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Old 09-23-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
DIS_Indoctrination
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Early Jan 2011, first trip to the World!!

Hi out there. I'm not much for catchy titles, more of a fact person.

Trip Plans:
1/1/11 - Drive from mid-TN to Orlando & stay in a non-disney hotel. This is gonna be tough, it's a 10.5 hr trip & we're hauling a three year old...
1/2/11 - Arrive, check into Pop Century HAVE FUN
1/7/11 - check out, drive back to mid-TN

Yep, that's the plan, just needs a little filler.

Background:
Me, Spouse & 3 year old offspring will be making our first family trip to Disney World in January 2011.

I grew up near Disney Land & had several fun trips as a child. We lived close enough that we could watch the fireworks at night from our driveway, but weren't annual passholders. The family moved to the mid-west in mid-childhood & thus ended the Disney fantasy. We did have one trip down to Disney World. All I remember is looking up at the Epcot ball with my parents holding a map scratching their heads.

My spouse had never been to Disney anything until we were in our early twenties & I hauled him out to Southern Cali to meet family. We spent one afternoon at Disney Land & my then future spouse developed a migraine which pretty much ruined the day. Actually, lack of planning probably lead to the migraine, which ruined the day.

3 year old offspring is 41" tall & adventurous. I think the kid will like everything, but we'll take it slow.

I acquired a cyberstalker a few months ago, so I'm a little gun-shy at this posting life on the internet thing, so please bear with me as I learn to trust again.

Oh, and we'll be celebrating our 9 year anniversary on the trip.

Table of Contents:
Indoctrination
Pictures
Daily Highlights
Day 1 Detail
Day 2 Detail
Touring Plans vs. Tour Guide Mike
Buzz Lightyear...dress?
Booked it!!!
Further Indoctrination
Day 3 Detail
Package Price Breakdown
Day 4 Detail
Day 6 Detail
The Problem<---Please, help me decide!!
Pressed Pennies
Random Pictures
First Magic Kingdom Day Detail Timeline

Last edited by DIS_Indoctrination; 12-16-2010 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Add Table of Contents
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:29 PM   #2
jerseygirl16
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This is exciting. I just started a PTR today for those exact same dates, only my family will be staying at Saratoga Springs. I can't wait to compare our trips as the planning unfolds.

By the way - you're going to LOVE Disney World!
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the encouragement JerseyGirl. I can't wait to see how your plans develop!
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:55 PM   #4
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The big hurdle

Ok, so the big hurdle to our trip is me asking for the days off from work. I have the vacation time, so that's not the problem. You see, it's the start of year end financial reporting & it's unheard of to ask off. Of course we won't have any numbers in yet that week, but we're all supposed to be crouched at the starting line waiting to dash through the gates as soon as a number trickles in.

I know my boss will be understanding & let me have the time off (he's a real sweetie), but I know my co-workers will forever whisper about the time I dared take off at YEAR END.

I still hear one co-worker bring up the time a certain someone took a week off at 3rd quarter end to go surfing. That was three years ago, he didn't miss any deadlines & the world didn't end, but he dared to risk it.

If I don't make it this week, we won't get a chance for another year. This week works with our budget, my DH's school schedule & the weather will be cool.

I just have to get the courage up to make the request.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:21 PM   #5
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Time Off

Yesterday morning I was in my office, and I had worked up the courage to ask my boss for the time off. I stood up from my chair, got my notes together (I knew we'd have to go over the calendar & reports) and took a step towards the door - when I heard it...the sound of someone vomiting...ewww, gross.

I jumped back into my chair. The door to my office was closed & it sounded like the person was right outside - no way was I walking into that. I concentrated on the sound, trying to imagine the damage, would there be a puddle in the hallway...who could it be?

That's when I realized it. It wasn't outside my office, but right next door - yep - my boss's office. He was sick, poor guy. So I poked my head outside. His door was closed & he was definitely retching. What to do, what to do. I looked around for any other employee I could send in to check on him (everyone is more motherly than I am), nope not a soul in sight. What to do, what to do. Should I take some water to him, call his wife, knock on the door & see if he's ok? After a long debate with myself, I did what I would want him to do in my position, I went to lunch. Yep, ran out the door & went to lunch. Hey, if I was puking my guts out, I'd want everyone to stay as far away as possible. Like I said, I'm the least motherly, least empathetic of the entire group.

He made it through the workday. When they showed up again, none of the mother hens could talk him into going home. Of course he's out sick today.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #6
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It keeps getting worse...

So, my boss has been hospitalized He has diabetes & they can't get his sugar under control. The only thing we know is he won't be back this week. Although, it's not unheard of for him to check himself out & pop in the office for a few hours. He's lucky his wife is a nurse or he'd have done himself in by now. She keeps him in line as best she can.

My co-workers get on him about what he eats too. I guess I should have yelled at him last week, when he was pumping up his insulin levels with a big bag of krispy kreme donuts sitting on his desk in front of him. Instead I laughed. Boo to me! It's hard to remember he's diabetic because he's so little, (width & length).

What to do, what to do. Should I forget about the trip & assume they'll need me around in early January? No, none of the data is available, so we'll all just be twiddling our thumbs anyway. I'm gonna keep on planning, but not put any deposits down. I know it's coming up fast, but everything we want is still available. January is a slow time of the year. Oh, I hope everything will stay available until I can get my days off sealed in stone!
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Cool Day 1 (01/01/10)

01/01/10 - Driving day
Wake @ 4am
Leave @ 6am
Arrive @ 9pm

It's 10 1/2 hours of driving. I figure we'll need a 20 min break every 2 hrs and two 2 hr breaks which puts us in Orlando at 9pm. There is also a 1 hour time difference.

Remember, we're hauling a 3 year old so this is a pretty adventurous timeline. I just don't want to be on the roads on New Years Eve, and I want to maximize the time we have at the world.

We're going to stay offsite the first night. Where? I'm not sure. I'll make a non-guaranteed reservation for a crummy motel near disney world. That way, if the drive doesn't go as planned we won't lose the room charge & when we check into the POP it's be like luxury after the crummy motel.

I know you're asking yourself right now, why aren't they flying?? I'll list the reasons for you.

1. No direct flights available. So we'd be flying or waiting to fly for at least 5 hours. Add 90 minutes for parking, check-in & security. Plus another 30 minutes to run out of the airport, and at least an hour for magical express and we're at 8 hours of a day to fly in. The drive is 10 1/2 hours. So we'd save 2 1/2 hours by flying.

2. Flights for the three of us are just under $1,000 - way too much for this miser.

3. Never used Disney transportation, so I'd rather have my own car available.

4. I hate flying. It's the one thing that makes my stomach of steel queasy.

McDonald's has a pretty cool app that lets you plot out a trip & mark your route with McDonalds. The plan is to get a map displaying McDonalds with indoor playlands. It'll give DD a chance to climb & run. I'll also try to map out some rest areas in case we have nice weather on the trip down there.

I hope DD will do well in the car. We do a lot of trips to Grandma's house which is a 6 hour drive. She never complains & we don't even have a TV for the car. Although for this trip, I suspect Santa will be bringing a portable DVD player this year.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:36 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear about your boss, I hope he's alright. But whatever you do, don't lose hope. What you're planning right now seems like the appropriate course of action. Just keep planning and make this trip happen.

As far as your 3 year old goes, when I was 3 my parent's drove us down to Disney (which from Jersey is over 16 hours) and they said I was great. My mom packed snacks and a huge bag full of little toys like paper dolls and coloring books. Apparently I was able to entertain myself. Mind you this was is 1992, before DVD players, let alone portable ones so that would occupy your daughter as well.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
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Joining in your journey. Sorry to hear about your boss too. And go for it, ask for the time off when you can that is. And forget what everyone says, seriously?? If the boss is ok, that's all that matters. Your, your hubby and your little one deserve this time.

We are going in Feb and staying at Port Orleans. We have stayed at Pop Century twice and LOVED it, but unfortunately have grown too big for it, with 4 kiddos now. It's such a fun resort.

I like your plan so far, driving is scary, we plan on doing it too, however we are coming from Michigan, so it's more of a 22hr straight drive 28hr with stops, or who knows if we decide to stop overnight.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirl16 View Post
Sorry to hear about your boss, I hope he's alright. But whatever you do, don't lose hope. What you're planning right now seems like the appropriate course of action. Just keep planning and make this trip happen.

As far as your 3 year old goes, when I was 3 my parent's drove us down to Disney (which from Jersey is over 16 hours) and they said I was great. My mom packed snacks and a huge bag full of little toys like paper dolls and coloring books. Apparently I was able to entertain myself. Mind you this was is 1992, before DVD players, let alone portable ones so that would occupy your daughter as well.
Ya know, my parents used to drive us from Illinois to Arizona every year & we didn't even have walkmans. I think there was only one year that they stopped on the side of the road & made us get out. After some crying & whining they let us back in the car, but we really thought they were done with us. Oh, the memories - thanks for the perspective!
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2princesses2princes View Post
Joining in your journey. Sorry to hear about your boss too. And go for it, ask for the time off when you can that is. And forget what everyone says, seriously?? If the boss is ok, that's all that matters. Your, your hubby and your little one deserve this time.

We are going in Feb and staying at Port Orleans. We have stayed at Pop Century twice and LOVED it, but unfortunately have grown too big for it, with 4 kiddos now. It's such a fun resort.

I like your plan so far, driving is scary, we plan on doing it too, however we are coming from Michigan, so it's more of a 22hr straight drive 28hr with stops, or who knows if we decide to stop overnight.
Don't forget your pitcher of coffee!! I know Disney is going to be a great investment when I see moms driving 22hrs with 4 kids to get there!

I've heard good things about the book Along I-75. It has notes on what's at each exit, things to do, where to eat, places to stay. I haven't read it, just heard it's good.

You're right, what do I care what the minions think if the boss is ok with it. Now, we've got to get him patched up to make sure he's ok with it.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:58 PM   #12
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Day 2 - 01/02/10

01/02/10 - Magic Kingdom, yeah baby!!

So originally, I was going to try to hit Epcot on the first day. I thought it would be a nice warm-up, but when I checked the crowd levels Epcot is the worst on this day! Magic Kingdom was rated the best, go figure.

Anyway, I'm glad we've flipped it around, because now Dumbo will be my DD first ever Disney ride.

We'll arrive early to enjoy rope drop then make a beeline for Dumbo, followed by Peter Pan & Winnie the Pooh. I'm using a mish-mash of the UG Touring plans, but I haven't found one that fits us perfectly yet.

DD is tall enough for the mountains, but young enough for us to be careful. This will be day we warm her up to the rides. She's a little prone to motion sickness, so we'll have to watch that otherwise she is pretty fearless. I've made her some jewelry with glow in the dark beads. I hope that makes her excited about the dark spaces. Our strategy is to tell her what to expect & use positive words to describe things.

Lunch will be at noon at the Crystal Palace. DD 1st character meal. She loves the Hefalump movie & Lumpy, and I know Lumpy is not at this meal. Hopefully, she'll be able to enjoy the other characters. I've got some other Pooh movies on hold at the library so hopefully by trip time she'll learn to love all the Pooh characters.

The park hours are shorter, but we'll still break for a nap in late afternoon. This is check-in day so it might be very late afternoon. Going to try to make it back for the night parade & fireworks.

I need to figure out what the Fantasy Land expansion is affecting before I really firm up the details of this day. For example, where will all the characters be?
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIS_Indoctrination View Post
Don't forget your pitcher of coffee!! I know Disney is going to be a great investment when I see moms driving 22hrs with 4 kids to get there!

I've heard good things about the book Along I-75. It has notes on what's at each exit, things to do, where to eat, places to stay. I haven't read it, just heard it's good.

You're right, what do I care what the minions think if the boss is ok with it. Now, we've got to get him patched up to make sure he's ok with it.
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Yeah I guess I wont truly know how crazy I am until we do it. I think we'll do fine, I am a bit worried about my 2yr old who tends to get car sick at times. But we are prepared to take as many breaks as possible.

Your plans sound good. We have never rushed for Dumbo before, but I have a feeling this year may be different. We are going to wait to plan our itineraries until after Christmas when the kids have their Disney books and have time to figure it out.FONT]
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2princesses2princes View Post
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Yeah I guess I wont truly know how crazy I am until we do it. I think we'll do fine, I am a bit worried about my 2yr old who tends to get car sick at times. But we are prepared to take as many breaks as possible.

Your plans sound good. We have never rushed for Dumbo before, but I have a feeling this year may be different. We are going to wait to plan our itineraries until after Christmas when the kids have their Disney books and have time to figure it out.FONT]
What Disney books do you get for the kids?

I read the Unofficial Guide to Disney World (it was a 2007 edition from the library - so yes out of date), but it says that since Dumbo loads slow you should get it out of the way. I'm hoping it will be light enough crowds that we can throw the plan out the window & mosey through at our own pace.

My co-worker recommended I get children's Dramamine for my little girl. I'm going to pack it just in case. DD tends to throw up toward the end of the 6 hour ride, or during the night after a long car ride.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:33 AM   #15
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Daily Highlights

Day 1 - Drive, Drive, Drive

Day 2 - Magic Kingdom
  • 8:00am walk out of the hotel room for 9am rope drop
  • 12:00pm Lunch at Crystal Palace
  • 2:00pm - 5:00pm Break
  • 7:00pm night parade
  • 8:00pm Wishes

Day 3 - Epcot
  • 8:00am walk out of the hotel room for 9am rope drop
  • 12:30pm Lunch at Akershus
  • 2:00pm - 5:00pm Break
  • 7:45pm dinner at La Hacienda
  • 9:00pm Illuminations

Day 4 - Animal Kingdom
  • 8:00am walk out of the hotel room for 9am rope drop
  • 12:00pm Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ
  • 3:45pm parade
  • 5:00pm dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe
  • 7:00pm Campfire Story at Ft. Wilderness
  • 9:00pm Electric Boat Pageant??

Day 5 - Magic Kingdom
  • 8:00am walk out of the hotel room for 9am rope drop
  • 2:00pm - 5:00pm Break
  • 5:00pm Dinner at 'Ohanas
  • 8:00pm Wishes

Day 6 - Hollywood Studios
  • 8:00am walk out of the hotel room for 9am rope drop
  • 1:00pm - 4:00pm Break
  • 4:45pm Dinner at Hollywood & Vine
  • 6:00pm Fantasmic

Day 7 - Any park we want to repeat
  • 8:00am walk out of the hotel room for 9am rope drop
  • 10:55am Breakfast at Cape May Cafe
  • Go Home

Comments
  • No Park Hoppers (savings of $177). Since we are newbies I think focusing on a single park per day will be easier, especially while we figure out the fast pass system.
  • We may not take a break at Hollywood Studios since it's a short day (7pm close).
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