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Old 08-16-2009, 10:32 PM   #1
mchelle77
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The Vacation Nazi and Mr. Spontaneity attempting to do Disney again

I was waiting until I was 70 days away from our trip to start a journal, so since today is "technically" (and I'll get to that) 70 days from departure, I decided to start it. I need to be able to chat with people who get it.

My DH (Russ) and I (Michelle) have been to Disney three other times together (and he went once when he was about 8). First time (1997) I barely remember - we went with his parents, and I was in college. I remember a few people being not so happy about me taking an additional week off of school (we went for a week, then to Miami for a week). But I had a ball.

Second time was in 2000, we went with his brother and sister-in-law, their two boys (ages 4 and 6 at the time) and his cousin and her BF (now husband). It was 50% awesome, 50% trip-from-hell. Being there was fun, but having to coordinate the schedules of 6 adults, two kids, two cars between everyone and ONE "suite" was a nightmare.

Next was our honeymoon in June of 2003. The single best trip either of us has ever taken. Two weeks in Disney World. My DH was working for a hotel at the time, so we had a suite to ourselves at the can't-be-beat rate of $39 a night. We had wedding money in the bank (over a third of that was used in Disney!) and no one to answer to. We did almost everything we wanted.

So fast forward to 2005. Our DD (Talia) was born and we agreed that we would take her for her fifth birthday (this coming February). In May, I lost my job. As of two weeks ago, I STILL don't have any job leads, so DH suggests that we move the trip up. So we plan for the last week of October. I was nervous about it, but I called, got the quote, listened about free dining (which wasn't around last time we went) and decided to book the POFQ. Oct. 26 - Nov. 1.

So the next day we find out that his cousin and her DH (the same couple we went with last time) had called the night before and booked THEIR vacation - the same exact week as us. They still thoguht we were going in February, and we had no idea they were even interested in going.

So my DH and I book, pay the deposit, and I start going mental with ADRs and schedule (tentative ones, like "this day we'll go to this park" type of thing). The other night we had his cousin and her DH and DS over (their son is the same age as our daughter) and we talk about the trip. They haven't put money down yet, but they insist that they will.

We are hesistant to travel with them. Their son can be a handful and we don't want our daughter's trip to have to revolve around him in any way. But my DH said that he'd feel obligated to do SOME things togehter, because our DD and their DS are very close. Makes us iffy. But we'll deal with whatever we need to ... just get me to Disney!

As of this morning - my DH wants to move the trip a week. Nov. 1 - Nov. 8. His reasonings are mostly due to his work. He's a videographer and has wedding shoots the Friday and Saturday before we leave. We aren't flying people, so we're Amtraking it down (from NH - we'd have to leave at 8am to catch a 930am train from South Station in Boston) If we switch the date, we'll drive and be able to take our time coming back (that's a loooong drive, especially while having post-trip-depression).

I called today and they can move it if we want to. I just need to talk to him and really be sure it's what he wants to do. And then get to work switching my ADRs. I had one thing booked each day - I'm most nervous about Fantasmic and the Princess Dinner. We also booked the Spirit of Aloha (we had booked on our honeymoon but it was rained out )

So that's where we are as of today. We're either 70 days away, or 77 days away. Not quite sure yet! The other good thing is that if we move it a week later, we may stay one extra night. That might be worth the aggravation I'm sure to go through with ADRs.

Michelle
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!

Last edited by mchelle77; 08-22-2009 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:18 PM   #2
mchelle77
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I just realized I never subbed to my own pre-trip spot. Took a while to find it!

So we switched our trip one week. Instead of the last week of October, we're there the first week of November. The good thing is that we're able to take our time getting there .. the bad thing is that I've heard rumors about "Jersey Week", which is when we'll be there. We'll see how that rolls.

Another good thing is that I was able to get ALL of the same ADRs. Bad thing is that I wasn't able to get the Fantasmic preferred seating. I remember in June waiting in a LOOONG line to just sit there without any preferred seating (don't know if they did it back then, though).

We also decided to downgrade from the POFQ to the ASMo. I really loved the idea of POFQ, but this trip is for our DD, so I think she'd love the Movie resort a lot more. We have the free dining and upgraded from the QS to the regular one. I think the difference was like $250 or so? Worth it, since the places we KNEW we wanted to go to would cost us about that OOP, so it was a bargain.

Another change was that, instead of Amtraking it, we're DRIVING! People think we're crazy, but we've driven it every time we've been there. We LOVE the drive down. Drive back, notsomuch. But by moving the dates, we're able to take our time coming back, so we'll stop in Georgia and Virginia on our way home. I like the idea of having our car there, and being able to do some travel food shopping .. like buying a case of water to keep in the hotel, having our DD's umbrella stroller (Amtrak had too many restrictions). We need to buy new tires before we leave, but we needed those anyway (DH is a wedding vendor and is constantly traveling throughout New England, so there's a lot of wear and tear on his car.)
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:35 PM   #3
mchelle77
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So far, our schedule is as follows:

Sunday, Nov. 1 - leave as early as possible! Since the night before is Halloween, I'm glad our DD will be able to TOT with her cousins (we all live near each other). As early as DH wants to go, we're gone. This means packing will be done early in the day on Saturday. I'm a list freak, so lists are made NOW. We'll stay wherever we land after driving 15 hours of driving. Advice needed - online check-in, or wait until we're there? Pros and cons of both?

Monday, Nov. 2 - Hopefully arrive around 4pm (check-in time). Get our stuff into the room and go to DD. We have 7:15pm dinner reservations at PH (mostly because we needed a place to eat not in a park and since those vouchers come with the package, why not use them?) Hopefully go to bed early.

Tuesday, Nov. 3 - EPCOT (EMH in the AM). 4:55pm Princess Dinner at Akershus. I have lists of tips (in a messy notebook, which I am neatening up to transfer to a pocket-sized notebook that fits into my hipster-type bag for the trip). Lists include "Where to eat CS that day", "What attractions we want to see", "Times of shows", "Interesting looking food at the F&WF". I'm determined to make sure I have all necessary information before we leave.

Wednesday, Nov. 4 - MAGIC KINGDOM. Tony's dinner reservations at 605pm. We were originally going to keep trying for the CBT breakfast or lunch, but last night decided to forget it. We have plenty of great places we're going to be able to try, and I'm sure our DD will at LEAST be able to SEE Cinderella, if not get her autograph at a character location. I'll just keep our fingers crossed and let any res that opens go to another family that wants it. Hopefully that will send some good karma my way and she'll show up at the Akershus

Thursday, Nov. 5 - MAGIC KINGDOM again. (EMH in the AM). 755pm reservations at Chef Mickey's.

Friday, Nov. 6 - ANIMAL KINGDOM. (EMH in the PM). 3pm reservations at Yak & Yeti's.

Saturday, Nov. 7 - Hotel/Pool day. 515pm reservations for the Spirit of Aloha luau.

Sunday, Nov. 8 - Hollywood Studios (I still call this MGM .. that's what it's always been every time I've gone, so it's taking a while to adjust to the new name!) 515pm reservations to Hollywood & Vine. I've been calling daily to get the preferred package added (and switch restaurants if I need to) but so far no luck.) I knew when switching I'd never get it, so I'm kind of coming to terms with it.

Monday, Nov. 9 - Cape May Cafe at 910 am. Leaving that day, as of right now. If we decide to stay, it will be last minute and hopefully we'll still be able to stay somewhere on site. If not, oh well.
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:14 PM   #4
mchelle77
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After reading someone's pre-trip report, I realized I didn't plan a meal or two wisely. Originally, I had us eating at Hollywood & Vine at HS at 430pm with the preferred seating, which made sense. But now that I don't HAVE that seating, I just switched it to the lunch at 220pm .. which is the Little Einsteins character meal. My DD loves them so I'm glad I did that.

Then I had us at the Norway Princess Dinner at 4:55pm. What meal is that, you ask? Too late for lunch, too early for dinner. So I was able to switch it to 650pm. We can watch the "Eat To The Beat" concert, then go to our dinner, and still have time to maybe grab a waterside seat in Mexico (and a margarita or two!) and watch Illuminations at 9pm.
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:19 PM   #5
mchelle77
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We just decided to add another day onto the end of our trip. Now we have another day of dining, too, so we're going to Whispering Canyon Cafe on that Monday night for dinner and leaving the next day.

Made a Disney Countdown for our DD. It's hanging in her bedroom and consists of multi-colored "Disney" paint swatches swiped from Home Depot Every night before bed, she takes on off and is anxiously waiting until she gets to the cutout of Mickey at the end of it. An idea I grabbed from someone on these boards that's helping a LOT with "Is it time to go to Disney World yet?"
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:25 PM   #6
mchelle77
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I read somewhere that Epcot on a Tuesday is a bad idea. MK on a Thursday is a bad idea. Tried switching them up, and can change my Akershus res but not Chef Mickey's.

REALLY hoping Jersey Week isn't as bad as some sites say.
__________________
The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:53 PM   #7
inkedupmomma
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HI! Do you have anyone subbed to your PTR?? Am I the first?? I am never the first for anything lol! HIHIHIHI!
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
mchelle77
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Yep, you're the first Thanks for popping in, I was starting to think I set up camp in a ghost town
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:14 PM   #9
inkedupmomma
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yeah, that is the worst ever.. when you just talk to yourself on here LOL Your plans sound great so far though!

May I ask, why don't you and your DH fly?
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:45 PM   #10
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I"m in...love your PTR so far!
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
mchelle77
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Welcome to both of you!!

Why we don't fly .. let's see. Two very different reasons for both of us! I never had the opportunity to fly growing up. Family vactions for me were driving to Maine to stay at my grandparents' house, or camping at Salisbury Beach. My first trip to FLA was a road trip - my DH's (BF at the time) grandfather's funeral, and the trip down was part of the fun. The ONE time I considered flying was to Ireland (the one place I WOULD fly to!) and I called to price it out. I was ready to book it, then got cold feet. The dates I would have been gone were Sept. 11-18, 2001. I possibly would have been stuck in a foreign country (ALONE!) for God knows how long.

My DH, on the other hand, has a really simple explanation. He's a control freak, and would rather HE be in control of his own life driving in a car, than up in a plane where the potential crash would hurt a lot more.

To be honest, if he caved and wanted to fly, I would. But only if the three of us were all together.

***
Took my DD to the Disney Store earlier. Our plan was to get her a prize for doing so well with not having accidents overnight (she's 4, turning 5 at the end of February). So we grab her a big stuffed Bolt (she's wanted him for a month) and I caved and bought her the Belle costume for Halloween. They had all costumes $10 off this weekend, and by paying for it with my Disney Visa, I got another $10 off. $50 costume for about $30.
__________________
The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:12 PM   #13
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our trips over lap and we're from Boston too!
can't wait to read more
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:32 PM   #14
mchelle77
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Some pics ...

This one is PERFECT for this board We went to Storyland (NH) in July and my DD met "Cinderella". She wasn't buying it. She actually said to my mother "I met Cinderella. Well ... not the REAL Cinderella." Look at her eyeballing her.



"Who do you think YOU'RE foolin', lady?"



My husband and me on our way to see Aerosmith, and then to Foxwoods overnight.


Her mural I painted ... put a lot of work into it and NOW she wants a Tinkerbell room! (Her room looks like Disney World threw up all over it )


Her Disney Trip countdown! I totally ripped this off from another poster, I wish I could remember who she was so I could thank her.



DD on the left with her friend from across the street playing "Disney Princesses"
__________________
The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:37 PM   #15
mchelle77
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Welcome! What part are you from? I'm originally from Somerville, and lived in Charlestown for a few years before moving. I miss city life
__________________
The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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