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Old 09-23-2010, 08:41 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17

The Best Christmas EVER!!


I'm a college freshman and have been saving up for the ultimate Christmas present for my AWESOMEAWESOMEAWESOME family : A seven-night, eight-day ultimate trip to the World! I took them for a mini-version (5 nights, six days, off-property with only 2 ADRs) two Christmases ago and now that thesavings are replenished, am looking forward to emptying them out again in exchange for some wonderful memories with the best people on Earth.

Spongebob - 5 years old, my little sister and, as the name shows, a huge Spongebob fan (aka, our stay in the Nick Hotel)
Tink - 19 years old, my big sister and, as the name shows, a huge Tinkerbell fan
Lion King - My dad, 35 for the twentieth year now , and a high school science teacher
Fairy Godmother - My Mom, I'll leave out her age, and - in my opinion - the best mom ever . Her full time job is raising us (the littlest one only, right now)

This is my first time posting on the boards, although I have been perusing them since shortly before our last trip, and I'm looking forward to trying my hand at a pre-trip report. I hope you enjoy it!
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:58 PM   #2
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17

Some Basic Info:

So here's some basic information:

We're driving down from North Carolina in our old, trusty family van on December 23 and driving back up on December 30 (why does it have to end?)

Nickelodeon Suites Resort, December 23-27
We'll all be sharing a Spongebob Squarepants Kid Suite (my own little Spongebob is going to love it!), with two bedrooms (one for the parents, one for us kids), a kitchen, a bathroom (duh), and a living room. I think Spongebob is most excited about the pool and slides, so let's keep our fingers crossed that the weather plays along!
WOW did this one clear out the bank account: 2 Savanna view rooms (one for the parents, one for us kids) at about $600 EACH per night But everyone loves animals and Africa in our group (we lived there for a bit, when I was really young and my Dad was a professor), so I just had to do it - I knew it would be that special something to make them really have the time of their lives and they are sooooo worth it, I LOVE my family so much and we've been through a lot

So, now that you know where we're sleeping, I'm sure you want to know where we're eating. I mean, a girl's gotta eat, right? So here's the line up of ADRs:

December 23 - None (we'll be driving and just grabbing stuff along the way)
December 24 - None (this is our day in Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure - we've never been to the *other park* before and are looking forward to checking out the dark side on Christmas Eve - I do, after all, love How the Grinch Stole Christmas...and everything else Christmassy...hence my desire to make this the best Christmas ever )
December 25: Character Breakfast at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort (Spongebob Squarepants will be there, which my Spongebob is going to love! Who knows if she'll even be able to eat? )
December 26: A late breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table (!!!! first time !!!!) (Lunch ressies were all gone and I figure a late breakfast, especially one as indulgent as this is sure to be, can serve as an early lunch )
December 27: A 5pm dinner at Boma (right after checking into the AKL, to start in on the good stuff immediately )
December 28: Lunch at Sanaa (we're determined to eat everywhere at AKL, )
December 29: Dinner at Jiko (an arm and a leg, I know, but I hear it's amazing and we actually lived in South Africa so I'm sure my parents will enjoy the South African wine selection. It'll bring up pleasant memories, I'm sure )
December 30 - None (Driving back to NC )

So...I think that brings you pretty up to date.

Oh, wait!
I haven't told you our park plans yet! We're going to Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure on December 24 and Disney's Magic Kingdom on December 26. As you may have noticed with my limiting our ADRs to once a day, we like a relaxing vacation (and, well, we aren't very big eaters, so we probably couldn't manage more, although there's so much to try I hope what I already have isn't too much ). We're going to just enjoy the resort, have a shopping day at Orlando Prime Outlets, and check out Downtown Disney (and hopefully the Boardwalk, since we've never been there before. But how to get there??)

Okay, so that's it for now. Get pumped! You know I am
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:27 PM   #3
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17

Getting There

Any journey has to start somewhere and for us, it's going to be a ROAD TRIP!

We're taking our trusty old Ford minivan (also known as the Soccer Mom Vehicle - even though none of us play soccer) down from NC to FL and we've got some pretty high hopes. We're going to try to hit the road by 4am , take around 12 hours to get there (Mapquest says it takes 11, but let's just say that if we made it in 12, we would be REALLLLLLLY proud of ourselves ), and we're going to try and have it be a fun start to the trip.

Which means...
1) An awesome soundtrack (a mix of Christmas songs, Disney songs, Disney theme park themes, and random good songs)
2) Movies (on my laptop--I hope that works out. We're thinking 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' and some other nice family movie..or two...or three...or four)
3) Relaxation okay, okay - some breaks and some good food would be fine. Or even just some Subway and some tasty gas station treats. Any kind of junk food tastes better on a road trip, from a gas station

So that's the plan! Oh, and maybe we'll come up with some fun games...we'll have to put our thinking caps on!
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:28 PM   #4
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17


Does anyone know how to make the event ticker work? I posted the link as my signature, but it just has a string of weird computer text
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:12 PM   #5
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 47

Originally Posted by Wishes<3 View Post
Does anyone know how to make the event ticker work? I posted the link as my signature, but it just has a string of weird computer text
This is the link for the sticky tutorials thread. That should help.

I can only hope my kids save up for an ultimate Christmas present such as this!
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:20 PM   #6
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~W. Disney
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 204

Hey, just saw that we will be at Disney at the same time. I am also from nc, I go to UNCW. I think that this is a great Christmas present. Can't wait to hear more.
Katie (25) and Jon (DF-25)
1st Disney Trip!! Contemporary Resort 2004 ,
Graduation Trip Port Orleans 2006, DISNEY COLLEGE PROGRAM Spring '08, 1st Disney Cruise- Wonder March 2009, 21st Bday at Disney Saratoga Springs June2009 , Disney College Program Reunion All Star Movies May 2010, CHRISTMAS AT DISNEY Polynesian Resort December 2010 , Spring Break at Disney March '11 at Port Orleans, College Graduation & site visit All Star Sports Aug 2011, Thanksgiving and Wedding Planning Session November 2012, 4th of July 2013,

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Old 09-25-2010, 04:20 PM   #7
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17

Thanks for the help, alexi120! I'm so excited to have my first ticker

Also, that's awesome DisneyCP08! My sister almost went to UNCW, the beach is soooo nice
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:13 PM   #8
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17


Hello, again!

I am becoming so obsessed with this trip

So...for my disney trip fix today, I'm thinking about our ADRs. Just to refresh, that's

December 23 - None
December 24 - None
December 25 - Nick Hotel Character Breakfast
December 26 - Cinderella's Royal Table brunch
December 27 - Boma Dinner
December 28 - Sanaa Lunch
December 29 - Jiko Dinner
December 30 - None

I'm definitely happy with the ADRs that I have already made as everything sounds absolutely delicious (I'm a desserts girl myself, and have scoured the menus of all the restaurants to find my favorite ones - I kind of wish I had some right now...)

What I'm not so sure about, though, is if I should maybe add one. I've been so worried that we would have too many and everyone would just be feeling ill from all the copious amounts of food and bored from all the sitting around in restaurants, but what if the opposite is the case? We have to eat, after all, and maybe we'll want more nice meals.

In general, one nice meal per day is plenty. But for Christmas, where our nice meal is a 9:15am breakfast (it will probably last to around 11 and serve as a brunch, based on our previous experiences - hey, it's a really tasty buffet ) I was wondering if an evening ressie would be appropriate. I've read some pretty good things about Seasons 52 in Orlando, as well as California Grill on Disney property (and California Grill has the added benefit of giving us some Disney magic and perhaps a glimpse of the fireworks). Others may want a nice Christmas day dinner, something a bit more special than we could just walk in for. But we also like having freedom, to eat when we're hungry and what we're hungry for, to do what we want and when we want to. Adding another ADR would chain us down a bit.

So...do you think that if we desired another sit-down meal, we could find someplace then and just wait a bit for a table? Or are there some casual places (preferably in Downtown Disney or Universal CityWalk) where we don't have to do the sit-down thing, but would get something better than general fast food fare?

Or should we just fend for ourselves for dinner with fast food-type options wherever, and book reservations for dinner somewhere? Is that even allowed? For example, could we book a table for five at California Grill for just desserts during/slightly before whenever the earliest fireworks display at Magic Kingdom is? What are those special dessert things like?

I'm off to do some research but if you have any advice, or know of anything I don't, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:32 AM   #9
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17

Shop 'till you drop

[COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]Well, hello again! So I've decided to leave the ADRs as is and just let there be that bit of spontaneity (I tend to over-plan, rather than under-plan, but as I want this to be relaxing and fun, am determined not to go overboard and to just let it be .)

SO: SHOPPING! Who doesn't love clothes? And bags? And SHOES (my personal guilty pleasure )? And souvenirs? And trinkets? And--you get the point

SO...we have a shopping day planned! That's right--I'm going to surprise everyone with a shopping spree at Prime Outlets Orlando on Dec. 27 (the day after our lovely MK day and the day that we move into AKL). So what I'm thinking is:

Get up.
Grab breakfast in the Nick Hotel foodcourt (or wait and get it at the shopping center)
Leave the Nick Hotel (car is loaded down at this point, haha)
Go SHOP 'TILL WE DROP (um...mainly Fairy Godmother and Tink, here, as I and Spongebob tend to tucker out pretty fast as far as shopping goes ) at Orlando Prime Outlets.
Pick up lunch in their food court, so as not to lose too much valuable shopping time. We're hard core. haha
Leave the shopping center at 3 (which will translate to 3:30, as we never seem to be quite punctual )
Head down to Boma for dinner, after freshening up.
Shop around the gift store (the shopping never ends with *some people* ) as we wait to be seated.
Shop around the gift store as we digest (if we didn't get our fix before dinner )
Part ways: The Lion King, Spongebob, and I will head to our room to chill, watch tv , vegetate, maybe check out the pools/grounds if feeling motivated while Fairy Godmother and Tink go shopping (as they will probably not yet be satiated with shopping ).

QUESTION: How long before our reservation should we arrive at Boma? Is 5 minutes enough?
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #10
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 17

Two Weeks From Tomorrow!


It always feels like it will never come, but here it is a Christmas at Disney . What could be better? I can't wait for the Nick Hotel, the ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE , the parks, the food , etc.

I just have to survive through one loooong reading week and three HARDHARDHARD final exams first. Oh dear.

But it'll be over soon (I hope). Oh. And I sprained my ankle, so I can't even work out--it's a great excuse for a study break and I may as well start undoing Disney damage now , but a sprained ankle means no working out for mem it's way too cold to swim (I know the pool is inside, but it's too too cold)

Oh well.

Disney soon, hooray!
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