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Old 06-27-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
ddstratton
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Cool 1 year, 10 months and 16 days from today - A May 2016 PTR Updated 9/15

Yup. That's how long it is until our next Disney trip. Long time, huh? But it's been even longer since we've BEEN to Disney World. Our last trip was in May 2010. I'm having serious Disney Withdrawals, so I figured I would go ahead and start a pre-trip report. Even though the trip is 1 year, 10 months and 16 days from today.

Why 1 year, 10 months and 16 days from today? Because DH and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary during this planned trip. What better reason to plan a great trip? I love planning a good trip!

So, I’ll start off with introductions!

There’s me – Darla. Currently 42 years old, will be 44 on the trip. Major trip planner. Love to plan. Yet, I’m not stuck to the plan – I can be flexible. I guess I like to plan so that I know our options.



With me in this pictures is my DH – Duane. He is currently 44, and will be 46 on the trip. This was taken Gatlinburg, TN in March 2014. He is NOT a trip planner. He says – Just tell me where we’re going and how to get there. But he does love Disney World. After our first trip (in 2008), he asked – So when are we going back? He doesn’t do many of the rides, but loves just walking around and people-watching.

Next up is our DD – Elizabeth. She is currently 15, and will be 17 on the trip. Totally obsessed with OLD country music. Jerry Reed, to be exact at the moment. Other favorites of hers are Johnny Horton, Hank Wililams Sr, Kris Kristopherson, etc.



This was taken on her birthday trip in March 2014. We stayed at a cabin in Gatlinburg that was originally built by Hank Williams Sr’s wife. The wrought-iron railing came from their house in Nashville, and contained the notes for Lovesick Blues.



Last member of our travelling group is my Mom – Stella. She is currently 64, and will be 66 on this trip. She LOVES Disney World. We took her on her first trip (and ours) to Disney in October 2008. This picture is a good representation of her enthusiasm for travel.



Coming up – the where, when and other important details.
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May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; Yesterday at 11:20 AM.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:45 AM   #2
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Saved for links...

01. A bit more info...
02. Basic over-view of our 25th Anniversary Trip Plans
03. More on who’s gonna be on this-here trip.
04. Modes of Transportation
05. 1 Year, 9 months and 29 days
06. Introductions for the Mini Trip Report
07. Mini Trip Report, Day 1
08. Mini Trip Report, Day 2
09. Mini Trip Report, Day 3
10. Mini Trip Report, Day 4
11. Mini Trip Report, Day 5
12. Mini Trip Report, Day 6, Part 1
13. Mini Trip Report, Day 6, Part 2
14. Mini Trip Report, Day 6, Part 3
15. Mini Trip Report, Day 7, Part 1
16. Mini Trip Report, Day 7, Part 2
17. Mini Trip Report, Day 8, Part 1
18. Mini Trip Report, Day 8, Part 2
19. Mini Trip Report, Day 9
20. Mini Trip Report, Day 10
21. Mini Trip Report, Day 11
22. Old Crow Medicine Show in Concert
23. Family Reunion
24. Starting Out
25. County Fair!!
26. Day 2 Plans
27. Day 3 Plans
28. Day 4 Plans

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Darla

May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

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Old 06-28-2014, 03:46 PM   #3
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A bit more info.

When. Well, in 1 year, 10 months and 15 days. May 13, 2016, to be exact. Yup, we’re starting our 25th anniversary vacation on Friday the 13th. Good thing we’re not superstitious, huh? This will end up being quite a long trip, too. We will be away from home for about 2 and a half weeks total.

We will be driving south, so the trip will end up taking us about three days (details on why so long to follow). We’ll be spending five days at a non-Disney location, then 7 days at Disney, then another 3 days at another non-Disney location. Travel home will be via Auto Train, then driving the final portion home, arriving home on May 31st.

Our 25th anniversary is on May 18th, which will occur during the first non-Disney portion of the trip.

Yeah, this was 23 years ago…



Coming up – basic over-view of the plans…
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Darla

May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; 07-12-2014 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:36 PM   #4
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Basic over-view of our 25th Anniversary Trip Plans

This trip has been a long time in the planning. Basically, since our last trip in May 2010. We’ve had a couple of false starts – trips that we started to plan then ended up falling through for one reason or another. However this trip has a great reason behind it, and I don’t see this trip not happening. We are all fairly excited for it already!

Basic plan – have as much fun as we can squeeze in to 2+ weeks! Seriously – the entire trip should take just over two weeks. We live in Upstate NY, and will be driving. The first part of the trip will be a three-day drive from NY to FL, with a stop-over to visit some family. We’ll then be spending five nights at the CocoPlum Resort in Marathon, FL. I first heard of this place from DizneyDawn’s trip report, and just love the look of the place.



After five nights in the Keys, we’ll head back to Orlando for 7 nights at the Caribbean Beach resort. We stayed at this resort for our first Disney trip in October 2008, and just loved it. We unanimously decided that this would be our resort for this trip.



After our time at Disney, we are going to the Dark Side – three nights at the new Cabana Bay resort at Universal Studios. We have never been to Universal, so this will be an entirely new experience.

To finish off the trip, we’ll be taking the Auto Train back North, with a six-hour drive after leaving the train to get home.



So, that’s the basic overview of the planning. Coming up – some more in-depth intros.
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Darla

May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; 07-12-2014 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:42 PM   #5
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More on who’s gonna be on this-here trip.

Alrighty, let’s get a little more info on who-all will be along for this ride.

First off – ME! I’m Darla. Currently 42 years old. I’ve been to Disney twice before – in October 2008 and in May 2010. If you’re interested, I’ve got links to the trip reports in my signature. I am a mega-planner. I love to plan. Especially vacations. Most especially Disney vacations! I love reading other peoples’ trip reports for ideas and hints. I am the main photographer in the group – I LOVE taking pictures. I’m not a pro by any means, but I love doing it. Unfortunately, this means that I am NOT in most of the pictures. I do get in a few, as DD and Mom both have cameras as well. They just don’t use them as much as I use mine.

Here are a couple pictures of me during our 2008 trip…





And from our 2010 trip…





Next up is DH – Duane. He goes along with all of my vacation planning without much fuss. He loves vacation time. Especially Disney vacation time. I didn’t think he’d actually like Disney much, before our first trip. However, after the trip – he was asking when we were going back! He doesn’t do many of the rides, but loves to go along and just people-watch while we get our ride on. He is the driver on our trips, most of the time. He’s our main bag-carrier in the park, as he doesn’t do most of the rides. He’s also been known to grab a camera and take some pictures while waiting for us riders.

A couple of DH from 2008…





And 2010…





Don’t let the expression fool you – he’s enjoying himself. This is what we call his ‘standard expression.’ We get this in most pictures of him…


DD – Elizabeth. She is currently 15 years old, and was born about 60 years too soon. She LOVES old country music. Johnny Horton, Hank Williams Sr, Johnny Cash, etc. Doesn’t care much for most newer music, but loves the old stuff. Learning to play guitar. Actually, she’s been taking lessons for a little over a year. She is getting pretty good. She loves vacation time. It’s the only time this girl gets up in the morning voluntarily. She was 9 and 11 on our last Disney trips, but says she doesn’t remember much about them. We go through the photo albums and talk about the trips, and she’ll remember little bits and pieces. She is looking forward to all portions of this upcoming trip.

Here she is in 2008…





And in 2010…





Mom. Will be 66 years old on this planned trip. Absolutely loves our vacations. I think she enjoys them the most out of all of us. And it shows. She simply soaks it all in and just enjoys it.

2008…




and 2010:





Well, that’s a bit more info on who’s going on this trip.
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Darla

May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

Last edited by ddstratton; 07-12-2014 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:19 PM   #6
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Darla, I saw the link to your PTR in your post on my thread. I'm here.

I am impressed that you are doing a PTR for 2016. You rock.

We were in Marathon, Florida, for one day in 2013 on a business trip my husband had. It's beautiful there; I wish we could have stayed longer.

That's a long drive to get there, but it appears you don't mind the drive.

I look forward to hearing more of your plans as they come along.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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Hi there! Yup, I'm doing a VERY EARLY pre-trip report. I am having such Disney Withdrawals, that I figured this was a good way to keep it at bay.

We're really looking forward to the Marathon portion of the trip - it does look beautiful.

We don't mind the drive -- actually, that's part of the fun for us. We all seem to love a good road trip. Well... Except Mom, when we go through a big city. Then she looks kinda like this...

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May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

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Old 07-04-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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I can't say that I blame her with the traffic...and that coming from a gal who has lived in Chicago all her life.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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Modes of Transportation

As with past trips, we will be having a mixture of transporation modes. We will be making the trip down via automobile. Currently, that would be a 1995 Mercury Villager minivan. Yup, the van is almost 20 years old! However, we’ve only had it since February of this year. Whoever had it before us took REALLY good care of it. It runs great and has very little rust (almost none!!)



Gotta say – we love a good road trip. We load the van up with snacks and drinks, make sure the MP3 player is loaded with LOTS of music and just enjoy the view. DH will do most of the driving. Occassionally, he will have me drive for a while, but usually – that’s his job.

We usually hit almost every rest area on the way down, as well as stopping for gas and food. We are NOT in a hurry, trying to “make good time.” The drive is part of the fun, not something to be done with as soon as possible!

On the way home, a good portion of our trip will be by means of the Auto Train. We’ve taken the Auto Train on both of our previous trips to Disney World. It’s not the cheapest mode of transportation, but we love it. We get the roomettes when we travel, rather than going coach. I don’t think we would enjoy it nearly as much if we did not have the roomettes for some privacy/security as we sleep.





Once we leave the Auto Train, we’ll finish out the trip with a little more driving. We are about 6 hours from home, once we leave the train station.
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Darla

May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report

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Old 07-08-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
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I like how you make the drive fun. I've never done an autotrain before...that sounds like it would be quite an adventure.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #11
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Hey Darla!

I just found your PTR! Looks like you have an awesome trip planned. The resort in Marathon looks beautiful and a week at CBR can't be beat. And then 3 more nights at Universal Studios. How perfect!

Love the introductions for everyone!

Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:25 AM   #12
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Hey Darla, just found your pretrip, I love the keys we go snorkeling when we go down there. They are just so relaxing and beautiful, are you driving down to see Key West it is a lot of fun. I can't wait to see the pictures.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
I like how you make the drive fun. I've never done an autotrain before...that sounds like it would be quite an adventure.
We love our road trips. We've enjoyed the Auto Train both times we've taken it. Mom says it's a vacation in itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Hey Darla!

I just found your PTR! Looks like you have an awesome trip planned. The resort in Marathon looks beautiful and a week at CBR can't be beat. And then 3 more nights at Universal Studios. How perfect!

Love the introductions for everyone!

Looking forward to reading more!
We're really looking forward to this trip - it's gonna be fun planning it out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesprivate View Post
Hey Darla, just found your pretrip, I love the keys we go snorkeling when we go down there. They are just so relaxing and beautiful, are you driving down to see Key West it is a lot of fun. I can't wait to see the pictures.
We'll have several days in Marathon, just to relax. We do plan on taking at least one day and visit Key West.
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Darla

May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:52 PM   #14
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Never too early for a pre trip report!
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakeLisa View Post
Never too early for a pre trip report!

I love a good pre-trip report. And writing one will help keep me busy until our trip!
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Darla

May 2016 Pre-Trip Report <--Also includes a Mini Trip Report of our March 2014 trip to Asheville/Gatlinburg

May 2010 - Port Orleans French Quarter Pre-Trip Report and
The AutoTrain, Disney World and More! Trip Report


October 2008 - Caribbean Beach
Pre-Trip Report and Trip Report
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