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Old 02-02-2012, 12:09 PM   #1
johnsonginad
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I'm ready to go now!!! Is it vacation time yet?

Picture it, Christmas Day, 2011. DH, DD5, and myself are all sitting in the floor of the living room opening up box after box of Lalaloopsy dolls that DD5 got for Christmas. On the tv is the Disney Parks Christmas parade. We are all enjoying watching the fesitivities and are all giddy with the excitement that Christmas brings, when BAM!!! It hit us. One Republic had just performed their hit single "Good Life" in front of Cinderella Castle, and now THE commercial was playing. You know the one. The one that talks about booking your vacation, making memories, showing characters, rides, tea cups, families having fun...all while the song "Good Life" plays in the background??!!??!! (whew...I'm outta breath!)

Yep...that did it for us. From then on out, we have associated that song with our happy place, The Most Magical Place on Earth. And by January 2nd, we had booked our next vacation.

Come join us during the fun time known as the "pre-trip", as we countdown to the day we get back to the magic!

Last edited by johnsonginad; 02-02-2012 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Changed the title. =)
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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Introductions

Alrighty...Let's get down to some introductions!

Here is my family!



First up is DD5, AKA Wendy (from Peter Pan, of course!) She gets the "name" Wendy because when we were at WDW last year, Woody told his handler that she looked like Wendy.



Wendy's favorites are as follows:

Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Disney Character: Minnie Mouse or Daisy Duck (it's a toss up)
Favorite Princess: Sleeping Beauty
Favorite Ride: Peter Pan's Flight or Kali River Rapids
Favorite Movie: Lady and the Tramp (or any of the High School Musicals lately, LOL)

Next is Prince Charming. DH is the love of my life, and has been since I was 13 years old. We dated for 7 years, got married in 2001, and DD came along in 2006. He is my everything, and equally as obsessed with anything Disney as I am.



His favorites?

Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Disney Character: Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck
Favorite Princess: Belle (I think he has a tiny crush; he became smitten when she called him "Your Majesty" last year )
Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite Movie: Meet the Robinsons (or Up)

Then there is me:



I am a Disney NUT! I love anything and everything to do with Disney. I always have! I work in the financial industry, and consult with clients on products and services that meet their financial needs. I am a true Southern Belle (you would know it if you heard me talk. I sort of sound like Tiana in a way. )

My favorites, you ask?

Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom (are you sensing a pattern here?)
Favorite Disney Character: Minnie Mouse
Favorite Princess: Belle
Favorite Ride: Peter Pan's Flight
Favorite Movie: Beauty and the Beast

Now that we've all been formally introduced, what shall we do next? Oh yeah...let's talk plans...

Up Next...The Original Plans
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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Hi ya'll!!

So, as most of you already know, on Christmas Day, Prince Charming and I decided that it was time to start planning our return trip to the World.

The first of many decisions was to decide when to go. Spring Break this year is the first week in April, so we began looking at options. After looking into vacation time from work, we determined that March 30-April 5 would work best for us. This would mean that we would have to take Wendy out of school for one day, but really? How much could they be doing the last day before Spring Break?

Our next big decision was pretty big. We decided to keep this trip a secret. And thus was born our first Surprise Trip ever!

So we had the "when" part down. What about the "where"? My first thought was to stay at Riverside in a Royal Room. I mean, seriously? What little girl, (or Mommy for that matter) wouldn't want to stay in a Princess Room???

On January 2nd, after Wendy went to bed, I made the first call. How disappointment that turned out to be. There were no Royal Rooms that were available the entire length of our stay. Our only option would be to have a room only reservation on the 30th, the switch to a package with the Royal Room the next day. Well, this just didn't fly with Prince Charming. The thought of having to change rooms one day into our vacation just wasn't appealing to him. Bummer. I sort of had my heart set on that princess room.

Oh well...back to the drawing board.

On our last visit, we had stayed at POFQ and absolutely loved it! It was quaint, quiet, and we were in close proximity to everything the resort had to offer...Especially the buses to the parks!

I made the 2nd phone call of the evening. WOOHOO!!!! Now our vacation was starting to take shape! We booked a garden view room at POFQ from March 30-April 5 with 7 day PH passes, and the DDP.

We wasted no time in getting started with dining reservations.

Up Next...The First of Many Dining Reservations
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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The First of Many Dining Reservations

So now we had the "where" and "when" down, but what about the FOOD? I mean COME ON! The food is so important!

Right after I got off the phone from booking our trip, Prince Charming suggested that we start looking at dining options. We were having so much fun, that we stayed up VERY late making ressies, and ended up coming up with what we thought was going to be our dining schedule.

"What was it?" you ask?

3/30: 1900 Park Fare (7:00pm dinner)
3/31: Mama Melrose (3:55pm Fantasmic Package)
4/1: Crystal Palace (8:55am breakfast)
4/2: 50's Prime Time (7:05pm dinner)
4/3: Le Cellier (12:00 lunch)
4/4: Donald's Safari Breakfast @ Tusker House (9:05am Breakfast)

We thought this schedule looked pretty good! Everything on it was somewhere we'd never been before, except for Crystal Palace. CP is a must do breakfast on our first MK day, so we just HAD to book it!

We spent a little more time that night looking at menus and picking out what we might eat when we went there. We went to bed that night totally in love with our schedule, and were very proud of ourselves for getting it done so quickly.

The next day though...the doubting began.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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Doubting Thomas...er...Mommy...er...Whatever

When I last left off, we had gone to bed thinking we had the perfect dining schedule. My must do was 1900 Park Fare dinner. I have wanted to go there ever since I had booked it for our last trip. We ended up having to cancel it, because I had only booked it for 2 guests and not 3. By the time I realized it, there were no other ressies available. SO...this was the first one I looked for. After we got that one, the next up was Le Cellier for lunch. Prince Charming had been wanting to go here for FOREVER, but we were never able to score reservations for it. Imagine our happiness when we found that it was available!

Unfortunately. The next morning, I starting having second thoughts. This trip was supposed to be a surprise trip for Wendy, so why didn't we book the things that SHE wanted? I felt like such a heel and such a bad, bad Mommy. Last year when we went, all she could talk about was going to Chef Mickey's, and eating at the castle. We couldn't get any reservations for either though. Why hadn't I tried to book something SHE wanted to do??? I talked about it with Prince Charming and he said that we could even pay OOP for a meal or two just to have enough credits to do something that she wanted (since Character meals tend to be more expensive).

As soon as I got home, I started looking for other options. I couldn't find ANYTHING.

Prince Charming made me feel alot better though. He said that Wendy would be happy to just be there since (over the last year) that's all she has talked about. We even went to the beach last year for the first time, and she wasn't impressed. She had fun, but all she kept saying was "It's not Disney World." So I began to feel better.

I ended up keeping everything the same, but I added just one more ressie. I couldn't get Chef Mickey's or Cindy's Table for the times we wanted, so I looked for another option. I ended up adding California Grill during Wishes. This had been somewhere I've wanted to go for a very long time. Plus, I thought Wendy would really like eating and watching the fireworks over the castle. I thought it would be a neat experience.

Okay...crisis averted...I was happy...
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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For the next several days, I kept myself happy by looking at lots of pictures of food and fun at Disney World, and by reading reviews of all the places we had picked.

I was so excited! I couldn't wait for this:



or this:



Everything seemed perfect and our vacation was finally REAL. We had PLANS. YAY!!!!

Then, all of a sudden, Prince Charming started having second thoughts. Oh dear...will there be more changes?

Last edited by johnsonginad; 02-02-2012 at 03:28 PM. Reason: fixed images
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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GREAT START!! I agree! that is SUCH a GREAT and appropriate song for Disney to use!! it's our happy place too We kept on thinking our last trip would be the last for a Llooooonnng time but we kept booking to go again. We go for longer trips b/c airfare costs so much so we are COMPLETELY exhausted when we get home from cramming in Disney and other parks and think we are theme parked out but after a few weeks we get the bug again! lol

You'll be about a month ahead of us going down!! I will look forward to keeping up with your ptr and tr
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wakica View Post
GREAT START!! I agree! that is SUCH a GREAT and appropriate song for Disney to use!! it's our happy place too We kept on thinking our last trip would be the last for a Llooooonnng time but we kept booking to go again. We go for longer trips b/c airfare costs so much so we are COMPLETELY exhausted when we get home from cramming in Disney and other parks and think we are theme parked out but after a few weeks we get the bug again! lol

You'll be about a month ahead of us going down!! I will look forward to keeping up with your ptr and tr
Thank you! and

Glad to have your aboard!!

WDW is definitely our happy place. We always have so much fun, and can never wait to get back. DH and I have been several times, but this will be DD's 2nd trip. She's been itching to get back there ever since we got home from her first trip! LOL

I wish that we could stay for longer. It's my dream to be able to go and spend a couple of weeks there. Talk about AWESOME! That was be so great!!!
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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MORE Changes????

So when I left off, I was content with our dining schedule, but Prince Charming was having second thoughts. (Despite his attempt to make me feel better about them.)

Prince Charming had been roaming around on the DIS reading reviews and looking at pictures, and he wasn't at all impressed with Mama Melrose's. I had been there when I was little (like 9 or 10 years old), and I remembered it being very good. But, who knows, right?

Now, we already knew that we definitely wanted to have a meal that was part of the Fantasmic dining package. Last year when we were there, we didn't get to see Fantasmic because the wait to get in was SO long, and we didn't want to wait for that long when we could be doing other things. Because of this, our only other options were either Hollywood and Vine or The Hollywood Brown Derby.

Prince Charming read review after review, and looked at photo after photo of the fare that was offered at both places, and let me tell ya. He was very fond of the menu at the Hollywood Brown Derby.

We began to devise a plan. If we were going to add the Brown Derby into our schedule instead of Mama Melrose's, we were going to need to look at paying for a couple of meals out of pocket. Originally we decided to pay for Crystal Palace and 50's Prime Time OOP, and use the dining plan for our other meals. This would work out great, right?

Yeah...we thought so too...

But then that nagging feeling that I'd had for a while started to creep in again.

Poor Wendy. All she wanted from our last trip was to go to Chef Mickey's and the castle to eat. And we didn't get to do either. Prince Charming was starting to get that nagging feeling too.

So in one night, we went from just adding Hollywood Brown Derby, to also adding a ressie for Cinderella's Royal Table. This meant that we would go from paying OOP for two meals to paying OOP for 4 meals. WHAT??!!!???

This only made since for about a day and a half. Then, Prince Charming said the words I'd been longing to hear...
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #10
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The Words I'd Been Longing to Hear...

Ahhh...those three little words. Those precious, wonderful, perfect three little words...

"Let's go deluxe"

What?

Not what you were expecting??? Whoops....I'm sorry. But these were definitely the words I'd been longing to hear. Ever since our trip last year, I've been trying to convince Prince Charming that we needed to try the Deluxe Plan. At least once. And now, he was finally starting to see the light.

I immediately jumped at the opportunity and started looking at NEW dining options. (As if we hadn't changed them enought already! HA!)

After so much work and much deliberation between Prince Charming and myself, here's what we finally came up with:

3/30: 1900 Park Fare (7:00pm dinner)
3/31: Hollywood and Vine (9:30 am breakfast)
Hollywood Brown Derby (5:10pm Fantasmic Package dinner)
4/1: Chef Mickey's (12:05pm lunch)
Cinderella's Royal Table (9:15pm dinner)
4/2: Crystal Palace (9:40am breakfast)
Yachtsman Steakhouse (5:50pm dinner)
4/3: Le Cellier (12:00pm lunch)
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (8:00pm)
4/4: Donald's Safarie Breakfast @ Tusker House Restaurant (9:30am breakfast)
Calfornia Grill (5:45pm dinner)


Now...here's my logic behind them all.

1. 1900 Park Fare: Dinner was a must do. We've seen many videos and heard many people talk about how great it is and how funny the stepsisters are.

2. Hollywood and Vine: We want to take full advantage of the dining plan and max it out with as many character meals as we can. This is one that we haven't done yet. Wendy will be excited to meet Jake!

3. The Hollywood Brown Derby: It's part of the Fantasmic package, and the menu looks AMAZING!

4. Chef Mickey's: This one is by special request of Wendy. Even though she doesn't know anything about the trip, she's contributing to our decisions more than she knows!

5. Cinderella's Royal Table: This one is also by request of Wendy. I chose 9:15 because I thought it would be very surreal to be in the castle during wishes.

6. The Crystal Palace: This is a must do breakfast and a tradition for us to eat there.

7. Yachtsman Steakhouse: Prince Charming and I wanted to add some Signature meals to our list, and this one really stood out to him.

8. Le Cellier: By special request of Prince Charming.

9. Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show: Also by special request of Wendy. I had totally forgotten that this was something else she had wanted to do! I had told her about the time I got to go, and she thought it sounded so neat! Thanks to my mom, (or NiNi as we call her) for reminding me of this one!

10. Donald's Safari Breakfast at Tusker House: Another character meal to add to our list.

11. California Grill: This is by special request of none other than me. This has been a place that I've want to go to for quite some time, but couldn't bring myself to pay for it. With the deluxe plan, I can try it guilt free!

So there you have it. We have 6 character meals, a dinner show, a must do lunch (Le Cellier), and three Signature meals to look forward to!
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:40 PM   #11
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One thing that I failed to mention in my last post was even though Prince Charming had said "Let's go deluxe" We never actually upgraded our dining plan until yesterday. I was totally afraid that he would back out of it, so I only made the reservations. I figured that they would be much easier to cancel than the actual plan, if necessary. Well, last night, it was set in stone.

I had been calling and checking for PINs attatched to our household for at least a couple of weeks. The answer was always NO. BUMMER.

Last night, I was finally able to apply a code to our reservation. FREE QSDP!!! After jumping through the necessary hoops, we were able to upgrade to Deluxe dining, and also upgrade from a garden view room to a river view room. YAY!!!!

With most of our concrete plans laid out, it's time to start making packing lists and fine tuning our travel arrangements. Yep, we had the room and the food on lockdown, but we haven't made arrangements on how to get there! We definitely know that we're going to fly, we just haven't bought tickets yet.

OH MY! What to do?? Time to start stalking the airline sites and looking for the best deal possible!
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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oooooh! Enjoy being on the Delux Dining Plan!! After this trip you will be the go to person for all info on restaraunts. lol. Ive been to WDW a few times but have only experienced like 3 or 4 of the sit down restaraunts This time we are splurging by doing 4 in one trip. lol.

Glad you got those things out of the way - now on to other ful planning things - well, maybe once the painful expensive air fare one is done hey?
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:50 PM   #13
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oooooh! Enjoy being on the Delux Dining Plan!! After this trip you will be the go to person for all info on restaraunts. lol. Ive been to WDW a few times but have only experienced like 3 or 4 of the sit down restaraunts This time we are splurging by doing 4 in one trip. lol.

Glad you got those things out of the way - now on to other ful planning things - well, maybe once the painful expensive air fare one is done hey?
I can't WAIT to try out the Deluxe Dining Plan! The only thing that's not looking forward to it is my waistline. Prince Charming and I started a diet right after the new year started. So far it's going really well. But the Deluxe Plan is very likely to be a road block for me. LOL. I just keep telling myself that as long as I keep up the good work with it now, that one week won't throw me off too far! Besides...calories don't count when you're on vacation, right?

Airfare? eek...that's a whole 'nother story. I started stalking prices on it today. I'm just happy that we got the trip paid in full yesterday. That means Mickey Mail will come soon! I love me some Mickey Mail!!
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:33 AM   #14
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I'm really enjoying reading your posts! We are in the same place...excitement, doubts (I made dining res months ago- should I change them???), back to excitement...lol.

Nothing gets me looking forward to our Spring trip more than hearing One Republic's song OR that new "Zip a Dee Doo Da" promo song on "One More Disney Day" Ads... Can't wait to go...but the planning is so much fun too! BTW-My DH is not a planner at all....I scour every bit of info I can trying to strategize our touring plans for each day, and the rest of the family just goes for the ride

In the end, I know we will have a wonderful time no matter what we do! Just praying everyone stays healthy this time and we'll be set- DD had the flu for the first few days of our trip last year Stocked up on plenty of Emergen-C this time!!!

Happy Planning!
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:59 AM   #15
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I'm really enjoying reading your posts! We are in the same place...excitement, doubts (I made dining res months ago- should I change them???), back to excitement...lol.

Nothing gets me looking forward to our Spring trip more than hearing One Republic's song OR that new "Zip a Dee Doo Da" promo song on "One More Disney Day" Ads... Can't wait to go...but the planning is so much fun too! BTW-My DH is not a planner at all....I scour every bit of info I can trying to strategize our touring plans for each day, and the rest of the family just goes for the ride

In the end, I know we will have a wonderful time no matter what we do! Just praying everyone stays healthy this time and we'll be set- DD had the flu for the first few days of our trip last year Stocked up on plenty of Emergen-C this time!!!

Happy Planning!
Thank you and

I know exactly what you mean. Those dining reservations drove me NUTS for the longest time! I think I've finally got them done though. Time will tell,

Oh my goodness!!! The FLU???!!!! Poor little thing! I hope everyone stays healthy too!

When are you guys headed down?
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