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Old 05-01-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
DexLabDeeDee
Hollywood, 1939. Amidst the glitz and glitter...the Hollywood Tower Hotel was a star in its own right.
 
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Three Generations at Disney – C’mon, Grandma! WE HAVE 3 DAYS TO GO!! Update 9/21

Hi! Welcome to my PTR! You have no idea how many times I’ve written and re-written this first post. I’ve read through other peoples’ PTRs and TRs trying to find the best balance between casual conversation and conveying information. Perfectionist, much?

I’m trying very hard to just go with the flow. There is no right or wrong…everyone’s style is different…no need to overthink…. Yeah, maybe if I tell myself that a million times it’ll finally sink in.

Okay. Let’s start over. Hello. My name is Jenna. I love Disney (no surprise there). I’ve been several times in the past 7 years. I went twice as a kid and then several Spring Breaks as an adult (well, college kid) with my parents and two sisters. A friend and I went in May 2009. I also went with my DH on a DCL honeymoon cruise, WDW in 2008 and a short two day trip to DLR in 2010. I have been extremely fortunate to have done all I have but it’s still never enough!

Here is me, my sisters and my mom with Mary Poppins on a Disney trip in 2005!


So when we were in DLR last year, I made (secret) plans to go back home to WDW in 2011. DH isn’t too keen on Disney. He enjoys DRL more than WDW but he would rather be hiking and camping. He is really good about letting me go and he says he’s done for now but will go again when we bring our kids. Awww. I would really like for him to love Disney as much as me but I am grateful for what I have. For those of you with Disney loving spouses, hug them really hard for me!

Here is a crazy picture of DH and me on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Shame on WDW for getting rid of this one!!!


Since we are planning on having kids, this next trip will be my last one for awhile. I don’t think we’ll be able to afford to go and even if we did have the money, I’m not sure I want to drag a diaper bag and such around Disney. I’ve seen way too many hot and stressed parents dragging crying children and a diaper bag the size of my luggage! I get exhausted just watching! Kudos to those parents, though. I don’t where the energy comes from…

As I was thinking about my Disney trip, I thought about the great times that I had there with my parents and sisters and I realized that I wanted to have that experience again. Then I thought that it might be nice if my extended family could come too. All 17 of them. Eeek!

Looking back, I don’t know what I was thinking. Chalk it up to Disney planning fever. But at the time, I didn’t realize that I was sick and needed help so I insanely brought up the idea with my mom. I must have been contagious because she thought it was great idea.

So my infected mom went out into the world to spread the germ (or pixie dust?) among my 17 relatives...
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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Who’s in and who’s out……

Okay. Movin' right along... In the last post, my Disney-fevered mom had invited all my cousins, aunts and uncles on our Disney vacation. She invited Grandma, too. My grandma just took an African vacation with a tour group last summer and she said that it was going to be her last trip. I think that freaked out my mom (who wouldn’t freak out when your mom talks about dying, albeit tangentially) so she really wanted grandma to come with us.

The response? The total? Out of all 18 (including me)?.....8. Yup. 8. 10 people decided not to go. I was insulted. What is wrong with Disney and/or spending a week with family? Could it possibly be that I am an uber planner and totally type A and the thought of having everything scheduled isn’t their idea of a vacation??? We may never know.

Anyway, let’s meet the awesome crew that has no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into! (Including this PTR, therefore, names have been changed to protect the innocent, except mine, that’s real) We’ll start with…

Me! Jenna - I’m 30, type A and obsessed with time. I love schedules and such. We’ll see how everyone else can handle it.

Jane – my DSis. She’s the youngest of our group at 24! We have another sister who cannot come and we’re both completely bummed. Even though Jane is more the artist and I’m more the scientist, we’re a lot alike so we often butt heads. But I love her dearly! Even when I’m mad at her, I still can’t help but love the goof.

Here is me and Jane, present day (I'm on the right):



Mom – she’s the greatest and a total kid at heart. Drives us nuts sometimes, especially Dad but he secretly likes indulging her. Aw. She says that she’s finally able to let loose after years of setting a good example for us kids.

Dad – Mr. Grumpy. He hates crowds but loves Disney, go fig. He’s all bark and no bite. Quiet most the times but always has an opinion. There are a lot of us with opinions on this trip so we’ll see how it goes.

This is my dad. He’s a little camera shy:


Mandy – my cousin. She’s also 30. A lot of fun and super competitive. She’s great at games and can count in her head faster than you can believe! We both just turned 30 so this’ll be our birthday gifts to ourselves, as well. She’s been to Disney World on a school trip and Disneyland with family.

Uncle Dan – Mandy’s dad, my mom’s brother. He’s even quieter than my dad but he loves to tease. He kind of reminds me of Walt sometimes, I’m not exactly sure why. He loves Disneyland but has never been to Disney World.

Aunt Anne – Mandy’s mom. She also loves Disneyland and is really looking forward to going to Disney World. She also cooks really well and loves to eat good food.

Grandma – 84 and still kicking! My grandma is a strong woman with a strong mind and strong opinions. You never can be sure exactly what comment is going to come out of her mouth.

We all hail from Minnesota and right now we are really tired of the cold weather!

And here is the rest of the group. Starting from left: Grandma, Mom, Uncle Dan, Mandy (in front), Aunt May (not going on trip) and Aunt Anne.


The details of our trip to come...
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:29 AM   #3
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When? Where?

Since Aunt Anne loves good food and my dad doesn’t like crowds, going in Sept 2011 with free dining was pretty much a no brainer. The only thing that makes me hesitate is the heat. Ugh. I’m not used to that much humidity with my heat! It gets pretty hot during the summer in Minnesota and we also can have high humidity but it’s rare that you walk outside the door and are immediately covered in sweat! The kicker of it is that I see people walking all over the parks not sweating – like it’s a nice spring day. How on earth is that possible???

So I’m trying to hedge my bets a bit and go Sept 24 – Oct 1 in hopes that it’ll get cooler in later Sept. I know this is a long shot. My parents had half stifling and half good weather when they went at the end of Sept in 2009. Let’s also hope that there aren’t any hurricanes!

I’ve tried to explain the heat situation to my grandma, Aunt Anne, Uncle Dan and Mandy. Aunt Anne says that she loves the heat and would take it over cold any day. We’ll see. I’m a little concerned about my grandma and the heat but we’ll take it as it comes.

We’ll be staying at POR for the week. DH and I have stayed here before and my parents have also.

Here are some pictures of POR from the last time we stayed.



We love how quiet and green everything is! It reminds us of home.





We stayed in building 38 last time and we loved the walk at night from the South Depot past Ol’ Man Island to our room. I'm hoping to get that same building this time. It’ll be good to be there again!

Everyone else (including my sister) has never stayed onsite before. I’m really excited to see how they like it. I’ve also tried to explain about Disney transportation and how it takes longer to get places and you can’t always go direct. They say they’ll be fine but again, we’ll see. We can rent a car at the car care center if we really need to.

And we’re a grand gathering but I don’t think we’ll be doing any the grand gathering events. Is there any other perk to being a grand gathering besides the extra events that you can pay for?

I’m really trying to make this trip customizable. I want everyone to have the vacation that they want to have. If you want to get up and go to rope drop - great, get up and come with me. If you want to sleep in - great, join us any time during the day or just at dinner. So in order to inform them and to also get their input on restaurants, I had a Disney planning meeting in January.

I fed my guests snack type foods and they nibbled while I showed them a powerpoint presentation. Yes. Powerpoint. I am THAT person. I don’t do all the transitions because I think it detracts from the information. I do have a ton of pictures and I create my own slide backgrounds. I think that they secretly laughed at me but they’re troopers and sat through the whole thing. We got our restaurants nailed down - wahoo - I also gave them a list of each park’s attractions so they could mark their “must-dos”.

Here is our plan:

Saturday – Arrival – DTD (WP Express and/or EoS)
Sunday – AK – Boma
Monday – HS – Captain’s Grille at Yacht Club
Tuesday – Free Day - 1900 Park Fare and MNSSHP (hopefully!)
Wednesday – MK – California Grill
Thursday – Free Day – Raglan Road
Friday – EP – Restaurant Marrakesh
Saturday – Departure

Until next time….
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #4
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Hooray!!!

I can't believe I didn't see it earlier but MNSSHP dates and tickets came out! Now we are for sure going on Sept. 17th and I can't wait! I love Halloween!

I have to get going on my costume. I would like to be Belle in the blue dress this year but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my hair. My mom said that she would make the apron and dress, I just have to find the correct white top. I should check consignment shops....
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:38 PM   #5
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I've sent out an email to everyone telling them to buy MNSSHP tickets!

Everyone but Mandy has their plane tickets. Delta keeps changing the flight times on us and doesn't even bother to let us know! Luckily (or crazily?), I like to check my itinerary every few days just to see the "MCO" printed and I've been able to keep up with the schedule differences. Right now, we'll be getting in around 1pm.

Mandy says she wants to wait and see if the price comes down on the ticket. She didn't book with the rest of us when the tickets were a lot cheaper so now she's going to wait it out. I'm slightly nervous that the flight'll sell out but there are a few other options if our flight is sold out. If it's not too much later, I might just wait behind at MCO while the rest of the group goes so that she has someone to help her get to ME. Not that it's all that difficult but it's better traveling with a friend your first time.

Oh! AND I made a secret booking!

Ever since I heard the review of the Garden View Tea Room on the DISUnplugged podcast, I have wanted my sister and mom to have that experience! So I thought it would be a good idea to give it to them for their birthdays. Jane ADORES tea. (I think it tastes like grass.)

Then I got to thinking harder. Aunt Anne and Mandy also love tea and I can't make reservations for all of them and not invite Grandma, too. But maybe Justine would just like to have a special tea with Mom. And it is just supposed to be a birthday gift for the two of them. So, I decided to make the reservation for 5 people and then let Jane and Mom decide what they want to do. Maybe they would like the company or maybe they would like to have it just be them. I can always take people away from the reservation.

I'm just not sure how Grandma, Aunt Anne and Mandy would feel about not going, especially when Aunt Anne loves tea, too. It looks really neat. The Grand Floridian is so pretty and the tea service is gorgeous. It's hard not to share something like that with others.


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I didn't include myself because I really don't care for tea and I'm not sure I would get as much out of it as they would. I'll probably regret it the day of but oh well. I was trying to think of something that Dad, Uncle Dan and I could do instead. I'm not even sure where we'll all be that day because it's one of our Free Days - you get to do whatever you want.

Jane's birthday is really soon and my mom's is the end of the month. I can't wait! I made a card using Publisher with pictures of the tea service and the Grand Floridian. I'll take some pictures and post it later.

144 Days to Go!
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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I'm in! LOVE that you did a Powerpoint presentation!!!! It's funny that I found your PTR today ... this morning I was giving a brief spiel on the highlights of a WDW vacation to my DD's ballet class moms and actually said, "This would be sooo much easier with Power Point."
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:18 AM   #7
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I'm in! LOVE that you did a Powerpoint presentation!!!! It's funny that I found your PTR today ... this morning I was giving a brief spiel on the highlights of a WDW vacation to my DD's ballet class moms and actually said, "This would be sooo much easier with Power Point."
Haha! It is easier - you should try it! And it's a lot of fun to create. A great way to share your love for Disney.

I was on your PTR yesterday - I'm a fiendish lurker and I read way more than I post. I should post more. You have quite the group you are traveling with yourself! Did you decide on a resort yet? Major cliffhanger! Have you been to Disney at Halloween? The villains have an awesome meet-n-greet after their castle show. I have a great picture with Cruella DeVille. I was behind a couple of kids who were a little annoying all through the encounter with her. So when I went up (an adult by myself) she said, "Kids! Don't you just wish you could get rid of them all?" I laughed and that's when the CM took our picture.



It's a great party if you haven't been yet. LOVE trick-or-treating around the MK!
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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GREAT PTR...we travel 3 generations as well...I'm the Grammy
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:20 AM   #9
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GREAT PTR...we travel 3 generations as well...I'm the Grammy
Hi Grammy! I would love some feedback from you about how you tour with your family. Are you a thrill ride person or do you skip them? My grandma says that she doesn't want to do anything too intense and she's worried that she won't be able to do anything at all. I've assured her that there is PLENTY to do at Disney - rollercoasters are actually in the minority. But I was thinking that she might be able to do some more of the "intense" rides, like ToT, because they aren't as intense as Dueling Dragons or Rip Ride n Rockit. I think that she's picturing Six Flags or more amusement park type rides.

I would love any advice!
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:47 PM   #10
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I do not do all the "thrill" rides anymore. If it is her first trip start with Thunder Mountain to see if she likes it. I can still do that one. The final plunge on Splash Mtn. makes me nervous but I love the ride and now they have lap bars. I usually stay with the little guy who was 2 when we went in Jan. and that lets the others ride the roller coasters...he & I did Dumbo and the Carousel or we might get a snack. I don't think we all have to be together all the time but we usually are.We dfo eat dinner together except one night DH & I went to Le Cellier and my DD and family went back to the resort. I love the pool DH doesn't so he takes a nap or reads etc. We usually go to the park together but we do seperate sometimes. It good to be together but good to seperate some too. The memories are priceless...have a great time.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:44 AM   #11
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I do not do all the "thrill" rides anymore. If it is her first trip start with Thunder Mountain to see if she likes it. I can still do that one. The final plunge on Splash Mtn. makes me nervous but I love the ride and now they have lap bars. I usually stay with the little guy who was 2 when we went in Jan. and that lets the others ride the roller coasters...he & I did Dumbo and the Carousel or we might get a snack. I don't think we all have to be together all the time but we usually are.We dfo eat dinner together except one night DH & I went to Le Cellier and my DD and family went back to the resort. I love the pool DH doesn't so he takes a nap or reads etc. We usually go to the park together but we do seperate sometimes. It good to be together but good to seperate some too. The memories are priceless...have a great time.
Thank you for your advice! We'll see how Thunder Mountain goes. I think our group will end up staying together but we certainly don't have to. Our days off might be a little looser, though. I can see my parents wanting to resort hop and my Aunt and cousin wanting to just chill by the pool.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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I'm going to the Disney Store after work to pick up some goodies! I already have t-shirts for Jane and Mom for their birthdays:

Here's Jane's. She loves Tinkerbell, pink and plaid so this was a great find!


Here's Mom's. It's a little more understated though now I'm wondering if I should find something else with more pop.


She described this one to me the other day so maybe I'll exchange them.


This is one I'm going to get today for Grandma for Mother's Day:


I also have to look for something for myself. I already have a couple of Disney shirts but I think I would like a new one. I have a ToT shirt that I love but it's an XL and still a little tight! DH calls it my B**bs McGhee shirt. I think it's way too small to truly be an XL. I can't find a picture of it online otherwise I would show you.

We're celebrating Jane's birthday this weekend. I can't wait to see what she thinks of her Garden View Tea Room gift!
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexLabDeeDee View Post
Haha! It is easier - you should try it! And it's a lot of fun to create. A great way to share your love for Disney.

I was on your PTR yesterday - I'm a fiendish lurker and I read way more than I post. I should post more. You have quite the group you are traveling with yourself! Did you decide on a resort yet? Major cliffhanger! Have you been to Disney at Halloween? The villains have an awesome meet-n-greet after their castle show. I have a great picture with Cruella DeVille. I was behind a couple of kids who were a little annoying all through the encounter with her. So when I went up (an adult by myself) she said, "Kids! Don't you just wish you could get rid of them all?" I laughed and that's when the CM took our picture.



It's a great party if you haven't been yet. LOVE trick-or-treating around the MK!
Yes! Definitely post more! I have been during the Halloween twice - once pre MNSSHP and once in the Aug/Sept 2009. We went to the very first MNSSHP of the season and I had a great time - LOVED the parade and especially all the villains. I definitely want to do it again in the future. I dressed the kids up as lost Small World dolls - the CMs loved it!


Great buys on the t-shirts. I find TDS shirts run small; I just bought a size Large shirt and usually wear Med. or Large, but this one just fit! I'm afraid that one round through the dryer and it might be too small.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:06 AM   #14
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Great buys on the t-shirts. I find TDS shirts run small; I just bought a size Large shirt and usually wear Med. or Large, but this one just fit! I'm afraid that one round through the dryer and it might be too small.
I know! Some of them are 100% cotton and some are 50% Cotton/50% polyester. I found that way too many of my clothes were shrinking so I wash them cold and I dry them for about 15 minutes and then I take them out and put them on a drying rack to dry. I also tug on the seams a little bit after I take them out of the dryer so that they don't even think about shrinking! It makes laundry a lot of work but I get a lot more wear out my clothes!
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:50 AM   #15
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Oh ... nice trick! I will have to try that!
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