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Old 05-02-2011, 02:11 PM   #1
Villainess
Fantasy and reality often overlap - Walt Disney
 
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"But Mommy, how do we get to Disney World?" A Nov/Dec 2011 PTR Update 8/8!

"Fly, of course!" responds my DD very matter-of-factly before I can even begin to speak.

Aahh, children ... If I had a dollar for everytime my DS asks this question, well, let's just say I would be a very rich woman!

We're heading down to the World for 10 wonderful days departing on Black Friday. Yes, while everyone else I know will be hitting up the outlets and malls at 2am for the latest and greatest must-have Christmas gift that is yet to go on the market, I will happily be waking up (if I go to sleep at all) and getting ready to head to the airport!

Late Nov./early Dec. is a new time of year for our Disney traveling group. Typically, we are there late April - Mother's Day. Can you say WITHDRAWAL?! It has been over a year since I have stepped on Disney soil - there really should be a law against things like this!

Grab a Dole Whip, or some rum (I promise it won't run out!), keep your hands and arms inside the PTR at all times, oh and no flash photography - now let's get planning!
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:15 PM   #2
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Table of Contents

Prelude
Chapter 1: How'd You Do? Very Nice to Meet you!
Chapter 2: Welcome Home!
Chapter 3: And the Winner Is ...
Chapter 4: Magical Beginnings - A Princess' 1st Tour of the Kingdom
Chapter 5: Magical Beginnings - A Princess' 1st Tour of the Kingdom Part II
Chapter 6: Magical Beginnings - A Pirate's 1st Adventure
Chapter 7: Magical Beginnings - A Pirate's 1st Adventure Part II
Chapter 8: I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane
Chapter 9: Dust off those Sneakers. I'm walking to WDW!
Chapter 10: A Very Merry Unbirthday!
Chapter 11: A Very Merry Unbirthday Part II
Chapter 12: 180 Days Until Festivities, Fun, and FOOD!
Chapter 13: Shopping for Summer (and maybe WDW, too!)
Chapter 14: Ballerina Girl
Chapter 15: Counting Down: Disney Movie Nights
Chapter 16: Random Bits of non-Disney Chatter
Chapter 17: Family Movie Night: Lady & the Tramphttp://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2712858
Chapter 18: It's Like Comparing Apples to Oranges
Chapter 19: Our Weekend, in a Nutshell, Give or Take 1,111 Words
Chapter 20: North America Travel Destination Countdown 10 & 9
Chapter 21: North American Travel Destination Countdown 8 & 7
Chapter 22: North American Travel Destination Countdown 6, 5 & 4
Chapter 23: Family Movie Night: The 3 Caballeros
Chapter 24: North American Travel Destination Countdown 3
Chapter 25: Putting a new Spin on our Trip
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
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How'd You Do? Very Nice to Meet You!

Without further adieu, I present to you our cast of characters ...


Me, Danielle, 31 - Co-planner of the group; official photographer of the group (if I'm lucky I'll be in 1 photo out of the approx. 3,000 photos I take per trip - yes 3,000 photos!). This will be my 40th trip to WDW. Hence my screenname, I LOVE the villains. Yup, villains all the way. Anyone else mad at the conclusion of Fantasmic when Mickey defeats them? Even as a child, my favorite was, and still is, the Big Bad Wolf. Thrill rider and pin trader, DVC'r, mommy to 2 wonderful kiddos, and huge Cpt. Jack fan (in my defense, I've been a fan of Mr. Depp since I was 10 and he was in 21 Jump St.)

DD, 4 - my Ballerina Princess as I so often call her! If it isn't pink, sparkly or having to do with dance or princesses, she is not interested. A complete girlie girl, she hardly ever wears pants - dresses all the way and does not understand why her Aurora costume is not appropriate attire for painting day at Pre-K. Her absolute favorite is Aurora and, my apologies Cinderella, but your lovely castle and beautiful carousel horse is Aurora's according to DD! This will be her 7th visit to WDW. A pin trader since 1 1/2 years old - she scours CM lanyards for all the princess pins (I think it has officially overtaken my villain collection). Her mother's daughter, she is a Cpt. Jack fan too and is super excited to be tall enough to ride the "Big Girl Rides" She is very matter-of-fact and critiqued the recent Royal Wedding right down to the bouquet ("too tiny" in her opinion).

DS, 3 - my Cowboy Space Pirate. A true boy who already thinks girls are silly, but will take a moment to flirt with you! If he isn't pretending to be an astronaut or cowboy, he is playing raceway and, much recently pirates. He is about 1 1/4" shy of the 40 inch mark, but with 6+ months before we leave, I am keeping my fingers crossed he will hit the mark. This will be his 6th visit. He collects Muppet pins and at last count has 22 of the same Fozzie Bear pins (Fozzie is his favorite Muppet). He finds Donald Duck hilarious for his mischievous behavior and is already quite a dare devil - loves to climb which has his mommy quite the nervous wreck. The Tea Cups cannot be spun fast enough for him, and upon riding Barnstormer for the first time, had his hands in the air for the entire ride! He plays soccer at home and Pop Pop is introducing him to the world of golf .

Pop Pop, 59 - my Dad, Co-planner of the group. If Goofy could be an actual person, it would be my Dad. It seems only fitting that Goofy would then be his favorite character. Golfer and pin trader, DVC'r, and best Pop Pop in the world. He is adored by my children and sometimes I don't know who gets who into trouble! He will go on most E-ticket rides, but will sit out on Mission Space and RNR. Can be caught taking naps during any dark theater show!

Nonna, 57 - my Mom. Cinderella and Minnie Mouse are her favorites and it is fun to watch DD and her debate over who the 'better' princess is! A non-thrill, non-spin rider, we can sometimes get her on Splash if weather conditions, ADR's, and the planets all line up. Her favorite park is MK with POTC her favorite attraction. Also a DVC'r. She tolerates our pin trading habit and occasionally find one she would like herself, however her idea of relaxing for a while is a massage at the SSR Spa.

DSis, 28 If my Dad could be Goofy in person, then my sister is Donald. No, seriously and she would take that as a compliment. Never the girlie girl or princessy type, Donald is her hands down favorite and makes sure to tell Mickey that Donald is #1 in her book. Usually an E-ticket rider, we will see how this trip is. Last year, she was pregnant so she missed out on some things. Also a DVC'r, she finds pin trading silly, but being the wonderful aunt she is, helps them interact with the CMs to find their special treasures. Like Nonna, she would prefer a massage at the Spa.

DBIL, 37 While not as Disney obsessed as the rest of the group, he has been traveling to WDW with us for the past 8 years or so and enjoys the trips. He is a Donald fan, although I'm not sure if that is due to his wife's influence. He prefers to skip out on fireworks and parades to take advantage of the shorter lines of the attractions. He is adored by DD and especially DS. An E-ticket rider and foodie, he along with Pop Pop are always up for a bucket of popcorn.

DNiece, 6 months I finally am an aunt! This adorable little girl with chubby cheeks is just an absolute doll. It will be her 1st trip to WDW and we are all super excited, even DD and DS. DNiece adores DD and vice versa. I'm sure that they will grow up more like sisters than cousins. DD has already introduced her to the world of tea parties showing her how to hold a cup! Since she is my sister's daughter, naturally there are Donald influences in her nursery, but she reacts fondly to Minnie Mouse. She already has a pair of Minnie ears in her room and we are anxious to see her reactions to all the sights, sounds, color, and characters. She will turn 1 year old 3 1/2 weeks before we leave.

Not officially booked for the trip, although we are still trying to persuade them to go:

Mom Mom - my grandmother
Dee Dad - my grandfather
After an 7 year absence on our WDW trips due to the need to take care of my great-grandmother, they were once again able to join us on our trip last year. My children adore them and we are beyond blessed that they are able to share and enjoy their great-grandparents. It was a wonderful trip last year and we are hoping that they will reconsider and join us (well, Mom Mom really as Dee Dad would leave in an instant). She keeps saying, "Next year," as they have never seen any of the Christmas displays (back in the pre-kid days, we made 2 visits from 12/26 through Jan. 5/6.)

That's the core group of travelers. There is a 99% possibility of another 6 relatives joining the trip, but we are waiting for their airline ressies to be booked.


Coming up - Where to Stay?
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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Joining in! What a cast of characters! I love Cruella deVille!
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by beebeeryan View Post
Joining in! What a cast of characters! I love Cruella deVille!
Thanks for joining in!

Another update coming soon - have to get the Ballerina Princess ready for dance class!
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #6
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Welcome Home

aka The Great Hotel Debate

This will be DSis and my 1st official trip as actual DVC members, not just "children of DVC'rs" Currently, Nonna and Pop Pop are in the process of adding us to the DVC deed. They want to be 100% sure that the magic continues for their grandchildren - I know, they are the best!

Our home resorts are OKW & SSR. Typically, we stay at OKW which truly is our home away from home. Last year we stayed at SSR for a change of scenery and to show Mom Mom and Dee Dad a different resort. This year, we are hoping to try somewhere new. At the top of the list ...

BLT!



We went to a members open house/tour last year and were able to see Top of the World. Back in '93 (the trip my parents purchased DVC) we stayed at CR in the A-frame with our room facing MK. I remember waking up in the middle of the night just to stare at the view. CR has been my personal favorite and I've been hoping to stay there again. Overall, this is choice numero uno for the group.

BW



DD, DS, and I stayed here back in 2009. We had a great view of the courtyard/partial BW. I enjoyed walking to Epcot and DHS along with the overall atmosphere. This would be a 1st time stay for everyone else. In the past, Nonna and Pop Pop have been hesitant to stay here because of the impression of the BW area being too noisy.


Our view (as a storm was coming in):




BC


photo credit

This, too, would be a 1st time stay for everyone and has much of the same benefits as BW. Perhaps an additional plus would be a bit more quiet ambiance vs. BW (one of the things we all do enjoy is the serene environment of OKW & SSR). Oh, and closer to Beaches & Cream, too!

A bit of a con is that there is really no 'Epcot' view but BW lit up is very beautiful.

AKV



Another hotel we (read: Pop Pop, my kids, and myself) would like to visit and home to my 2nd favorite restaurant, Sanaa, we would prefer to do a split stay here on a longer trip. Since 10 days is a relatively short trip for us (we average 15 - 19 days), we don't want to waste time unpacking/packing and moving. Also with DNiece, we don't want to lose any baby stuff in transit.


photo credit

WLV


photo credit

I think it would be fun to experience this, but Nonna and DSis are not into anything having to do with camping, wilderness, woodsy, nature or the like so it is almost certainly not an option.

SSR - Treehouse Villas


photo credit

A modern day Swiss Family Robinson! Pop Pop, Nonna, and I would LOVE to stay here (yes, even Nonna in the somewhat woodsy atmosphere - I think it is the idea of the 'treehouse' that appeals to her!) I know DS especially would think it was great too.

photo credit

Problem: we usually stay in a 2 bedroom, which leaves me on the pull out couch/bed with the kids. This is not the most comfortable place to sleep despite my attempts to convince myself that a Mickey pull out couch is special and sprinkled in pixie dust to allow for a wonderful night's rest rather than any old pull out couch.

My parents have the Master bedroom and DSis and DBil get the 2nd bedroom. I must have been absent when, many trips ago, it was decided that the older sister sleeps on the couch.

Anyhow ... in the Treehouse, there is a 3rd bedroom but it is bunkbeds. While DD and DS can both sleep on the bottom bunk, I will not sleep on the top (always have been petrified of that!), and I think it is doubtful I can convince DSis and DBil to have that room. So I would probably be on the couch regardless of the addition of a 3rd bedroom. My other fear is that DS would climb the bunks (he likes to climb!) so I am unsure if I can totally trust him in that room at night.

Of course, there is always the regular SSR 2 bedroom as well.



photo credit

And home to the playground the DD and DS are begging Pop Pop to recreate for them at home!

photo credit

OKW



Our 'home' and sentimental favorite. Everyone enjoys it here, but like I said earlier, we would like to try something new. I also wish that they could figure out a way to add a food court area. Not necessarily a large one, but similar to SSR's. It was great after a day at the park to just pop in for a quick iced tea and snack and relax a bit.


Photo Credit

Decisions, decisions ... what will we pick?


. . .














. . .




















. . .
















. . .














We are staying at ...





































?


I have no idea! Pop Pop is at work and on the phone with them as we speak, err, type, so we'll have to take a break from our regularly scheduled PTR!


Photos not given credit on this post and future posts were taken by me, just in case anyone was wondering why some photos have links and others do not!
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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And the Winner Is ...


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Old Key West!!!

I'm a bit bummed, but we are waitlisted for BLT MK view and lake view, so we will see what happens! Actually, the only 2 bedrooms that are available for our entire length of stay are at OKW and SSR. Whoa! It may be more crowded than I thought!

Pop Pop chose OKW since we stayed at SSR last year, but DS has already asked if it is the hotel with the horse (the horse statue by the Carriage House), so Pop Pop may be asked to switch by his "little buddy."
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #8
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Joining in!!!
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Villainess View Post
[Whoa! It may be more crowded than I thought!
Not what I wanted to read...

Hi, just found your PTR and thought I'd check it out. We're going to there that same week, so I'm a bit bummed by the fact that it looks like it might be more crowded than I thought. Oh well, it will still be fun and I think I read that DVC usually is pretty busy that time of year anyway, so I guess we'll just have to see how crowded it really is!

Hopefully someone will cancel and you'll get your opportunity to stay at BLT!
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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Hi! I'm finally posting on a PTR instead of lurking all the time! I had to pop over after you posted on my PTR to see if you decided on a resort. I'm sorry you weren't able to get BLT. Who knows? Maybe you'll get some early pixie dust and something will open up.

I checked the crowd calendar on touringplans.com and they show that there are high crowd levels for the weekend after Thanksgiving and then it tapers off for the rest of your stay. Perhaps you could do a split stay? Maybe BLT is just booked for the first part of your trip and that's why you can't get in.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexLabDeeDee View Post
Hi! I'm finally posting on a PTR instead of lurking all the time! I had to pop over after you posted on my PTR to see if you decided on a resort. I'm sorry you weren't able to get BLT. Who knows? Maybe you'll get some early pixie dust and something will open up.

I checked the crowd calendar on touringplans.com and they show that there are high crowd levels for the weekend after Thanksgiving and then it tapers off for the rest of your stay. Perhaps you could do a split stay? Maybe BLT is just booked for the first part of your trip and that's why you can't get in.
Thanks for coming out of lurkdom! A split stay has been voted down by popular vote , but we will see. Hopefully some pixie dust will come along, but if not we will still have a GREAT time. We knew that it would tough to get into especially being the "new resort" in town. If it doesn't work out, there will always be another trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Not what I wanted to read...

Hi, just found your PTR and thought I'd check it out. We're going to there that same week, so I'm a bit bummed by the fact that it looks like it might be more crowded than I thought. Oh well, it will still be fun and I think I read that DVC usually is pretty busy that time of year anyway, so I guess we'll just have to see how crowded it really is!

Hopefully someone will cancel and you'll get your opportunity to stay at BLT!
I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is just the DVC resorts that are busy. My father has heard the same thing about it being busier for those resorts too. It will definitely still be fun - hey if I can figure out a way to have fun in a closed 4th of July MK park at 90 degrees with 200% humidity, then this should be a piece of cake!

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Old 05-04-2011, 01:52 PM   #12
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Magical Beginnings - A Princess' 1st Tour of the Kingdom

While I get a few other posts, pictures, and related trip 'stuff' in order, I thought we might take a trip down memory lane, back to May 2007 and DD's 1st trip.

This trip was very spur of the moment. Planned in about 2 - 2 1/2 weeks and couldn't have come at a better time. Life for me was not very good, having just begun divorce proceedings, moving out of what I thought was the home I would raise DD in, and moving back in with my parents. It was a trip that I never thought would happen.

DD turned 7 months during the trip and as I pushed her stroller through the MK gates, there was nothing I could do to keep the tears from rolling down my face.

I will let the photos do most of the talking - her expressions are better than any words I could articulate!

On the airplane



Philharmagic was her very 1st attraction


She met Sorcerer Mickey (among many other characters)



And checked the maps and time schedules


Had dinner with some members of the Royal Family (as it is only right since she is a princess herself!)


Nonna and Pop Pop purchased her first set of Minnie (and Mickey) ears





waiting inline to see ...




Yo Ho Ho






(cont'd in following post)
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:55 PM   #13
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Magical Beginnings - A Princess' 1st Tour of the Kingdom Part II

(cont'd from previous post)


1st of many (many) carousel rides


She played musical instruments



And tried on lots of hats



Dressed up like the 'big girls'



Helped Buzz Lightyear defeat the evil Emperor Zurg


Cleaned Bruce's teeth (as she has just described the photo)


Recreated famous scenes in classic Disney films


And even drank around the world!




I think she had fun, don't you?
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:17 PM   #14
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Just found your PTR! Can't wait to read it all. I am on my way out the door right now, but when I get home tonight, it is the first PTR I'm reading!

Subscribed!
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Disney in December at POR: December 2013
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:58 PM   #15
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Wow, your little girl is sooooo adorable! Looks like you had a fabulous trip! Great pics!
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