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Old 12-31-2010, 12:40 AM   #1
debdebdebby13
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Molly's 5th birthday PTR!! First time DLR for the whole family!

I feel like starting a PTR for our first family vacation to DLR. I don't have many specifics down yet except that we will be going for 5 days or so in the beginning of June 2011. I'll get started with the cast of characters.

I am Debby, I am 28 years old and I have only been to WDW once and I've never been the DLR! We went to WDW almost two years ago when our DD was almost 3 and we (well, mostly me) fell in love. We had an awesome, magical time and I've been wanting to go back pretty much from the moment we got in ME to head back to the airport in Orlando :-P



My DH is Cory, he is almost 28 (will be Jan 11th) and he puts up with my constant need to be planning some kind of vacation. He went to WDW once with his family when he was 15 and then the second time on our first family vacation. He enjoyed our vacation but isn't a travel enthusiast like me. He'd rather save our money and stay home and NEVER leave, someday I'll beat it out of him, LOL.

This is the two of us, shortly before we got married, about 6 years ago :-P I looked better then than I do now.


Our DD is Molly. She will be 5 on June 15th (hence calling it her birthday trip) and she is something else. She is a precocious ball of energy. She loves all things princess, as do most little girls. She has been begging to back since we got home from our trip before she turned three. Every time we watch a Disney movie, which is quite often, when the castle pops up she hollers "that's where we're going again someday!!"

This pic kind of sums up Molly in a nutshell


and a pic from our WDW trip when she was 2 years, 9 months.


MIL, Christie, 49. This is DH's mom. She is quite young for a grandma and she doesn't look her age, but sometimes she acts like she's 20 years older. She and Molly adore each other and are two peas in a pod. So far as I know she's only been to WDW once and never to DLR. She's a very sweet, fun lady and I am grateful she is my MIL :-D



FIL, Rick, 52. Scares people the first time he meets them, because he's so quiet, and seems very serious. Once you get to know him, he's reserved, but very funny and goofy. He's just shy :-P I see him and MIL asking for early nights and him particularly asking for wine regularly. He's not really a fun and games kind of guy, but when it comes to Molly and MIL, he'll do just about anything to please them.



MIL and FIL are going to be joining us for 3-4 days of our trip, including Friday and Saturday because they don't think they can get more than 2 days or so off work, though they desperately need a vacation.
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:42 AM   #2
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Reserved for travel plans

I've been researching flights from Oklahoma City to Cali and it seems like it's cheaper to book two separate flights. We will most likely fly to Denver, where MIL and FIL live and stay for a couple of days, then fly to LAX (or one of the other nearby airports). We'll do the same on the way home. That way we are combining a trip to see Grandma and Papa and our Disney vacation.

Currently flights on Southwest from OKC to Denver are $91 on Monday, May 30th and $71 back on Tues, June 7th.

flights from Denver to LAX on June 1st are $76 and $76 back on June 6th.

flights from Denver to SNA on June 1st are $76 and $76 back on June 6th.

flights from Denver to ONT on June 1st are $87 and $87 back on June 6th.
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining

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Old 12-31-2010, 12:43 AM   #3
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Reserved for FOOD plans :-)

The only thing I know for sure is that I want to eat at the Carnation Cafe for a lunch or dinner.
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining

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Old 12-31-2010, 12:56 AM   #4
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Some pics from our WDW vacation.








Love this pic




























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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining

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Old 12-31-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debdebdebby13 View Post
Reserved for travel plans

I've been researching flights from Oklahoma City to Cali and it seems like it's cheaper to book two separate flights. We will most likely fly to Denver, where MIL and FIL live and stay for a couple of days, then fly to LAX (or one of the other nearby airports). We'll do the same on the way home. That way we are combining a trip to see Grandma and Papa and our Disney vacation.

Currently flights on Southwest from OKC to Denver are $91 on Monday, May 30th and $71 back on Tues, June 7th.

flights from Denver to LAX on June 1st are $76 and $76 back on June 6th.

flights from Denver to SNA on June 1st are $76 and $76 back on June 6th.

flights from Denver to ONT on June 1st are $87 and $87 back on June 6th.
Since the prices are sooo very close go with SNA! We just got back and our SNA experience was great. Ontario is nice as well but avoid LAX at all costs if the prices are this close. Even if you take a shuttle and aren't the one driving the traffic and mess involved in getting in and out of that airport are horrible and only worth it when you are getting hugely discounted fares to go through there. SNA is a beautiful airport we had our bags and were on the DL resort express within 20 minutes of landing, plus it was only 13 miles to DL! On our way out including checking our bags & doing security we were ready and waiting in the same 20 minutes amazing especially during the holiday season when we flew. (We arrived Christmas Day and flew out the 30th)
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:58 AM   #6
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Since the prices are sooo very close go with SNA! We just got back and our SNA experience was great. Ontario is nice as well but avoid LAX at all costs if the prices are this close. Even if you take a shuttle and aren't the one driving the traffic and mess involved in getting in and out of that airport are horrible and only worth it when you are getting hugely discounted fares to go through there. SNA is a beautiful airport we had our bags and were on the DL resort express within 20 minutes of landing, plus it was only 13 miles to DL! On our way out including checking our bags & doing security we were ready and waiting in the same 20 minutes amazing especially during the holiday season when we flew. (We arrived Christmas Day and flew out the 30th)
Thank you for the advice! It's good to know that about SNA. With Molly anything easier is better.

Also, glad to see I have someone checking me out :-D
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:53 PM   #7
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I have been to DL 30+ times but this last trip was our 6 year olds first. Patience is not a virtue at that age and if it had taken an hour+ to get to our first visual of DL after the plane landed he might have exploded.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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I'm trying to decide where we should stay during our trip. During the 3-4 days that MIL and FIL are with us we'll want to stay somewhere decent for sure, they have higher taste than we do (and more money, lol).

The costs for 5 nights on-site at each resort are as follows:

Disneyland Hotel $1515 ($303/night)
Paradise Pier $1330 ($266/night)
Grand Californian $2030 (YIKES!)

So...those all seem far too expensive for us, wowza! I mean, don't get me wrong, they'd be really nice places to stay, BUT we'd rather spend our money in the parks I'm sure. So that leaves me with the 7 million nearby good neighbor hotels. I know some that people have recommended, but I have no idea how to choose.

My necessities are:Safe, Comfortable, Clean, Free breakfast would be nice.

That's about it.

Here's a breakdown of a few of the GN hotels:
La Quinta (the first I considered, because that's where we stay normally when we travel elsewhere) from $93/night
Annabella: from $119/night
Portofino Inn and Suites : from $109/night
Tropicana Inn and Suites: from $109/night
Carousel Inn and Suites: from $169/night
Desert Palms Inn and Suites: from $135/night
Red Lion Hotel: from $119/night
Howard Johnson: from $99/night

Can anyone give me pros and cons to this short list of hotels or bring to my attention one that is better? It seems like the hotel is a crapshoot.


I'm also going to consider the costs of flying from Dallas rather than OKC, because it's usually cheaper.

On United round trip from DFW to SNA $269
...
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining

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Old 01-01-2011, 08:26 PM   #9
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So, let's do a price break down, shall we?

This is an estimation of course.

Room: $750
Park tickets (5 days): child x 1= $172 + adult x 2= $384 = $556

Food: I'm thinking $100 a day?? If we get free breakfast or bring something from home, or do a grocery delivery, then that will leave only lunch, dinner and snacks, which we can also bring from home. More than likely Molly won't each much for the duration of the trip. At places that aren't buffets we probably won't buy her a meal b/c she won't eat it. Like most little kids she doesn't eat when she's busy or excited.

So $100 x 6 (to include arrival day) = $600

Plus about $1000 for flights (ugh, worst part)

So grand total 750+556+600+1000= $2906

That is unless they have some sort of deal going, any ideas?
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:35 PM   #10
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So...today I'm thinking about dining. Are there enough decent table service restaurants to eat one per day for five days?

So our table service options are:
PCH Grill @ PPH
Goofy's Kitchen @ Disneyland Hotel
Steakhouse 55 @ Disneyland Hotel
Napa Rose @ GCH
Storyteller's Cafe @ GCH
Ariel's Grotto @ DL
Big Thunder Ranch BBQ @ DL
Blue Bayou @ DL
Cafe Orleans @ DL
Carnation Cafe @ DL
Wine Country Trattoria @ DCA
Catal Restaurant @ DTD
Rainforest Cafe @ DTD
ESPN Zone @ DTD
House of Blues @ DTD
Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria @ DTD
Jazz Kitchen @ DTD
Tortilla Jo's @ DTD
Plaza Inn

I think we'll avoid anything SUPER fancy like Napa Rose or Wine Country Trattoria.

I'm pretty sure I'd like a lunch at Carnation Cafe and a meal at Ariel's Grotto, but beyond that I've got no idea.

Any highly recommended counter service restaurants?
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining

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Old 01-05-2011, 02:48 PM   #11
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Just popping in to say hello. It's my work week so I won't be in much. We haven't made many decisions at this point there isn't much to talk about :-P
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #12
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Okay, I think our official decision of where to stay is... La Quinta!

Unless I hear any major downsides, so chime in with your cheers and jeers.

The reasons are:

1. We typically stay at La Quinta when we travel and so far we've not been disappointed.
2. DH gets a work discount at La Quinta of 15% which works out perfectly because the tax is 15% so it basically cancels it out. Over the course of five days it will save us around $100, so MAYBE we can afford to stay another day.
3. It has a free breakfast, which will be awesome. We can fill up for free in the morning and take some fresh fruit or bagels with us for snacks, that will save some money. Even if we were only eating fast food outside the park for breakfast we'd still spend at least $10/day on breakfast x 5-6 days makes $50 or $60 in our pockets for something else!

It might be a little bit of a walk, but hey, that's okay!

So the grand total for 6 nights will come to about $650, not too shabby.
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Me (Debby)-31 DH (Cory)-31 : DD (Molly)- 8, My sweet type 1 diabetic princess! and Henry -9 months
March 2009- ASMo
May/June 2011- POP with free dining
October 2012- POP with free dining

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Old 01-05-2011, 11:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debdebdebby13 View Post
Okay, I think our official decision of where to stay is... La Quinta!

Unless I hear any major downsides, so chime in with your cheers and jeers.

The reasons are:

1. We typically stay at La Quinta when we travel and so far we've not been disappointed.
2. DH gets a work discount at La Quinta of 15% which works out perfectly because the tax is 15% so it basically cancels it out. Over the course of five days it will save us around $100, so MAYBE we can afford to stay another day.
3. It has a free breakfast, which will be awesome. We can fill up for free in the morning and take some fresh fruit or bagels with us for snacks, that will save some money. Even if we were only eating fast food outside the park for breakfast we'd still spend at least $10/day on breakfast x 5-6 days makes $50 or $60 in our pockets for something else!

It might be a little bit of a walk, but hey, that's okay!

So the grand total for 6 nights will come to about $650, not too shabby.
Sounds good 2 me may want 2 look into ART for sleepy girl at night
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debdebdebby13 View Post
Okay, I think our official decision of where to stay is... La Quinta!

Unless I hear any major downsides, so chime in with your cheers and jeers.

The reasons are:

1. We typically stay at La Quinta when we travel and so far we've not been disappointed.
2. DH gets a work discount at La Quinta of 15% which works out perfectly because the tax is 15% so it basically cancels it out. Over the course of five days it will save us around $100, so MAYBE we can afford to stay another day.
3. It has a free breakfast, which will be awesome. We can fill up for free in the morning and take some fresh fruit or bagels with us for snacks, that will save some money. Even if we were only eating fast food outside the park for breakfast we'd still spend at least $10/day on breakfast x 5-6 days makes $50 or $60 in our pockets for something else!

It might be a little bit of a walk, but hey, that's okay!

So the grand total for 6 nights will come to about $650, not too shabby.

So glad to have read it. Trying to plan my first trip and havent got a clue on which hotel to stay. So far this one does accomodate my family of 7 and for under a grand!!! awesome. and free breakfast. loooving it!

I just hate the airfare is going to cost more than hotel. I remember the days when it used to be the other way around. not driving we live in NYC.

thanx for the info. anything else you can share w me would be greatly appreicated it.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #15
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Just popping in to say hello, so HELLO!

I haven't done any trip planning in the last few days, though I've been thinking about our trip everyday.

Any dining recommendations.
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March 2009- ASMo
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October 2012- POP with free dining
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