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Old 01-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #1
JLR
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The best laid plans of mouse and woman... a pre-trip report

So, this is my first attempt at a Pre-trip report because this is my first trip to Disney.
The cast:
Me (40/41 at the time of the trip!) I am the working stiff in my family. Hey, I was the one who racked up all those student loans!

Madeline (8/9 at the time of the trip) She is a third grader who loves to read and adores animals. She plans to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Sadly, she is beyond the absolutely-crazy-for-Princesses phase. She has traveled quite a bit.

I hate to leave out the supporting cast who will be left out of all the fun:
My sainted husband who is a Stay-at-home Dad who suffers from motion sickness and says “absolutely not” when I suggested that we all travel together.

Elena is my sweet and strong-willed 2 year old. She, like all my children, loves to be read to.

Viviana is my good natured helper. In addition to books, she also loves music and dancing. She is the most picky about sleeping arrangements.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
JLR
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Lots of boring background

Here is a lot of boring background information. Skip it if you like, but I enjoy reading this stuff, so here it goes. I have wanted to go to Disney all my life, but as part of a big family, we never could afford to go, and somehow or another I just never got there as an adult. Well, I had been casually planning a trip for February 2007 for my DH, DD (then almost 6), and myself. We were going to stay at CSR, but I did not have any obsessive information or planning going on. Well, October came along and I found out I was expecting, but that’s no reason to cancel a Disney trip right? So November comes along and my first OB appointment. My doctor thought we should check out the little critter on ultrasound, when across the sack is this line. Uh oh! I thought maybe it’s just the umbilical cord, nope clearly two babies. There goes our Disney trip. No travelling in 2007. Now I was lucky – picture perfect pregnancy, full term, no problems, I had to be induced at term (in June)! I could totally have gone to Disney! Oh well. IMHO, the first two years after twins is a bit grim. Last summer as I emerged from total exhaustion is when this all started.

One Sunday, I had been lamenting all the plastic junk in our house, most of which came in from birthday and Christmas gifts. Later, I was looking over what we had spent on DD8’s birthday and I made the comment “Gee we could have gone to Disney for that much money!” Famous last words! My husband aided and abetted me by saying “why don’t you?” So I started doing research. I had enough FF miles for two plane tickets, and John didn’t think we should all go. The babies do not sleep well out of their cribs and he didn’t think it would be a vacation to haul the twins around especially if they were cranky and sleep deprived. So heroically, I offered my husband (who is a SAHD) the opportunity to take her. He doesn’t think he will like Disney (see me snickering in the next room) and he hates “rides” so he just knows it wouldn’t be fun. So I get to do it. I just hope he doesn’t feel too bad in 2012 when we go and he realizes he could have had a great time.

So, based on availability for the FF tickets, I book us at POP and pick up an Unofficial Guide. Then I got all worked up about ADRs and got crazy planning and had everything worked out for Black Tuesday (October 27) and spent hours getting through to make my ADRs which I then 2 months later changed (easily) when UG and TGM changed recommended parks. Then my parents and in-laws donated to the cause instead of buying junk for Christmas, so we upgraded to CSR. Then I got a PIN and upgraded to Beach Club Villas. I thought it might be worth it to be close to at least 2 parks. Of course the initial $1000 trip has now mushroomed to almost triple that, but that is why I am teaching an extra class![/COLOR][/COLOR]
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:01 PM   #3
JLR
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The plan

I would love any feedback about this plan that I have sweated over in a crazy and neurotic (but fun) way!

“The best laid plans of mouse and woman” As of today, this is the plan:

Day 1 Tuesday, April 20 Wake Madeline up in the morning and tell her “actually, Mommy is not going on a work trip, she is taking you to Disney!” Travel and arrive in Orlando at 11:28 am: Drop our things at Beach Club Villas, eat lunch and either swim and rest or go straight to MK. The only things I feel strongly that we HAVE to do is go to our ADR at Crystal Palace for supper and Spectromagic at 9 pm. I was hoping to get in any of the following: Mickey’s Philharmagic, Jungle Cruise, POTC, Buzz Lightyears’ Space Ranger Spin, and/or Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. If the line isn’t a mile long, I’ve been thinking that Goofy’s barnstormer might be a good test run for the thrill rides. So we’ll see what we can do. We are not planning to stay for Wishes tonight.

Day 2 Epcot hopefully at rope drop. I was hoping that it would be nice just to walk over. I plan to do the mad dash for Soarin.’ After that it really depends on Madeline. I don’t know whether she’ll want to do TT or MS. This is where it is hard not telling her. She’s only been on state fair type rides in her life and I don’t know if she is up to much thrill. Of course I want to do everything, but I have resigned myself that this trip is to make her happy. I’m sure that in 2 years she will be up to riding everything with Mommy! (My DH is cursed with a sensitivity to motion sickness so I’m delighted that this does not seem to be the case with my children!) We have ADR for lunch at Akershus and I’m hoping that she’ll want to do one of those Kim Possible adventures afterward. When we are tired, I was thinking we’d go back to BC to swim and relax. I would like to go back to MK in the evening. Perhaps we can get to some of the attractions I listed for day 1 and then grab a CS supper and watch Wishes at 9 pm and get home. I suppose I should mention that I have been trying to keep as close as possible to normal bedtime which is 9 pm EST (8 where we live). Missy Madeline is a MUCH better companion when we keep to her normal schedule. So I’m hoping to be home every night not much later than 10. We’ll see if that is possible.

Day 3 Animal Kingdom: Again, I don’t know if my child will be up to EE (or dinosaur) but I think she will love everything else at this park! We’ll have a CS lunch here and probably leave in the early afternoon. We have supper ADRs at Biergarten because Madeline is crazy for Germany. Hopefully we can tour a bit more of World Showcase and stay for Illuminations. So if all goes according to plan we’ll have the three nighttime spectaculars I think she’d like under our belts.

Day 4 Here is where I am unsure. We have crack of dawn ADRs at Chef Mickey’s because I am hoping to be at MK for rope drop. But – we will have been up late three nights in a row. So I don’t know if it will be worth it to give her the chance to meet the characters. We will be paying for this out of pocket since I am using up a lot of TS credits for dinner shows. I am keeping this reservation for now, but I am worried about it. (Neurotic, I know). I am hoping we can thoroughly tour Fantasyland and Frontierland. I have my fingers crossed she will be up for Splash and BTMR. I am kind of anticipating “hitting the wall” on this day. (I know – how can you predict stuff like that? I try to plan everything, but see title) So the plan is that as soon as we feel tired, cranky, or overwhelmed, we’ll go back to the hotel. Now I have some back-up plans for tonight. Just in case we “hit the wall” early on Thursday and stay home missing supper and Illuminations, I do have ADR for tonight at Biergarten (which I promise to promptly cancel if we don’t need them) and we’ll watch Illuminations then. I’d rather not since this is an EMR evening for Epcot and MK is closing early for Grad nights. Ideally we’ll just do something casual on the Boardwalk and go to be early.

Day 5 I had initially planned to skip DHS altogether and got to Discovery Cove today to recharge our batteries, but now I think this is what we may do, depending on what Madeline wants. I thought maybe we could do a few am EMH at DHS and play Toy Story Mania at least. Then when M is done at DHS we’d hop over to MK which is supposed to be slow. We’ll see if UG Crowd Calendar is correct. I don’t have any huge plans, just going with the flow. I would like to go over to FW in the late afternoon and check out the ranch before our ADRs at Mickey’s Backyard Barbeque.

Day 6 This is now the day we’ll go to Discovery Cove. I debated and debated if this was the right trip for this, but Madeline LOVES animals and the twins will still not be old enough to swim with the dolphins in 2012. I thought this might be a good way to recharge our batteries and do something super special. That evening we will play by ear, but tentatively we will have a CS meal at Epcot or the Boardwalk and then maybe go to the campfire at the BC.

Day 7 Your admission to Discovery Cove includes tickets to Sea World – so that is where we will go this day. I still am debating about doing tours or just hanging out there. We do have later supper ADR at Kouzzina. M is a huge Iron Chef fan especially Cat Cora, so this is a must do.

Day 8 Our last park day! Again we have crack of dawn ADR at Cape May Café, but I’m unsure if it is worth going. Then I thought I’d let Madeline choose wherever she wanted to go. MK or AK supposedly would be good choices. We have ADRs for Hoopdeedoo.

Day 9 So sad we’ll have to get on Magic Express at 7:45 am.

One of the things I really like about some of the other trip reports (I am so sorry I can't remember whose!) was the reminder that we are there to have fun and build great memories. I hope I can keep that in mind and not go too commando!
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:07 PM   #4
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To Fantasmic or not

I have been messaged offline that I should not miss Fantasmic. I hope some of you will chime in and tell me what you think. Do you suppose it would be possible and not too stressful to go to an 8:30 Fantasmic after the 5 pm Hoop Dee Doo on our last night? Is it worth it?

Julie
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
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Hi,
I just read over your plans.
Plus, I am going to move you over to our pre-trip boards. Let me know when you return and I'll bring it back over to our trip report board.

Anyways, you are going to be so close to Epcot, and you will be going in the back way, so the walk is a little longer to Soarin. If it isn't to busy, do Soarin right away in the morning, otherwise grab a fastpass and do The Land.
Take your dd over to the aquarium and see Crush-Talkin Turtle. I think the first show is at 10:00 or 10:30. he is hilarious.

You will love the Boardwalk area. Maybe take some time at nite and see all the different performers, jugglers, magicians etc.

We swam with the dolphins in Cozumel and is your dd a good swimmer? If she is, the better program you can sign up for. If not, she will just get a kiss from the dolphin and a hug. If she is able to swim, you can do the push/pull.
We had 2 little girls in our group, and they were afraid at first, partially because the waves were strong that day, and going over our head. We were in the ocean, and not in a protected area like Orlando. Also, it will be over $30 or more for a taxi to get to Sea World too, just one way. Maybe play around with renting a car for 2 days. You will only need an economy and you get pick it up over at the Dolphin/Swan, which is on the otherside of the Boardwalk.

Other than that, your plans look great. I hope you can convince your dh to join you sometime. I get very dizzy on rides, and WDW will do everything it can, to make things enjoyable for motion sickness people. There are so many other things to do, that will not make him sick.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:12 PM   #6
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Thank you OhMari. Yes, My daughter is an exceptionally strong swimmer. we joke that is why she needed to come a bit prematurely - so she could be a pisces! Thanks for the idea of the car rental. I didn't realize the on-site rental place was so close! I had been toying with the diea of taking the bus from the TTC, but I think driving would be more relaxing and I am anticipating being truly exhausted by then! It has been hard to find out what they have on the boardwalk - I assume because it changes all the time?

My husband does plan to come when we all come in 2012 and I think he will enjoy himself. I do agree that travelling with the twins is extremely stressful, but I bring up having us all go whenever I think about how long we will be away and also feeling guilty about how much fun they'll miss out on.

Anyway - thanks for taking the time!

Julie
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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Julie, I'm so excited for you, with your upcoming trip! It sounds to me like you're trying to pack in a lot of great stuff, all of it well-chosen, but I think you can stand to lower your expectations in a few areas -- for instance, to do *all* the Kim Possible adventures would take many, many hours, which is why I think many families choose to do a few at a time. And I'm glad you're being flexible about things like the Chef Mickey's ADR -- if the day comes and you two are too tired, know that you'll be back in 2012 and can do it then. I hope you two will have an amazing time, and that you'll write us a full report!
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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Thanks Girlbomb (I'm going to have to read your book now)! I have been un-planning for the last month or so to lower my expectations and ensure I can keep the right frame of mind to have fun!.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:13 PM   #9
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Just read through your thread your plans are looking really good. What a surprise for your daughter. Really liking your flexibility with ADRs and sensing that you may hit a wall during some points. Fantasmic in our opinion is a must however not having done hoopdeedoo before couldn't say how long that lasts but going with other shows it might be a bit stressy doing both and getting to DHS for fantasmic.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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Don't forget, if you're taking ME and planning on a swim right when you arrive - you'll want your swimsuits in your carryons.

I have twins, too. I agree that the first year is completely unbelievably hard. My boys are in 2nd grade now, and by now it's pretty easy - but I don't have an older child!

Your plans look great - flexibility is good, too! I'm not a Fantasmic fan myself, but I can see wanting to at least see it once.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:53 PM   #11
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I have to say - I have to credit the DIS with anticipating that we might hit the wall. I have learned so much from all of you dedicated posters!
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:04 AM   #12
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You started a PTR! I am so glad! Ok, You have to take video or pictures of the moment you tell Madeline. I so want to see her face!!

I think your plans look great. You can get a lot done by following TGM's way of doing MK if you get there at rope drop. I think it is good that your first day you are planning on doing the Tomorrowland side because I know on your day that you follow TGM, it takes you through the other half of the park. Your plan's look great! At least when you go the crowds shouldn't be heavy, so you will probably get a lot done. I will just tell you now, you can't do everything in one day. That is why Disney is addicting, because you go the first time and have so much fun and then you think to yourself that there is still some stuff you didn't get to do. Then you have to start planning your next trip.

We have been WDW four times, and still have not done everything there is to do!! It is awesome!

Keep up the posting!
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithpack View Post
You started a PTR! I am so glad! Ok, You have to take video or pictures of the moment you tell Madeline. I so want to see her face!!

I think your plans look great. You can get a lot done by following TGM's way of doing MK if you get there at rope drop. I think it is good that your first day you are planning on doing the Tomorrowland side because I know on your day that you follow TGM, it takes you through the other half of the park. Your plan's look great! At least when you go the crowds shouldn't be heavy, so you will probably get a lot done. I will just tell you now, you can't do everything in one day. That is why Disney is addicting, because you go the first time and have so much fun and then you think to yourself that there is still some stuff you didn't get to do. Then you have to start planning your next trip.

We have been WDW four times, and still have not done everything there is to do!! It is awesome!

Keep up the posting!
Thanks - That was my thought as well. The TGM plan sounds good. It is funny to already be thinking of what we will do on the NEXT trip! I don't have video capability (I know, I am practically in the dark ages!) but I will try to get it photographed.
Julie
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:08 PM   #14
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Give-A-Day or the most expensive free ticket ever!

Actually we are taking the Fast Passes. I just thought it was such a good idea! There are limited opportunities in North Dakota and we were initially going to make the blankets. Then I saw the opportunity to make the Haiti Care kits which seemed like a timely and good thing to do. We had wanted to do something more active than send money to the Red Cross (which we did as well). So I signed up for it. Well you have to make 10 kits per person and each kit must contain the following:
• One hand towel
• One washcloth
• One wide-tooth comb or pick
• One small bottle of shampoo
• One toothbrush
• One travel size tube of toothpaste
• Ten adhesive bandages
• One wrapped bar of soap sealed in a sandwich size zip lock bag
• A homemade card or drawing
If you don't buy in bulk, then each kit ends up costing about $7 before you even ship them, but I really wanted to do this project. Well, when I was at my Dd's school talking about some carelessness in math and how to deal with it she had mentioned that the kids wanted to do something.... so I might as well buy in bulk, right? So we are making 120 of these kits on February 26th, or rather we are making 100 at school and Madeline and I will make 20 at home to meet the Give-a-day requirements. I did get the cost down to about $4.40 per kit (before postage) but it is a good cause, right? Well, hopefully I am fostering good moral development.
Madeline still doesn't know this is for Disney!
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLR View Post
Actually we are taking the Fast Passes. I just thought it was such a good idea! There are limited opportunities in North Dakota and we were initially going to make the blankets. Then I saw the opportunity to make the Haiti Care kits which seemed like a timely and good thing to do. We had wanted to do something more active than send money to the Red Cross (which we did as well). So I signed up for it. Well you have to make 10 kits per person and each kit must contain the following:
• One hand towel
• One washcloth
• One wide-tooth comb or pick
• One small bottle of shampoo
• One toothbrush
• One travel size tube of toothpaste
• Ten adhesive bandages
• One wrapped bar of soap sealed in a sandwich size zip lock bag
• A homemade card or drawing
If you don't buy in bulk, then each kit ends up costing about $7 before you even ship them, but I really wanted to do this project. Well, when I was at my Dd's school talking about some carelessness in math and how to deal with it she had mentioned that the kids wanted to do something.... so I might as well buy in bulk, right? So we are making 120 of these kits on February 26th, or rather we are making 100 at school and Madeline and I will make 20 at home to meet the Give-a-day requirements. I did get the cost down to about $4.40 per kit (before postage) but it is a good cause, right? Well, hopefully I am fostering good moral development.
Madeline still doesn't know this is for Disney!
Wow, the free day doesn't sound so free. Well, at least it is for a good cause and your daughter probably feels more good about helping Haiti since she doesn't know about the Disney part in return. That just shows what a great girl she is.

The trip is getting closer and closer!!
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