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Old 07-16-2011, 01:35 PM   #121
cdotla
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Whooo hooo for paying off the trip!!!!

Can't believe you haven't been on the TTA before...seriously, that is a must-do. Try it at dusk...I think it is the best time for all of Tomorrowland actually.

Yikes about that story with the snake at the Treehouse. I would absolutely freak if I came upon one up there!
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:08 AM   #122
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Whooo hooo for paying off the trip!!!!

Can't believe you haven't been on the TTA before...seriously, that is a must-do. Try it at dusk...I think it is the best time for all of Tomorrowland actually.

Yikes about that story with the snake at the Treehouse. I would absolutely freak if I came upon one up there!
Haha-- I LOVE Tomorrowland at dusk/night! It's my favorite land and I think it looks so cool as the sun is going down. Thanks for the TTA tip!
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:10 AM   #123
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Hello everyone! I hope everyone's having a nice weekend! We went into the city yesterday to walk around. We thought about making it a full Harry Potter weekend and seeing the exhibit at the Discovery Center in Times Square (apparently it has props, costumes, etc.), but decided to walk around instead. We happened upon a street fair down by Union Square and split some yummy vendor food-- of course we visited the Disney store in Times Square, too! This was our second time here. I don't know-- it's a little disappointing. It's VERY small. They do have a lot of Disney/NYC stuff, which I do think is great for tourists...but pretty irrelevant for us. The adult apparel/collectibles section is practically non-existent, but I do understand. Since it's so small, they do need to devote as much room as possible to what really sells-- TOYS! The princess section, IMHO, is VERY limited, though. Hmph.

So, I'm a little strange. I ALWAYS get this weird sort of vacation regret. Last year, we went to Vegas and had an amazing time! I was really excited for that trip, but the whole summer leading up to it, a tiny part of me REALLY wanted to go to Disney instead. Well, what do you know, Zach and I have gotten to randomly reminiscing about Vegas and a small part of me wishes we were going back to the place where we could get up when we wanted, explore at our leisure. To snap myself out of it (because I know I do really want to go to Disney and would be incredibly sad if we skipped it), I decided to craft a top ten list of the things I am most looking forward to at Disney!

10) Flying and seeing LGA/MCO: I shared my secret love of flying already! It's part of what makes a trip exciting for me-- I totally love “the journey” of it all. It's the start of vacation-- incredibly unhealthy McDonald's hashbrowns for breakfast? That's fine-- it's vacation! Arriving at the airport is usually when I start justifying eating/spending whatever we want.
Zach is mildly obsessed with the monorail at MCO!


9) Riding Disney transportation again!: I know POR has a bad rep when it comes to the buses-- and many people don't exactly have the highest opinion of Disney transportation in general, but we love it! Neither of us exactly love driving (Zach especially), so leaving the driving up to someone else is great! Plus, I do think there's something magical about the buses-- I love the videos and chatting with other visitors, too. The morning is especially great-- everyone is excited to start their day and get to their destination.

This was on our first Disney bus ride together-- on our way to Downtown Disney after checking in at POR on our arrival day!

8) Visiting Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure: Of course, I am super excited to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Zach even moreso!), but I am really excited to re-ride some of my favorites! Even though Zach has always been resistant to going to Universal, I'm excited to show him how great of a park it is!

(Photo courtesy of Bannister.org) Revenge of the Mummy is one of my favorite amusement park rides ever-- the attention to detail is just fantastic! (Sidenote-- I also rode it in California and did not think it was great. Once was definitely enough for California's Universal Studios-- Florida is far, far superior)

7) Exploring more of our beautiful resort: Last trip, we pretty much got up, walked to the bus stop, returned to our resort in the afternoon, rested, and went back out again. We really didn't get to see the lush grounds of POR that I've seen in pictures. I requested a room in Oak Manor for this trip-- even if we don't get it, I want to make an effort to walk around and take lots of pictures.

That being said-- If they put us in Alligator Bayou, I really hope we get a room close to where we stayed last time (Alligator Bayou Building 15). I loved being close to the food court (even though we didn't eat there once) and the main bus stop.

6) Repeating some of our favorite dining choices: Just in warning, the next couple of listings all have to do with food--hey, I like to eat! We loved the Coral Reef our last trip, as well as Wolfgang Puck Express. I can't believe the latter is a CS location! I adored the pizza I got last time, but I may try one of their pastas this trip. Who knows? Everything looks amazing!

This is my amazing fish I had at the Coral Reef last trip. I got it without any sauce and subbed in the roast potatoes and watercress from the NY Strip option and was so happy I did. It was very simple but very yummy!


5) The Wishes Dessert Party!: Neither of us are huge dessert people, but the idea of having our own reserved table and not having to line up an hour before Wishes just sounds amazing. Wishes ALWAYS makes me cry, even when I'm just listening to it in the car (I usually start when Aladdin says “Genie, I wish for your freedom”). I can't wait for the fantastic view and relaxed atmosphere. I've heard the view for the Main St. Electrical Parade isn't great, but I'm fine with that. The only parade I love at Disney is Spectromagic. I am VERY upset it won't be there when we're there.

Last trip, we actually stood by it's a small world in Fantasyland and watched Wishes. It didn't have the same effect without being set off by the castle, but hearing the music was still magical.

4) Trying out new restaurants/food!: I'm really excited to use our snack credits on interesting things (such as the carrot cake cookie at the Writer's Stop and a napoleon in the bakery in France), instead of water and Powerade! We picked pretty diverse restaurants this time, too, and I can't wait. It's actually perfect time to try out Whispering Canyon Cafe-- our favorite local BBQ joint just closed down, unfortunately. We keep getting a hankering for that kind of food! Last time, we did chicken tenders and fries a bit too often for my liking. I want to make sure we keep our CS options varied-- there really are so many different options to take advantage of!

(Photo courtesy of the Disney Food Blog.) This snack is right up my alley!

(Photo courtesy of the Disney Food Blog) Zach and I have different food tastes, but I think we'll both find unique things we'll like at Sunshine Seasons!

3) Buying interesting souvenirs: Last trip, I only bought my pearl ring and a picture frame. Zach got his aunt's favorite Italian chocolates at Epcot as a thank you for giving us two days of park tickets (she is a former ABC employee-- she also did this for us this trip). That's it. It's not like we need to buy a ton of stuff, but if this is going to be our last trip for awhile, I'd like to have more little touches of Disney in our place to remind us of this vacation. Disney offers so many different things, I have no idea what I'd like yet, but I do know I want to take advantage of their amazing gift shops (Disney will clearly be happy about this. My wallet, not so much!).

If I recall, this rose was at least a couple of hundred dollars. I thought it was just gorgeous, but it is clearly not coming home with us!
I am so excited to pick another pearl for my Cinderella coach pearl cage necklace! I think this is such a unique thing for Disney to do (even though I think you can do it at Sea World and some other places, too). I love the way the Japanese girls are so enthusiastic and really make it an experience!


2) Experiencing our favorite attractions: Of course, what draws us to Disney is the atmosphere that is created. Part of that magical atmosphere is obviously the attractions-- the attention to detail and story each one tells is definitely (as far as I know) unique to Disney parks. Zach is most excited for Test Track and the Haunted Mansion. I can't wait to ride Space Mountain, which was closed in 2009. Even if there are no discernible changes to the ride itself, I'm excited for the games in the queue and just to experience it again-- it feels like it's been so long!



1) Spending time alone with my favorite person in my favorite place in the world!: Now, Zach and I live together, so one would assume we spend a lot of time alone. However, we both work long hours and spend a lot of time on the go with friends and family. This trip, just like all of our other vacations, is about getting to enjoy each other's company with no distractions-- no family popping in, no nights at the bar with friends (which we do enjoy!)-- just us in the most magical place on earth!
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:44 AM   #124
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First off, I am so jealous of the fact that you can just go into NYC for the day. I love New York, and I wish I could go more often! I'm planning a trip for October and I can't wait!

Ok, on to Disney! I love your list! I completely understand your #1 reason. Miguel and I lived together for 3 years before we got married, but didn't (and still don't) get to spend too much time together either. Between my work and school (until 10:30 at night) and the fact that he works such long hours and works most weekends means that we don't actually see each other that much! It is so nice to spend an entire week together. My favorite thing is going to restaurants together, since our schedules kind of prevent us from doing that at home!
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:08 PM   #125
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Jasmine and I keep saying one of these years we're going to go to NYC for a vacation yet we never do You know where we go instead

I love your Top 10 list! I am excited too about the Wishes Dessert Party for the exact reasons you are...no waiting an hour before and I only love Spectro...I can't get into MSEP so unless Jasmine and Jeff want to do it, I might leave it to them!
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:59 PM   #126
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First off, I am so jealous of the fact that you can just go into NYC for the day. I love New York, and I wish I could go more often! I'm planning a trip for October and I can't wait!

Ok, on to Disney! I love your list! I completely understand your #1 reason. Miguel and I lived together for 3 years before we got married, but didn't (and still don't) get to spend too much time together either. Between my work and school (until 10:30 at night) and the fact that he works such long hours and works most weekends means that we don't actually see each other that much! It is so nice to spend an entire week together. My favorite thing is going to restaurants together, since our schedules kind of prevent us from doing that at home!
NYC is the best! Sometimes I get a little jaded and don't like going there on the weekends since I work there and already spend a ton of time in the city, but I have to remind myself that enjoying it with the love of my life is totally different than working!
It's hard not being able to spend a ton of time with your significant other-- Zach and I do get to spend weekends together, but usually with other people around. A week with just us (as you said!) is going to be amazing!

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Jasmine and I keep saying one of these years we're going to go to NYC for a vacation yet we never do You know where we go instead

I love your Top 10 list! I am excited too about the Wishes Dessert Party for the exact reasons you are...no waiting an hour before and I only love Spectro...I can't get into MSEP so unless Jasmine and Jeff want to do it, I might leave it to them!
You should definitely go to NYC at one point! It is an amazing place to vacation to-- I could give you lots of tips!
I'm glad others aren't into MSEP-- I don't think it holds a candle to Spectro!
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:17 PM   #127
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That carrot cake cookie looks amazing. So does your meal at Coral Reef. I almost made a resie there for december, but opted for Rose and Crown. Did I make a mistake????
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:15 PM   #128
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Great list! I love doing countdown lists while I'm waiting for Disney, it's a fun way to pass the time and get excited for the trip! Definitely like #1 the best, once the Fall starts, Brandon goes back to work at night again, so that means I won't get to see him anymore, except on the weekends, so going to Disney and having a whole week together is amazing!
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:12 AM   #129
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How funny is this? We went to NYC yesterday and went to the Disney Store! We missed you by a day!!!

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Old 07-18-2011, 08:56 AM   #130
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I love going on vacation but I don't love traveling to my destination. Flying to me is such a hassle with the security lines. And when I get to my gate, I just wanna get on my plane and go and can't stand the people that hold us up! I'm too impatient to enjoy the experience.

I love the Disney buses! I love hearing the PA guy's voice. That's the first thing that makes me feel like I'm there, in Disney.

Take lots of pictures of POR for me!!!
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:20 PM   #131
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That carrot cake cookie looks amazing. So does your meal at Coral Reef. I almost made a resie there for december, but opted for Rose and Crown. Did I make a mistake????
We're eating at both! I loved the Coral Reef but know it gets mixed reviews. My fish was cooked PERFECTLY last trip, though!

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Great list! I love doing countdown lists while I'm waiting for Disney, it's a fun way to pass the time and get excited for the trip! Definitely like #1 the best, once the Fall starts, Brandon goes back to work at night again, so that means I won't get to see him anymore, except on the weekends, so going to Disney and having a whole week together is amazing!
Awww, I love how Disney brings couples together! Working at night must be very tough-- I can't imagine that!

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How funny is this? We went to NYC yesterday and went to the Disney Store! We missed you by a day!!!

Amanda
Too funny! What did your family think of it?? So many missed "IRL" Disboards encounters on this thread-- you and I in the same store a day apart, Joyce and I being in the same amusement park but not seeing each other. So funny!!

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I love going on vacation but I don't love traveling to my destination. Flying to me is such a hassle with the security lines. And when I get to my gate, I just wanna get on my plane and go and can't stand the people that hold us up! I'm too impatient to enjoy the experience.

I love the Disney buses! I love hearing the PA guy's voice. That's the first thing that makes me feel like I'm there, in Disney.

Take lots of pictures of POR for me!!!
I definitely know I am a rare bird when it comes to flying!! Although, I do agree with you that once the plane is at the gate, I just want to get off! I'll definitely take lots of POR pictures-- I know you'll love staying there!
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:03 PM   #132
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The Mummy is so awesome! I rode it without knowing anything about it, and was just blown away. I think that was the ride that made us notice just how much Universal loves fire...

And I also really enjoy Disney transportation. We never drive in Disney, so the buses are just the norm for us... (even when it took forever to get anywhere from Kidani!)
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:22 PM   #133
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The Mummy is so awesome! I rode it without knowing anything about it, and was just blown away. I think that was the ride that made us notice just how much Universal loves fire...

And I also really enjoy Disney transportation. We never drive in Disney, so the buses are just the norm for us... (even when it took forever to get anywhere from Kidani!)
Haha, I remember reading your TR and how you guys noticed the presence of fire on basically every US ride! It's totally true!
I think the Disney buses are just magic-- they totally build up the excitement of arriving to a park!
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:27 PM   #134
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Hello, everyone! I hope everyone has a fun weekend ahead of them (I feel like I say that every update, haha). I volunteer some time at a youth leadership camp and we have a "thank you volunteers" BBQ Saturday night-- not too thrilled about that, but it's just one those things you HAVE to go to. Besides that, I just plan on relaxing. The end of the month is always crazy at work!
In trip news, I feel like our Disney plans have sort of halted. Now that we've paid it off, there's nothing really to do any more-- ADR's are made, packing lists finalized, etc. We plan to make a Target trip about two weeks before we leave to get our last travel minis. This year, I have to remind myself to check what travel-sized things we already have. I swear, when we got back from Vegas last year and I was unpacking, I discovered we had about six half-full travel-sized tubes of toothpaste in our closet! No need to buy more of those.
Just for fun, I thought I'd share not only the different park bags I'm planning on bringing on the trip, but all of the Vera Bradley! I 100% blame the Disboards for starting this obsession—I had hardly heard of VB, much less desired a hipster or anything else VB before reading these boards! Now, however. . .
My main park bag is a Dis classic, a VB hipster! Mine is exactly like the one below, in Very Berry Paisley, one of my favorite patterns:

(All VB photos by Elizabeth's Embellishments)
I love that it is hands-fee, light-weight, and roomy! I can stuff a lot in there! I also like that it's cotton, so if it stains, I can just spot-clean it or throw it in the wash when I get home. I'm not a VB purse carrier IRL (a bit too loud for me, I guess), but I love it for Disney!
I love using a VB clip id case to hold our KTTW, my ID, and Disney Visa. I'll keep the KTTW in the clear plastic slot to keep it away from my cell and credit cards. My everyday wallet (a leather Coach) is way to heavy and big to carry around Disney all day. The key is to keep the bag as light as possible!

I've already showed you all my nighttime hipster, which I've used a couple of times already and love! For leather, it's very light and just the perfect size for the things I need at night.
Our day at IOA/US is a totally different story. For those of you who haven't been, let me explain that you are NOT allowed to carry a bag on 90% of the rides. You have to stow all loose articles in a locker that has a super annoying finger-print scanner at each ride. These were annoying enough in the past, but with the addition of WWoHP, things have gotten crazy. I've heard that this can greatly increase line times at the Forbidden Journey, which is not what I'm going for. However, I do need to bring my camera, US park tickets, KTTW cards, at least one cell phone, and a credit card. My solution is to take a VB coin purse and lanyard:


I'll clip the lanyard to the zipper pull on the coin purse, stuff all of our crap in the coin purse (already tested for size!), and then pull the lanyard through the belt loop closest to one of my front pockets. Then (I know this may be hard to visualize), I'll pass the coin purse in the “hole” of the lanyard and put it (the coin purse) in one of my shorts pockets. This way, it'll be secured to my pants (I'm sure this kind of "knot" has an official name, but I have no idea what that could be. A Slip knot? Maybe? No..?) AND hidden in my pocket, away from the eyes of a worker who may want me to put it in a locker. I'd take pictures of what I mean, but we've been moving a ton of stuff around our place and I can't find the coin purse/lanyard. I'm sure they'll turn up (when I actually take a moment to look). As you can see, my lanyard/coin purse combo is green/silver/black (the pattern is called Baroque), which is very appropriate, seeing as I'll be sporting a Slytherin t-shirt this day!
All of my toiletries will be organized into Vera Bradley bags, as well. I can't decide between which of these two cosmetic bags to take for the very large selection of make up that will be accompanying me. I like the Very Berry Paisley Medium Cosmetic because it matches most of my other stuff...but the clear plastic one (Cupcakes Pink-- my former favorite pattern!) is easily to clean/find stuff in! Decisions, decisions!


No matter what, I'll be bringing the Very Berry Paisley Small Cosmetic. I use this to hold my various electronic chargers-- phone, iPod, camera battery, etc. I'll probably keep my extra memory card in here, as well.
For all of my toiletries, I'll be taking the hanging organizer in Mocha Rouge:

Here's a picture of it open:

When I first saw this, I thought it was HUGE. I kind of felt pressured into buying it at this small boutique-- the owner recognized Zach as someone who works with the mentally disabled (his organization had sent students to be job coached in her store) and said that we could have 10% off anything we bought. That was very sweet, but I definitely felt compelled to buy something after that! Again, I thought it might be TOO big, but some ladies on this Vera Bradley Facebook group I belong to assured me that the size is actually an advantage-- I can bring my full-size hair products and stick my straightener and hairbrush in here. (Facebook side note-- I am super addicted to FB! If anyone wants to be FB friends and see the status updates/pictures I'll probably post in Disney, PM me to get my FB url!) I do like having everything in one spot. QUESTION: Should I bring a removable hook or is there a hook somewhere in the bathroom at POR where I could hang it? For some reason, I don't think there is...
My absolute favorite VB piece of mine is what I use as a carry-on. (When I do a packing post, I'll share what I like to bring in it!) I absolutely love the shape of the bag-- I tend to gravitate towards bags with short handles (I never use the long straps and just suffer under the weight of the rolled straps in the crook of my elbow). The weekender (name of the bag) has lots of inside and outside pockets for organizing stuff.

I can't wait until our trip nears even more so I can start packing! We're at 34 days today!!
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:54 PM   #135
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Side note: I am crazy. I am contemplating booking a stay at one of the Universal resorts and staying there Saturday night before our IOA/US day. We have an early dinner that night and were planning on going to DTD, which we already have lots of time planned for. I've only heard wonderful things about the Universal resorts and having early access to WWoHP (especially when we only have one day) would be amazing! Of course, we already passed our 45 day mark, so we'd still have to pay for POR the night we didn't use it. Trying to convince them to let us do a split stay and keep our free dining seems not too likely. I feel like that would be really annoying, anyway (having to check in and check out).
This would be a pretty big added expense, but the more I think about it, the more I like it! Someone convince me to forget about this!
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