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Old 04-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #1
gray2402
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Our family's 6th trip to WDW but so many firsts. UPDATE 7/2 MY HUBBY IS HOME!!!!!!!!

Hi everyone and welcome to my 2nd pre-trip report! This will be our 6th family trip to WDW but we have many, many firsts planned!

Let's go through the 5 w's first ...

WHO: The Gray Family

*Me* Kellie, 34 years old. My first Disney trip was a spring break trip in 2003 with a friend from work. My husband was deployed at the time and was not really that interested in Disney anyway, so I did not feel too guilty. Plus we did not go to every park that trip. But, I fell in love with all things Disney and dragged my hubby back as soon as he got back stateside! We had a BLAST and actually bought a timeshare down there. I love all things Disney, from the roller coasters to the theater shows. I enjoy planning the trips and making them as magical as I can!

*DH* Dennis, 31 years old (almost 32). His first Disney trip was in Fall of 2003 after he redeployed back from Kuwait. He went because I wanted to go, but he really enjoyed himself! He loves roller coasters and his favorite character is Donald Duck. He loves spoiling me and the kiddos and usually lets me plan what I want while on vacation His motto is that he works hard, many times away from the family, so he vacations hard too! Works for me!

*DD* Sammie, 6 years old (turns 7 in July). Her first trip to Disney was in 2005, at 11 months old. She loves all things Disney ... princesses, Mickey/Minnie, the shows, the magic! I kind of want her to love it so much that she will want to do the college program and eventually have a Disney wedding She still loves to dress up like a princess for a day at the park and that makes me so happy! I know I don't have too many years of that left, so I indulge her ... she will be dressing as a new princess this trip! She is now tall enough for pretty much all the rides though she does NOT like Tower of Terror or Expedition Everest.

*DS* Alex, 3 years old (turns 4 in October). This is Alex's 3rd trip to Disney. His first one was at 2yo and he was very hesitant and shy of it all. Last trip, at almost 3yo, was a totally different experience! He loved the characters, the rides he could go on and the whole ambience. I love seeing him fall in love with it and in fact this trip is happening mainly because he came up to me one day a month or so ago and said "Momma, I want to see Mickey Mouse." Who could argue with that? He will be tall enough this trip for Splash Mountain and BTMRR. He is not interested in Tower of Terror, so that will have to wait for future trips.

WHAT: This will be an R&R trip (rest & relaxation) from my husband's deployment to Afghanistan. This is his 4th long deployment so we really need this time together as a family, having fun, making memories and enjoying each other!

WHEN: 5th July-11th July 2011

WHERE: This is one of our FIRSTS for a trip to WDW. We will be staying ONSITE at Pop Century in a preferred room. And I am SO excited to experience a trip this way!

WHY: Like I said above, this is an R&R trip for our family to reconnect!

I look forward to planning out our trip, shopping for goodies to bring, making my lists (and checking them twice haha!) and eventually getting there! It's doubly fun because we are not only counting down getting to WDW, but also seeing my husband again!!!!

I'll leave you with a family photo from our first day at the parks last September 2010...



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Old 04-27-2011, 08:21 PM   #2
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Ok I am back!

So, a little about my planning style ... I am definitely an excel sheet, all typed out, day by day kind of planner ... Does that mean I turn into some crazy woman if something goes wrong? Well, no. I mean, I have a husband and two small kids ... things WILL change and/or go wrong. But the majority of my planning works out I like having a plan!

So I will keep this thread here to post my links to my entries as I update this wonderful PTR. Hopefully SOMEONE is reading and I am not just talking to myself, though that wouldn't be a first if I was....

INTRODUCTIONS

Day One (travel and...)

Ok, so changes already... day one.

Day two ... first park, new character meal and more.

Day three ... and we finally head to ...

Day four ... back to a well loved breakfast ADR and a new dining experience!

Day one ... big changes!

Day five ... ready for a mad dash?!

Day six... our last park day

Autograph books!

Autograph books! part 2

Updates and some new purchases!

So.... our leave day has changed!

More changes (to our DHS day)...


Disney Theme Nights

Gifts!

BIG CHANGES!!!!!

Tee Shirt Designs

Tee Shirt Designs- finalized

Tee Shirts Finished (ironed on)
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Day One (travel and...)

We plan to leave Augusta GA around 4:30am on 5th July 2011 ... we are going to eat some snacks in the car and then probably stop around 8 or 9am to get McDonald's (a tradition on our road trips...).

Both kiddos are good travelers, so we should not have to make many stops... just food and gassing up Minnie the Van. My plan right now is to grab some fast food once we get near Orlando and then head straight to Sea World. They are open until 10pm so we will have plenty of time. Plus they are the free military tickets so I don't feel the need to do EVERYTHING! We have been there several times anyway, though we do love it.

Although I am debating with myself about whether I want to go to Pop Century first and check in/drop off all of our stuff, or just go to Sea World and leave all of our stuff in the car. It kind of makes me nervous, so we might just go straight to Pop. But then I am afraid we won't want to get back in the car to go to Sea World. So that is kind of up in the air. We could skip Sea World and just check in to Pop and head to DTD maybe. I guess I should run it by my husband, though he will say do whatever I want

So that is the plan for day one! An early start and hopefully a day ending with some magic
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Sounds like a much deserved trip! Looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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Sounds like a much deserved trip! Looking forward to hearing more!
Thanks! Glad to have you along
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #6
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Ok so changes already... day one.

Hi there So I left the last post just at day one, and I was already unsure of the plans haha! But I was able to chat with my husband today and we did decide to go straight to Disney on the 5th! I am excited to have it set now.

So we will more than likely leave a little bit later now and go straight to Pop, check in and then either go to DTD or swim, depending on what time we get there.

I have lots more planned and I will pop back on tonight and update on our plans for DAY TWO! They do include our first park this trip, a new character meal for us and a new restaurant for us too! WOOHOO!
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:39 PM   #7
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Day two ... first park, new character meal and more!

Hello there again to the many of you reading

So this day (July 6th) will be our first park day! Plan is to get up at 6:15am. First, I will need to go recheck in to POP because our first night is room only... this day we will need to get the dining plan and tickets added onto our KTTW cards. So I will more than likely head to the main building to do this while my hubby starts to get the kids ready. I will also fill up our refillable mugs (coffee for me, some sort of tea or lemonade for everyone else to share).

I want to be at the bus stop at 7:10am ready to head to ANIMAL KINGDOM! There are EMH's this morning so we will go in at 8am, probably fast pass EE and then head over to ride the safari. Both kids really enjoyed this last year (us too!) We went first thing in the morning and there were quite a few animals out for us to enjoy.

We then have ADRs at a new character meal, which of course in AK has to be Donald's Tusker House breakfast! Donald Duck is my husband's FAVORITE! So we will all be wearing Duck attire

My son:


My daughter:
shirt


bows


Me: (It will be on a white shirt though)


My hubby:


After breakfast I don't have a set plan really ... things that are must do's will be:

-Flights of wonder (we did not get to this last year and I really want to see it again!)

-EE of course! I am hoping my daughter will ride ... she rode it last year but says she does not like it, but I am hoping to change her mind. DS is too short still. If DD will not ride, my DH and I will just swap turns.

-Lion King show

-Nemo show

-Triceratops Spin (my son loved this last year)

-Dinosaur (DS will be tall enough now so we can do it as a family!! Though he will probably be a bit scared...)

Last year we also did not get any time in the Boneyard fossil dig area, so maybe we will head there this time ...

Other things we'd like to do but no big deal if we don't get to ...

-Tough to be a bug (though we just bought the movie, so this might be a MUST DO)

-River Rapids ... DS is tall enough and he would probably like it as long as he did not get soaked ... he HATES water over his head, so if he was in 'the spot' that got soaked, he would get upset...

-Going to see the tigers and other animals ... we might do this, but we have a zoo membership so we go to the zoo a lot ... if we have time, we may go do this (never have before)

-We have never seen the parade at AK either, so if the kids want to do that, we might.

For another 'new' thing, we have ADRs at Yak and Yeti at 6:45pm. I am pretty sure my DH will get the ribs ... I will definitely be getting the shrimp lo mein ... it is my favorite chinese meal, and I hear good things on the DIS about it! I will also get the egg rolls and the fried wontons for dessert.

Depending how we feel, we may hop over to MK as they are open until 11pm. Or maybe just head back to the room and swim perhaps.

We really do enjoy Animal Kingdom and it should be a great first day for us!

Up next: Day three has us heading to another park and a few new places to eat!
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:32 PM   #8
Corrine 1973
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Came to check out your PTR and it looks really good. Your kids are adorable. My DD's birthday is also in July, she will be 6.

I can't wait to see how you like Tusker House, I am hoping to take my DD there in 2013. I was going to suggest you check in Pop first but than saw that you already decided to do that. I know how tierd people can be after walking around the parks and carring in luggage is the last thing anyone would want to do.

Congrats on your first stay on property. We are also staying at Pop exactly a month from today and are very excited. It will also be our first time. Can't wait to read more.

EEEK, had to edit because I forgot something. I LOOOOOVE those bows. Where did you find them?
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Joining in - you will love Pop! Have you requested a section to stay in? There are buildings in the 50s 60s and 70s that are preferred. You really can't go wrong, although some parts of the 70s are a tad closer to the food court than the 50s. We also found a path to the bus stop from the 70s that was a little quicker than cutting through the main building. We love Pop - I am happy to answer any questions if I can.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrine 1973 View Post
Came to check out your PTR and it looks really good. Your kids are adorable. My DD's birthday is also in July, she will be 6.
Aww thanks! My DD is July 18th, when is yours?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrine 1973 View Post

I can't wait to see how you like Tusker House, I am hoping to take my DD there in 2013. I was going to suggest you check in Pop first but than saw that you already decided to do that. I know how tierd people can be after walking around the parks and carring in luggage is the last thing anyone would want to do.
I am excited for Tusker House! I love breakfast buffets but my hubby is not a huge fan ... but with DxDDP I feel like it is worth it for both of us LOL Plus my kiddos can eat their weight in breakfast foods! And yes, I am glad we decided to just go straight to Disney ... we usually don't have time for DTD but now we will! Earl of Sandwich, here I come haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrine 1973 View Post


Congrats on your first stay on property. We are also staying at Pop exactly a month from today and are very excited. It will also be our first time. Can't wait to read more.
Cool! You will have to come back to this PTR and post your thoughts on POP. I am especially curious on bus wait times ...

I do love doing the PTR and TR's (well this is only my second time LOL) It gives me something to do to contain all the excitement building up haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrine 1973 View Post

EEEK, had to edit because I forgot something. I LOOOOOVE those bows. Where did you find them?
I got them on etsy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbell60 View Post
Joining in - you will love Pop! Have you requested a section to stay in? There are buildings in the 50s 60s and 70s that are preferred. You really can't go wrong, although some parts of the 70s are a tad closer to the food court than the 50s. We also found a path to the bus stop from the 70s that was a little quicker than cutting through the main building. We love Pop - I am happy to answer any questions if I can.
Thanks for popping by We did not request a certain building but I did end up switching to a preferred room. I figure we will get luck of the draw! I am so excited to stay on property!!! I think this will be a must for us from now on though.... now to convince the hubby LOL

My biggest question is the bus system ... I am nervous about it! Is it pretty easy to use? Marked well? I heard they can run pretty quickly since there are not other stops at other resorts for Pop busses ... I am sure we will be fine when we get there, but it is something I am a bit nervous about...
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray2402 View Post
Aww thanks! My DD is July 18th, when is yours?


Her's is on the 7th, so you will have do something extra special on her birthday at WDW and think about her.

Cool! You will have to come back to this PTR and post your thoughts on POP. I am especially curious on bus wait times ...

I will definatly will let you know about the bus system. I am sure I will talk about it when I do my TR also if you wanted to check it out.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Corrine 1973 View Post
I will definatly will let you know about the bus system. I am sure I will talk about it when I do my TR also if you wanted to check it out.
I just clicked through to your PTR and am reading Sounds so fun!! I will def. keep track to read your TR too!! (I am a bit addicted to reading them!!)

Oh I just saw the part with her birthday! That is actually the day we are celebrating my DDs birthday! We will be at CRT for dinner and I am ordering her a chocolate slipper dessert We will def. think of your DD!!!
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #13
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Day three ... we finally head to ...



Today's plan is to wake up at 6am and get ready ... which will probably include me going to get some beverages in our mugs from the food court. (I have to go because if I leave it to my DH to get me coffee, it is 99.9% guaranteed it will be wrong )

We will be eating breakfast (cold cereal) in the room today and then heading to the bus stop by 7:10am.

First on the agenda is to head straight to the Tangled Meet and Play. We will swap off standing in line and running for fast passes (to Space Mountain first of all) and we will also take turns taking the kids over to Dumbo and maybe Tea Cups or some other fantasy land rides while one adult waits.

After the meet and play is over, we will all head to FL to finish up the rides there, as many as we can walk on. When our window opens up, my DH will run over to Frontierland to FP BTMRR ... this is important because my DS is finally tall enough to ride it! So this will be our first family roller coaster experience

Regardless of what we get done, we will head out of the MK by 11am and head to the boat docks ... we are headed to Wilderness Lodge and Whispering Canyon Cafe for lunch ADRs at 12noon.

Then we will head back to the MK and just kind of do what we want for the afternoon. We have another day planned at MK so no need to stress out this first day and get everything done.

We do have one other special thing planned and that is dinner at CRT!!! We will be celebrating my daughter's 7th birthday at this dinner and I will be ordering the Chocolate Slipper for her. Our ADRs are at 7:15pm so we will plan to be there at 6:55pm. I did a later ADR because WCC will probably keep us quite full!

I do want to see the MSEP and Wishes this night, too, if the kiddos can hang. We will play it by ear. We have seen Wishes before back in 2009, but have never seen a nighttime parade. Tomorrow is a sleep in day, so hopefully we can hang out tonight and catch up tomorrow.

Oh yes, some must have snacks that we need to fit in at some point: Dole Whip, Mickey Bar (we have never had one!!!), possibly a churro or funnel cake...

Outfits ...

DH will be wearing:


I will be wearing:


DD will be wearing (to start the day off):


and she will wear this to CRT:




DS will wear one of his old Disney tees to start the day off but will change into this for CRT:


Up next: sleep in day and back to a favorite character breakfast, plus a new dining extravaganza for us
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Last edited by gray2402; 05-01-2011 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray2402 View Post
Aww thanks! My DD is July 18th, when is yours?



I am excited for Tusker House! I love breakfast buffets but my hubby is not a huge fan ... but with DxDDP I feel like it is worth it for both of us LOL Plus my kiddos can eat their weight in breakfast foods! And yes, I am glad we decided to just go straight to Disney ... we usually don't have time for DTD but now we will! Earl of Sandwich, here I come haha!



Cool! You will have to come back to this PTR and post your thoughts on POP. I am especially curious on bus wait times ...

I do love doing the PTR and TR's (well this is only my second time LOL) It gives me something to do to contain all the excitement building up haha!


I got them on etsy!



Thanks for popping by We did not request a certain building but I did end up switching to a preferred room. I figure we will get luck of the draw! I am so excited to stay on property!!! I think this will be a must for us from now on though.... now to convince the hubby LOL

My biggest question is the bus system ... I am nervous about it! Is it pretty easy to use? Marked well? I heard they can run pretty quickly since there are not other stops at other resorts for Pop busses ... I am sure we will be fine when we get there, but it is something I am a bit nervous about...
The buses at Pop were great when we were there. It is well marked, there are different lines for each park. The only draw back is that you should stand in line as opposed to sitting on a bench - unless nobody else is in line. They have actual queues just like you are getting on a ride. Buses came frequently. The only other drawback is when you are coming back to Pop it seems that most of the Pop bus stops are the furthest away - except for DHS.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:31 PM   #15
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The buses at Pop were great when we were there. It is well marked, there are different lines for each park. The only draw back is that you should stand in line as opposed to sitting on a bench - unless nobody else is in line. They have actual queues just like you are getting on a ride. Buses came frequently. The only other drawback is when you are coming back to Pop it seems that most of the Pop bus stops are the furthest away - except for DHS.
That bolded part is GREAT info to know! For some reason I thought they would come to the same area and you'd just have to pay attention to what the bus was marked with ... this will be helpful knowing there is a set spot for each park!
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