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Old 08-30-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
Sleepyhappyandgrumpy
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Smile T-50 to our First WDW Trip!

Hi All!
We are now 50 days out from our first Disney World Vacation and I am in that strange point in planning where the excitement has dimmed a bit and other things have taken over my life. Does this happen to you? I always plan our vacations like a crazy lady for weeks after we make our decisions, but then there comes a time when it just isn't so exciting for a while - the eye of the storm. Before long we will be two weeks away and I will be a crazy lady again. Here's the 411

Characters: Me (34yo SAHM & ft student), DH (36yo ft student and hospital employee), and DD4 (NOT a princess).

Set: Our home in urban, costal Maine, my DParent's home in suburban NH, and, of course WDW!!

Props: Our Dog - 8yo Border Collie mix - not good with strangers, dogs or human; a ridiculous amount of things I have made and/or purchased for the trip and must now fit into suitcases; and the feeling of dread induced by the thought that I have missed something important.

Prologue:

We decided to go back in April. We cannot really afford it, but I really want DD4 to go while she is still young enough to believe it all. We are staying at POP for 5 nights and will be attending MNSSHP. The trip is all paid for now and I am anxiously awaiting Mickey Mail!!

So - I mentioned that I've been making stuff: I have seen a lot of great things on the DIS, but most did not match my aesthetic, so I've been busy creating my own versions. I've made: An autograph book, an Epcot passport, tip envelopes, decorations for our window at POP, a plan - in pictures for DD4 so she can see what we will do each day and journal pages to go with it make a keepsake for her when we get home, and little cards that say "Thank you for making our day magical" to hand out while we are there. I will also be making a few t-shirts for DD4 to wear while we are there. I will get some pics of all of this stuff soon so you can see.

I have our schedule done - based on what we want to do and the info from the board and Touring Plans - I will post that too. We have tons of character meals because I don't want to stand in line to meet the characters in the parks - with a few exceptions. I was able to get all of the ADRs we wanted and -being an extremely picky eater- am very pleased about that!

One other little monkey wrench - I am a serious germ-aphobe - mostly about bugs that might make me puke- and I am very well (read too well) educated about the subject. Needless to say, I have planned for that as well!

Stay tuned for photos and details! I would love some input and advice!! Help me think of things I might have forgotten!

Thanks all!


family2010 by TVancil, on Flickr
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Last edited by Sleepyhappyandgrumpy; 08-31-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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Yay--I love first trips! Can't wait to see the crafty pictures
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
Sleepyhappyandgrumpy
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Some crafty stuff...

So here are a few pics of some of the stuff I've made for the trip. Nothing fancy but I had fun.

Here is the Epcot passport I made for her. I haven't finished the cover, but you get the idea.


Epcot passport by TVancil, on Flickr

This is the autograph book. The cover has "autograph' embossed on it, but it is hard to see in the picture


Autograph by TVancil, on Flickr

And here is the front and back of a thank you tag:


thank you tags by TVancil, on Flickr

I'll post some more pics and details soon! Hope you like them!
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Love them! I'm not crafty at all myself (and my kids never got into autographs, sadly (or maybe not so sadly--it's probably saved us a lot of time over the years, at least)...but if I were, that's totally the feel I'd go for--a little more...subtle than the typical Disney stuff.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Costumes or No costumes?

So DD4 is not a princess. She has only ever shown mild interest in Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, and maybe just a teensy bit more in Tinkerbell and her pals. Nope, in many ways she is a tomboy. She likes to wear dresses, but nothing too fancy that might get in the way of her running around and climbing on things. She's has spent months at different times insisting we call her McQueen, or Jake (and the Neverland Pirates), or even Handy Manny. Last year for Halloween she was Tiny from Dinosaur Train. (She does, for some reason I'll never understand, like My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake sometimes.) This year she was insisting that she wanted to be Phineas for Halloween. Now she wants to be a ghost. She doesn't want a "sparkly" ghost costume, though, just a "regular" ghost costume. So here's what I am thinking - I want her to be comfy in the park for the party, so I was thinking maybe a white leotard with ghost eyes, white tights, and a white tutu? Should be cool enough and won't get in her way?
Now for costumes for DH and I... I am not sure what we should go as. DH is bald so I am thinking 50's Housewife and Mr. Clean. Easy enough, right? But recognizable? Not so much.
Now my next question is about Disney Floral and Gifts. They have a cute little Mickey pumpkin basket with goodies, but it's $69. I'm not sure if it's worth it. I mean - I am sure that the products themselves are not worth $69, but having it appear in our room might be? But do they actually put it in the room? That's the question... There seems to be some debate about whether or not that actually happens consistently.
So I'm going to poke around on the boards some more and hope to get some answers...
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:31 PM   #6
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Our Plans...

So...
Here is the plan
Wednesday
11:55 Arrive in Orlando
Arrive at hotel
Check in
Leave bags at bell desk
Head to Downtown Disney for late lunch
Characters in flight
Back to hotel
Swim/Dinner
Bed

Thursday:
MAGIC KINGDOM!
6:30 AM Wake-up call
7:00 AM: Leave Hotel for 8:00 AM Rope-drop at Magic Kingdom
Breakfast at Main St. Bakery
Dumbo
Peter-Pan
Winnie-the-Pooh
Mad Tea Party
Get FP for Splash Mtn (Or ride if line is <20 min)
Aladdin
Big Thunder Mtn Railroad
Pirates of the Carribean
Lunch: Cosmic Ray’s??
Haunted Mansion
Tom Sawyer’s Island
Philharmagic
6:00 PM Dinner: The Crystal Palace
Back to Hotel -

Friday:
EPCOT!

6:30 Wake-up
7:00 Leave Hotel for Epcot (or leave at 7:20 taking taxi)
8:05 Breakfast: Akershus
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Test Track
World Showcase
Mexico
Norway
Japan
Lunch: Snack??
4:15 Dinner: The Garden Grill
Take Boat from International Gateway to Boardwalk
Boardwalk for snack/dessert
Taxi or bus back to POP.

Saturday:
ANIMAL KINGDOM/HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
6:30 Wake-up Call
7:00 Leave hotel for Animal Kingdom (or leave at 7:30 and take taxi)
8:20 Breakfast: Tusker House
Safari
Kali River Rapids??
Jungle Trek
Tif to EE, B&A to Tricera Spin
Meet in Boneyard
Nemo Show
Tree of Life
Camp Minnie Mickey
Lion King Show
Lunch: BBQ?
Afternoon: Hollywood Studios
Get TOT FP
Phineas and Ferb M&G
Muppets 3D
Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground
Voyage of Little Mermaid
Ride Tower of Terror
6:30 Dinner: Sci-Fi Cafe
Back to Hotel

Sunday:
MNSSHP!
8:00 Wake-up Call
8:40 Leave for Grand Floridian (Taxi)
9:20 Breakfast: 1900 Park Fare
Day Open: Relax? Nap? Back to a park?
5:00 Dinner: The Plaza – Magic Kingdom
7:00 Halloween Party (stay as long as the kid lasts...)

Monday:
HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS/HOME
6:00 Wake-up
7:00 Leave Hotel (or leave at 7:30 and take taxi)
Take suitcases to Bell Desk
Check in at Resort Airline Check-in Desk
Breakfast: Playhouse Disney 8:15
Get FP for TSM
Beauty & Beast live on Stage
??
12:10 Lunch: 50s Prime Time Café
Taxi back to Hotel
2:45 Meet Magical Express
6:05 Flight Departs

I chose the days based on Touring Plans crowd levels (not necessarily the recommendations) and AM EMH. I chose the order of the attractions based on the touring plans they have on the site but modified them based on what the three of us actually want to do.

We chose to get he Deluxe Dining Plan, not to save money, but because we want to do a lot of character meals/TS meals and we know that if we did not pay in advance we would be very concerned about how much we were spending and would order the cheapest meal on the menu. This way we can order whatever we want and it's included. Will it cost us more? Absolutely. Will it be more fun? Absolutely. Any thoughts?

We are also thinking that we might take Taxis sometimes instead of the buses. I am thinking that we might want the few minutes of extra sleep in the morning some mornings and don't want to spend all of our time on buses. We thought about renting a car, but we don't really want to have to deal with parking, either, so we'll take buses when we can and taxis if we feel like it. Time is money, right? Especially at Disney!

Well, that's the plan. I do not expect things to go according to the plan, but I like to have one anyway!

I am trying to resist the urge to add more stuff to the plan. The pirate's fireworks cruise sounds fun, but I don't think DD4 will make it that late. The afternoon Tea Party sounds fun, too, but I don't know when we would squeeze it in.

I may still try to get my husband in for a surprise massage... I was hoping to do it at GF after our breakfast at 1900, but they are going to be closed while we are there. That adds a fair amount of travel time to the endeavor - going to SSR or the Swan, so I don't know if he will want to take the time out of the trip when he could get a massage at home.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas? Criticisms?
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:32 PM   #7
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Did I mention it's a surprise??

So we haven't told DD4 about the trip. I know... I know. See, the thing is she doesn't like to sleep. When she is excited, she doesn't sleep at all. At all. She knows all about WDW. I made up a story about a little girl who went to WDW and I've told her all of the fun things she did there. We've looked at all the guide books together and watched all the shows on Netflix, so she knows what it is all about. She knows that we are going 'sometime when she's older.'
I don't want to start the trip at a sleep deficit so we aren't telling her. We're going to my parents' house the night before because they are closer to the airport and our flight is at 9am. We'll get up at 5:45 and leave for the airport telling her we are going to the city for the day. Once we get to the airport we'll tell her. I don't know how it will go over. I know she's excited to go, but I am prepared for her to freak out a bit at the surprise. We'll see.
Anyway - keeping the secret has been a total pain and I know it's only going to get worse before we go! It's a good thing she can't really read yet!!

We've been having 'family movie night' too. I want to make sure that she knows all of the characters we're likely to see so she's been suffering through Robin Hood (one of my favs), Jungle Book, and Cinderella once a week. It sounds like a wonderful time, and for many families I'm sure it is. I have a romanticized notion of the three of us snuggling on the couch, eating pop corn, talking about the plot. But she's four. And a tad hyperactive. So it's more of me trying to keep her in the room and happy than of us snuggling happily on the couch. Don't get me wrong - we have a great time - but it is not the Norman-Rockwell picture of movie enjoyment. At any rate - I've gotten Lady and the Tramp from ebay - so hopefully she'll (sort-of) watch that one. I just have to get my hands on Pinocchio - (shh.... I've never seen it either.)

I have all sorts of stuff for the plane ride - it's only three hours, but it will be her first time on a plane and she will be very excited. I've been collecting Disney stuff - those books with the magic color markers, small puzzles, crayons, books, etc... I figure that and the flight TV will help make the time pass. I also mentioned that I have made her a schedule in pictures of our plans for the week so I can go over that with her on the plane. She likes to know the plans.

So that's the story. I'll put some pics of the schedule up soon. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:38 AM   #8
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I followed your link to your PTR because it looks like you have about the same amount of time as we do until we go on the trip. I didn't see the exact dates, but from your schedule, it looks like you arrive on October 19 and go to MNNSHP on October 23? We also arrive on the 19th and are probably going to the party on the 23rd. We also have Magic Kingdom planned for Thursday and are staying at Pop! What a coincidence!

Your daughter is absolutely adorable. I am going with two friends for a girls only trip.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashley0139 View Post
I followed your link to your PTR because it looks like you have about the same amount of time as we do until we go on the trip. I didn't see the exact dates, but from your schedule, it looks like you arrive on October 19 and go to MNNSHP on October 23? We also arrive on the 19th and are probably going to the party on the 23rd. We also have Magic Kingdom planned for Thursday and are staying at Pop! What a coincidence!

Your daughter is absolutely adorable. I am going with two friends for a girls only trip.
We're going the 19th and returning the 24th. Wish it was for longer, but maybe next time! We are doing MNSSHP on the 23 too! Are you going in costume?
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
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Only 20 Days!!

It's getting so close! I've finished with her goodie bag for the plane - I might have gone a bit overboard, but she shouldn't get bored! I found a reusable Phineas & Ferb bag on eBay and filled it with all sorts of coloring activities, a Toy Story etch-a-sketch, stickers, a vintage Haunted Mansion Pop-Up book (also eBay), and lots more. I also ran out to Wal-Greens and got a bunch of Disney halloween stuff including a Mickey head trick or treat bucket and light-up spin toy. I plan to have that ready for her in the room when we come back from breakfast the day of the party. I was going to get her the one from Disney Florist, but it's $70 and she wouldn't care about the stuffy or some of the treats, so I was thrilled to find out about the stuff at Wal-Greens. (Thanks DIS!)

I've made her two t-shirts for the party - I'll see if I can post pics. They both say 'Not A Princess'. One is Isabella from P&F and the other is Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. (I have no problem with princesses, but I very much like that there are other options for girls - even if there aren't too many.)

She will not decide on a Halloween costume - so I made her one for the party. I figured she'll need a different one for the real Halloween because it's 80 down there but possibly 30 or 40 here at Halloween. So - I have white tights, white tu-tu, white leotard, and a white feather boa to tie around her ponytails. I am cutting out a ghost face from sticky black felt to stick on the leotard. I am also hoping to find some battery-operated white LED lights on a clear wire to put in her tu-tu. She'll be a cute ghost! (I'm hoping she'll wear it without a fight...) I also got her an inexpensive white cardigan to go over it if it gets chilly.

I'm still resisting the urge to change things in our plan, and fortunately, every time I've checked for other ADRs they've been unavailable so my plan is still in tact.

Now I'm trying to think of logistics. Paperwork, packing, considering making t-shirts for all of us to wear for the next few weeks saying, "If you're sick please stay far away!" Just kidding. Mostly.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:32 PM   #11
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Less than a Week... and we're all sick.

So one week from tonight we will be in sunny (or judging by the weather reports cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms) Florida! And all three of us have come down with a nasty cold. Here's the thing: I'm happy that it's this week and not next! Yay for that. On the other hand, both my husband and I are in school full-time and have to get two week's worth of work done before next Tuesday. So I'm sitting on the couch in my jammies at six o'clock in the evening trying to do algebra in my cold-medicine-induced stupor. I don't think I'll check my grades until after we're back. Ha ha. Anyway- the kid has a pretty good cough going and I am a bit nervous that she'll get bronchitis - but just a little nervous.
Aside from the school work I think we're all set! I haven't actually started packing but we've purchased everything we need and gathered it all together. I can't really whip out the suitcases and start loading them because it's a surprise, so I'm working out some stealthy packing ideas.
Anyway - right now the weather isn't looking super, but not too bad either. It's a bit far out to really know much yet, but that doesn't stop me from checking every day. A few times a day. Just in case.
I've made just about everything I had hoped to, although I still have not decided if I am going to dress up for the party. I'm thinking that I probably won't - I just don't have the time to think about it. Maybe if I get everything done before the weekend is up I'll be able to come up with something. It's all a race against the clock (and the cold-medicine) right now!
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