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Old 08-14-2010, 10:57 PM   #1
ronnmel
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Our Disneymoon PTR + Wedding TR w/ pics - I'm back! (TR link and POP review 9/7)

Welcome to my first ever pre-trip report!!

“Hi, my name is Mel, and I’m a Disney-holic” (Ron is an addict too It’s so nice to share this passion with the man I love. )

Our addiction started last year, on our first family trip to WDW. (Me, DH and DD10) I swear they must put some kind of drug in their water because we can’t stop talking about it ever since!!! We haven’t had our fix of the Disney drug since that trip in August 2009 and have the shakes. We need all of you Disers to help us in our addiction. How can you help, you say? By helping us plan our honeymoon to Disney in August 2011.


The Cast:

I’m Mel, 29, and Ron, 36, is my lovely fiancé, who will be my husband by the time of this trip. I will refer to him as DH. He has a daughter (DD, 11), but she won’t be coming with us for this trip. She will, however, be joining us for our destination wedding. More on that later.



We are addicted to Disney World, visit the Disboard, listen to Podcast, talk about it every single week (dare I say almost every single day?) and plan hypothetical trip after hypothetical trip (what would we do if we won the lottery? Which DVC would we buy? At what age should we bring our future kids for the first time? What if we go during F & W? What ride will we go on first? It goes on, and on, and on... ). I love Stitch and have wanted to adopt him ever since I saw the first movie. One of the highlight of our trip last year was meeting and hugging Stitch. I’ve also developed a love for everything Tinkerbell. Ron loves the thrill rides the best, but really enjoyed everything on our trip. He is very excited that the new Star Tour will be opened by the time we go.




Some background info:


All three of us had been to WDW before, but separately (fiancé and I both as kids, and his daughter with the grandparents). We also had never stayed on site. We were not even suppose to stay on site that trip either, as his parents were travelling there too and have a time-share in Orlando, but when free dining came out we switched things up a bit. We were too slow to get our first choice of ASmovies, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we ended up at the amazing Caribbean Beach Resort!!! (I can include a mini trip report of that week here if you guys want.) Unfortunately for our addicted selves, we knew we would not be able to afford another trip for a few years, especially since we wanted to start a family soon.



Links to my PTR chapters:
How the trip was born
Dates & Resort
The food
What to do in Epcot
What to do at Hollywood Studios
What to do at Animal Kingdom
Some questions about food
A Disney survey

The most magical gift!
What to do at Magic Kingdom
Tentative schedule for the trip
ADRs booked!
Change of ADR
Annual Passes?
We got a PIN!
Vacation extended!!
Another change of ADRs
Arrival day plans
New schedule
Problem with the schedule?
Schedule version 567-c
Final? ADRs
Day 1 plans - First full day at the park
Day 2 plans - Hollywood Studios
Need help choosing CS
Day 3 plans - Typhoon Lagoon
Day 4 Plans - Magic Kingdom with evening EMH
Day 5 Plans - A stroll through World Showcase
Day 6 & 7 Plans - More Hollywood Studios & Blizzard Beach
Day 8 & 9 Plans - 2nd day at Epcot & 2nd day at Animal Kingdom
Clothes!
Days 10 - 14 Plans

*I have also started a trip report for my August 2009 trip in this thread. You can find the first post here: Mega Waves, Date Night and Fast Pass baby!!
Day 1 - Bad buffet and nice outlets
Day 2 - Magical Kingdom?

Day 2 - saltiest fries EVER!
Day 3 - "Yes, Stitch, it really is you"
Day 3 continued - DisneyQuest, Crystal Palace and Wishes
Day 4 - Blizzard Beach
Day 4 continued - A meltdown at Epcot
Day 5 - A big Mistake and a go with the flow day
Day 6 - Our couple's day, starting with Epcot
Day 6 continued - Mega Waves at Typhoon Lagoon
Day 6 continued - Lightnings on our date night
Day 7 - If I were a toy...
Day 7 continued - LAST DAY
Some Favorites
More Favorites
Last or our Favorites

*For wedding info go to these posts :
Hotel, invitations and shoes
Wedding bands

Disney Registry
Disney Registry Update
A Quote a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
So much to do, so little time
Some wedding purchases
More wedding purchases
Sand Ceremony testing
A few makeup trial and bachelorette pictures
Update sand ceremony
Bachelorette pictures!

Paradise does exist, I got married there! - Wedding trip report:
Day 1 - Leaving for Cuba
Day 2 - Sunday May 1st - A busy morning and relaxing, finally
Day 3 - Monday May 2nd - A day of fun in the sun
Day 4 - Tuesday May 3rd - Catamaran Trip Part 1, snorkeling
Day 4 - Tuesday May 3rd - Catamaran Trip Part 2, swimming with dolphins
Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th - Wedding Day Part 1, Getting Ready
Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th - Wedding Day Part 2, Ceremony
Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th - Wedding Day Part 2, Ceremony Cont'd
Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th - Wedding Day Part 3, Picture Time
Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th - Wedding Day Part 4, Pool Time
Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th - Wedding Day Part 5 - Wedding Dinner
Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th - Wedding Day Part 6 - Disco Time!
Day 6 - Thursday May 5th - A Real Relaxing Day, and Sunset!
Day 7 - Friday May 6th - Trash the Dress (Beach)
Day 7 - Friday May 6th - Trash the Dress part 2 (pool)
Day 7 - Friday May 6th (part 3) - Last time at the beach
Day 7 - Friday May 6th (part 4) - A Sad Evening
Day 8 - Saturday May 7th - Going Home
Extra Pictures
Extra Pictures (part 2)
Photoshoot with my Mom

Last edited by ronnmel; 09-07-2011 at 08:14 PM. Reason: Updated links
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:13 PM   #2
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So, how this trip was born then?

How this trip was born:

Soon after we came back from our trip, we started talking about getting married (have to admit I kind of hope he would propose AT Disney, but guess he wasn’t ready yet), and more specifically having a destination wedding on a real Caribbean island. We have both been married before, and thus didn’t want the big ceremony here. We preferred to have only our closest family and friends to join us for a week of fun in paradise. It had always been my dream to get married on a beach. We told our parents about our plans, but asked them to keep it to themselves as it wasn’t official yet. So of course Ron’s mom called us 2 days later asking her if we knew the date yet because his aunts and uncles wanted to know how much money they had to save! Gotta love her.


The Proposal:


On Christmas Eve, after his daughter went to bed, we put all the little gifts in the stockings (we had one each). I went to bed and he said he would join me in a few minutes as he was checking something on the computer. I thought nothing of it. The following morning, after only a few hours of sleep, his daughter woke us up. We cooked breakfast and then went to the living room to open our presents. I opened all of mine, and then it was Ron’s turn. Some cello paper was sticking out of his stocking and I was very impatient for him to open that present because it was a candy apple. He had been craving one since our trip to Disney and could not find one anywhere. Unfortunately for my impatient self, he ignored that present and was searching for something else hiding inside. He then pulls out this tiny brown box. I was so confused, as I did not remember putting it there. Suddenly it hits me. It is THE box! I immediately start tearing up as he goes down on one knee, opens the box and says “Last year you gave me the best present possible by choosing to be with me. The only way you can top it this year is by choosing to be with me forever. Will you marry me?” I said YES!!




Fast forward a few months later. We both don’t make lots of money, and the wedding will be set where lots of people honeymoon, so it was decided that it would be a combine wedding/honeymoon trip. Well, as much of a honeymoon as you can have with 20 of your closest friends and family members around... and an 11 yo in the room! As a way to save money, and because we have several guests who are quite good photograph, we were not going to hire a professional photograph. But then we visited a wedding expo and I fell in love with the fun and colourful style of this one woman. I did some number crunching, and convinced myself that I could save up an extra 3000$ to bring her along with us. Several people talked some sense into me, and I eventually decided against it. But hey, if I can save up 3000$ for a photograph, you know what else I can save it for? A trip to DISNEY!!! I talked about this new possibility too much to my future DH that we both finally agreed to do it. Yay!! We’re gonna have a real honeymoon after all.


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Old 08-16-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Dates & Resort

The Dates:

I’m a teacher, so we can only go during the summer (and other busy and expensive times). That means that our honeymoon will be 3 months after our wedding (which will be in May, in Cuba. I can include our planning for that too if there is an interest).

At first we were only going to go one week. That idea was quickly crushed. Last year we had 6 days in the park and we would have needed more. We had time to do all our must-dos, but only once. Plus, while it is so expensive to fly there, it is quite inexpensive to stay extra days, so let’s stay 9 nights. Well, we were looking at what flights *might* cost, and it seems that the best day to fly out is Wednesday, meaning we’d be back on a Friday. Humm, adding an extra night wouldn’t cost an extra vacation day, so let’s add that. What is it you say? Since we’re already adding one night, why not add two? DONE!!

So we should be leaving Wed. August 10, 2011 and coming back on Sun. August 21, 2011. Also, we have pretty much decided on getting the slightly more expensive but oh so great direct flight with a great schedule, so Yay for that! We should be able to book it this fall.


The Resort:

We’d love to go to Port Orleans French Quarter as it looks quite romantic, but it’s too much money. Unless we somehow get an amazing deal, Pop Century here we come!




Well, that’s it for introductions. Wow, didn’t think I would write that much. Can’t wait to be there!!! Hope you enjoy this pre trip report. Let me know how I can make it better.

Next time I’ll write about what we hope to accomplish during our trip.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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Hi Mel! I followed you over from my TR!

You guys are so cute and I love hearing your back-story! Definitely post about your wedding plans AND about your last trip!!

As for your plans so far....they sound great!! I LOVE how you convinced yourself to stay all those extra days! I really hope that a good deal comes out for you guys because I would LOVE for you to upgrade to POR or POFQ. Would you do it if you got a 30% off deal? I'm going to have you convinced by the time you go! It's your honeymoon!

Oh also, did you register for your disney honeymoon? I don't remember the exact website (just google it) but we did it thinking if we got even $100 we'd be glad, but we ended up getting almost $1000 on a gift card to spend how we wanted! It was awesome! Definitely think about doing it.

Great job, so far! Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:45 PM   #5
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Yay! My first reader! Thanks for coming over from your trip report Nikki.

I really don't know what it would take to convince us to go to POFQ. As great as the resort looks, we are already hoping for a good discount to offset the cost of staying that many extra days.

I thought about registering for Disney money, but we are not registering anywhere at all. Because we are asking our guests to shell out over 1500$ per person to come to Cuba with us, we don't want a gift on top of it. If some want to give us money, we'll appreciate it and most probably use it for Disney, but we don't want people to think we expect gifts.

______________________________

The Food:

Last year we were lucky and had the regular dining plan. We ate at Tokyo Dining, Tutto Italia, Crystal Palace (with Winnie and friends), Ohana (Breakfast with Stitch), Planet Hollywood and Narcoossee’s.

Ron's Surf & Turf at Narcossee's


This year we’ve decided to mostly stick to CS to save money and because we want to be more free of where we can go and when. We might change our minds, though at this point it is unlikely.

We WILL go to two table service. Possibly our first night, Ron wants to have dinner at Ohana. He is a big meat lover. I’m big on character meals, so I want to try the Safari Breakfast with Donald. My hope is to eat very early to be done by the time the park opens.


For CS, we hope to try out Pecos Bill, Cosmic Rays, Yak & Yeti CS, the new Mexican place, Sunshine Season, POP’s food court, Wolfgang Puck Express, Yakitori House. Any other suggestions?


Our general plans:

We hope to hit Magic Kingdom and Epcot two days each, one day each at DHS and AK, plus one evening EMH at AK (heard it can be quite romantic). One day at each of the water park, though could possibly hit Typhoon Lagoon a second time. The rest of the time will be spent at DTD (including Disneyquest as Ron loves it), our resort pool, and going back to any park we want to visit again.

We will TRY not to get Park Hoppers and save the money for possibly an extra TS meal or drinks. We are rope drop kinda people. We may or may not take a break during the afternoon, depending on how long we plan to stay at each park and how we feel.

Our style is to be very commando during the morning, going on as many attractions as possible. Once we’ve hit all our must-dos, then we slow down and “wing it” the rest of the day with our list of B attractions.

Of course hours for next year are not out yet, but last week just for fun we decided to plan what are week would look like if we were leaving the same days this year. Here’s what we came up with:

Hypothetical Plans
*Wed. Aug 11 – Arrive at MCO. Take ME to POP Century. Swim in the resort pool until room is ready. Eat dinner at Ohana. Watch Wishes from the Poly beach.
Thu. Aug. 12 – Epcot and stay for evening EMH. Possible break during the day.
Fri. Aug. 13 – Blizzard Beach. Evening opened.
Sat. Aug. 14 – Hollywood Studios. We do not wish to see Fantasmic again, so we chose a day with no shows and no EMH for lowest crowds possible.
Sun. Aug 15 – Magic Kingdom and stay for evening EMH. Break during the day.
*Mon. Aug 16 – Sleep in, enjoy the resort pool, then go to AK for evening EMH.
Tue. Aug. 17 – Safari Breakfast with Donald, then AK. DTD in the evening.
Wed. Aug 18 – Magic Kingdom.
Thu. Aug 19 – Typhoon Lagoon. Evening opened.
Fri. Aug. 20 – Epcot.
Sat. Aug. 21 – Opened to do what we feel like.
*Our evenings of the 16 and the 20 are interchangeable, depending on ADRs.

Last edited by ronnmel; 08-20-2010 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:19 PM   #6
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Epcot

We want to spend two days in Epcot, including possibly one evening EMH. Both mornings we will rush to do the popular rides, hopefully several times. In the afternoons and evenings we will slow down and explore more in depth Future World (one day) and stroll around World Showcase (other day plus both evenings). We'll try to squeaze in a few more rides at the end of the night using FP collected earlier.

Things HAVE to do in Epcot:
Soarin'
Test Track
Spaceship Earth - MANY times (we just LOVE this ride, both the relaxing part, and the hilarious little video at the end)
Mission Space - I am prone to motion sickness, but I know DH really wants to try the Orange side. he is willing to do it by himself, but would much prefer I try with him. I said I *MAY* try, but only as our very last ride of the night. That way if I feel sick I can just go to bed and sleep it off. He's even willing to sleep in the next day if I need more time to recuperate.
Innoventions - we want to spend more time there, explore all the little activities, redo the Piggy Bank Adventure (well, he missed it last time because he was gone getting FP for TT), and of course try Sum of All Thrills!
Kim Possible - HUGE fan of this. We loved it so much last time (did Mexico, China and Japan) that we want to do as MANY countries as possible.
Illuminations - DH's favorite night time show

Things we would like to try again:
Maelstrom
Gran Fiesta - yes I enjoyed that ride, it was very cute. Only if there is no line though.
The Seas - We love walking around the Seas pavillion, and the ride is cute (we'll skip the ride part if there is a line though)

Things we want to try for the first time:
World Showcase - We really want to explore the countries more in depth, as last time we just kind of walked through, except for the ones where we did Kim Possible. I'm especially excited to explore Morocco
Drinking around WS - Ok, so I'm really not a big drinker and will probably limit myself to the Frozen Margarita and Grey Goose slushie. I will have a few sip of whatever DH plans to drink though.
Ellen's Adventure of Energy - I know it's not a big ride, but it looks interesting enough, and good for a place to relax mid-day.
Captain EO????? - I don't have much interest in this, but DH said he might want to check it out.

We also want to possibly spend more time tin the after section of TT and MS and play with the games they have there.

Any other suggestions? Things we shouldn't miss?

I know this post doesn't have any picture, so here's a silly one of me to make you laugh.




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Old 08-20-2010, 11:21 PM   #7
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Oh, Nikki, I know that you used Photopass for your last trip. How was it? Was it hard to find photographs? Was there a line to get your picture taken? Any advice/tips/comments you can give me about this?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnmel View Post
Oh, Nikki, I know that you used Photopass for your last trip. How was it? Was it hard to find photographs? Was there a line to get your picture taken? Any advice/tips/comments you can give me about this?
Mel, I would say for two people, especially two people on their honeymoon, it's totally worth it to pre-order the photopass CD. There are photographers everywhere! And since we had pre-ordered, we literally stopped every time we saw one! Occasionally, there's one or two families waiting but never really a long wait, unless you are waiting for characters.

Hmm, tips or advice....
Do different poses! Some photographers will tell you to do different poses and some will just do a quick pic and move on! Also, ask them if they have any special add-ons, like the balloons or tinkerbell. And like I said, if you pre-ordered, get your moneys worth and stop at every one, even if you did the exact same spot just the day before!

We used to be totally opposed to photopass but we got it for our honeymoon, thinking it was a special occasion so we'd splurge but now I think we may get it every time now!
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:34 PM   #9
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I like your tentative plans!

Dinner at 'Ohana is one of our favorites. I think staying to watch Wishes on the beach is a great idea!

Great plans for Epcot! Definitely try to get in a few drinks in World Showcase while you are sans children! I highly recommend the 'rita or Grey Goose slushie...both delicious and refreshing on those hot summer days!

And I have to agree with your DH...Illuminations is my favorite too!
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for the comments about Photopass. For once DH will be in the pictures, he's always holding the camera!

I think I will do Hollywood Studios tomorrow. My least favorite park, so might as well get it out of the way.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:49 PM   #11
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Hollywood Studios

We plan on going to HS only once, on a non-Fantasmic and non-EMH day. We hope that way it will be the least crowded day of the week. We want to arrive at rope drop, do our main rides as many times as possible in the morning, then see how we feel. We might check out a few shows and secondary attractions, and leave when we feel like we're done.

About Fantasmic, I know it's a great show. We saw it last year and enjoyed it. However, we do not feel it is worth waiting over an hour in line to get good seats. Also, since we won't have park hoppers, we can't just come back at night just for the show. We feel we'll get more done if we go when Fantasmic is not playing.

Things we HAVE to do at Hollywood Studios:
Toy Story Mania - We want to try to find a strategy to get to do this attraction 3 times in one day.
Rock n Roller Coaster
Star Tours - DH is ecstatic that Star Tours 2 will be opened by the time we go. I skipped this attraction last time because I was feeling queasy.
Muppet Vision - DH is a big fan.


Things we haven't done but HAVE to try for the FIRST time:
Tower of Terror - We missed it last time because it was the only ride that DD absolutely did NOT want to do. Though she was afraid of a lot of things, with a little convincing she tried them all and loved them. NOT this one. There was no way in hell we were getting her on that ride, as she got too scared when she had tried it 3 years before. We plan on riding this A LOT!
Animation drawing class - I can't wait to go try to draw some characters. I hope to try this at least twice.


Things we MAY want to try for the first time:
All the shows - Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Stunt cars, and Indiana Jones all look interesting. We'll see how we feel and what the schedules are. Which one(s) should we choose to watch?
Backlot Tour - I keep reading conflicting reviews, is this worth it?
One Man's Dream
Meeting Monsters Inc characters - Actually, I'd love to meet characters in every park, but only if lines are short.

Any other suggestions? Things we shouldn't miss?




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Old 08-21-2010, 10:15 PM   #12
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Animal Kingdom

I want to go to Animal Kingdom twice. Once from rope drop to whenever, and once for evening EMH. I heard the atmosphere can be very special in that park at night, and romantic too. Perfect for a honeymoon.

For the full day my wish is to go eat breakfast at Tusker House early enough rope drop. I love character meals.


Things we HAVE to do at Animal Kingdom:
Expedition Everest - I love this coaster, but it did make me feel queasy last time. Since I know DH wants to do it multiple times, I'll just wait for him while he uses the single rider line.
Kali River Rapid - LOVED getting soaked. DH... not so much. I have to convince him to go back on this more than once...
Dinosaur - Awesome!
Primeval Whirl - I love Wild Mouse types of coasters, and had a big grin on my face the whole time .
Bug's Life - It's cute and funny, and rarely has a line.


Things we haven't done but HAVE to try for the FIRST time:
Kilimanjaro Safari - I wanted to try this last time, but as both DH and his DD were not so much into it, I let it go. Then we come back, and DH being now addicted to Disney starts reading and watching everything Disney tells me "The Safari looks fun, we should have done it."


Things we MAY want to try for the first time or do again:
Finding Nemo or Lion King? - I thought Festival of the Lion King was the most amazing show, so I'd love to see it again (and sing along to every song ). However, we didn't see Nemo last time. We haven't decided yet which one we will choose, unless we have enough time for both.
Boneyard - Ok, so we are two adults without kids. But I've always loved maze like playgrounds when I was younger, and wish I was still aloud in them. Is it ok for me to go play in the Boneyard by myself?
Pangani and Asian trails - and other little trails around the Tree of Life
Rafiki's Planet Watch - ????? Should we?????

I feel like I forgot something...

DH is not big into animals, but I am. Last time he only wanted to go to AK for the rides, but for next time he actually has agreed to take things slow(er). We will do the rides, but we will also take the time to explore every little thing this park has to offer. I want to try and speak to some CM about animals they take care of. Just need to find the courage to start a conversation with a stranger...




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Old 08-22-2010, 10:19 PM   #13
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Hi anonymous readers and Nikki!

I debated whether or not to start a new thread for my trip report for last August, but just decided to post it here. The first post is a bit of an intro and so has no pictures, but I promise the rest of the trip report will be full of pictures, including food porn.

I think from now on in order to keep things less confusing I will write my Trip Report from last August in RED, my Pre-Trip report in PURPLE, and my wedding plans in BLUE.

Mega Waves, Date Night, and FastPass Baby!


Booking woes

Almost 2 years ago, DH’s parents invited him and his DD to join them on a trip to Orlando. They had just recently bought a Time-Share and were going to spend several days at Disney. As it was VERY early in our relationship (about one month), I wasn’t invited yet. It was only several months later, after DH moved in with me, that he invited me to go with them. Around the same time is when the Free Dining discounts came out, so we decided that the three of us would stay on property and visit Disney for the entire week.

We were looking into booking at All-Stars Movies, but had to switch because of 2 stupid mistakes I made.

MISTAKE #1 – While booking my flight online, I had so many windows opened weighing each option that I ended up booking a return flight... the day of my departure!! Oops!

Luckily I called right away and they cancelled it. It was going to take several days though before the credit would show up on my credit card.

Which leads to MISTAKE #2 – Instead of booking right away as soon as we saw the deal, we were waiting for the credit to show up on my cc so I would have enough money to cover the trip. See, I didn’t read properly and thought we had to pay the ENTIRE trip up front, not just a 200$ deposit. D’OH!!!

So by the time we were ready to book, all value resorts were full. So we opted for Caribbean Beach Resort because I LOVE the island and beach feeling, and because the pool looked awesome.
I had been to Disney 3 times as a kid, but always only 1 day at the Magic Kingdom, so in a way this was my first trip. DH had been twice, including a trip during his teenage years when he found WDW boring (Blasphemy!). DH’s grandparents had brought DD once when she was about 7. It was, however, the first time any of us would stay on property.

After we booked, I kept busy reading the Unofficial Guide, and of course surfing here on the DIS. It may have been our first “official” trip, but we were prepared!!! We made lists of all our must-dos and planned a commando style trip so we would see them all.

Next, the worse buffet I've ever eaten at.

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Old 08-22-2010, 11:09 PM   #14
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Hey Mel! Still here!

Plans for DHS and AK look great!

I'm so glad you decided to post about your last trip! And I can't wait to hear more about your wedding plans, too!
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