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Old 09-20-2014, 10:51 PM   #1
YawningDodo
Earning My Ears
 
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I said I'd stay away for five years: a former CM's September 2015 solo odyssey

Howdy howdy howdy. I'm still in the early stages of planning, but thought I'd throw up a pre-trip report to keep all my thoughts in one place! Current plans are for a 6 day vacation in September 2015 (plus two days for travel).

The cast: just me! You can call me Dodo.



This is me back in 2009. There is less of me now -- down from 250 lbs to 170 and never going to get used to people assuming I'm one of those naturally skinny people. Still, I don't really have a lot of pictures of myself online and I want to show off what I did for MNSSHP back then.

A little background on my experience with Disney and what I mean in the title of the thread is in order. I'm a former WDW CM; I was in the College Program spring 2006 and fall 2009 and worked backstage both times. While I have a lot of fond memories of my time there, I'm not going to tell you about most of the ones that happened at work. I was one of the ones who spent most of my days off in the parks, and I spent a lot of those days just wandering alone. Being able to just wake up and decide that you feel like going to the Animal Kingdom for a couple hours changes your perspective, and by the end of my 2009 program I realized that WDW had become too normal for me and I needed some time away from it to let the magic return.

Of course, that didn't stop me from craving a return to WDW for the next five years. I've been kind of weirdly ambivalent about Disney World, but in a lot of ways it feels just as much like home as any of the places I've lived in the last decade, and I was honest to goodness homesick for the first few years whenever the topic came up. Well, I told myself "maybe in five years," and now, just under five years out, I'm planning my first return as a guest.

Last edited by YawningDodo; 09-20-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:52 PM   #2
YawningDodo
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Reserving this for a table of contents...we'll see how well I even keep up with it.

Starting out: I want to do what now?

Last edited by YawningDodo; 09-20-2014 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:56 PM   #3
YawningDodo
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The plan: Is nebulous as yet! I have my dates set for the middle of September, and I know I'm going to have six full days to spend in theme parks. My original intention was to do five days at WDW and one at Universal, staying at POP the entire time, but now I think I'm going to do a split stay between POP and Cabana Bay so I can have two days to relax and do Universal right. I still have lots of love for WDW, but let's face it, I've done everything that was there in 2009 eight hundred times. I've only been to Universal three times, and each time for only one day. I'm really looking forward to the Harry Potter lands, and I do love a good roller coaster. I'm just not sure yet which I want to do first...Universal is probably going to be more low-key, which would make it good for the end, but going to Universal first and then "home" to WDW is emotionally appealing.

Either way I'm going to have to talk to my poor TA about running yet another quote when I'd already told her I was ready to make the seven-night POP reservation once I got my payment authorization to her early next week. I don't think I really need a TA for planning purposes, but having her there to get me the discounts that pop up in the coming year is reassuring. I'm the least punctual person I know, and I'm liable to put off doing that kind of thing and cost myself a bunch of money.

The possible upcoming changes: I already brought the trip up with my brother (he's my usual traveling partner) and he doesn't want to go. He grew out of WDW; I seriously didn't. I do have a friend who would like to go if she can get the money together, but it's fairly unlikely that she will. Finally, whenever I get my courage up to let my parents know I'm doing this thing (just waiting for "darling, are you sure that's a good way to spend your money?" and having to explain that none of this is reducing the payments I'm making into my Serious Adult Savings Accounts) I'm planning to invite Mom to come with me. While I'd love to do this as a solo trip, she and I don't get to spend much time together anymore and I feel like I should give her the option. She was the one who first introduced me to WDW, after all (I'd invite Dad, but he hates amusement parks). I honestly don't know if she's going to want to come, but my plan is to figure out what I'm doing solo and couch it in terms of "this is what I'm doing no matter what, but you're welcome to join me."

The pre-trip preparation: Besides all the hullabaloo associated with making reservations, choosing ADRs, and reading up on touring suggestions now that things have moved around or been replaced in some of the parks, I also want to spend this year refreshing myself on all the movies represented in the parks! I'm thinking that means watching the entire Disney animated canon (well, minus Song of the South, obviously), and maybe some of the live action films. For the Universal side, I'll definitely be rereading/rewatching all of Harry Potter; I'll have to read over their lists of attractions and decide what else I want to review. Movie and book lists to come later once I've decided the scope of this project.

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