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Old 05-01-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
Eight
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Exclamation Choose Your Own Adventure - September ToT Ten Miler (updated 8/2!)

You've arrived at Walt Disney World pre-trip report. Do you decide to:

(A) Keep reading
(B) Click the back button



Great! You chose (A) and decided to keep reading!



A picture of a girl and giant monster pops up. Do you decide to:

(A) Run away in fright! That monster is scary!
(B) Run away in fright! That girl is scary!
(C) Venture on, because clearly those two are harmless



Great! You chose (C) and ventured on!

You come across a long section of text. Do you decide to:

(A) Read it, because it might contain valuable information
(B) Turn around because you hate reading



Great! You chose (A) and decided to read the long section of text. This is what it reads:


Honestly?

I'm not sure if I should be starting a PTR.

There is a plethora of reasons.

These reasons include:
A) I have not booked a resort.*
B) I have not set my dates.**
C) I have not found anyone to go with me.***
B) I only just completed my TR from January. Of 2011.****

*but I know where I'd like to stay
**but I know when I'd like to go
***but I know who I'd like to go with, we're just waiting on something
****but... yeah, no excuses there

On the other hand:

A) I made ADRs!

That totally counts for something, right? Totally.

Hi there. I'm Eight, or Rachel.

Remember that picture of the monster and the girl? That's what I look like.

You may have gathered that I'm a Disney fan, based on:

A) The fact that I posted a picture of me with a Disney character.
B) The fact that I'm on a Disney message board.
C) The fact that I've posted a TR before, therefor implying I've been to a Disney park before, and liked it enough to write about it.

Since we've established that, here are some things you may not know about me:

A) I have really small feet.
B) I've been to twenty countries.
C) I'm pretty good at learning foreign languages.

Hm, what else can I tell you?

Not too much. Yet.

I'll leave it to you to decide if this is because:

A) I'm trying to leave you in suspense.
B) Since there are no real plans yet, there's not much to report on.
C) If I posted more now, I wouldn't have anything to write about later on.
D) All of the above.

Any guesses on which it is?


You finish reading the long section of text. Do you decide to:

(A) Leave, because that certainly didn't contain any information that you would consider valuable
(B) Stick around because this could turn in to something interesting
(C) Post a reply

Last edited by Eight; 08-02-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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I see that you've all gone with choice (A) or (B). I'm hoping you'll go with (B) and eventually get around to choosing (C).

Unfortunately, I don't have any fun multiple choice decisions in this part for you, but I do hope you'll read anyway. I figured that since I didn't really give any information about the trip in the first part, I should probably explain at least a little bit!

Let's time travel back a few months to an undetermined date in March.

Winter was rough. I don't want to get in to specific details, but it was a very hard time for me, and to make of long story short, I decided I would plan a trip for June once I was out of school. A carrot on a stick, if you will.

Now get back in that time machine and set the coordinates for mid-April!

While I had decided that I definitely wanted to go somewhere, I had yet to figure out where, and I figured I should probably start making plans soon. I tossed around a few ideas, like Hawaii and Costa Rica, but I've never been a fan of relaxing beach vacations.

Of course, the idea of Walt Disney World came up at some point.

"Hm," I thought to myself, "I was just there in December with my parents but if I could find a friend to come with me this time..."

Yes, that would certainly do, if I could find someone to go with me.

A week or so later, I went out to breakfast with my friend who had gone to WDW with me last June. I had no clue if she'd be interested in going or not, but I figured I'd try and bring it up. Like, "remember when we went to Disney World last summer? Would you want to go again?" or something like that. I had no clue. I was honestly kind of freaked out because I had convinced myself the night before that she would have absolutely no interest in going.

Well, I needn't have worried.

SETTING: A pancake house in a Seattle suburb. Two women in their twenties are a booth, looking at the menu.

RACHEL: Hey, they have banana pancakes!

FRIEND: Oh yeah! But I bet they're not as good as... what was it called? That french toast at Disney World?

RACHEL: Tonga toast?

FRIEND: Yes! I want to go back...

RACHEL: Well, you know...

You can probably imagine how it went from there. She was definitely interested in going again, so I sent her some dates and details, and it looks like this may happen! She thinks she can take the time off work, but she hasn't found out for certain yet, so I'm crossing my fingers and toes that she can.

And so there you have it, how this trip came to be, more or less.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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After traveling for several hours, you've come across the choice of two lodgings. Do you decide to spend the night at:
(A) the African camp with a view of the savannah
(B) the charming inn along the boardwalk


That was the position I found myself in a few days ago.

After pricing out resorts, I figured I was ready to make my room reservation. I was pretty sure that I would do the Animal Kingdom Lodge, as the Beach Club, where I had originally wanted to stay, appeared to be totally booked for the dates I wanted. I stayed at the Beach Club last December, and I really liked being able to walk to Epcot. AKL is definitely one of my favorite resorts, so it ends up being my default.

So, I called up Disney, confirmed the prices for AKL, when I thought I might ask if there was anything at the Beach Club, just in case something wasn't showing up online. There wasn't, but the cast member suggested the Boardwalk Inn. Well... It wasn't my first choice, and it was definitely more expensive, but we would be able to walk to Epcot and DHS, so you know, why not?

Immediately after I got off the phone, I wondered if I had made a mistake. I mean, on the one hand, I don't think you can really make a mistake in booking a Disney resort, because they all have their advantages, but on the other hand, it didn't feel right. I can't explain why that was exactly, I guess I didn't feel all that excited about it. I thought about it, and thought about it some more, and came to the conclusion that while it may not "feel right", it was a perfectly good choice, and I had nothing to worry about.

I just overanalyze things a lot, okay?

The next day, I decided I wanted to add the dining plan. So, I priced that out online, and out of curiosity, I wanted to see how much AKL would be with the dining plan. Well! Getting an Arusha view room with the dining plan would be cheaper than just adding on the dining plan to my existing room! I knew what to do.

I called Disney like ten minutes before they closed.

"HiIhaveanexisitingreservationattheBoardwalkInnbut I'dreallyliketochangeittoanArushaviewroomatAKLanda ddadiningplan!"

Thankfully, the CM was quick (and understood my fast talking!) and was able to change everything for me.

So my friend and I will be staying in an Arusha view room at Animal Kingdom Lodge!

And it feels right.


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Old 05-06-2012, 09:34 PM   #5
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Aah, I've been playing around with my ADRs so much, my head is spinning!

Here's my latest dilemma.

There are two breakfasts I would like to do on this trip, Kona Cafe and Cinderella's Royal Table. Kona is a more of must do, while CRT is something I'd like to do.

I have no idea if this will make any sense, but let me try!

Our trip is from Monday to Saturday. As of about ten minutes ago, I had Kona scheduled for Saturday at 9:20am (our departure day, no park scheduled), and CRT on Friday at 8:35am (probably going to Animal Kingdom that day).

Bored, I was playing around, seeing what ADRs were open, and I saw that there was a ADR for CRT available at 9:55am on Saturday. I grabbed it, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I switched Kona to Tuesday to 8am, before we go to the Magic Kingdom.

Now, of course, I'm debating it all. Assuming I can switch back to Kona on Saturday if need be, which option makes more sense?

Option 1:
Do CRT on Friday at 8:35am and Kona on Saturday around 9/9:30.
PROS:
I always enjoy walking up Main Street before the park opens (but we've both done this before, so it may not be a huge deal)
We might have a little more park time on Saturday if we decide to go to MK or Epcot
CONS:
Won't be able to get to Animal Kingdom as early as I would like to on Friday

Option 2:
Do Kona on Tuesday at 8am and CRT on Saturday at 9:55am.
PROS:
Would allow us slightly more time to sleep in (and more importantly pack up everything!) on our final morning or could we could get to MK early and enjoy a ride or two before breakfast
Wouldn't have to worry about getting to AK after breakfast
CONS:
Might not make it to MK for rope drop on Tuesday (but again, we've both seen that, so it may not be a huge deal)
Would probably have to take a taxi to Kona on Tuesday

Right now, I feel like option 2 makes slightly more sense, at least with my touring style, but I'm stumped!

I would ask my friend, but I kind of want to keep CRT a surprise, although maybe I should just talk to her.

Any thoughts?

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Old 05-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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I'm so excited this morning!

I was finally able to get reservations at Le Cellier for dinner!

I've been trying to get reservations for lunch or dinner there for the past two weeks now, but it seemed that it was totally booked every single day we were there.

It got to the point where I was checking like five times a day. Which probably sounds obsessive, and okay, maybe it was a little bit, but it was kind of a routine, like I would check my email, and then see if any reservations had opened for any day we were there.

I just really love their cheddar cheese soup and pretzel bread, okay?

So this morning, I checked for lunch on our Epcot day. Nothing. But for dinner, there was one available for 7:45! Which, admittedly, is later than I would have liked, but I can make it work. But more important than the time, I think, is that it's on the day I wanted! Which means I don't have to shuffle around any ADRs!

Kind of.

Now we just have to decide on Biergarten or Tutto Italia or maybe something entirely different for lunch. I plan on talking to my friend about that soon.
So I'll ask you, what's your favorite TS restaurant in Epcot for lunch?

Alright, that's really all I had to say, I just had to share my excitement. I told my mom right away, but she just kind of smiled and nodded. She doesn't understand what a great feeling it is to get that coveted reservation!
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
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Not a whole lot to report in terms on planning. Our ADRs are pretty much all planned (though I'm STILL debating on CRT! If you have any opinions on that, I would love to hear them!). We've decided we'll most likely rent a car, as I think they're a little more convenient than buses. Airfare is the biggest problem right now, it's ridiculously expensive, and we both have miles we can use, but on different airlines. So I'm not sure how that will work out. It may be that we have to take different flights.

I guess I haven't talked much about when we're going, have I? I mentioned we're going in June, but now the dates.

So, without further ado, our dates are....

June 11-16!

Very exciting, yes?

Here's my plan.

11th -
Arrive. Probably won't go to a park, because when you fly from the west coast, you tend to get in fairly late. The flight I normally take lands around 5 or 5:30, I think, and by the time you get to the hotel, it's like 7 or later, and all you really want to do is eat and then sleep because you've been up since 5am. Well, at least that's all I ever want to do. It could be just me.

12th -
Morning: Magic Kingdom
Afternoon/Evening: ???

13th -
Morning: Epcot
Afternoon/Evening: ???
But we have reservations at Epcot that night, so we'll be back at some point.

14th -
Morning: Hollywood Studios
Afternoon/Evening: ???

15th -
Morning: Animal Kingdom
Afternoon/Evening: ???
May go to the Magic Kingdom that night.

16th -
Morning: ???
Afternoon/Evening: Leave. Most likely. Unless we have to fly out in the morning, which would be even worse.

As I'm sure you noticed, I tend to leave the afternoon and evenings open. As much as I love to plan, I don't like to overplan and feel like there's somewhere I have to be every second of the day.

Soon, I'll be posting my ADRs and my goals for each day.

But before I end this update, I wanted to show you the Stitch necklace a friend of mine made for me! Isn't it cute?



Only 32 more days!

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Old 05-12-2012, 12:06 AM   #8
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Hm... I don't want to jinx anything, so hopefully it doesn't hurt to say that there may be another Disney trip in my future..

Stay tuned!
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:33 PM   #9
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I just finished reading your trip report from January 2011. It didn't bother me at all that it took you so long to finish the report since I just stumbled upon it tonight!

I've read your PTR for June. I sounds like you will be having a great time. I'll be watching for updates now so here's hoping you don't take a year this time!

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvcmbr94 View Post
I just finished reading your trip report from January 2011. It didn't bother me at all that it took you so long to finish the report since I just stumbled upon it tonight!

I've read your PTR for June. I sounds like you will be having a great time. I'll be watching for updates now so here's hoping you don't take a year this time!

Thanks for sharing!
First of all, and thank you for reading!
Second, I'm pretty excited to hear that you read my trip report! I hope you enjoyed it!
Third, I totally agree, I'm really hoping this next TR does not take a year. I managed to finish my first (Disneyland TR) in a more reasonable four months, so I think it's possible. I just have to be more on top of things this time.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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You're about to book flights when, oh no!, a conflict arises! Do you:
(A) Stay cool and collected
(B) Throw a fit
(C) Throw a fit on the inside, but remain cool and collected on the outside


"What sort of conflict?", you might be wondering.

Well.

This past Monday morning, I received a text from my friend (who really needs some sort of alias, so I can call her something more interesting than just 'my friend') asking me if it would be possible to go from the 10th to the 15th instead of the 11th to the 16th? Her work needed her to be somewhere on the 16th.

I told her I wouldn't be able to, because I had tickets to a musical on the 10th. But maybe she could go a day earlier than me, and leave a day earlier?

We texted back and forth for a bit before deciding this would be way easier to work out in person, and we'd meet that night.

So, after that, the story gets pretty boring, and you now know the conflict, so I'll skip ahead to the resolution.

We will now be leaving on the 10th of June (I won't be able to go to the musical that night, but I'm going earlier in the week, so that's good), my friend will leave on the 15th, and I will be leaving on the 16th.

So yeah, I'm staying one extra day by myself. While I definitely wish my friend could stay that day too, we'll still have four full days to do it all.

I'm kind of excited for my solo day. I've done Disneyland by myself, and had a really good time, so I think this will be fun too.

Of course, this means I've had to shift a couple of my ADRs, but I was able to get most everything the way I wanted, so it's all good.

I will update you with the more current plans when I have time!
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight View Post
First of all, and thank you for reading!
Second, I'm pretty excited to hear that you read my trip report! I hope you enjoyed it!
Third, I totally agree, I'm really hoping this next TR does not take a year. I managed to finish my first (Disneyland TR) in a more reasonable four months, so I think it's possible. I just have to be more on top of things this time.
Yes, I enjoyed your trip report very much. You are a wonderful photographer. If those great pictures are with a point and shoot, I can imagine how good you are with your SLR. I assume your mom took all the pics of you - those are really good too. I like the combo of writing, pics and your terrific sense of humor!
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvcmbr94 View Post
Yes, I enjoyed your trip report very much. You are a wonderful photographer. If those great pictures are with a point and shoot, I can imagine how good you are with your SLR. I assume your mom took all the pics of you - those are really good too. I like the combo of writing, pics and your terrific sense of humor!
Wow, thank you! It makes me so happy to hear all that!!
The pictures were taken with a point and shoot. I do have a DSLR, and I would like to take it to WDW, but I've taken it to Disneyland before, and it was hard on my back to carry it around all day. I may take it this trip for my solo day, but I haven't decided.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:50 PM   #14
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Not much news to report.

I'm excited, as I found out that the flight my friend intends to take on the 15th doesn't leave until fairly late in the evening, which means we'll have an extra half day together. I had misunderstood, and thought she would be leaving earlier.

Here's what our schedule looks like now:


10th -
Arrive.

Our first flight leaves Seattle at 11am, we have an hour or so layover, and we'll get to Orlando around 9pm that night.

11th -
Epcot

I can't decide what to do for lunch. I have a reservation at Les Chefs de France at a more reasonable lunch time (12pm) and I found a reservation at Le Cellier for 2:15 which I grabbed. I previously talked about how I got a reservation for Le Cellier for dinner on the 13th, which worked well when that was our Epcot day, but now the 13th is our DHS day. I want to do Fantasmic! and was thinking of doing that on our DHS day, but since I have the Le Cellier reservation on the night of our DHS day, we wouldn't make it. I would cancel the dinner reservation, since I have a lunch one now, but I get hungry earlier than 2:15, and I'm not sure I could wait that long to eat, even with snacks.

I suppose I could go to Fantasmic! on this night, but there's evening EMH which I would normally avoid. Hm... I guess I could do Fantasmic! on the 12th?

Still debating this one.

12th -
Magic Kingdom

We're going to breakfast at Kona, since this trip did come about from Tonga Toast in a way. (Unless I decide to do the 2:15 reservation at Le Cellier, in which case I might do Kona that day so I can have a big breakfast before I have to wait to eat lunch.)

Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.

Not sure what we'll do that night yet.

13th -
Hollywood Studios

Lunch at Sci Fi Dine In.

The one thing we must do at this park is Toy Story Midway Mania! We weren't able to ride it last year, and I think my friend would like it. It's funny, I think this is the only "must do" attraction for this trip, at least for me. There are a lot of things I'd like to do, but this is the only one I must do at all costs. Even if that cost involves knocking down people as I race to get a fast pass.

Okay, not really.

I'm a pro power walker though.

14th -
Animal Kingdom

Lunch at Yak + Yeti. My friend loved this restaurant last year, and it's one of my favorites too.

15th -
No park scheduled (yet!)

So, remember that whole debate I had about CRT?
Well, I never made a decision, so I still had both. But since my friend is now leaving today, instead of the 16th, it now makes much more sense to do it today.
I think it will be a nice last day sort of breakfast.

16th -
No park scheduled (yet!)

My solo half day. I don't know what I'll want to do, so I'm leaving it open. Maybe Animal Kingdom, so I can ride Expedition Everest until I puke?

Totally kidding, of course.

I don't get sick on rides.

So that's what I have planned for now.

Until next time!

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #15
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I'm not sure what it is about those plastic luggage tags, but I get so thrilled whenever they come!
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