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Old 09-30-2009, 07:31 AM   #1
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Gearing Up For a Birthmasiversary With the Mouse! - A Dec 09 PTR


It Only Took 29 Years to Finally Get to WDW on my Birthday
(And Who Knew That It Would Be With the Man of My Dreams!)


A Pre-Trip Report



Okay, so this is my first attempt at a PTR! Begging forgiveness in advance if it's less than awesome, I'm just sorta wingin' it and learning from the many other fabulous PTR's I've been reading here recently. Unfortunately I didn't start this when the planning first began, but I'm going to do my best to sort of backtrack with dates to chronicle the process.


PROGRESS:

  • Resort? Coronado Springs, 6 nights, King Bed room!

  • Park Tickets? 7-Day Park Hoppers!

  • MVMCP? Purchased and printed our tickets for Dec. 3rd!

  • Disney Dining Plan? Free Dining FOR THE WIN, baby!

  • Payment Progress? Paid in Full!

  • Airfare? American Airlines again!

  • Rental Car? Reserved through Enterprise!

  • ADRs? It only took 2 months, but I finally got everything I wanted!

  • Touring Plan? I need to get on this...

  • Luggage? Borrowing a set, once again!

  • Camera? Bought a shiny new Nikon Coolpix L20!

  • Shoes? All done, thanks to a killer sale at the Crocs Outlet!

  • Park Bags? Hey Travelmates, arrived in the mail!

  • Packing? The lists have been made! Going to start loading up suitcases a week or two prior!
__________________

December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite



Last edited by Elevationist; 09-29-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:32 AM   #2
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THE DETAILS:

Who: Myself & the Boyfriend (Cast Details to follow!)
What: Our Magical Disney Getaway
When: December 1-7, 2009
Where: Coronado Springs Resort
Why: It's WDW, do you really need a reason to go? :D



THE CAST:


ME: Billie, 28 (turning 29 during our trip)
~ Judging from all the other PTRs I've been reading, I guess I'm supposed to write something about myself here... which I suck at, but here goes nothing! I wish I could say I'm a lifelong WDW junkie, but sadly that's just not the case. I have memories my first trip when I was 5 years old, with my mother and father and grandmother. But coming from a family who doesn't vacation, I wasn't exposed to WDW again until I was 17 and a senior in high school. We came down for "Grad Night," but being thrill-seeking teenagers, Disney was boring and Universal was more fun. (I'm hanging my head in shame even as I type this! ) Fortunately, a year and a half later, a good friend who did have a love of Disney invited me to join her on a trip at the beginning of January 2000. And wouldn't you know it, I had the most amazing time, and I cried the night we left. I finally understood the magic, and I have been hooked ever since, returning as often as possible! Thanks to being hit by the bad economy, this will be my first trip "home" in three years, and I could not possibly be more excited.




DBF: Ron, 30
Ron and I have been together almost a year (more on that later). He's never been to WDW, only Disneyland, and is almost as excited for this trip as I am. He likes to kick back and let me do all the heavy planning, but is also happy to offer opinions when I send him links and ask him questions in regards to the trip. ("Honey, look at these two menus, pick a restaurant please!") In general, though, when I'm surfing the DIS, he's surfing car forums and what-not. Ahh, men! (P.S. - He doesn't have some great fondness for Johnnie Walker and wine coolers, he was just bartending at his grandfather's 80th birthday party! )





OUR STORY:

Our relationship has been anything but conventional, that's for sure. Just when I'd given up on ever finding the right guy, I found him on... where else?... the internet, of all places. We started talking and became friends in August of 2008, and I was instantly smitten. It took him a little longer to finally get on-board, though. Despite the impossibility of our situation, him living in California and me living in South Carolina (literally opposite ends of the country!), on December 11th we decided to be a couple. The real world meeting very soon followed, and now we travel back and forth as often as we can to spend time together. He's moving to South Carolina in the spring, but we have a couple more trips planned before then.




HOW THE TRIP CAME TO BE:

I've had a long-time love affair with Walt Disney World but due to feeling the effects of our nation's fractured economy, I have been unable to return "home" since 2006. He's a Disney fan (I knew he was "The One" when I saw that he has more Disney animated features in his DVD collection than I do!), and has been to Disneyland... but seeing WDW was a dream of his. So when discussing what to do with the trip we were planning for him to come see me this coming December for my birthday... the answer seemed obvious. And so the planning began, with me determined to show him why Walt Disney World is the most amazingly special and magical place in the world!





WHAT ARE WE CELEBRATING?:

That's the Disney question this year, isn't it? Well, to answer...

(1) Just being able to be together and hold each other and make the most out of every precious moment!
(2) My 29th Birthday, December 3rd!
(3) The anniversary of us being together for 1 year, December 11th!
(4) His first time at Walt Disney World!
__________________

December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite



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Old 09-30-2009, 07:57 AM   #3
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JULY 2009

It was an idea we'd tossed around for a while, and that I priced online plenty of times. Then one day in July, I came across the "Free Dining" offer... and the wheels started turning. I called Ron up and ran the idea past him, quoted him some figures, and asked what he thought. After a bit of discussion, he said the words that were music to my ears... "We can do this!"

So we picked our dates, Dec 1-7. That would put my birthday right in the middle of our week at WDW! Then that would be followed by 2 nights here in South Carolina together, before he flies home on Dec 9th.

I also started sending him lots of links with resort options, and we made our choice... All-Star Movies! Truthfully, we both were kind of wishing for something more "adult" in theme as well as wanting to take advantage the regular Disney Dining Plan, instead of the Quick-Service plan that is offered with Free Dining at the value resorts. But in the interest of making the trip for affordable, we decided to go with it and just relax and enjoy the amazing, larger-than-life Disney theme at ASMo!

That's as far as we were able to get at that point, though. We had more immediate trip to focus on, my visit to see him and meet his family in August. But in the background, the Disney World excitement was still brewing and building and growing.
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 09-30-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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AUGUST 2009

8/1 - 8/17: Without park hours, making an ADR plan was really difficult. I did the best as I could using last years hours, just to construct a rough draft of our plan. I needed something to occupy my time and make the time pass by until my trip to go see him.

8/18 - 8/26: No Disney planning because I'm in San Francisco with my baby! We did talk about it while I was out there, and we got on his laptop and watched some WDW videos and stuff together.

8/27 - 8/30: Back home and sad sad sad, missing Ron so much! My only comfort came in the form of planning the next time we'd see each other... our Disney trip! I went back to my rough draft of our itinerary and ADRs, and studied and tweaked them. Still no park hoours, booo. My ADR-making date was swiftly approaching, Sept 2nd! So I found my way back to the DISboards for the first time since my last trip in 2006, and start reading and posting and soaking up all the info I could.

8/31: Hallelujah, we have park hours! Hooray! Now the planning can REALLY begin!

Another momentous event happened on this date... After much discussion with Ron and reviewing our combined finances, we decided that we should just go for it an upgrade to a Moderate resort and the full Dining Plan! I originally offered up Port Orleans: French Quarter as my first choice, but upon looking at the website realized that there wasn't a King bed room available for our dates anymore. So then I started showing Ron photos and info about my second choice, the Coronado Springs Resort... and it turned out that he preferred CSR to POFQ anyhow! During this conversation, I myself found out about the gorgeously renovated rooms at CSR, and after seeing the photos agreed with him that this was OUR CHOICE!

Unfortunately, due to still recovering from our recent trip, we knew we both needed a couple of paychecks before we could actually book the package and have the $200 deposit available. So we looked at our pay dates, and selected Sept. 11 as our booking day.

These two factors, of course, threw a wrench in plans and I had to rework almost everything. LOL. But that's half the fun, right! I had to do some fancy foot work to work in Fantasmic and SpectroMagic, though. (Spectro is one of the few things Ron brought up that he really wants to do. He's always seen the "parade with all the lights" on TV, and it's what he thinks of when he thinks of Disney World. So it's a MUST DO.) Re-arranged our dining plans, and got everything in order to make our ADRs!
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite



Last edited by Elevationist; 12-11-2009 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:03 AM   #5
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SEPTEMBER 9/2 - 9/8, 2009: ADR-making time!

Now not being official resort guests yet , that meant not being able to take advantage of the 90+10 window, as well as having to book each date eaxctly 90 days before, making it a week-long process. Now, the last time I made ADRs was back in 2006: Pre-FD. Back when you would just call and, with a few exceptions, get pretty much anything you wanted if you were moderately flexible on times.

So you can imagine my surprise when at 7:30am EST (I work until 7am, so that was the absolute earliest I could do anything) I log onto the new fancy online ADR system to book our breakfast at Tusker House (I told Ron about characters meals and agrees with me that they sounds AWESOME) on 12/2... only to find No Availability. Checked all different times. NO AVAILABILITY?! This seriously blew my mind, LOL. I ended up finding an alternate that was acceptable, but man-oh-man was I flustered! And very very worried about what my mornings for the rest of the week would be like!

But it turned out okay in the end. I only had big trouble with one other, Ohana for dinner. Ended up moving some things around and actually came up with a plan better than my original!
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 09-30-2009, 08:07 AM   #6
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SEPTEMBER 11, 2009: It's official, we're WDW guests!

The evening before, I had been online checking to make sure our dates and King Bed room were still available, despite our delay in being able to make our reservations. Everything was still there! So we decided to get this done at the very first available moment. Working 3rd shift, staying up all night is no big deal for me, so right around 3:30am my time, 12:30am Ron's time, he checked his banked account... Paycheck was direct deposited, and we were ready to book!

I went back to the website, selected the Free Dining special, put in our dates, and selected CSR from the drop down menu... and my heart dropped when the King Bed option was no longer there!

I told Ron was going on, and he agreed with me that having two beds in the room for just the two of us seemed awful silly. So I check other dates... if we moved our trip up by one day, we could get what we wanted. But Ron was concerned he wouldn't be able to get out of work a day early. We talked about looking at another resort, but we both had our hearts set on CSR.

So in the end, we decided to just book a standard room with 2 queen beds, and I would just keep checking back for a King room. If we didn't get it, no big deal. So I proceeded with the booking, put down the deposit, and finally secured our WDW package! Hooray!

Anytime one of us books or reserves something for our trips, we forward the other a confirmation. So I waited... and waited.. and waited. No confirmation. I knew that couldn't be right, so I resolved to just go on to bed, and call the next morning and ask to have it emailed.

The next morning when I woke up and called, I got a VERY lovely and helpful CM who gave me my confirmation code and emailed everything to me. While I had her on the phone, I thought to explain what had happened the night before with the King Bed situation, and she offered to look herself. Guess what? SHE FOUND IT! So she made the changes, explained the price difference, and set it all up for me. Emailed me a new confirmation even with the room type change showing with our new outstanding balance. So thanks to her, our problem was solved and now everything is exactly perfectly what we wanted!
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 09-30-2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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SEPTEMBER 18, 2009: More bookings and things becoming even more official!

Like all things with this trip, we are having to budget it all out so that we book/pay for things each time we get paychecks. Sept. 18th brought two purchases, the first of which was our MVMCP tickets!

A large part of my plans included attending my first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! It is happening several nights during our trip, so I had to select a date. After looking at everything, I decided that the best night would (obviously) be on Dec. 3rd, my 29th birthday! So is it a birthday party or a christmas party? It's BOTH, as far as I'm concerned!

This date also brought another huge event... purchasing Ron's plane ticket! We found a pretty good deal on American, $340 roundtrip. That's about what we've always paid, but being so close to the holidays, almost everything else was around $450+ at this point. So we were very lucky to find this fare!

He'll be arriving into Savannah, GA on 12/1 at 11:10am. Savannah is an hour down I-95 from me, so I'll pick him up, grab some lunch at Sonic (Ron loves Sonic and there isn't any near where he lives), then off we'll go! From Savannah, Walt Disney World is just another 4-5 hours down I-95/I-4. I estimate we'll be arriving at the CSR around 5pm at the latest!
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 09-30-2009, 08:25 AM   #8
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OUR ITINERARY - Updated 10/25!

12/1: Arrival!
9:00am: Leave my house, swing into Walmart for breakfast items and snacks for keeping in the room
11:10am: Meet Ron at the airport
11:40am: Lunch @ Sonic
Noon: Hit the road!
5:00pm: Check-in at CSR, grab a snack
6:00pm: Go to the Magic Kingdom for an hour until closing, just to walk down Main Street, see the castle, and have the "OMG we're finally here!" moment
7:00pm: Walk or monorail to the Contemporary, and enjoy the sights of the resort
9:00pm: ADR for dinner @ Chef Mickey's
10:30pm: Back to the room for the night

12/2: Magic Kingdom & Fantasmic!
7:45am: Breakfast @ El Centro
9:00am: MK for Rope Drop!
Noon: Lunch @ Cosmic Rays/Columbia Harbor House/Some other CS
4:30pm: Leave MK and catch bus to DHS
6:30pm: Fantasmic!
7:30pm: Leave DHS and catch bus to Beach Club Resort
8:45pm: Dinner @ Cape May Cafe
10:00pm: Back to the room for the night

12/3: Epcot, MVMCP, & My Birthday!
7:00am: Breakfast @ El Centro
9:00am: Epcot for Rope Drop!
11:00am: Lunch @ some random yummy World Showcase CS
4:30pm: ADR for dinner @ Chefs de France (Ordering a brithday cake at the podium)
6:00pm: Back to room to drop off cake
7:00pm: MVMCP!
12:30am: Back to the room for the night

12/4: Sleep-in, Relax, and Epcot!
Morning & Afternoon: Open, No plans
5:00pm: Epcot
7:10pm: ADR for dinner @ Le Cellier
9:00pm: Epcot Evening EMH
12:30am: Back to the room for the night

12/5: Hollywood Studios & SpectroMagic/Wishes!
7:00am: Breakfast @ El Centro
8:00am: Hollywood Studios for Early EMH
12:35pm: ADR for lunch @ Sci-Fi Dine-In
5:30pm: Leave DHS and catch bus to MK
7:00pm: SpectroMagic
8:00pm: Wishes
9:45pm: ADR for dinner @ Ohana
11:00pm: Back to the room for the night

12/6: Animal Kingdom, and More Epcot!
8:00am: Breakfast @ El Centro
9:00am: Animal Kingdom for rope drop!
12:00pm: Lunch @ Flame Tree BBQ
5:00pm: Catch bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge
6:00pm: ADR for dinner @ Boma
7:30pm: Epcot until close
9:30pm: Illuminations (my favorite!)
10:00pm: Leave Epcot and catch bus to DHS for evening EMH (Osborne Lights, specifically)
11:30pm: Back to the room for the night

12/7: Downtown Disney, and Departure!
8:00: Get packed up and the car loaded
9:05am: ADR for breakfast @ 1900 Park Fare
10:30am: Downtown Disney
12:00pm: Lunch @ CS of choice
1:00pm: Revist any park one last time
5:00pm: Leave WDW and drive back to South Carolina
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite



Last edited by Elevationist; 10-25-2009 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:59 AM   #9
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So I think I'm going to call about the 4/3 today, and see if it's a better or comparable deal to the Free Dining we currently have booked. If I can switch us to that, it would mean getting to stay 7 nights instead of only 6! *fingers crossed!*
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 10-01-2009, 10:36 PM   #10
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Looked into the 4/3 offer today. Looks like my dates aren't covered by it! Boo! Oh well, original plan is a GO! Going to be making another payment on our balance when I get off work in the morning.
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 10-01-2009, 11:34 PM   #11
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*tap tap tap* Is thing on? Hi!

Just wondering if anybody is bothering to read this.
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 10-01-2009, 11:55 PM   #12
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Hi, I'm here. My name is Ty. What a great back ground story. It's great that you and Ron are making a long distance relationship work for you.

Happy Early Birthday. How awesome to be spending it not only at WDW but also MVMCP. I celebrated my birthday that way in 2007. One of my best birthdays ever!!!!

I will be at WDW this Dec 3-11. And I am at MK on Dec 3rd, not doing MVMCP this time though.

I will also be at AK on Dec 4th, it's funny I have Flame Tree Bar-Que planned for 1:00 too. I love that place.

That's it for all the trip similarities.

Yay! on getting the resort and King bed you wanted. I myself like the big bright colored in your face Disney icons the value resorts offer. I love Pop Century, but honestly would love to some day stay at the Wilderness lodge.

I am on board with this PTR of yours, Keep posting and I will keep reading.
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Castle wishes and Dole Whip dreams....Sept 2015
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3261268

This freezing weather is crampin my style A Dec 2010 TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post39318035
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyaddicted View Post
Hi, I'm here. My name is Ty. What a great back ground story. It's great that you and Ron are making a long distance relationship work for you.

Happy Early Birthday. How awesome to be spending it not only at WDW but also MVMCP. I celebrated my birthday that way in 2007. One of my best birthdays ever!!!!

I will be at WDW this Dec 3-11. And I am at MK on Dec 3rd, not doing MVMCP this time though.

I will also be at AK on Dec 4th, it's funny I have Flame Tree Bar-Que planned for 1:00 too. I love that place.

That's it for all the trip similarities.

Yay! on getting the resort and King bed you wanted. I myself like the big bright colored in your face Disney icons the value resorts offer. I love Pop Century, but honestly would love to some day stay at the Wilderness lodge.

I am on board with this PTR of yours, Keep posting and I will keep reading.
Ooh ooh ooh! My first reader, I'm so stoked! And I know you, Ty! Well, not "KNOW" you... but I've been lurking on your PTR for a couple days. Thank you for joining in, I'll do the same in yours more, I promise.

It sounds like we're possibly going to be bumping elbows a few times while in WDW! Hehe. I love Flame tree BBQ, I thought about giving Yak & Yeti CS a try this time, but I know Ron would prefer the ribs at Flame Tree. (And frankly, I think I would too!)

I go back and forth on how I feel about the in-your-face Disneyism of the values. I just like the quieter, more laid back theming and relaxation of the mods and the deluxes. I have stayed at ASMusic and ASSports (that acronym makes me giggle), and want to try Pop and ASMovies once of these days.

Thanks again for joining in! I was starting to feel like I was talking to myself!
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite


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Old 10-02-2009, 12:51 AM   #14
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Hey there!! I'm here for the ride if you've got room for one more

We are there from the 27 Nov to 6 Dec

Your plans sound great!!! Infact, some of them are similar to ours We are doing MK & MVMCP the same day as you, we're also doing epcot on one of your days and our evening Ohana adr is an hour before yours Spooky stuff!!!

You & DBF look cute together and i'm glad you are making the long distance thing work Me and DH met on the net too, we chatted for a month and then he came to meet me when I was out with a friend - that was 8 years ago and now we're married with a house and furbaby

I can't wait to hear more about your plans and share your trip excitement
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoJo1980 View Post
Hey there!! I'm here for the ride if you've got room for one more

We are there from the 27 Nov to 6 Dec

Your plans sound great!!! Infact, some of them are similar to ours We are doing MK & MVMCP the same day as you, we're also doing epcot on one of your days and our evening Ohana adr is an hour before yours Spooky stuff!!!

You & DBF look cute together and i'm glad you are making the long distance thing work Me and DH met on the net too, we chatted for a month and then he came to meet me when I was out with a friend - that was 8 years ago and now we're married with a house and furbaby

I can't wait to hear more about your plans and share your trip excitement
Get on the bus girl, there's still plenty of room! Just you, me, and Ty as far as I can tell!

Yay! I love finding people with around the same amount of time to wait, maybe we can all keep each other some level of sane!

I'm glad you like the itinerary! Some of my non-Disney-addict friends have looked at it and told me I was nuts, scheduling everything out like that. But the way I see it, when other people are standing around scratching their behinds, staring at park maps, arguing over what to do next, standing in line for a dinner table for over an hour, and having a less than magical time... our vacation will be on track and smooth sailing.

Maybe we'll bump into each other at MVMCP! It's my first one, and I'm sooo excited. And the Ohana thing is funny! Who knows, depending on how fast you eat, maybe we'll get your table once ya'll clear out.

Awww, you are so sweet, thank you for the compliment! Though I think we look pretty cute together, too. He's so much darker than me (he's east Indian, his parents are immigrants from Fiji), and I'm so pale, I think the contrast is hilarious. And do you have ANY idea how happy I was to fall for a guy taller than me? I'm 6'0'' when I'm running around barefoot, I'd about given up on ever being able to look UP into a guy's eyes. He's 6'3'', and I looooove it.

I'm rambling. Off to subscribe to your PTR now!
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December 4-11, 2015 Art of Animation

September 2014, Pop Century - December 2009, Coronado Springs - February 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge - January 2005, All-Star Music
January 2002, Offsite - July 2000, Offsite - January 2000, Offsite - April 1998, All-Star Sports - May 1986, Offsite



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