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Old 06-13-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
DEA
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An Inconvenient Tooth: The Andersons go to AKL TR

Greetings!

We are now a couple of weeks back from this trip, so it's high time that I started getting things down in electronic format.

This is our second trip with the whole family. It was supposed to be, in the early planning stages, a budget trip involving staying offsite, packing lunches to go into the park, eating offsite, driving instead of flying… all the usual budget-minded things. Then Disney went and discounted rooms. I started playing with the Disney website, and mapped out a stay at AKL and the dining plan that almost fit the budget we had mapped out. I ran it past my DW. She did not take a whole lot of convincing.

Our DD5 and DD3 are crazy about animals, so I thought that the AKL would be a great fit. They had been spoiled with previous MK view rooms at the Poly, but they seemed to adjust to the lack of castle view okay.

We started the process of mapping out dates and asking for time off from work to accommodate the trip. I was already making ADRs even before we booked the room. A good dinner is harder to get than a good room, right?

That's about it for how the trip came about. We booked 9 day MYW tickets, took advantage of the $5 kids' tickets at Sea World, and signed ourselves up for the dining plan. Dates of travel: Leaving May 19th, driving overnight to Orlando, leaving on May 29th, getting back home... sometime.

I'll move on to introductions next, which will help explain the thread title.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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Dramatis Personae

And now, for us:


Me -- I had one family Disney trip way back in the Dark Ages before Epcot was built. I stopped by once more in the late 1990s for a quick visit, and then my wife and I were invited to a wedding in Orlando and stayed at CSR. We enjoyed it, but it really hit us when we came back with our older DD that we were "Disney people", and it became our vacation destination of choice. Normally, my DW is the organizational/planning genius in the family, but I have been the one who does the Disney planning. It gives her a break, and lets me feel slightly useful. I tend to focus on food, and let the other stuff follow from there.



DW (Liz) -- As I said, she is the organizational genius in the family. She started reading the DIS Boards and listening to the DIS Unplugged podcasts this year after my raves about both. She got very excited about the threads on the board focusing on organization. Needless to say, many Ziploc bags were used in the course of packing for the trip.

DD5 (Anna) -- Anna is a super sweet kid who loves animals and princesses and roller coasters… to a point. We determined that point on this trip. She started the trip with a loose tooth. She did not end the trip with said tooth.

DD3 (Tessa) -- Tessa is an adorable, super-social extravert with dimples. She is also three, which means that at any moment, she might go from telling you about Minnie marrying Mickey to throwing a shoe across the room. I am hoping the shoe-throwing moments decrease. She got potty-trained around her birthday a couple of months ago, so it seemed like the perfect time to put her in a car for 16 hours to make sure it worked.


So, for those who want to play, here is a quick quiz.

1. On what iconic Disney ride did my DD5 lose her tooth?

A. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
B. Haunted Mansion
C. It's a Small World
D. Spaceship Earth

2. Did my DD3 make it to Orlando without springing a leak?

A. Yes
B. Sorry about the minivan

3. How many meltdowns occurred during the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique session for both girls

A. 0
B. 1
C. 2
D. Well, there WAS a castle there…

4. DD3 is a picky eater. What proved to be her favorite food this trip?

A. Mickey waffles at The Mara
B. Pizza at Sanaa
C. Pizza at Le Cellier
D. Ham at 1900 Park Fare
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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Hi! Just found your TR- Love LOVE LOVE AKL....wish I could stay there my next trip!

Here's my guesses: She lost her tooth on Spaceship Earth, She did not make it through the car ride without having an accident, 1 meltdown for each girl at BBB and Ham at 1900 Park Fare.

I'm awful at multiple choice tests. Never went over 1000 on my SAT's, yet graduated with a Bachelors and Master's degree from competitive universities, so no surprise if I got everyone one wrong
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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Dining Plans

As I said earlier, I like to deal with the food on these trips. I had the following set up for this trip:

May 20th: Breakfast - ????, Lunch - The Mara, Dinner - Columbia Harbor House, Dessert - Wishes Dessert Party

May 21st: Breakfast - Princess Storybook Breakfast (Akershus, Norway, Epcot), Lunch - Sunshine Seasons, Dinner - DTD somewhere

May 22nd: Breakfast - In the room, Lunch - Sea World, Dinner - Chefs de France

May 23rd: Breakfast - In room, Lunch - Epcot, Dinner - Le Cellier

May 24th: Breakfast - In room, Lunch - Tusker House, Dinner -- Date Night! The Mara for the kids, Jiko for the grown-ups

May 25th: Breakfast - In room, Lunch - Epcot somewhere, Dinner - 1900 Park Fare

May 26th: Breakfast - In room, Lunch - Fairfax Fare, Dinner - Boma

May 27th: Breakfast - CRT after BBB appointment, Lunch - CHH, Dinner - Sanaa

May 28th: Breakfast - In room, Lunch - Casey's, Dinner - Chef Mickey's

May 29th: Anything left on the Dining Plan gets eaten for breakfast.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shordiebecka View Post
Hi! Just found your TR- Love LOVE LOVE AKL....wish I could stay there my next trip!

Here's my guesses: She lost her tooth on Spaceship Earth, She did not make it through the car ride without having an accident, 1 meltdown for each girl at BBB and Ham at 1900 Park Fare.

I'm awful at multiple choice tests. Never went over 1000 on my SAT's, yet graduated with a Bachelors and Master's degree from competitive universities, so no surprise if I got everyone one wrong
Welcome! And, although you may not be good at multiple choice tests, you are VERY good at guessing your final score on multiple choice tests.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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Day 0 -- The Journey Begins

Day 0

May 19th began like any other workday. I dropped off the girls, went to work, did some work, tied up loose ends, and then dropped off my car for its body work on time and on target. My DW picked me up, and it was off to the girls' school to collect them and hit the road.

DD3 was still taking her nap, but naptime was ending, anyway, and we got her up and going and reminded her that we were going to Disney. This pleased her. Collecting DD5 was a lot easier, as she spotted me walking down the hall, and was already out the door asking if it was time to go. Apparently, she was looking forward to the trip.


We stopped by Dunkin Donuts for the official snack food of our road trips (Munchkins) and headed south. The usual Northern Virginia traffic caused us some delays, but we managed to make it to the North Carolina line in time for dinner (Chick-Fil-A). The biggest hassle was having to make TWO potty break stops around Richmond, VA.

We had a full slate of Disney movies in the car for the DVD player, and the girls managed to agree enough to make it to bedtime. They fell asleep once the DVD screen went away for the night, and did a great job sleeping for about 7.5 hours. Well done, kids!



I napped here and there on the way down as my DW did all the driving. Oh, and she had LASIK surgery the day before . She got a clean bill of health from the eye doctor and rang up a 20/20 and a 20/15 on the vision tests -- No more glasses!

It was a tremendous effort to drive the whole way, though, I know, and it was great. Thanks, DW!
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