All Our Wishes Will Come True-A May 2010 PTR!-Trip Report is Started 7/14

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by bellebookworm9, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    We're going to Disney! And 4 years earlier than originally planned! How does that happen, you might ask? Well, thanks to our lovely federal government, I've received a grant. $4000 per year, which means I have more financial aid than I need, so I'm getting more than $2000 back.
    This grant is called the TEACH grant. I've agreed to teach at a "low-income" school in a "high need field" for four years within 8 years of graduation. Now, I was a little skeptical at first, but after looking into it, there are many schools in my area that are considered low income, so I agreed to it!
    Our original plan was to go in May 2014 when I graduated from grad school. We were going to stay in a condo offsite, go for 15 days, rent a car, all the bells and whistles. I've slowly been cutting back though. Our plan now is to stay at All Star Music for 12 days and use Disney transportation.
    I've been to Disney three times before, twice as a child at ages 13 months and 2 1/2. The last trip was in February 2007 when my school's wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, marching band, orchestra/string ensemble and Bel Canto singers all performed. It was quite the extravaganza. You can read all about it here.
    This trip should be more successful because we have more time, have a plan of attack, less people to keep track of and have a better idea of what to expect. With that I'll leave you with a picture of my best friends and I from the last trip.
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    Table of Contents
    1)How Did This Happen?-You're Reading It
    2)The Cast
    3)Number Crunching
    4)The Plan of Attack
    5)Why Yes, I Am A Disney Nut
    6)Random Thoughts of Interest
    7)We've Upgraded Big Time!
    8)We Have Our Resort Confirmation!
    9)Some Pixie Dust to Brighten Your Day!
    10)The Coolest Shirt Ever and "You Want Snow, We Got It!"
    11)Flights Are Booked!
    12)Magic Kingdom
    13)Epcot
    14)Studios
    15)Animal Kingdom
    16)Water Parks and Downtown Disney
    17)Christmas Fun!
    18)Christmas Parade
    19)Princess and the Frog
    20)ADR Shuffle, Among Other Things
    21)January Ramblings
    22)School Updates and a Moment of Panic!
    23)The Exciting News That Didn't Work Out But Is Still Exciting
    24)3 Month Mark!
    25)Corning Museum of Glass
    26)Summer Job
    27)Everything's Paid!
    28)Writer's House Update(w/ Pics!) and a New Guidebook
    29)Window Clings/Scrapbooking/Trip & ADR Updates!
    30)Itineraries Days 1-3
    31)Itineraries Days 4-6
    32)AK Itinerary
    33)MK Day 2 Itinerary
    34)Garden Grocer Order
    35)Itineraries Days 9-10
    36)Itineraries Days 11-12
    37)Should We Cancel Chef Mickey's?
    38)It's My Birthday!
    39)Mickey Mail and Countdown Calendar
    40)Room Requests/Pick a Pearl/Celebrations
    41)30 Day Mark & Autograph Books
    42)Updated Cast Pics
    43)Asking for Some Pixie Dust
    44)Two Week Mark/Random Babbling!
    45)Single Digit Dance and Online Check In
    46)Job Update/Last Day of School
    47)Weather Woes & Airport Adventures
    48)Final Plans & Celebrations
    49)Final GPA & More Final Plans
    50)Airline Boarding Numbers & Last Final Plans
    51)TODAY IS THE DAY!!
    52)We're Here!!
    53)First Day Fun at Magic Kingdom
    54)Live Updates Days 2-4
    55)Downtown Disney
    56)Epcot World Showcase
    57)Animal Kingdom
    58)Magic Kingdom
    59)Life Update
    60)Trip Report Has Begun!
     
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  3. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    THE CAST

    Me: Hi, I'm Gretchen!:wave2: I'm 18 years old and a freshman at SUNY Geneseo (aka the public Ivy of New York State). I will be 19 by the time the trip comes. I'm a speech pathology major who also enjoys psychology and math. I play the flute. Oh, and I'm OBSESSED with Disney! My favorite character is Belle.

    [​IMG]

    Props to my roommate, Emily, for taking this picture. (She's never been to Disney. She thinks it "would be a strange place.":scared1:)

    Mom: Debbie, early 50's, works as a day aide in a group home (aka she runs lots of med appointments and does lots of paperwork). Not quite as much of a Disney fan as I am, but she's going along with it and letting me plan everything! How many 18 year olds can say that?! Here's a pic of the two of us from last vacation.
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    Other people not going on the trip, but I may be talking about:

    Brother: Ian, 14 years old. Unfortunately, as much as he would love Disney he simply can't go with us. He is developmentally disabled and it would be too challenging and draining for all of us at this time. He currently lives in a group home. He loves Disney movies/Disney Channel (JONAS, Hannah Montana, Sonny with a Chance and Wizards of Waverly Place rank high on his list) and knows all of the songs at WDW (Wishes, Spectro, Fantasmic! and IllumiNations-at "Epicot").

    Grandma Olly- She will be watching our pets while we're gone. Thanks grandma!

    Pets: Dryfuss (Golden retriever-St. Bernard mix, 9 years old) and Miss Kitty (gray & white longhair, 2 years old). We love them both and adopted them through local shelters. We've had Dryfie for 8 years and Miss Kitty since June.
    [​IMG]

     
  4. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    It all happened on Friday the 13th- a day generally regarded as bad, but was oh-so-good for us! First of all, I registered that morning (which is a nightmare-is it like that at all schools?) and got all the classes I wanted! That afternoon I went to work. At 4:15, everyone else leaves for the day and I man the phones until 5pm. I was going to do work that day, really I was! But I got an e-mail saying I had received the TEACH grant and because of that they had to lower my student loan. Great! I went into our student accounts system to check that out and low and behold, I was getting gobs of money back! Being the OCD Disney nut that I am, I began to crunch some numbers.
    Standard View Studio at Kidani Village (renting points) :$1350
    7 Day Base Tickets w/ WPF&M (MouseSavers Discount/Undercover Tourist): $575.90
    Food: $730
    Flights on Southwest: $318.40
    Souvenirs: $300
    Extra (Mousekeeping): $8
    GRAND TOTAL: $3283

    NOT BAD! I'm getting $1600 back plus what I set aside from work study. Mom can come up with about $650. We're all set!

    I gleefully called mom and said "What if I told you we could go to Disney this May instead of 4 1/2 years from now?!" I fully expected her to ask me who I killed or what bank I robbed. She was in! Whoo Hoo!:cool1:
     
  5. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    I fully attribute my ability to pull this trip together in a matter of days to my nuttiness with planning for the last several years. I booked the hotel the next night, signed up for a fridge swap here on the DIS and knew which restaurants I wanted. I had only 5 days to figure out a plan before I could book my ADRs! I'm pretty satisfied with it, and I got all my ADR times that I wanted.:thumbsup2

    May 17th: Arrival day. Eat dinner at the Mara.
    May 18th: Magic Kingdom. Crystal Palace 8:05am. Lunch in the room and dinner at Cosmic Ray's. Wishes tonight.
    May 19th: Blizzard Beach in the AM and Ohana for dinner at 5pm.
    May 20th: Studios. Lunch at Backlot Express, dinner at hotel.
    May 21st: Downtown Disney. We will probably take the boat to Port Orleans because we wanted to stay there too. We will most likely go to DisneyQuest, and eat at Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express.
    May 22nd: Epcot. Le Cellier at 12:45pm. See IllumiNations
    May 23rd: Animal Kingdom. We will bring sandwiches for lunch and have dinner at Flame Tree, since AK is open until 7.
    May 24th: Magic Kingdom. Liberty Tree Tavern at 11:30am and dinner at Columbia Harbor House. SpectroMagic & Wishes tonight.
    May 25th: Studios. Lunch at 11:05 at 50's Prime Time, and dinner will be sandwiches from the room. Fantasmic! tonight.
    May 26th: Boma 9:50am. Typhoon Lagoon in the afternoon-evening.
    May 27th: Epcot. See IllumiNations if we haven't already, or if we want to see it again-which we probably will.
    May 28th: Last day-our flight departs at 1pm, so we will probably be picked up by ME at 10am.

    That's all for now folks. I'll keep posting as I think of things to share!
     
  6. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Just to prove my Disney nuttiness, here's some pics of my dorm room at school.

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    Those pictures are all of Disney. Some of them are my own, but most of them came from the various picture of the day threads. That is a Disney Princess poster.

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    Tinkerbell Poster and one of my Build-a-Bears is wearing a Cinderella outfit.
     
  7. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    There are several creative things I want to learn how to do before we go.
    1) I want to make a scrapbook when we come back. It's something I've always wanted to learn!
    2) I want to make my own character autograph book and I think I can after reading Utahmama's trip report of '06.
    3) I want to learn how to take great pictures! On our last trip we didn't yet have a digital camera, as you can tell from the poor picture quality if you read my trip report. In December '07 we bought a cheap point and shoot. Well I've been reading the photography blog on allears and low and behold, my camera has all these features I never knew about! I'm especially excited about the fireworks setting, because those are often my favorite photos that others take.

    Also, I think I've figured out what plans we're using for which parks.
    I think RideMax will be our best bet. I've run the RM plans in very small chunks of time to get them ordered exactly the way UG has them (for various days). When I do this, either there is more waiting than if I let RM do its own plan, or not all the attractions fit. They also generally schedule large chunks of free time in the afternoons so we can go back to the hotel, meet characters, or have dinner. I'm pleased with most of the plans so far.

    Anyone have any suggestions for Epcot? Right now I'm planning a day for FW and a day for WS, but it might work better do to half of each per day (such as FWW and WS Canada through Japan, then FWE, SSE and WS Mexico through America). Or a few things in FW and then all of WS one day, and the rest of FW the other?
     
  8. ladybugmom

    ladybugmom DIS Veteran

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    Hi Gretchen!!! I followed your PTR from my PTR!! You're plans look AMAZING!! I love all of the details!!! You're a super-planner just like me!! :goodvibes
     
  9. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Yay my first subscriber! :cool1: I am definitely a super planner, and I'm hoping it pays off! I'm currently reading your trip report from last May and I'm really enjoying it. I'm also hoping it doesn't rain the whole time we're there :scared1: only because we want to visit the water parks-for the theme parks we will just grab our rain gear and go, because rain seems to drive everyone else away :rotfl:
     
  10. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Woo hoo! Got my first refund today: $1015. That will pay our room deposit, flights and tickets. I'll buy the flights as soon as they are on sale, but I'm holding off on the tickets in the event that the Buy4/Get3 deal is extended-it would cost us only $30 to upgrade to a mod! Here's to hoping!
     
  11. ladybugmom

    ladybugmom DIS Veteran

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    Whoo hoo for the refund!!!! :cool1::dance3::cool1:
     
  12. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    So today I remembered that there is a whole section on the DIS for renting points/reservations! My mom and I are looking into upgrading to Kidani Village in a standard view studio, which would cost us no more than we are paying for ASMu. I hope this works out!
     
  13. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Yes! We are booked in a standard view studio at Kidani Village thanks to the DIS Rent/Trade board-and we're saving $23 over the All Star AAA Price!
     
  14. lindsayp

    lindsayp Princess-in-training

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    Sounds like you have some great plans!! We'll be there some of the time you are (we're arriving May 24th) Maybe we'll see you down there! :cool1:
     
  15. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    That would be cool! Where are you staying?
     
  16. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Whoo hoo! Just found out that we are FINALLY getting the plumbing fixed at our house!:cool1: :thumbsup2 :worship: :banana: :woohoo: :yay: :cheer2: :dancer: party:
     
  17. lindsayp

    lindsayp Princess-in-training

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    pop for the first 7 days then 2 at animal kingdom :) we're so excited!
     
  18. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Whoo hoo! :woohoo: I got our hard copy of our reservation today! I feel like we're actually getting somewhere now! Only 8 more days until I can book our flights-hopefully Southwest might open them a day early...popcorn::
     
  19. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    I took some pictures of the pictures on my door and the Christmas card my mom sent me (All Disney related, of course!)

    Our Door:
    [​IMG]

    Cowgirl Minnie (which Emily thinks is inappropriate, if you couldn't tell):
    [​IMG]

    Daisy (from my mom):
    [​IMG]

    Donald & Daisy:
    [​IMG]

    Christmas Card from Mom:
    [​IMG]

    Belle:
    [​IMG]

    Cinderella:
    [​IMG]

    Sleeping Beauty:
    [​IMG]

    How adorable, right? It added a little pixiedust: to my day! Now I have to go study for part two of my phonetics final which is tomorrow. These next two weeks are going to be crazy! And I can't go home until the 23rd:headache:. Hopefully, they'll go quickly!

    Also, today I downloaded "Dancin' (A Catchy Rhythm)", performed in a parade at Disneyland Paris, which is indeed one of the catchiest songs ever! If it doesn't make you wanna dance, I don't know what will!

     
  20. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    So I recently got my Speech Path t-shirt and I'm just so amused by it, that I have to show you all.

    Geneseo SLP '09
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    :rotfl2: :lmao:

    Now for the snow pictures. We haven't had much snow yet. Maybe a dusting, twice. This happened within 24 hours.

    Outside my dorm
    [​IMG]

    Near the library
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    Near the admin building and the green
    [​IMG]

    Looking out over the Genesee Valley
    [​IMG]

    So if you're from the South, this is what you're missing! If you're from up north, you're probably used to this winter weather...

     
  21. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    :cool1: Whoo hoo I just booked our flights! I love Southwest, first of all :) I paid $318.40 for two round trip tickets, plus early-bird check-in on the return flight!:woohoo:

    We will be leaving Buffalo at 12:45pm and arriving in Orlando at 3:25pm on May 17th. The last time we went we arrived really late and I definitely don't want to do that again!

    We will be leaving Orlando at 1:00pm and arriving in Buffalo at 3:35pm on May 28th. I had been hoping to be able to go to a water park this morning, since for a long time there was a nonstop flight that left at around 6:30. However, we will now be leaving for the airport around 10am.

    I chose to do the early bird check in because I a)will probably not have internet access and a printer while there and b) do not want to go to guest services while in the park the day before! I know it doesn't guarantee us A-boarding passes, but it's better than waiting to get to the airport I guess!

    And then there's that whole perk about getting 2 free checked bags per person! I'm so excited!
     

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