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Old 06-02-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
eecteacher82
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Loosen your belt buckle-We're doing Deluxe Dining!Our 12/10 PTR!Update 12/18 TR Start

I'm back for another PTR! This will be our 4th "big" trip (not counting many, many day trips over the past 2 years).

Let me start out with the cast of characters:
Me, Erin. A 28 year old, former kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom to my princess Olivia and wife to my DH. I have loved all things Disney since my first visit when I was 4. I was born in Wisconsin and moved down to Florida when I was 8 and have been here ever since. We live about 1.5 hours from the mouse on the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa. I am the total anal Disney planner and start planning the next big trip on the way home from the last one! Here I am with Olivia on our trip last September:



DH, Toby. A super hard working 24 year old daddy to Olivia! Toby works extremely hard so that I can stay home with Olivia! Toby will be the first to tell you that I am totally obsessed with Disney, although he does not share in my obsession (yet!). We went to Disney while I was pregnant with Olivia and I have been dragging him along ever since. He says Disney is just "ok", but while we are there he is having a blast and loving every minute of it (as evident in this picture of him)...


DD, Olivia. Our 3 year old princess who, like me, loves all things Disney! She is our little miracle baby. Olivia was born at just 32 weeks, weighing 4 pounds and measuring 16 3/4 inches long and spent 3.5 weeks in the NICU more than an hour away from home. She made a total turn around, and now you would never know (other than being a bit on the small side) that she was a preemie! Olivia loves every minute of our Disney trips and asks on a daily basis to go back! Here are a few pictures of her: In the hospital at about a week old, her first birthday, and of course at Disney!





That is it for introductions! Coming up next, when are we going? How long are we going for? Where will we stay?

Chapters:

Chapter 1: The "when" 6/2

Chapter 2: The "why" 6/3

Chapter 3: The "where" 6/3

Chapter 4: The "what" 6/5

Chapter 5: ADR's! 6/8

Chapter 6:A few trip details and TS3 6/28

Chapter 7: Mini TR from Sea World 7/1

Chapter 8: Mini TR Continued 7/1


Chapter 9: Initial VERY rough daily plan 7/9


Chapter 10: Barnstormer Video 7/13

Chapter 11: Trip Shopping 7/15

Chapter 12: Pictures of purchases 7/23

Chapter 13: Yeah! Mini trip in 1.5 weeks!/Countdown 8/10

Chapter 14: Twitter/Facebook 8/11

Chapter 15: Update on the mini trip this weekend 8/16

Chapter 16: Woo Hoo! AP rates! 8/17

Chapter 17: Mini TR started! 8/24

Chapter 18: Mini TR-Part 2 8/26

Chapter 19: Double Digits!!! 8/28

Chapter 20: Mini TR-Part 3 8/31

Chapter 21: Mini TR-Part 4 9/2

Chapter 22: Life Updates 9/2

Chapter 23: Mini TR-Part 5 9/5

Chapter 24: Mini TR-Part 6 9/9

Chapter 25: Misc 9/17

Chapter 26: Mini TR-Part 7, Finishing Up 9/17

Chapter 27: Day 1 Plans 9/21

Chapter 28: Saving up Gift Cards! 9/29

Chapter 29: Mini, mini TR 10/7

Chapter 30: More misc life stuff 10/15

Chapter 31: PAID! 10/21

Chapter 32: Halloween stuff 10/26

Chapter 33: Bummed 10/27

Chapter 34: Day 2 Plans 11/2

Chapter 35: Day 3 Plans 11/8

Chapter 36: Happy Birthday Olivia!!! 11/11

Chapter 37: Birthday Fun! 11/15

Chapter 38: Day 4 Plans 11/16

Chapter 39: MORE shopping! 11/21

Chapter 40: Day 5 Plans 11/22

Chapter 41: Woo Hoo!! 12/2

Chapter 42: Day 6 Plans 12/3

Last edited by eecteacher82; 12-18-2010 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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The "when"...

Since you already have the "who", I thought I should give you the "when".
Olivia is turning 3 on November 11, but we decided to push the trip back to a slower, less expensive time.

We are arriving on Sunday December 5th and (sadly) departing on Friday December 10th. Depending on what type of passholder discounts come out, we might extend the trip by one night at leave on Saturday the 11th.

We also decided to book our trip for December because of all the holiday decorations! We are huge Christmas people and caught just a hint of the holiday decor when we were there in January for my DH's birthday weekend.

Another reason we decided on December, is the weather. We have been to WDW in just about every month. Last September was brutally hot and DH's birthday trip in Janary was literally freezing, and living in Florida, we know that December is as perfect of weather as we are going to get! Here is a peek at just a few of the decorations we saw in January




Now we have the "who" and "when" covered, up next, the "why"!

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:56 AM   #3
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The "why"

Since you have met our small cast of characters and know when we are going, you should get the "why".

I mentioned that Olivia was a preemie, born 8 weeks early, her original due date was December 31, yep, New Years Eve! She obviously did not want to be born so close to Christmas (or actually my body did not want her to be born so close to Christmas since most of my organs pretty much shut down)! She made her grand entrance on November 11, 2007 at 12:55am via c-section since she was breech.

Ever since Toby and I went to WDW while I was pregnant with Olivia, I had been dreaming about bringing her to one of my favorite places in the world! I finally got that chance when she was 15 months old and we went for a long weekend. From the moment we drove under the arches, I was beyond excited to show her the "world"! We had an amazing time that weekend! Here are a few pics from that first trip:
First ride on Dumbo!


Getting a ride from Daddy


First Minnie Mouse!


So, to make an already LONG story a bit shorter, we are going to celebrate Olivia's 3rd birthday (just a little late). We have decided to make a huge production (well not super huge...we're not staying deluxe this trip)! One of our most anticiapted events is taking Livy to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to become her favorite princess Cinderella! I have been looking forward to doing this with my princess since she was about 6 months old! This experience is only fitting since Olivia walks around the house with her crown on claiming she is a princess!

I will get into more details later, but this should do for the "why"....to celebrate our little princess' 3rd birthday!!!

Coming up next, the "where".
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #4
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Joining in We were there in January as well...AND..we are missing you by one day this December!!! I am so excited to join along. I LOVE your PTR title I am so jealous..dying to see what ADRs you pick!!
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:41 AM   #5
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Yeah! I have at least 1 reader!!!! Let me start by saying

That stinks that we are missing you by just a day!!! I have never had the chance to meet up with other DISers, but I am hoping to on this trip!

I did finish the last of my ADRs this morning and will probably get that post up either this afternoon or tomorrow morning! I love sharing ADRs and seeing where others are eating! Thanks for following along!
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:29 PM   #6
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The "where"

Since this trip is for Olivia's birthday, I decided to let her pick the hotel. On trips with her, we have stayed at Coronado Springs, Saratoga Springs, POP, and Animal Kingdom Lodge. In my mind, I already knew which one she seemed to like the most, but I wanted to make sure.

I showed her our pictures from all of the above, plus the videos from the Disney Vacation planning video to help refresh her memory (we stayed at Coronado just after she turned 1, Saratoga Springs at about 1.5, AKL around 2, and POP just this past March). She ended up doing just what I thought and picked POP! She was totally in love with the HUGE characters and decorations around the hotel (although the jacuzzi tub in our 1bdrm at SSR was a huge favorite of hers as well)!

I am totally OK with this decision as it leaves more money for spending on fun stuff (as well as upgrading our dining plan....???)

Here are a few pics from our stay at POP in March. We were in the 50s building 1, 4th floor, pool view.






I am definitely going to request the 4th floor again, it just seems so much quieter up there! I really like the 50s bldg 1 as well, it is SUPER close to the lobby and bus stop!

Up next, the "what": dining plan, ADRs, BBB...
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #7
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The "what"

I'm finally back to update! This update will kind of be a hodge podge of misc. things.

Dining:
Last September we for our big trip of the year to celebrate Olivia's birthday (about a month and a half early), and our anniversary (about 3 weeks late) to take advantage of the free dining. This was our first time using the DP, and we loved it! It was so nice knowing that pretty much all of our food was taken care of ahead of time and we didn't have to worry about budgeting for that. Since we stayed in a 1bdrm at Saratoga Springs we did bring a few things and ate breakfast in our room when we didn't have an ADR or made lunch, and one night we threw a pizza in the oven and relaxed and enjoyed in the room.

Fast forward to April. We went for a long weekend with some friends and decided to try the quick service plan. Once again, I loved this plan (almost more than the basic DP)! I really LOVED the mugs as we are big soda drinkers and that saved us tons of money! I also loved that there were 2 snacks as opposed to the 1 on the basic DP. Overall, I give the QSDP 2 thumbs up, but I have to admit, I did miss the table service meal each day!

After considering the options, we decided to splurge and go for the deluxe dining plan (DDP) this trip. We figured since we go so often (usually at least once a month) and have done pretty much everything, we could take it a bit easier this time and really enjoy everything. Also, since we will be there almost a week, we figured that spending more time enjoying meals would be a nice new experience (that and my DH loves his sit down meals)! I am very excited to see how this works for us, it seems to be the best of what we love from the other two plans!

BBB
I cannot say enough how excited I am to take Olivia to the Bibiddi Bobbidi Boutique!!!! She has always been our little princess and now she is old enough to tell us that a hundred times a day! She loves every princess movie, but by far her favorite is Cinderella. We watch that movie at least twice a day (although she is currently watching Mulan as I type this). I have shown her many pictures and videos of other little girls being turned into their favorite princess, and every time she tells me she wants to be Cinderella! I am so excited to go! The plan is to go early in the trip and have a special meal later that day (but more details to come on that later)!

Touring
I already mentioned it, but since we go to WDW so frequently and all of our past trips and been super planned, I am thinking of taking a different approach to this trip and not really planning!!!! This is about as unlike me as you can get, but I think that since we have already done everything, and December crowds aren't bad at all, we will be ok with this. I will of course have rough outline (that I will share with you later) of times so we can make it to ADRs and such, but other than that, we will go where the World takes us!

Well, I think this update has been long enough! Next time: our ADRs are all booked (even before my 180 mark)!!!! Where are we eating? Who are we eating with?
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:43 AM   #8
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ADRs!

First of all...is there anyone out there reading??? Speak up!!!

Well, today is officially my 180 day mark, but I have had our ADRs booked since last week thanks to the new beta version Disney is testing on the main dining website! We were originally going to go with with QS plan, but then once I realized that I could get EVERY SINGLE ADR I wanted (and had NEVER been able to get in the past), DH suggested we upgrade to the DDP!

So here they are:
Sunday December 5th
Lunch: Yak & Yeti 1:30 (new)
Dinner: California Grill 7:45 (new)

Monday December 6th
Breakfast: Kona Cafe 7:45 (new-I SOOO want to try Tonga Toast)!
BBB: 9:55!!!
Lunch: Crystal Palace 11:55 (favorite from 9/09 trip)
Dinner: 1900 Park Fare 5:00 (new-of course our newly made princess has to eat with Cinderella)

Tuesday December 7th
Lunch: Hollywood & Vine 11:30 (new)
Dinner: Garden Grill 4:55 (new)

Wednesday December 8th
Breakfast: Cape May Cafe 8:35 (new)
Lunch: LeCellier 1:30 (new, and SUPER excited for this one)!!
Dinner: Ohana 8:05 (new)

Thursday December 9th
Breakfast: Ohana 9:30 (new)
Dinner: Teppan Edo 4:40 (new)

Friday December 10th
Breakfast: Chef Mickey's 9:55 (a HUGE favorite from EVERY trip)
Lunch: Planet Hollywood 3:00 (DH's only request, he loves this place and I hate it)

So, that is what we have. Keeping in mind that we have been to WDW many, many times and don't have the "need to see it all" mentality, what do you think? Have you eaten at any of our "new" restaurant choices? What did you think of them?

Last edited by eecteacher82; 07-11-2010 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Changed ADR
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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Hey Erin!

Those ADRs rock! I totally wish we could do that on our big trip next summer! Sounds like so much fun!

Olivia is adorable! Can't wait to hear more about her trip to Disney and her experience with BBB. My younger sister did that a few years ago, and she had a blast!
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:29 PM   #10
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I'm in

I'm excited to see the pictures of Olivia after visiting BBB

Your ADR's look awesome -- I haven't done the dining plan yet but hope to on a future trip
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:55 PM   #11
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Hi I'm joining! Congrats on upgrading to the DDP! I'd love to try that someday but I don't know if I could handle all those TS meals!
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyncecelia View Post
Hey Erin!

Those ADRs rock! I totally wish we could do that on our big trip next summer! Sounds like so much fun!

Olivia is adorable! Can't wait to hear more about her trip to Disney and her experience with BBB. My younger sister did that a few years ago, and she had a blast!
Thanks for joining in! I can't say enough just how excited I am for all of our ADRs, both new and old favorites! I don't know that we will ever do deluxe dining again, but I really wanted to try it, and lucky for me, my DH pretty much thinks I know best when it comes to all things Disney and I usually get my way! So glad your sister loved the BBB!!! I haven't heard of anyone who did not love it, and since Olivia loves getting her hair done pretty and wants her nails polished daily, I think she will love it as well! Hope you keep reading along!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiroff.natasha View Post
I'm in

I'm excited to see the pictures of Olivia after visiting BBB

Your ADR's look awesome -- I haven't done the dining plan yet but hope to on a future trip
I can't wait to see my little princess looking like a princess either! I plan on take 2 extra memory cards and making sure the photopass guy takes tons as well!!! We are also planning on doing the photo session when she is all princess-y! You haven't done the DP yet??? I cannot say just how much I love it!!!! I think my favorite thing is that I know all of our food is already paid for and I don't have to worry about a budget for that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
Hi I'm joining! Congrats on upgrading to the DDP! I'd love to try that someday but I don't know if I could handle all those TS meals!
to you as well!!! I don't know that we can handle all the food either!!!! I think I have them spaced our far enough that we wont be too full! I figure we have to learn if the plan is good for us, and the only way is to jump in full force! I am excited to try it and let everyone know what we think! I have been spending lots of time on the "food porn" threads of the DIS and can't wait to take some yummy pics of my own!
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:04 PM   #13
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I'm back! Sickness took over!

Wow! I have not updated for 3 weeks! Right after our last update Olivia got really sick. She was running a fever, coughing horribly, and had a nasty nose. Off to the peditrician we went. Dx: Double ear infections, bronchitis, strep throat and sinus infection!!!! When she gets sick, she gets sick. Part of this goes back to her being a preemie and her immune system not working quite perfectly. This illness took almost 2 weeks to work itself out, and she was miserable every minute of it! After about a week, it hit my DH as well!!! Knock on wood, everyone is back to normal and feeling great, so that means I can give more time to my PTR! I have a couple of updates to do today (and maybe into tomorrow), including more planning, Toy Story 3, and a VERY mini TR from this weekend!!!! Hope I still have readers!!! PLEASE speak up if you are here!!!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:32 PM   #14
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A few trip details and Toy Story 3

So far we have discussed, our dates, hotel, and dining plan (and I am still waiting to hear your thoughts on our dining choices...PLEASE!). I thought I would throw in a few more little tidbits on what we have been doing regarding our trip.
I know we are still about 5 months out, but I can't help myself when I am out and see something that I think we "need" for our trip! Lucky for me, my DH knows I am obsessed with all things Disney and just lets me buy rather than question me! I already have Olivia's dress for the BBB. She wanted Cinderella, and we found a really nice one and only ended up paying about $25 for it! Olivia and I were really excited to find the dress! I can't wait for her to wear it to BBB. Last weekend we went to the Disney store and they were having some awesome sales!!! I got two spill proof cups, a straw cup, 2 plates, a Tinkerbell bathing suit, a GIANT reuseable bag, and 2 new t-shirts for Olivia and I only paid $21!!! It was a great day! While we wer eat the mall that day, I found some luggage tags that I loved and they were only $2 for the set of 4 so I got those as well. When we got home I took out the name paper it came with and created our own with the Disney font, and colors and Minnie mouse. I also used one to make a personalized stroller tag. I also ordered a personalized shirt for Olivia from the Disney Store website. It is pink with almost all the characters on the front in a group with Mickey ears behind them, and under that it says "It's My Birthday!" It was onsale with free personalization so I went ahead and got it. I will take a picture of it and post after she wakes up from her nap. I think that is all I have got......so far!
Last week we went to see Toy Story 3!!!! I have been so excited to see this! When I bought TS&TS2 on DVD in March each had a free ticket to see TS3 inside so Olivia, DH and I got to go for free! We all LOVED it! Olivia sat really nicely through the whole movie and still talks about the mean bear! I cannot wait until this comes out on DVD! I thought it was a nice wrap up to the series, and I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed at the end!
Well, I think that is all for this update. I will try to get our mini TR from our Oralndo adventures this weekend up today (the pictures are uploading to photobucket as I type), but if not today then definitely tomorrow!
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:35 AM   #15
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Where are my readers???

Have my small handful of readers that I actually had, leave me? I hope not!! If you are still here.....SPEAK UP...PLEASE!!!

I am working on our mini TR right now and it should be up in an hour or two.
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