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Old 05-09-2013, 02:14 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2

First trip "home" in 11 years!

I haven't really visited this site, or rather the forum often. Reading these Pre Trip Reports I decided to give it a shot.

First of all, My name is Natasha, and I am a Disney World Addict, it has been 10 years, 5 months since my last visit to the World. Travelling with my are my Dad, 68, Mom, 60, Myself, 29, and my nieces/cousins, Lily, 7, and Kylie, 4.

Before I get into the planning of this trip, I figured I better give a run down of my experiences with Disney.

I have been to Disney World twice before, both at Christmas time, and both very different experiences. The first time, I went with my friend and her family, we stayed in Kissimee at the Courtyard Marriott, and we were there for almost 2 weeks. We did Sea World,Wet N Wild, and Universal Studios. We also did Disney, and this was in the days before Animal Kingdom. We had a vehicle as we drove down.

The second trip seemed to have change my life forever. I went with my Mom, Dad and myself. I was a young girl of 19. We stayed at the All Star Music (and because my mom chose where we slept, and with her love of country music, decided on Country Fair). We were there from December 21-26. We only did Disney and did not venture off the property at all, except for airport transfers. It seemed that my addiction to Disney World came along with this trip. This trip was magical for all three of us. My dad, looks like a certain magical character often associated with Christmas, right down to the full white beard, hair, belly, and rosey red cheeks. Mom never thought she would ever get a chance to experience Disney and cried on the first day on the bus to the Magic Kingdom. For me, it was just the atmosphere, the joy and the magic I felt as I walked down Main Street and saw Cinderella's Castle for the first time (Yes, I saw it in 97, but it was that Awful looking birthday cake). After this trip, I started reading and became frequent visitor to sites like this one, and allears.net. I have planned many fake trips over the years, looking forward to finally planning an actual vacation!

That pretty much brings me to today. After graduating from University with a degree in Nursing, I have gone on a couple of trips, both to Las Vegas, which is my parents premier destination for vacationing. This year marks my *GASP* thirtieth year of life, I had planned a trip with the bestie to commemorate this "joyful" occasion with a cruise, but as my best friend is married and doing the whole kid thing, that wasn't going to be in the cards this year. I had also planned a trip in March/April to go to some hot spot with another group of friends, however those plans did not workout, so I said "FINE! I am going to plan my ultimate Disney Vacation!" and ran the idea by my parents who were happy with the idea, especially when my plans involved taking their goddaughter who will be 4 years old at the time of the trip. When getting permission to include Kylie, her parents suggested we also take her sister Lily, who will be 7 at the time of travel. Another excellent idea! After having these conversations I was stoked to be planning this vacation. So, on to the basics!

When: My birthday is actually in November, but because I have seen it decked up for Christmas twice, I wanted to see it either dressed down, or dressed up for Halloween. I decided on October 8-16, 2013.

Where to stay: Originally, I had wanted to stay at Pop Century resort in a perferred buidling, liking the look of the 60's building. But when we decided to take Lily along for the ride, I had to upgrade my hotel choices. I had asked for quotes from a travel agency that specializes in Disney travel. I looked at Art of Animation, Port Orlean's Riverside, and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. Among the quotes, Port Orlean's Riverside was the cheaper option. I had always wanted to stay there, so I talked it over with the parents and they were cool about it. So I had my place to stay! I booked my hotel room in March with the travel agent, who is awesome, btw!

The Plans!

October 8, 2013:
We fly to Orlando from Grand Rapids, MI (its a 9 hour drive, but so much more cheaper then flying from Thunder Bay, ON), arriving in Orlando at 12:30 pm.

Head to the hotel, get organized, and then hit up Epcot! I booked the Rose and Crown pub for dinner at 7:15 pm! My first ever table service restaurant at Disney!

October 9, 2013:
Breakfast: Riverside Mill Food Court
Head over to Animal Kingdom for the day (I know, its not MK, and I am sure I had my reasons when booking this. I just can't remember what it was. haha. also have no table service booked for Animal Kingdom, so it may change)

Dinner: 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian for dinner with Cinderella and her step sisters! I also have the girls booked at Bibbibiti Bobbiti Boutique at the Magic Kingdom before dinner, the little one wants to dress like Cinderella so I thought it was fitting) Head back over to Magic Kingdom after dinner.

October 10, 2013
Breakfast: Breakfast with the fab 5 at the Contemporary resort at 0855!! The head over to Magic Kingdom for the day!

I got tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party! Yay!!! The girls will probably put their princess costumes back on! I am super excited for this event too!

October 11, 2013

Today is MGM day! (I really refuse to say Hollywood studios haha) I don't have a whole lot planned for this day, except for dinner at Mama Melrose and Fantasmic! I don't remember if that show was there in 2002, or if it was, I know I didn't see it!

October 12, 2013

Today is Harry Potter day!! I know, I'm a traitor for going to Universal Studios, but I am an extreme Potter head and can not wait to see Hogwarts in all of its beauty!

October 13, 2013

A full day of Epcot! I am excited to be able to see the Food and WINE festival! The last time I came here I wasn't old enough to have any of the delicious alcoholic beverages they offer from around the world. Having a margarita in Mexico is on top of my list! For dinner, I have Via Napoli planned at 7 pm.

October 14th, 2013

Start off the day with the Animal Kingdom, then head over to MGM for the evening! Animal Kingdom has a late closing time tonight, which is cool but I do have reservations for 50's Prime Time Cafe at 7, so I figure we can at least stay until 5ish. Plus, it will also be the first time par taking in Extra Magic hours! MGM is open until midnight!

October 15, 2013

Last Park day. I went with the Magic Kingdom to end this most awesome vacation! I plan on carrying tissues with me, because I can assume tears will be shed! I will be ending my vacation the best way possible. I scored ann ADR to. Wait for it. Be Our Guest! It will be a super late dinner at 8:35 pm but it will end the vacation on a high note!

October 16, 2013

Fly back to Grand Rapids at 10:30. Not too early of a flight, which is what I wanted. We get back into Grand Rapids around 5, so it'll give us enough time to at least drive some of the way home. haha.
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That concludes most of my planning. I ahve also rented an ECV for my dad who has issues walking long distances, (I think we almost killed him the last time we went to Las Vegas) and a double stroller for the girls, both of them through Apple.I know that Lily is 7 and really shouldn't be in a stroller, but I also don't feel like carrying a 7 year old on my back when she gets tired. I managed to get a good deal on the strollers. The only thing I have left to do is travellers insurance and a hotel room for Grand Rapids! Oh, and I still have to pay. but that is coming slowly, but surely haha. I am also going to make sure we have some hotel breaks for when the girls get tired, then we can do some swimming.

Thanks for listening to my long winded pre trip report! I'm sure I'll think of things along the way!

See Ya Real Soon!

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 209

sounds wonderful! i'm sure you will have a great time. looking forward to hearing more!
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