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Old 06-06-2012, 01:31 AM   #16
WAMUMOF4
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I don't know much about most of the places your going we are not even going to Epcot on this trip.
We are trying Ohanas this trip as well it just seems to be one of those places people love or hate but thanks for reminding me about the fire works on the beach I had totally forgotten about that

CRT We had Lunch and I would highly reccomend the lunch it was great.
I guess im also wondering why you wouldn't go to animal kingdom when your are staying near it and don't have to travel so far

If the space centre is anything like the one in Houston it is worth it we loved the Houston one so much we are going back again this year.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
I can make my ADR's for WDW as of Monday and so I thought I better finally sit down and work out where we were going to be each day of our 11 night WDW visit so I could work out when and where for the most important part - FOOD!!!!!!

We had a long list of places we wanted to eat, it was just going to be hard to fit it all in and I knew something was going to have to give. I hoped it would become clear which ones to get rid of as I worked through but of course it's never that easy.

I must admit I do find working out which park on which day to be extremely difficult and I will be relieved once it's done. Then I can sit back and enjoy the ride.

TOURING - A bit of background on how our family likes to tour - we like to get up and at em' nice and early so we can ride and enjoy the parks before the parks get really busy. We also like to avoid the heat but December in Orlando shouldn't be a problem. We like to return to our room in the afternoon for a rest/nap/zone out and then go to dinner somewhere and a different park to where we've been during the day. We never start at a park first thing in the morning and stay all day and into the night. I think we just get too tired.

We are exactly the same

So on with the rough plans, please let me know if you see any glaring holes in my thinking, have any awesome advice, etc.

Day 1-5 staying at AKL

Sun 9 Dec

Fly fly fly fly fly and arrive into Orlando at 9.30pm ish. By the time we get our bags and get the Magical Express to AKL who knows what time it will be. Will dump bags and crash for however long our bodies need.

Mon 10 Dec

We will have flown in from Canberra late the night before so I don't have anything firm set for when we should get up etc. We will just sleep and see what happens.

Breakfast - either a bowl of cereal in our room from our Garden Grocer delivery or if absolutely starving and can snag a table we could wander down to Boma. Will play that by ear.
Mara the quick service is great too You can eat there or grab the food on a tray and take it back to the room and sit on the balcony watching the animals Mara would be our favourite CS at the whole of WDW. The chicken caesar is SO good. The chicken is cooked in yummy spices.

Park during the day - Epcot. This is DH's favourite park and with the world showcase not opening until 11am and us potentially sleeping in we thought this would be a nice easy way to kick off our WDW experience.

Lunch - San Angel Inn
for an early lunch, 11.45-12pm ish. (this will be our first time dining here, looks like a great atmosphere)

Wander a bit more and then back to the room for a rest and to unpack a bit more.

Dinner - 6.30 O'Hana
then watch the 8pm fireworks from the restaurant. (this will be our first time dining here, I like the idea of the family style dining) I think we will then return to our room and get some sleep, perhaps wander around outside the resort to see how it looks at night.

Tuesday 11 Dec

I actually think in some ways we could potentially be a little more tired today with the jetlag catching up, well that is what has happened on previous trips so we shall see.

It's highly possible that you will be up with the sparrows

Breakfast in room

Park during day - Hollywood Studios

Lunch - 12ish Sci Fi Diner (been before, thought it was super fun)

In the afternoon we plan to resort hop over to WL and to GF to check out the amazing Christmas decorations. The boys in our family may skip this and go back to the room. They function better with naps etc. I mean the big boy, DH most especially .

Dinner - 6pm T-Rex and then wandering around Downtown Disney for the evening.

Wednesday 12 Dec

Breakfast - 8am Cinderella's Royal Table (can't wait for this, our first time dining in the castle)

Park - Magic Kingdom for the day, counter service lunch either at Pecos Bill or Cosmic Rays.

Dinner - early dinner, like 4.45pm at 50's Prime Time Diner (had this before and loved it)

6.30pm Fantasmic (plan to enter around 45 mins before the show perhaps with a cupcake in hand for dessert to keep the family quiet). This will be our first time seeing Fantasmic and come hell or high water I am seeing it.

After Fantasmic I thought we could wander over to see the Osborne Lights for the first time, sigh I think this will be amazing.

Thursday 13 December


Breakfast in room

Animal Kingdom for day

Lunch - haven't quite decided. Either Yak and Yeti which we have done before and enjoyed or perhaps the Tusker House Character lunch. I would welcome opinions on this.

My vote would be Yak and Yeti, love it there But a character meal could be fun

Head back to the room for a relax in the afternoon.

Evening - MVMCP, woohoo, how fun. We will pick up a counter service meal and enjoy this exciting evening.

Friday 14 December

We will need to be up super super super early today as we are transferring over to POFQ for the remaining 6 days.

Breakfast - 8am Crystal Palace

Park - Magic Kingdom for the day, watch 3pm Parade

back to POFQ to check in and for a rest

Dinner - 6pm Flying Fish (I can't wait for this one. We had an ADR last time but were simply too tired on the day so cancelled. I will not be cancelling this time and already know what I will be ordering ). After dinner wander around the Boardwalk taking everything in.

Saturday 15 December

Outlet Shopping Day. This will be DH's favourite day because that man loves to shop . I would say we'll make an early start with brekky in the room and by around lunchtime the kids and I will be done done done. DH on the other hand will perhaps shop on while we return to the resort for a swim or to relax.

Dinner - 8pm Rose & Crown and then Illuminations at 9.30pm. We haven't been to this restaurant before nor have we seen Illuminations so looking forward to this.


Sunday 16 December

Breakfast in room

Park - Epcot

Lunch - 12.30 Biergarten (this is our first time here and I'm looking forward to the atmosphere more than anything)

Back to room for a rest

Evening - Hollywood Studios for a wander, dinner at a counter service place, perhaps Pizza Planet, the kids enjoyed that last time.

Monday 17 December

Breakfast in room

Kennedy Space Centre tour day - can't wait for this. The rest of the family are whinging and whining and don't want to go but I'm making them. I know DS10 will be blown away once he is there.

Catch boat from POFQ to Downtown Disney

Evening - 6.30pm dinner at Raglan Road (went here twice last time, amazing food and great atmosphere. Looking forward to seeing the dancers and house band this time)

Wander around Downtown Disney afterwards

Tuesday 18 December

Breakfast in Foodcourt

Park - Animal Kingdom for the day, lunch at Flame Tree BBQ probably

Back to room for some washing and a rest

Evening - Epcot

Dinner - 6pm eityher Chefs De France or Coral Reef. I think the kids would be blown away by the fishtanks at Coral Reef but DH and I would probably prefer the food at Chefs De France. I'm torn on this one.

My vote would be Chefs... I love it there... But I do like Coral Reef too.. if you go there and you like desserts, then you must try the chocolate wave. It is SO good!

Wednesday 19 December

Breakfast in room

Universal - Harry Potter for the day.

Evening - wander around MK for the last hurrah, to say goodbye to Walt and the Castle.

Thursday 20 December - head to NYC mid morning
I think you have some fabulous choices there! They all sound great and great park plans too It's going to be such a fun trip and at Christmas time too
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:46 AM   #18
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It seemed to me that O'hana and Le Cellier got lots of great reviews and little criticism all the time, but I hated both and it turned out later that I am not alone. I think Minniemum gave a great description.
I would actually try to make the ADR for Biergarten about 15 minutes before the first show so that you can stay for the second show if I feel like it on the day. It is a lovely atmosphere and a great 'free' show.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by WAMUMOF4 View Post

If the space centre is anything like the one in Houston it is worth it we loved the Houston one so much we are going back again this year.
I'm soooo pleased to hear this! We loved Cape Canaveral and have planned to visit the Houston space centre on this trip. I've been a bit worried that it would be a bit of a let down after cape canaveral, but if you're planning to go back for a second visit then it must be good.

Shuttergirl, Your ADR's look great I think you have a nice mix of old favourites and new experiences in your planning.

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Old 06-06-2012, 03:22 AM   #20
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Okay so I popped over to the EasyWDW calendar recommendation link and now I am even more confused than ever. I think they give a very good explanation for each day about why they are recommending a park and why they are not but some of their recommendations are in direct opposition of the Touring Plans recommendations. I'm so confused .

I now don't know what to do about what I was planning. Sigh.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:56 AM   #21
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I wouldn't stress too much about it. When we were there at the same time of year that you'll be going, crowd levels were very low. Many of the rides were walk on. Pick whichever recommrndation suits you better with regard to arrival time, what you wish to see, where you want to dine etc and forget about the other. we used touring plans when we organized our days
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:22 AM   #22
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Thanks Shushh. I could seriously drive myself crazy with this stuff
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
Thanks Shushh. I could seriously drive myself crazy with this stuff
You have some great selections. Try not to over analyse it as you will most likely end up thinking you should be going at a different time of year if you are not careful

All the selections sound great, with many that I have done. I would try and do 1900 park fare for a character breakfast or dinner! It's a lot of fun and probably the best Buffett food out of chef Mickey & crystal palace.

Good luck....you will have a ball

Ps: don't rush to 3 broomsticks at Harry potter. Food is so-so.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:01 AM   #24
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I agree with Shushh and Melbourne5. You have a great plan, I would just stick with that
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:23 AM   #25
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Having done several trips I am now less worried about time in the parks and now everything is about the meals! (hmmm they don't have an overstuffed porky emoticon)

So booking my meals is one of the first things I decide.

People are so different in their tastes - hard to judge. (although I prefer 50's Prime Time to Sci Fi and the food is way better at Yak and Yeti - but Tusker House meals is the easiest way to see the characters. I do avoid Chef Mickey now). I agree with a couple of others - bfast at 1900 is great! good food - with a few unique dishes - and great character interaction

re: the candlelight processional - I will be going for the first time this year and I am just going to take one of my Epcot bookings and turn it into a processional package. I would imagine that NPH is a popular narrator - but then again I really dislike queuing - and if I was gonna buy dinner anyway - well - it seems too easy to me. You also get an Illuminations viewing area - which may be something you want.

Anyone who has done CP - did you see the Illuminations special area? was it any good?

Finally - have you been out to the Deep Space Centre at Tidbinbilla? I would recommend doing this just before your trip. Will get the kids started on space stuff. I've done 2 tours at the DSC and found it fascinating - and some parts are better than KSC. Their shows in theatrette are great with some amazing photos! Both are NASA - so they are kind of similar - except KSC has all the rockets. I did a KSC tour and was glad to do so. got some extra bits not otherwise accessible.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:19 AM   #26
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We did the Tusker House lunch on this trip and really enjoyed the food, a lot of variety and different flavours. The character interaction was good - the restaurant was not full and characters came around twice.

DD loves the food at Ohana, we have been twice.

I am going to suggest an alternate - Arakeus (?) is great. We received a photo with Belle, smorgasbord appetizer, main and denser platter to share - and the Princess come to your table. It is now one of her favourites.

ETA - we loved Fantasmic, and did the lunch dining package at Mama Melrose?
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #27
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Your Plan

Hello Ms. Shuttergirl

I live in Florida and have looked at your plan. It looks great. I live about 100 miles away from WDW and always go there during the time frame that you will be there because the crowds are always less. There are a lot of people there but the first half of December is less crowded than the Christmas season for instance. In fact, I am staying at Old Key West December 8 – 11.

3 Suggestions

Eat at Jikos. It is at the Animal Kingdom Lodge so it would be easy to get to and a good place to eat while recovering from travelling. I really like the filet and have eaten there several times. A beautiful restaurant too.

Walk around the lake in the EPCOT resort area and check out the Christmas decorations at the Boardwalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club. They are well done and it is a nice stroll around the lake.

When you go the KSC, do the Discover KSC Today and Tomorrow tour. It takes you to the Vehicle Assembly Building where the Endeavor and Atlantis shuttles currently are. I did this tour in December 2011 and got to see the Endeavor shuttle from about 50 feet away and took lots of pictures of it. This tour also takes you to where the Saturn 5 rocket is which is very impressive. Your son should enjoy seeing the Atlantis or Endeavor shuttles up close as well as the Saturn 5. I am a NASA fan so I am biased but I could see shuttle launches from my house.

Mostly enjoy yourself. I have been to WDW about 90 times over the last 30 years and see something new each time. Welcome in advance to Florida. Hope you and your family have a great trip. If you have any questions, ask away. I am looking forward to seeing your country someday myself. All the best.

Last edited by beachcat; 06-06-2012 at 01:15 PM. Reason: I can't spell
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:49 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAMUMOF4 View Post
I don't know much about most of the places your going we are not even going to Epcot on this trip.
We are trying Ohanas this trip as well it just seems to be one of those places people love or hate but thanks for reminding me about the fire works on the beach I had totally forgotten about that

CRT We had Lunch and I would highly reccomend the lunch it was great.
I guess im also wondering why you wouldn't go to animal kingdom when your are staying near it and don't have to travel so far

If the space centre is anything like the one in Houston it is worth it we loved the Houston one so much we are going back again this year.
Good to hear CRT for lunch was good. I actually think I am going to book lunch now instead of breakfast to take a bit of pressure off arriving super early.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andona View Post
I'm soooo pleased to hear this! We loved Cape Canaveral and have planned to visit the Houston space centre on this trip. I've been a bit worried that it would be a bit of a let down after cape canaveral, but if you're planning to go back for a second visit then it must be good.

Shuttergirl, Your ADR's look great I think you have a nice mix of old favourites and new experiences in your planning.

Andona
Thank you Andona.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shushh View Post
I wouldn't stress too much about it. When we were there at the same time of year that you'll be going, crowd levels were very low. Many of the rides were walk on. Pick whichever recommrndation suits you better with regard to arrival time, what you wish to see, where you want to dine etc and forget about the other. we used touring plans when we organized our days
Thanks Shushh, I am making myself crazy with this and really I should just move on lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne5 View Post
You have some great selections. Try not to over analyse it as you will most likely end up thinking you should be going at a different time of year if you are not careful

All the selections sound great, with many that I have done. I would try and do 1900 park fare for a character breakfast or dinner! It's a lot of fun and probably the best Buffett food out of chef Mickey & crystal palace.

Good luck....you will have a ball

Ps: don't rush to 3 broomsticks at Harry potter. Food is so-so.
We did 1900 Park Fare last time for breakfast and really enjoyed it. I agree the food is very nice.

That's a shame to hear that the 3 Broomsticks food isn't that great, I actually think I remember reading about it in your TR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
I agree with Shushh and Melbourne5. You have a great plan, I would just stick with that
Thanks luv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarglider View Post
Having done several trips I am now less worried about time in the parks and now everything is about the meals! (hmmm they don't have an overstuffed porky emoticon)

So booking my meals is one of the first things I decide.

People are so different in their tastes - hard to judge. (although I prefer 50's Prime Time to Sci Fi and the food is way better at Yak and Yeti - but Tusker House meals is the easiest way to see the characters. I do avoid Chef Mickey now). I agree with a couple of others - bfast at 1900 is great! good food - with a few unique dishes - and great character interaction

re: the candlelight processional - I will be going for the first time this year and I am just going to take one of my Epcot bookings and turn it into a processional package. I would imagine that NPH is a popular narrator - but then again I really dislike queuing - and if I was gonna buy dinner anyway - well - it seems too easy to me. You also get an Illuminations viewing area - which may be something you want.

Anyone who has done CP - did you see the Illuminations special area? was it any good?

Finally - have you been out to the Deep Space Centre at Tidbinbilla? I would recommend doing this just before your trip. Will get the kids started on space stuff. I've done 2 tours at the DSC and found it fascinating - and some parts are better than KSC. Their shows in theatrette are great with some amazing photos! Both are NASA - so they are kind of similar - except KSC has all the rockets. I did a KSC tour and was glad to do so. got some extra bits not otherwise accessible.
Good to hear I'm not the only person who thinks the food is crazy important lol.

I agree Chef Mickey's is to be avoided, we weren't that impressed last time.

I've had a bit more of a read about the Candlelight Processional and I definitely think it is something we would love to see. Now I just need to wait to see who the narrators are and when the Packages go on sale.

Sugarglider, I have taken the kids out to the Space Centre at Tidbinbilla but not for a while. Perhaps I could do that over the July school holidays to get them into the spirit again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy Story View Post
We did the Tusker House lunch on this trip and really enjoyed the food, a lot of variety and different flavours. The character interaction was good - the restaurant was not full and characters came around twice.

DD loves the food at Ohana, we have been twice.

I am going to suggest an alternate - Arakeus (?) is great. We received a photo with Belle, smorgasbord appetizer, main and denser platter to share - and the Princess come to your table. It is now one of her favourites.

ETA - we loved Fantasmic, and did the lunch dining package at Mama Melrose?
Good to know the Tusker House lunch was nice. I love character meals because a buffet is great for the whole family and you don't have to line up for characters lol.

I have read lots of reviews on Akershus character meals and they definitely get much better reviews than the castle but I just can't seem to get past how cool it will be to eat in the castle .


Quote:
Originally Posted by beachcat View Post
Hello Ms. Shuttergirl

I live in Florida and have looked at your plan. It looks great. I live about 100 miles away from WDW and always go there during the time frame that you will be there because the crowds are always less. There are a lot of people there but the first half of December is less crowded than the Christmas season for instance. In fact, I am staying at Old Key West December 8 – 11.

3 Suggestions

Eat at Jikos. It is at the Animal Kingdom Lodge so it would be easy to get to and a good place to eat while recovering from travelling. I really like the filet and have eaten there several times. A beautiful restaurant too.

Walk around the lake in the EPCOT resort area and check out the Christmas decorations at the Boardwalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club. They are well done and it is a nice stroll around the lake.

When you go the KSC, do the Discover KSC Today and Tomorrow tour. It takes you to the Vehicle Assembly Building where the Endeavor and Atlantis shuttles currently are. I did this tour in December 2011 and got to see the Endeavor shuttle from about 50 feet away and took lots of pictures of it. This tour also takes you to where the Saturn 5 rocket is which is very impressive. Your son should enjoy seeing the Atlantis or Endeavor shuttles up close as well as the Saturn 5. I am a NASA fan so I am biased but I could see shuttle launches from my house.

Mostly enjoy yourself. I have been to WDW about 90 times over the last 30 years and see something new each time. Welcome in advance to Florida. Hope you and your family have a great trip. If you have any questions, ask away. I am looking forward to seeing your country someday myself. All the best.
Hey Beachcat, thanks for chiming in with some awesome local knowledge. Thank you so much for the Jiko recommendation, that may just be the perfect place to eat on that first evening.

Great idea about walking around the Boardwalk. We plan to go to Flying Fish for dinner one evening and I thought having a wander afterwards would be just perfect.

KSC sounds amazing and it's clear that you adore it. I haven't looked much into our options once there as of yet but do plan to do a bit more research over the next month or so. Thank you for the advice.

Oh and I'm totally jealous about how many visits to WDW you've had. What a wonderful experience.
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Sept/Oct 2010 WDW - split stay Wilderness Lodge/POP Century - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2559987

PTR Christmas 2012 - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2979947
TR WDW/US/Canada Christmas trip 2012 - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3030550
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #29
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Touring Plans v easyWDW

I am sorry for causing confusion, but I found easyWDW so good for my last trip and I am using it for my next trip so I thought it best to recommend it.

I was a huge fan of Touring Plans (actually the Unofficial Guide as it used to be known) and in fact still have the 2000 edition and 2008 edition books as reference. They were a fantastic help in all aspects of our earlier trips, not just the parks and the restaurants but accomodation, travel times etc. Unfortunately, as they became more popular and particularly as they enhanced their website I found that they became more about the money and exact figures and less like the book I had come to know.

Early last year I stumbled accross easywdw.com and as I explored the website I found it to be a fantastic resource. In particular, the day to day guides are fantastic even though I occasionally disagree with a particular detail or recommendation.

Having now used the website for about a year I can tell you that easywdw typically comes out on top in a head to head comparison with Touring Plans and he sometimes even shows how wrong Touring Plans can get it, often as a result of them being too focused on statistics.

In conclusion, do not worry too much about which is right, if they conflict simply read the reasons on easywdw and see if they make sense to you and fit with your overall plan.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:57 AM   #30
Toy Story
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 613

Mrs Shuttergirl - have you thought about any of the new dining places as part of the Fantasyland extension?
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