2 vs 1: Mom's first trip outnumbered

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by cheap traveler, May 28, 2009.

  1. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Ok, so I’ve decided to try my hand at a trip report. Hopefully a few years of reading some great reports will help me a bit. I tried to keep notes on my trip last year, but never made it past the second day.
    So the cast for this trip, as it stands right now:

    Me: :banana:Heather/Mommy/26 turning 27 on our last full day. My first and second trips to Disney were both in 1998 with my Aunt and Uncle. I was 15 for the first trip, and 16 for the second trip. I fell in love with Disney at first sight.
    DD: princess:Isabella/Bella/5 and a half. She has a bit of a social delay. Very bright little girl, just has a very hard time with other children. Loves her sister dearly, also loves to torment her. Has never been too fond of characters, though her mean mommy keeps presenting character meals.
    DD: princess:Hailey/Bean/3. Has asthma, wasn’t diagnosed until December 08, despite her lips turning blue randomly since she was a few months old. It’s awfully funny when a doctor tells you her lips are blue because she is cold....in June....in a overheated, stuffy Walmart:confused3. Brilliant. She is a chatterbox, and loves all princesses, and has a red grape addiction first realized on her first trip to Disney at 14months. All she ate the whole trip was red grapes and cherry tomatoes. :laughing:

    There are a few other people that have been invited on this trip. I invited their father, though we are divorced:scared1:. We get along fairly well and the girls would love for him to come. He probably wont go because his new girlfriend might get mad. I also invited an old friend the kids like. He is the father of one of their playmates, but he has a major spending addiction so he will never be able to save enough money to go. The last of the invites is my best friend from the time we were 8. We grew up on the same street, and have managed to keep in touch all these years. She is able to save the money, has no time commitments that will prevent her from going, and would love the trip. Her major problem is her “boyfriend.” I put that in quotes because I have a hard time calling a 40something year old man a boyfriend. He is very controlling and she allows it. Long story, and I get too annoyed talking about it. So it seems as though I will be flying solo.

    A short history on my last 2 trips:
    September 2007 - Me, both girls, and my boyfriend at the time, Rob. We drove down from NY, stopped in GA for a quick visit with my grandparents. Great weather, normal Florida rain, small crowds, free dining. The major downfall of this trip was Rob had been lying to me about his smoking, and had me thinking he had quit a month before. So his mood was very dark after a few days due to not smoking.
    September 2008 - Me, both girls, and my sister Krissy. Again we drove. Krissy was sick our arrival day, but recovered quick. Again great weather, less rain than normal, small crowds. No free dining, trip was sort of last minute. Only problem on this trip was my sister’s bad attitude. When the kids got tired, they didn’t want her to push them in the stroller, they both wanted me. She took it personally and got angry with them:mad:. Whatever.

    So that’s it for now. Next up: some pre-planning.
     
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  3. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    A quick bit of info on this trip. We are flying out of Stewart AFB in NY the morning of August 19th, to arrive in Orlando around 11:30 am. We are staying at POP for 6 nights, leaving on August 25th. My birthday is the 24th, so we will be celebrating!! We have the free dining, and 5 day base tickets.
    More to come!!
     
  4. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    So on with the planning:goodvibes. We are 83 days out right now, but I have my detailed packing list (transferred from years past) and some things are in the bag. I live to plan a trip. It’s so disappointing when I don’t have a trip to plan. :guilty:
    I told my boss (aka my father;)) I would be late on the day I could make my dining reservations. So I get through at 7am, and they say I can expect a wait time of over 30 minutes:scared1:. After 13 minutes, I am crazy enough to move my cell phone so I can brush my daughter’s hair. My call got dropped! I was not happy.:mad: So after dropping the kids off at day care, I put the cell phone in hands-free and head to work:moped:. When I got there 15 minutes later, they were just answering. It’s now 8:25am 90 days out. My first reservation attempt - 1900 Park Fare for our arrival night, full. My second attempt, Tusker House for Breakfast on the 20th, full. It’s not looking good. So here are our dining plans:

    August 19th - none, hope to trade TS credits for CS credits, and maybe something added.
    August 20th - Animal Kingdom. Tusker House lunch
    August 21st - Magic Kingdom. Crystal Palace lunch
    August 22nd - Hollywood Studios. Hollywood and Vine lunch.
    August 23rd - Epcot. Akershus breakfast.
    August 24th - Magic Kingdom. Chef Mickey’s dinner.

    I tried for a lot of character meals because I am going to buy Bella an autograph book this year. I really hope she will warm up to the characters. I know in the past you have been able to exchange TS credits for CS credits and usually some other benefit, such as a snack credit or merchandise. We would love to have a quiet day at the hotel the day we arrive, just checking out all the sights and swimming, so a CS meal would work best. If not, than we may head over to the campground for dinner.
    Up next, more planning...
     
  5. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    Yeah!! I posted my first picture. This is our day one arrival at Epcot last year. More pictures from last year to follow
     
  6. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Ok, a few more pictures from last year.

    Our whole group. From left: Krissy, Hailey, Bella, and me
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A favorite shot, Hailey refusing to look at the camera
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ok now enough from me. Hope you are enjoying so far!!
     
  7. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    do I need a hook or something? Made it to the second page in only 14 hours :(
     
  8. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Ok, I'm back. The dining reservation list has changed only slightly. I made a dinner ressie for our arrival day, just in case I can't exchange TS for CS. After a few failed attempts, the CM offered the Grand Floridian Cafe. I had never heard of it, but I took it. After reviewing the menu on my beloved DIS, it looks like a good place. It will give the kids an early chance to ride the monorail - which they LOVE!

    So next, my worrying mind. DD3 was diagnosed with asthma in December, like I mentioned. I have no idea how she will do in FL heat and humidity, her dr says some people breathe better in that weather, some people breathe worse. So every day we will carry her "puffer", as she calls it, along with the "ducky" aka spacer.
    Next worry isn't mine. DD5 has been asking for months if she can wear her bathing suit on the plane. Why? Because she heard about the plane that crashed into the Hudson. That was close to home, so she also saw it on news commercials. This was her reaction the first time she saw it:
    :scared1:
    :eek:
    :idea:
    "Mommy, i case our plane lands in the water, can I wear my bathing suit? And my Crocs. 'Cause I don't want to get my regular clothes all wet."

    I keep reassuring her that our plane will not land in the water (I mean really, how often can that miracle happen?). So about a month ago I found these really cute matching dresses on clearance at the children's place. First thing Bella says when she sees hers is "It feels like a bathing suit. I can wear this on the plane because it will be OK if it gets wet!!":rotfl:
    Of course she realizes this, and not Mommy. But it has been decided that she can wear this on the plane, just to put her mind at ease. She has only flown once round trip - her first trip to Disney before she was 2. She is really worried about loud noises, so anything to help put her mind at ease is fine with me.
    The final big worry - as my title says, this is my first trip without another adult to help out. They are getting older now, so we will be fine I'm sure. We have joined a great double stroller swap, and they are mostly too afraid of being lost to leave my side.

    Up next...first day plans
     
  9. Disneychix

    Disneychix When you wish upon a star...

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    I"m here! :)

    I wanted to say the picture of your daughter turned backwards is the cutest picture ever! You must get a good laugh everytime you look at that!

    How smart your DD is to suggest wearing her bathing suit on the plane. At least she's not scared. She'll just be ready to swim!

    GOod luck taking the girls by yourself. What a nice mom!!
     
  10. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Ok, arrival day. We land in Orlando at 11:30am, barring any troubles. We have magical express, and the POP bus has always gone straight there, so we should be on-site by 12:30pm.

    First stop, check in desk. I plan to give the online check-in a try, hope it will save us some time.

    Second stop is food. My kids are very set in their ways when it comes to meal times. It really makes ADRs hard to get. They expect to eat within an hour of waking up, again at noon and 6pm. Snacks are more flexible.

    So food in our favorite food court, then off to our room if it is ready. Ready or not, next stop is the pool, where we plan to be parked for most of the remainder of the day. I am packing bathing suits in my carry on, so we won't have to wait for magical express to bring our bags.

    Once our room is ready, we will pick up our fridge and stroller, both from DIS swaps:cheer2:

    Right now dinner involves a bus ride to Epcot, a monorail ride to the TTC(? correct me if I'm wrong), and another monorail to the Grand Floridian. With any luck this will change to a short walk to the food court. Crazy, I know, but I am not concerned with getting the best bang for our DDP buck. It is free, so I don't really lose anything by eating cheaper food. All I lose is the stress of years past of trying to hurry to our ADR. Dont get me wrong, I do have meals planned, I am just going to try not to sweat the small stuff this trip.

    Day one will end with a bath, an episode of Hannah Montana in the room (DD5 never gets to watch at home - only basic cable), and early to bed.
     
  11. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much - my first response!!
    The picture of her back is my favorite from last year. I think she was just in awe of the castle. Couldn't be bothered to look at me:rotfl:

    Hope you enjoy!! Any questions or comments, please feel free!!
     
  12. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    I'm here as well. Your two girls are very cute and I also find that picture of her turning her back on you very cute.


    Also, I can understand your frustration about your sister's response on the last trip. As a parent, I've learned to just deal with those scenarios. Both my kids, especially my daughter, can tend to have Mommy days where my presence is not "appreciated." [I understand...have just learned not to take it personally...my wife takes it harder than I do] In fact, my daughter doesn't like me to give her bedtime kisses...she always wipes them off. So, now when she does that, I tell her "Oh, you're rubbing it in more, how sweet" and she cracks up and asks for another so I can say it again. A silly routine but it keeps us both happy.



    Anyway, excited to hear about your plans leading up to the big trip.
     
  13. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Yea!!! I have 2 readers!!:cheer2: Thank you!!

    Another chapter, the days are flying by. 76 days from now, we will be almost there!!!!:cool1:

    First a quick word on how I chose where to go each day. I go against the grain of so many Disney fans, and try my best to avoid EMH days. We like to hit the park at rope drop, and leave when we are ready. Sometimes we go back to the hotel for lunch, sometimes we don’t. Depends on our moods and energy levels really. So this year the only EMH we wont be able to avoid is day 3 at MK. It is a late EMH, so I hope we will be out of the park before the crowds get too big. I try to get the kids to bed close to their normal time most nights, it really helps for the next day.

    So Day 2

    This is our AK day. We LOVE AK. DDs love animals of all kinds, and the Lion King show is a must-see every year. I like that the park has shorter hours, it makes the evening easier for us. So on our must see list for AK are:

    Festival of the Lion King
    Finding Nemo the musical
    many animal walking trails
    Dinoland
    If DD3 is tall enough - Kali River Rapids
    Parade

    Anything extra beyond that is just a bonus. I don’t know if we will see It’s Tough to be a Bug this year. The kids aren’t crazy about it, and it seems to be one of those that we can skip for a couple of years and not miss.

    Our TS meal that day is Tusker House for lunch. I tried for breakfast, but they were full. The menu really looks interesting, and I know there are a few standards that the kids will eat even if they don’t try anything new.

    Dinner is still up in the air. We will have the voucher for Planet Hollywood, but I really don’t like the place. This may be another POP food court night. There are certainly enough choices to keep us happy. I would like to avoid downtown Disney this year, as it is always a major budget-buster for me.:lmao: Money is very tight this year, so being restricted to park shops will be good for me.

    If time permits, we will head for a quick swim, baths, and early to bed.

    Next up...Our first trip down main street USA in 2009.:dance3:
     
  14. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    possible change of plans for dinner on our AK day. After reading up on the new picnic in the park, I'm wondering if I can pick it up on our way out and have it for dinner at the hotel. Looks tasty, just not sure of the serving times?? Anyone know?
     
  15. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Brochure.

    Doesn't say specifically, but looks like something that you would be able to simply take with you if you wanted.

    I guess a question would be is if "food" is allowed on the buses.
     
  16. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the link!! I think they are ok with food on the busses, especially if we aren't eating it. We had breakfast on the bus a few times last year with no trouble. Definitly no 5 second rule in that situation:eek:
     
  17. maroo

    maroo DIS Veteran

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    I am here, too!!

    I love the pic of your daughter looking backwards at the castle!

    And the bathing suit idea for the plane ride is just hilarious!

    Looks like your plans are great! :thumbsup2
     
  18. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Woo-hoo!!! Three readers and two pages:yay:

    Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, we are sleeping on Thursday night, end of day 2.

    So day 3:

    Today is the big walk down Main Street USA:cheer2:
    As you can see from the picture of the back of Hailey, the girls love the castle. We are getting the photopass this year, so I am going to try for a few different shots by the castle. Hopefully with everyones faces:lmao:

    Our only ADR today is Crystal Palace for lunch - a first for us. We always do breakfast there, but decided on lunch this year. Our breakfast will be something easy in the room.

    As far as rides go, I'm sure we will head to Fantasyland first. If we can get these rides out of the way early, we can save some time versus the crowds that gather later on. There is no rush here for us, because we will be back on day 5, so it will be a go-with-the-flow type of the day.

    Side note: anyone familiar with the beautiful pavilion off to the right of the castle, surrounded by roses, on the water? Nice quiet place to sit and rest. Two years ago we were getting out of the rain, just relaxing down there. The girls were watching ducks swim by, they LOVE ducks. I turned away for one minute, and when I turned back my DD5 (then 3) was crying, with one shoe. She had seen a spider web in the railing, so she decided to knock it down with her shoe...and lost her shoe into the water. Really funny now, not so funny then when we had ADRs in an hour and she needed shoes for the restaurant. So that was the introduction of Mickey Crocs to our family. $35 later she had shoes on her feet and a new addicton.

    We now have 4 pair in our entry way. Even in the winter.

    So the moral to this story, we stay away from pretty resting spots that overlook water.:upsidedow

    Our day will end whenever everyone gets tired. Dinner can be CS in the park or at the hotel. A swim? Maybe. Fireworks? Maybe. Trying not to stress this year. I have no adult to relieve me if I'm overwhelmed, so I am just going to chill.

    If we do stay for fireworks, we will watch them from the bus stop. Learned last year you can see them fine, without the crowds. We couldn't hear the music from where we stood near the train station anyway, so no loss there.




    Thanks everyone fo reading. Keeping my hands busy so I'm not online shopping for Disney "stuff".
    :love:
     
  19. crocko

    crocko DVC Member

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    Haha

    Great story. I'm sure it was a tough situation at the time, but looking back it is those crazy stories likes those that end up being some of the best memories.

    Sounds like a great day you have planned out. Although, really any day in Magic Kingdom is a great day. :thumbsup2
     
  20. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    Quick update on the weekend before I continue the planning.

    A bit ago I had decided to order trading pins online to save some big money. The girls really got into pin trading last year, even Hailey. It's just too cute to watch them approach a CM and ask to see their pins. Our focus this year will be to complete our collention of full-body princess pins - meaning not just their head:lmao:
    S what does that have to do with this weekend? The pins arrived!!! I paid $1.28 each, free shipping. I was a little worried that they may not be "real", but they are. So we have 20 new pins just to trade - but the girls don't know. I think I will put them in the airplane bags, or maybe an arrival gift.

    The other thing we did was our "theme dinner." Saturday night we rented Bedtime Stories. The kids liked it, and afterwards we went outside and made s'mores like they do in the movie.
    Then Sunday night we watched Lilo and Stitch. We ate Hawiian pizza (cheating, I know) and used the dvd extras to learn about the islands of Hawaii and how to hula dance. It was a lot of fun, and I will be working on the ideas for the next few weekends. I will probably have to sneak a Hannah Montana theme in there somewhere.

    Ok, still to come:
    day 4, and a little more detail on our dining times - I brought my planner with me today so I have the details
    Hope everyone had great weekend:cutie:
     
  21. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

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    So first up a little more detail on the dining plans. I finally remembered to bring my plans with me.

    Our arrival day we have reservations at the Grand Floridian Café for dinner at 5:20pm. As I said, I hope to switch this to CS.
    Day 2: Tusker House lunch at 11:45am
    Day 3: Crystal Palace lunch at 11:50am
    Day 4: Hollywood and Vine lunch at 12:10pm
    Day 5: Restaurant Akershus breakfast at 9:15am
    Day 6: Chef Mickey’s dinner at 5:35pm

    The only one that is a bad time is the princess breakfast, but I will take what I can get to eat with the princesses. We usually like to eat breakfast around 7am, and spend the entire morning hitting our top rides in the park. Hailey won’t be tall enough for most of the rides in Epcot, so this shouldn’t mess up our morning too much.

    Now on to day 4.

    Today is on to Hollywood Studios. We skipped this park last year. We only had 4 park days, so 2 days in MK was better for us. We are looking forward to the new Toy Story ride, and that will be the first order of the day. If the wait is over 30 minutes, we will fastpass. The kids really have never been big fans of most of the shows, but with them getting older we will try again:3dglasses. I have never seen the Beauty and the Beast show, so we are trying to see that this year. Again, Hailey is too small for the bigger rides, so today is no-stress. They do like the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, so I will let them run off some steam before lunch.
    The day will probably end early, so it will be another good pool and hotel dinner night. We really don’t like many of the CS places at HS anyway, so no big loss here.

    Up next:

    Epcot, and our chance to get up-close and personal with some princesses princess:
     

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