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Old 06-07-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
amandaluvsgoofy
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We HAVE to go back! And for the Holidays this time! We leave tomorrow!!!

That's right! We're heading back! Our first trip during the holiday season (so excited!!). AND!!! It will also be our first trip with our DD, Emma!

I hope y'all will join me on this fun adventure! I am beyond excited to go on our first family vacation! And for Christmas!




The Cast!
How did it happen??
When and where??
Start the planning!!
ARDs made!
Day 3 Plans!
Dining Changes!
Day 4 Plans...Part 1
And more dining changes...
Day 4 Plans...Part 2
What's a Disney Trip without MORE Changes?
Day 5...then end of the vacation, but not the planning!
Some slight changes...
Trip & Life updates!
And even MORE Trip and Life updates!
We're leaving tomorrow!
__________________
Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009

Last edited by amandaluvsgoofy; 12-11-2012 at 07:02 PM. Reason: add links
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
amandaluvsgoofy
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The Cast

How 'bout some introductions?
First off, there's me! Amanda


I LOVE all things Disney! Especially Disney World! My DH jokes I would move there if I could. That is totally not true! I would visit all the time, though!
My favorite rides: Space Mountain, TSM, BTMR, HM, PoC (seriously, there are too many to name!)
Favorite Park: I can't do it. I love them all! I guess if there was a gun to my head it would be Magic Kingdom
Favorite Disney movie: Another tough one. For classics, it would either be Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, or Cinderella. For the modern (that's 1990's and later), it would be the Little Mermaid and Tangled. I also love the Toy Story movies (again, too many to name)

Then there's my sweet DH, Johnny (who I usually refer to as J, simply because I'm lazy )


He's not quite the Disney freak I am (yet!), but he enjoys Disney World and has said he would go back more if it weren't for the $$ issue. Always trying to steal my fun.
J's favorite rides: RnRC, EE, ToT, Space Mountain
Favorite park: Epcot
Favorite Disney movie: WALL-E, Monster's Inc, Mary Poppins (yes, for real)

And now for the star of the show, our sweet Emma!


I promise I will have better pictures of her, but I LOVE this shot! She goes through phases of loving different toys and this happened to be during her Bob the Builder stage.
Our little E has yet to visit the greatness of Disney World, so no favorites for her yet!
Favorite Disney movie: It's hard to get my 2-year old to sit still for a movie, but she really liked the Princess and the Frog!

So that's the crew!

Up next, how did this trip come to be????
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Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #3
amandaluvsgoofy
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So how did this all start?

The easiest answer would be "the DIS." Yes, being on the DIS makes me long for the happiest place on earth!

But seriously, after our last trip J and I had assumed another trip wouldn't happen until E turned 5. That would have been three and a half llloooonnnnnggggg years!

The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to get E to DW way before her 5th birthday. Several folks had posted that 3 is a great age for a first trip (if not sooner!)! Like many of you on here, it didn't take much to convince me that E neededto go (yes, E is the one that needs to go), it was just convincing my dear, sweet DH that we needed to go sooner than later.

As I've said before, J loves to go to WDW and would allow us to go more often if we had the funds. So now the debate about $$$. How on earth can I justify a trip?

Last week I just happen to get a nice piece of mail from WDW that strongly encouraged me to start planning our next vacation. Yes, a PIN! I called and set up a pretend reservation for 3 nights in December at POR with free dining for a reasonable price. Then I really started to crunch the numbers. Our past few trips we've gone the DVC route and rented points to stay at some beautiful resorts. When I actually compared the PIN offer with DVC, the prices were so close that I went with what we're used to:
DVC!!!

Now here comes the tricky part. How do I convince J we can afford this and that we should go??

Well, the great news is that I've started some part time work with Advocare (a nutritional supplement company) and have made a great amount of money! J and I are both involved in it and really excited about our financial future! Aannnnyyywwwaaayyysss, I made a deal with J and said that if (when) we get to a certain financial point, we can take E for a few days to Disney to celebrate the holidays and her 3rd birthday. And he agreed!!!!!!

So now we are going to Disney World this December and taking Emma for her first (of many) trip!



Up next, when and where???


__________________
Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
Alysa
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Love it! You have an adorable family! Can't wait to hear more!
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78 & 85: Offsite w. parents, 00: New Years Eve at Port Orleans & Anniversary at BWV, 01: Star Wars Weekend at POR & Christmas at GF & BWV, 04: Baby's first trip AKL, 05: Spring at BCV; 06: Big Family Trip, BCV & Vero-WL homeless trip, 08: Minnie Marathon with my sister, Big family Not so scary halloween party, 10: Star Wars Weekend boys trip & Vero/WL summer holiday, Big Family Christmas, 11: Star Wars weekend, Summer road trip, 13: Halloween without mum

Up next June 2015 Changing my Life
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
amandaluvsgoofy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alysa View Post
Love it! You have an adorable family! Can't wait to hear more!
Yay! A reader!!
Thank you for tagging along!

And thank you for the family comment!

I see you are planning a trip, too! Gonna go check it out!
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Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:30 PM   #6
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Joining along for the ride! Lovely family and hooray for your first family WDW vacation!!! We did Disney at Christmas last year and celebrated my daughter's 3rd birthday and my son was about 19 months! We'll be doing it again this year for Ava's 4th birthday and Levi will be 2.5! I have a TR from last December and a PTR for this one if you'd like to check out our experience with a 3yr old! In one word? Magical. Beyond wonderful!!!!

Have you decided on a DVC resort yet?
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Past Trips * January 2008 AKL * March 2009 CSR * November 2011 POP *
*November 2012 AKV/CSR/Poly * February 2014 POP/AKL *

Up Next: October2014
Feb 2014 TR - click HERE
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:06 PM   #7
amandaluvsgoofy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DsnyMama View Post
Joining along for the ride! Lovely family and hooray for your first family WDW vacation!!! We did Disney at Christmas last year and celebrated my daughter's 3rd birthday and my son was about 19 months! We'll be doing it again this year for Ava's 4th birthday and Levi will be 2.5! I have a TR from last December and a PTR for this one if you'd like to check out our experience with a 3yr old! In one word? Magical. Beyond wonderful!!!!

Have you decided on a DVC resort yet?
Yay!! Another reader!

Thank you! I am so excited for our family vacation! I am definitely going to check out your TR and PTR! Any tips you want to offer are greatly appreciated! And to think that a trip with our DD could be close to magical just makes me get all

And yes! We did pick our hotel!! Gonna update asap!
__________________
Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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When and where??

Thank you to all those who are tagging along!

By now you've figured out that we're going around the holidays. Looking at my ticker (and doing some simple math) you could deduce we're going in December. So the exact dates are:
Wednesday, December 12 to Sunday, December 16

You know, I just realized that our arrival day is the Mayan end of the world. If it happens to be the case, hopefully it can wait until we're there!

Now, if we had it my way, we would leave first thing in the morning so we could have most of that first day. Unfortunately, J hates the idea of missing work (seriously!). It took all my power to convince him to miss 2 days, so three full days were out of the question (for now, hehe). So he agreed to leave Wednesday afternoon which will hopefully put us in Orlando for dinner. We haven't booked our flights yet, but I'm keeping my eye out for some good deals!

On to the bigger question, where are we going to stay? Well, I managed to contact the DVC owner we used last time (super nice, great to work with!) and he found us some options. It was surprising to see there were basically only 3 DVC resorts available for the dates we wanted. Yeah, three! So where did we get?




















































We got Animal Kingdom Lodge!!!








Can y'all tell I'm excited?

Seriously, J and I fell in love with this place on our last trip. Sadly, we did a split stay and were there for only one night. I was really hoping for AKL (praying for Jambo!), but would've been happy anywhere. The great news is that we GOT Jambo with a standard view! I am so excited! Our "standard" view last time was an incredible view of the pool! Of course one could always hope for a little pixie dust (after all, we'll be celebrating Emma's birthday, granted a little early, but still) and maybe luck out with a savannah view. But if not, no biggie! We'll be at Disney World for Emma's first trip and that's ALL that matters!!

Up next, how 'bout a game plan?

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Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:01 AM   #9
DsnyMama
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How awesome! We honeymooned at AKL in 2008 and it was spectacular. We didn't do any scheduled breakfasts and DH brought me breakfast from Mara every morning - we ate on our balcony and watched the zebras! We booked standard but were upgraded to savannah which was wonderful!! Enjoy
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Amber Richard Ava {5} Levi {3} Aspen {7m}
Past Trips * January 2008 AKL * March 2009 CSR * November 2011 POP *
*November 2012 AKV/CSR/Poly * February 2014 POP/AKL *

Up Next: October2014
Feb 2014 TR - click HERE
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:52 AM   #10
amandaluvsgoofy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DsnyMama View Post
How awesome! We honeymooned at AKL in 2008 and it was spectacular. We didn't do any scheduled breakfasts and DH brought me breakfast from Mara every morning - we ate on our balcony and watched the zebras! We booked standard but were upgraded to savannah which was wonderful!! Enjoy
Yes! I am soooooo excited! The one night we stayed there I picked up some breakfast at Mara and it was super yummy! I totally plan on having several meals there!

And like I said, the view we had last time was awesome! If we get something comparable I'll be totally happy! If we happen to get an upgrade to a savannah I won't argue!
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Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #11
DsnyMama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandaluvsgoofy View Post
Yes! I am soooooo excited! The one night we stayed there I picked up some breakfast at Mara and it was super yummy! I totally plan on having several meals there!

And like I said, the view we had last time was awesome! If we get something comparable I'll be totally happy! If we happen to get an upgrade to a savannah I won't argue!
I'm sure Emma will love seeing the animals! It wasn't in budget to stay at AKL this trip, but we have breakfast scheduled at Boma and dinner as well - so we'll be there to visit and let the kids see the animals and the lodge! I can't wait!
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Amber Richard Ava {5} Levi {3} Aspen {7m}
Past Trips * January 2008 AKL * March 2009 CSR * November 2011 POP *
*November 2012 AKV/CSR/Poly * February 2014 POP/AKL *

Up Next: October2014
Feb 2014 TR - click HERE
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
amandaluvsgoofy
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Originally Posted by DsnyMama View Post
I'm sure Emma will love seeing the animals! It wasn't in budget to stay at AKL this trip, but we have breakfast scheduled at Boma and dinner as well - so we'll be there to visit and let the kids see the animals and the lodge! I can't wait!
I know she will! Even if we don't get a savannah view, I know there are tons of places around the resort for us to check out the animals!

J and I ate at Boma for dinner on our last trip and LOVED it! We're thinking about trying it for breakfast this trip (just for something new). Have you been before? We've got a picky eater on our hands (know anything about that? ) so our ARD plans are going to be a little less adventurous this trip.
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Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:55 AM   #13
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Flights are booked!!!!

We booked our flights!! Yay!! This is a point in your planning when it starts to feel really real!

I had been perusing the Southwest airlines site for several days and found the point prices getting close to our budget (we signed up for the Rapids Reward credit card and got 50,000 miles!). So the other night the points were super low, lower than I had seen them. I saved a potential trip and found J to talk about it. After he agreed I went back to the site and the points had gone up!! Seriously, five minutes and the rate had already changed. I ended up needing 150 more points so I had to buy more from Southwest which put us out $50 bucks. So after all the drama and delay, we were out $80 total for three round trip tickets!! (although it should've been only $30 with the fees and taxes had I bought them a few minutes earlier! ). Oh well, at least our flights are booked!

So our flights are scheduled for:
Wednesday, Dec 12 - leave Dallas around 2pm, arrive in Orlando around 6:30pm (later than I wanted, but at least we'll be there in time to get settled).
Sunday, Dec 16 - leave Orlando around 4pm, arrive in Dallas around 7:30pm.
Both flights have a stop over in Austin with a plane change (the one down side to SW, IMO). We have about an hour on both layovers, so I pray that's enough time to switch planes!! If anyone has any advice on plane changes in Austin, or plane changing with a toddler, or flying with a toddler, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Anyway, just happy to say that we've got another item checked off our Disney planning list!
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Amanda ~ me (34), Johnny (DH) (39), Emma (4) and Baby Blake (1)
Koda (9) , Misha (3) , Romeo (8/1998 - 1/2013)(RIP )

As soon as we can plan another trip, I'll start my TR
Time to go for Christmas! Dec '12 PTR
TR-Yogi Drags Her Dude Back! Aug 2011 TR - Hubby & Prego do Disney in August 2009
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #14
Alysa
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Hurray for tickets!
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78 & 85: Offsite w. parents, 00: New Years Eve at Port Orleans & Anniversary at BWV, 01: Star Wars Weekend at POR & Christmas at GF & BWV, 04: Baby's first trip AKL, 05: Spring at BCV; 06: Big Family Trip, BCV & Vero-WL homeless trip, 08: Minnie Marathon with my sister, Big family Not so scary halloween party, 10: Star Wars Weekend boys trip & Vero/WL summer holiday, Big Family Christmas, 11: Star Wars weekend, Summer road trip, 13: Halloween without mum

Up next June 2015 Changing my Life
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #15
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Joining in for the ride!!! We'll already be at WDW when you come in!!! It's great to read other Dis'ers plans. Want to make sure we're not gonna be missing out on anything (our first trip!!)

Looking forward to reading more!!!
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