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Old 07-17-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
FosterA
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A skeptical family of First-Timers take on WDW Nov 15-22** NOV 28 update

This is my first pre/trip report so bear with me. I'm not exactly a wiz on computers and all this techy stuff

Oh...and a quick explanation of my Trip Report Title. I say "skeptical" because my kids are 11 and 14 and have no idea what Disney is like. They think it's going to be just another day at the local carnival. My husband has never been either and is just sure it's no different than our local Six-Flags. He also thinks it's going to be too "baby-ish" since all Disney seems to show in their commercials is the Dumbo ride, teacups, and little girls running around in princess dresses! How can you blame them for being skeptical?
I am the only one of us four that has ever been and that was just a few months ago and it was a 2-day rushed tour where I barely skimmed the surface of the parks. I saw enough to know it was flippin' awesome though and that my family is going to love it!!
Stay tuned for:
Introductions
What, When, Where
My Big "Awakening"
Why the Polynesian?
The hardest part...picking the dates!
Wow! I'm going to go on a pre-trip trip to Disney...you know, scout it out before the "real" trip
First ever night at Disney-staying at All Star Music
Everything is so clean and shiny!
My first ever Disney park and attractions-Hollywood Studios
Checkin out Poly and Animal Kingdom
Stepping into the Magic Kingdom for the first time
3 parks in one day...exhausting but I loved it!
My second and last day at WDW...chasing the marathon
First ever Epcot experience
More Epcot then back to MK for Wishes. wow!
Final thoughts on my "pre-real trip" trip

I scored excellent plane tix for Nov!
The plans for Day 1 (in theory)
The ADRs I've picked
The plans for Day 2
The plans for Day 3
The Plans for Day 4
The Plans for Day 5
The Plans for Day 6
The Plans for Day 7

79 days to go!
It's getting closer and how I dodged a bullet thinking we'd have to reschedule this trip!
65 days to go!
My list of what I predict will be David's favorite things about the trip
Check out my Photo Itinerary
54 days to go!
48 days to go!
"Oh, I didn't know there was a beach or water by the Poly." What?!
38 days to go....wow! that is actually pretty close.
I got Magical Express Mail!
29 days to go! an update with just random thoughts and tidbits
21 days to go!
Is there anybody NOT following me to Disney?!
Holy Cow, only 9 days to go!!
Today's my last day of work, it's vacation time starting at 2:00!!!
Leaving in a few hours!! Gonna try to sleep for a couple hours first though!!
We made it back! follow my link to the trip report!

Last edited by FosterA; 11-28-2011 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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So the plan is to give you the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, AND WHERE and then work into my PRE-TRIP stuff and then eventually the real TRIP REPORT. Maybe I can figure out how to do links and a table of contents? That would be cool but I'm not sure my brain knows where to begin with that.


THE WHO behind this operation:
ME!


I'm a 38 year old mother of 2 great kids and wife to a super husband. I'm a hairdresser/salon owner in the Great State of Texas. I'm also the mastermind behind this vacation and have discovered something about myself. I'm one of those freak obsessive planners that are all over the DIS It's just so fun! I wonder if the trip will be as fun as the planning? I am the only one of us 4 that has ever set foot on Disney property. I still consider myself a newbie and inexperienced though because I have only been once and that was to support my friend doing the marathon. I did all 4 parks in 2 days and wore myself ragged. It was just so fun and I wanted to see EVERYTHING but really just skimmed the surface.


DAVID:

My husband of 15 years. He's a great dad and a hardworking, laid back guy that puts up with my neurotic planning behavior. His planning for this trip consists of asking what days he's supposed to request off from work. He'll pack the night before, has never picked up a guide book, has no clue how big and crazy this WDW place is. When I first approached him about loosening up the purse strings and coughing out the big bucks to make this happen he said, "Aren't the kids too old for Disney?' and "Is it really all that different than Fiesta Texas down the road?". I of course had done my research and was ready to plead my case. I spouted off a million reasons why the kids were soooooo NOT too old for Disney and how they will all just LOVE it! Finally, like a good husband, he remembered that "when mama aint happy, aint nobody happy" so he relented and allowed me to get the show on the road. David is an engineer/techy guy so I really think he's going to be impressed with so many of the attractions. He also likes fireworks quite a bit. He enjoys his alcoholic beverages so I'm looking forward to showing him that we can get all sorts of great drinks at The World. Especially in Epcot! Does Fiesta TX serve fancy tequilas?........NOOOOOO. He is also big into gardening so I think he'll like that garden attraction at Epcot with the mammoth sized veggies. He also is a Rock-n-Roll dude and I just KNOW he'll love the Aerosmith Coaster!

ALLISON:
This is our petite (um...did not get that from me) and pretty 14-year old, going on 25-year old. She's rather artsy and is into different cultures so I have a feeling she's going to like Animal Kingdom alot and also World Showcase. Of course we are past the princess stage but I asked her if she wanted to meet any characters and she said, "Ariel"! Cool with me, she's my favorite too. Allison loves sushi and fruit so staying at the Poly should be right up her alley! I told her about Dole Whips and her eyes got as big as saucers with excitement!

IAN:

He is our happy little guy. 11 years old, going on 6! He's pretty immature for his age but that's ok! He's happy all the time and can completely entertain himself for hours and hours just playing with Legos and blocks and such. When he was a baby, he'd get a little flipped out with crowds and overstimulation and had a few other "quirks" but he seems to have "outgrown" most of that which is great. He also has some eating issues and "picky' would be an understatement. I'm glad we are going to Disney now because I really think it would have been too hard when he was younger because of all the stimulation there.
He says he's totally game to do ALL the rides, even TOT so that's awesome! He'll watch the Disney Parks DVDs (from Sam's) over and over. Ian is going to go completely nutso at Disney to the point that he'll drop like a ton of bricks every night when we get back to our room
He's going to say that EVERY ride is his favorite and he'll want to keep doing them over and over so I'm prepared to force him to move on and try all the other stuff too!



Oh, and I think I'll throw in a photo of our evil cat too. He will not be going on the trip (Thank God) but he wanted me to tell everybody that his favorite character is the evil cat that is owned by Cinderella's stepmother.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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So coming along with you on your trip report...we have so much in common. I am trying to convince my 2 older ones (the same ages as yours) that WDW is so much more than what they think.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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im in!
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:36 PM   #5
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yipee I got my first two customers. haha
I'm going to follow along on ya'lls reports too!
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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So I left off after the "WHO" segment with introductions and all. Now moving on to the "WHERE, WHAT, WHEN"

We are flying out of Austin on Nov 15, 2011 and will be staying at the Poly until Nov 22. So, 7 nights and pretty much 7 full days since our arrival day should get us there by noon
We will be taking the Magical Express and relying on monorail and buses and such for the entire trip. I'm actually looking forward to not having to deal with a rental car. They always make me nervous and I get all uptight about the stupid car until we turn the thing in. Worried about wrecking it, forgetting to put gas in it, leaving something important in it.....yada yada. Yep, looking forward to not renting a car!
I booked a package with hopper but we are not doing the waterparks and we are not doing the dining plan because my kids eat like birds yet are "adult" prices so just not really worth it to us.
When I went to WDW back in Feb with my friend for the marathon, I was able to apply a bounceback offer to my already booked package (how cool is that) I didn't even have a flyer or anything in the room but since this Dis board has educated me so well, I knew to call a particular number from room phone and just ask. I was honest and said I already had booked a package but I would un-book and re-book if I needed to but they just went ahead and applied. Yipee, 40% off of our room for 5 of the nights and 2 of the nights were not covered and will be rack rate.
We also are going to hit up the Christmas Party. I booked just a few ADR's which include Hoop, Luau, Sci Fi, Rose and Crown. Did not book any buffets since kids hate food and are not huge character groupies. Plus, David gets excited at buffets and eats very fast and then feels bloated and miserable all day and we don't want dad to slow us down!


So I think I've covered all the technical details such as who is going and when and where we're staying. My next segment will be all the deets on how I hatched this big plan and how I had to beg and plead with my husband to agree to go! Let's just say I had to do a lot of "Disney math" when going over the predicted cost of the trip and more or less convince him that our 11 and 14 year old kids are the only kids on Earth that haven't been to Disney and it was downright un-American to not take them on this rite of passage
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:29 PM   #7
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So I may not have alot of "followers" yet but that's ok. I had the day off today and am in the Disney mood so I will continue to add to my report because....well, it's fun!

Ok, so I'll fill you in on how the big plan was hatched. I think I just had some sort of "awakening" one day and realized my kids weren't babies anymore. Duh, they are 11 and 14! They are getting to that age where they don't want to be seen with us in public and they also are starting to do more things with friends versus family. waaaah. I'd hate for somebody else to take my kids to WDW before we ever get around to it! No sirreeeee

Niether me nor my husband were raised in a "Disney Family" nor did we hang out with any big Disney fans in particular. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest.....way opposite of FL and too far to CA. My dad is the cheapest man on Earth and avoids tourist-y, gift-shop-y places like the plague. Our family vacations were usually to General So and So's Battlefield or something like that. So boring that us kids usually chose to stay in the car while mom and dad roamed around looking at things.
I'm not sure why David didn't go to Disney as a kid but more than likely it was just that nobody was interested enough to spend the money.

So...what I'm getting to is that we really are newbies with all this Disney stuff but since I had the big "awakening" that I just MUST get the kiddos to Disney before they get any older, then I better get to planning and scheming! We have never really taken a "real" vacation. My husband disagrees when I say that because we have been to several states and D.C. and so forth but usually they were tied into "obligation" trips such as reunions, weddings, work related, etc etc. We do go to the Texas beaches every summer and fly up to the Pacific Northwest to see my family alot and that's all well and good but I can't remember EVER booking a trip just for the 4 of us to go to a resort type destination without having to deal with family and just being able to do what WE want. I guess we're a little on the country bumpkin side and not really well-traveled but I'm about to change that, starting with getting to WDW FINALLY!

This urgent need for me to get our butts to Disney happened around the Summer of '10. I had a minor surgery and was laid up for a couple of days so I had an excuse to get some reading done. I had picked up 2 books at the used book store. Unofficial Guide and Passporter. I read them cover to cover and those books got me more excited and now I really wanted to go!
The hardest part of planning was deciding "WHEN" to go. I agonized for weeks because we have school age kids and that requires missing school or going in the heat. Well, I then got one of those elusive pin codes in the mail and one of the weeks included was a week in Nov, the week before Thanksgiving. I approached David and begged to go and that the pin code was a sign from God. He put the big ol' kibosh on it though. It's not that he's a meany, just that we had recently graduated from Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace University" and I'm pretty sure blowing a wad of cash for a Disney vacay is not one of the steps to financial freedom You know, there's all that other stuff we should be using our money for like retirement, college, savings, boring stuff, boring stuff. Sigh...he was right. But alas! He said we could not go in Nov '10 but he promised me that we would do Nov '11!!! I would have rather gone in '10 because Allison would not yet be in high school but I wasn't going to push my luck so we compromised and agreed that now we would have enough time to save up all the cash and not charge a dime. Dave Ramsey would be proud. So now that I got the hubster on board it was time to plan it up! The planning was on like Donkey Kong! I discovered the Dis boards and now have become a certified Disney planning freakazoid. I'd even make a spread sheet if I had the computer skills! Can you believe I don't know how to use Excel? I did tell everybody I was a hairdresser right?

Ok, I'll wrap this up now. My next segment is how I ironed out the exact dates in November we wanted to go and how we came to choose the Poly (let's say wine was involved)
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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Started reading your report because we are going in November, also, the 10th through the 19th. We are always interested in "first-timers" to see what their reactions will be to the World. Your children are absolutely not too old, there is so much to see and do that on your way home you will be plotting "how soon can we go again"! Have a great time.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sueandjoe View Post
Started reading your report because we are going in November, also, the 10th through the 19th. We are always interested in "first-timers" to see what their reactions will be to the World. Your children are absolutely not too old, there is so much to see and do that on your way home you will be plotting "how soon can we go again"! Have a great time.
Thanks for following along! I think we picked a good week to go? I would have preferred the Sat-Sat the week before Thanksgiving (more like your times) but I needed the kids to check in at school for at least one day that week (mon) to get homework to go and stuff.
I hope ya'll have a great time too!
It is probably fun hearing about what first-timers think huh? I'm certainly inexperienced myself w/ WDW but David and kids really have ZERO expectations and I just can't wait to see what they think! I'll be sure to follow this report through w/ plenty of photos and details of the trip!
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:14 AM   #10
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Hi FosterA!
Great start to your pre TR. I am so excited for you! There is nothing like your first family trip to WDW. I know your family is going to have a ball. My kids are older too: DS almost 17 and DD almost 13 (her name is Allison, also) and they LOVE Disney. As a matter of fact we are doing a Disney cruise (first time) for DS graduation. That was his request.
One of the things that is diving me crazy with the cruise is there is not that much to plan. Of course there are things to shop for but like you I am doing this on a cash basis (no charging) so I am having to save, save, save not spend, spend, spend. So....I will look forward to hearing more about your OCD trip planning.
TTFN,
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokeemamma View Post
Hi FosterA!
Great start to your pre TR. I am so excited for you! There is nothing like your first family trip to WDW. I know your family is going to have a ball. My kids are older too: DS almost 17 and DD almost 13 (her name is Allison, also) and they LOVE Disney. As a matter of fact we are doing a Disney cruise (first time) for DS graduation. That was his request.
One of the things that is diving me crazy with the cruise is there is not that much to plan. Of course there are things to shop for but like you I am doing this on a cash basis (no charging) so I am having to save, save, save not spend, spend, spend. So....I will look forward to hearing more about your OCD trip planning.
TTFN,
Darlene
So glad to hear your kids are older and LOVE Disney. I know my kids will love it too, who wouldn't? I think they just get a pre-conceived idea in their head that it's baby-ish so it's going to be so fun to prove them wrong!
A cruise sounds fun too, but you're right...not much to plan. bummer!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #12
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Hi! Joining in, I suppose Also, if it helps, my sister and I are around your daughter's age and we LOOOOVE DISNEY! If you're interested, maybe it would help your daughter "get Disney," but I wrote a trip report of my last trip with my family, and since it's written by someone around her age, it could help cure the "it's for babies" thoughts perhaps?

I can't believe what you must be going through, being the only "Disney" person in your house With my obsession, I would probably die if my family weren't all as obsessed as I am haha!

Good for you going for the Poly! It's my dream resort, I just love the atmosphere and the location and everything! If it's not cold or anything one night, be sure to watch Wishes on the beach...it's just magical

Looking forward to more plans and hoping for a turn-around in these Disney skeptics
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:12 PM   #13
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Before I get started on this segment and tell you a little more about why we chose the POLY, I'm going to throw on a couple more photos. I know I love seeing photos in Trip reports!
The first one is just of the whole family taken about a year ago.
The one with the kids and Mickey was A LONG TIME ago (they were just little babies!) when we were in D.C. There was at least 50 Mickey statues on Display and I particularly liked the Texas Mickey








So once I finally got the A-ok to make this trip happen, I knew the first order of business would be to figure out WHERE to stay and WHEN exactly to go. I assumed that since David really didn't want to go that we would just pick a Value resort and save the money and since there is so much unchartered territory for us newbies to explore in the parks....why waste money on a place that we would just sleep at?? WELL....I assumed wrong. One night I was watching the Disney planning DVD on my computer and David walked in right when the Poly was being showcased. He says, "I really don't want to go but since we are, I want to stay there", pointing at the screen. He's a man of very few words but when he says something he means it. He's the opposite of me, not a wishy washy bone in his body! If it was just me going, I'd have switched resorts 14 times by now.
Anyhoo...I responded with "Well, like it's really really expensive". He's like "I don't care, we're only going once so let's do it right". I'm like "okay??"
I then noticed he's drinking a big glass of wine and possibly not thinking straight so now's my chance before he sobers up After all, he's been taking advantage of me when I drink for years now so it's my chance to get even! If he insists on the Poly, than Poly we will go! I promptly booked the next day of course
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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Hello from a fellow Austinite! I followed you from the Poly board. Your trip looks super exciting and I'm enjoying your PTR so far. For your hubby, there are actually a couple of "drinking around the world" sites that will tell you all the nice cocktails you can try at WDW. Let me know if you'd like for me to look them up for you.

Welcome, also, to the planning addiction! We will be staying at the Poly for our first time a few weeks after you. Feel free to join my PTR (which, at the moment, is quite dormant).

Your kiddos are certainly not too old for Disney. In fact, I'd say they're a great age! You hit the nail on the head that you don't have to worry about strollers, etc.

I know your hubby said "we're only going once..." but I will tell you, I won't be surprised if you're starting another PTR the moment you get back from this trip! You just can't do it all in one trip, and your family will be addicted to Disney!
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:21 PM   #15
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I'm in! Yay for the Poly!
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