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Old 05-18-2010, 11:58 PM   #1
Cllong75
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Grandma I Wear Big Girl Pants, now take me to Disney...

I have been inspired….. In reading a couple of very entertaining trip reports/pre trip reports, I have decided to start my own pre-trip report. I love the DIS and the amount of information that people share. Initially I thought against writing this as I figured no one would read it, but then I thought who cares. Of course I hope people read it, but even if they don’t, it will be great for the kids and I in a few years.

You will notice that I don’t have many posts under my name as I am more of a lurker than I am a poster.

About 10 years ago, my mom decided to take my two nieces who were 4 & 6 at the time to Disneyworld and she asked me to come along. Since then, this has become a tradition to take each of the grandkids, and now its time to take the 2 youngest.

Anyhow this trip will include….

Me, my name is Christy, I am 35 years old and I swear I would live at Disneyworld if it were at all possible. I am a Human Resources Manager for Embassy Suites Hotel and I am engaged to the most wonderful man in the world, Richie. We unfortunately do not have children, so we spoil our nieces and nephews rotten and then send them home. I love to travel, spend time with family & friends, spend time on the lake, play volleyball & softball, and I love to read. (on the right)

My mom, Linda who by all legal rights is 55; however she doesn’t look her age and is often confused as my sister instead of my mother. I definitely got my love for Disney and kid at heart mentality from her.

Next up is my nephew Tate, who is 6 years old and he is the funniest kid ever. He never ceases to amaze me with the stuff that comes out of his mouth.

Finally is my niece Ashlin. She will turn 5 just before we go, and although she knows we are celebrating her birthday at Disney, she has no idea what that means. Ash has never met a stranger and will talk to anybody and everybody who will pay attention to her so I’m sure standing in lines with her should be interesting.

Tate & Ashlin both went to Disney with us during a whole family trip in 2005, but at the time Tate was 20 months and Ash was only 3 weeks old, so for all intensive purposes this is their first trip.


We will be visiting our Disney home September 11th – September 18th. This is my 8th visit to Disney, and I have determined that this will be a year of firsts. We are going to try at least one thing in each park that we have for one reason or another never done. This will start before we even leave Des Moines , because this is the first time we will ever take a direct flight which I am super excited about, and this is also the first time we are not going to be at the airport at 5:00 am which I am also quite excited about.

This trip has been a long time coming for us. 2 ½ years ago, my mom told Ashlin that if she stopped wearing pull ups and would wear big girl pants, she would take her to Disneyworld, well the powers of Mickey being what they are, Ash went home that night, refused to put her pull up on has not worn one since. 2 weeks later, she had her first accident and the poor child was traumatized and called Grandma to make sure she could still go, poor thing.

The plan was to go in September of 2008, but unfortunately Richie (my fiancé) ended up having to have open heart surgery to correct a defect he was born with so our finances did not allow for any kind of trip. Then we were going to go last year in May and my mom and Richie were starting a new phase at their job (yes my mom is my fiancé’s bossJ) and couldn’t get away. It looked like this year wasn’t going to work either as my brother and sister-in-law weren’t going to be able to go this year. Well in February, my mom called and said we were going anyway and just taking the two little ones as she has been promising them for 2 years. So unfortunately, it’s not a whole family trip again, but we get to go none the less.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:04 AM   #2
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Day of Firsts



As I said previously, this is my 8th trip but I still try to look at each trip as my first and have always gotten just excited and had just as much fun. I think part of the magic for me is that each time we have went, at least one person is a first timer and I look at this year as the same. As I said previously, for all technical purposes, Tate & Ash have been before but they were 20 mos and 3 weeks and do not remember anything.

This year, I am bound and determined to do at least one thing in each park that we have never done before for one reason or another.

Luckily for us, our firsts will start before we ever leave Des Moines as this will be the first time we are taking a straight flight, and the first time we will not be at the airport at the butt crack of dawn. We will be leaving Des Moines at 11:25 am and arriving in Orlando at 3:05pm. From there we will hop on the Magical Express (the wonderful invention that it is) and head to another first for us. We have always stayed at either All Star Movies or All Star Sports, but this time we have decided to stay at Pop Century. I for one can’t wait to see this hotel being the child of the 70’s & 80’s that I am.

Finally we will round out or 1st day of 1st’s by going to Chef Mickey’s. We have done character meals in the past and have many trips said we were going to go here, but have never made it. We had considered going to one of the parks for a couple hours since the kids won’t have to be up as early, but I know they will still be up early due to their excitement, so we figured Chef Mickey’s would be a perfect primer for their first night. Our reservation is at 6:40, then we can go back and the kids can get a good night sleep and start fresh for their first park day.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:05 AM   #3
Cllong75
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Day of Firsts



As I said previously, this is my 8th trip but I still try to look at each trip as my first and have always gotten just excited and had just as much fun. I think part of the magic for me is that each time we have went, at least one person is a first timer and I look at this year as the same. As I said previously, for all technical purposes, Tate & Ash have been before but they were 20 mos and 3 weeks and do not remember anything.

This year, I am bound and determined to do at least one thing in each park that we have never done before for one reason or another.

Luckily for us, our firsts will start before we ever leave Des Moines as this will be the first time we are taking a straight flight, and the first time we will not be at the airport at the butt crack of dawn. We will be leaving Des Moines at 11:25 am and arriving in Orlando at 3:05pm. From there we will hop on the Magical Express (the wonderful invention that it is) and head to another first for us. We have always stayed at either All Star Movies or All Star Sports, but this time we have decided to stay at Pop Century. I for one can’t wait to see this hotel being the child of the 70’s & 80’s that I am.

Finally we will round out or 1st day of 1st’s by going to Chef Mickey’s. We have done character meals in the past and have many trips said we were going to go here, but have never made it. We had considered going to one of the parks for a couple hours since the kids won’t have to be up as early, but I know they will still be up early due to their excitement, so we figured Chef Mickey’s would be a perfect primer for their first night. Our reservation is at 6:40, then we can go back and the kids can get a good night sleep and start fresh for their first park day.
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Nov '11 ~ Disneyland *Sept '10 ~ Pop Century * Jan '09 ~ All Star Movies * Sept '05 ~ All Star Sports * May '04 ~ All Star Sports * Sept '00 ~ All Star Movies * '85 ~ Off-site
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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It's always nice when you get to see the magic through a new set of eyes.
The look on a childs face when they first walk into the Magic Kingdom, and see the castle. That first squeal when they see one of the characters, especially if it's Mickey or Minnie.
It makes a long trip well worth the effort.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #5
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As I mentioned before, my mom decided in February that no matter what her and I were taking the two youngest kids to Disney this year. We debated on going in August or September and ultimately decided on September as the crowds are lighter then. Yes we are “those” people that take our kids out of school to go to Disney. I feel that missing a week at the very beginning of the school year is worth the lighter crowds in Disney and that the kids will enjoy themselves more as well. Anyhow, we priced every scenario we could, book straight through Disney; book our flight separate, stay at a moderate, stay at a value, stay off sight, book through expedia, etc. I work for a Hilton brand hotel and the discounts I get are phenomenal, but even so, we were only saving about $300 dollars by staying off site. With the convenience of Disney transportation starting even at the airport, and the “perks” and “magic” of being on Disney property, we decided to stay on property (in hindsight, this really wasn’t much of a debate). The next decision came into where to stay, we have always stayed at All Star Movies or Sports previously except for one trip where we stayed off property (when I was a kid) so we knew we wanted to stay somewhere different. The decision came down to Pop Century or Coronado Springs. We ultimately decided to stay at Pop due to cost, we are usually in our rooms to sleep, shower, and change so it just didn’t make sense to spend the extra money. So all was decided, we held off on booking for a few weeks to see if the all magical free dining would be announced, but gave in after the first of April and booked. Of course we were still hoping for Free Dining, but it wasn’t going to make or break our trip and we had found an amazing deal on flights so we didn’t want to lose that.

All was booked and along came the confirmation emails. The kids were over the next weekend and mom was showing Tate the email with his name on it. He asked what it said before his name (Mstr. Tate) and my mom, instead of telling him Mister, she said it meant Master. Boy did he think he was cool then, and started telling everyone that he was Master Tate. I should point out that originally, the plan was not to tell the kids at all, they would come and stay the night either at my house or grandmas the night before and we would wake them Saturday morning to say we were going somewhere “really fun”. The excitement got the better of my mom, and this lasted all of 3 days. It works though, because they are both super excited now too, and love to watch the planning DVD, look at websites, and look at the Disney books to “help plan”.

Of course as everyone was hoping, the Disney gods graced us with their wonderfulness and released Free Dining during our trip. We considered upgrading to Coronado , but decided instead to just keep our room at Pop and upgrade the dinging plan. I have to say, when I found out that this would only cost us $168.00 for the whole week for all 4 of us, I was ecstatic. Hindsight being what it is J, there is no way we could of stayed off property, paid for transportation to the hotel and back, and ate all week for what we are now spending at Disney.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
Cllong75
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Custom Maps

Today in the mail we received our “custom maps” so that the kids can “plan” what they want to do. My mom and I both like to have a general plan, what park we are going to each day, when will we watch the night parade, etc, but we are not minute to minute planners. We’re not usually ones to make ADR’s weeks in advance or anything. I know many people will say this is ludicrous, but we’ve just never really done this and it has always worked for us and we’ve always been able to see and do everything we wanted and then some. Usually we’ll call the day before or the day of to try and get a reservation and if we can, perfect, if we can’t, that’s ok too. So far for this trip the only ADR I have made is for Chef Mickey’s as I have heard how hard it is to try and get in their.

I was also reading the boards and looking at some other sights and hear that It’s a Small World is scheduled to be closed while we are there. Now this is definitely not my favorite ride by any means, but it’s a Disney staple and a must do at least once each trip, and my mom loves it. I’m a little bummed that Ash will not get to experience the world of dolls, but I can’t say I’m completely heartbroken. If that is the worst thing closed, then I’ll take it. I am hoping and praying that the Toontown shutdown doesn’t happen until after we go. If for no other reason then I know the kids will love Mickey & Minnie’s houses. I have also heard that Honey I Shrunk the Audience is getting a change to Captain EO and probably won’t be doing any shrinking again before we return. Again I love this, but it won’t kill me. Our last trip in 2007 was in January and Splash Mountain was closed for refurbishment. I was completely heartbroken.

****
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