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Old 10-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
jasontovey
Earned My Ears @ Traditions :D
 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Kissimmee, FL
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Epic Disney 2012

I thought I'd post my pre-trip report since that's what all the cool kids are doing.

First a little background: I lived in Clearwater, FL, from 5th grade through high school. Several years during this time our family had season passes to WDW, so I've pretty familiar with three of the parks; I think I've only been to Animal Kingdom once. Our last trip to WDW was a day in the Magic Kingdom in late June 2012. We went with my sister-in-law and then-almost-8-year-old nephew and had a blast! It was his first time. Before this trip, I probably hadn't been for a few years.

Currently my wife and I live in San Antonio. We'll be leaving after work on Wednesday, November 7 to drive to Florida. First we'll be stopping in Gainesville since we're both UF alumni and it's homecoming weekend. We'll be going to Gator Growl on November 9, followed by a 5K run(/walk!) on the morning of November 10. Depending on what time the game is, we might go to the the Louisiana@Florida football game. Go Gators!!

That night we'll be checking into our All-Star Music room for our free dining package. (We have upgraded to the Disney Dining Plan that includes a table service meal each day.)

We'll be at the Disney Parks from Sunday through Saturday -- 7 days! Five of those days, two current co-workers and one former co-worker (who now lives in Illinois) will be joining us as well.

Sunday, I'm thinking we'll start out our week with a QS (#1) breakfast at the Polynesian Resort. I have to try the Tonga Toast! We'll try to arrive to the TTC parking lot early enough to hop on the resort monorail and still make it to rope drop at the Magic Kingdom. We'll also be meeting my in-laws in the park that day: FIL, MIL, SIL, BIL, nephew. So there'll be ten of us that day. I can't wait to hang out with my nephew again! We'll have lunch at LTT (TS#1) and finish off the day with the TTFDP before the non-residents go back home to St. Augustine at 9PM when the park closes. The five of us staying at ASM however will stay there until the end of EMH at midnight. (No Splash Mountain!? )

Monday, we'll start out with EMH at Animal Kingdom. Probably lunch (QS#2) at one of the restaurants there -- Flame Tree Barbecue? We'll probably stay there until the park closes or we do everything, whichever comes first. We're going to have dinner at Boma (TS#2), followed by Hollywood Studios including EMH until 11PM.

Tuesday begins with EMH at Epcot. (Epcot, yay! We both came out in 1982. (I'm 30 years old -- not gay.)) We'll probably spend QS#3 on lunch at Epcot -- but where!? -- and eventually ride the boat over to DHS for our Fantasmic dining package (TS#3) at Hollywood & Vine. We'll stay through Fantasmic! and then head back to ASM about 8pm.

On Wednesday and Thursday, my work buddies will be heading to Universal/Islands of Adventure, so DW and I will have Wednesday to ourselves. Whew! Tentatively we're thinking EMH at AK and maybe eventually getting over to MK. (Though we might be ready to throw a nap in the mix by this point.) QS#4 will be lunch at AK or near or in MK. We're going to rendezvous with the work buddies at 9:35PM for Ohana (TS#4).

On Thursday we might start out with another Monorail QS(#5) breakfast. We'll be meeting my side of the family today: my parents, my younger brother, my younger sister and her husband, and my older sister with her husband and my niece (3) and nephew (6mo), and BIL's mother. (Are you also counting 12?) Currently we have ADRs for a LTT lunch (which unfortunately isn't family style) or Tony's Town Square dinner (TS#5). However, I'm dying to get a LTT dinner reservation for the twelve of us. I haven't been able to snag that yet, though. We won't be together for Thanksgiving itself, so I'd love to have a family style dinner at LTT a week beforehand. QS#6 ought to come at MK either for lunch or dinner, depending on which meal we sit down for.

Thursday continues with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with DW and the 3 buddies from work. You're going to think I'm a pig when I tell you this, so let me explain first: When I made the initial TTFDP reservation (the day it opened), I thought my wife's side of the family would be visiting us on Monday (Veterans' Day). So I made the reservation for the 5 of us who I knew would be going. THEN DW's family decides that they will be joining us on Sunday and not Monday as I had assumed. Not only that, but MIL would like to go to the dessert party. After calling several times, I was only able to add 1 to our party, not 5. So I ended up evicting my work buddies from the TTFDP on 11/11 to make room for the family, and booked another one for the 5 of us on Thursday 11/15. So, yeah, Thursday is going to end with MVMCP and another TTFDP. Oink oink.

Friday, my parents and younger siblings are going to be touring DHS and my older sister's family will be staying out of the parks that day due to having younger children and not wanting to try 3 days in a row at Disney. But a former co-worker from San Antonio, now living an hour east of Orlando, is going to meet us with her 1-year-old son for a day in the MK. It will be interrupted by a meal (TS#6) at 1900 Park Fare (11:05AM = brunch). My older sister and her family will be coming to this as well for a total of 12 people. It's going to be Supercalifragilistic--WAIT FOR IT... -expialidocious!

Friday evening we'll be headed to Epcot for dinner at Biergarten (TS#7) at 8PM. My former co-worker will have taken her kid back home and it'll be us 5 "core" group plus my brother, older sister and BIL, and possibly my parents. Then those of us staying on-property will enjoy 3 EMH at Epcot before heading back to ASM for the last time.

Saturday mourning (get it?) will possibly start with EMH at DHS. We'll get on over to Epcot by 1:25 for our Akershus reservation (TS#8). This'll be 14 of us: my five, my older sister's four, younger sister and BIL, parents, and brother. Unfortunately the ressie is for 13. I've been calling to try to change it to no avail. Hopefully we'll be able to sneak in the 5-month-old. Or something. It has to work out! Fortunately my sister's MIL decided not to come to this one or we'd have an even harder time with it. The final QS#7 will be in Epcot somewhere -- again, where?!

The plan is to stay for IllumiNations and then drive a few hours, maybe to Lake City, for the night. Sunday we'll be driving the rest of the way back to San Antonio and then back to work on Monday. I think DW's going to have to do most of the driving; I won't be able to see the road through my tears.

A few more tidbits: My coworkers and I split the cost of a PhotoPass+ so we'll be posing for pictures throughout the trip, as well as making sure our ride photos are extra special. We're staying 7 nights but have 8 TS reservations; not sure which one we'll pay out-of-pocket. I've never been to MVMCP before. I've never stayed at a Disney resort before due to proximity. I've been to a few Nights of Joy.

Man, all this writing about Disney table service restaurants is making me HONGRY! Liberty Tree Tavern, Boma, Hollywood & Vine, Ohana, 1900 Park Fare, Biergarten, Akershus... two dessert parties! Oh man.

Am I missing anything?
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
jasontovey
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