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Old 12-31-2012, 01:41 PM   #1
ShesAPirate
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"Aren't We Supposed to Be Going Back to Disney Soon?" My 40th Bday Trip PTR!

Hello, and welcome to my PTR! The title is a little long, but it covers all the bases

The Travelers:

Here we are:


Call me Gigi. I'm 39, but will be turning 40 during this trip. I think I freaked out about 30 a whole lot more than I'm freaking out about 40... In fact, I'm not freaking out about 40 at all. Must be because 40 is the new 20 or whatever they're saying these days

My Disney history: My first trip to the World was in 1986, when I was 13. It was a family trip, consisting of 15 cousins, aunts, and uncles. We stayed off-site (Vistana Villas), and at the time there was only MK and Epcot.

My next trip was the following summer with my mom, but after that I didn't get to go again until 1993, when the family I was a nanny for took me on vacation with them. This was my first time staying onsite, and we stayed at THE POLY! That trip was when I truly fell head over heals in love with all things Disney. This will be my 12th trip to the World.

DJ, my boyfriend, is 34. This will be only his second trip to the World (first one being when we went in November 2011). He loved AKL, and enjoyed many of the rides. He also loved all the food and booze (a man after my own heart!). BUT I didn't think the "bug" got him. Sure, he had a good time, but he wasn't hooked, as far as I could tell...

...and then about 6 weeks ago, we were at a wine tasting and DJ said, "Aren't we supposed to be going back to Disney soon?"

And this was me :

Within 48 hours, we were booked!

Coming up next -- the when and where decisions, package vs. renting points, dining reservations, and much much more!
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:04 PM   #2
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When I got the 'aren't we going soon' comment from DJ, I jumped on it. I had already been sorta planning in the back of my mind (aren't we all, pretty much always?!), so I took those maybe plans to the next level and started getting estimates together.

My initial thought was that we'd go with AKV again, renting points. We had such a great time there on our previous trip, so I thought it was a no-brainer.

Then, some different thoughts started going through my mind. Staying somewhere new might be nice... and what kind of deals is Disney offering right now?

I hemmed and hawed about it, and crunched the numbers... and was surprised that booking directly through Disney won out overall. Generally speaking, if you're staying Deluxe/DVC, renting points, paying OOP for DDP, and buying tickets from Undercover Tourist saves lots of $$$. But this package discount from Disney was a very good deal, and I thought it would be fun to stay somewhere else.

Then came the Caribbean Beach vs. Port Orleans debate.

I've stayed at CBR 3 times, and loved it. It is, however, a HUGE resort, and if you don't get close to Old Port Royale, you're adding a whole lotta walking to your days. That's not at all appealing to me.

I've never stayed at Port Orleans, but it looked like a really pretty place, and I loved the idea of having a boat to DTD available. So after more hemming and hawing, I booked our vacation.

5 glorious nights at Port Orleans Riverside in a King bed room

Booked our flights last night. We'll arrive super-early, and leave super-late -- just how I like it!

Can't believe I'll be at my favorite place in the world, with my favorite man in the world, for my 40th birthday! It's a dream come true!

Next up - ADRs... and where will we have my actual birthday dinner?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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Got our Mickey Mail yesterday! So exciting! Since we rented points last time, there was no Mickey Mail.

Can I just say I LOVE the luggage tags?! They're very hologram-ish, so it's hard to get a good pic, but here's what they look like:


I also love the vouchers to DisneyQuest. Not into the water parks, and didn't think the Water Park and More option was worth the money just to go to DQ. Now it's included. Woohoo!

More to come... is there anyone out there? I'd love to hear from you if you're reading along
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Congratulations on going back to the world.

Port Orleans Riverside is one of our favorite resorts. It is just so beautiful. Yay! for Mickey Mail. We are DVC and we drive. So we do not receive Mickey Mail anymore. I sure do miss it.


I am also turning 40 in 2013 but not until May 3.

I am reading along.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaAnnie View Post
Congratulations on going back to the world.

Port Orleans Riverside is one of our favorite resorts. It is just so beautiful. Yay! for Mickey Mail. We are DVC and we drive. So we do not receive Mickey Mail anymore. I sure do miss it.


I am also turning 40 in 2013 but not until May 3.

I am reading along.

Thanks for posting! Welcome aboard!

I would LOVE to own DVC some day. AKL is one of my favorite places on earth
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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Let's Talk FOOD!

Ah, dining at Disney! So many of us spend so much time poring over menus, and making those important decisions about where we'll want to eat in a few months Sounds ridiculous, but it is a necessary evil if you want to sit down to eat anywhere.

DJ and I are foodies. We love a good meal, whether out or at home, and we both cook. Since he's a Disney novice, I do get to choose which restaurants we'll go to during our trip. He leaves pretty much all of the planning up to me -- which I absolutely LOVE

We got the Stay, Play, and Dine package discount (or whatever it's called), so we will be on DDP.

My first ADRs came months before our trip was booked. I wanted to have some 'just in case' plans. And honestly, my thought process was that if we had ADRs, we'd just have to book a trip, right?

If California Grill wasn't going to be closed for refurb, I would've chosen it for my birthday dinner on 2/7. It was my 2nd favorite meal last trip (review and pics here: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...1&postcount=40), and watching Wishes from CG on my birthday would've been amazing... but alas, that was not in the cards.

I went back and forth between Narcoossee's and Citricos, examining each menu... and Citricos won out -- mainly because they have a lot less seafood... and they have arancini (rice balls), which are one of my absolute favorite things.

My next ADR, made on 9/14, was for dinner at Be Our Guest. I am SO GLAD I made this ADR way back then, considering how many people are having a hard time getting in now. Bear in mind, I didn't book our trip until 11/17, more than 2 months after making the BOG ADR. So, so, so glad, and so excited!

So, here's the full list of our ADRs:

2/3 Tusker House (late lunch). I've never eaten anywhere in AK, aside from Rainforest Cafe. This looked like a good balance of African offerings (which DJ will love), and good ol' meat and potatoes (that's me!).

2/4 Be Our Guest (dinner)

2/5 Chef Mickey's (dinner). I really love Chef Mickey's. I guess I'm a kid at heart!

2/6 50s Prime Time Cafe (lunch). I haven't been to 50s in probably 12 years. Last trip, we had lunch at Sci-Fi, and it was wonderful (review and pics here: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...2&postcount=19), so I figured we'd try something different. Hoping the fried chicken lives up to all the good things I've read about it.

2/7 - MY 40th BIRTHDAY!!!
Crystal Palace (breakfast). I love Eeyore Love, love, love. Last trip, we ended up cancelling our CP ADR because we were full from eating so much at Food & Wine. I was sad to miss a chance to hug my Eeyore. Can't wait to see him and eat all that yummy breakfast!

Jiko (dinner). Now you're wondering, what happened to Citricos? Well, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to go back to Jiko. It is my favorite restaurant on property after only one visit (review and pics here: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...7&postcount=25). What an amazing meal! I talked to DJ, and he agreed that he didn't want to skip it... so Citricos got cancelled, and Jiko got added. I'm very pleased with our decision. I guess I was initially trying to schedule different restaurants than we'd eaten in last trip... but the power of Jiko was too strong to resist!

We have nothing scheduled for 2/8, the day we come home. But our flight isn't until 8pm, so I imagine we'll end up in Epcot, and see where we can get food in World Showcase. Via Napoli is a front-runner, as it was pretty outstanding last trip (review and pics here: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=31)

So, barring any last-minute changes, that's our food plan. Anyone have any good or bad experiences with our choices? I'd love to hear/read about them!
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:50 PM   #7
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I'm staying at CBR in March I can't wait!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I'm staying at CBR in March I can't wait!

and thanks for posting!

CBR is beautiful. You'll have a great time! I recommend trying to get a room in one of the Martinique buildings - great location!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Pre-ordered our Photopass CD for the bargain () price of $119.95! Well, it is a bargain if you consider how much it costs to buy after your trip. Toyed around with the idea of getting Photopass+, but it really didn't seem worth it. We're only doing one character meal that has a photo package (Chef Mickey's), and from what I understand those photographers will take the same picture of you standing by the Mickey statue with your own camera... so why spend the extra cash?

Each day, it gets harder to concentrate on anything not Disney related. So excited!
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:34 AM   #10
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TEN DAYS TILL DISNEY!!! WOOHOO!!!

Sent in my room request fax this morning (POR, from what I understand, is pretty much the only resort left that accepts them). Hoping to hear back soon!

I just checked, out of curiosity, how much our flights are going for now... and they've gone up $112 each! Yikes! Glad we bought when we did!

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Old 01-26-2013, 03:13 PM   #11
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It will be here before you know it.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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It will be here before you know it.
Yup, just one week from today, we'll be there!

Thanks for reading along!
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:33 PM   #13
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Yay! 1 week!


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Old 01-28-2013, 09:10 AM   #14
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Yay! 1 week!


And now just 6 days! It's snowing here today, and while I generally love snow, I can't wait to be in warmer temps and wearing flips flops!

Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:00 PM   #15
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How exciting that you will be soon celebrating your birthday at Walt Disney World. I am going to POR also but I will not be there until May so I am excited to see what you think. I have stayed at POFQ last year but I am saving more staying at POR this year. I will also be turning 40 this year but it wont be until August, but why not celebrate it at WDW anyway. Don't forget to get your Birthday button and add the birthday celebration to you dinner reservation. My son recieved a special birthday card signed by all the characters from Crystal Palace when we went there in 2011.
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