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Old 03-01-2014, 10:56 PM   #1
hokieinpa
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And for the first time in FOREVER...Back to WDW October 2014

Welcome to my first ever PTR!

It's been over 20 years since my last visit to WDW when I was 9 so this really is the first time in FOREVER!

We'll be at WDW October 19-25 and staying at the AOA Nemo Family Suites. There are 7 of us altogether - me, the husband, 3 boys, and my parents!

Here is our group!

First is me - Jamie!


And just for giggles, here is me on my last trip to WDW. I think it must have been around 1993. And yes, that's a red fannypack.



Next is the husband - Jim


Now our 3 boys!

Nate! He will be 4 for our trip (and I need to measure him to see if he hits the magical 40" mark!)


Colin! He will be 2 for our trip


Jacob! Our baby - he will be 1.5 for the trip


And my wonderful parents - Jim and Diana (yes, the husband and my dad have the same first time - it makes life interesting!)



I am an ultra-planner so I'm looking forward to adding all the details that have been swimming around in my head or that I've scribbled in a notebook for months now!

The Plan:
Travel
The Resort
Daily Plan
Dining/ADRs UPDATE - ADRs
Updated Daily Plans
Must Dos
MNSSHP
Packing and Packing and Packing
Extra Magic!

Disney Mail!
Non-Disney To Dos!

Last edited by hokieinpa; 04-22-2014 at 05:27 AM. Reason: link
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:17 PM   #2
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I'm here!!! Great start!

How awesome is that pic of you at WDW way back when!! Haha, even with the fanny pack!

Your boys are so cute, but man o man that Jacob in those little glasses- ADORABLE!

Can't wait to read moreeeeeee!!!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:17 AM   #3
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YAY!!! I'm here too

The kids are TOO CUTE!!!
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
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Joining in! We will be there for the exact same dates! =D
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:49 PM   #5
hokieinpa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denovagirl View Post
I'm here!!! Great start!

How awesome is that pic of you at WDW way back when!! Haha, even with the fanny pack!

Your boys are so cute, but man o man that Jacob in those little glasses- ADORABLE!

Can't wait to read moreeeeeee!!!
I'm excited to hear your input when I get more posted!

And the glasses make him even cuter, if that's possible! When we take them off he just doesn't look like himself!
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sweetpeaandevie View Post
YAY!!! I'm here too

The kids are TOO CUTE!!!
Thanks! So excited to really start planning in a few weeks when EMHs and ADRs open up!
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:54 PM   #7
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Joining in! We will be there for the exact same dates! =D
That's great that we'll be there the same dates! And you'll be just across the bridge at POP (guessing from your signature)? It looks like our kids are close to the same age too!
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
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Travel

Crazy...but we're driving!

We live in central Pennsylvania - a 15 hour drive to Orlando, FL. But we'll be stopping for a few days to meet up with my parents in Virginia and do some fun things there before continuing our WDW trek!







We're going to be driving the 8-9 hours to Jacksonville, FL on Saturday 10/18. We're going to stop, have dinner, let the boys swim in the hotel pool, and get some good sleep before waking up and finishing the 2-3 hour drive to Orlando.




We could make the drive from Virginia to Orlando in one day pretty easily. But with 3 kids I want to give them plenty of breaks. I'm sure we'll stop every 2-3 hours for a bathroom break, snack, walk around time. The 8-9 hour drive to Jacksonville will take closer to 10-11

I'm already buying fun car toys/activities - Color Wonder stuff, stickers, small toys. And I'm sure we'll be watching Disney movies the whole way down! Any more ideas on keeping kids entertained on long trips are appreciated!
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hokieinpa View Post
That's great that we'll be there the same dates! And you'll be just across the bridge at POP (guessing from your signature)? It looks like our kids are close to the same age too!
Yes we will be! We plan on doing dinner at Aoa at least once as well maybe we 'll run into you! Also funny, were driving too, from va with a stop in savannah, ga. Looking forward to your PTR!
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:54 PM   #10
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Your drive sounds fun! I would love to road trip it to Disney, and I am sure we will one day, but for now with the hubs schedule it is just too hard to get a lot of time off, and it would cut into our theme park time waaaay too much.

The kids museum and zoo sound so fun though! Totally something I would do as well!!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:40 PM   #11
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The Resort

We have a really hard number and combination of people - 4 adults and 3 kids. One will still be in a pack & play for the trip.

So our choices were:

1. A Villa OOP or with rented DVC points
2. 2 rooms at a Value or Moderante
3. A family suite at a Value

A Villa would have been great. I even priced it out on a rental site at about $3400. But we would still have to buy tickets and either a dining plan or food OOP. That got expensive FAST! So off the table!

So it came down to either 2 Moderate rooms or a family suite at a Value.

I think Port Orleans Riverside is beautiful! I would love to stay in the Alligator Bayou rooms!



The total for 2 Preferred Rooms and 6 Days of tickets would be $4395.

Pros:
-Beautiful!
-Great pool
-If we get the DDP for free, we wouldn't need to pay for an upgrade
-2 rooms so if the kids go to sleep, the adults can stay up a little later in the connecting room

Cons:
-Connecting rooms aren't guaranteed
-I've heard the bus service can be slow
-No common "seating area" for when we're not sleeping


Our other choice is a family suite at the Art of Animation. We're torn between Finding Nemo and Cars since the boys love both movies.



The total for a family suite and tickets for 6 days would be $3500. We're betting on free dining and will upgrade from the QS plan to the Regular plan which will be an additional $525. This brings the total to $4025.

Pros
-Cheaper!
-Fun theme and pool
-I've heard the bus service can be pretty quick
-Common living area for everyone


Cons
-Have to pay additional $$ to upgrade dining
-Beds will be a tight squeeze - we are at the max of 6 and are using the trick of adding one child, under 3, in a pack & play, to the occupancy (it's ok, Disney knows!)



So...as of now we're going with Art of Animation. It's cheaper even with the upgrade and the boys will love the theme. I'm also scared that we won't have connecting rooms at POR. Then we've lost the whole point of getting 2 rooms at a moderate.

We only have another year or two that we will be able to squeeze into a family suite. Once the baby turns 3 we'll be splitting into 2 Moderate rooms. But for now we'll go with the family suite!

Right now we're booked in a Nemo suite at AOA.



I wonder if we can change our minds and switch to a Cars suite easily? The boys love both movies so I don't think there is a wrong choice in that department. I have heard that the Nemo rooms can get loud with the pool right outside.

Last edited by hokieinpa; 03-07-2014 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:57 PM   #12
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I like your choice! They're the closest to the pool and the main building and buses! I wish I could have that location!!! All the suites are in a building, there's no balconies or anything so I don't think that noise will be an issue for you. I would stay put and just wander over and check out the cars area one day! Plus the blue room seems peaceful to me! I love the whole underwater thing!
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollicollins View Post
Yes we will be! We plan on doing dinner at Aoa at least once as well maybe we 'll run into you! Also funny, were driving too, from va with a stop in savannah, ga. Looking forward to your PTR!
Do you know how far the drive from Savannah to Disney is? I've thought about that as a stop as well!
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Denovagirl View Post
I like your choice! They're the closest to the pool and the main building and buses! I wish I could have that location!!! All the suites are in a building, there's no balconies or anything so I don't think that noise will be an issue for you. I would stay put and just wander over and check out the cars area one day! Plus the blue room seems peaceful to me! I love the whole underwater thing!
I love the blue room too! I'm sure we'll explore the resort and see everything! And it seems like the pool will be a big hit and really great for kids. Plus the food court sounds yummy!!!
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:16 PM   #15
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I REALLY loved the food court there! They have a build-your-own pasta bar thats cook-to-order and I LOVVVVVVVVVED it! I can't wait to go back!!
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