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Old 02-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #1
DisneyDad79
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BOO TO YOU, SANTA!! A November 2012 PTR!-Upd 10/24,pg.14-#205 Costumes and T-Shirts!

Hello and to my first PTR!! My name is Allen and I am a relative noob to both the Dis and Disney World in general. That said, I have spent plenty of time lurking and planning so I think I have a fair grasp of the task at hand! I hope you join me on this step-by-step journey through our Disney planning process!



I promise to be glib, sarcastic, self-deprecating, boastful, humble, proud, excited, and full of shame, sweet, sweet shame… I will try to make these posts as full of pictures as possible so as not to subject you to too much of my inane prattling.

Most importantly, I promise at least one update per week, with a goal of two, and regular replies to any comments or questions. If I fail to keep these promises I encourage you to take whatever measures you deem necessary: ban me form the boards, shun me in public settings, force me to read endless threads about strollers, EVC’s, resort mugs, and when the new fantasyland attractions will be open. Whatever the punishment, I will accept it with grace and dignity (or anger and man tears, it’s hard to know for sure).

When all is said and done, I hope to make a few people laugh, create some new Disney friendships, and above all else, use your knowledge and advise to make our trip amazing! Never forget, this is all about me! One last note before you begin this journey, keep in mind that this is a MAN’s PTR, so expect healthy doses of both graphic violence and nudity.

Quick Overview:

When: 11/1/2012-11/10/2012
Where: Port Orleans- Riverside
Who: Me, DW, DD4, DS1, My Mom, and My Sister
Goal: A broad trip including all the major attractions, most of the minor attractions, MNSSHP, and MVMCP



Without further ado, may I introduce our cast of characters…
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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Introduction-Page 1-Post #1
Cast Part 1-Page 1-Post #3
Cast Part 2-Page 1-Post #4
Transportation and Accomodations-Page 1- Post #5
Why Then?-Page 1-Post #6
Magic Kingdom Priorities-Page 2-Post #23
Animal Kingdom Priorities-Page 3-Post #32
Hollywood Studios Priorities-Page 6-Post #83
Epcot Priorities-Page 7-Post #97
Merchandise Bonus Post-Page 8-Post #111
MNSSHP Priorities-Page 9-Post #126
MVMCP Priorities-Page 10-Post #136
Costumes & T-Shirts-Page 10-Post #142
Character Meet & Greets-Page 10-Post #145
Table Service Dining Options-Page 11-Post #152
Counter Service Dining Options-Page 12-Post #166
ADRs/Booking/General Updates-Page 12-Post #175
Itinerary-Page 13-Post #183
General Updates-Page 13-Post #187
General Updates-Page 13-Post #189
Done & Left to Do-Page 14-Post #200
Costumes & T-Shirts Pictures-Page 14-Post #205
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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Our Fearless Cast-Part 1

Before I do introductions I thought a brief history would be in order. (I know I said without further ado, but obviously I lied. And now comes the shame…)

We (Me, DW, DD4, DS1) went on our first family trip to Disney World 9/27-9/30 of last year. We went with my Dad and it was miserably hot, my Dad got sick, DS1 threw up on Cinderella’s Royal Table (well actually on the floor, but it’s more fun to say it that way), DD4 was sick, and we were not prepared for the combo of walking + heat. That said, the magic we experienced was enough to make us immediately start planning a trip with my mom and sister. I guess that’s just the power of Disney Magic!

That's my Dad. The one on the left. Not sure I recognize that dude on the right.


Now that you are up to speed we can really begin the introductions (I promise, no more ado.)

Allen (AKA Daddy)
WDW trips: 2
Favorite Character: Scrooge McDuck
Favorite Disney Movie: Lion King
Favorite Attraction: Haunted Mansion



Bio: I know what you’re thinking: “Did he crop his own kids out of that picture?” Yes. Yes I did. They were ruining a perfectly good picture of me and Mickey, I did what had to be done! Enough about them, this is my Bio! In actuality, I am a very proud father and devoted husband. I work in the corporate office of a large gas station convenience store company and do a little of everything (my degree is in accounting, but I don’t actually do much of that). In addition to the trip mentioned above I went to Disney World way back in 1985. I have exactly two vague memories of that trip.

This


And This


I generally love all things Disney, but our brief prior trip really ignited my passion for WDW and planning for WDW!



Sherri (AKA Mommy)
WDW trips: 1
Favorite Character: Alice
Favorite Disney Movie: Alice in Wonderland
Favorite Attraction: Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh



Bio: Sherri is my amazing wife of 10 years, girl friend/fiancé for five before that! We are high school sweethearts and I am very lucky to have found her at a young age (before society spoiled her!). She is a manager/ mental health therapist for a large hospital/mental health care provider. If you are bit crazy (and you must be to be following this report) she can probably help! She loves all things Alice, Studio Ghibli, and most things Disney in general! She is not nearly as into the planning as I am, but she humors me.



Mom (AKA Julie, AKA Grandma)
WDW trips: 3
Favorite Character: Perdita
Favorite Disney Movie: 101 Dalmatians
Favorite Attraction: It’s Tough to Be a Bug!



Bio: My Mom is both an awesome mom and grandma! She has worked for the USPS for over 20 years and has yet to shoot a single person! She loves black and white, which I am sure contributes to 101 Dalmatians being her #1 Disney Movie. She also like things that are significantly larger or smaller than normal. It’s an odd thing to like, but my sister shares this passion. I think my detailed planning freaks her out a little, but any OCD I have, I am sure I inherited from her! I am lucky that we are very close (I’m not a Momma’s boy!) and she gets along very well with DW (No really, she does.). This is the first trip farther than Ohio that we will have taken together in about 27 years! For the record, I am clearly her favorite child.




Amy (AKA Aunt Amy, AKA Turd Face.)
WDW trips: 2
Favorite Character: Aurora, Hercules, Kronk
Favorite Disney Movie: Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Emperor’s New Groove, Hercules
Favorite Attraction: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road



Bio: Please don’t tell her I said this, but Amy is a pretty amazing sister and aunt. She just obtained her Associates degree in early childhood education and is currently pursuing a BS in Education. I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding teacher. We are 12 years apart, but I can’t imagine two siblings being much closer than we are. We love doing Black Friday together. She generally likes all things Disney and while she is not much into planning, she is excited that someone is making a plan for her. For the record, she is clearly the 2nd favorite child.


Fun Fact: My mom, my sister, and I have never been on a vacation together outside of visiting my Uncle in Ohio, and even that was about 17 years ago. I have been to WDW with mom as a child, took Amy to NYC for her graduation present, and Amy has been to WDW twice with my mom, but never the three of us together!

Up Next: The real stars of the show…(While reviewing the next post, please quietly hum Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder.)
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Gwen (AKA DD4, Gwennie, Gwennie-Pea, Gwenabelle, Weeny-Beans)
WDW trips: 1
Favorite Character: Tinker Bell
Favorite Disney Movie: Monsters Inc.
Favorite Attraction: Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
(Are you humming as instructed?)







Gwen is absolutely our little Princess! I think she is about as beautiful as can be, but as you can tell, she is not the best at being photographed, especially posed pictures! She gets it honestly though.

She loves pretty much anything Disney, but gravitates towards the three Ps, princesses, pixies, and Pixar. She makes us laugh everyday and I am already freaking out about her growing up too fast. She is a bit shy, but comes out of her shell more all the time! I keep praying she turns into my little Belle, but I fear she will be my little Ariel instead!

She is already a bit sassy, but she is also very loving and a great sister to the last member of our travel team.



Joey (AKA DS1, JoJo, Broseph, BroBro, The Boy)
WDW trips: 1
Favorite Character: Mickey Mouse
Favorite Disney Movie: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (I know it’s not a movie, but he loves it!)
Favorite Attraction: It’s a Small World






Joey is an awesome kid in just about every way! He is funny, loves to rock out to classics such as "Hot Dog" and the "Mickey Mouse Club House", and is as precocious as they come. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it! Usually what he wants is whatever he is not supposed to have and how he gets it is with a steady, unyielding, whine. He loves the characters and can eat like a small mule.

Some parents save for college, we are saving for the food he will consume in his teenage years. I don’t know how he is not a super-chunk!

And his twin brother Luigi

Luigi a no so happy!

So that’s the crew! You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Up next: Transportation and Accommodations…
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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The where and how!

Who needs followers? Not this guy! I’m on my own team!

So now we move on to transportation and accommodations.

How are we getting there? After much discussion and deliberation we have decided that is the best option. Since none of has a vehicle fit for 6 we will be swapping cars with my friend Brent.



His Swagger Wagon (A 2001 Dodge Caravan) should be able to accommodate our troop on the long journey from Indiana to Disney World! We are planning to drive straight through since we will have four adults taking shifts.

Once we arrive we are currently planning to stay here:


The plan is to max out the occupancy. Has anyone stayed here with 4 adults, a child, and a toddler? I know we will be tripping over each other, be we are a close knit bunch and don’t plan to spend a lot of time in the room.

This choice is dependent on getting free dining as we know we would want the standard plan and would prefer not to pay to upgrade it if we were staying in a value resort.

With that in mind, if free dining is not offered we plan on getting two rooms here:


Or here if the Little Mermaid section is open:


What do you think? Any special feelings about any of those resorts? Will we feel like sardines in a can? Could you handle sharing a room with your mom or sister or kids for 10 days? Will I leave Disney World with as many family members as I started with?

Next on tap: A very basic itinerary and why we chose those dates…
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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Why then?

Good morning nobody and welcome to the 5th installment of what promises to be the longest PTR without an actual reply! I will power through the apathy of my fellow Disney enthusiasts and continue to deliver the hard hitting content that no one demands! I kid, I kid! For the lurkers lurking, I hope you find the updates enjoyable as I am enjoying writing them!

One quick piece of business first. My DW gave me the stink eye for not posting one of Gwen’s better pictures in her introduction. She is quite the little beauty and usually does not look like the goon I presented. She usually reserved the goony looks for when I want to take her picture. So to appease DW, here are a couple of pictures of Gwen looking a bit more like her normal, beautiful self.







So now I shall I put an end to your sleepless nights and answer the question that has set the wide wide world of web ablaze: Why did we choose 11/1-11/10 as our dates?

The starting point for our decision was that all of us wanted to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (all except Joey, that boy just won’t fall in line!).



So we started there for the dates, but since none of enjoy vacationing on the sun we thought we should push it towards the end of October in hopes of more favorable temperatures. When researching the dates I found that the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party usually takes place about a week or so after the last Halloween party!



In 2011 the last MNSSHP was 11/1 and the first MVMCP was 11/8! What better way to do WDW than to start and end with a party?!? It certainly helps that we all love Christmas! (Side note: We had nine decorated trees in our house this year-a Family tree, a Disney tree, a Star Wars tree, a Super Hero Tree, 2 Simpson’s trees, a Sports Tree, a Big Hello Kitty tree, and a small Hello Kitty tree.)

The dates also worked well because the kid’s birthdays fall near and during that time. Joey will be turning 2 on 10/26 and Gwen will turn 5 on 11/7!!



This brings me to my first questions of the post: Do you let your kid(s) wear the birthday button(s) the whole trip? If the actual birthday falls during the trip do you give presents, spending money, or is the trip itself the present? So to sum up the decision, MNSSHP+ MVMCP+ 2 birthdays+ favorable weather+ reasonable crowds+ historically few ride closures= Perfect time for a super family trip to Disney World!

Are there any drawbacks to the timing? Well there are a few.
1.This will be partly during Jersey Week so crowds might be a bit higher from what I hear.
2.We are of course at the whims of Disney with the party schedules.
3.We will potentially be right on the edge of the time frame rumored for many of the new Fantasyland attractions.

That said, I think the dates will work out well. Have you ever been during this time frame, specifically during Jersey week? What is your take? Ever done both parties in one trip?
All zero of you can now rest your weary heads secure in the knowledge of what led to our decision on dates.

I know I promised a brief itinerary, but for the second time I have led you astray…(again with the shame)... Instead I will offer a preview of what’s to come in the days, weeks, and months ahead. The topics of future posts will include (but are not limited to) itinerary, priorities for each park and party, dining, touring plans, costumes, themed shirts, character meet & greets, shopping, pin trading, pressed pennies, movie nights/planning sessions, and the list goes on and on and on…(and still no one cares)

Up next: Magic Kingdom priorities
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Found your PTR today and have to say, I got a good laugh out of it! Your kids are absolutely adorable! I'm sure they will have a great time on your trip. That's pretty awesome that you are catching both Halloween and Christmas at WDW. We have experienced both, and just LOVED the Christmas happenings so much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyDad79 View Post
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="5"]

This brings me to my first questions of the post: Do you let your kid(s) wear the birthday button(s) the whole trip? If the actual birthday falls during the trip do you give presents, spending money, or is the trip itself the present? So to sum up the decision, MNSSHP+ MVMCP+ 2 birthdays+ favorable weather+ reasonable crowds+ historically few ride closures= Perfect time for a super family trip to Disney World!


We absolutely did! DS's birthday is October 24th (just a couple days before Gwen's!). Even though we weren't there for his birthday, it was a b-day celebration trip. We got his birthday button from Guest Relations on our first day and attached it to his stroller with his 1st Visit button and left it on for the whole week. On our next WDW trip we will actually be there the week of his birthday, so again he'll be sporting the button all week. We are planning to get a special t-shirt for him to wear in his actual birthday.

As for spending money...well, he's only 1, so there's no spending money for him right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyDad79 View Post

That said, I think the dates will work out well. Have you ever been during this time frame, specifically during Jersey week? What is your take? Ever done both parties in one trip?
All zero of you can now rest your weary heads secure in the knowledge of what led to our decision on dates.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyDad79 View Post
[/COLOR]
We didn't find the beginning of Jersey Week to be bad at all. I guess it was not as slow as I was expecting, but totally doable. It was towards the end of the week that it got kind of crazy because of the Veteran's Day holiday and Festival of the Masters at DTD, plus the last weekend of Food & Wine Festival. So as long as you do all your "must do's" early in the week, you should be good to go!

We have never done both parties in 1 trip, but that does sound like a ton of fun! We missed out on the Halloween party for our October honeymoon a few years ago, but we did the Christmas party in 2009 and had a great time! We are thinking of doing a Halloween party this year, but we are holding off on that decision until we figure out if it'd be worth spending the money for tickets with DS being so little and not staying up late.

I look forward to the rest of your plans! Looks like we will be in WDW right before y'all arrive!
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
Found your PTR today and have to say, I got a good laugh out of it! Your kids are absolutely adorable!

Wow! I'm so excited that I have my frist response!!

Please accept this tiny fake flower as a token of my appreciation!

Thanks for the comment on my kids, right back at you for that cute little man in your avatar! Actually, Joey is the one whos b-day is on 10/26, so the two of them are very close in age!

I love the idea of the t-shirt! We have been trying to think of ways to make that day a little extra special for Gwen since 11/7 will be her actual b-day.

Thanks also for the tip on Jersey Week. If all stays as currently planned then the last couple of days of our trip should be a short day and the Christmas party so hopefully we will have the important attractions out of the way. I'd say more but I want you to have a reason to come back!
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #9
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I was just coming here to post my pretrip report and thought I would pop in to see how yours was going. I see that not only are we going the same time and going to both try and fit in Halloween and Christmas Parties but we are staying at the same place(probably). Very funny!!! I will be following along!!!

We received a Free QSDP pin last week for this time frame! But we are arriving 10-31 our pin is for October! And I *think* we are flying!

Jackie
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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Oh, and my Mother in Law is coming and we will have 2 rooms at Pop!!! We love it there! We stayed at All Star Music last time and did not prefer it at all! This will be our 4th trip to Pop!

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Do you let your kid(s) wear the birthday button(s) the whole trip? If the actual birthday falls during the trip do you give presents, spending money, or is the trip itself the present?
My DD did not want to wear her button the whole trip, she is a bit shy. We made her wear it on her Bday!

I am hoping Osborne Lights will be up before we leave My DH REALLY wants to see them! They started Nov 10th last year...FINGERS CROSSED it will be like the 8tht this year! We are going 10-31/11-10 or 11-11...TBD. My ressie will be made in about 8 days.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #12
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AND we are also in Indiana! (Fort Wayne)
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:35 PM   #13
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This thread is exploding with activity!! I now have two followers!! Thanks for checking it out. I will be looking forward to following yours as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corjack View Post
I see that not only are we going the same time and going to both try and fit in Halloween and Christmas Parties but we are staying at the same place(probably). Very funny!!! I will be following along!!!
That's cool! You never know, maybe we will have one of those Disboard Meet & Greets I keep hearing about!

Quote:
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Oh, and my Mother in Law is coming and we will have 2 rooms at Pop!!!
Do you think you could handle 10 nights with your MIL if you were sharing the same room?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corjack View Post
I am hoping Osborne Lights will be up before we leave My DH REALLY wants to see them! They started Nov 10th last year...FINGERS CROSSED it will be like the 8tht this year! We are going 10-31/11-10 or 11-11...TBD.
I hope so too!! My sister would be even more excited as she is easily distracted by shiny and colorful things. [/SIZE][/SIZE]
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
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AND we are also in Indiana! (Fort Wayne)
It seems like you were destined to find this PTR!
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Do you think you could handle 10 nights with your MIL if you were sharing the same room?
I did in 2008! We only had 2 of our kids and one was under 3 so she just stayed in our room! It was fine but there were moments I wished we had more space, to ourselves! Really, the best part of Disney is that you barely spend any time in your room. She actually said she would like it if we had 2 rooms and they connected so it is like BIG suite! So that is what we are doing. Kids can spend time with her and we can all hang out but still have our own space when needed. WIN WIN!

I am the planner in our bunch. DH likes for me to tell him all the stuff I find but he does not really get into going and finding the info to much. My MIL thinks I am a freak and go overboard planning but she has fun with the kids and wether she will admit it or not, she likes feeling prepared!

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