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Old 10-06-2009, 09:27 AM   #1
elizablake
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I have to wait HOW LONG to go back to Disney?!!!!

7 months, 4 weeks, 1 day, 20 hours, 10 minutes and 15 seconds ……to be exact.

How did I get myself in this predicament? Well…we spent a bit too much money going to Disney twice this year. And it was worth every penny! The crazy part is that last year at this time I was hardly in the Disney spirit. We were going through a cruise phase at the time and DH and I weren’t too excited about the Jan Disney trip we had planned. We felt like it was a right of passage for DD and we wanted to go before she started “real school”. Don’t get me wrong, I have wanted to take DD to Disney since she was born, we just having trouble getting excited about meeting princesses, ridding kiddie rides and walking 100 miles a day. Boy, were we wrong! We had the time of our lives! We camped at Fort Wilderness for 9 nights in January. The weather was beautiful, the lines were short, and we fell in love with Disney World. Plus, we love to camp, so bringing the RV was icing on the cake. Here’s a link to our trip report:

Trip Report: Disney World and Fort Wilderness for the first time 1/09

And a few photos:









Once we got back we fell into a post-Disney depression. That is until I suggested canceling on Beach trip in June and going to Disney instead. We knew it would be crowded, we knew it would be hot, but we didn’t care a bit. Luckily, Fort Wilderness had availability, so we booked 7 nights for the three of us.

About a month before the trip, DH mentioned that he wished we could bring our nieces and nephew since they had never been. We took a look at our budget and realized that if we canceled all the extras (character meals, BBB, park hoppers and water parks) we could swing it.

So we surprised our niece (7), niece (11) and nephew (10) with “tickets” to Disney at my niece’s birthday



Here’s a link to that trip report:

Trip Report: Disney with 4 kids and a dog and we only lost one of them! 6/09

And a few photos from the trip:









The trip was great. All the kids had a blast and we were so glad that we got to share Disney with our nieces and nephew. We did have one small crisis..OK, huge crisis. We lost our dog Scooter, aka Scoot-meister, aka Scooty-booty. It was a scary 36 hours but we found him safe and sound. Here’s a photo of the run-away putting my Great Dane in a headlock:



All together we were lucky enough to spend 16 nights at Fort Wilderness, 3 days at AK, 3 days at HS, 3 days at EPCOT, and 7 days at MK in 2009.

Which leaves me here, broke, and nothing to look forward to except our trip 7 months, 4 weeks, 1 day, 19 hours, 30 minutes and 45 seconds away. I desperately need to find a way to pass the time and I’m not above begging…so, please, please, pleeeeeeease read my pre-trip report. Keep me busy with advice and tips so the next 7 months will fly by.

Links to my posts:

Trip Background

Trip Summary

Photos of the Rental House

Things We Can't Miss

Things We Have Never Done

Vacation Planning Challenges

Possible ADRs

Princess Costumes!

Official itinerary

There's an app for that!

Official change to the official itinerary

My out of control autograph book

DD's autograph book arrives

R.I.P Stroller

How do we surprise DD?

The plan: Arrival Day

The plan: MK Day 1

The plan: Fantasmic! day

Last edited by elizablake; 04-26-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:13 AM   #2
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Our plans so far.....

7 months, 4 weeks, 0 day, 19 hours, 35 minutes and 10 seconds ……

Here’s a little background about the trip we have planned. Last May, before our 2nd trip to DW, I was already plotting a 2010 trip to DW and I was hoping my whole family would be able to go. We have traveled quite a bit together and always have a great time. Our last big trip was June 2008 when we went on a cruise. My father put up a big fight but finally agreed to go for my Mom’s sake. You see, my father doesn’t like boats, the ocean, heat, beaches, or leaving his house. So a cruise was his idea of pure h***. But he survived and even looked happy at times.

We haven’t been brave enough to ask him about another family trip though. So, I decided to start with him. I expected his response to be: “Are you beeping kidding me. We just got off that beeping cruise from beep. I’m never leaving the house again.”
So I decided to use the magic words:

Me: “(insert DD’s name) would really love it if you went to Disney World with her”.
Dad: “Sure, if she wants me to go”.
Ahhh, the power of grandchildren.

Yeah, one family member down, 6 to go. I didn’t even finish my sentence and my Mom was like, “Yes!” 2 down.

My DH and DD were easy to sell. 4 down.

I wasn’t sure how my sister and brother-in-law would feel about the idea.

Me:”Want to go to Disney?”
Sis: “I don’t know. I don’t like meeting princess, kiddie rides and walking 100 miles a day” (Why does that sound familiar) “But if everyone else wants to go, then we’ll be there.”

6 down.

My brother was game.
Me: “Want to go to Disney?”
Bro: “Are you sure Dad said yes?”
Me:” Yes, he agreed to go.”
Bro:”Did you get it in writing?”
Me:” He’s in. Do you want to go?”
Bro:”Can I bring my girlfriend?”
Me:” You don’t have a girlfriend.”
Bro:”But I might by next year.”
Me:” Sure, you can bring your imaginary girlfriend as long as she likes meeting princesses, riding kiddie rides, and walking 100 miles a day.”

So the 8 of us sat down and tried to find a week we could go. My sister and mother are teachers so we could only go when school is out. My DH cannot take off of work from Nov 1-Dec 31, so Thanksgiving break and Christmas break are out. President’s Day weekend is too short. Mom, Sis and DD all have different spring breaks. So that left the summer. We picked the 2nd week in June. About a week later we found out that brother-in-law and brother can not take off work anytime in June. Between all of our work obligations, we could not find a week in July and school starts back the first week of August. So, unless we put it off until June 2011, this trip is not going to happen. We talked about it and my sister, her husband, my brother and his hypothetical girlfriend decided not to go. I’m still hoping that their work circumstances change and they will be able to join us but for the time being it’s just my parents, DH, DD and I.

The next order of business was where to stay. The RV would be too cramped. We considered a cabin for my parents and the RV for us but Fort Wilderness is huge and we worried the cabin and campsite would be really far from each other. We considered renting a 5th wheel for my parents but again our sites could be really far apart. Next we considered:

2 rooms at Saratoga Springs: $5940
2 bedroom Villa at Saratoga Springs: $5985
2 rooms at Caribbean Beach $3432
2 rooms at Pop Century $2244

So…..I started researching off-site rental houses.

We made a list of what everyone can’t live without. I need wireless, my mom wanted an extra bedroom with a double bed, my father wanted a BBQ grill, my DH wanted a pool and my DD said the house must have a Mickey Mouse pillow case and a toilet.

I can be a little thorough…umm…committed…umm….obsessive…umm…insane when it comes to research. I needed to look at every rental house within 5 miles of DW before we could pick one. After many sleepless nights, I had it narrowed down to about 100. A few more nights and I had it narrowed down to about 20. I showed everyone the houses; they looked, commented, and then said, “You pick. We trust your judgment”. No!!……..it just took me 80 hours to get it down to 20. So I did the only sensible thing and let DD pick. I must say she made a wise choice. We are staying in Indian Creek in a 4 bedroom/3 bath house with a full sized pool and privacy fence in the back yard. The owner is professional and helpful. We are staying 8 nights, from 6/4-6/12 and it will cost us $1185. I’m a little nervous about renting from a homeowner. Hopefully, everything will be OK.

Last edited by elizablake; 10-07-2009 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:48 AM   #3
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Yeah! I have 32 views. That could mean one of 3 things:
  1. 32 people are reading my pre-trip report and any day now they will start posting new and exiciting information that will make my trip perfect.
  2. 32 people have opened my pre-trip report, read the first paragraph and then thought, "Why am I wasting my time reading this crap?"
  3. or my Mom has opened and closed my pre-trip report 32 times to keep me from feeling rejected. Thanks Mom.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:01 AM   #4
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Here's a summary of what we have planned so far (not much):

Whose going: Me: 31 year old dorky IT person.
DH: 30 year old mechanic.
Memaw: My Mom, a Kindergarten teacher for 30 years. We are celebrating her 60th birthday.
Granddaddy: My Dad, a 59 year old artist who rarely leaves his house.
DD: A 5 year old Kindergartener who lives and breaths Princesses.

When are we going: Friday June 4- Saturday June 12

How we are getting there: Driving from the Atlanta area in two cars: my tiny Toyota and my Momís comfortable Santa Fe.

Where are we staying: Villa Margaret in Indian Creek.

Tickets: 7 day Water Park and More

Parks we plan to visit: MK, EPCOT, AK, HS, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. In other words, everywhere!

ADRs: No idea!!

Here's the house we are renting: http://www.balmoorvillas.co.uk/margaret_home.htm
We particully like the big pool and private back yard. My father is getting the grill he requested, I'll have my wireless, my Mom gets the extra bedroom with a double bed and we were happy to learn that the house does have the toliet that my DD requested.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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Some photos of the house:





The toliet DD can't travel without.



Master with queen sized, bed, and private bathroom with seperate shower.



2nd bedroom with its own bathroom.



3rd bedroom with full sized bed and Mickey pillowcases.











Game room we won't use:

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Old 10-09-2009, 09:36 PM   #6
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I found you! Everything looks so great. I love it when people take their first trip to WDW and just "get it." I look forward to hearing more.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave teacher View Post
I found you! Everything looks so great. I love it when people take their first trip to WDW and just "get it." I look forward to hearing more.
Wow! Someone's reading my PTR! Thanks for posting. I look forward to reading your plans also.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:31 PM   #8
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7 months, 3 weeks, 0 days, 19 hours, 25 minutes, and 10 seconds....

Since I have one whole poster and 76 views (thanks again Mom), I'm going to put links in the first post to make navigating easier for my one poster.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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Trip Must Dos

7 months, 3 weeks, 0 days, 19 hours, 15 minutes, and 45 seconds....

There are tons of things we want to do but here are the thing we refuse to miss:

MK
Haunted Mansion
Space Mountain (just DH and I)
TTA
Tomorrowland Speedway(DD loves it)
Mickeyís Philharmagic
Meet Ariel
Splash Mountain
Wishes

Epcot
Soariní
Spaceship Earth
Meet characters in the World Showcase
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Explore Innoventions East and West

AK
Festival of the Lion King
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Expedition Everest (DH and I)
Kali River Rapids

HS
Toy Story Mania
The Great Movie Ride
Characters in the Disney Animation Building
Tower of Terror (DH and I)
Rock n Rollercoaster (DH and I)
Fantasmic
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:44 PM   #10
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Things we have never done

Things we have never done-I left out restaurants and characters that we are not interested in:

MK
Hall of Presidents
Been inside Exposition Hall (Is there anything in there?)
Tried a Dole Whip!
Swiss Family Tree house
Enchanted Tiki Room
Liberty Square Riverboat
Dream Along with Mickey
Poohís Playful Spot
Never eaten at Cinderellaís Royal Table
Stitchís Great Escape
We havenít seen the current afternoon parade

HS
The American Idol Experience
Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Lights, Motors, Action Stunt Show
Backlot Tour
The character greeting spot in Pixar Place
Journey into Narnia
One Manís Dream
Met the Power Rangers
Met the extra characters in the Animation Building in the evenings


Epcot
Ellenís Energy Adventure
Exhibits in Innoventions East and West
Journey in the Imagination
Honey I Shrunk the Audience
ImageWorks
Dine with the Princess in Norway
Movie in China
The American Adventure
Movie in France
O Canada
Kim Possible Mission
Illuminations-technically we were there during Illuminations in Jan but we didnít really see it.

AK
Discovery Island Trails
Rafikiís Planet Watch
Mickeyís Jamminí Jungle Parade
Flights of Wonder
Maharajah Jungle Trek
Carnival Games in Dinoland
Met Pocahontas
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:55 AM   #11
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Vacation Challenges

.....7 months, 2 weeks, 0 days, 21 hours, 9 minutes, and 22 seconds.

Here are some of the vacation planning challenges that I am expecting (I'm sure there will be more to come):

1. When can we leave!?! My DH is off Friday June 4th. My Mom and DD are off for summer break. My Dad is self-employed. So..that just leaves me but I as of right now I canít take off of work because the only person who can cover for me is taking her vacation that week. How dare her!
I really want to get on the road as soon as possible so we can officially start our vacation on Saturday (rope drop @ one of the parks). Plus, we are driving with my parents who drive really, really slow and stop for a zillion bathroom breaks.
The worst case scenario is that we donít leave till 4:00 and get to the rental house about midnight. The we will still have to unpack the cars so I think rope drop the next AM will be a little too much.
The best case scenario is that my co-worker decides to come to work Friday and we are able to leave in the early AM. Then we would arrive in Orlando about 4:00. We will have time to make a grocery run as well as rest up for the following day.
The reality is that I will probably be able to leave work about noon if I wine enough to my boss. We will arrive in Orlando about 8:00. Not enough time for any R&R but I think we can still make rope drop the next day.

2. My father hates crowds! Iíve even seen him get a little panicked. Iím not sure how he is going to react to the big mass of people squished together right before rope drop. ButÖsince we are going in June, our plan must involve as many rope drops as possible.

3. My father hates heat! Hmmm..Florida in June is a little warm. We are going to need a lot of air conditioned breaks-like shows, restaurants and shops. Also, we need to be back at the rental house before the afternoon heat.

4. My father hates walking! Heís a little out of shape and Iím not sure how much walking he can handle. Our touring plan must be the least amount of walking possible. I donít think he could make it around the entire World Showcase so that might be out. We will need to do half of MK one day and the other half another. AK will be a huge challenge to plan in one day. Mostly, I think he will need the evenings to rest so we wonít return at night-unless we ditch him. Park hoppers would be a waste of money.

5. My father hates water parks! Which is a shame because my DD loves them. The easiest solution would be to leave him at the rental house while we go to TL and BB but Iím sure he will insist on going (and complain the entire time). We may decide to skip the water parks all together and save some $$$.

I know I make it sound like my Dad is a pain in the butt, and he is, but he's also a lot of fun and the trip would suck without him. We just need to work some of the plans around him.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:01 PM   #12
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I am here....so joining in on the fun! Now to go catch up...
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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My PTR is a little lonely. It's cool, I'm used to talking to myself.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizablake View Post


My PTR is a little lonely.
Well not anymore..... what a pitty your DS, DB - in law DB and imaaginary GF can't make it to date....
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:36 PM   #15
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LOL. I have a feeling they weren't that into the idea anyway. They don't know what they are missing. At least the offsite rental house makes it possible for them to join us last minute. You never know, they may be able to work it out.
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