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Old 12-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
SurfinTX
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06/06-06/11 Assault on Disney's Beaches: Update 8/13, Swag Pics on last page

Hello everyone and to my first ever Disney pre-trip report! Hopefully it will not be my last. This first post I'll keep updated with our current plans, dates and links.

Dates:
06/06/10-06/11/10
Location:
Disney's Polynesian King Kamehameha Club (Hawaii)
Plan:
6 day tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks and More
Disney Dining Plan
ADRs:
06/05 - T-Rex - 7:30 pm
06/06 - Sci-Fi - 7:00 pm
06/07 - Coral Reef - 11:55 am
06/08 - Akershus Royal Banquet 1:30
Teppan Edo 6:30
06/09 - None
06/10 - 'Ohana 7:00
Events:
06/06 - Star Wars Weekend DHS
Fantasmic
06/07 - Epcot then MK Electrical Parade and Fireworks
06/08 - Early EMH MK then Epcot World Showcase Illuminations
06/09 - Typhoon Lagoon then afternoon Disney Quest...My Birthday!
06/10 - AK then hang at the Resort
06/11 - Checkout then MK and drive home!

Links

Who we are, Day by Day Pre-Plan - Pages 1 and 2.
April 4th: Two Months out. Where are we at?
April 14th: A few radical changes and new ADRs
May 4th: One month out. British Petroleum forces another change in plans.
May 7th: A "Surprise" package arrives.
May 11th: Remembering Disney '07 - Part 1
May12th: Dis '07 - We arrive.
May 16th: Dis '07 - Let the Magic Begin.
May 18th: Dis '07 - The Ole' Swimmin' Hole and Tidings of Things to Come.
May 19th: Remembering Dis '07 - Meltdowns, Mis-Timings and some Magic!
May 22nd: Remembering Dis '07 - Animal Kingdom cont.
May 24th: Remembering Dis '07 - End of Day 2
May 30th: Remembering Dis '07 - Day 3 Epcot
June 3rd: Final Preparations underway!

Post Trip Report Begins

June 14th: We're home!
The Long and Winding Road...
Rawr! Time for Shopping and Dining
A Grand Tour and Other Delays
May the Force Be With Us. We're Gunna Need It!
The Poly, Hoopla and Sci-Fi - End of Day 1
Day 2: Failure is not an Option!
Going Above and Beyond at the Poly
Magic Kingdom Wanderings
The Return of a Classic
Honey, They Blew Up the Castle!
Day 3: Early EMH? Can We Git Er Done?
Early EMH at Magic Kingdom
More Princesses Than You Can Shake a Stick At!
Must...Keep...Touring...EPCOT
Day 4: Swimming with the Sharks
A Late Exploration of Animal Kingdom
Day 5: A Wild Time on the Safari!
More Animal Adventures!
The Longest Line...EVER!
Back Home at the Poly
The Poly Beach and Summer Nightastic
Day 6: One Last Magical Day
What Do the Kids Like? More Pizza!
Now It's Really Time to Say Goodbye

Last edited by SurfinTX; 08-13-2010 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Trip Report
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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So who exactly are we and how did we come to the conclusion that Disney is for us?

On the right is yours truly, Tom. A 38 year old engineer who fell in love with Disney at a young age but who had little opportunity to enjoy that due to being a single most of my life. I have lived in Texas since 1979 and consider myself a native.
On the right is my right-hand...er, left handed compatriot and future wife, Dianna . Born in Utah she moved to Texas 12 years ago but I can tell she would rather be back in Utah.

Next up is Kyler,

15 years old and feeling all the angst of the teenage years but is a great kid with a sense of humor if you get past the eye rolling. Give us a smile! No?

Now we have Madison,

9 years old and still thinks boys or yucky. That's my girl

And finally Michael,

7 years old and has no fear...and tends to find out the hard way that life can be bumpy for those that are not careful.

Last edited by SurfinTX; 01-18-2010 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:39 AM   #3
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As many others have done on the DISboards this will be a diary and a reminder of the thought process I used to plan this upcoming trip.

I started thinking about doing a Disney trip almost 2 years ago. I had talked it over with my parents and eventualy ended up with 11 people going. Looking at our options I eventually settled with 2 All Star Music Family Suites for us and made the room reservations for August 2009.

2008 passes by and I begin to seriously research the trip since I had gone back in 2007. On that trip it was me, my brother, his daughter, my Mom and Dad and we had stayed at POR for 5 days. During that trip I had split away from the group often to go see and do things on my own. I ended up seeing a lot of the resorts and the more thrilling rides but little of what is directed at children.

As 2009 approached of course we encountered bumps in the road as the economy tanked. My work enforced time off and Diana had to change jobs and careers last year. Looking at our situation we decided that we had to save money. A great alternative was to visit her family in Utah.

To be continued...

Last edited by SurfinTX; 03-31-2010 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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Alrighty! So I call and cancel our WDW trip for 2009.
Now I have to plan a driving trip to Utah and back. I Googled. I Pricelined. Expedia and on and on. I even looked up interesting facts and sights along the way all with an eye for economy. We packed and loaded up the van with picnic lunches and off we went.
Kansas

Colorado
Now we arrive in Denver at about 7pm and stop at Casa Bonita to eat. I have memories from my teenage years of eating here after ski trips and it hasn't changed much over the last 20 years. The kids loved it. The only drawback in our schedule had us driving over the Rockies at night on I-70 so no pictures of some of the most beautiful scenery along any stretch of interstate highway.

Utah
After 20 hours on the road and 24 hours since we left Dallas we arrive at Heber City, Utah. Did I also mention that I worked a 12 hour night shift before leaving? I was done! Dianna wanted to start seeing people immediatly. I just went to bed. Hi In-Laws! Night! Zzzzzzz. I'm sure I left a great first impression. Here are a few pictures we took around town.


Hey! Didn't we drive all the way from Texas to get away from BBQ? Using my name too?!

Oh well. We went into Uinta National Forest to the east of town the next day.

Last edited by SurfinTX; 03-22-2010 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:16 AM   #5
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Utah Trip cont.

Passing over the mountains we enter lands that are both rugged and used as farms at the same time. Those Mormons sure are industrious.

Beware the high winds along mountain passes!

We then swung around and arrived at Strawberry River Reservoir. A summer thunderstorm had sprung up so we didn't do much more than drive around and look around. Winds were gusting over 70 mph and the temperture dropped from 80 to about 50 degrees. The rain drops were cooooold!

One thing there was no lack of at Dianna's parents place were hummingbirds.

Driving back and forth from Provo you can see Bridalveil Falls along the highway.

We also went to Timpanogos Cave. A 1500' climb by trail that can be done by most people but it is very exerting.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:24 AM   #6
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After several days of visiting family we started the long drive home. The first leg was the hardest part to figure out. Dianna wanted to see Big Rock Candy Mountain but that would require a lot of back roads. I floated out the idea of driving through Vegas. So we compromised, went south and drove through Zion.


Then we stop for a picnic next to Glen Canyon Dam. A little known program at national parks and monuments is the Jr. Ranger Program. You pick up a packet full of information about where you are visiting and have the children fill them out. Afterwards you are sworn in as Jr. Rangers and given a badge with the park name on it. To date we have collected South Padre Island, Strawberry Creek WMA, Petrified Forest and Glen Canyon.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:08 PM   #7
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Now in Arizona we swing south and drive into Williams to see a few sights.

Dianna will kill me for posting this one!


Then off we went to Flagstaff to stay overnight. The next day we rose early and headed east on I-40 to get to Petrified Forest N.P.


Then we had a long drive on 40 and then into Texas and finally home. By far it was the longest drive I have ever taken in my life and I promised myself not to do that again any time soon. Don't get me wrong! It was fun and a great experience for the kids...but at the end of the drive we were done. Lol!
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:22 PM   #8
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With that trip done and the kids getting back to school now I had time again to think about Disney...or do I?!

In early October two things happened that I had dreamed about. First of all me and Dianna had been talking on and off about getting married but hadn't set a date yet. Well one morning my work gives me free passes to go to the Dallas Arboretum. Well, Dianna checks it out online and sees all kinds of offers for wedding sites there. Strangely enough, that started the whole ball rolling and lo and behold yesterday we were marrried! That topic would have to be in a whole other thread but needless to say it took a lot of our attention away from planning the trip.

The other thing that happened was that we recieved a PIN offer at about the same time for 40/30/20 all the way to 06/12/10! I was psyched! Dianna, not so much. It was still going to be a lot of money and with a wedding to plan it may be too much to try for. I agreed and told her that Disney is very nice about cancellations and we would go only if everything together over the next nine months. We also agreed not to tell the kids for a while until we were really sure we were going.

So, with pin offer in hand, I priced out all the onsite options a family of 5 can do. We looked at ASMuFS. Cabins at FW. POR with rollaway. Finally we settled on Poly. Then after pricing in the discount we saw what the Club Lounge had to offer. The breakfast sold us since we could hit early rope drops at the parks and not have to waste credits on that. With the club the DDP would be enough for us.

Up Next: Decisions, Decisions.

Last edited by SurfinTX; 03-12-2010 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:43 PM   #9
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Great start!

You got married yesterday?!?! Congratulations! DH & I looked at the Dallas Arboretum as a possible wedding site, too, but ended up having the wedding somewhere else. It sure is beautiful there this time of year.

I can't wait to hear about the rest of your plans.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michellem1118 View Post
Great start!

You got married yesterday?!?! Congratulations! DH & I looked at the Dallas Arboretum as a possible wedding site, too, but ended up having the wedding somewhere else. It sure is beautiful there this time of year.

I can't wait to hear about the rest of your plans.
Thanks Michelle! We plan on going out there during spring break to catch the blooming trees. With all of the rain they are certain to verry pretty this year.

My next update should get all the way to what I am doing currently as far as the Disney trip goes.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:09 PM   #11
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Now for all of the details and how our plan starts to come together.

Here are a few things about us that had to be taken into consideration.

1. I have been to Disney World several times in my life. However, the other 4 have never been. This puts the focus on the parks themselves with little time to do resort or offsite entertainment.

2. Michael has typical tastes for a 7 year old. Madison, however, is super finicky. This limits us on certain restaraunts but not too badly since Disney does a good job providing child menus nearly everywhere.

3. I'm a morning person. The rest are night owls. Well, Michael tries but he burns out before 11 pm. It will be interesting to see if we can make the rope drops or if anyone will be willing I guess. To help this I have tried to avoid being out later than 11 pm but it will take a bit of flexability if everyone wants to stay late. We will just have to see.

To save money we are driving. I would love to fly in and use ME as well as onsite transportation but ticket prices going into the summer season for a family of 5 would run us well over $1200. We can drive our van and have 2 nights hotel for $500. With the convenience of a vehicle plus all the extra stuff we can bring it is well worth the time driving.

Next Up: Day by day plans. (as they stand now)
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:13 AM   #12
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Day 1 and 2: Getting There is Half the Fun!

Vehicle - Chrysler T&C Minivan, DVD and Stow and Go. Seats will be configured with right side seats down and mattress in that location.

Departure - 8 pm Fri 06/04/10. Leave Dallas and travel along I-20 and then down to I-10. If all goes well we should arrive at Pensacola at 9 am Sat. We plan on taking a break at the beach and having a picnic until 1 pm. Then rinsed off we get back on I-10 and then I-75 heading south. Around 9 pm we should arrive at Citrus Ridge Holiday Inn just 12 miles west of WDW. There we will stay overnight and hopefully be well rested for the long day tommorrow.

I will have Friday off so I will try to be as rested as possible. Dianna will work until 5. We will trade off driving and sleeping and not worry about distance. Having as much time as possible at the beach will be nice but we will stop and break overnight as much as is needed. Just like the Utah trip, however, I am used to night driving on far more treacherous roads than the bridges of I-10. Also, I have driven to Pensacola multiple times in my life but have never driven beyond Grand Ridge on I-10. I have relatives that live all over south Georgia and I turn off there. After that it will be all new territory, albiet very flat.

Next Up: Arrival at WDW!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:55 AM   #13
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Hi! I subscribed to your report, but forgot to tell you, because I still haven't gone back and caught up! Looking forward to reading a fellow Texan's adventures!
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swwake View Post
Hi! I subscribed to your report, but forgot to tell you, because I still haven't gone back and caught up! Looking forward to reading a fellow Texan's adventures!
Glad you joined! I have been through Austin quite a few times. Usually just passing through on my way down to Corpus or S. Padre.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:42 AM   #15
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Day 3 or Day 1 at Disney: Timing is Everything

Now we get to the fun stuff where planning will pay off if everything goes right. Several announcements about June 6th recently have made me wonder how much of this plan will go out the door after we arrive.

1. Star Wars Weekend will be running this Sunday and the entire family are big fans. I know it will be a madhouse but even if we get to meet only a few characters and see the parade it will be worth it for the kids. Also on the 6th a new night presentation will be made at RnRC where DJs will host some kind of entertainment while a light show might be done on the ToT. We will not be seeing that until later since I have plans for returning to DHS twice at night.

2. Also announced to premier on the 6th is the return of the original Electrical Parade and a new fireworks spectacular. I had already made plans to come back to the room to rest up and unpack then hop over to MK to watch wishes and Spectro. MK is also the late EMH that day. Will the park stop allowing admissions due the crowds? When will it happen? So many unknowns. I'll ask the concierge if they have any opinions when I arrive.

Anyway, here is the 1st days itenerary as it stands now.

Wake Up at 6:15 am.
Eat cont. breakfast and checkout by 7:00 am.
Check in at Poly Hawaii at 7:30 am. (Use online check in to have packet ready?)
Drive over to DHS by 8:15 hopefully.
See the pre-opening show at 8:45.
Go directly to TSM and ride at 9:00.
Go to Star Tours and FP. Get in line for Jedi Training. Starts at 10:00 am.
Muppet Vision if FP for Star Tours isn't up.
Eat at Pizza planet. Check for FP, possibly ToT or RnR.
Ready for SW Parade around 11:30.
From 12:00 - 1:00 find standby line to anything less than 1 hour.
1:00 pm in line for Stunt Spectacular.
2:00 Whatever we have FP for or if no luck Standby RnR.
3:00 Standby ToT.
4:00 Drive back to Poly. Unpack. Rest. Check out lounge. Whatever.
7:00 Go to Magic Kingdom via Monorail. Eat at Cosmic Rays.
8:00 Indy Speedway or just see sights if park is surging.
9:00 See the parade.
10:00 Fireworks Spectacular. Try for spot as close to end of Main Street as possible.

After that it will be up to how we feel. Hopefully the break in our room will let us continue into the EMH hours but if not there will be other opportunities later in the week. I will try for Haunted Mansion that night since it's my favorite in MK.
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