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Old 09-08-2012, 06:00 PM   #1
mnmrmustard
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Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - 2 Days to Go and It's Quiet, Too Quiet

Greetings and Salutations all of you lovers of Disney Magic and Holiday Spirit! If you’ve read my PTRs/TRs you probably know what you’re in store for. If you haven’t then strap in ‘cause here we gooooo!!!!!



*rubs hands together and gets out checklist*


• Antacid tabs for my wonderful wife who handles the financials for our family – CHECK!

• Manic fascination with all things Disney – past, present, and future – CHECK!

• Multi-tabbed spreadsheet listing costs, contacts, itinerary, and other bits and pieces – CHECK!

• Slightly harried AAA travel agent who I keep e-mailing and calling (gotta get my money’s worth) – CHECK!

• Nearly bi-polar swings between wanting to blab to my daughters that we’re going this December instead of next December and wanting to wait until the last minute to tell them – CHECK!

• Mickey Mouse Christmas PJs (yes, I will be sporting them at our resort when going on late night snack runs) – CHECK!

• Camera …cameras …batteries for cameras …extra memory cards for cameras …accessories for cameras – CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, and CHECK!




I will post a LOT of pictures. I will babble and meander in a very Disney-centric way. I will always have a focus on bringing out that special Disney smile that we get when we think about our favorite destination, our favorite places within it, and our favorite memories made there. Jump on board and follow us on our first Disney Christmas Adventure!




To Cut to the chase here is a Chapters post so you don't have to hunt for it:

Click here for the CHAPTERS Post
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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I am here

So glad I could twist your arm and get you to do this

Will anxiously be awaiting all the details

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Old 09-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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MIKE!!!! You sneaky devil you!!! Kelly had to tell me you are going in December! We are going in December too but after you unfortunately. I was hoping to finally meet you and Roxy. Anyways, YAY for Christmas at Disney!! I'm here for the ride!

PS I have a PTR going too
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trentmom View Post
I am here

So glad I could twist your arm and get you to do this

Will anxiously be awaiting all the details

Yup, you got me all fired up for it Sharky!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leger13 View Post
MIKE!!!! You sneaky devil you!!! Kelly had to tell me you are going in December! We are going in December too but after you unfortunately. I was hoping to finally meet you and Roxy. Anyways, YAY for Christmas at Disney!! I'm here for the ride!

PS I have a PTR going too
Hey Carla! Ohhh, sorry to miss you guys - it would have been great to meet you! We had to arrange out trip around Roxy's payroll weeks and didn't want to go during the "big crush" of everyone's Christmas vacations. We'll be able to give you the scoop on all the cool new stuff to do and see though
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! 11/29 to 12/8/12 - Who, What, Where, Why and When




*cough*





Okay, I'm ready to roll now!

I contemplated stealing my own work from a past TR but where's the fun in that, right?



The Who:

Roger Daltrey on lead vocals, Pete Townshend on lead guitar ....wait a minute, already lost


*clears throat*



The Who:



Mike - AKA Dad/DH, AKA MnMrMustard (on forums), AKA Mad Mustard McClure (when pirating) - 43 years old enough to know better. IT Director at a Community College, Lover of all things Disney, avid photographer, participator in Pirate festivals, and Make-A-Wish volunteer.

Favorite Park - EPCOT
Favorite Ride - Pirates of the Caribbean
Favorite Show - Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
Favorite Character - Captain Hook
Favorite Table Service - Le Cellier
Favorite Resort - POP Century (honestly the only resort we've stayed at)



Roxy - AKA Mom/DW, AKA Financial Wizard, AKA tolerator of all of my weird endeavors - 38 years old. Office Manager for a Precision Screw Machine Shop and a person who finds time to volunteer for all kinds of kids/school-related stuff despite working full-time. She is also the primary caregiver for her mother who is disabled and currently living with us.

Favorite Park (sorry about this) - Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
Favorite Ride - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Favorite Show - Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Character - Cheshire Cat
Favorite Table Service - Le Cellier
Favorite Resort - POP Century (honestly the only resort we've stayed at)



Kyra - AKA DD1, AKA PumpkinGirl - 16 years old. She loves Japanese culture, art, and Manga/Anime. She is a talented artist, plays the flute, and is in gymnastics. She likes playing console games and Kingdom Hearts on the 3DS.

Favorite Park - EPCOT (World Showcase)
Favorite Ride - Space Mountain
Favorite Show - Finding Nemo
Favorite Character - Figment
Favorite Table Service - CRT from last trip but I think it may switch to Teppan Edo after this trip
Favorite Resort - 1st time staying on property



Gillian - AKA DD2, AKA Bean - 13 years old. She loves animals, rides horses, skateboards, and creates animated music videos on an app called Flipnotes on her DSiXL. She also likes console gaming.

Favorite Park - Disney's Hollywood Studios
Favorite Ride - Tower of Terror
Favorite Show - Fantasmic!
Favorite Character - Tinkerbell
Favorite Table Service - Coral Reef
Favorite Resort - 1st time staying on property


What & Why

The focus is the last big blow-out family vacation to "the World" before Kyra transitions into being an adult Part of the origins of the trip was her sitting through one of the shows about the Disney parks that I'm always recording. This one in particular had a segment on a Quinceañera celebrated at EPCOT. Our best alternative was a sweet 16 for her which she got very excited about.

However, all three of my ladies have birthdays in summer. After much discussion we all agreed that we just couldn't legitimize spending the amount of money us northwesterners have to spend to go to WDW only to deal with that much heat/humidity/high crowd rates

So instead we tossed around the idea of a holiday trip and I started putting together numbers. After presenting my findings and applying the smelling salts to wake Roxy back up we had to explain to the girls that we would need more time to save up so we were focusing on making it in December of 2013 as our goal. They were let down of course but they dealt with it

Seems like we have it figured out and the topic would die down. But Roxy and I started talking again about a month ago as we started gearing up for the girl's next school year. We started really thinking about the impact waiting a year would have. Kyra would be a senior and Bean would be a freshman in HS.

At this point I'm going to clarify something that can be a bit of a touchy subject on the boards. I am very much in the camp of taking the girls out of school to do WDW/DLR trips. We have a strong focus on our daughter's educational success and plan it well ahead and make sure we don't take time that would run against end of trimester/finals. Our school system has an online portal to download assignments and track progress. We have them do some homework on the trip and have a plan in place when we come home to use the 8 days their school district allows for making up any missed work.

So despite all of the work we put into making sure the girls succeed scholastically we didn't think it was a good idea to pull them out during such pivotal years. So we looked at the numbers, dusted off the Disney credit card, and started moving forward in earnest for a 2012 holiday trip. I had to factor the girl's end of term which I framed so that they would have a full week to catch up before their finals week.

The other factor was Roxy's payroll schedule. She handles all aspects of the office for her company including running payroll every 2 weeks. We settled on leaving towards the end of a payroll week (she processed payroll at the beginning of the week) and staying the entire following week.

The only downside is that we will arrive home on a Saturday evening and will only have Sunday to decompress before school/work smacks us in the face

Oh, and as you may have seen from my initial post, the girls have no idea we’re going this year


Where

Disney's POP Century Resort

We have only been to WDW once as a family and for that we were able to use my mother's timeshare on Lake Bryan where 8 of us (plus my parent's Rottweiler) were able to stay (see TR link in my siggy if you're interested). My wife and I returned in April of 2011 when she surprised me with a birthday trip for just the two of us (got a TR link for that one too).

For that trip we got a really good deal on a package staying at POP. We stayed in the 50s section with a pool view and enjoyed it thoroughly. We like the layout and the offerings at the food court. One of the other perks was that they had just gotten in new mattresses which were somehow firm enough for me and soft enough for Roxy. We both slept like babies.

We wanted to check out Art of Animation but the prices weren't even close to what we were going to pay at POP. Plus we can just stroll across the walking bridge to check out AoA if we want to And with POP we still get dedicated busses which I really like.


When

We are flying in on Thursday, November 29th and flying back home on Saturday, December 8th. We'll be spending 5 days at Disney parks and 3 days at Universal.


Well I hope you all have a decent feel for the rough logistics of our trip and find it all interesting enough to keep following


NEXT UP: First draft of the itinerary!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:17 PM   #6
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Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! 11/29 to 12/8/12 - CHAPTERS

And since I have a couple of entries I better get a chapters post up before we get busy!

Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - Intro
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - Who, What, Where, Why and When
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - Ye Ole Itinerary
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - T-Shirt Designs and countdown
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - New HP Countdown Clues
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - The McClure Disney History
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - Goodies came in the Mail!
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - 30 Days and our Packet is In!
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - Let the Clues Begin!
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - The Clues Take a Turn and the Countdown Begins!
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - Itinerary Changes and "2 Weeks" Mantra
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - One Week to Go!
Disney Holiday Firsts at Last! - 2 Days to Go and It's Quiet, Too Quiet
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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YAY for more

Girls are going love staying on property. POP is awesome as you know. That is great you will be able to stroll over and check out AOA. I know you are going take some amazing pics there...No Pressure


How are you going surprise the girls?
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:15 PM   #8
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YAY for more

Girls are going love staying on property. POP is awesome as you know. That is great you will be able to stroll over and check out AOA. I know you are going take some amazing pics there...No Pressure


How are you going surprise the girls?
I know they'll love it - just that whole feeling of being connected to the magic! And yes, LOTS of pics will be taken. I have a new camera that does both pics and vids so expect both. And it has a 32GB memory card so I know I'll be able to beat my old record from 2008 of 12,000 pics

We have no idea how or when we're going to do it. The biggest hurdle will be Kyra's drama class - if they have a production scheduled for that timeframe we'll have to tell her so she won't try out for a part
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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I'm still doing some tweaks on my itinerary but wanted to give you something to play with. I've noticed that WDW hasn't put out a numbered map of the Fantasyland Expansion.

Soooo, I made one in Photoshop by combining the hi-res graphic that Disney gave out and information provided by talented and dedicated DISboarder Robo who has been keeping up on attraction locations on a sattelite map. Here is a board-friendly version:



And here is a link to the big version CLICK HERE

Enjoy!
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmrmustard View Post
I know they'll love it - just that whole feeling of being connected to the magic! And yes, LOTS of pics will be taken. I have a new camera that does both pics and vids so expect both. And it has a 32GB memory card so I know I'll be able to beat my old record from 2008 of 12,000 pics

We have no idea how or when we're going to do it. The biggest hurdle will be Kyra's drama class - if they have a production scheduled for that timeframe we'll have to tell her so she won't try out for a part
Yes, being submerged in the magic 24/7 is awesome

Yay for new camera

Fingers crossed they dont, so you can do surprise

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmrmustard View Post
I'm still doing some tweaks on my itinerary but wanted to give you something to play with. I've noticed that WDW hasn't put out a numbered map of the Fantasyland Expansion.

Soooo, I made one in Photoshop by combining the hi-res graphic that Disney gave out and information provided by talented and dedicated DISboarder Robo who has been keeping up on attraction locations on a sattelite map. Here is a board-friendly version:



And here is a link to the big version CLICK HERE

Enjoy!
Oh sweet!!

Thanks so much for posting that

Kudos to Robo and his maps
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trentmom View Post
Yes, being submerged in the magic 24/7 is awesome

Yay for new camera

Fingers crossed they dont, so you can do surprise
Amen to that, and we have a perferred room so I just set my calendar reminder to call in and reserve our room before we get there

Yes, looking forward to stress testing the camera. I've taken quite a few pics and a couple of videos with it but nothing like the volume I do at WDW.

I sure hope we can push it as close as possible. We leave on a Thursday morning and they will be in school the M-W beforehand so we have to find that balance point that will still allow them enough time to properly pack.

Quote:
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Oh sweet!!

Thanks so much for posting that

Kudos to Robo and his maps
No problem on posting that, Robo did all of the hard work.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:41 AM   #12
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Amen to that, and we have a perferred room so I just set my calendar reminder to call in and reserve our room before we get there

Yes, looking forward to stress testing the camera. I've taken quite a few pics and a couple of videos with it but nothing like the volume I do at WDW.

I sure hope we can push it as close as possible. We leave on a Thursday morning and they will be in school the M-W beforehand so we have to find that balance point that will still allow them enough time to properly pack.



No problem on posting that, Robo did all of the hard work.
I surprise them the saturday before, so they can be excited Saturday and pack Sunday. Go to school for 3 days and then you leave

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Old 09-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #13
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I surprise them the saturday before, so they can be excited Saturday and pack Sunday. Go to school for 3 days and then you leave

That sounds like a good plan!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:07 PM   #14
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Wednesday, November 28th Pre-Travel Day!

- I will have the day off and will finish packing up the suburban
- Girls finish school and Roxy finishes work around 3pm
- Leave home around 4pm
- Drop off dogs to sitters
- Check in to Super-8 Motel adjacent to airport one city over from our home town
(Super-8 is kind of a tradition as we stayed there before our last big family trip it has an indoor swimming pool with a 2-story water slide)
- Order in pizza for dinner and try to sleep


Thursday, November 29th - Travel Day!

- 4am wake-up for 6am flight from Medford to Salt Lake City
- 1hr layover for 10am flight to MCO
- Lunch on flight
- arrive at MCO at 4:23pm
- ME to POP Century & grab dinner at Everything POP Food Court
- Decide to relax and maybe hit the pool
OR
- Go to DTD for dinner and possibly do a DISMeet
OR
- DTS to DHS
- Take boat from DHS through waterways to World Showcase area of EPCOT
- Walk to America Gardens Theater - Should get there around 6:30pm
- Sit and wait for 8:15pm Candlelight Processional & catch Neil Patrick Harris's last performance reading the Story of Christmas
- Decide whether to stay for Illuminations but probably just head back to POP


Friday, November 30th - DHS Day!

- DTS to DHS
- Breakfast at Hollywood & Vine at 8:05am
- Hit RnRC & ToT a couple of times
- TSM
- Lunch at Sci-Fi Dine-In
- Star Tours
- Indy Stunt Show
- Great Movie Ride
- Animation area Character greet at 5pm (cool characters come out)
- Dinner at Pizza Planet, ABC Commissary, or Backlot Express
- Osbourne Family Lights
- Fantasmic at 6:30pm


Saturday, December 1st - EPCOT Day!

- Breakfast at Everything POP Food Court
- DTS to EPCOT
- Hit The Land & Soarin
- Get FPs for Soarin' in case we want to ride it again
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- The Living Seas/Nemo
- Innoventions West
- Explore Canada Pavilion
- Explore UK Pavilion
- Take International Gateway to Beaches and Cream for lunch
- Explore France Pavilion
- Explore Morocco Pavilion
- Explore Japan Pavilion
- Head back to Canada Pavilion for dinner at Le Cellier @ 4:10pm
- Decide if we want to hear the processional again & Whoopi Goldberg read the Story of Christmas at 6:45pm
- Either stay for the long haul around the rest of the pavilions
OR
- Take boat back through canals to DHS entrance
- Take bus back to resort
- Relax at the pool


Sunday, December 2nd Animal Kingdom/MVMCP Day!

- Breakfast at Everything POP Food Court
- DTS to Animal Kingdom
- Make a beeline for Asia and Expedition Everest Get FPs & ride it/ride it again
- Head to Africa and take the train to Rafikis Planet Watch
- Take train back and head to Dinoland USA
- Ride DINOSAUR and Primevil While
- Lunch at Restaurantosaurus
- Finding Nemo The Musical
- Back to Asia for Kali River Rapids
- Its Tough to be a Bug on Discovery Island
- Lion King
- CS dinner wherever is convenient
- More rides/animals
- Leave AK for Contemporary
- Monorail to MK
- Enter MK with MVMCP tickets
- Start the fun of MVMCP early!


Monday, December 3rd Universal Islands of Adventure!

- Breakfast at Everything POP Food Court
- MEARS to Universal
- Take the long walk from the bus parking, thru CitiWalk, thru Islands and on to the Wizarding World
- At least 2 rides on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Dragon Challenge
- Lunch at the Three Broomsticks
- On to Jurassic Park
- Jurassic Park River Adventure x2
- Pteranodon Flyers
- Through Toon Lagoon
- On to Marvel Super Hero Island
- Ride Spider Man
- Ride Doctor Dooms Fearfall
- Dinner at either Café 4 or Captain America Diner
- Back to Toon Lagoon
- Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls
- Popeye & Blutos Bilge-Rat Barges
- Head back to the resort soaked but happy


Tuesday, December 4th Universal Studios Day

- Breakfast at Everything POP Food Court
- MEARS to Universal
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- Shrek 4-D
- ET
- Simpsons
- MiB
- Disaster!
- Lunch at San Francisco Pastry Company
- Beetlejuices Graveyard Revue
- Blues Brothers Christmas Show
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Twister
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- Macys Holiday Parade
- Character interactions on Hollywood Boulevard
- Watch Universals Cinematic Spectacular


Wednesday, December 5th Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure!

- Breakfast at Everything POP Food Court
- MEARS to Universal
- Start with Harry Potter
- Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular
- Go wherever we want from there in both parks
- Eat when were hungry and leave when were ready


Thursday, December 6th Girls Choice Day!

- Each daughter gets to choose a parent and a Disney park to go to (last time it was Kyra/Roxy/EPCOT & Bean/Me/DHS)
- Totally relaxed schedule with no expectations other than having a Disneytastic day
- In case they stick to the same parks I have reses for DW/DD1 at Teppan Edo for dinner (they love Japanese food) and 50s Prime Time for DD2 and I


Friday, December 7th Magic Kingdom Day (day after Fantasyland Phase 2 opening)!

- Early wake-up and DTS to MK
- Take boat to GF for 8:05am reservations at 1900 Park Fare
- Eat & greet with characters
- Head back to MK and hit Fantasyland Expansion
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Gastons Tavern
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Dumbo NextGen Queue Tent/Dual Dumbo Spinners
- Fantasyland Station ride train to Frontierland Station
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Jungle Cruise
- Head back down Main Street U.S.A.
- Lunch at Tonys Town Square @ 11:45am
- Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Space Mountain
- Mickeys PhilharMagic
- Peter Pans Flight
- Haunted Mansion
- Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern @ 5:25pm
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Main Street Electrical Parade if timing is right
- No need to stay for wishes, we will have seen it during MVMCP
- Head back to resort
- Pack up bags

Saturday, December 8th Travel Day

- Take bags down and check out
- Breakfast at Everything POP Food Court
- ME to MCO at 8am
- Hang out at Delta Sky Lounge
- Flight departs for SLC @ 11:15am
- Arrive at SLC @ 2:07pm
- Hang out at Delta Sky Lounge
- Depart for MFR @ 5:10pm
- Arrive back in Medford at 6:09pm
- Pick up dogs from sitters
- Drive home & brace for the post-Disney blues
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:37 PM   #15
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You itinerary sounds great!!!

I love the girls choice day. That sounds so fun

I can't wait to see what pics you capture at Universal and islands of adventure for holidays decorations

I know you will have amazing pics of osborne lights


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