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Old 07-27-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
ABCastillo
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The Monorail, a Double Stroller and a New Little Brother

Hello Everyone!

This is my first pre-trip report, and our second trip to WDW as our little family. This time around we have a few new things for this trip: the monorail, a double stroller and a new little brother (more on this later).

I am the crazy planner. Spreadsheets, strategies, crowd calendars, reviews… I love them all!

I'll get started with some introductions.

Our Cast

I'm Mama! I work full time as an engineer and absolutely love all things Disney. I love to sew costumes, dresses and outfits for my little ones.

DH (aka Daddy) is finishing a PhD and has grown to love Disney (especially the food). Character meet and greets might be his favorite part (after the food).

DD (2 yo) is quickly becoming my Disney buddy. Her favorites are Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Woody and Ariel. Right now I think she wants to be a mermaid or Doc McStuffins when she grows up.

DS (3 months) is my little man (and new baby). He has been a wonderful baby, has a beautiful smile and right now is Mama’s little boy.

Mimi (aka Grandma) is also a huge Disney fan and is coming along with us this trip. She spends a lot of time with DD and DS while Mama and Daddy are at work so this is a little treat for her from us for helping us so much in the early years of our little family.

When

We love to travel to Florida in the winter. It’s cold at home, and it is nice to go somewhere with some sunshine. Plus, we want low crowds because we have two little ones.

So, it’s January 2014!

Where

Walt Disney World here we come! Now where to stay... DH has one request - the monorail!

Why

Well, because we love Disney! We went for the first time (as a little family) last January 2013 with our extended family and we are officially addicted!

I’m excited to share our experience, plan with all of you and learn new things about Disney planning. There will be projects, countdowns, and more!
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January 2014 PTR: The Monorail, a Double Stroller and a New Little Brother
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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More Background Info (and Snow White)

More Background Information

So our trip in January 2013 was a bigger cast. 13 to be exact (plus Mama was 5 months pregnant!). Ages ranged from 2 to 72. My grandmother has been fighting Ovarian Cancer for the last 6 years. She has been incredibly brave and strong. I admire her strength so much. She wanted to see her Great-Grandchildren meet Mickey and get one more picture with him herself. So we gathered the team together and off we went. We had the most amazing time, and I am so happy we were able to go.

This time around, we only have five. This will be our first big trip as a little family, and I am so excited. We are bringing my mom (Mimi) with us this time. She spends a lot of time with us and the kids, so we decided to invite her along. And for the first time in 3 years Mama is going to Orlando when she is NOT pregnant. Somehow I have managed to make a trip to WDW and a second to US and both times I've been pregnant. But not this time! This time I am planning on fully enjoying rides, time in the parks without swollen feet AND maybe some wine.

and Snow White

This is Project #1 and Great-Grandma at Disney 2013



This was a Snow White dress I made for our Jan 2013 trip. She still wears it all the time so I have decided to share. She has not grown much weight wise, but is taller. So the dress these days is a little short. I might find some way to lengthen it for this trip if it still fits otherwise.

It's a simple cotton dress, washes well and is comfy. Perfect for any toddler!

But this time I do have some new projects:

Tinker Bell (also for Halloween and her birthday)
Belle
Jake (and the Neverland Pirates)
Prince Charming

I'm starting with Tinker Bell since we will wear it for Halloween. I'm making my own pattern for this one, which is a first for me. It will have lots of tulle, shiny satin and of course some sparkle!
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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Sounds awesome! I am sure you will be excited to not be pregnant this time around! i have two little girls under three and we are going in December to Disney and universal! what kind of double stroller do you think you will use? i have a sit and stand stroller so i don't think that would be good for park touring so i have been asking around on if i should take two umbrella strollers or if i should rent one from a nearby location. happy planning!
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Deslovesdisney08 View Post
Sounds awesome! I am sure you will be excited to not be pregnant this time around! i have two little girls under three and we are going in December to Disney and universal! what kind of double stroller do you think you will use? i have a sit and stand stroller so i don't think that would be good for park touring so i have been asking around on if i should take two umbrella strollers or if i should rent one from a nearby location. happy planning!

Thanks for reading! I decided to go with a City Mini Double Stroller which we will bring with us. I really wanted a side by side with seats that lay flat. It's also only 30 inches wide, so it fits through doorways and has big canopies. Only bad thing is that I had to buy accessories like the snack tray separate and you really can't fit a big diaper bag in the basket. But it is super sturdy, glides along so well, and my favorite part... it folds from the seat. Last January I struggled with folding my Graco with handle/traditional fold. It was such a pain. Then I saw someone with the City Mini Double fold it in one second and just throw it into a taxi. I was totally hooked! I've heard really good things about the Britax double stroller too. We aren't big fans of umbrella strollers, mostly because they don't lay flat and the handles are to short for DH. I got my City Mini from Amazon, they run a few good sales every few months that will sometimes include a 3 month trial of their Amazon Mom service.

Sorry if that was long winded... I sort of love kid gadgets.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:07 AM   #5
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More on the When and Where

Kids got me up bright and early this morning. So, we are enjoying an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while Mama checks her email (and maybe the Disboards. This place is very addicting!)

More on the When and Where

Now we knew that we wanted to stay in January, but exactly when? After consulting several crowd and holiday calendars we chose the last week of January. Kids aren't in school, I get my vacation allotment for the year in January and DH will have some vacation built up with his new job (no more school for DH YAY!)

Now for where. Last January we stayed at POR in a Royal Room. It was absolutely wonderful! Beautiful room, gorgeous landscaping and a great pool. But there was the bus... Now, I didn't really have any issues with the bus. It came frequently enough, was air conditioned and people were nice. But we had to fold our stroller (that didn't fold well) constantly, stroller was heavy and it was hard to find a home for it when the bus was crowded (which was often because that is a big resort). Then one evening we took the monorail! My DH was in love. Didn't have to fold the stroller, didn't have to disturb DD, dropped us off at the door to the park. It really was brilliant! So, DH had one request for location: a monorail resort. He really wanted to be able to use the monorail as much as possible so we didn't have to break down the stroller (now a double stroller) constantly. And maybe we could even walk to a park.

With that we decided to stay at the Contemporary Resort! I am so excited about this one. I've never stayed at a Deluxe and we can walk to MK! We decided to go for the Garden Wing to save money (DH did just finish that PhD). When the kids get bigger and can appreciate more of the little things I think we will try for a TPV room.

On the morning that we could finally make our reservation, I had to be at work. PLUS I had meetings all day. There was no way I could book it quickly and I knew that those Garden View rooms booked up quickly. DH came to the rescue! He jumped on the phone and was able to secure a room only one day off from our original plan! (I'm slowly teaching him all the wonderful things I've learned about Disney planning.)

So that is how the when and the where came to be. You'll probably notice our monorail, double stroller and new baby brother theme a lot. It's baby brother's first vacation, and a two kid vacation is a whole new exciting world for us! Next stop on the Disney Planning Monorail... ADRs!
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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Just starting to read some fellow January 2014 PTRs! I've always wanted to stay at the Contemporary. Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by katiee37 View Post
Just starting to read some fellow January 2014 PTRs! I've always wanted to stay at the Contemporary. Can't wait to read more!

Thanks for reading! I just read through your PTR yesterday, and it inspired me to start one! I can't wait to see your pics of AoA!
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABCastillo View Post
Thanks for reading! I just read through your PTR yesterday, and it inspired me to start one! I can't wait to see your pics of AoA!
Glad to know I was an inspiration! I need to get around to updating mine again!
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:59 AM   #9
ABCastillo
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ADRs and Tinkerbell

Food, Food and Food!

ADR day was actually this past Monday. I am almost a week late getting this posted! I had a very busy week at work, but DH came to the rescue again! After lots of appearances of Donald Duck, he ended up having to call the ADRs in. But he had success!!

Saturday: The Hollywood Brown Derby - Fantasmic Package
We've never seen Fantasmic so we are so excited!

Sunday: Cinderella's Royal Table
We might all be big Cinderella fans.

Monday: Epcot Day
We plan on keeping this day simple and just going with the flow. Will probably just try some different QS options in World Showcase.

Tuesday: Crystal Palace / Be Our Guest
We have a pre-park opening breakfast ADR at Crystal Palace AND Be Our Guest for Dinner!!

Wednesday: Chef Mickey's
Late breakfast at Chef Mickey's then a resort day!

Wednesday: Flying Fish Cafe - Chef's Counter
This is Mama and Daddy only. We are so excited!! This was one of DH's picks.

Thursday: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Another pre-park opening breakfast ADR. We'll spend the day at Epcot before heading home.

We are so excited for all of our meals. All will be a new experience!

Tinkerbell

On to project news! I have finally got the Tinkerbell costume cut out! It's a lot of tulle (like 7 layers) and satin bodice. All those layers took a little while to cut out but it is finally ready to sew! (Pictures to come!)
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:39 AM   #10
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Hi! Great to see another January PTR Well, I'm actually going in the first week of Feb 2014, but close enough :D So you really think it's a good time? Did you have any experience with tour groups?

Your daughter's Snow White costume looks adorable! Simple but so cute

Oh, I have to ask what type of Graco did you use? We used Graco Citi Light when touring Singapore last year, and thought they were great.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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Hi ABCastillo!

It's great to read your PTR. We're planning a trip in Jan also. I haven't finalized the dates yet, but either 2nd or 4th week of January. We may be there at the same time! We also are looking at Contemporary, Poly or GF due to monorail access!!!

Last time I was at Disney I was pregnant, so I know how you feel about finally getting a chance to ride the great rides! We're going to celebrate my kids bdays (both January babies).

Can't wait to read more about your plans!

The pic of your daughter with her Mimi is precious!
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lei View Post
Hi! Great to see another January PTR Well, I'm actually going in the first week of Feb 2014, but close enough :D So you really think it's a good time? Did you have any experience with tour groups?

Your daughter's Snow White costume looks adorable! Simple but so cute

Oh, I have to ask what type of Graco did you use? We used Graco Citi Light when touring Singapore last year, and thought they were great.
We love Florida in the winter! Last January we found the weather to be excellent, the lines to be reasonable and not to many tour groups. I don't think we ever encountered one of the massive groups I've read about from other people's TRs (we might have just got lucky though).

I can't remember the style of our Graco off the top of my head (haven't used it since I got the Baby Jogger) but it wasn't the Citi Light and I don't think they sell it any more. You have to twist the handle, push down and then out to fold it. It is the push down and then out that always gets us, especially when we are in a hurry.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TX Momof2 View Post
Hi ABCastillo!

It's great to read your PTR. We're planning a trip in Jan also. I haven't finalized the dates yet, but either 2nd or 4th week of January. We may be there at the same time! We also are looking at Contemporary, Poly or GF due to monorail access!!!

Last time I was at Disney I was pregnant, so I know how you feel about finally getting a chance to ride the great rides! We're going to celebrate my kids bdays (both January babies).

Can't wait to read more about your plans!

The pic of your daughter with her Mimi is precious!
Thanks for reading! That is so great that you'll be there for their birthdays! I would love to do that someday as well. It's just so cool to see people with their birthday pins and CMs are always stopping to say Happy Birthday!

I can't decide what ride I really want to try now that I can ride. We usually just stick to what our kids can ride, but I might have to squeeze in at least one thrill ride just because I can. Do you have any favorites or recommendations?
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #14
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Following along!
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #15
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My Little Tinkerbell

My Little Tinkerbell

I love to sew and before DD usually just quilted. After DD was born I ventured into making dresses for her and little costumes. I've now added little boy outfits to my sewing routine, but still collecting good patterns here. I find it so relaxing after a busy day at work. I like to sew in the playroom with the kids sometimes. They love to watch, and I try to find ways for them to help. I still don't have my own sewing room, but DH promised me one when we finish the basement some day. For now, my sewing room just travels around the house.

We are officially (well almost) finished with our Tinkerbell costume! I still need to hem the bottom and add buttons to the back, but here is what we have so far! DD's dream is to fly like a fairy. She was so excited to try it on and found her old wings and wand and "flew" (aka ran) around the house.



This is the first time that I made the pattern myself. It went a little slow, but was not bad. It's green satin, yellow tulle and a green sparkle tulle. I also picked up some nicer wings from the Disney Store when they went on sale (not in picture). Still need some shoes though.

Current plans are to wear it for Halloween, DD's birthday in December and on our trip. I can't decide if she should wear it the night we go to HS and Fantasmic or to meet the princesses at Epcot at the Royal Banquet Hall.

Other DD costumes still to make:

Cinderella
Maybe Wedding dress Cinderella and I found a new pattern I want to try!

Belle
I want to try to make my own pattern again and try to mimic Belle's dress in Fantasmic. I've only seen photos, but it looks beautiful!

Alice
This one is a maybe. I have to finish DS's costumes first!
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