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Old 12-31-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
OregonMomToWDW
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Waited forever to go --- arriving August 2013!!!

Ok. Here goes. My first ever PTR. I have put off starting one, because I wasn't sure I needed to do one. However, I cannot keep all the planning straight, so I will use this to refer back to as to the reason I decided to do something.

First off...Introductions:
My name is Shannon and I am 41 years old. I am a single mom of 3. Jacob is 17 years old and a Senior. He is addicted to video games, but he is the reason I finally booked this trip. Marissa is 16 years old and a Junior. She loves to sing and participates in drama at school. Beauty and the Beast is the Spring Musical. Chelsea is 9 years old. She is the dancer. This year she is focusing on Ballet and Tap. It is funny to see her in her advanced tap class with all the big kids (12-14 year olds).

Our plans so far:
Port Orleans Riverside, August 22nd - 31st. I went back and forth with the dates. Summer would not be my ideal time to go. However, Marissa refuses to miss school. We couldn't go earlier in the summer because DD Chelsea has her dance recital on June 29th. I didn't want to go in July, so that left August. Luckily, our schools don't start until after Labor Day.

The reason I finally decided now was the time for the trip is because my son asked to go for a graduation present. He, more specifically, guilted me into the trip. You see, I have been wanting to go to WDW for as long as I can remember. Being raised in California, we went to Disneyland at least every other year. It is fun being able to tell your kids about having to use tickets for the rides. But, even being able to go to Disneyland, I always wanted to go to WDW in Florida. So, my kids grew up hearing promises that I would take them. I have taken the older 2 to Disneyland twice, bringing the youngest with us when she was 3. So, DS asked to go to WDW for graduation and said it might be the last chance I have to do the big family vacation that I have promised forever. That was in September. The beginning of crazy mom. I looked at the prices. I told him he should have asked for a car. I started to see just how "cheap" we could do the vacation. Stay off-site, cheapest food choices, etc. I got overwhelmed and decided that if I was going, I wanted to stay on property with the dining plan. (Little did I know about ADRs at the time!) I made the reservations and paid the deposit. Oh, and DD 16 couldn't possibly be in Orlando without seeing Harry, so we are squeezing 2 days in at Universal too!

I think that is enough for one day. I have planned, changed my mind, planned again, changed it again and planned. I have read 4 books, read countless reviews of the restaurants, and am totally confused and unsure. The funny thing is, that as much of a headache this is right now, I am even planning our return trip.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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Hi Shannon! I just started a PTR too! Sounds like our kids are similar in ages (and even some interests!). I'll be looking forward to following along to see what you end up doing. And we will be there around the same time! Enjoy the planning! I think you will be very happy staying on site, and hopefully we will get a free dining offer over the next few months!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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I had a big long reply all typed up... and Poof! I hate it when that happens.

I am super excited to hear how your plans come together...

Having stayed off site and on site - I am not sure I could ever stay off site again... And since you've been planning this trip forever - I would definately go all out and stay on property... It is amazing!

I know it's so expensive - but it is so much more relaxing than trying to shuttle back and forth or drive and park.... IMO. And POR is an excellent resort choice.

Looking forward to hearing more about your plans...

D~
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momto3gr8boys View Post
Hi Shannon! I just started a PTR too! Sounds like our kids are similar in ages (and even some interests!). I'll be looking forward to following along to see what you end up doing. And we will be there around the same time! Enjoy the planning! I think you will be very happy staying on site, and hopefully we will get a free dining offer over the next few months!
I am hoping for the free dining as well. Glad to see you are following along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMGeurts View Post
I had a big long reply all typed up... and Poof! I hate it when that happens.

I am super excited to hear how your plans come together...

Having stayed off site and on site - I am not sure I could ever stay off site again... And since you've been planning this trip forever - I would definately go all out and stay on property... It is amazing!

I know it's so expensive - but it is so much more relaxing than trying to shuttle back and forth or drive and park.... IMO. And POR is an excellent resort choice.

Looking forward to hearing more about your plans...

D~
I am looking forward to POR and the whole vacation. I am super excited.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #5
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Itinerary - - I think. For now anyways

I have changed this many times, and I am sure it will change again once the hours and entertainment schedules are announced.

Thursday, August 22nd - Arrive at MCO at 6:18PM. I am not making any ADRs for this evening or planning on any parks. We will just wait and see how much time we have. We might go to DTD, but not sure. Depends on ME and check in.

Friday, the 23rd - I know I am going to shock people, and I am torn to do this, but we aren't going to start off with MK. The crowd levels have me convinced to wait til the middle of my vacation. Hopefully the kids will understand. I don't want them to be disappointed in the other parks, so I want to do them before MK. So, we are either going to do DHS (with 50's Prime Time Cafe) or Animal Kingdom with Rainforest Cafe. I have read tons of reviews and these restaurants actually have food my kids will eat. They aren't picky but they aren't foofoo eaters either. If they can't pronounce it, they won't order it. We don't have a Rainforest so they may get a kick out of it. We happen to like chain restaurants, so it is worth a shot.

Saturday, the 24th, whichever park we didn't do on Friday. If Animal Kingdom doesn't take us all day (we aren't big into animals), I would like to try to do miniature golf this day as well. We have 6 day hopper passes with water parks, so trying to fit it all in is a challenge. If not miniature golf, then maybe to MK for the electrical parade (I think they don't change it from happening every night until Sunday the 25th).

Sunday, the 25th - Epcot day. My DD16 is super excited to see all the face characters. That would be her dream job. So, we will do a late breakfast for Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus. Dinner will be at Rose & Crown. Did I mention she is also addicted to England and BBC and everything british. Well, throw Scotland, Ireland and Canada in there too. She goes to Ireland this Spring Break for 10 days. Maybe she will be past it by the trip, but it hasn't diminished at all in the last 2 years. DS17, well he likes it too. I started making Bangers and Mash a few months ago, so they are excited to try someone else's but they love mine.

Monday, the 26th - this is where I am torn. I show Tuesday and Wednesday being the best MK days for our vacation, but Monday's crowd level is still below a 4, so I am thinking of trying MK. Otherwise, it will be a water park day (not sure which one) and then to DTD for DisneyQuest and Raglan Road, of course. Our highschool's mascot are the fighting Irish and we are Irish descent, so we have to do Raglan Road. In fact, we are doing it twice.

Tuesday, the 27th - Magic Kingdom finally. Breakfast at Crystal Palace. I am hoping to get ADR before opening. No other table service restaurants this day.

Wednesday, the 28th - Magic Kingdom again. After looking at the menus, we will do Be Our Guest for lunch instead of dinner. The kids weren't too excited over the dinner menu. DD16 is very unhappy with the dessert choices here. She hates filling in everything, so she is disgusted that their cupcakes are filled. She is a solid cake person. Doesn't like mousse between the layers. You better never try to put a fruit layer...straight cake. That goes for donuts too. Good thing is she never liked hostess snacks. Dinner will be Cinderella's Happily Ever After at 1900 Park Fare (fingers crossed).

Thursday and Friday are Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando.

Saturday, the 31st - we leave at 5, but will have to be on bus around 2, I expect. We will be going to try to do Ohana for breakfast and then to Ragland Road. They do a Irish type festival this weekend and we don't want to miss that. Then we fly back home, arriving at the airport at midnight. Long day.

What do you think?
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:44 PM   #6
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Not really a New Year's resolution

Happy New Year! I stayed up way too late waiting for the Disney announcement during Rocking Eve. I entered the sweepstakes for today. I will be taking the DDs to see Wreck It Ralph in a couple of hours. They both have seen it, but I haven't, and I want to see it.

Morning started late, but I got up and went to the gym and worked out. Five days in a row. I didn't lose all the weight I wanted to last year, but I am starting this year 22 pounds lighter than last year and I have been working on it the entire year. I would like to be another 20 pounds lighter by vacation, which is under my goal weight, but I want to enjoy being able to eat and not worry about all the pounds I will be putting on. I will still work out with trainer 2 days a week. I will try to add more cardio during the weeks. I want to be in good Disney shape when I get there. I have to figure out if there is something else I want to do for a "resolution". I gave up all soda and caffeine last year. August 11th was my last taste of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. I loved it. I drank over 2 litres a day. Not good for me. So, I stopped cold turkey and haven't had a sip since. My friend always teased me that I would put Pepsi out of business when I quit, but they are still hanging in there. So not really a resolution, just a keep doing what you have been doing. The last times I went to DL I felt bad about my weight and was uncomfortable in shorts, not only because of my very white legs in a sea of tan. This year will be the first time that I will be comfortable with myself. Adds a bit of excitement instead of the dread I usually feel.

I should get ready for the movie. Hopefully it will be better than The Hobbit and Les Miserables. I liked them both, but they were too long for me.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonMomToWDW View Post
I have changed this many times, and I am sure it will change again once the hours and entertainment schedules are announced.

Thursday, August 22nd - Arrive at MCO at 6:18PM. I am not making any ADRs for this evening or planning on any parks. We will just wait and see how much time we have. We might go to DTD, but not sure. Depends on ME and check in.

Good idea. We usually arrive very early, but the one time we were supposed to get in around 5pm I decided not to make any plans, and it was a good thing since we were delayed and didn't get into our room at POFQ until midnight! Hoping that doesn't happen for you, but not having to worry about getting there "on time" will give you a nice relaxed start to your vacation.

Friday, the 23rd - I know I am going to shock people, and I am torn to do this, but we aren't going to start off with MK. The crowd levels have me convinced to wait til the middle of my vacation. Hopefully the kids will understand. I don't want them to be disappointed in the other parks, so I want to do them before MK. So, we are either going to do DHS (with 50's Prime Time Cafe) or Animal Kingdom with Rainforest Cafe. I have read tons of reviews and these restaurants actually have food my kids will eat. They aren't picky but they aren't foofoo eaters either. If they can't pronounce it, they won't order it. We don't have a Rainforest so they may get a kick out of it. We happen to like chain restaurants, so it is worth a shot.

I'm sure they will love 50s and RFC...both faves of my kids. And I don't think you are crazy for not starting with MK. I think as long as you explain your touring plans to the kids, they will be fine. I'm not sure if you are doing the DDP, but just an FYI, as of the last time I was there you could not use it at the RFC.

Saturday, the 24th, whichever park we didn't do on Friday. If Animal Kingdom doesn't take us all day (we aren't big into animals), I would like to try to do miniature golf this day as well. We have 6 day hopper passes with water parks, so trying to fit it all in is a challenge. If not miniature golf, then maybe to MK for the electrical parade (I think they don't change it from happening every night until Sunday the 25th).

Definitely try to make it to the MSEP if it's going to be ending...it's just such a Disney classic.

Sunday, the 25th - Epcot day. My DD16 is super excited to see all the face characters. That would be her dream job. So, we will do a late breakfast for Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus. Dinner will be at Rose & Crown. Did I mention she is also addicted to England and BBC and everything british. Well, throw Scotland, Ireland and Canada in there too. She goes to Ireland this Spring Break for 10 days. Maybe she will be past it by the trip, but it hasn't diminished at all in the last 2 years. DS17, well he likes it too. I started making Bangers and Mash a few months ago, so they are excited to try someone else's but they love mine.

Sounds like an awesome day!! Make sure you find time to see The British Invasion and Off Kilter if your kids are into the UK/Canada and music. Those times will be posted when the park hours are posted. And I'm sure she will be even MORE all about it once she visits Ireland!

Monday, the 26th - this is where I am torn. I show Tuesday and Wednesday being the best MK days for our vacation, but Monday's crowd level is still below a 4, so I am thinking of trying MK. Otherwise, it will be a water park day (not sure which one) and then to DTD for DisneyQuest and Raglan Road, of course. Our highschool's mascot are the fighting Irish and we are Irish descent, so we have to do Raglan Road. In fact, we are doing it twice.

Below a 4 is great attendance. Go for it! With a 4 you are looking at very little to no waits on the majority of rides and 15-20 minutes on the big ones. At this point your kids are going to be wanting to see "Disney" lol. We have never been to Raglan Road, but will be trying it this trip too!

Tuesday, the 27th - Magic Kingdom finally. Breakfast at Crystal Palace. I am hoping to get ADR before opening. No other table service restaurants this day.

Even if you go the day before, go again.

Wednesday, the 28th - Magic Kingdom again. After looking at the menus, we will do Be Our Guest for lunch instead of dinner. The kids weren't too excited over the dinner menu. DD16 is very unhappy with the dessert choices here. She hates filling in everything, so she is disgusted that their cupcakes are filled. She is a solid cake person. Doesn't like mousse between the layers. You better never try to put a fruit layer...straight cake. That goes for donuts too. Good thing is she never liked hostess snacks. Dinner will be Cinderella's Happily Ever After at 1900 Park Fare (fingers crossed).

We are also doing BOG for the first time this trip! Fingers crossed for 1900 Park Fare, but you should be ok if you are on top of it the day you can make the ADR.

Thursday and Friday are Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando.

The kids will love this - esp. Harry Potter if they are fans!

Saturday, the 31st - we leave at 5, but will have to be on bus around 2, I expect. We will be going to try to do Ohana for breakfast and then to Ragland Road. They do a Irish type festival this weekend and we don't want to miss that. Then we fly back home, arriving at the airport at midnight. Long day.



What do you think?
Sounds like a great vacation!
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonMomToWDW View Post
Happy New Year! I stayed up way too late waiting for the Disney announcement during Rocking Eve. I entered the sweepstakes for today. I will be taking the DDs to see Wreck It Ralph in a couple of hours. They both have seen it, but I haven't, and I want to see it.

Morning started late, but I got up and went to the gym and worked out. Five days in a row. I didn't lose all the weight I wanted to last year, but I am starting this year 22 pounds lighter than last year and I have been working on it the entire year. I would like to be another 20 pounds lighter by vacation, which is under my goal weight, but I want to enjoy being able to eat and not worry about all the pounds I will be putting on. I will still work out with trainer 2 days a week. I will try to add more cardio during the weeks. I want to be in good Disney shape when I get there. I have to figure out if there is something else I want to do for a "resolution". I gave up all soda and caffeine last year. August 11th was my last taste of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. I loved it. I drank over 2 litres a day. Not good for me. So, I stopped cold turkey and haven't had a sip since. My friend always teased me that I would put Pepsi out of business when I quit, but they are still hanging in there. So not really a resolution, just a keep doing what you have been doing. The last times I went to DL I felt bad about my weight and was uncomfortable in shorts, not only because of my very white legs in a sea of tan. This year will be the first time that I will be comfortable with myself. Adds a bit of excitement instead of the dread I usually feel.

I should get ready for the movie. Hopefully it will be better than The Hobbit and Les Miserables. I liked them both, but they were too long for me.
Good for you! Make sure you get a photopass so you can be in front of the camera this year!! I am also hoping to lose - I need to lose 10, but 15 will give me that cushion I'd like to have in Disney :-)
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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Shannon,

Here's a thought, after thinking about your plans so far. I see that you want to be at DTD on your last day, but did you give any thought to maybe switching up your US and Disney trip and staying at the Hard Rock for your first two nights? That would give you early entry to WofHP, and your hotel room key gives you a special line to stand on that is MUCH shorter than the regular lines. We did that last time and it worked really well. If it's something you think might work, I can give you more details on how it worked for us.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:Friday, the 23rd - I know I am going to shock people, and I am torn to do this, but we aren't going to start off with MK. The crowd levels have me convinced to wait til the middle of my vacation. Hopefully the kids will understand. I don't want them to be disappointed in the other parks, so I want to do them before MK. So, we are either going to do DHS (with 50's Prime Time Cafe) or Animal Kingdom with Rainforest Cafe. I have read tons of reviews and these restaurants actually have food my kids will eat. They aren't picky but they aren't foofoo eaters either. If they can't pronounce it, they won't order it. We don't have a Rainforest so they may get a kick out of it. We happen to like chain restaurants, so it is worth a shot.I'm sure they will love 50s and RFC...both faves of my kids. And I don't think you are crazy for not starting with MK. I think as long as you explain your touring plans to the kids, they will be fine. I'm not sure if you are doing the DDP, but just an FYI, as of the last time I was there you could not use it at the RFC.

momto3gr8boys,
I checked the dining plan and RFC is listed for 2013 (it was listed for 2012 too). When did you go? We are doing the DDP, so I am hoping we will be able to use it there. If not, well, then I will be changing it once again.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonMomToWDW View Post
Quote:Friday, the 23rd - I know I am going to shock people, and I am torn to do this, but we aren't going to start off with MK. The crowd levels have me convinced to wait til the middle of my vacation. Hopefully the kids will understand. I don't want them to be disappointed in the other parks, so I want to do them before MK. So, we are either going to do DHS (with 50's Prime Time Cafe) or Animal Kingdom with Rainforest Cafe. I have read tons of reviews and these restaurants actually have food my kids will eat. They aren't picky but they aren't foofoo eaters either. If they can't pronounce it, they won't order it. We don't have a Rainforest so they may get a kick out of it. We happen to like chain restaurants, so it is worth a shot.I'm sure they will love 50s and RFC...both faves of my kids. And I don't think you are crazy for not starting with MK. I think as long as you explain your touring plans to the kids, they will be fine. I'm not sure if you are doing the DDP, but just an FYI, as of the last time I was there you could not use it at the RFC.

momto3gr8boys,
I checked the dining plan and RFC is listed for 2013 (it was listed for 2012 too). When did you go? We are doing the DDP, so I am hoping we will be able to use it there. If not, well, then I will be changing it once again.
That's great - I bet they added it because the last time we ate there it was empty I think it may have been on the list for DTD but not AK, or perhaps the other way around. The last time we were in WDW was in 2010 (wow, I can't believe it's been that long....we were always one a year goers), so I am sure a lot of things have changed! I don't think we've eaten at the RFC though since probably a trip or two before that so maybe 2008 or 09. But as long as it's on the list, you will be fine.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Shannon,

Here's a thought, after thinking about your plans so far. I see that you want to be at DTD on your last day, but did you give any thought to maybe switching up your US and Disney trip and staying at the Hard Rock for your first two nights? That would give you early entry to WofHP, and your hotel room key gives you a special line to stand on that is MUCH shorter than the regular lines. We did that last time and it worked really well. If it's something you think might work, I can give you more details on how it worked for us.
Christine,
I have looked at doing this, but there aren't any great discounts right now for that time, so I will keep looking. I am not sure when we would go. I have been in contact with Raglan Road and they are doing the Great Irish Hooley this year over Labor Day weekend and my family really wants to attend. Well, actually, I really want to attend and have convinced the kids that they really want to go.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:31 PM   #13
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Disney Dining Plan????

I read on another thread that the discount for late summer/fall might be free dining, but with a change. Since he predicted the current discounts, I will tend to expect what he says. He said that instead of free dining, that there will be no free dining at the Values and only free QSDP for the Moderates / Deluxe. So, I did all of the number crunching yesterday and we would still be ahead of the game to take that and upgrade it to the regular DDP. I went through all the menus and restaurants we had talked about and created a list of prices that each person would most likely order. Not including drinks or desserts or snacks, it was still well over $1K. Add in drinks and snacks (still no desserts) it came to $1,300. So, the savings with going for the dining plan (if it is free QSDP with upgrade) was more than a discount on the room. I would need a 50% room discount to have the same savings and I don't see Disney selling rooms at half off.

I am still of course budgeting for the full price rack rate and full price dining plan. Just in case. At least the proposed discount gave me something to do. I have been redoing the food over and over and over the last couple of days.

The main change is to pay OOP for the last Raglan Road day so that we can do the Cape May Cafe Clam Bake. I know my son would really enjoy that. I have read some reviews and most seem to think it is ok. Oh, and I also added a Kona breakfast. Each family member has a character breakfast they want to go to.

Princess Storybook Dining - Chelsea - Princesses of course.
1900 Park Fare for Dinner - Marissa (she would have done breakfast too, but she had to choose one and she chose dinner).
Ohana Breakfast - Jacob - favorite character is Stitch.
Crystal Palace - me. I want in the park early for photos. We don't care about Pooh, but the older two kids like him.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:32 PM   #14
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Retirement

My DD9 decided she was ready to retire from ballet (retire was her word). Today was her last day, after 3 1/2 years. She liked the class but there is just too much drama amongst the girls. She is going to stay with her Adv. Tap and maybe go back to Hip Hop and Jazz and tumbling next school year. Another reason she said she wanted to quit was so that I could save money for the trip. So, she will be going from 6 hours of dance a week to 1 hour. I don't know what I will do with all of that time on my hands. More time to devote to Disney I suppose. So, I am a little sad that I won't see her do ballet for the rest of the year, but I am also a lot relieved.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:42 PM   #15
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Don't give me that look. I am not crazy.

My DBF and I plan a trip to Washington every February. This will be our 5th year. So, it was time to decide which weekend. It depends on when my aunt can take the kids and other factors. I told him I was pretty open to whichever weekend. Then I realized that one weekend would NOT work. I could not go on February 23rd. He looked at me with a puzzled look. I then changed it to, I could go but that is my ADR date and if the hotel's wifi is not working at 3 am or some other thing doesn't go right with my ADR's, it might not be an enjoyable weekend . Then I had to explain what an ADR is. He rolled his eyes and said to pick a weekend, he didn't really care. I talked him into President's weekend because we were there last year at that time and Cabela's had a great sale. So, we are both happy.

So, what are the must ADRs? It has really been hard to decide, because I have never been to any of them. When we went to DL, we always did the eat as cheaply as possible. You walk 3 miles to McDonalds, or we will all share a basket of fries and that is it. So, I really wanted to eat. I read one trip report that was all about food yesterday and I gained 5 pounds without having to eat a bite. I am determined to eat, but with three kids I am not going to get fine dining, so I have been reading menus and reviews still. Most haven't changed, but I have added and changed many times. We are not big lunch or dinner people. If we have a big breakfast, we are usually happy. So, that is why most of the ADRs are for breakfast.

Character dining:
Ohana breakfast
1900 Park Fare dinner
Crystal Palace breakfast
Akershus breakfast
Chef Mickeys breakfast (newly added). Was going to try Kona for the tonga toast but I don't think the kids would like it.

Other table service:
Rose & Crown
Cape May Cafe Clam bake
Raglan Road X 2 (one will be oop but I have to go to the Great Irish Hooley!)
50's Prime Time

I also would love to go to these, but don't know when to fit them in:
Kona
Beaches and Cream
Landscapes of Flavor (I really want to try here, but I mostly just want to explore the resort and get pictures with the kids)
Biergarten
Rainforest Cafe
Sci-Fi
Wolfgang Puck Express
Earl of Sandwich

I think that is why I need to plan another trip.
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Shannon (me) DS (19) DD (17) DD (10)

PTR: 1 Summer, 2 Coasts, 3 Kids...Ready, Set, Go! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51560086
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