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Old 01-11-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
Johndough
Earning My Ears
 
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Shame on you Charlie, you must not foil our plans again- PTR 10day Mar/Apr 2012

Thank you for joining in as I will be your host for the remainder of this wonderful and magical journey as we will be travelling back in time to reminisce and share with you our Disney history and experience while making two quick stops at DisneyWorld and then two more stops at Disneyland and then finally arriving at our final destination at DisneyWorld.

Since this is my first PTR & soon-to-be TR, I’m going to be including a lot of details in the PTR of my past trips as more of a way for me and my DW to reminisce and to remember why we love our Disney vacations.

For those of you that are more interested in hearing about our upcoming WDW TRIP and our itinerary plans, please feel free to skip ahead (once I’ve completed that portion of our PTR).

For those that are interested in hearing about our past trips to DL & WDW, please read on and welcome aboard!!

We are still in the double digits before our Disney vacation at the end of March, but this dream is becoming more of a reality after having booked our flights last week. Before long, we will be stressing out about what to pack, double checking and triple checking our list to ensure we packed everything, stressing to make sure we don’t miss our flight, & worrying about whether or not our reservation is in the system when we get to WDW. It won’t be until we are handed our Disney package at the resort with our Key To The World card that we will truly feel like we finally made it to our vacation destination.


Space below reserved for Table of Contents:


I. INTRODUCING… YOUR CAST!!!...

II. A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE (part 1)…

III. ALRIGHTY, WHO IS THIS CHARLIE THAT YOU SPEAK OF…?

IV. THE MOST EXPENSIVE LIMO RIDE EVER...

V. A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE (part 2)…

VI. ARE WE THERE YET? WHERE IS THE ITINERARY ??!!




UPCOMING: INTRODUCING…. YOUR CAST!!
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!

Last edited by Johndough; 01-15-2012 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:10 AM   #2
Johndough
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I. INTRODUCING…. YOUR CAST!!

ME (Danny): I grew up loving Disney but I saw Disney as more of a company that produced wonderful cartoons and amazing movies and not as a vacation destination. As a child, my highlight of every week was eagerly waiting for Sunday nights to watch Disney movies on ABC with Michael Eisner giving a pre-show presentation where I would be mesmerized and transported to the wonderful world of Disney for the next 2 hours of pure Disney bliss. I knew about the Disney theme parks as a child but my family never had enough money to go on any family vacations and to even think about going to Disneyland was such an impossibility that I lived my Disney dreams vicariously through Disney TV and through friends who were lucky enough to go to Disneyland/ DisneyWorld during school breaks.

** we interrupt you for a quick Danny fact **

I love rides and having my picture taken on rides. It has always been a tradition to do something silly & memorable for each ride as I get my picture taken. See if you can guess where I am in the pictures.

** and now back to our program **


(Our DD’s very first Splash Mountain ride. Can you find her hiding?)




(This picture was taken during my very first Dinosaur ride and I didn't know where the picture was being taken so I rode the entire ride with a surprised look on my face)


(Can you find Tom Selleck in this picture?)







DW (Deona): My lovely wife of 13 years. We have been together (if you include the 5 yrs we dated) for nearly half of our lives. She is everything to me and keeps me well grounded. However, we cannot be anymore different from each other. I love action movies, she loves drama movies. I love seafood, she cannot stand the smell of seafood. I love spicy food, she thinks ketchup is spicy (ok… slight exaggeration there but you get my point!), I love skiing & snowboarding, she hates being cold. I’m a night owl, she’s in bed by 10pm. If you were to put both of our profiles in a dating/ matching program based on our likes and dislikes, we would come up completely at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Only as a sick and twisted prank, would they ever put us together on a date. However, even with all our differences, she is the perfect complement to me. Opposites truly do attract!!




DD6 (Madelyn): Our beautiful daughter who just turned 6 in December and she loves the 4 P’s. What? You say you’ve never heard of that before? Well, she loves anything and everything that has to do with Princesses. She loves everything that is Pretty and if she can paint the world in 2 colors, it would be Pink and Purple. Her first Disney experience was at Disneyland in 2008 when she was just 2 ½ years old. My goal is to give our daughter every opportunity to live out her dreams and to be able to experience the world of Disney in ways that I was never able to when I was a child. Life is way too short and kids grow up even faster.






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLX4n-UmpvI
This is a video of her singing Zip A Dee Doo Dah on our last day at Disneyland at her first Disney vacation. I could never get tired of watching this.

By the way, DD does NOT know that we are going to WDW. We are going to tell her on the day we’re leaving that that we are going on a special trip and not say anything else until she figures it out herself when we get to Orlando.


UPCOMING: A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE (part 1)…
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:11 AM   #3
Johndough
Earning My Ears
 
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II. A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE (part 1)…

Both my wife and I have been to Disneyland in the past (before California Adventure opened and the availability of FastPasses), but those trips were the typical shotgun type, one day trips. Meaning, you go at rope drop, waste hours waiting in lines & roasting in the heat, and leave after the evening fireworks. We had no concept of a multi-day Disney vacation as big vacations were not something our families did when we were kids.

It wasn’t until our 2nd anniversary that we wanted to do a WDW vacation in the summer of 2001 and I’m struggling to remember why... Having gone to Hawaii for our honeymoon and our 1yr anniversary, I guess we wanted to do something different. Something different than a tropical destination I guess…

So, we booked a 8 day trip with 3 nights at the Yacht Club with a water view and 4 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savanna view. With our Frommer’s Walt Disney World book in hand, we began to plan our activities for each day. The Frommer’s WDW book was our only resource for research (we didn’t even know Disney forums existed and how many like-minded Disney fanatics there are) and it was invaluable in helping us to better understand what to expect and how to plan accordingly to get the most of our trip. I cannot state how important it was for us to have planned ahead and have a daily plan for what we wanted to accomplish. All credit goes to my DW who is meticulous about planning for exactly what we’re going to be doing, when we wake up, where to eat, etc. Whereas, I am more of a leisurely planner. Things are much different now of course having seen the light and I think we’re both equally obsessive in our Disney trip planning.

Our room at the Yacht Club:









Our room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge:









(Our room location was amazing. We were right in front of a watering hole where a lot of the animals came to cool down and to drink and I think at one point we had something like over 20 animals in view.)






For first timer visitors of WDW, books, pictures, shows, & videos cannot fully prepare you for what you are about to experience how grand and expansive the WDW property is and of course, the summer weather in Orlando (if you are not used to that kind of climate). We both grew up in Seattle where the summers are very mild averaging in the low to mid 80s with very little humidity.

After we had landed in Orlando and on our way to our resort from the airport, the sky opened up and it rained. Not just rain, it was a torrential downpour. DW and I call these “Danny Rain”. The kind where if you stood outside for 5 seconds, you would be completely soaked from head to toe. The kind where even if you had your car wipers on high speed, you still cannot see out your windshield. There is something calming and relaxing about hearing the roaring sound of rain hitting the ground, the roofs, your umbrella, the sounds of the trees and the leaves being drenched by the rain and the feeling of all the dirt and things that are dirty being cleansed and washed away. I don’t know what it is but every single time it puts a smile on my face.

** we interrupt you for a quick Seattle fact **

Even though Seattle may be known for rain, Seattle actually doesn’t rank too high in the average annual precipitation received (not even ranked in the top 50 cities in the US). Seattle has a lot of days in the spring and the fall where there is a lot of gray & gloomy cloudy days mixed in with rain, showers, & drizzle which creates the façade of being “always wet”.

** and now back to our program **

And so it rained and it rained. It rained most of the first day. It rained the second day. And it rained the third day.










We were expecting daily thunderstorms and spot showers but to essentially have 3 days of nonstop rain was something we were not expecting. We were discouraged, almost on the borderline of being upset as our thoughts were, “We had just left Seattle’s rainy weather for more rain?”
Not willing to let the rain affect our trip, with our Disney ponchos in hand we vowed to make the most of our trip and enjoy it for what it was.



As the WDW veterans will tell you, the rain actually DOES have its benefits!! The temperatures are milder and the best part is that the crowds are much thinner thus the wait lines being shorter, especially during the peak summer months.

On day 4, the rain finally stopped and the weather did a complete 360 as if the weather heard us and granted EXACTLY what we wished for. And as the saying goes, “Be careful for what you wish for...”
It was literally 95 degrees everyday (with humidity of course) and it did not rain for the remainder of our trip. It turns out, rain during the midday is actually good because it cools things down considerably and thins out the crowds.

Now, the silly thing with humidity is that it is everywhere! You cannot escape the humidity. You cannot hide under a tree to wait it out. You cannot go and change into drier clothes because you will continue to sweat as soon as you step foot outside. You cannot go and pour water on yourself because your clothes will not dry.

** we interrupt you for a quick TMI **

You know in the Kali River Rapids ride in AK, there is always that ONE seat that always gets soaked? Well, I got THAT seat (it was a morning ride) and I was soaked and my clothes & socks stayed wet for the remainder of the afternoon until we went back to our room to change and rest. Now if you can imagine what else gets wet when your clothes get soaked? That’s right! Your underware. Try to imagine walking around in 95 degrees weather all afternoon in your wet underware...

** and now back to our program **

At the end of our 8 day WDW trip that included 2 stays at a Deluxe resort and a day at an amazing water park, we were smitten by the WDW bug. Even if we had 2 stayed weeks at WDW, we’re not sure if that would have been enough time to see what WDW had to offer.

This was the very first time in my life that I had the Post-Vacation Blues. I was genuinely depressed on our last day that we would be going home and saying goodbye to what we called “Home” the last 8 days.



UPCOMING: ALRIGHTY, WHO IS THIS CHARLIE THAT YOU SPEAK OF…?
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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Your ride pictures are cracking me up!!! Joining in, btw!!!

I will have some 'similar' ride pictures in my TR, too, so we have that find the camera and be silly trait in common!

Now to go finish reading!
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The Last of the OCD Type A Planners to get her TR started - December 2011 TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post43707322

Feb'15*PHM*AKL*May'14*AOA Vacation*Dec'11*Poly Xmas*May'09*Poly Vacation*June'07*Poly Vacation*Feb'89*MK-EP*offsite*June'88*Disneyland*offsite*February'88* EP*offsite
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
Johndough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shocky5 View Post
Your ride pictures are cracking me up!!! Joining in, btw!!!

I will have some 'similar' ride pictures in my TR, too, so we have that find the camera and be silly trait in common!

Now to go finish reading!
So good to hear that there are others like me. I ended up having to go on the California Screamin' ride three times to get that picture as I couldn't figure out where exactly the camera was located. I can't wait to see your ride pictures.
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!

Last edited by Johndough; 01-12-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:30 PM   #6
Johndough
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III. ALRIGHTY, WHO IS THIS CHARLIE THAT YOU SPEAK OF…?

Having completed one of the best vacations of our lives, we decided to book another WDW vacation for our 5 year anniversary. We enjoyed staying at the AKL so much that we decided to book our entire stay at AKL this time. This time we asked for a higher floor, Savanna view room, closer to the lobby (our room last trip was literally at the end of a really long hallway at AKL) hoping that we could get a better view of the savanna and not have to walk an additional 10minutes from the lobby to get to our room after a long day of walking around WDW. We got our request and got EXACTLY what we wanted…

** we interrupt you for a quick room fact on AKL **

For Savanna view rooms, higher floor view rooms do not necessarily mean better views. The problem with our 4th floor room was that our room was actually at or above the tree tops in the savanna. This meant that parts of our views of the animals were obstructed by the trees. However, we did get a very good view of the entire savanna.

** and now back to our program **




(This time we got a room with 1 king bed so there was enough room for small couch with a pull out bed and the room just felt much much bigger than our previous room)


(Looking left)


(Looking straight out our balcony)


(Looking right)


It will have been 7years since our last trip to WDW (before our DD was born).
We were there in Aug 2004 when a category 4 hurricane named CHARLIE went through Orlando. It was incredible to witness the sheer power of Mother Nature and what was even more amazing was the how well prepared the CMs were and how well WDW properties held up during the storm.

As you know, we were staying at AKL and as Charlie passed through Orlando, the resort never lost power, had no major structural damages, and I’m sure moving all of the animals to a safe house wasn’t an easy feat. All the guests were required to stay in their rooms as the hurricane passed and the CMs even prepared free ready-to-go sandwich baskets for all the guests for dinner. Unfortunately they ran out before we could get our dinner basket as we slept through their meal-call. We were exhausted from running around fanatically through MK that morning and early afternoon going on all the rides since the park was literally empty in preparation for the incoming hurricane. This was a very rare opportunity for us as my DW is a kindergarten teacher and the only times we've been to WDW and DL have been during the peak summer seasons. It was quite the experience being able to go on the Peter Pan ride back to back without having to even get out of our seat.


(A rare sight in the middle of the afternoon)


(Another rare sight of everybody walking out of MK in the middle of the afternoon)



Hurricane Charlie was originally supposed to hit south of Tampa around 2-4pm on Friday afternoon and the expected trajectory of Charlie was to pass southeast of Orlando. A few days prior to Friday, people on the news were advising everybody on the west coast to leave the coastal areas. Given the strength of the hurricane, a lot of Tampa & surrounding residents came inland to Orlando and surrounding areas. Well, it seemed Charlie was a bit of a Narcissist. He wasn’t too happy people weren’t going to be around when he came through, so he decided to change his course and head north of Tampa, by-passing Tampa and head due east right through Orlando.

The news was saying that the occupancy rate on Friday at the hotels in Orlando was the highest it has ever been. ETA for Charlie to make his big debut in Orlando was revised to 6-8pm, and then revised again to 8-10pm. It started getting dark around 2pm and around 4pm, the winds were really staring to pick up. The trees in the Savanna at AKL looked as if someone was grabbing a hold of the base of the trees and shaking it violently. All you could hear was the rain, the wind, the trees shaking and lots of rumblings in the sky. Surprisingly, I didn't see much in terms of lightning flashes.

In a eerie sort of way, the rumblings sounded a lot like the rumbly of someone’s tumbly. (wa wa waaaaa... ok, that was my poor attempt at hurricane humor) Was it Charlie telling us that he was hungry? Around 6pm, the rain was literally falling sideways in what looked like sheets of water. The wind had approximately doubled in speed and intensity and the rain was actually seeping through the bottom of our sliding door to the balcony.

Here are some videos I took on the evening right before Charlie went through Orlando.
(Nothing too dramatic or catastrophic.. It was in a way, it was kind of anti-climatic.)

5:00pm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP0o3w2-u6I
7:30pm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWwo5AeohgE
7:50pm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHJ3ftgflEw
8:10pm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLrl7pgtRf4
(This was about 2 hours before Charlie came through. In a span of 20minutes, between 7:50 - 8:10pm, it literally became pitch dark, hence the bad video)

Shortly after 10pm, Charlie tore through Orlando and the AKL held up really well. The wind was howling and our sliding door was shaking but not once did I feel like the building was going to fall apart with us inside it. By around 11pm, it was essentially over.




UPCOMING: THE MOST EXPENSIVE LIMO RIDE EVER…
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:33 PM   #7
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Im in! Dont get to go back to WDW till Dec so I hope you dont mind as I tag along and live vicariously through you.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
Johndough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sl_underwood View Post
Im in! Dont get to go back to WDW till Dec so I hope you dont mind as I tag along and live vicariously through you.
Welcome! I'm sure your December trip is going to be wonderful and it will be here before you know it (and kick that tumor butt!!). We have always wanted to go in December. Someday...
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Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
Johndough
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IV. THE MOST EXPENSIVE LIMO RIDE EVER…

As it turns out, when a hurricane travels through a major metropolitan area such as the Greater Orlando (with a combined population of over 2 million people), you can imagine all the problems that come with hurricanes. Phone lines being down. No cell phone service. Traffic lights are out of commission. Debris all over the place. Very limited taxi and bus service. By the way, this was still peak vacation season. Compound that with people trying to arrive and leave Orlando for vacation and you have the perfect ingredients for a traveler's worst case scenario. Orlando airport had officially closed down in the morning so there were no airplanes departing or landing. Vacationers at WDW who were scheduled to check out could not extend their stay as what room was available was already booked early in the morning. So, many vacationers had no place to go or stay and they were stuck in limbo in the lobby of the WDW resorts.

The first thing when I woke up was to call Alaska Airlines to ask about flight delays and the customer service rep was very helpful and sympathetic and she suggested that we reschedule our flight to a different airport as she was concerned that Orlando airport would shut down. Lo and behold, 2 hours after our call, they officially closed the airport around 9am. We were fortunate enough to reschedule our flight out of West Palm Beach at 4pm. We were thanking our lucky stars at this moment. But, we had a slight problem. Now that we had rescheduled our flight, how do we get to West Palm Beach that was 170 miles away? Since phones & electricity was down, you could not get a rental car, call for a cab or ride a bus out of Orlando. Even trying to get out of Orlando was a nightmare as majority of the residents on the west coast had traveled inland to escape Hurricane Charlie that was supposed to go through Tampa and then veer Southeast out to the east coast.

For whatever reason, my cell phone had reception and it started ringing. I answered my cell phone and I was shocked to find that it was our driver calling. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? WHAT LUCK AND WHAT TIMING!! As a surprise for our anniversary, I had actually booked a round trip limo ride to & from the airport to WDW for our anniversary trip as my DW had never ridden a limousine before.

The driver had said that he had tried to call me a number of times this morning and was elated that he was able to get through and was checking to see if we still needed a ride to the airport. I had simply written him off as I thought our transportation back to the airport would have been cancelled like everything else was cancelled in Orlando. So I asked him if we could get a ride to West Palm Beach. I knew I was in for a sticker shock when the 4 words that came out of our driver’s mouth was “IT WON’T BE CHEAP.” And cash only of course since credit card service was out of service. Happy to have our transportation and our flight rescheduled, what was supposed to be a 30 minute ride turned into a 4 hour ride to Palm Beach airport.

I wish I would have taken more pictures but I don't think pictures were on the top of my priority list that morning after Hurricane Charlie.






(Northbound traffic was backed up for something like 20miles. Luckily, we were heading opposite direction)






(Without our ride, we would have been stuck in Orlando with no place to stay and missed our flight home.)




UPCOMING: A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE (part 2)…
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
Johndough
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V. A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE (part 2)…

It will have to be 4 years before we could go on our next Disney vacation because of the new addition to our family.



We live just about as far as you can from WDW in the US. Seattle to be exact, which is a tad over 3100 miles if you were to drive from Seattle to Orlando or a 5 ½ hours on a direct flight. Even with our last exciting WDW trip, our interest and excitement for Disney continued to grow. More so now that our DD has joined our family. Our DD was watching Disney shows (Mickey Mouse Club House, Johnny & the Sprites, Doodlebops, Handy Manny, My friends Tigger & Poo, Bunnytown, Imagination Movers), and a natural love for anything Disney Princesses. A very cool thing is that we now got to enjoy Disney in the eyes of a child which was like enjoying Disney for the first time.

4 years without a Disney fix was way too long. When our DD turned 2, we started planning for our Disney vacation to Disneyland.



For obvious reasons, DL is not quite like WDW but it is perfect for a family with a toddler and a great introduction vacation to a Disney theme park. We wanted our DD’s first Disney experience to be something special so we booked a 4 night trip to Disneyland in a 1 bedroom suite at the Disneyland Hotel and 2 night stay for SeaWorld. This trip turned out to be everything we had imagined it to be and couldn’t have been more magical for our DD (even though she doesn’t remember it).






















(Our view from our suite. Nothing too exciting to see during the day. Awesome view at night.)


(We got to see the DL fireworks every night from our balcony.)






(Rope drop at DL)













__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:09 PM   #11
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Continued…






(Someone’s a little tired and ready for bed)


(A Mickey Bar is a must at every Disney trip!)




The food we ate at Disneyland is average at best. Nothing was memorable. Never tried Napa Rose or Steakhouse 55. We did 4 out of 5 character meals including Goofy’s Kitchen, Ariel’s Grotto, Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park, Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends.
However, if you have to do ONE character meal, I would highly recommend Goofy’s Kitchen, located at Disneyland Hotel. They had the best character interaction at your tables, had the better food than the others we ate at, and every hour or so, Goofy comes out and does a special interactive dance with everybody in the restaurant.







__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:22 PM   #12
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Continued…

2 years later in the summer of 2010, when our DD was 4 ½ years old, we went back to Disneyland for a 5 night stay at the Disneyland Hotel. I wish we had our camera and captured this perfect Kodak moment. As we entered Main Street with EMH, the look on our DD’s face and the realization that she was actually standing in Main Street USA was priceless. She walked into DL, stared down Main Street, saw Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, stopped dead in her tracks and said, “Hey, this is Main Street USA. THIS IS MAIN STREET USA!! I’M IN MAIN STREET USA!”. Like, you know how kids’ voices get extra high & shrilly when they get super excited? She had recognized Main Street from watching a Disney Sing Along Songs DVD (over and over) that was filmed in Disneyland like in the late 80s or early 90s.

It was truly priceless and a perfect moment that was the start of a perfect Disney vacation.
















(A rare character sighting!)


(Quite the popular character at DL)




















In going through my pictures, I cannot believe I did not take any pictures of the World of Color show. I have videos but not a single picture. I must have been too awe struck by the breathtaking show and must have completely missed out on taking pictures. The World of Color show is a definite. If you are ever planning on going to Disneyland, I highly recommend getting the World of Color Dining package. There are actually 3 different packages to choose from:

1) Ariel’s Grotto 3 course meal with reserved viewing.
2) Wine Country Trattoria 3 course meal with reserved viewing.
3) Pre-order picnic meal with reserved viewing in Paradise Park.

We did #3 and grabbed a bench toward the back of the viewing area which turned out to be perfect as we had unobstructed view of the entire show and we had a seat the entire time. When the show ended we were actually the one of the first groups to be let out so that was also another bonus perk.



UPCOMING: ARE WE THERE YET? WHERE IS THE ITINERARY TO WDW ??!!
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #13
Johndough
Earning My Ears
 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 25

VI. ARE WE THERE YET? WHERE IS THE ITINERARY TO WDW ??!!

Now that our flights are booked and we have 63 days till our magical dream vacation at WDW, the reality is starting to sync in. Considering that we started planning our trip 8 months prior, we now only have 2 months left yet 2 months seem so far away. Not a day goes by without obsessing about our trip and planning and tweaking the itinerary for our trip. What is the weather going to be like? Are we happy with the restaurants for our ADRs? Should we change the times of our ADRs? What are the crowds going to be like? Is this going to be too much walking for our DD6? How is jet lag going to affect us and our DD6? When are we going to have time to go swimming? How exactly does Disney Magical Express work? Are there going to be any problems with our room? What is the Royal room at POR going to look like? What is our view? Where is our room going to be located? How far is the walk to the bus stop? How far is the walk to the pool?

We finally booked our 9night/ 10day WDW trip for 2012 for end of March - early April just before Easter. We're staying at POR Riverside at their new Royal guest room. This will be perfect for our DD6 who is all about pink, princesses, and dresses. Our original intent was to split our stay at 3 different hotels (offsite, Pop Century & AKL) and fit in a Discovery Cove & SeaWorld but apparently you get big discounts for doing an extended stay at a Disney resort so we decided to go with POR and use the savings to pay for a day at Discovery Cove and SeaWorld.

Our 10 day WDW vacation trip for 3/28 – 4/6 includes:
10 day stay at POR Royal room
1 day at Discovery Cove
1 day at SeaWorld

Our general plan for each day at the parks is to get there at rope drop, experience as many attractions and rides as possible before the parks start getting busy. Had back to our hotel to rest then back out at the parks for the evening fireworks/ shows.


TUESDAY: Red eye flight out of Seattle at 10pm (with a layover), arriving in Orlando at 9am.

WEDNESDAY: EPCOT – Character Dinner – Leisurely ride through Port Orleans
Checkin, drop off our luggage, grab some snacks for breakfast and head directly to EPCOT.
Priority at EPCOT is to ride the Test Track
11:30am: Lunch @ Electric Umbrella
(Nothing fancy, typical run of the mill American fare food for pizza/ burgers)
Head to Grand Floridian for dinner
5pm: Dinner ADR @ 1900 Park Fare
Back to POR after dinner
Carriage ride through POR & POFQ
Beignets at POFQ
(We’ve never had beignets before and we hear it’s a must if you’re staying in POR/ POFQ)
In bed by 8/9pm for an early day tomorrow
(We’re expecting to be pretty tired from our red eye flight and the lack of sleep)

We recently found out that Test Track at EPCOT is going to be closed in April to get refurbished.
This simply is NOT acceptable nor is it an option because the Test Track has eluded us 3 times already and we are not going to let it the Test Track elude us a 4th time.

THURSDAY: Magic Kingdom & dinner with a Princess
6am: Get up nice and early for rope drop at MK (this will be 3am Seattle time!)
Breakfast @ Riverside Mill Food Court
8am: Rope drop @ MK
Lunch @ Pinocchio Village Haus
2pm: Back at POR to rest & nap
Head back to MK
5pm: Dinner ADR @ Cinderella’s Royal Table
Stay till Wishes fireworks

FRIDAY: Hollywood Studios & dinner at Mama’s house
Muffins & pastries for Breakfast
9am: Rope drop @ HS
Lunch @ Starring Rolls Café
(we hear they have the best cupcakes on WDW property)
2pm: Back at POR to rest & nap
Head back to HS
5pm: Dinner ADR @ 50’s Prime Time Café
Stay till Fantasmic

SATURDAY: Swimming with the dolphins and a bit o’ luck of da Irish
8am: Checkin, Breakfast at Discovery Cove
FULL day at Discovery Cove
6pm: Dinner ADR @ Raglan Road Irish Pub
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop for dessert
(The World Famous: Hot Fudge Sundae is a must have)
Shopping at Downtown Disney

SUNDAY: Magic Kingdom & breakfast with Pooh and friends
7am: Rope drop @ MK (EMH)
8am: Breakfast ADR @ The Crystal Palace
Lunch @ TBD
4pm: Back at POR to rest
FREE EVENING
Dinner @ TBD

MONDAY: A date with Shamu and the Earl
9am: Rope drop @ SeaWorld
Lunch @ TBD
6pm: Dinner @ Earl of Sandwich
Shopping & Hang out at DTD

TUESDAY: EPCOT & Animal Kingdom
Time to give our little feet some rest & SLEEP IN !!
11:45am: Lunch ADR @ Le Cellier
Bus to AK after lunch
Dinner @ Pizzafari

This was the only day we could fit in Le Cellier into our schedule, hence making a special trip to EPCOT just for lunch.
But I’m 100% sure lunch at Le Cellier will be worth it!

WEDNESDAY: Animal Kingdom & EPCOT
Breakfast @ Riverside Mill Food Court
8am: Rope drop @ AK (EMH)
Lunch @ TBD
2pm: Back at POR to rest & nap
Bus to EPCOT
5pm: Dinner ADR @ Princess Storybook Dining
Stay till Illuminations

THURSDAY: A FREE DAY and a dinner with Mickey
FREE DAY !!
5:30pm: Dinner ADR @ Chef Mickey’s

FRIDAY: See You Real Soon!
Check out from POR
Scope out other WDW resorts for our next trip
Fly back home to Seattle
__________________


Our Very First PTR - 10days at POR Royal room 3/28 - 4/6

Aug2001- Yacht Club/ Animal Kingdom Lodge
Aug2004- Animal Kingdom Lodge (Hurricane Charlie!!)
Jul2008- Disneyland Hotel
Jul2010- Disneyland Hotel
Mar2012- Coming Soon!
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