had one park per day tickets, and stayed at a Comfort Inn in Kissimmee. The hotel was fine, a nice place to rest, and it was a great price at $35 dollars a night. Can you believe that rate??? But we didn't have enough money for a rental car so we had to rely on the bus service provided by the hotel. What a joke!! We rode on a school bus, we were the first stop on the way so it took over an hour to get there each way every day. I don't remember a lot of specifics from this trip... we had loads of fun, ate tons of turkey legs and Pizza Hut cheese lovers pizzas, and swore the next time we went we would try to stay on property.

So fast forward two years... we are getting married December 1999 and looking for a place to honeymoon. We decided to go back to the world this time staying on property at the CBR. We had the "dining plan" and park hoppers.... oh the difference from our first trip. The dining plan back in 1999 was very different, more of a pre-paid plan where Disney contributed some money to it when you purchased it. Back then you could even use your money towards alcoholic beverages. We were there from Dec. 19th - Dec. 24th and it was magical. And the best part...we fell in love with staying on property!!! Who knew what a difference that could make....
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?

Last edited by raider97; 06-29-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:58 PM   #4
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How this trip came to be...

Well, in 2006 I started contemplating when we would go back to WDW to take the kids on their first trip. I needed time to save money and I wanted the kids to be a little bit older. My oldest turned 4 in 2006 and my youngest would be 1 at Christmas that year. So we decided to go for our 10 year anniversary in 1999. That gave us plenty of time to save and plan.

In 2007 however, one of my DH's coworkers was planning a trip to WDW and was commenting on the airfare. I looked it up myself and couldn't believe how low the rates were. It was $89 dollars one way to MCO out of our city. Our city is one of the smaller ones in Texas and only three airlines fly out of here (Southwest, Continental, and Delta). Without much competition, the airfare in and out of here usually remains on the high side. So I called DH and talked to him about taking a trip in April 2007. We wouldn't have to pay for my youngest since he was only 16 months, and the rates in April weren't that bad. So the kids had their first trip in April 2007. We stayed at Pop Century for 8 days. We had a wonderful vacation!

My parents and my mother-in-law had planned to make the trip with us, but about a month before we were scheduled to leave my mother had to have bypass surgery. We were heart broken.

So, me loving disney, and wanting my parents to have the opportunity to share the magical experience with their grandchildren that my mother-in-law had shared with them, I started talking to my DH about still going to WDW for our 10 year anniversary. We discussed it a lot and he agree that WDW is a great vacation for young children so we started saving and planning.

So here we are.....
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?

Last edited by raider97; 06-29-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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Where should we stay?

That was the next question that popped into my mind. I spent countless hours looking up resorts, reading trip reports, and contemplating this decision. Finally I narrowed it down to Port Orleans Riverside.

We could stay at one of the other moderates or values, but one of the kids would have had to stay with my parents and I was wary from my mom's health scare in 2007. What if something came up and my parents had to cancel... what would we do then? We would have to switch resorts and if it happened as late as it did last time we might not be able to find another resort. So POR it was. Now I just had to narrow down some dates.
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?

Last edited by raider97; 06-29-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:32 PM   #6
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Dates, dates, dates... that is the question.

I knew we wanted to go in December to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. I love the weather, the decorations, and the festivities. They can't be beat at this time of the year. Now narrowing down the dates was a little harder since both girls will be in school in the fall (2nd and kinder). I was willing to pull them out a couple of days before the Christmas holidays, but I didn't want them to miss too much school.

Our anniversary is on the 18th of December and I wanted to be there for it. So I figured we would leave on the 17th. I wanted to stay as long as possible, but since disney went and re-did their booking system last year (before that if you checked in during value season you kept that rate for your entire reservation) we wouldn't be able to stay as long because of the high holiday rates. But I wanted to stay for Christmas... and I did not want to be spending Christmas day in and out of airports flying home so we choose to come back on the 26th. Yippee!! So last August, as soon as the booking window opened up, I booked us from Dec. 17th to Dec. 26th at POR with the basic dining package, basic 10 day tickets (no hoppers - the horror).

I had read on the disboards that you could add the hoppers when you got there if you needed them. I figured I would wait and see what the hours looked like and then go from there.
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?

Last edited by raider97; 06-25-2009 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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i'm subscribing =)

i'm so excited to follow along on your planning journey! i'm planning to go dec 2010 with my husband and inlaws, we don't have kids yet.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:34 PM   #8
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Any readers out there? Any POR veterans? Any one planning to spend Christmas with Mickey?

I would love to hear about you and your trip/s. I am always looking for more ideas!!
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happenin2you View Post
i'm so excited to follow along on your planning journey! i'm planning to go dec 2010 with my husband and inlaws, we don't have kids yet.
Hi!

Thanks for joining in!! My first reader.

I see you also spent your honeymoon at WDW. I would love to hear about it. I haven't been to Disneyland since I was a kid. I want to go back there too!! How did you feel the two compare?

So, you all are thinking about going to the World in Dec. 2010... I am sure you will love it!! I love how it is all decked out with the Christmas decorations and such. Makes it even more magical.

Thanks for coming along... hope I can keep you interested.

Stephanie
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:02 PM   #10
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Pictures!! Where are the pictures?

I have been looking for some pictures to show you guys my family. I found some from our 2007 trip.

DD(7) - AKA "Minnie"


DD (5) - AKA "Tinkerbell"


DS (3) - AKA "Woody"


Me and Tinkerbell - Stephanie


DH - AKA "Donald" with Minnie and Tinkerbell
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Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?

Last edited by raider97; 06-29-2009 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:20 PM   #11
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All the above pictures were taken at WDW April 2007... Can you name where each one was taken?
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Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:33 PM   #12
ShelleyLynn
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Hello!
You are the first person I have found that is also going during the "peak" time this year. We will be there the 24th -31st. My family is myself, DH, DD7 and DD5. My girls will also be 2nd and K starting this fall. We have to go the week after Christmas r/t job and nanny needs. I work p/t and have an afternoon sitter that will pick up my girls from school and do homework until I get home on the days I work. Between my husbands work schedule and hers we have to come that week. I am nervous about the crowds! I have been trying to find trip reports from people who went Christmas week for good advice. We have been 3 times since 10-06 so we don't have to feel like we need to ride or do everything to have a great vacation. I mainly want my girls to wake up Christmas morning in the happiest place on earth and take in the Christmas cheer of Disney! We are staying at the Contemporary in the garden wing so we can walk back and forth to the MK and monorail to Epcot. I am trying to plan carefully so we don't get overwhelmed with too many activities/expectations when the crowd level will be so high. Maybe we can share planning info! I know the week before Christmas is supposed to be just as busy as the week after so maybe we can help each other!
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raider97 View Post
Hi!

Thanks for joining in!! My first reader.

I see you also spent your honeymoon at WDW. I would love to hear about it. I haven't been to Disneyland since I was a kid. I want to go back there too!! How did you feel the two compare?

So, you all are thinking about going to the World in Dec. 2010... I am sure you will love it!! I love how it is all decked out with the Christmas decorations and such. Makes it even more magical.

Thanks for coming along... hope I can keep you interested.

Stephanie

Thanks for having me! I'm looking forward to hearing all about all that goes into planning a Christmas vacation at WDW and hearing how it turns out, which will be fabulouly I'm sure =)

My husband and I spent 9 days at AKL for our DIsney honeymoon, following our wedding in Las Vegas (not because we were eloping, we're from Vegas!). We had so much fun, there's just too much to talk about here. Maybe I'll do a TR about. It was truly an amazing experience and I think I may have made a lil disney snob out of my husband; now he only wants to stay Deluxe when we go in 2010. I'm thinking we'll go moderate and use the money we'll save on a disney cruise either directly before or after. I am also looking to go during peak Christmas time. I grew up with divorced parents, so the holidays were always chaotic anyways, but now being married and trying to fit three families in is too much for me. So I said, "Were going to WDW, if you want to spend the holidays with us, be there!" The in-laws are on board so far. All I know is that I can't wait for August so I can book our trip! I think we're going for CSR since it's newly redecorated. I just love what I've seen so far.

Living in Vegas we are only a few hours drive from Disneyland, so we get down there at least once a year, sometimes more. I love Disneyland, but after having been to WDW, there is honestly no fair comparison. They are just two completely different worlds. It was really interesting going on rides that are at both WDW and DLR and comparing them, like Splash Mountain is way better at WDW and Space Mountain at DLR wins hands down. I wish they would implement a better dining plan at DLR and make some improvements to California Adventure, it seems so spread out far with not a lot in the park, it needs more.

Sorry for the rambling... I just get really excited when I'm talking about Disney

Your family is beautiful, I love your gorgeous little girls! When we do have kids, I'm hoping for girls, don't tell the husband though, I think he wants someone to play sports with...

Looking forward to your next post!

Deanna
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:54 AM   #14
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Oops! Scrolling back up I realized I forgot to mention how cute your lil "woody" is! THat expression is priceless. I also forgot to mention that I think you are incredibly brave for taking such little ones on such a big vacation. I'm sure anything could change, but I can't see myself taking any future children before age 5. I'm a kindergarten teacher and deal with 30 5 year olds for 6 hours daily, but I don't think I could handle my own single child for a week in WDW... you are a brave one
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelleyLynn View Post
Hello!
You are the first person I have found that is also going during the "peak" time this year. We will be there the 24th -31st. My family is myself, DH, DD7 and DD5. My girls will also be 2nd and K starting this fall. We have to go the week after Christmas r/t job and nanny needs. I work p/t and have an afternoon sitter that will pick up my girls from school and do homework until I get home on the days I work. Between my husbands work schedule and hers we have to come that week. I am nervous about the crowds! I have been trying to find trip reports from people who went Christmas week for good advice. We have been 3 times since 10-06 so we don't have to feel like we need to ride or do everything to have a great vacation. I mainly want my girls to wake up Christmas morning in the happiest place on earth and take in the Christmas cheer of Disney! We are staying at the Contemporary in the garden wing so we can walk back and forth to the MK and monorail to Epcot. I am trying to plan carefully so we don't get overwhelmed with too many activities/expectations when the crowd level will be so high. Maybe we can share planning info! I know the week before Christmas is supposed to be just as busy as the week after so maybe we can help each other!
Hi!! Thanks for joining in.

I,too, am worried about crowds. I have been trying to instill the motto in DH, "We will be there at rope drop and will leave in the afternoon for a break." The time change is always hard on us so I am hoping that plan will work. I would love to plan along with you. I think waking up in disney on Christmas morning will be great!!

I look forward to getting to know you better.

Stephanie
__________________
Stephanie, DH, DD 12 , DD 10 , DS 8
WDW Trips:
1997 offsite, 1998 offsite, 1999 CBR, 2007 POP, 2009 POR, 2011 POLY, 2013 POR, Dec. 2015 ?
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