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Old 01-24-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
CAStevens218
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**Are You Sure That Snow Is Fake?!**A December Disney Trip**8/5 The End & Souvenirs**

Hi Everyone! Welcome to my first trip report! Iíve learned so much through reading other peopleís reports that it only feels right to share my own experiences! Plus, even if nobody reads this, I get to relive my trip!!!

Iíll start with the introductions.

This is me! Iím 23 years old, a graduate student (last semester wooohooo!!!), and the planner of the trip. I love, love, LOVE planning!!



This is my fiance, who just became my fiancť on this trip!! Heís 27, and he loves video games and rock climbing! Heís not much of a planner and thinks that telling me he wanted to have Italian for one of our meals is the equivalent of helping me plan. However, he LOVES it once we get to wherever weíre going, especially Disney World!!



So, the details of the tripÖWe were originally going to go in May 2011 to celebrate my graduation. However, it just felt SO far away, and when free dining came out for December, I jumped on it!! It wasnít too hard to convince Ben either!!

We went from December 9th-18th and stayed at All-Star Music. We did all four Disney parks plus, MVMCP and took two day trips to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure! We were on the regular dining plan (for free!!).

The trip started on December 9th. I had to teach a class until 1:50PM and our flight left at 5:45PM. We had about an hour drive from my school, and it takes about 40 minutes to get home from school, so Ben had to tag along with me for the day. I showed him where my office was so he could meet me PROMPTLY at 1:50 so we could head out! Then I set him up in the student union to watch whatever sports were on tv. He was happy enough!

It was tough to concentrate all day and to get through teaching two classes, but I did it and it was FINALLY time to go! The hour and fifteen minute drive to the airport was uneventful. The biggest dilemma I had was whether to bring my winter jacket with me or leave it in the car. I really didnít want to carry it on the plane (Iíve always found it to be uncomfortably warm on Southwest flights!!) and I really didnít think I would need it in Disney World. Well, it was a REALLY cold day in New England, and a bit of a walk from the long term parking garage to the terminal, so I decided to wear it. Boy was I happy about that later in the trip!!!

We were really early getting to the airport (just the way I like it, I hate being rushed in an airport!). We got through security quickly and decided to grab a bite to eat at Johnny Rockets. We shared a cheeseburger, an order of fries and a chocolate shake. It was the perfect unhealthy meal to start off a vacation!!

Everything was going great until Ben decided he needed to use the bathroom five minutes before they start boarding! We were early in the B group and he got back right was we were called to line up. I almost beat him up for almost making us get on the plane later than our boarding number!!! Thankfully, this was the only stress we encountered and the flight was easy! I read a book and Ben slept for most of the flight.

Then, FINALLY, we arrive in Orlando! After going the wrong way to get to the Magical Express (what else is new?), we checked in, waited about 10 minutes, and then boarded our bus! If my memory serves me, our hotel, AllStar Music, was the third stop. I was SO excited to be there!

We had added a room only night onto the beginning of our stay, and I was hopeful that we would be able to keep the same room for the entire 9 nights we would be there. I jumped into the online check-in line and found out that we WOULD be able to keep the same room!

This was great news until we began the walk to the room. We were in the Country Fair section, in what is literally the third farthest room away from the main building! It was quite a hike! I think we complained about it each and every time we left the room for the whole trip. Ben even made a video of us walking from our room to the main building just to have proof of how far away we were! However, it didnít put a damper on the trip at all, it was just a bit of an inconvenience. I WILL pay for preferred rooms in the future though!

So, after we had made the hike to our room, we unpacked a bit and decorated our window!



We also found some towel animals to welcome us!




I love towel animals!

After we settled in a bit, we knew we wanted to make it an early night. We decided to just take a walk around the resort before heading to bed. Here are some pictures of AllStar Music at night!







After our tour we headed back to the room and went to bed. We had an early morning ahead of us including a certain breakfast food we couldnít wait to try!
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!

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Old 01-24-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Chapter Links

Arrival Day

Breakfast at Kona

Magic Kingdom Morning

A Disney Proposal!!

A Day at Universal Studios


Main Street Electrical Parade & Wishes


Hollywood Studios

'Ohana

Osborne Lights

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Part I

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Part II


EPCOT Part 1

EPCOT Part 2

EPCOT Part 3: Garden Grill

EPCOT Part 4

Hollywood Studios Part 1

Hollywood Studios Part 2

Another Magic Kingdom Morning

Winter Summerland Mini Golf

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Part 1

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Part 2

Animal Kingdom Part 1

Animal Kingdom Part 2

Animal Kingdom Part 3

Animal Kingdom Part 4


Crystal Palace & Last Day

Souvenirs Part 1

Souvenirs Part 2
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!

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Old 01-24-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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Congrats on your engagement!

I booked my trip for this coming May in October, so I totally understand about how far off that would have seemed...it still feels like it's a looong way away to me. Looking forward to the rest of your TR
__________________
Disney Dreaming: A September 2014 PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post48536722
Happy Together: The I-had-good-intentions-but-never-finished-this very short quasi TR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post46864647
Our Not So Scary, Very Merry, Honeymoon - An Oct/Nov 2012 PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post44281398
Expect the Unexpected: A May/June 2011 Trip Report
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2737115


October 28-November 11 2012 - Disney/POP, May 27-June 4 2011 - Disney/CSR, April 20-27 2008 - Disney/POP, Dec 18-27 2007 - Disney/POFQ, Dec 10-15 2006 - USO/HRH, May 15-20 2005 - USO/ HRH, Aug 20-27 2004 - Disney/DTD Hotels, Aug 28 - Sept 2 2003 - USO/HRH, April 14-26 2002 - WDW, USO, SW, BG/Off-site
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverhaze269 View Post
Congrats on your engagement!

I booked my trip for this coming May in October, so I totally understand about how far off that would have seemed...it still feels like it's a looong way away to me. Looking forward to the rest of your TR
Thank you!!

Now that its over, I'm wishing we were going in May as well!! It will be here before you know it!!! Doesn't it feel great to be in your last semester!!??!!!
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CAStevens218 View Post
Thank you!!

Now that its over, I'm wishing we were going in May as well!! It will be here before you know it!!! Doesn't it feel great to be in your last semester!!??!!!
YES! I can't tell you how happy I am to be almost done!
__________________
Disney Dreaming: A September 2014 PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post48536722
Happy Together: The I-had-good-intentions-but-never-finished-this very short quasi TR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post46864647
Our Not So Scary, Very Merry, Honeymoon - An Oct/Nov 2012 PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post44281398
Expect the Unexpected: A May/June 2011 Trip Report
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2737115


October 28-November 11 2012 - Disney/POP, May 27-June 4 2011 - Disney/CSR, April 20-27 2008 - Disney/POP, Dec 18-27 2007 - Disney/POFQ, Dec 10-15 2006 - USO/HRH, May 15-20 2005 - USO/ HRH, Aug 20-27 2004 - Disney/DTD Hotels, Aug 28 - Sept 2 2003 - USO/HRH, April 14-26 2002 - WDW, USO, SW, BG/Off-site
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:51 PM   #6
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I'm here!!! So glad you decided to start a TR, even if you're kinda busy right now. I'm excited to read about that proposal! Congrats!!

Cute window! We stayed at ASMu one night in October. Those buildings did seem like quite the walk. That had to suck. Loved your resort pics though!

Can't wait to see what this breakfast food is..
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jc040404 View Post
I'm here!!! So glad you decided to start a TR, even if you're kinda busy right now. I'm excited to read about that proposal! Congrats!!

Cute window! We stayed at ASMu one night in October. Those buildings did seem like quite the walk. That had to suck. Loved your resort pics though!

Can't wait to see what this breakfast food is..
Yay!! I'm glad you're here!

We liked AllStar Music, but in the future we will pay the extra for preferred rooms! We don't have a car when we're there, so being close to the main building would be worth the extra $.
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:23 PM   #8
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Breakfast at Kona!

Our plan for our first morning was breakfast at Kona. Of course, the food we were dying to try was Tonga Toast!

We woke up around 6:30AM to get ready for our first full day! We left the room by 7:30 and made the trek to the main building. We walked past the main pool, which was steaming in the chilly air!





We decided to take a cab to the Polynesian; it just seemed simpler at that time of the morning! We ended up paying $20 with the tip though, so I donít think we will be doing that again! We got to the Poly a little before 8:00 and had a few minutes before our 8:20AM ADR at Kona. We spent some time walking around and enjoying the scenery.


Entryway







We absolutely fell in love with the Polynesian! We would LOVE to stay here some day. Probably later on when we have kids because the monorail would be really convenient then!

Before we knew it, it was time to eat!



It was pretty empty when we got there! It filled up fast though!


We had a really sweet older woman as our waitress. She was very efficient and brought us our order very quickly! We decided to share an order of Tonga Toast and the fruit bowl. Everything was delicious except for the honeydew melon in the fruit bowl, it was a bit hard. When the waitress noticed that we didnít eat it, she offered to bring us more grapes or other fruit as a substitute, but we declined because we were stuffed! It was a sweet offer though and she told us that next time we should let them know we would rather have other fruit besides melon and they would customize the fruit to our liking!

Here are some pictures from the meal.







I definitely want to try to make it back to Kona next time to try the pancakes on the menu!

We left Kona full and happy. We walked across the lobby to the little shop they have. Ben really wanted to find a hat to wear in the parks. He decided on the Goofy hat right away. Isnít it perfect for him?!!!?



We also got two Vinylmations while we were there. We got the penguin and the one with all the eyes on it. We really liked them both, so no trading for us! We DID have one that we had ordered online before we came, and it was Herby the Love Bug. We still had that one with us to use for trading!

After we made our purchases, we headed to the monorail to head to the Magic Kingdom! We were right on schedule to see the opening show and we were so excited to finally get to the park! However, when we got to the doors to the monorail area there were three CMs blocking it. They said it was down and we had to either take the boat or the bus. It was chilly that morning, so we headed to the bus stop rather than the boat. We were getting nervous that we wouldnít make rope drop though!!
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:07 AM   #9
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Magic Kingdom Morning!

So when I left off, the monorail from the Polynesian to the Magic Kingdom had been down, so we were forced to go wait for a bus to take us to the park! We were a little behind schedule, but we still walked up to the train station right in the middle of the opening show!



There weren’t very many people waiting outside, so we got really excited to spend the morning riding a bunch of rides!

As soon as we got inside, we saw the HUGE Christmas tree!



Then, we got our first view of the castle!!!



Everything about walking down Main Street during park opening makes me want to cry. The excitement in the air; the music; the CMs outside waving and saying good morning! What a great feeling!!!

We stopped for a quick picture,



And then headed over to our traditional first ride!!

We passed some friends on the way…



Then, there it was!!



We walked on three times in a row, before deciding we should take advantage of the light morning crowds to do some other rides!

On our way to our next stop, we spotted a couple of chipmunks in their space ranger gear!



After stopping for another castle picture,



An impulsive ride through the Haunted Mansion, and greeting another friend,



We made it to our next stop…Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!!



Notice the kid trying to crash our picture??!! Good thing I have a big head!!!

We road BTMRR at least twice, and then headed over to Splash Mountain. It was still kind of chilly, but we never got to ride on our last trip because it was down for refurbishment, so we knew we NEEDED to get it in! Besides, it was supposed to be cold for the rest of the week and this might be our only chance!

We got to sit in the front and got pretty wet, but not soaked, thankfully. We had a great time!



At this point, Ben was starting to feel a little tired and sick, so we decided to head back to the hotel for a rest. We had dinner reservations at California Grill to eat and watch the fireworks that night, and I wanted to make sure Ben wasn’t sick for that!
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!

Last edited by CAStevens218; 01-26-2011 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:50 PM   #10
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Lovin your pics!!

Kona sounds yummy. I've been wanting to try that Tonga toast since I first read about it on here. I even made an ADR for there today, but it didn't happen. Next time.. But, I have a feeling I'll go for the pancakes anyway.

Looks like you're having a great time! I love that you guys are stopping for character pics. The kid behind you on BTMRR was too funny!


Can't wait to hear about this dinner!!
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:15 PM   #11
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Lovin your pics!!

Kona sounds yummy. I've been wanting to try that Tonga toast since I first read about it on here. I even made an ADR for there today, but it didn't happen. Next time.. But, I have a feeling I'll go for the pancakes anyway.

Looks like you're having a great time! I love that you guys are stopping for character pics. The kid behind you on BTMRR was too funny!


Can't wait to hear about this dinner!!
Kona was very good, you should definitely get there if you can!!

Its funny because we both love character pictures, but we always argue about stopping for them! Whenever I see a character I say "Let's get in line!" Ben always says "No, let's keep going." I say "Come onnnn, it'll only take a few minutes" and drag him over. I'm not really sure why he continues to protest??!
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~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:37 PM   #12
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Proposal!

Last time I left off when we headed back to AllStar Music for a rest because Ben wasnít feeling too hot. He went right to bed to take a nap, and I took a walk to get some tea in our refillable mug. They have some really great iced tea options in the ASMu food court! I brought my book and sat in the food court reading and enjoying my drink for about an hour. Then I walked back to the room, taking pictures along the way.





The plan for the evening had been to get dressed up and go take some pictures in front of the castle before dinner. However, when I woke Ben up, he still wasnít feeling great. I was pretty upset because I had been looking forward to this dinner SO much! He was a good sport and he got up and got dressed. However, as we were walking out of the room, Ben said he just couldnít do it. He was feeling pretty awful.

We decided to head back to the room so he could sleep more. He could still sleep for another two hours or so and we would still be able to make it to dinner on time. I was considering calling to cancel, but we had been sooo looking forward to this! Ben insisted that he still wanted to go though!

After his second nap, Ben was feeling good enough to head to dinner. We took the bus to the Magic Kingdom and walked over to the Contemporary. It looked beautiful!



We didnít take many pictures that night because Ben wasnít feeling great AND it was COLD outside!! For dinner we had the cheese flatbread (delicious!!), we each had the filet (okay), and I had the apple pie type dessert (not greatÖ). I think we will try California Grill again at some point, but probably not on our next trip. There are just so many other places to try that I canít see using two credits on this again right away!

Since Ben was feeling better but still had a headache, I told him we could just adjust our chairs a little and watch the fireworks from our table. However, he insisted that we go outside onto the observation deck. Let me tell you, it was COLD!! So windy and chilly! It was worth it though, we had a great view!









And, I found out WHY Ben had gathered his energy to go to dinner and WHY he insisted on going out to the observation deckÖHE PROPOSED!!!! And I said YES!! He got down on one knee and everything, right in the middle of the fireworks! It was a great moment, and even though he was sick that day, we have a great story about the proposal that almost wasnít!!

We didnít take any pictures outside because it was freezing, but here is a picture of my ring!



We took the special elevator back downstairs and found a couch to sit on to make some phone calls. I called my dad and my three best friends. It turned out that my dad already knew it was going to happen; Ben talked to him about it way back in the summer! My two girl friends screamed into the phoneÖone was at a work dinner and was asked to leave the table! Iíve been engaged to my best guy friend on facebook since freshman year of college, so when I called him I told him I was sorry but I was going to have to divorce him on facebook!

It ended up being a great night! AND, now we get to plan a Disney honeymoon!!!! We really want to try to get away for two weeks and try two of the following three: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club and Port Orleans Riverside.

After the big night, we went back to the hotel and went to sleep. Ben really needed some more rest, and we had plans to head off property the next day to somewhere weíd never been before!!
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:00 PM   #13
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Aww! I was thinking of doing the exact same thing on my upcoming trip in May (proposing to my gf at the California Grill during the fireworks)...I had the dinner all booked and everything, but a voice told me to do it sooner so I ended up proposing on Christmas Day...as it turned out, she had been thinking about planning the same thing on our trip

Anyway, CONGRATS again! It's a beautiful ring
__________________
Disney Dreaming: A September 2014 PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post48536722
Happy Together: The I-had-good-intentions-but-never-finished-this very short quasi TR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post46864647
Our Not So Scary, Very Merry, Honeymoon - An Oct/Nov 2012 PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post44281398
Expect the Unexpected: A May/June 2011 Trip Report
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2737115


October 28-November 11 2012 - Disney/POP, May 27-June 4 2011 - Disney/CSR, April 20-27 2008 - Disney/POP, Dec 18-27 2007 - Disney/POFQ, Dec 10-15 2006 - USO/HRH, May 15-20 2005 - USO/ HRH, Aug 20-27 2004 - Disney/DTD Hotels, Aug 28 - Sept 2 2003 - USO/HRH, April 14-26 2002 - WDW, USO, SW, BG/Off-site
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by silverhaze269 View Post
Aww! I was thinking of doing the exact same thing on my upcoming trip in May (proposing to my gf at the California Grill during the fireworks)...I had the dinner all booked and everything, but a voice told me to do it sooner so I ended up proposing on Christmas Day...as it turned out, she had been thinking about planning the same thing on our trip

Anyway, CONGRATS again! It's a beautiful ring
Christmas day is a great time to propose!!!!! How funny would it have been if you both showed up in Disney World with rings?? Although it may be frustrating for whoever was too slow!!!!
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:44 PM   #15
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Awww!! How exciting that must have been, cold or not! I'm glad he was feeling well enough to still head to dinner. What an awesome proposal story! Love your ring! CONGRATS!!

Yay for a Disney honeymoon!

New & off property?? I can't wait to read what you did!
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