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Old 07-24-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
cdhale
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9 Days to go! A perfect time for a PTR! **New! 8/29 shopping for the trip**

Welcome!

I've been planning this trip since June (kind of last minute, I know) and have finally decided to do a pre-trip. I hope this will encourage me to do a trip report once we get home. Away we go...

The Cast:

Me, Cheryl, mom of three and loves Disney more than her kids. This will be my 7th trip. I work full time in Baltimore.



Pictured with me is Baby J, currently 8.5 months (5 months in this pic). He will NOT be joining us on this trip. His first trip will be in 2015, but we'll get to that later.

Next are my DDs Hannah (on the left) and Sophie. They'll turn 11 at the end of this month. This will be their 4th trip.



Pictured here at the beach with Baby J a couple of weeks ago. H and S are year-round swimmers, clarinet players, avid readers and lovers of American Girl. They will be starting middle school in the fall.

Not pictured is my Dbf, L. He will be staying home with Baby J while the girls go to Disney. He will definitely join us for Baby J's first trip.

The Details:

Girls only trip for the fourth time!
Sept 3-8 2013
5 nights/6 days POFQ garden view.
6 Day PH and water parks
FREE DDP
Direct flights from BWI.

How it came about:

We weren't going to go to Disney this year, but when I saw the free dining offer I started crunching some numbers and decided to surprise my DDs for their fifth grade graduation. We've always gone in January over a long weekend from school (the weekend after MLK) and have been happy with the crowds, but not so much the weather. Over three trips in three years we had temps ranging from high 30s to mid 80s. I know Sept will be hot, but at least we'll only have to pack for one season, not three!

This Sept trip does mean the H and S will miss the second week of school. However, they are off on Monday for Labor Day, we travel Tuesday, and they don't have school Thursday for Rosh Hashanah. I don't think missing 3 days right after school starts will be a huge deal. Guess we'll find out.

This will be our first time in a moderate. On our three prior trips we stayed at WL (Jan 2009) and Poly (Jan 2010 and 2011). We had to skip Disney in 2012 because my older sister got married in Jamaica and we HAD to go there instead (bummer ). Then Baby J was born in Nov, which meant no Jan 2013 trip. I had originally booked our stay at the BC, but after reading a TON about POFQ and how much everyone loves it, decided to save almost $1000 by switching. It's been an expensive year with a new baby!

Well, that's a good start. Here are some pics from our prior trips.

2009, when H and S were 6:



2010, our BIG 7 night deluxe dining trip:



2011, our trip with the cousins:



Up next: our park days and dining plans!
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Nov 14 ~ Poly * Sept 13 ~ POFQ * Jan 11 ~ Poly * Jan 10 ~ Poly * Jan 09 ~ WL * Feb 02 ~ DTD * Mar 97 ~ CBR * Mar 89 ~ off site


Last edited by cdhale; 08-29-2013 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
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Passing the time at work... here's H and S in Jamaica last June with their little old lady hats on.

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Old 07-24-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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Following along.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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Joining in! Your family is adorable!
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
cdhale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Following along.
Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by klacey1 View Post
Joining in! Your family is adorable!
Yay! Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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We stayed at POFQ for the 1st time in June and loved it!! Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farah View Post
We stayed at POFQ for the 1st time in June and loved it!! Looking forward to reading more!
I can't wait to try it out. I love all the pics... it looks so peaceful!
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #8
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Joining in! Your kids are so cute
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:30 AM   #9
cdhale
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Day 1/Sept 3 Travel

We begin our adventure on Tuesday, Sept 3. The day after Labor Day and the first day of free dining (thus dictating the first day of our trip). Plus it's much cheaper to fly on a Tuesday! We always take the earliest direct flight from BWI to MCO we can get, and this year we leave at 7:30 a.m., set to arrive in Orlando at 9:50.

We only live about 15 minutes from the airport, and we will (of course) have packed the day before. We plan on getting to the airport at 6:15, driven by Dbf so we don't have to leave my car.

Once through check in (Airtran, boarding passes will be printed in advance and checked luggage paid for) and security, H and S will probably get their traditional hard boiled eggs for breakfast.

Eggs in 2009:


Eggs in 2010:



Eggs in 2011:


Upon landing in MCO we'll head on down to DME and get on the bus for our first stay at POFQ!
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney9.9.10 View Post
Joining in! Your kids are so cute
Thanks!! I think so, too.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:17 AM   #11
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Day 1/Sept 3 Plans

I 'm hoping we get to POFQ around 11:30 and will, of course, head right to check in. I'm 2 for 3 on my room being ready this early in recent trips. We're booked in a garden view room; I don't make any advance requests or do on line check in. I just like to arrive and see what we get. I will note, however, that for our WL stay and both our Poly stays we had ground room floors and I really like not having to deal with elevators. I also like having the walk-out patios, and at Poly we were right next to the quiet pool.

If our room is ready we'll drop our stuff and head to the bus for Epcot. If not, we'll probably eat lunch at the food court, or maybe take a walk to POR. In any event, we need to be at Epoct by 6:30 for our first ADR: Garden Grill.

We've been there once, in 2010:





We liked to food, loved the atmosphere, and had a great server. Plus it wasn't very crowded and the characters spent a ton of time with us. I think we saw Chip and Dale three times. It was one of my DDs favorite character meals that trip (and we did seven or eight), and was a must for them on this trip.

I'm sure we'll stay at Epcot until close. We'll ride Soarin' and Test Track if we can get fast passes or if the wait isn't too long (September crowd help anyone?), ride the Nemo ride, and walk around the world showcase. My girls love to shop! We may or may not watch Illuminations. Then we'll head back to the resort, unpack, and go to sleep because I want to make AK EMH the next morning!
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:37 AM   #12
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I just read that the Jungle Cruise is going to be closed during our trip, and Space Mountain will be closed for the first half of it!
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:58 AM   #13
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Hellooooo.... anyone out there??

I will plow ahead with Day 2. Sept 4 brings us EMH at AK, so we will most likely start our day there and try to get there for rope drop at 8. The last couple trips we've gone to Tusker House for breakfast, but we're going to skip that this time as we're not on the deluxe plan.

Overexposed TH pic, 2011:



So where can we get a quick bit to eat in AK first thing in the morning?

Must do rides for us are Dinosaur (my favorite!!), Kali River Rapids, Primeval Whirl (DDs only) and EE. I also want to see the bird show and It's Tough to be a Bug. If crowds are low, we'll probably do the safari as well. We'll spend some time walking around and exploring the trails, and may pick up lunch if we get hungry.

Need lunch recommendations as well!

At some point we'll head back to POFQ, hit the pool, get cleaned up, walk to POR for our 6:30 Boatwright's ADR, then hop on the boat (weather permitting) to DTD for some evening fun.

We have NEVER been to Disney Quest. Should we give it a try?
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:21 PM   #14
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Sounds like a good plan! We ate at Yak and Yeti CS and did not enjoy it much. We were going to eat at Pizzafari and wish we would have done that. Oh well it was an experience. We did find this kiosk in Asia that had boneless buffalo wings. They were not too bad.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:18 AM   #15
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Subbing!
Not long to go, summer is flying by. My dd and I will be there similar days, the 6th to 14th on girls only trip. We are sneaking in the trip to meet up with a gf whose AP runs out that time frame. Plus last year dd loved the MNSSHP excited to go again this year.

Staying at the Values with just counter service the last trip we voted not to spend the time on table service. But we do have an ADR at GF 1900 Park Fare.
We generally do breakfast at the resort, we are not big eaters when we wake up. But, in the afternoon dd and I love the Flame tree.

I loved the direct flights, this is our first connecting one in years. thought I was going with ME only this trip so went with McO. Now I have a car ressie just in case.
Watching for your update.

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