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Old 02-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between Hogwarts & MK
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Wink 2 Castles, 2 Send out 2011 & Ring in 2012...12 Days of Christmas

If your reading this, then we probably already have a lot in common. I will admit it, I am a COMPULSIVE PLANNER. I can’t stand anything to chance. The thought of going without a plan/schedule through WDW sends me into hives and in serious need of an inhaler to ease the tightness in my chest! This is the way I lead my life, I am the thinker, the planner in everything I do…it’s a wonder that I have friends, don’t drive my co-workers crazy and my husband has stuck around now for almost 20 years. I think in my next life I need to become a professional travel agent or party planner! The most fun for me is not the trip, but the planning that goes into it (okay, the trip is an added perk).

This is going to be our first trip to WDW as a family, first for my dh and 3 children (who I will introduce in the next few posts), but I got bitten by the Mickey bug last summer when I was attending a conference in Orlando and decided that it is TIME my children have a once in a lifetime adventure in Florida. This is the first trip as a family other than trips to our cabin in New Mexico and holiday trips to see family either in Colorado or San Antonio….my husband does not do vacations (more on that later)…so HOW I got him ever to agree to the madness of WDW and USO at Christmas time is a miracle in itself. But, I can happily say…

We are going to Disney World…and yes, Universal Studios to ring in the New Year 2012…of course if you believe the Mayans…this will be the last New Year…so my family is going to do it up right!

The most fun about this trip is that it is going to be a SURPRISE up until about the time we leave (right now on Christmas afternoon). But more about that later…

Here is what I know so far about this trip, it will be in 2 parts to 2 different castles…

Depart: December 25, 2011
Castle 1: Hogwarts (December 25-30)
• Staying at RPR at USO (about to book, waiting for my TA to get back from her Disney Cruise)
• 3 day park to park pass
• 1 day swimming at Discovery Cove with the Dolphins

Castle 2: Cinderella’s Castle (December 30-January 6, 2012)
• Renting points from a DVC member for the BWV…PAID FOR IN FULL
• May extend to January 7 and stay a night at either GF or POLY for a magical ending to our trip
• 7-8 park pass…not sure if I will add hopper, thinking of doing DDP…but still not sure if it is right for us

I can’t wait to share my adventure and passion in planning with you!

Last edited by momabaarjo; 11-21-2011 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Between Hogwarts & MK
Posts: 4,464

My Pre Trip Planning Posts

Cast of Characters
Shhh...It's a Secret (My General Revealing Plans)
Scavenger Hunt Items
Treasure Hunt Clue, Locations and Tasks
Dinner and a Movie Idea
Food Finds at World Market for Dinner & a Movie Nights
1st Dinner & a Movie Night: Toy Story 1 & 2 (March 19)
Could the Secret be Out?
Dinner & a Movie Night (March 27): Pirates of the Caribbean
Dinner & a Movie Night (April 1): Princess & the Frog
Dinner & a Movie Night (April 8): Mary Poppins
Look what the Mailman just delivered...ebay find
Dinner & a Movie Night (April 16): Mulan
I got the planning blues
Fairy Godmailer...Thankyou T Morrows Child
Dinner & a Movie Night (April 23): Beauty & the Beast
Dinner & a Movie Night (May 1): Twister
Dinner & a Movie Night (May 5): Three Caballeros
Dinner & a Movie Night (May 20): Honey, I Shrank the Kids
Dinner & a Movie Night (May 22): The Incredibles
Summer Movie Afternoon (June 2)/Double Feature: Men in Black and E.T.
Summer Movie Afternoon (June 10): A Bug's Life
Summer Movie Afternoon (June 24): Finding Nemo
Summer Movie Afternoon (June 29): Little Mermaid
Summer Movie Afternoon (July 5): Lilo & Stitch
Summer Movie Afternoon (July 6): Up
Summer Movie Afternoon (July 7): Peter Pan & Tinkerbell
Summer Movie Afternoon (July 8): Pooh
Summer Movie Marathon (July 9-14): Harry Potter 1-7.1
Announcing...Departing Flight Booked!!!!!!!
Finally Figured Out What I am going to do for Autograph Book
Dinner & a Movie (August 6): Lion King 1 1/2
Dinner & a Movie (August 13): Aladdin
Dinner & a Movie (August 20): Brother Bear 1 & 2
Dinner & a Movie (August 28): Star Wars
Look What I Found!! Christmas Stockings...err I mean travel bags
Dinner & a Movie Double Feature (Sept 4): Tom & Huck and Song of the South
Return Flights Booked
100 Days...Beginning of 100 Things I am excited about
Dinner & a Movie Night (Sept 9): Pinocchio
Dinner & a Movie Night (Sept 16): The Aristocats
Departing Flights Rebooked
Pressed Penny Information
Dinner & a Movie Night (Sept 16): Swiss Family Robinson
Dinner & a Movie Night (Sept 30): Phineas & Ferb MovieDinner & a Movie Night (Oct 1): Dumbo
When & Where My Dis-friends are Staying
Dinner & a Movie Night (oct. 9): Jungle Book
Dinner & a Movie Night (Oct. 14): The Mummy
Dinner & a Movie Night (Oct. 15): Monsters, Inc
Dinner & a Movie Night (Oct. 22): Tower of Terror

Toy Story Midway Mania Ride & Que
Innoventions (Sum of All Thrills & Videogame Playground)
Osborne Lights
Lightning McQueen and Mater Meet & Greet+Stuntshow Information
Tree of Life
Christmas Trees
Tower of Terror
Tink Flying
Kidcot Stations in Epcot
Mission Space
Miyuki: Japan Pavillion
Tutle Talk with Crush
Innoventions at Epcot
Toy Story Mania
Riding the Monorail

Gingerbread Funnel Cake with Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
ADRs...Just Thinking of 2 Options
Recipe: GF Strawberry Soup & WDW Recipes
ADRs Round 2 Plans
ADRS Round 3 Plans
ADRS..What I am shooting for Sunday
F! Package-Booked
ADRs as of July 16
Candlelight Processional Booked
Boardwalk Bakery Cupcakes
Food Porn Thread Link
Chef Mickeys
T-Rex Diner
Crystal Palace
Tonga Toast at Kona's
Dole Whip
ADR Changes 10/15

Historic Park Hours for December 26-30
Overview of 1st Castle Part of the Trip...Hogwarts
Touring Plan for Day 1: IOA, December 26
Pictures of Hogwart's at IOA/WWOHP Day & Night June 2010
Discovery Cove Savings, American Express Issues
Touring Plan for Day 2: IOA & USO, December 27
Butterbeer Pictures (Hog's Head Tavern) from WWofHP
Sad/Disappointed, Happy, VENT over Discovery Cove and American Express
Touring Plan for Day 3: IOA & Discovery Cove, December 28
Touring Plan for Day 4: IOA, USO, and WDW?? December 29
Universal Studios & the Front Lot
Universal Studios: Production Central
Universal Studios: New York
Universal Studios: San Francisco/Amity
Universal Studios: World Expo
Universal Studios: Hollywood
Islands of Adventure: Port of Call
Islands of Adventure: Superhero Island
Islands of Adventure: Toon Lagoon
Islands of Adventure: Jurassic Park
Islands of Adventure: The Lost Continent
Islands of Adventure: Seuss Landing
Breakfast with the Grinch Reservation Made
3 More Dining Reseravations made on City Walk
Royal Pacific Resort (RPR)
Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville
Islands of Adventure: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Part 1

Islands of Adventure: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Part 2

Last edited by momabaarjo; 10-29-2011 at 09:28 AM. Reason: updating
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Cast of Characters

So who are we? A family of 5 from the Texas Panhandle...let me introduce you...

ME (Tammie)-

• Mom of this cast and all that entails...taxi driver, bank, wiper of tears, etc.
• 40 something (it seems that after 40, I have to stop and figure out exactly how old I am)
• Curriculum Specialist for an elementary school (my job is to support teachers in improving their classroom instruction to raise student achievement...or as I fondly look at “between a rock (school administration) and hard place (teachers)”
• Loves to read, scrapbook and dabbles in photography

DH (Jeff)

• Owns his own business (installs, repairs, finishes/refinishes) hardwood floors-In November he got to be part of an ABCs Extreme Home Makeover…this is a picture of one of his crews that did the installation of the floors for the makeover…he is the one on the far right end
• Avid hunter, fisherman, outdoor kind of guy
• Hates crowds…this trip is going to be a challenge at the most crowded time of year
• Thinks a vacation is getting in the truck and heading to our cabin 5 hours away for fishing
• All around good guy, can talk to a wall and have it talk back…never met a stranger

This April we will have known each other for 19 years…we met on a blind date set up by some parents (his friends) of a student in my classroom my first year of teaching. In July we will have been married for 16 years.

DD (Ab)
• Typical Teenage girl…and it is not a fun adventure for her parents
• Just like her mom, hates not being prepared with a plan
• AVID READER…a book a day and 2-3 trips to the library each week to keep her in books…
• Honor Student (will start high school next fall)
• Plays the violin and is a cheerleader
• Plans to be a marine vet or a small animal vet…dreams of attending Texas A & M or Colorado State Vet School (the reason why Discovery Cove is part of our trip)

DS#1 (Fondly known as Boo)

• My easy, laid back, mellow child…sweet natured, funny…drives this compulsive planning mommie crazy with his personality
• Good student, good athlete…would be great if he would give 100%
• Loves hunting, fishing, and camping along side his dad
• Plays the guitar and is involved in Boy Scouts

Ab and Boo are the reason why USO is a MUST…the first part of the trip is for them, heading to Hogwarts. Ab read the entire Harry Potter series during Christmas vacation 2 years ago. Boo is right behind her this year…he just finished Deathly Hallows in just over a week (the longest in the series).

DS#2 (Fondly known as Goo…short for goober/peanut)
• Our little surprise in life for our 10th anniversary…we had saved for a cruise and fishing trip to Alaska…within days of booking and I found out I was expecting and the money for the trip was used for a trip to the hospital
• Smart, Fun, cute cuddly, and SPIT-FIRE…he keeps life exciting and makes me feel old chasing after him
• Has to tag along after 2 older siblings and all their activities
• He is the reason why we are going to WDW…he is Lightning McQueen’s #1 Fan.

Last edited by momabaarjo; 05-05-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:18 PM   #4
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Gingerbread Funnel Cake with Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

OMG...I subscribe to Walk Disney World Posts on Facebook. The other day they asked the question "What is your favorite treat at WDW?" someone posted GINGERBREAD FUNNEL CAKE WITH PEPPERMINT STICK ICE CREAM.

OMG...I have got find this yummy treat. I love gingerbread, love funnel cakes and as a kid my favorite ice cream was peppermint stick (Poudre Valley Brand...loved digging out the green and red peppermint chunks).

I googled and found this link complete with a picture.


I guess the ONLY place to get it is at Sleepy Hollow near the Liberty Square Bridge in Magic Kingdom Park. Sadly as I read more, they only make this until Christmas...oh well maybe this will help someone else.

Last edited by momabaarjo; 03-05-2011 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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Can't wait to hear more details! I'm around the same age as your daughter, going into high school this fall! Update soon!
- Dad - Mom - Thing1 (Me! 16) - Thing2 (13) - Thing3 (8)
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:08 PM   #6
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Hi Zfamly5

Hi Zfamily5....glad to have you along for my planning adventure. Maybe you can help me with some things that a girl your age would love to do at WDW for my dd!
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:13 PM   #7
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Airfares and Rising Gas Prices...budget killer in the works?

I am a little unsettled about all this unrest in the Middle East and wondering what kind of effect this is going to make on my vacation plans. Last week I filled up at $2.99, and today $3.22...a week later and we are up 23 cents. If you listen to doom and gloom talk radio, we are in for $5 a galloon by Christmas. I had been scoping out plane tickets on SW and was excited that I could probably get them for around $350 per person/round trip...now I am really scared that it might be double that much by the time that SW posts flights for the holiday season. If they do get this high, we are going to have to scale back this trip....GRRR. I am almost regretting spending the extra $500 to get the BWV instead of POR.

I really wish that I had WDW park hours and flight schedules so I could really plan!
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:42 PM   #8
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Budget Killer Again...Dining Plans

Today I tinkered with dining plans and put some pencils to the paper to see how much this is costing us...yikes, now my budget is really starting to sink! We are trying to do this whole trip with cash only...my total for the 12 nights/13ish days is nearly $2500. I guess when I look at the big picture that is about $200 a day or $50 a person....even with eating some breakfasts in the room.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Non Trip Related...DD made it to state

I am so proud of dd...she is such a self driven student. This past weekend she had her regional PSIA competitions (private/home school verision of UIL for my Texas folks), where students compete in a variety of academic events. She was entered in 3 events and took home 2, 2nd places which qualify her for the state competition the end of April. She will be competing in DFW in Ready Writing and Listening Skills!

Since the competition is literally days before her birthday, I have decided to fly for a mom and daughter weekend girls trip! The plane fare and rental car is almost the same as it would cost me to drive... I am excited to do something fun with her...having a 14 year old girl is not easy sometimes (okay most days) and I know it will not get better for awhile...so I better take advantage of this while I can.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:54 PM   #10
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Passporter & Unofficial Universal Books Arrived

I ordered a 2011 Passporter edition right before Christmas and it finally arrived last Friday, just in time for a 4 hour road trip...boy did the time fly...never has this trip gone so fast. I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the book. I read the Unofficial Guide cover to Cover last spring when planning for my post conference trip to WDW in July. What I did not like was the lack of pictures and having to flip through to find specific information. how the Passporter is divided by resorts and parks in each category and everything is in color with lots of pictures. So far I have not found anything I did not know...sure I will as I read more. I also purchased the Unofficial Guide to Universal Studios...lots of great information. I have already picked through it several times and have come up with some touring plans based on what I learned last year on my Pre conference trip to USO on HP opening weekend.

I am having so much fun researching!
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:25 PM   #11
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Just when I think I have it figured out...WHAM

I have been toying with ADR and a which park schedule which day...just when I think I have figured out what I want to do and am happy with it...WHAM, I read a post and it makes me rethink my plans and change them again...I WANT IT TO BE JUNE SO I HAVE PARK SCHEDULES!

I actually am coming up with 2 scenarios...will post them later (crossing my fingers that someone is reading my PTR and will give me feedback).
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:25 AM   #12
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Shhhh, its a secret...my plans on how to reveal outline

I have always been a sucker for the words "We're going to Disney" along with the park images and the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" playing in the background. So I am planning our own surprise revealing for Christmas morning (and if flight schedules work) and leaving that same day to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.

I have already laid the ground work that we are going to WDW & USO...we have told the kids when ds#2-Goo turns 7 we are going to celebrate his birthday with a visit to Lightning McQueen, that would be August of 2012. There are Disney and Universal books laying around and we are constantly flipping through and compiling ideas for the trip...they just don't know the trip will actually come 7 months earlier than expected! So me constantly on DIS is not raising my eyebrows and the kids are actually helping plan the trip.

My plans for revealing involve a scavenger hunt for Christmas morning. To start the hunt there will be 1 wrapped present in front of the tree where Santa usually leaves the presents, on the present will be a tag with all 3's name on it asking them to guess what is inside. Once they have guessed, they will open and find a started scrapbook with a letter from Santa, Mom, and Dad telling them about the hunt and a special present in the end (I will post that later), then a card with a clue for the next gift. Once they find the gift, the tag will be a specific task they have to do before they open it, inside will be something to represent one of the 12 days of our trip (not so easy as to give it away), then a card with the next clue...this will repeat until all 12 gifts are found...the last gift will be that box of balloons that you see in all revealings...as they open I plan to play "When you wish"...now they are going but they will still think that it is in August...somehow I have got to get them to ask when?! Still thinking on this one! I will post my hunt later.

I plan to have the bags packed...this will be easy because the day after Christmas we usually travel to see my family in Colorado, so I wont be doing all the packing. Then off to the inlaws for an early lunch and then board the plane.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:04 PM   #13
I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)
I will throw a party the day I get a tag!!!
I am pretty wimpy when it comes to thrill rides
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Sounds like a fun trip! My sisters and I went to Islands of Adventure this summer, mainly for the Wizarding World. We had so much fun-it was awesome!
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:50 PM   #14
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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Originally Posted by wdwgirl03 View Post
Sounds like a fun trip! My sisters and I went to Islands of Adventure this summer, mainly for the Wizarding World. We had so much fun-it was awesome!
I managed to be at IOA on the hard opening weekend of HP...you are right it was so much fun to see Hogwarts and Hogsmeade come to life. My 2 oldest are huge HP fans...they were so jealous I got to go last summer...I did bring them back a t-shrt, chocolate frogs, and bertie beans. I know they are going to be in awe when they go at Christmas. I am scheduling 3 early mornings at WWHP so that we can do everything without the rush of crowds...be in and out before it all! My ds#1 wants so bad to be chosen in Olivanders...3 morning tries first thing, cross your fingers for him.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:28 AM   #15
In Pursuit of Cupcakes, Booze, & PHM
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NTR-Spring Break & Lent

This is spring break for me and my kiddos. We had talked about heading to our cabin and ski...but the snow has not been great this season and I am of course watching every penny I spend (the fear of airfare is always on my mind...I head somewhere SW is going up $10 a flight...if so that is about $100 more for my family which is doable).

What are our plans for spring break? I think I am going to take the time to do some scrapbooking...I am so far behind, take the kids to the dollar movies a couple of times, and start a family movie night...Disney Movie and Dinner or Dessert. I found some really cool ideas on the DIS. My two oldest love to cook, so maybe I will assign them the task of making the dessert or dinner to go with the movie.

Lent is here...so what did I give up? I have given up facebook...it takes way to much of my time. I am allowing myself to stay in touch with my WDW planning group, however. I am also working through some hurt, bitter, resentful feelings that I have towards a person who I considered a friend. I am forcing myself to let go and pray for peace and forgiveness. I know she and I will never be friends again, but I am tired of all the feelings that go with this ending of a friendship. I am also going to work on repairing a friendship with my best friends from college. I am also trying to give TRIP planning a break. I really cannot do anything until I get park hours (which will be June) and really things hinge on when we can get Processional tickets (which will be late August). I am trying to stay off of DIS planning boards and trying to stay only on the budget board....
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