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Old 05-11-2010, 10:37 PM   #1
chunkymonkey
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Red face Chunkymonkey and Chubbyhubby eat for free! WE ARE BACK! Photo Teasers pg. 23!!

Hello everyone! Here's my attempt to get some ideas down and some help for our Sept. 2010 trip to the world.

Cast:

Moi, Su-Lynn, aka, Chunkymonkey as well as other things, newlywed in her mid-30s, a business analyst in IT, amateur-wannabe-pro photographer (view my work here), and die-hard disney lover and constant trip planner.

DH, mid-30's as well, a newlywed consultant and loves any thrilling rides at the parks, although I am sure he has a soft spot for It's a Small World. We've only been married for a year and half and it has been wonderful since!

We currently live in New York City!
DH and I have been to WDW 3 times together, and multiple times with friends and family previously. We have been to DLR a few times as well. Our last trip to WDW was in in May 2009 we stayed at the Swan for a last minute getaway for Mem day weekend. We had a wonderful time despite the rain. And it rained a LOT, and so I'm hoping for some better weather this year, although who knows what to excpect nowadays! Visit a mostly completed TR here. The conclusion of our TR is a few posts down.

So this weekend when I saw the free disney dining deal, I got super excited and convinced my husband we needed to go to disney yet again. I have never done the DP before, because I just wasn't sure it was that worth it for us, but since it's FREE, I am sooo down!

Links directly to posts in this PTR of important planning milestones and other random stuff:



Last edited by chunkymonkey; 09-09-2010 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:27 PM   #2
KathyRN137
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Hi ChunkyMonkey!

I missed not getting to read the end of your last report... you must try to do a little wrap-up at least!

So excited to see a new trip in the works...

I feel the same about CR: love the convenient location, but not crazy about the resort theme. Meh. And yes, it's very expensive!

I do love POFQ...

The rooms at CSR have been refurbed recently. Have you seen pix? There is a CSR thread on the Resort Board if you want to check them out...


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Old 05-12-2010, 07:38 AM   #3
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The pics of the updated CR look beautiful to me, but yes, not very Disney. Hmm. Good luck deciding!
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Hi ChunkyMonkey!

I missed not getting to read the end of your last report... you must try to do a little wrap-up at least!

So excited to see a new trip in the works...

The rooms at CSR have been refurbed recently. Have you seen pix? There is a CSR thread on the Resort Board if you want to check them out...


Kathy
Hi Kathy, I'm happy to see a familiar face! I promise to finish my trip report. I only have a few more weeks until the 1 year mark for that trip, so I think it's about time I completed it.

I am almost 90% sure we will be booking the POFQ, I just am being indecisive as usual. I know DH will honestly not care where we stay. I really wanted to stay somewhere that was both close to the parks, as well as having a true Disney theme. It'll be our first time staying at a real onsite resort, so I didn't want it to feel just like any other hotel. The CR, although is an iconic Disney property, just didn't have that theme I was looking for.

CSR looks great! I love the new rooms and the fact it has down comforters and queen beds. It's further from all the parks however, and it kind of defeats our goal of staying closer rather than further away. They do look lovely though. I did ask to see what the pricing is for rooms at the CSR so it would be interesting to see if they cost more.

Will probably make my booking today and will let everyone know what we decide, then it's on to full-blow ADR planning! Can't wait!

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Old 05-12-2010, 09:43 AM   #5
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Wink Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmp1111 View Post
The pics of the updated CR look beautiful to me, but yes, not very Disney. Hmm. Good luck deciding!
Hi CE! Thanks for visiting my pre-trip report. I'll keep everyone posted on what I select. I am starting to read your Rain Rain Rain TR, and it's very fun! Can't wait to finish it. (and finish writing my TR too!)


Last edited by chunkymonkey; 05-17-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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Talking So we've decided, unexpectedly on the CR...

So after our (my) flip-flopping back and forth. I finally decided to go with the Contemporary. Despite the lack of Disney warmth in the decor, it is still a monorail resort, and nothing can really beat that convenience.

Since we're doing "power Disney" again, although I swore I wouldn't do so, traveling back and forth by bus between resorts and parks is tiring. We've not eaten at any of the resort hotels, save for afternoon tea at the GF one year, mainly because it was so difficult to get from resort to resort, well for us at least. We're true New Yorkers, and the thought of having to transfer from bus to subway is already appalling to us. Hahaha. I love the thought of being able to walk to MK!

I really wanted to eat at Chef Mickeys, O'hana, and Kona Cafe. It helps that they are all located at monorail resorts which partially fueled my decision to go with the CR.

As for PH vs non-PH tickets, we've always had PH and I like that flexibility, but part of me wanted to see if we could actually stand to be 1 whole day at a single park, I'm sure it would be more relaxing. Anyways, we are sticking with the PH tix for now.

Our flights arrive at Orlando at 10pm on Friday night, we've never used ME before, so I'm not sure how long it's going to take us to get to the resort so I'll have to figure that out.

As for dining, here are my must-go-to TS places:

Chef Mickey's for breakfast
Kona Cafe for breakfast
Ohana for dinner
Boma for dinner

Kind of want to do Tusker house as well for breakfast

Love that you can make ADRs online now! Fun fun...

Last edited by chunkymonkey; 05-17-2010 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
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Great! Glad to see you made your decision!

You'll probably wind up spending just as much time at the Poly and the Grand as you will the Contemporary, so youll get plenty of "Disney Theming!"

Come visit my PTR that's so super-secret that I don't even have a ticker for it!!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2457574


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Old 05-13-2010, 04:21 PM   #8
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Talking Planning in detail: So how did we end up booking this trip...

Usually we dont' go to Disney every single year. Work schedule and other vacations usually use up all my vacation days in a year. DH's family lives out in SoCal, so we occasionally frequent Disneyland, because it's "on the way" (technically it's a bit Out of the Way, but hey, I'm not a SoCal map expert) so we've gotten our Disney fix for the most part each year.

Anyways, each time I approach DH about another trip to the World, he'll mostly be like, "well, I'd like to visit my family so we can go to Disneyland while we're there" (me, grumbling "it's not the same"). Anyways, often times while at work, I'd go on expedia, or travelocity, or some other travel site to do a search on prices for my next vacation. I'm usually always planning a trip. If I'm not on a trip, or coming back from a trip, I'm usually planning for the next one. So I'm used to being the trip planner therefore am always on the lookout for great deals, airfare, bargains etc. I happen to be a pretty good travel booker, which leads me to believe I'd be a pretty good travel agent, but I digress.

This time, I just so happend to be planning a trip to Hawaii for our 2nd anniversary in Nov. I booked flights there using points, so I was looking for great deals on hotels. It was during this search that I noticed the Disney free dining! Now, I'm using most of my vacation days for our 2 week trip to Hawaii, but I still had a few days left. I figure if we go on a long weekend I'd just take 2 days off and still be able to make to all the parks and have an extra day. It just so happens Labor day fell into the free dining weeks. Yay!

Me to DH: Um, Disney has free dining over Labor Day weekend!

I expected his response to be "That's nice", or a "We were just there last year" or "We're going there next year for your sister's birthday" (which is true, but that's NEXT year which is a long time away!)
Instead, he said the two most magical words to me:

DH to Me: Let's Go

YAAAY!!! I was super ecstatic I just the itch to start planning immediately. It just so happens we were in a movie theater about to watch 2 hours of Iron Man 2 (which was ok, not as good as the first one) before I could really put on my planning hat, which is what I'll be wearing for the next few months.

Next up, getting the airfare...

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Old 05-13-2010, 04:26 PM   #9
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I just had to stop in and see what this was all about! We've called our youngest Son Chunky Monkey since the day he was born!

I'd pick POFQ! It's our favorite! We are heading there in June and back again in August!

Chunky Monkey likes to have beignets for breakfast everyday at POFQ!
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
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Smile

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Originally Posted by disneydreamer98 View Post
I just had to stop in and see what this was all about! We've called our youngest Son Chunky Monkey since the day he was born!

I'd pick POFQ! It's our favorite! We are heading there in June and back again in August!

Chunky Monkey likes to have beignets for breakfast everyday at POFQ!
Oooh another Monkey! Does he like the ice cream too? It is actually NOT one of my favorite B & J flavors but the name is just too cute.

I am still flip flopping between CR and POFQ! Or, I may pick a completely different resort. I am probably one of the most indecisive people EVER. LOL.
I have until July 20 to make a decision. I *may* go back to POFQ. The beignets are calling out to me...

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Old 05-13-2010, 05:06 PM   #11
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Talking Planning in detail: The airfare...

After I got the OK from DH to go to Disney, the next step was waiting for approval for our vacation days. My boss is cool and allows me to take vacation days at any time provided no one else on my team is out at the same time. Since I am probably one of the ONLY ones on my team who actually schedules vacation waaaay ahead of time, it wasn't an issue for me. Asking is just a formality, really. LOL. DH works for a very small firm, so his bosses are usually too busy to even remember he asked for vacation days in the first place. After a few reminder emails, they said OK, and we were set for Sept 7 & 8 off.

Now on to booking flights...

I knew we were probably going to leave on Sept 3rd, Friday evening after work. I work at a bank, and usually we get the Friday before a long weekend as an early dismissal. I was banking on that fact because I wanted to get to Disney as soon as possible! I began looking into airfare, and although it wasn't too expensive as far as holiday fares go, being the trip-planning-bargain-hunter I am, I began looking into seeing whether we can go for free, i.e. using miles, points, coupons, anything, you name it, I searched for it.

So, to make a long story short, I managed to book myself on a jetblue flight using Amex points, and booking DH on the same flight using Thank You points. I wasn't able to do seat selector for Thank you points, so I plan to call up Jetblue and tell them we are travelling together and hopefully we will end up sitting together. I even paid an extra 25 dollars so I could sit in the front of the plane with extra legroom.

Even if DH and I don't end up sitting together, it wouldn't be so bad for the 2.25 hour flight right? I mean, we ARE on the way to Disney so I could sit next to anyone and be happy!

Anyways, free flights mean an upgrade in lodging...that comes next...

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Old 05-13-2010, 05:21 PM   #12
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Hiii!!

We stayed at POFQ on our honeymoon and adored it! It's such a small resort and has a very relaxing feeling. We absolutely loved it.

I have a friend that loves the CR even if isn't really, really Disney. I think you'll be beyond pleased!

Great ADR choices; have you done breakfast at Tusker House yet? It was our favorite breakfast during our trip last year. We had an ADR before the park opened, so we got to be some of the first people in the park. It was so peaceful walking back to the restaurant, and the food is fantastic.

Are you going to go to MNSSHP while you're there??
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:05 PM   #13
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Talking A sweet ending to our last May 2009 TR:

Here are some pics of us back on our last trip in May 2009. Unfortunately they moved my older TR to Completed TRs so they won't let me post replies there. Here are some pictures which didn't make it to the old TR.

Day 3 Part IV, at the Boardwalk and then to Epcot for Illuminations:

These were taken with my Holga camera:








The rest were taken with my regular point and shoot:





Un oh the rain clouds came again and it starts to pour as soon as we get to Epcot!




Luckily we ducked into Yakitori House which was a good thing since we were hungry. After our meal, it stopped raining and we were able to see Illuminations!








Here's us on Day 4 at DHS:





Here's DH acting like Dopey:




Us at TSM:




Us on the studio backlot tour:




After that it was back to the airport for our flight to NYC. Of course it starts to rain again in the evening, but we managed to make it back home. And that was the end of our trip in May 2009!

Now full steam ahead on the 2010 PTR!

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Old 05-14-2010, 10:23 AM   #14
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Hiii!!

We stayed at POFQ on our honeymoon and adored it! It's such a small resort and has a very relaxing feeling. We absolutely loved it.

I have a friend that loves the CR even if isn't really, really Disney. I think you'll be beyond pleased!

Great ADR choices; have you done breakfast at Tusker House yet? It was our favorite breakfast during our trip last year. We had an ADR before the park opened, so we got to be some of the first people in the park. It was so peaceful walking back to the restaurant, and the food is fantastic.

Are you going to go to MNSSHP while you're there??

Hi Heatherbelle,

We've never been to Tusker House before, we couldnt' get ADRs on our last trip. We're probably going to have to juggle the meals around in order to fit it in. I do want to do try it at least once though!

We're not there when MNSSHP starts, we arrive a good 2 weeks before the festivities. It would have been kinda cool though. Our anniversary falls the day after Halloween, and at my rehearsal dinner I encouraged people to dress up, but no one did except my friend who dressed up her 9 month old baby girl in orange and black. LOL She was cute though.

Thanks again for suggesting I tell WDW we're there for our anniversary. I had all my ADRs changed to reflect that! Looking forward to some Disney love.

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Old 05-15-2010, 09:28 AM   #15
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No problem about the anniversary tip! I was worried about it last year since we weren't there over our actual anniversary, but they didn't mind and it worked out great! Make sure you get your buttons when you check in at your resort!!
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