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Old 05-07-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
nilla
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I Knew You Would Eventually Get Tired of Disney World - April '12 TR - Completed 2/9

Welcome to my Pre-Trip Report!

Wait a second - if this is a Pre-Trip Report, or a "PTR" as the vets call it, then what is it doing in the regular Trip Report section of
the DISboards?

Well, that's a good question. The answer? It's not really a PTR. It's a TR (what the non-vets call a "Trip Report". With a PTR bundled
in with it. Insane?? Yes, it is. But I think you can handle it.

Anyone who knows me or has read my two prior TRs knows I don't do PTRs. Anyone who didn't know that knows now. And we all now know that
everyone now knows this, so let's continue, shall we?

...

Hold on, what's that? Why don't I do PTRs? Well, it's a combination of really having little to say and the paranoia that someone is
reading the DISboards waiting for the word that I'll be away from my house from April 25th to May 6th. That's what the skilled burglars
do. But skilled or not, I am NOT going to make their jobs any easier!

Ok, ok...I'm nuts. I won't have to tell you that soon enough - it should be fairly apparent. But that's not the point, really. What I'm
getting at here is that, while I usually don't do PTRs, I am doing a PTR for this trip. Why? Because, for once, I actually have enough
material to fill a PTR. But why is it being shoved into a regular TR? Because I'm still paranoid about those DISboard-lurking burglars in
the greater Lehigh Valley area who are neither concerned with nor incapable of circumventing the home security system I am paying to have
maintained while we're gone.

But couldn't I just do a full PTR, then post it after the trip? Sure. But I'm too lazy to put forth even that minimal effort, so I'll try
not to cheat too much and get my pre-trip story to you in Reader's Digest Abridged Books version. Am I dating myself with the reference?
I don't know, but what I do know is that all these questions are keeping us from getting started! So quiet down and pay attention, because
it's Trip Report time!

Last edited by nilla; 02-09-2013 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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Ok, what's going on here? We're on the second post, and we don't even have a title! I was able to rope a lot of readers into my last TR with a title that highlighted the frustrations of the typical parent at Walt Disney World. I don't know if my title will be as good this year, but it certainly is relevant to our year leading up to, and including, this trip.

So what's the title? We'll get to that. For now, just sit back, relax, forget that you already know the title from the thread title, and enjoy our story, which is tenatively titled...

I KNEW YOU WOULD EVE-



Whoa! Too soon! We're not quite there yet. So let's cut the rambling and start, ok?

Last year, before leaving Coronado Springs at the twilight of our vacation, Kristin and I looked at each other and said, "I don't know how we could stay at any other resort." That's not an entirely concrete opinion, but until we can afford (properly afford, not "go even further into debt" afford) to stay at one of the Monorail or Epcot resorts, Coronado is our spot. This will be our third year in a row here, and I wouldn't want to stay at any other moderate. Not by a longshot.

We arrived home, and shortly after, Kristin blocked out the dates. Due to an early Easter, we could insert our 12-day trip right at the end of April, bleeding into May. Dylan will be done with his PSSAs (Pennsylvania standardized tests by which we judge our schools as worthy or not worthy of government intervention) by then, so pulling him out of school won't be as much of an issue.

Soon enough, the trip was booked, ADRs were made, and all we needed to do was wait.

See? I told you I'd keep it brief. So we waited...waited...waited. Then, one day, I got a call at work from Kristin. The kids were off from school that day, and they had seen a commercial for Beaches Jamaica on TV. That gave Kristin an idea - why not take a break from our yearly Disney trips and go down there?

...

Wait, what?? A year without Disney??? Are you nuts???? Besides, aren't we already booked?

No, not 2012. 2013. Ok, that's better. But still - A year without Disney?

"I'd like to do something different, for a change," she argued. "This will be our 7th yearly trip in a row."

Ok, I understand that. But we DID go to the Outer Banks with my parents and siblings last Summer. And we did fly out to Minnesota in 2009 and 2010 for Vikings games. We spend a good deal of time at her parents' cabin in the Poconos during the Summer, so do we really need to skip Disney? Besides, weren't you asking not too long ago how we can start fitting a second Disney trip in each year?

Appalling, I know, but you know what? I can't say this is a surprise. I know you, Kristin, and this is what you do. You find a hobby, beat it to death, then leave it behind, never looking back. In fact, I can honestly say that I feared this would happen one day. I knew there would be a time that you would suggest a break in the routine. I knew your attitude would change at some point. To put it plainly...


I KNEW YOU WOULD EVENTUALLY GET TIRED OF DISNEY WORLD



(to be continued...)

Last edited by nilla; 05-08-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:20 PM   #3
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(...right now!)

Kristin assures me she's NOT tired of Disney World, but she still wants to do something different in 2013. Ok, I'll back down. We'll discuss this later. For now, let's just forget this and START COUNTING DOWN TO WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!

But I'm not counting down. Not out loud, at least. I don't want my excessive enthusiasm to turn her off of it any more than I already fear it has.

But I'll admit, the time leading up to this trip did not have the Disney neurosis it usually has. Not because of any diminishing of the love in my heart for the Happiest Place on Earth (trust me, that fire's still burning in me worse than hot mashed potatoes foolishly swallowed quickly to avoid burning one's mouth), but because we've had a lot going on. Emily goes to school full-day now (she's in 1st Grade), Dylan is doing mixed martial arts 3 nights a week and just crossed over into Boy Scouts, Kristin and I put together the school yearbook (no small task), and there was the not-so-minor matter of a new puppy.

We always assumed we'd eventually get a dog. Dylan and I love dogs, but neither of us have ever had one. Kristin has allergy issues, so we decided we would one day get a little hypo-allergenic poodle-type canine, but that day was not in the near future.

Then, tragedy struck. Kristin's uncle passed away in February after a long bout with cancer. This was her fourth aunt or uncle out of four to pass away - his wife died of cancer last year when we were in Epcot waiting to meet the Pixar Weekend characters.

The funeral date was set, and Kristin's other cousins made their plans to come up from Tennessee to pay their respects. Her olde and spend some time with the family. Her oldest cousin, Charlie, has a wonderfully behaved yellow lab named Bailey, whom he has brought with him on previous trips. Bailey would be making this trip as well, but accompanying them would also be her three remaining puppies, born just two months prior.

Here is the condensed version of how one of these puppies ended up with us:

Kristin (before Charlie arrived): "Jon, just to be clear, we're not keeping any of these puppies. I have a feeling Charlie is going to ask if we want one."

Me: "Ok. No problem."

Two days later, after the funeral, Kristin's cousins and some other friends were at our house. The puppies were running around playing. Two of the dogs were already spoken for, but the third, Inky - a female black lab - was not.

Kristin (after several glasses of wine): "Jon, can we keep her?"

Me: "Um....how about we talk about this in the morning?"

Kristin: "Ok. But look how cute she is! Kids, do you want Inky to live with us?"

Kids: "YEAH!!!"

Kristin: "Well, talk to Daddy. He's going to decide tomorrow."

Me: "It seems like the decision's already been made for me."

So now we have Inky. And we love her. I'm certainly not going to complain, since I really wanted a dog in the first place. But going from "we're not getting a dog now" to "we have a dog" in the span of a weekend is a big adjustment. Here she is when we got her:





...and here she is now:





Not the best newer pics, but let's just say she's much bigger now than she was then. About 20 pounds more in just 3 months.
But enough about that, get to the Disney stuff!

Ok, ok...I was trying to explain why the excitement level wasn't as high this year as it was other years. We've been a bit pre-occupied.

Part of the condition of us getting Inky was that Kristin's Mom would need to watch her when we went to Disney. She was more than happy to agree to this, since she's wanted another dog for some time now. An interesting coincidence is that I, when Kristin and I were dating, stayed at her parents' house and watched their puppy when they went to WDW back in the mid-nineties. So we've come full circle
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:22 PM   #4
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The clock continued to spin, as it tends to do if you keep fresh batteries in it, and we got closer and closer to our trip. My usual pre-trip "I have to do 10 million things before we go!" hysteria kicked in, but we got it all done. We did the countdown on the refrigerator with magnets that we usually do, and packed later than a month early this year. In fact, we packed only a few days prior to our trip. I know, we've completely lost it! Next, you're going to tell me you didn't work from home the first morning ADRs became available so Kristin could be on the phone with Disney right when the gates open. We're not THAT sane! Clothes were coordinated as usual:



As we approached our departure date, Emily got a loose tooth:



Ok, let's hope it comes out before we leave. We opted out of PhotoPass this year, so we won't care as much if she looks ridiculous. But then again, how ridiculous could she possible look with one less tooth?



Ok, she looks completely ridiculous. Drama ensues when Dylan says she looks like a hillbilly, but do you disagree? She's looking pretty silly, so let's hope the other one comes out before we start getting crazy ideas involving string and a doorknob.



Whew! That was close. Much better I think the "no teeth" look works for her, and she can now whistle. Bonus!

Kristin took Inky to her parents' house on Tuesday. I switched my half day off to a full day off for Wednesday, the day we were leaving, so I was able to get one last lawn mowing in. Kristin picked up the kids from school, my parents drove us to the airport, and off we went!
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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Hold it, hold it, HOLD IT!!! Aren't you going to give us your itinerary first? Are you going to introduce the first-time readers to your family? And what about a Table of Contents? You did a Table of Contents last year. Aren't you going to do another Table of Contents?

Yes, I am. I apologize. I'm typing this while on an airplane, weighed down by pretzels and soda that I consumed too fast because I wanted to get back to typing this. Here is the cast of characters:

Me (nilla):



Software developer, Magic: The Gathering newbie and addict, obsessive Minnesota Vikings fan, punk rock fan, metal fan, other music fan, buffoon, Trip Report author, and all-around Disney junkie.

Favorite park: Epcot
Favorite ride: Haunted Mansion
Favorite restaurant: Biergarten
Interesting fact: I have the ability to make facts about my life sound more interesting than they really are. I'm also not as orange as I appear in the picture.

Kristin (The DISboards' own kristin_t):



Stay-at-home Mom looking to get back into teaching, knitter, nightime soap opera nut, prolific Disney planner, and all-around great gal.

Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite Restaurant: Kona Cafe
Interesting fact: She made a list of exatcly what went in last suitcase last year, and we used it this year. It worked brilliantly. She's a phenom at the planning stuff, and the glue that holds our Disney trips together.

Dylan:



10 year old 5th grader, math wiz, MMA student, Boy Scout, video game lunatic, problem eater, and thrill ride maniac. I don't know a single ride this kid would not get on without hesitation.

Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride: Splash Mountain
Favorite Restaurant: Kona Cafe
Interesting fact: He doesn't really ride in the stroller like the picture would seem to indicate, but probably would if we let him. He has a ton of energy and is actually in decent shape, in spite of being pretty darned lazy.

Emily:

(You saw enough of her before. She'll be back in enough pictures. Trust me.)

6 year old in 1st grade, fashionista, fan of TV shows intended for girls at least twice her age, gymnast, Disney Princess lover, and the ultimate Jeckyl and Hyde personality in our family. She can be the most loving, thoughtful little angel you've met, or the most defiant, spiteful, lying little backtalker. It all depends on the situation. She's mostly good, though

Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Ride: Test Track
Favorite Restaurant: Chef Mickey's
Interesting fact: She's also a Castmember, Tour Guide, and Animation class teacher, if you believe what she tells you.


As I mentioned before, this will be our 7th trip in as many years, dating back to when Emily was just 8 months old. We swear that Disney transformed her from the miserable baby she was before to the girl who once said, "I love everything in the whole world." Once again, it's just us - no parents, no siblings. Between the two of us, Kristin and I have this touring thing nailed down. We know how to do everything we want in the most efficient way possible. Disney has thrown us a few curve balls, which I'll get into later. But for now, let's get into the itinerary.

Last edited by nilla; 05-07-2012 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Table of Contents

To highlight how efficient I am, my itinerary doubles as a Table of Contents! Isn't that great? I agree! So here it is:

Ok NOW we can get back to Day 1!

(next update)

Last edited by nilla; 02-09-2013 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:46 PM   #7
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I'm here...am I first? Now, I'm hitting the sack (long day of celebrating after being "released" by my oncologist for no future visits). Back tomorrow to read up.

I LOVE my Jon reports.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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A year without Disney? Uh oh.

I look forward to reading this years report! Just subscribed!
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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Hah - I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering whether you would be doing another TR this year.

Can't wait to read all about it. I can't see your pics right now, but I can't wait to see how much the kids have grown. And, of course, I am totally waiting to see Emily's hillbilly smile.

I am leaving for WDW in a month and we are going with my brother's family (4 boys) and we have decided to do the OSDP. I am thinking Pepper Market one night but have read a couple not so great reviews. Curious to see what you think.

I will also be flying out of ABE on June 9th,so I will make sure to wave! (cheapest flights I could get and we have family up there to visit pre flight).

Thanks for the heads up on the TR!
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:35 AM   #10
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I have subbed to your report, looking forward to the updates and all the goodness that Disney brings.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:19 AM   #11
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I'm in too!

Can't wait to hear how your trip panned out.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:26 AM   #12
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I'm back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jon, I just love your writing style and how you do your TR's.

Love the new puppy (and how you got her -- wine will do that to you!).

The kids are growing so fast. And I do love the "toothless smile."

Can't wait for the adventure to begin.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #13
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I'm in too! I just spent a good chunk of my day reading your report from last year. I enjoyed it very much. I'm curious to see how you did with the whole new fastpass set-up.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:07 PM   #14
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Yay! Thanks for the link.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:00 PM   #15
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i'm in - looking forward to hearing about your trip
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