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Old 06-30-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
katiee37
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Always Remember to Love Yourself--A January 2014 PTR UPDATED 9/14 Life Update

Hey everyone! I'm new to the PTR/TR clan so bear with me!

My name is Katie, and I am so incredibly excited to share with you my excitement about my upcoming birthday trip!




Here's me with Pluto at Chef Mickey's on my last trip way back in July, 2009!

Considering the fact that I'm a journalism major in college, I figure I will go with the 5 W's and 1 H method of introducing the trip.

WHO? Me, me and more me! It's a solo trip, my first ever. Work and other commitments have prevented my family and friends from joining me. As disappointing as that is, I'm excited to be the boss of the trip! I'm going to do what I want, when I want to.

WHAT? My 20th birthday! What better way to celebrate being on Earth for two decades?

WHEN? Tuesday January 7, 2014 through Tuesday, January 14, 2014. My birthday's the same day as the full marathon--Sunday, January 12!

WHERE? The Little Mermaid section of Art of Animation! I don't think the concept of the resort even existed during my last trip so I'm so excited to see it with my own eyes. Although I heavily considered Animal Kingdom Lodge for the obvious reason of animals as well as returning to the Beach Club for its convenient location, my college student budget as well as the fact that I really don't need much space for just myself has brought me to AoA.

WHY? Like I said, my birthday!!! Like my PTR title states, always remember to love yourself. And how am I expressing my love for myself? I'm taking myself to the happiest place on Earth!

HOW? An early-morning Southwest flight followed by a ride on the most Magical Express around!

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Overview of Trip
Tentative ADRs
Mini Update--Package Booked and a Trip Gamechanger
Actual ADRs
New Ticker
ADRs Yet Again
Introducing Emily!
Tuesday, January 7--Arrival Day Plans
Wednesday, January 8
Quick Life Update
Insane but Short Life Update
Thursday, January 9
Friday, January 10
Saturday, January 11
Sunday, January 12 (YAY I'M 20 )
Monday, January 13
Tuesday, January 14
Magic Kingdom Must-Do
Epcot Must-Do
Hollywood Studios Must-Do
Animal Kingdom Must-Do
Whatever else comes to mind

The above will become links to the updates as they are posted.
Thanks for reading!!!
__________________
Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!


Last edited by katiee37; 09-14-2013 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #2
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Overview of Trip

By this time next week all of my ADRs will be booked

With that said, here are my tentative plans for each day! I've been referring to easywdw for basic ideas though I'm sure I deviated for them for ADR and EMH reasons.

Tuesday, January 7--Early morning flight to MCO. As much as I hate having to wake up at 4 a.m. to catch a 6:50 a.m. flight (who am I kidding, I will be too excited to sleep!) I want to get as much park time in as I can. Once I board the most Magical Express around, I will check to AoA, hopefully get in my room and then head to Epcot. Normally AK is my arrival day park, but I decided to switch things up a bit this trip. I might try to head to HS for Fantasmic after dinner, weather permitting.

Wednesday, January 8--Magic Kingdom rope drop, break in the hotel, Downtown Disney for dinner and shopping. I'm going to try to avoid DD for the four day marathon weekend since I'm assuming it will be crowded with spectators and runners that don't have park admission.

Thursday, January 9--Animal Kingdom rope drop, late lunch/early dinner. I've never seen the parade at AK so I'll probably stay for it. Not sure what plans will be after the park closes (5 p.m. is so early!)

Friday, January 10--Epcot rope drop, break at hotel, Hollywood Studios for evening EMH and for Fantasmic if I haven't done it already

Saturday, January 11--I have Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom written down, but really I have no idea what I'll end up doing. This will probably be a resort hop day for the most part.

Sunday, January 12--HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME I have breakfast at Kona planned, followed by Teppan Edo for dinner since my birthday tradition since I was under ten years old was going to the local Japanese steakhouse for dinner on my birthday. Might as well keep that tradition up! MK has evening EMH so I plan to close out this magical day with Wishes and other favorites.

Monday, January 13--Another day without much planned. Catch up on some favorites, return to DD for more shopping, etc.

Tuesday, January 14--Morning EMH for Epcot energy-permitting, then board the not-so-magical-anymore express to MCO.

Next up, ADRs!
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Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-01-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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ADRs

Two updates in one day, aren't you all lucky

I figure ADRs go hand-in-hand with an overview of the trip so here you go! July 7 might change a few things but I don't think I'm hitting too many overly popular restaurants to have to completely write off one of them. I assume Via Napoli might be the hardest since it's the first night, but I'm flexible with times so we'll see. I'm planning on a lot of QS and snacks to save money, especially since eating a lot often slows me down and depending on what it is may not always agree with me when multiple rides are immediately following

Tuesday, January 7-- Via Napoli for dinner! I've heard only good things about this place, and it wasn't open during my last trip. This was actually the reason why I deviated from AK being my usual arrival day park. I'm hoping for the 5 p.m. range since I probably wouldn't have eaten much earlier in the day.

Wednesday, January 8-- Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney for dinner! Now I know it isn't the most highly rated place, but the one that used to be 20 minutes from my house closed quite a few years ago and a part of my childhood closed with it I was debating between this and Planet Hollywood, which we visited my last trip and actually enjoyed. However I can get Planet Hollywood from many more places I visit than I can Rainforest Cafe.

Thursday, January 9-- Yak and Yeti for a late lunch/early dinner! I was debating between trying it for the first time or going to the AK Rainforest Cafe location and something else the night before but I figured something new would be good! I definitely want to try the wonton dessert

Friday, January 10-- Nine Dragons for another late lunch/early dinner! Since I'm hitting HS evening EMH I don't want to be too full at that point so I'm sticking to some appetizers. Nine Dragons was a favorite my last trip so even though it's been a few years I'm hoping it will still be good!

Saturday, January 11-- Kona Cafe for dinner! Originally I was planning on Tony's and dedicating the night to Wishes, and even though the latter will probably still happen many reviews I've read have turned me away from Tony's I always take those with a grain of salt though, so I might still end up trying it for lunch one day if I get especially hungry (I can't imagine getting an ADR a few days in advance for one there would be too difficult)

Sunday, January 12-- Kona Cafe for breakfast to start my birthday off right! I was considering 'Ohana or Crystal Palace to have a character breakfast, but going solo I'm not sure if my waiter/waitress or people sitting nearby would be willing to take pictures with me and the characters, so I didn't want to take the chance. I'm looking forward to Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes and a great cup of Kona Coffee though Like I said in my previous post, Teppan Edo is for dinner to keep my Japanese hibachi tradition on my birthday alive.

Monday, January 13-- T-Rex for dinner since the menu seems rather appealing to me! This is also something my mom would never do so this will probably be my one and only trip to try it. I might add Tony's for lunch since I'm not sure what my plans are for the day.
__________________
Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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Rainforset cafe

I understand this I love RF and drive about 70 miles to the nearest one. You can get a card for 25 dollars from them and you get back a 25 dollar gc for inrollling and a 25 dollar gc for your birthday. Plus you get points on every dollar you spend even on merchandise. When you collect 250 points you get a 25 dollar GC again. And not just at RF but T-rex ,bubba gump and about 20 other resteraunts......So I am with ya girl.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by spiritsim View Post
I understand this I love RF and drive about 70 miles to the nearest one. You can get a card for 25 dollars from them and you get back a 25 dollar gc for inrollling and a 25 dollar gc for your birthday. Plus you get points on every dollar you spend even on merchandise. When you collect 250 points you get a 25 dollar GC again. And not just at RF but T-rex ,bubba gump and about 20 other resteraunts......So I am with ya girl.
WAIT, WHAT?! I must look into this!!! There's a Bubba Gump in Baltimore that I go to every once in a while so 250 points could happen rather soon. Thanks for the insight!
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Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-09-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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Rf

Yes and don't forget the 10% discount......lol oh yea and prefured seating when you show your card at the checkin desk
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
katiee37
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Mini Update--Package Booked and a Gamechanger to the Trip

I'll have a more detailed update in a few days once my ADRs are booked (I've tweaked them slightly since I last posted). But I figured I would say that as of 6:50 this morning, my room at AoA is booked and my park hopper ticket is purchased!

I didn't know that DisneyQuest vouchers were now included in packages?! Sweet! I've never been but I guess I will allocate a few hours to it at some point. It never seemed worth the almost $50 admission but now I guess I'll check it out. The design-your-own roller coaster simulator looks like a lot of fun!

Now for the gamechanger: my trip may no longer be solo!!! One of my closest friends will most likely be joining me once she verifies it with her schedule and other commitments. I've never been to WDW with people other than family so I'm excited for what is to come!
__________________
Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by spiritsim View Post
Yes and don't forget the 10% discount......lol oh yea and prefured seating when you show your card at the checkin desk
Awesome!!! I looked into it and I'll probably sign up closer to my trip. It'll be nice to have both a new member reward as well as a birthday reward available during the trip!
__________________
Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #9
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Following! I went this past year during that time. I ran the Goofy Challenge but was at WDW in the parks for a few days beforehand. It's a great time to go because crowd levels are pretty low and some of the Christmas decorations are still up. But last year it was HOT!

And I'm glad one of your friends might be able to join you. I've never been to WDW by myself (I've been to DLR and USO solo though), but being able to make memories with a friend will be awesome.

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Old 07-12-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DLR29 View Post
Following! I went this past year during that time. I ran the Goofy Challenge but was at WDW in the parks for a few days beforehand. It's a great time to go because crowd levels are pretty low and some of the Christmas decorations are still up. But last year it was HOT!

And I'm glad one of your friends might be able to join you. I've never been to WDW by myself (I've been to DLR and USO solo though), but being able to make memories with a friend will be awesome.

I'm hoping that at least some decorations are still up when we arrive! I read something that they usually keep the castle decorated since they needed some sort of light source during the full marathon since parts of it are before the sun rises. Not sure if that's true but I can't wait for the trip! Thanks for following!
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Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-12-2013, 04:51 PM   #11
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They definitely still had the castle lights up during both the half and the full marathons last year. Not sure if it's for that purpose but it'll be up. And earlier in the week they had the tree and wreaths up along the rest of Main Street.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:25 PM   #12
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They definitely still had the castle lights up during both the half and the full marathons last year. Not sure if it's for that purpose but it'll be up. And earlier in the week they had the tree and wreaths up along the rest of Main Street.
I didn't about the trees and wreaths possibly still being up! Awesome!!! I assume a lot of the resort decorations would be taken down by the time I get there though
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Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-14-2013, 04:44 PM   #13
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Actual ADRs

My 2014 package is booked, and now so are my ADRs! I deviated a bit from my original list mainly since I'll have a friend with me now.

I was able to book half my ADRs online and then I started getting no availability for the other half--the ones that most definitely wouldn't be fully booked at the 180 day mark at the time I chose. (Crystal Palace was easier to book than Yak and Yeti...) So I called, booked the rest and got the birthday indication noted on all reservations. It should be interesting to see what happens as a result of that!

Now for the list...

Tuesday, January 7--Via Napoli dinner

Wednesday, January 8--Rainforest Cafe, Downtown Disney dinner

Thursday, January 9--Yak and Yeti late lunch

Friday, January 10--Sci-Fi Dine-In dinner

Saturday, January 11--Nine Dragons dinner

Sunday, January 12--Crystal Palace breakfast before the park opens (what better way to start off my birthday?) and Teppan Edo early dinner

Monday, January 13--Cape May Cafe dinner

Tuesday, January 14--Kona Cafe breakfast

Any thoughts or menu suggestions?
__________________
Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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Old 07-14-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Thought I would take a ride over to your PTR!!

Looks good so far, some really good ADR choices! I love that you pick Rainforest! I too, love them! I actually ate at the DTD a while back and it was great! The food was good and of course the atmosphere is always awesome, but even better being in Disney! I think peoples main beef with that place is they feel that its quite pricey for food that's good but not excellent, however on the dining plan who cares about all that stuff right?

I hope your friend gets to come along too, just so you have someone to share in the fun with, although Disney solo sounds appealing also.

And I see you're staying in AoA LM rooms too! Just like me! I am so excited for these! Have you seen the inside of the shower?!?! Ahhh-mazing! I can not wait!

Waiting for more updates!!!!!
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Denovagirl View Post
Thought I would take a ride over to your PTR!!

Looks good so far, some really good ADR choices! I love that you pick Rainforest! I too, love them! I actually ate at the DTD a while back and it was great! The food was good and of course the atmosphere is always awesome, but even better being in Disney! I think peoples main beef with that place is they feel that its quite pricey for food that's good but not excellent, however on the dining plan who cares about all that stuff right?

I hope your friend gets to come along too, just so you have someone to share in the fun with, although Disney solo sounds appealing also.

And I see you're staying in AoA LM rooms too! Just like me! I am so excited for these! Have you seen the inside of the shower?!?! Ahhh-mazing! I can not wait!

Waiting for more updates!!!!!
Thanks for reading! And yeah I've seen the shower! I personally think the Lion King suites have the coolest one though!
__________________
Katie
July 2008 Caribbean Beach--First visit
July 2009 Beach Club--A magical reunion
January 2014 Art of Animation--Celebrating my birthday January 2014 PTR
January 2015--Running the 5K and (yikes) possibly the Half Marathon!

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