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Old 01-26-2011, 08:13 AM   #1
joelp
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A D & D Adventure in WDW

OK - Let's try this again ...

About a month ago, I spent a good hour-and-a-half starting this PTR - and then it completely disappeared when I went to "Submit" it ...

Where did it go?

Who knows ... but there it went (along with assorted argyle socks ... I don't mind the occasional black, blue, brown, or white (sweat) sox disappearing into the void - you can usually easily match it up with another same color sock and still wear it - but there's no way you can match up a single argyle sock with any other sock ... unless you work in the circus or are a girl under the age of 9 ...)

But I digress ...

So the first version of this PTR - which I will try to recreate in the following posting - cuz I'm going hit "Submit" real soon here just to get this baby started - was funny (and punny ...), witty, imaginative, and just starting to get informative - everything you'd want from a PTR ...

I'm talking Pulitzer here, ya know???

So - needless to say, I was pretty darned bummed out about it's vanishing act ... ... and had pretty much decided to deep-six the PTR idea ...

But now my kid is home from school sick ... and it's snowing (again!!! ) ... so I figured, what the hoo-haw ...

Let's Do It Again!! (Anyone remember that old movie with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier?)

Anyway, that's in the past ...

So ... it's time to go:

Back to the Future!!

See you in a bit ...

I hope ...

Cuz if another micro black hole appears ...
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038

Last edited by joelp; 01-26-2011 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:03 AM   #2
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I don't believe it - it just did it to me again!!!

Yep - post #2 of this thread just entered an alternate universe ...

That's another 1/2 hour of my life wasted ...

It seems that if I write too much at once and the DIS site "logs me out" ... goodbye to whatever I was working on ... ... even if I log in again ...

So - I'm gonna outsmart that sucker ...

I'll be back ...

P.S. Did you know that "John Connor" actually uses that line for the first time ... in the future ... before "Arnold" gets sent back into the past to use it ... [but then wouldn't "Arnold" have said it "first"? ... my head hurts ... ]

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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:08 AM   #3
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The third time is gonna be the charm ...

Phirstly, let's get started with a BIG





Let's keep this simple -

... and start with the Cast of Characters (we're small in number - but not in stature: I'm 6-4 and Danielle is tall for her age, and having a growth spurt as I write ...):

Here we are a couple years ago with you-know-who (and if you don't know who "you-know-who" is, you got way too many problems for me to deal with here ... )





Secondly ...

[submit]
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #4
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Ha-haaa!! Got you you $#@%$@!!!**(*&^!!! web site ...

OK - secondly ...

Why isn't the DW going along on this trip?

[And for the phorth time ...]

Phirst - she's "had enough of theme parks!!" [so she says - but I think the woman doth protest toooo much ...]

After all, I'm not the one with the WDW Undercover Tourist app on her iPhone (H*#l - I don't even own an iPhone!!) ...

And I'm not the one who takes about a bazillion pictures every time we got to WDW ... (I just take lots of video ... )

And it's obvious from the next photo that the DW has a great time at WDW ...





So - it basically came down to $$$ ...

[submit] ...
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:26 AM   #5
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Where were we?

Oh yeah ...

My original planning was geared to a Nov-Dec 2011 trip - probably during Jersey Week since the DD would be out of school ...

But then last summer Spirit Airlines decided to go on strike ... and we had a big extended family cruise planned and paid for ... So we booked back up flights on Southwest ... And Spirit started flying again the day of our flight down to Tampa ... So we ended up with about $900 credit on Southwest that we had to use by May 27 ...

BTW - the cruise was nice (and we just missed the hurricane ...)

I won't bore you with all the thunking we did trying to find a reasonably-priced place to visit - that Southwest flies to and that we wanted to visit - during Spring Break time - because "reasonably priced" is an oxymoron during Spring Break (and that applies to WDW, too - I'm sorry to say ...)

And we didn't want to take the DD out of school for a week (which we would have to do to visit Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon - but there was a good chance they'd be under about a bazillion feet of snow anyway in mid-April ... And did I mention "reasonably priced" does not apply ...?)

So when I saw "free dining" at WDW ... Hello, "reasonably priced" vacation!!


However, if the DW was to come, too (not that she wants to - so she says ... ) it would almost double the cost of the trip.

Why?

[submit]
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:33 AM   #6
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[I think I'm onto something here ... ]

See - if all three of us go away at the same time, then we have to take our pooch Ranger to his "resort" for the duration - and have someone come to the house and take care of the cat and fish (before the cat takes care of the fish ...)

And why can't a very sweet and very smart 70-pound border collie/sheperd mix stay at home while we're gone?

Because he's afraid of the dark!! ... And gets lonely and misses us ... with resulting adverse impacts to the carpets ...

So, what we decided to do is have the DD and I go to WDW (cuz the DW doesn't want to go there anyway - so she says ...) ...

... and the DW will fly out to St. Louis in May for a visit with her step-brother ...

And everyone's gonna gave a great - and reasonably priced - time ...


Now that the "preamble" to this PTR is over with, let's get to the interesting stuff ...

[submit]
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038

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Old 01-26-2011, 09:50 AM   #7
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So we have Danielle (age 7.3) and her "Daaaaady" (age a lot more than 7.3 - but basically "13" when it comes to WDW) going on an adventure to (and in) WDW ...

After trying - and failing - to find reasonable prices during one of the weeks/ends Danielle would not have school, I noticed that the last day for free dining was March 3 - a Thursday ... and conveniently located in between two of her school breaks (so she wouldn't miss too many days in a single shot ...)

So, taking a cue from what my SIL did this past Jersey Week - I booked a flight from Philly to MCO for Thursday night, March 3 (using 2/3 of our Southwest credit) - to get free dining for the duration of our visit and the DD will only have to miss two days of school ...

Thusly, I will be picking the DD up at her school about 3 pm on March 3 - much to her delight! ... driving to my Mom's place just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia (about 1 1/4 hour from our place ...) ... and my Mom or brother will take us to PHL ...

... where we have a 7:30 pm flight - arriving MCO around 10:15 pm ...

Assuming - that is - we aren't delayed by snow (which it is now starting to do again outside my window!! )

My original thought was to just bring carry-on luggage ... but on second (and third, and fourth ...) thought I think we'll need to check one bag - so we have enough room to account for "variable weather clothes" (I do not do laundry at WDW!!) - and for all the stuff we'll be bringing back with us!

Whch leads to the question: Do I pick up our luggage at MCO - while having a potentially tired and cranky DD-7.3 hanging on to me? - Or do I let Magical Express deliver it to our room - probably around 12:30 - where they'll meet a tired and cranky Dad-"13"?

Any thoughts??

[submit]
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038

Last edited by joelp; 01-26-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:01 AM   #8
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Whew - almost had the DIS Board "white screen of vanishing PTR" there for a second ...




Back to MCO ... where we'll jump (well - slowly stroll) on to our Magical Express bus (with or without checked luggage - TBD ...)

... and sit back for a leisurly ride to ...

... the reasonably priced ...

All-Star Movies!!!

And - hopefully - Danielle's desire to stay in a room in the 101 Dalmatians building will be met ...

This will be the first time we stayed at a (reasonably priced) Value resort - so I'm looking forward to it after back-to-back stays at the AKL ... a new and different place ...

[Although I'm sure we'll be staying at AKL again our next visit - that will make the DW happy ... ]

I'll dump the kid into her bed (forget bringing pajamas to WDW - we've never been able to use them ...) ...

Unpack to unwind a bit ... get organized for our first day at WDW ... maybe read for a while - and try to get some sleep ...

Because we start things early the next morning at -

Epcot!!!

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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038

Last edited by joelp; 01-26-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:22 AM   #9
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I'm HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wouldn't miss your PTR, always love them!!!

Yay to a great start and wow...can't believe how many issues DIS is giving you!!!

Going back to read and see where I can comment!! But needed to be FIRST!!
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:23 AM   #10
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oops...forgot to sub!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:30 AM   #11
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Hi Kristen!!!

You're #1 ...

Raining a bit here now - turning the snow to slush - So before I head back out into the cold and wet to shovel the driveway (so it doesn't turn to an ice skating rink when the temp drops ...) I figured I'd answer the big question that's been on all of your minds (or not ...) ...

Why Epcot on your first day?

Well - why not?


Actually, a number of reasons.

Phirst and phoremost - evening EMH ...

Frankly, I think the DD and I will be lucky to make it through "Illuminations" (starts at 9:00 pm) - but I'm hoping she's "up" for it, as Danielle has (somehow) managed to sleep through the show all three times we've watched it ... and she's too old for a stroller ... and too heavy to carry all the way to the front gate!!

And then, if we're still semi-awake, we can do a couple more things before heading back to ASMo ...

Also, we're going to need an afternnon break - so it was either Epcot or the Magic Kingdom ... and since the MK has evening EMH on Sunday ...

Which means on Saturday we're going to ...

Animal Kingdom!!! (which closes at 5:30 ...)

So we have a long day on Friday with a break (Epcot) - followed by a more relaxing early day on Saturday (Animal Kingdom - I plan on being comatose by 9:00 pm that night!! ) - followed on Sunday with another long day/afternoon break (MK) ...

See how it's done?
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038

Last edited by joelp; 01-26-2011 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:41 AM   #12
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[Keep the posts short - and DISBoards is nice to me ...]

Back to Epcot ...

It's also the first weekend of the Phlower and Garden Phestival ... And there's three special kids gardens that I think Danielle will like ...

Bambi's Butterfly House (or are they Fairies in disguise? ... )
Pixie Hollow Garden
Tangled Magical Garden

And the festival was another "basic" reason for choosing to go to WDW this weekend ...

Phinally (almost) - since Danielle will miss two days of school - she needs to do something "educational" this trip ... thus - Epcot and the Animal Kingdom ...

So no Hollywood Studios ... which is phine, cuz it's also ESPN Weekend and the HS will be where the crowds are ...

Speaking of which, we lucked out with the crowds this weekend, too - at least as predicted on TouringPlans.com ... Only 3's (out of 10) on Friday and Saturday, and a 6 for Sunday ... Spring breaks start the following week and you're looking at 8-9's just about every day ...

The one thing I am a bit bummed about is that there is a 5K race Sunday morning - or I should say EARLY Sunday morning (practically Saturday night!) - at HS. But I won't be able to run it with just the two of us ...

[OK - how many of you just started singing the Billy Joel song?]

Oh well ...
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Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM   #13
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[Not taking any more chances with "long" posts today ... ]

So what's our plan for Epcot?

Breaking with "tradition" ("Tradition!!" - be honest: how many of you want to see "Fiddler" now ...? ) - which is pretty much the "plan" for the weekend ...

Instead of joining the "parade" to Soarin' right after the rope drop ...

It's off to the Character Connection first ding to see some old friends (got dat idea from da Allears site ...)

Den we stroll over to Duh Land to get FPs for Soarin' ... and maybe ride Living with da Land ... but da main objective after getting to FPs will be to explore Bambi's Butterfly House for a bit (which I understand is going to be located on da walkway between Innoventions and Duh Imagination Pavillion ... if not, time to improvise ...)

Den it's over to visit with Phigment (couldn't help myself ... ) and see Captain EO ...

Den back to use does FPs for Soarin' ... followed by lunch at Sunshine Seasons (where I should be able to find something for Danielle to eat ...!!)

Speaking of eating - we have the Counter Service DDP (free!!) - which means two meals and two snacks per day - for each of us ... So no Table Service meals ... But I think we'll have more than enough food as it is ...

I though about upgrading to the full DDP - but with our short visit and only me and the kid, it's not "worth" it this trip ...

After lunch, I plan to stroll into the World Showcase, buy a Passport for Danielle - and then visit Canada a bit ... before catching the 12:30 show of the World Showcase Players and some Characters (Alice and Mary Poppins!! - I LOVE Mary Poppins!!! ) at the UK ... and maybe do some shopping (at the UK toy store!!)

Then as we head back to the front gate to catch a bus back to ASMo, we'll pay a visit to the Pixie Hollow Garden (which I believe is located near Canada - if not, time to improvise ...) and maybe see the Jammitors (near Innoventions ...)

The goal is to be back at ASMo either napping (preferrable) or in the pool (if it's warm enough) by 2:30 ...

So what do you think?

Next up: an Epcot evening ...
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:36 PM   #14
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[Speaking of napping ... I needed that! ... and Danielle is still out cold - sort of: her fever is back ...]

Before we head over to Epcot for an evening of fun, I just wanted to take a few moments to talk about priorities. Because when you go to WDW for only three and a bit days, you gotta prioritize what you are gonna do ...

First off is "What parks do we visit?"

Needless to say MK is a must-do ... no questions asked ...

For our trip, Epcot became a must-do because of the Flower & Garden Festival ...

So that leaves one day and one park to go ... Which for me (and the DW, even though she isn't along for this ride) is an easy choice: Animal Kingdom.

Why? - because it just might be our favorite park!!

So Hollywood Studios is left out in the cold (so to speak). Now don't get me wrong - I like HS. But after thinking about it a little, the best things I like about HS are the "street people" and Fantasmic! And it will be ESPN weekend at HS when we're there - and the DD is not exactly a big (or even a little) sports fan ... So HS will have to wait for another trip ...

Which - at this point - leaves me to talk about what to prioritize at Epcot ...
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:05 PM   #15
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[Which just disappeared into the ether ... !!! ]

Bleh!! (is all I can say at this point ... Well, I could say a few other choice things, but I doubt they'd make it past the DIS Board censors ... )

So what to prioritize at Epcot?

IMHO it's impossible to "do" Epcot in a single day ... you can "see" Epcot in a day, but you can't "do" it and "savor" it ...

But you can "kill" yourself in the process ... ... which I have no intention of doing!!

So when planning for Epcot I dialed the initial plan back a couple notches ... then pulled it back another notch to make the day more relaxing ... then back yet another notch because it's just me and the DD-7.3 ... and finally, back one more notch cuz we'll be be tired after the Thursday travel day ...

Which left the morning touring plan I posted earlier (this morning ... ) - basically, one attraction every 1/2-hour, while keeping the walking to the west side of Future World and travelling no further than the UK in World Showcase ...

Which meant ...

[submit]
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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