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Old 02-21-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
gtpoohbear
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Smile A 2nd Chance to do "The First Time" - April 2013 Pre-trip report!!! (Post trip -4/29)

Hi!!
First of all, I've never done a pre-trip report... so I don't much know what I'm doing. But I'm going to try, just b/c is seems like fun And maybe it will help me collect my thoughts and pass the time for the next 2 months! I'm going to say this this is our "3rd Disney Vacation", but as you'll see it's a little more complicated than that. We've had lots of other... dalliances... shall we say, that don't "really" count. And I promise the title will make sense if you stay with me long enough.

Pre-Trip Report Table of Contents:
Introductions
Our Disney History (Pt. 1 - The First Time)
Our Disney History (Pt. 2 - The Other Times)
WHEN We're Going
WHERE We're Staying
A Day in Our Disney Life
Let's EAT!
Day 1 - Arrival & Dinner w/ Nemo
Day 2 - Fantasyland & World Showcase
Day 3 - Hollywood Studios & Dinner in the Castle
Day 4 - Epcot & Fantasmic!
Day 5 - Animal Kingdom
Some Random Updates
Day 6 - Epcot & Be Our Guest (France Day!)
Day 7 - Hollywood Studios & Wishes
Day 8 - Magic Kingdom & Epcot
Day 9 - ??? & Home
10 More Days!
In a Bit of a Funk, and 6 More Days!
Clothes, and 5 More Days!!
Post-Trip Summary


So, let's start with some introductions.

Me: Jaime (aka Mama) I am recently-turned 34, married for 12 years, and have 2 kids, who you'll "meet" in a minute. We live in Colorado Springs, Colorado (about an hour south of Denver). I am currently a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom, though I was a teacher for 9 years (until my second kid was born.)

I grew up making many trips to Disney World, usually just short trips, 1-2 days, and we never stayed on-site. (We lived all over, but generally in the southeast, and my parents were not afraid of crazy-drive-all-night-spur-of-the-moment-weekend-trips) We really knew very little about WDW actually. Planning and research were completely unheard of. So, I loved Disney, but we missed a LOT. Therefore, I don't tend to think of my childhood trips as "Disney Vacations". They were something a little less Magical than that term implies, but still fun. (But I'll often refer to my trip in 2008 as my "first trip", though technically it definitely was not.)

If you haven't guessed from my username, Pooh is my favorite character. He is my hero Anyway, enough about me.

Here I am, if you're a visual sort of person Yes, it's winter, all of my recent pictures seem to be of us in the snow. Hopefully this won't be the background of the pictures we get from our trip!


DH: Brian (aka Dada) He is also 34 (for a few more months ) He is a software engineer for Adobe Systems. No, he does not make Photoshop. Believe it or not, Adobe makes lots of other things too. He actually writes part of their social marketing platform... but it's gonna get too geeky if I go into any more details.

He went to Disney several times as a kid, but his experiences were very similar to mine. So he also thinks of our 2008 trip as our "First Disney Vacation". (If you haven't guessed from the title, that trip was sort of important) He loves to travel, loves adventure, loves to eat. His only non-negotiables for this trip were that we stay at a Deluxe resort (preferably near Epcot, but that was technically up to me), do the Deluxe Dining Plan (which we had done the previous two times), and not eat ANY counter-service. He hates fast-food, hates standing in line, just hates the whole experience. So.... it's HIS fault that this trip is so expensive, lol! But he makes the money, so I guess I can't complain. I'm just glad he isn't anti-Disney.

Here he is last month, skiing. (told you all of our pictures are from the snow!)


DD: Lily - 9 years old. Let's see, besides being an often emotional-over-the-top-drama-queen, she is a competitive swimmer and plays the violin. She is in 4th grade, and currently attending a virtual academy, which is sort of like homeschooling but with a little more support from the school district. She'll probably be going back to a regular school next year though.

Her first trip to WDW was in 2008 (I've mentioned that one a few times already, lol!) She was 4 at the time, and has been an avid Disney-lover ever since. She is no longer as interested in Princesses and Fairies but fortunately has not turned against Disney in general. She doesn't really have a favorite character right now, though she does like playing Jake & the Pirates with her little brother. I'm hoping she comes home from this trip with a clear favorite Disney character though - how can you go through life without one

Here she is...


DS: Owen - 2 years old. This child is BOY all the way, ha! All rough-and-tumble, wild, funny, knows no limits. He has started talking more and more the last few months, easily constructing pretty complex sentences, and asking sometimes rather abstract questions. He can be a handful, but is a true joy, most of the time

This will be his first Disney Vacation (though NOT his first time on Disney property, but more about that later). He already loves all things Disney (I had nothing to do with that...honest!) His favorites are Lightening McQueen, Buzz Lightyear, and Jake. (Or, as he pronounces it - Lining A Keen, Buzz A Year, and Jake A Pites) He has already started asking to bring certain things with him "to Diney Wold", but I'm sure he has no concept of how long it still is until we go. He is excited though.

Here he is, wow I really need some new pics that don't have us in the snow.


Ans here we all are, this last December in Legoland (just so you can see we really do have hair under all those hats!) I know, I feel like a traitor posting a picture of us at LL on a Disney board, but it's the only family photo I have since last spring


So, that's us! Next up - our "Disney History". It's a long story so I'll make it a new post
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
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So, as I mentioned, our "Disney History" is a little complicated, and before I tell you much about our upcoming trip, I should fill you in on the past, because it is all very related.

I said in my last post that both DH and I spent many days at WDW as kids, but nothing that qualified as an actual "Disney Vacation". So, I won't go into any more detail about those trips, just know they existed, they were fun, but not all that Magical. (Magic, with a Captial-M, is a very special sort of thing, you see. I don't really know how to describe it, but you know it when it happens. And it usually happens when Disney is involved, though I've had a few rare experience of Magic elsewhere too)

So. Our first Disney vacation - Sometime in the spring of 2007, we decided that it was time to plan DD's first trip to Disney World. We already had that summer's vacation planned out (Mexico), but though that by the following summer (2008), she would be the perfect age - 4.5 years old. I waited very impatiently for the following years packages to become bookable.

We really didn't put a lot of thought into our plans - we had been many times and "thought" we knew all there was to know. We wanted to stay on-site, and only really knew about the monorail hotels, of which Poly was our clear favorite. So there, decision made. As I was making the arrangements online, DH saw something about Dining plans, and thought we should do it. I thought it looked too complicated, but he talked me into it. Deluxe, in fact, b/c he didn't want anything to not be covered. That was it, no looking at menus, prices, anything. Just, that looks easiest, let's do it. He also mentioned that he thought there might be nice restaurants there, other than the typical order-a-burger-at-the-counter places we had grown up with. And that you might need to get reservations in advance for them. I made a mental note of that fact, but didn't think too much about it. Afterall, the trip was still almost a year away.

And then, we sort of forgot about everything. For a long time. Months passed, I was busy teaching and being a mom. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that we were going to Disney World in the summer, but it rarely crossed my mind. Until Spring Break. DH happened to ask me one morning as he was leaving for work if I had made any dining reservations for our trip. I think I looked at him like he was from outer space. He told me I should probably get on that. I didn't think it was a big deal, but decided to spend the day working on it just to make him happy.

You DIS'ers know how this will end. Little did I know, our 180-day window had been open for 3 months, and most of the good ADRs were taken. I was crushed. This was supposed to be DD's trip of a lifetime, and I had clearly blown it! Well I finally managed to put together a decent line-up, with lots of work, and many, many phone calls (sure would have been nice if ADRs were online back then!) But there were a few we couldn't get, and some of our meals were at odd times.We would make the best of it, but the fear that our "first time" wouldn't be perfect was something that would nag and haunt me. For a very long time.

Something happened to me that day though. It was the beginning of "The Obsession". For months I had seemed indifferent to the trip, now it was as if life revolved around it. I think it was around that time that I found this board, and lots of other sites, and realized that there was a whole "World" of info out there that I had no idea about! A pretty common occurrence for first-timers, I suspect. And I began to suddenly think of myself as a first-timer. This was not going to be the trips of my childhood. It was going to be The Most Magical Vacation Ever!!!

I lived and breathed Disney plans for the next 3 months. No detail went un-noticed or unplanned for. (Well except maybe one, but more on that later). The months and weeks seemed to creep by, and it seemed the school year would never end. Finally, after a lifetime of waiting, June 1 arrived, and we were on our way!

Okay, I won't post the full trip report here, but the before-part was kind of important. As is the after-part (later) I do have a full trip report here if you must read it.

But a quick summary. It was indeed a Magical week.
DD was totally mesmerized by all the princesses.



We went to almost every character meal WDW offers




and spent lots of fun afternoons enjoying the Poly.


And even a day at Blizzard Beach.



We went to what I believe was the last ever Pirate and Princess Party (all of us in costume)


It WAS the trip of a lifetime. LOTS and LOTS of Magic. Not perfect in the way that I would have planned, but somehow perfect in it's own way. There was, however, one detail, one part of the trip that I had NOT planned for. The END. In all my planning, and imagining each and every day, I had never given a single thought to what it would be like to go home. It was like I had been incapable of seeing the future past that point. The trip went by soooooooooooooooo fast! How could it be over??? What now???

Long story short, I fell into a serious Post-Disney Depression. Nothing could cure it. We went camping. We went swimming. We went sightseeing all over the state. On train rides, to amusement parks and museums. But there was a longing that couldn't be dampened. And it wasn't just that I missed WDW.

It was deeper than that. We had done our "first time". That was it, it was over. It would all be downhill from there. Even if (or when) we went back, it wouldn't be the same. DD wouldn't look at the characters with the same amazement, and surely her eyes wouldn't sparkle so much when she saw the Castle the "second time". We would never be able to do the "first time" again. And that just about broke my heart.

And then there was still the nagging. It had been Magical, but could it have been better?? What if I had actually done our ADRs 180 days out, and gotten everything PERFECT?? Should we have gone to Blizzard Beach? Maybe we shouldn't have wasted our last morning at Animal Kingdom. Which characters had we not met? It went on and on.

I knew it wouldn't be the same, but I also knew we had to go again. I NEEDED to go again. But here's where it gets complicated.

Next post- the rest of our history - I'll try to be more brief, but this first one was important.
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Previous Trips: 2008: Poly | 2010: CBR | 2012: ASMo | 2013: YC | 2014: AKL, AoA | 2014: POR
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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So, here I was suffering from severe PDD. One little detail I haven't mentioned yet is that my whole family actually lives in Florida. In Naples, to be exact, about 4 hours from WDW. No, we didn't invite them to join us on our "First Time" Disney Vacation. Maybe it was mean, but I also know how they "are", and know they would have spoiled it. But it caused some hurt feelings, for sure.

Well, now that we had gotten that "First Time" out of the way, there was nothing wrong with taking advantage of the location and making quick trips when we went to visit them, as we typically do several times per year! The first one came quickly actually, just a few weeks after getting home.

Near the end of June 2008, Lily and I went down to Florida (trying to make up for having snubbed them earlier in the month) and were touring central FL with my parents, sister, brother, and his family. We ended up spending a totally unplanned day at Downtown Disney! We hadn't made it over there during our vacation, so it was a lot of fun. Just a tiny touch of Magic to help me get through the rest of the summer.

Lily and her cousins Cassie and Cam, with Aunt Tina, in front of Buzz Lightyear



But we were going back to Florida for Christmas... and no reason why we couldn't do ANOTHER mini-trip then!! We decided to do a day at SeaWorld first, and I couldn't talk anyone else into staying on-site, my parents insisted on using their time-share in Orlando instead. Okay fine. At least we would get another day at Magic Kingdom!!! Complete with a breakfast ADR at CRT, BBB appts, and Chef Mickey's. Didn't miss the 180-mark for that one (Full trip report here)




It was lots of fun, and definitely some Magic. But it also made me miss our vacation all over again. This definitely wasn't the same. But of course, it was a big group (10 of us all together) and just days before Christmas, so you can imagine the crowds. But I wouldn't have given it up, for sure.

After that, I put a halt on ALL Disney World jaunts... b/c I was already planning our next big one!! I wanted it to still seem special, even if not the First Time, so no need to overdo it until then. We had originally planned to go back in 2011, but I managed to convince DH that we needed to go in June 2010. Still a year-and-half away, but close enough that I could start planning

I knew MUCH more this time, and actually put some thought into where we would stay. We had almost settled on BC, but then, life turned upside down for my SIL and her kids (DH's sister), and long-story-short, we decided we needed to bring them with us. And DH's parents too. (They were all living here in town with us) Sooooo, BC seemed a little out of reach for such a big group, and we ended up settling on CBR.

in some ways I was excited to "do" Disney with all of them, and show them how awesome it would be. I was also though a little apprehensive that it would complicate things, and that we wouldn't get enough "us" time. But the planning continued, and everything was going to be "perfect" this time. And then January 2010 came. And OUR life turned upside down.

But in a good way. I found out I was pregnant!!! And I was going to be 6 months pregnant during our trip Okay.... well, there was no turning back now. We were going anyway! Further complicating things was the fact that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is generally fairly well controlled with medication, but..... I was preggo. No meds for me.

So, here I was, going to Disney World in June, 6 months pregnant, in the middle of a horrible RA flare up that I could do nothing about, with my 6 IL's. Sounds like recipe for disaster. I'm not gonna lie. There were some very challenging (and very painful) moments. But again, I wouldn't have traded that week for all the world. (Full trip report here)

Here we all are the first night, in Epcot.


Lots more character meals with her (other) cousins


And a very pregnant me.



This is what Owen was doing during the trip.


Really it was a great trip. Different from the first, as DD had grown up considerably. (There's a big difference between 4 and 6!)

But after this trip I started to relax a little bit about my anxiety from the First Time. It was like a weight had been lifted. It didn't always have to be the same. I finally felt acceptance that the First Time had been what it was, and that was that. No need to dwell on it. Magic can happen in LOTS of ways

And of course, just a few months after getting home, we had THIS to get used to...


It would be almost 2 years before I was on Disney property again, and of course in that time we went from being a family of 3 to a family of 4. But only 3 of us went on this next trip (DH had to work, and doesn't really like visiting my family anyway).

My sister was due to have her first baby in March 2012, so we decided rather last-minute to make a trip down to see her. And of course I was needing a little Magic something fierce by now. (Full trip report here)

We spent 2 nights as ASMo with my parents


Lily went to the BBB @ DTD


And we even had dinner at 1900 Park Fare!



DH had given me two stipulations when I asked him if we could go - he said no parks, and no meeting Mickey (Since it would be DS's first time). But we had lots of fun anyway (and plenty of Magic), and that trip might be the only reason I haven't totally succumbed to Disney withdrawal in the long 3 years since our last vacation there.

And then there was just one more tiny blip on the Disney radar, this last December. We were again visiting my family for Christmas, and decided to make a short mini-trip to Legoland. We stayed a night at the Nick Hotel first (we had always seen it on the way to WDW and been interested). For dinner, we ended up... you guessed it... heading over to Disney! It was totally unintentional. DH was using Yelp to find something good to eat, and the closest place to us with good reviews was a restaurant called Olivia's. That rang a bell... WAIT, that's at DISNEY WORLD! At OKW. So we spent an evening over there enjoying the atmosphere, and the food was delicious. It sort of felt like "practice" for the real thing, come April.




So, as I said, our Disney History is a little complicated. Two "Big Trips" so far, and several small ones thrown in between.

I will admit that the whole "First Time" thing has still haunted me a bit, though not nearly as much as those first few months after we came home. But I have often longed to "go back". To get to see it through my child's eyes again when it's all fresh and new and exciting.

And guess what. NOW I DO!!! Because I have another kid, who (despite a couple of minor cheats) has never BEEN to Disney World!!! I know he's young (almost 2.5), and won't remember much of it (though DD still remembers bits from our Yellowstone vacation when she was the same age). But I know he is going to love it, and I'm going to love watching him soak it all up. And it will definitely be THE MOST MAGICAL VACATION EVER!!!

But I'll go into more detail about this trip in the next post. For now - here is my little man, all dressed up like Jake
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
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So, now that we're all caught up... this report is really about our trip that is just 2 short months away.

LOTS to tell, I'll start with the timing.

Like our last big trip, we ended up pushing it forward a year. We were originally thinking 2014 (or maybe even October 2013), but in Aug/Sep (of this year) the kids will go from being 9/2, to 10/3. Both hitting those Disney Upgrade Ages, within 2 weeks of each other! And since DH still insists on doing the DxDDP, it makes a lot of difference. About $1000 difference for a week's stay. So.... I convinced him that we needed to go by summer 2013 at the very latest. But what month...

Let's talk weather. I don't like heat. Well I don't really like cold either, I'm what DH calls a climate wimp. But heat is more likely to be the issue in Florida. Honestly, I would have preferred January or February. DH voted for July. (He apparently likes both heat and crowds) So, April seemed like a reasonable compromise.

We are in an unusual situation right now, in that our schedule is actually pretty flexible. DD's virtual academy technically follows the school district calendar, but since she does most of her work at home, they are fine with us taking our vacations whenever we want. She'll probably be going back to a brick-and-morter school next year, and I'm going to miss this freedom, for sure! Might as well take advantage of it while we can. (And DH can pretty much take off work whenever he wants, lucky dog!)

We wrestled a little with dates, I won't go into those details now. But we finally settled on April 18-26.

Wait no. We initially settled on April 18-25. Well we were hoping to stay until the 26th until new package prices came out, and OUCH! We shaved a day off. Then added it back on when I found cheaper airfare. But then I decided I didn't want to leave at 5am on our last day, so added back more expensive airfare. But a pretty good discount came out, so we ended up about even after all that. I think.

At some point we were going to spend the last night at AoA, can't remember exactly why. Well first we were going to spend the last night at the MCO Hyatt. The we switched it to AoA. The we decided to scrap that and just add the last night to our package (at YC, more about our resort choice later though)

It's been complicated. I can't really keep track of all the changes. But we're not planning to make any more. At least not any big ones

Actually I should stop saying "we". DH is rather uninvolved in the planning, so long as I stick to his "rules" (from the first post). Deluxe resort and dining plan, no CS. The rest has all been my doing. And he just looks at me like I'm crazy when I tell him my latest iteration of the "plan". But that's okay.

Back to the topic - timing. I am hoping for good weather and low crowds. Aren't we all??? I just want this trip to be PERFECT, that's not asking too much is it???
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
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Yay for another April PTR. We overlap about 2 days!

I had a similar Disney history, except we did do full vacations to Disney when I was growing up. They were just nowhere near as planned as our vacations now.
My last Disney vacation "pre-planning" with my family was over New Year's and we only did 1 table service restaurant, in part due to the fact that it was the ONLY thing with availability when my Dad tried to find something.

I'm also taking a 2 year old, and I couldn't be more excited. I've never bought into the "wait until they'll remember it" theory, because it seems so ridiculous, especially when you have more than one child. If my parents had bought into that philosophy, I wouldn't have made it to Disney until I was 15!
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danceintherain View Post
Yay for another April PTR. We overlap about 2 days!

I had a similar Disney history, except we did do full vacations to Disney when I was growing up. They were just nowhere near as planned as our vacations now.
My last Disney vacation "pre-planning" with my family was over New Year's and we only did 1 table service restaurant, in part due to the fact that it was the ONLY thing with availability when my Dad tried to find something.

I'm also taking a 2 year old, and I couldn't be more excited. I've never bought into the "wait until they'll remember it" theory, because it seems so ridiculous, especially when you have more than one child. If my parents had bought into that philosophy, I wouldn't have made it to Disney until I was 15!
Oh that is one of my pet-peeves! We took DS to Yosemite last summer, before he was even 2. He learned so many new words on that trip - I think his vocabulary more than doubled! Plus he discovered so many new things that he liked - there is NO way you can tell me a young child doesn't get anything out of these vacations. Even if they don't remember specific things, the experiences themselves still influence them. Anyway. That's my soap box

I need to catch up on everyone else's April PTRs too. I just need about 5 hours added to every day.
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All Trip Reports & Photo Albums are located here!
Previous Trips: 2008: Poly | 2010: CBR | 2012: ASMo | 2013: YC | 2014: AKL, AoA | 2014: POR
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:05 PM   #7
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Hi, Marisa here from the April group. I stayed at The Yacht Club with my sisters last year. I ām going to wait to see what you have to say about it. I liked it, or most everything, but my sisters wanted a Food Court and they hated Storm-a-Long Bay. I was sad.

I wish I had relatives in Florida. I had a great aunt that had a house in St. Petersburg and my parents sold it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:20 PM   #8
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Great PTR so far! When we were originally planning our upcoming vacation we were going to go April 20-28...then we decided to switch to March for our 10th anniversary.

Fabulous idea to go before both kids jump into higher price brackets! My kids are 5.5 and 1.5 so I (hopefully!!) have a few more trips before we have to pay "Disney adult" prices.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Tagging along for this PTR! You leave the day before we arrive. It should be a great time of year to be there (so I've heard...so I'm hoping!)
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpoohbear View Post
Oh that is one of my pet-peeves! We took DS to Yosemite last summer, before he was even 2. He learned so many new words on that trip - I think his vocabulary more than doubled! Plus he discovered so many new things that he liked - there is NO way you can tell me a young child doesn't get anything out of these vacations. Even if they don't remember specific things, the experiences themselves still influence them. Anyway. That's my soap box

I need to catch up on everyone else's April PTRs too. I just need about 5 hours added to every day.
DS spent most of his life living in a foreign country, so not much about traveling with him phases me. Whenever people complain about traveling with little kids....

And DISNEY? Come on people, it was designed for little kids to enjoy with their parents. I've yet to find another vacation destination that accommodates families spending time together so completely. I understand the money aspect of it....to some degree....but that's why we're going in April before DS turns 3, and I buy into the philosophy that now will always be cheaper than later.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
Hi, Marisa here from the April group. I stayed at The Yacht Club with my sisters last year. I ām going to wait to see what you have to say about it. I liked it, or most everything, but my sisters wanted a Food Court and they hated Storm-a-Long Bay. I was sad.

I wish I had relatives in Florida. I had a great aunt that had a house in St. Petersburg and my parents sold it.
I was a little bummed that there wasn't a food court - that might have been my only chance to talk DH into a quick CS breakfast before emh mornings. The lack of good early-morning food in this whole area has been one of my frustrations in planning for sure.

I actually lived in St. Pete for a year in high school - and we had APs to WDW that year! My parents would drop me and my sister off in the morning on Saturday and come get us around dinner time. (And of course this was before the days of cell phones - I think we were 15 and 10.) We mostly hung out in Epcot I think.

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Originally Posted by sheila <3 WDW View Post
Great PTR so far! When we were originally planning our upcoming vacation we were going to go April 20-28...then we decided to switch to March for our 10th anniversary.

Fabulous idea to go before both kids jump into higher price brackets! My kids are 5.5 and 1.5 so I (hopefully!!) have a few more trips before we have to pay "Disney adult" prices.
Yeah - it's a nasty increase once they hit those ages - for DD turning 10, the biggest factor was the dining plan - about $75/day more for an adult. And for DS turning 3, he would have to have a ticket. I joked one time that Disney must have known we were going to have kids almost exactly 7 years apart when they set the ages!

How fun to be there for your anniversary though - I've never been there for a celebration of any kind. Considering all the times we've been, including mini-trips, and with all the people we've gone with, that seems statistically impossible. Something at some point should surely have fallen one SOMEONE's birthday, or anniversary, or something!

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Tagging along for this PTR! You leave the day before we arrive. It should be a great time of year to be there (so I've heard...so I'm hoping!)
That's what I keep hearing too! I just hope we don't have a lot of rain. Both times we went in June we had quite a bit of rain in the afternoon, and a couple of times we had firework shows get rained out. I'm hoping we just beat the rainy season this year.

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Originally Posted by danceintherain View Post
DS spent most of his life living in a foreign country, so not much about traveling with him phases me. Whenever people complain about traveling with little kids....

And DISNEY? Come on people, it was designed for little kids to enjoy with their parents. I've yet to find another vacation destination that accommodates families spending time together so completely. I understand the money aspect of it....to some degree....but that's why we're going in April before DS turns 3, and I buy into the philosophy that now will always be cheaper than later.
I know, right??? We've never hesitated to travel with either of the kids. Some of my friends think I'm some sort of travel-super-hero, always saying "I don't know HOW you do it!!!". I tell them it's really not that hard - pack the kid a suitcase, throw him on the plane, and go! But then, we're also the people that went out to eat, then went shopping, on the way home from the hospital after Owen was born. DH was changing his diaper in a store bathroom and someone was stunned that he had such a little baby (2 days old) in there. I just laughed and said that anyone who knew us wouldn't be shocked at all.

Well it's no secret that we are staying at YC, but I am going to do a formal post about it next
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:12 PM   #12
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I know, right??? We've never hesitated to travel with either of the kids. Some of my friends think I'm some sort of travel-super-hero, always saying "I don't know HOW you do it!!!". I tell them it's really not that hard - pack the kid a suitcase, throw him on the plane, and go! But then, we're also the people that went out to eat, then went shopping, on the way home from the hospital after Owen was born. DH was changing his diaper in a store bathroom and someone was stunned that he had such a little baby (2 days old) in there. I just laughed and said that anyone who knew us wouldn't be shocked at all.

Well it's no secret that we are staying at YC, but I am going to do a formal post about it next
I definitely understand that people have their limits, but I think most problems can be avoided with proper planning. Honestly, one of the biggest things for me is why do people pack so much?
There aren't many places in the world where you can't pick up the extra things you may need as you go (I've actually been to one of them, and I packed for all three of us in a single suitcase). Yeah, it may cost extra, but it will be there if you need it.
I see parents laden down with every item their child has ever owned, and I begin to understand why they may have a distaste for traveling with their kids.

And being afraid of your kid's tantrums? G regularly throws fits because we go outside and he doesn't want to come back in. If I didn't learn how to manage such tantrums, I wouldn't go anywhere. (obviously everyone has different situations, but you can't be sure of anything until you test it)

That said, my Mom had 6 kids, and that didn't stop her from taking all of us and some of our friends on outings. Part of the reason I love Disney is because when I was 5 years old we lived in Orlando, and had seasonal passes, so we got to go ALL the time. My mom learned to avoid shops with breakables (there were 4 of us 6 and under) but we still had a great time.

I also realize that things change the more kids you have. G has always been incredibly portable, so I'm probably spoiled.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by danceintherain View Post
I definitely understand that people have their limits, but I think most problems can be avoided with proper planning. Honestly, one of the biggest things for me is why do people pack so much?
There aren't many places in the world where you can't pick up the extra things you may need as you go (I've actually been to one of them, and I packed for all three of us in a single suitcase). Yeah, it may cost extra, but it will be there if you need it.
I see parents laden down with every item their child has ever owned, and I begin to understand why they may have a distaste for traveling with their kids.

And being afraid of your kid's tantrums? G regularly throws fits because we go outside and he doesn't want to come back in. If I didn't learn how to manage such tantrums, I wouldn't go anywhere. (obviously everyone has different situations, but you can't be sure of anything until you test it)

That said, my Mom had 6 kids, and that didn't stop her from taking all of us and some of our friends on outings. Part of the reason I love Disney is because when I was 5 years old we lived in Orlando, and had seasonal passes, so we got to go ALL the time. My mom learned to avoid shops with breakables (there were 4 of us 6 and under) but we still had a great time.

I also realize that things change the more kids you have. G has always been incredibly portable, so I'm probably spoiled.
I think it's a lot about what you are used to doing -people don't like to be out of their comfort zone. For us, we were always on-the-go types, and didn't know any other way to be, even after the kids were born. So we just kept going-going-going like we always had and it never really felt hard, because we didn't know any different. I do have friends that wouldn't take their babies out of the house until they were 6 months or older. I would have gone completely and totally mad being so confined.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:56 PM   #14
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Your PTR is off to a great start! The one thing I hear consistently about DxDP is "too much food." But, since you've done it before, I guess you know what you are in for!
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:19 PM   #15
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So I covered a bit of our Disney History, and WHEN we are going, now it's time to talk about WHERE we are staying

First, a quick overview of the Disney resorts we have stayed at previously:

Polynesian (June 2008) - the one that started it all, lol! When planning that trip, it was the only thing we considered. We didn't know much about anything except the monorail resorts (those WERE the Disney hotels, in our mind) and we had never cared much for the theming of CR of GF. So Poly it was, by default.

And it was amazing - definitely lived up to my expectations! i can't really think of anything negative to say about it at all. Absolutely beautiful - feels like a true tropical paradise. No detail is left out. Everything is so lush and colorful, and the pool and beach are great too. The room was very spacious, and I loved the dark wood. And the location - just about can't be beat! A quick monorail ride to MK, and short walk to TTC to catch the monorail to Epcot. We were really lucky with the busses to AK and DHS too. Never waited more than a couple of minutes for one, and never shared with another resort.


So, in short, I would definitely love to go back here sometime. The only thing stopping me is the simple fact that there are a lot of others I want to try before going anywhere for a second time. But it gets a thumbs-up for sure.

Caribbean Beach (June 2010) - For this trip, we first considered BC, but once we decided to bring my ILs with us, we knew that was impractical. We needed to downgrade, at least to a Mod (since we were paying for most of SIL and her kids).

A quick aside - DH is very anti-Value-Resorts. His only experience with one was back in college, when we popped over for a day trip. Being very poor planners, we didn't bring enough cash for parking, and had to go in search of an ATM. We ended up at AS Sports. It was a madhouse. I think a cheer squad was checking in at that moment, and it took us forever to park and get through the lobby to find the ATM. We left feeling totally frazzled and frustrated. And I guess he decided at that moment that he would never set foot in a Value again. Sooo, he insisted on a Mod if we couldn't do a Deluxe.

None of the other Mods really appealed to me, and CBR seemed the closest to BC in terms of theme, so that's what we did. Again, not a lot of discussion or considering alternatives. It just seemed to be the one that fit our circumstances the best.

As for how we liked it... it was okay. It was beautiful, I'll give it that. had a similar lush, tropical feel to the Poly, though not quite as elaborate. What I didn't like -
  • Everything was so spread out. It was a beautiful, but LONG walk to OPR and the pool. Being there in summer, 6 months pregnant, with major joint problems, it was not fun.
  • Transportation. Everything was bus, no other alternatives. And we had the WORST luck with them! usually 15-20 minute waits, and then they had to make a whole loop around the resort, usually waiting several minutes at each stop before moving on. It was tortuous.
  • Outside entry. I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but especially when it's hot, it just feels so much nicer to have interior hallways. For what you pay at a Mod, it seems like that should be included. Even cheap Holiday Inn's now have interior hallways!


So, I probably will not stay there again. I'm actually not a fan of Mods in general now, because it doesn't seem like you "get" that much more than at a value. My only complaints at a Value would probably be the same as the ones I listed here, but I'd be paying a lot less for the same frustrations!

But, on a positive note, the kids did like the pool.

All Star Movies(March 2012) We stayed here with my parents (in connecting rooms) when we went for our mini-trip last spring, as part of a visit to see my brand new nephew. It was a last minute trip, needed to be cheap, and since DH wasn't coming, here was our chance to try out a Value! I let DD pick which one, since it didn't matter much to me, though I probably would have picked ASMo too.

She really wanted to stay in the Dalmatians section, despite me trying to sell her on Toy Story. I think she was wishing she had listened to me after we got there - that area was really neat! But overall, I thought the resort was perfectly fine. Very well kept, the theming was fun (even if not lush and fancy like our previous experiences). The rooms were a little small, but plenty adequate. Especially since it was just me and the kids. Had all 4 of us been there for a whole week, maybe I would have felt differently. Unfortunately, the main pool was under some construction while we were there, so we didn't get to see the Sorcerer Mickey statue, but the kids had fun swimming anyway.


If I had to stay in a Value again, I wouldn't hesitate to come here. Though, like with the Poly, I feel like I should try everything before repeating.

NOW - for THIS trip. Unlike our previous trips, we were actually quite torn on where to stay. At the end of our 2010 trip, we had really started leaning towards Contemporary for our next Vacation. We realized how great the location was, being able to walk to MK. And after spending some more time there (CM and a Wishes cruise), we actually came to like the feel of the resort a lot.


So for almost 2 years, I kind of had it in my head that we would be there for our next trip. We had also talked a little about BC, but we still seemed pretty set on CR. Lily was desperately wanting to stay at the new AoA, but DH was being very staunch in his no-Value-resort rule, and no amount of begging could win him over.

During our March 2012 trip (that DH didn't come for) we spent an evening on the Boardwalk, and ended up eating dinner at Beaches n'Cream. Lily totally fell in love with the resort, and the whole area. I was sort of indifferent honestly, it was neat in a different sort of way, but I wasn't drooling over it or anything. It just felt like so much concrete... the ones we had stayed at before were so lush and green, this felt more chaotic and city-like.


But, after we got home and Lily was telling DH all about it, he started rethinking CR and said he thought we should do BC instead. I tried really hard to be excited about this. I knew it made more sense, we were going to be there during F&G, and being near Epcot would be convenient. Plus we like to eat dinner at Epcot a lot to try out the different countries. And the kids would surely love SAB. At least I had heard great things about it. What little I saw from BnC hadn't seemed terribly impressive, but I wasn't paying that much attention, I guess. So I sort of resigned myself to it, though the pastel-sea-foam-green everywhere made my cringe everytime I thought about it. (I grew up in a house decorated in peach and sea foam green, I think I'm traumatized by those colors, lol!)

I kept looking at the list of Epcot resorts, thinking maybe I was missing another option. Boardwalk didn't appeal to me at all, and DH hated the thought of the clown pool. And he wouldn't consider S/D because we couldn't get the dining plan. That really only left BC/YC.

Wait.. what's wrong with YC??? I never really considered it an option for some reason...my mom always talked about how bland it was compared to BC. (She's never stayed there but always said BC is her favorite - no surprise, look at the colors!) But suddenly the beige and navy seemed like a welcome relief to all that sea-foam-green! I had a hard time convincing DH, mostly because he was very skeptical that it actually had the same pool. I think he thought we would "be allowed" to go use the BC pool, but that wasn't the same as it being "ours". But finally I won him over.


So in the end, CR, AoA, and BC all lost out to YC. I'm excited, more so than when we were thinking BC. But I do admit that a part of me still feels like we "lost" our CR Vacation. I made DH promise that we would do it next time though, so I still have it to look forward to.
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