A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...DISNEY WORLD!! pre trip report!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by OhioStateBuckeye, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Episode IV

    A New Disney Trip



    It is a period of dark winter.

    Myself my boyfriend and my boyfriend's family,
    striking from not so hidden bases in
    Columbus Ohio and Chicago, Illinois,
    have won our first victory against deepest winter.


    During the battle, we managed to book a split stay
    at BEACH CLUB and All Star MUSIC during the
    first weekend of star wars weekends, a celebration
    with enough fun to destroy the coldest winter day.

    Pursued by gray skies and freezing temperatures,
    we race toward our first STAR WARS weekends,
    knowing that the promise of DISNEY in May can save
    our spirits and restore happiness to our lives....
     
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  3. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to my pre-trip report!

    I am Rachel and I will be your intrepid reporter on everything Star Wars weekends!

    [​IMG]

    That is me, my boyfriend Brian and Mickey! He is doing a magic trick for us in that picture.

    Brian and I live in Columbus, OH with our two bad animals:

    [​IMG]

    Toulouse

    and

    [​IMG]

    Sirius.

    They are actually not bad at all, I just got into the habit of calling them bad animals one day and it kinda stuck :confused3

    Now...I love Disney. But I am obsessed with Star Wars. Beyond obsessed. My dad was a huge fan, so while I was growing up I had access to the movies. They were taped on VHS... off the TV. Talk about old school. I watched Return of the Jedi first, then A New Hope, then Empire Strikes Back.

    Not really the optimal viewing order, but hey, I was 6 or 7 years old. And I was in love. I remember one summer when I was maybe 10, I watched at least one of the SW movies each day. I was so enthralled with them. My dad had a collection of the old action figures and I played with those constantly.

    I basically grew up with SW. When I was a freshman in college at Ohio State, I discovered that there was a Star Wars convention in nearby Indianapolis. So I recruited one of my movie theater employee friends (I think all huge Star Wars fans end up working at a movie theater at one time or another) to come with me and it was so amazing. So great, in fact, that we recruited more people and went again the next year. Which was the infamous trip where we waited outside, overnight, in 35 degree weather to meet George Lucas. We had 4 people, one tarp, one sleeping bag, and 2 chairs. But I am going slightly off topic I think...

    Anyway, my love of Disney parks didn't really start until my family went on a spring break trip there my junior year of college. We had been a few times when I was little, but this time really woke me up to how much I loved the parks. I convinced my boyfriend, Brian, to go with me on a trip and the rest was history.

    Considering how much I love Disney and Star Wars, I'm amazed this is my first SW weekend. For the past 5 years we have been fortunate enough to travel to WDW once a year. We pretty much rotate between Christmas trips and Halloween trips. This year, however, we brought Brian's mom and sister with us on our Halloween trip. They both fell madly in love with Disney and we all decided to purchase APs. We've already been back once so they could see the Christmas decorations, and now we are putting the APs to good use again to do SW weekends....yay!! :banana:

    Now for some exciting details!!! (exclamation points equal excitement, right? this means you are excited too :goodvibes)

    We want to go to the first SW weekends since I read that is usually the least crowded. We will be celebrating my boyfriend's sister's (Stephanie's) birthday.

    I have never stayed at a deluxe hotel, and I've always really wanted to. So I used the SW weekend as an excuse to book the weekend at Beach Club. We are going to share a room, thus splitting the cost, and we got a good AP discount so we are good to go. And this way when I wake up at 5 am to go to DHS I can just have a nice walk over :thumbsup2

    The rest of the 5 night trip will be spent at All Star Sports.

    Well, I feel like I've written a lot of background and info kind of stuff. Please join in if you love SW, are going to a SW weekend, or just want to help me plan and get excited!!
     
  4. JediBonas

    JediBonas DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to read all about it! I'm a huge Star Wars fan (my daughter's even named for a SW Universe character). I'd love to go to SW weekend but I don't think my husband would ever go for it :(. We stayed at YC last year and staying BC this year, it's a great resort!
     
  5. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Yay my first trip report friend!

    What is your daughter's name?? I read all the books up to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.

    Well you are more than welcome to live vicariously through my SW trip! Though I do hope you get to go eventually :thumbsup2

    I am sooo excited for the Stormalong Bay pool. Not sure when we are going to get to use it...but I'll have to make time. When is your trip?
     
  6. JediBonas

    JediBonas DIS Veteran

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    I will definitely live vicariously through your report :). My daughter's name is Mara, after Mara Jade. She's a twin and we had my in laws convinced we were naming them Luke and Leia ;).

    Stormalong bay is awesome, definitely make sure you explore it! We were there last week of October, going the same week this year. Hoping when the kiddos are older I can convince everyone to go SW weekend, or better yet if they make a SW park!
     
  7. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :)
     
  8. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Hahaha, my parents actually did almost name me Leah, which I would have enjoyed because its very close to Leia. I like the name Mara though :thumbsup2

    I am soo excited for Stormalong Bay :)

    Oh my gosh, a SW park would be beyond exciting. I would just love a new ride or area as well. Can you imagine a SW old fashioned dark ride? Probably be all sorts of epicness.

    Welcome! Do you also love Star Wars? Or just Disney? :)



    Anyway, nothing new really to report on. Except it is cold and miserable in Ohio and I was trying to do a weekend WDW trip for my birthday (March 2) but that doesn't look like it is going to happen.

    Right now I'm trying to think what restaurants I should be focusing on getting ADRs for.

    I don't think we'll do any reservations Thursday night, since that is arrival night.

    Probably not any for dinner Friday, since that will be a day devoted to SW in DHS. On second thought...wonder if we should do a big midday meal in the Sci Fi Drive in or if that will take away from SW.

    Saturday night we'll probably eat in Epcot.

    No idea about Sunday and Monday. I wouldn't mind getting a dinner at Ohana in, but I probably need to start stalking the dining site for a reservation now if I do.

    I was also thinking about costumes for SWW...but I don't really do great in the heat if I don't get enough air, so I should probably just stick to one or two of my 20 million SW tshirts.

    Hm....
     
  9. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Ahhhhhh I am so frustrated waiting to hear which celebrities will be there!!


    I really hope Anthony Daniels goes. He is like my holy grail. Yeah, I love C3PO....love his humor.

    I'm trying to figure out if I want to start watching the Clone Wars cartoons on Netflix. I know a lot of the Clone Wars people go to SWW. But I have heard bad things about the series, and I liked the original Clone Wars cartoons so I feel like I'd be betraying them a bit.

    I also need to decide which Star Wars tshirts to wear. I have way too many...
     
  10. thornton0511

    thornton0511 DIS Veteran

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    A lurker I will be no longer! Subscribing and happy to follow along! :goodvibes
     
  11. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Welcome my Yoda Speak friend!


    I thought I'd share a few pictures with everyone. Looks like my cat is all ready to go...

    [​IMG]

    Here he is, looking very evil in his Donald hat.

    [​IMG]

    And that is him testing out his magic band.
     
  12. thornton0511

    thornton0511 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my goodness these pictures made me laugh so much! Thank you! Your cat is super adorable and I love that he looks to care less about all of that. Also very glad to see that I am not the only one to automatically think that limited time mickey ears are, indeed, intended for humans to put on their pets!
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48863637&postcount=8

    obviously:thumbsup2
     
  13. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Love it. We need to do a virtual high five, our cats look awesome and stylish in their Disney wear. :thumbsup2

    And according to Brian, Toulouse (the cat) did care about the magic band and it took quite a bit to get him to pose like that hah.
     
  14. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Well. Ive got some good news. And some bad news.

    But first, I think I've got our tentative schedule laid out!! :cool1:

    Thursday: We have our southwest flights picked out. I need to work on Thursday, so Brian will pick me up downtown at work and we'll head straight to the airport for a 5:25 pm flight. We'll arrive in Orlando around 7:30. We are taking the Magical Express so that doesn't leave a lot of time for parks once we arrive. I think we'll just do some night swimming at Beach Club and maybe check out Beaches and Cream for a late dinner.

    Friday: up super early to be in line at DHS for SWW. I think we'll just FP+ TSMM, TOT and maybe ST. I'm not really going to worry on going on anything besides those since this day is for SW. I have a late lunch ADR for Sci fi so we can have a sit down cool off break, but I really need to see the schedule of events so I'm sure that time works. We will finish off our day with the special SW fireworks.

    Saturday: since we are at Beach Club, I thought this would be a good Epcot day to see all the Flower and Garden festival things. We might have a mid day swimming break. Then I scheduled a 9:30 Ohana ADR. MK has EMH until 11 pm this day, but I don't want to exhaust ourselves so I think we'll just go to Ohana or maybe cancel that and do more night swimming.

    Sunday: early morning back to DHS to finish up anything we missed. Then we will head to AK at some point, it is open until 8 pm and on those days the park usually clears out at some point and you can ride anything with little to no wait at the end of the day. Then we have a Cali Grill 9 pm ADR for Stephanie's bday, then we'll head into MK which is open until 1 am!!! This should be a super fun (but long) day.

    Monday: This should be all day at MK. We also check out of Beach Club on this day and move to All Star Sports.

    Tuesday: departure day, so we'll just do anything we feel we missed.


    I feel so weird only having 3 ADRs, but I think we will like it.

    OK. Time for good news/bad news.

    I think I'm just being a big baby about the bad news...maybe. But we'll go with the good first.

    Brian lived in California for a good portion of his life (along with Texas, Dominican Republic and Chicago). He was in the boy scouts in California where they did actual things you would think Boy Scouts would do, like backpacking trips. My western PA girl scout troup just did spaghetti dinners and sold cookies.

    Anyway, Brian has always been really into backpacking and camping and we've managed to incorporate a little of that into previous DL California trips. We decided we needed to make it to northern California so we could see Yosemite and some redwoods (we always buy a redwood at the Living with the Land souvenir place and it always dies :()

    Anyway anyway...we decided that we are taking a trip to northern California in early June. May 29th through June 10 to be exact.

    Brian wanted to do a lot of backpacking in Yosemite. I have no problem with this...except I was a little worried about the bathroom situation. Even though I am from western PA, I have never gone to the bathroom in anything except a toilet...:rotfl2: So I told Brian that if I was going to have to backpack and have the possibility of having no toilet, then we were sure as hell doing a few days in Disneyland. Weird as that argument sounds, I won :cheer2:

    We don't like to pay the extra fees to return a rental car to a different location, so we fixed that problem by planning a circuitous road trip route around California.

    We will fly into LAX (or whichever LA airport we can find the best deal) and then we will begin a road trip up the pretty ocean route, making stops in Santa Barbara, Solvang and many other places. We are planning to camp in Pinnacle, then head to Monterey for that next day for a day at the aquarium. Then we'll spend 2 days in San Francisco doing things like the Asian Art Museum, the Disney museum, Alcatraz and walking the Golden Gate Bridge. Then we'll head to Yosemite for many days, then head south to King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. After that we spend 2 and a half days in Disneyland and then fly home.

    I am very excited about that trip because I love Disney, road trips and nature. It also means that we get to be in 2 Disney parks within a few weeks of each other.

    And now...for the bad news. :sad:

    I think everyone has heard that Disney announced their 24 hour party. Which happens to fall on Friday. I leave WDW Tuesday...

    I am seriously upset about this. I've wanted to go to a 24 hour event ever since they started it. And now I'm missing it by a few days. And Brian's sister rearranged her and her mom's trip so that they will be able to attend. And she keeps texting me every day about plans for the 24 hour event. Which is fine, really, she doesn't have anyone else to be excited with to the level I'm excited about Disney, but it makes me awfully sad that I'm just missing it.

    Yeah, told you I'm being a baby. But I'm really bummed about it.

    I can't really rearrange my WDW trip or dates. To explain, I am a contract attorney, so I only work when there are projects or jobs for me. I don't get paid vacations. I have a project right now, but these projects can last years or the cases can be settled tomorrow with no warning to us. So I have no idea what my work schedule will be like in May. The only way we are going on the California trip so close to the WDW one is that I will miss very few work hours for WDW. I'll have my 40 hours for the week when we leave for WDW on Thursday, and we'll return Tuesday so I can still get almost 35 hours in. So you can imagine if we stay for the 24 hour event...I'd miss that whole week. And then be missing another week for California...so yeah, my boss and my bank account wouldn't be too pleased about that.

    I know it sounds very babyish, to be crying about not being able to take an even looooonger vacation because I have another one coming up so soon....but ugh I just really wanted to do a 24 hour event and it's killing me to hear all of Stephanie's plans about it. :sad:
     
  15. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    All right, I think I have my Friday of SWW planned.

    Even though there is no official schedule out. And I still don't know which celebrities are going.

    I'm excited, OK?

    I wanna plan.

    So my strategy is to be there at park opening. Yeah, obviously.

    There are the rides I want to get in: Rockin Rollercoaster, TOT, TSMM, ST, Muppets and a drawing class.

    I think I'll FP+ TSMM, ST and TOT. Then when we enter the park I think we'll have a little bit of time before the characters come out so we'll ride RR a few times in a row before a line forms (hopefully).

    Then we'll see characters, get a spot for the parade at 11, maybe do some rides or see more characters. Then we have a Sci Fi ADR for around 2 so we can have a sit down air conditioned break.

    I think we'll go shopping in the afternoon when the lines have hopefully died down a bit.

    I really just wish they'd release the actors and a schedule :(
     
  16. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    [​IMG]



    This is a great picture. I think if I were the other cars I would let the AT-AT park first.

    Today I booked 3 Akershus breakfasts and ended up cancelling them all later. I think I just wanted to feel like I was doing something Disney :confused3
     
  17. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Just booked the Illuminations cruise for my boyfriend's sister's birthday!

    Pretty excited about it, and its going to be a surprise :cool1:

    Now if the SWW schedule would just get released...
     
  18. MidnightParade

    MidnightParade DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! I'm not a huge Star wars fan, but I do enjoy it and looking forward to the new Star Tours ride. I heard that for the first time ever Mark Hamill is going to be at SWW, that is pretty awesome. And I have to say I have always wanted my picture taken with a Storm Trooper. They are pretty awesome!
     
  19. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Hello!! Yes, Mark Hamill is going but unfortunately not for my dates :(

    Oh I will be having my picture with a stormtrooper...and everyone else there. Except maybe Anakin. Not such a fan of him without his suit.

    If your not a huge Star Wars fan don't worry, we will be doing plenty of other, regular Disney stuff...which brings me to....

    <trumpet fanfare> Maybe a little parade music from...'make way, for Prince Ali!!'

    I'm now attending the 24 hour MK event!!!


    How did this happen?

    Well, I finally completely cracked and went Disney crazy.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new schedule:

    Brian and I will still be arriving on Thursday, but now I will be leaving on Sunday while he remains with his family.

    I'm going to work Monday-Wednesday afternoon, then I board a plane again (thank goodness for low Southwest fares) and will arrive back at WDW and we'll stay through Sunday.

    Convoluted? Um yeah, but I get my 24 hour event. :banana:

    And in less than a week after we get back home...we'll take off for California and have a northern California adventure with San Francisco, backpacking at Yosemite, and a few days at Disneyland of course.

    :love:
     
  20. MidnightParade

    MidnightParade DIS Veteran

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    lol!! Wow that is Disney Crazy! But live with no regrets I say! I guess there's no way you can just go three days later instead of flying home and back? So cool though! I'm envious, hopefully one day I can be there for it!!

    No worries, I still really like Star Wars so please geek out about it!
     
  21. stacy~**

    stacy~** DIS Veteran

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    I somehow always find your reports....must be the "ohio" reference in your name!

    First off....LOVE the cat with the mini ear hat. Perfect.

    How crazy that you are going back and forth...love it. True commitment there. We also are doing a bit of crazy scheduling in order to attend the 24 hour event. Myself and my oldest will be arriving Thursday, while my husband and younger daughter (who is in school until Friday) will be arriving Saturday. It works well because those two aren't as "hard core" and it will leave my eldest and I free to stay as late as we want.

    Now we are not SW people (is that ok? or should I walk away from your report?? ;) ) and will be avoiding that completely (well except the special fireworks show).

    Can't wait to hear more....I really wanted to write a PTR but just don't think I should since my DL report from July is still unfinished. Instead I am just stalking other PTR that share a similar date as my trip!!
     

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