Better Late than Never - Trip Report Jan 2012 - Updated 6-27

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by pld5, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    The Post Trip Report begins on the bottom of page 3.
    Here goes nothing.

    I have 15 days until I get to Disney World and either get staying on property out of my system or become hooked for life. I also have 15 more days of obsessing nonstop about the trip, reading and rereading my Unofficial Guide books, Official Guide books, continuing to try to score Chef Mickey's breakfast ADR's for the one day I really want them during our trip, and of course visiting the Disboards.

    Cast of Characters:
    Me - 43 year old Wife, Mom, Benefits Director
    Favorite Disney Characters: Mickey, Tigger, Marie
    This will probably be my 15th time to Disney World, but first staying on property.

    DH - 36 year old Husband, Dad, Works for Uncle Sam
    Favorite Disney Character: Capt Jack Sparrow, Kermit
    This will be his 3rd trip to Disney World.

    DS - 5, Kindergartener, Soccer Player, will be 6 in February
    Favorite Disney Characters: Mickey, Oso, Jake, Lightning McQueen
    This will be his 3rd trip to Disney World, but the 1st was in my belly.

    [​IMG] Jan 2012 ski trip


    My Mom and Dad - Retired since 2001. Celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary January 13. This will probably be their 30th time to Disney World.
    Mom's Favorite Disney Character is Tinkerbell. I'm really not sure who my Dad's is but I do know his favorite ride: The Peoplemover.

    [​IMG] March 2010 visit


    Our trip is scheduled for January 22 to January 28 at the Wilderness Lodge. DH, DS and I will be flying from Pittsburgh and my parents will be driving from that same area. My parents will check out on January 27 and will be staying elsewhere in Florida for a few days.
     
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  3. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    DH, DS and I are to fly in from Pittsburgh on Sunday, January 22. My parents (who live next door to us) will have left the day before to drive to the Wilderness Lodge and plan to get there the same time as us: 3 or 4pm on Sunday. We have requested connecting rooms while we are there and reserved 2 Woods view rooms.

    This will be my first time staying on property and I am so excited I can hardly stand it. The lodge looks beautiful and pictures of it remind me so much of a place where we ski in Pennsylvania: Seven Springs Mountain Resort. It also reminds me of the place in Washington State where my husband I and I honeymooned: Salish Lodge.

    On the day we arrive, MK has late extra magic hours, so if we are all up for it, we will plan to go to Magic Kingdom and get a few rides in and our Castle viewing fix in on the first day. If we are not up for a park day (or night), we will relax at the lodge or go to DTD for a few hours and not waste a park admission. My parents have agreed to take my son if Paul and I decide to go to MK ourselves and ride the things we know he will not do: Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates. Our son did Pirates on our last trip there, but after being subjected to the Dinosaur ride, he is not real happy about going into dark rides. He has promised to try it this trip, but I'm not going to pressure him.

    We made no ADR's for the first day there so that we will have all the flexibility we want and need. We do have the Free Dining plan while we are there and figure we will use a Counter Service credit somewhere that first night: either at Earl of Sandwich at DTD or at Casey's in MK.
     
  4. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    We have ADR's for breakfast at Whispering Canyon because it is in the resort where we are staying. I'm very intrigued by the skillet.

    From there, we plan to go to Epcot where we have reserved a Storytime experience for my son at 12:15 because we booked our trip through AAA. My husband and I love Epcot and I'm glad we'll be spending time there early in our trip.

    We have ADR's for a late lunch at Le Cellier and then no other ADR's for that day. I'm looking forward to the filet mignon and the beer, and I think the other adults in my party feel the same way. I'm also glad that I won't need to use 2 TS credits to eat at Le Cellier because we will be there at lunch.

    A note about our dining plans: My parents and DH have been gracious enough to allow me to do all of the planning and have tolerated (mostly) my obsession with getting the right ADR's at the right time. We're not very adventurous eaters, so while a lot of the restaurants look good for the atmosphere, the culinary experience would be wasted on our family. Thankfully we all love a good steak or for that matter, a good burger. I'm also using some of our ADR's as a way to meet some characters while we are there so that we don't have to stand in a lot of character lines.

    Because we have no other ADR's on Monday, we may spend the rest of the day around the WS at Epcot, or we may head to MK to see Wishes. I have reserved preferred viewing for Wishes for that night with our AAA package, but we will see what we are in the mood for that day, especially the 5 year old in our party.
     
  5. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    Tuesday is our planned Hollywood Studios day.

    After going back and forth many times, I finally decided on ADR's at Hollywood and Vine for lunch. Because DS will be 6 next month, I feel we are just near the end of him liking Oso and Jake and Manny, but at least the lunch will be more interactive (singing and dancing) than just waiting in line for a photo op. We're not a huge fan of buffet meals, and honestly I would prefer a buffet breakfast, but don't want the huge pressure of being at DHS too early while traveling with a 5 year old. It is vacation after all.

    A note about DS. When we were last at Disney World, he had just turned 4 and was in awe of everything. At the time we ended that trip, I said, we would be on the 4 year plan to return, thinking 8 and 12 would be good ages to experience different things with him. Then earlier this year, I dealt with one too many 8 year olds that are growing up too fast and decided I wanted to do Disney again with my son while it would still be magical for him.

    We hope to be able to do TSM and also observe Jedi Training (DS is unsure of wanting to do it, but my husband wishes he could!) I'd like to see the Pixar parade while there at 3pm.

    Tuesday evening we have ADR's at Tony's Town Square in MK. A friend from work mentioned how good it was (and that it had a good steak) and for as many times as we have been to MK, we have never noticed this restaurant. We always head left towards the restrooms or the Emporium once we are in MK and not right towards Tony's apparently.

    It will be nice to use the Park Hopper option of our Park tickets this time around, if we are all up for it.
     
  6. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    On Wednesday of our trip, this is the day we plan to leave Disney World for a break from all things Disney for a day. I have a great aunt who lives in Sarasota, and we will be driving to visit her for the afternoon. My DH is hoping we will be able to stop at Fantasy of Flight on the way there. That is an airplane museum run by Kermit Weeks and my DH is obsessed with airplanes the way that I am about planning this trip.

    I actually had to visit the Boeing Air Museum on our honeymoon, but I got to stay at a lovely resort with a spa on my honeymoon in Washington state, so I can't complain too much.

    Anyway, DH and I compromise on his and my obsessions, and I've actually grown to appreciate a little airplanes here and there and he likes Disney as much as I do. I think he will enjoy the airplanes, as will my Dad, and it is something my Dad would probably not normally take time to do.

    In any event, we have the day planned to be away from Walt Disney World, but knowing we will be back at Wilderness Lodge to bed down for the night, I reserved Whispering Canyon for a late dinner. I have been hoping to get an ADR for Chef Mickey's that morning but so far, no success.
     
  7. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    We have planned Thursday of our trip to be our Magic Kingdom day.

    I have ADR's for CRT for breakfast at 9:30, but because MK has EMH that morning, we may be able to get some rides in before breakfast.

    I am so excited about having breakfast in the castle. I know, I know, I'm traveling with a 5 year old BOY, but I can't wait to see him flirt with the princesses. Also, the last 2 times I was in MK, the walk through the castle was closed. When I made the ADR, I made sure to mention it was my parents' 50th anniversary, so I hope they make a big fuss for them. I may order a chocolate slipper for my mom, but that just seems like an odd thing to have with breakfast.

    After breakfast, we want to make sure that DS gets to go to Tom Sawyer Island and that DH gets to go to Hall of Presidents. Things they missed the last time. Other than that, we'll just go where our mood takes us.

    Lunch and Dinner will be Counter Service Meals and we may take a break to go back to our resort but our next ADR is for the Wishes Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace that evening. I'm looking forward to this for a few reasons:
    1. I don't recall ever having stayed long enough for the fireworks, so I'm glad we'll have a good viewing spot for what may be my first time.
    2. Lots of dessert options.
    3. Hot chocolate which may be necessary on a January evening.
    4. A place to sit down while waiting for Wishes to start.

    I am a bit disappointed that that the Electrical Parade will not be running while we are there. I had originally made some of my plans about the timing and days of that parade. Something to look forward to on our next trip, I guess.
     
  8. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    This will be the day that my parents are checking out of WL. They are planning to go on to Fort Myers later that day, so the plans now are for them to store their luggage in our room and spend the day with us before leaving Disney World.

    Because I didn't want to lose valuable park and restaurant time to waiting in line to meet characters, I made a reservation for the 5 of us at Chef Mickey's at 10am on my parents' last day. I think they will get a kick out of the "celebrations" there that I have read about and they will certainly enjoy seeing their grandson enjoy himself with Mickey and Minnie and the gang. I added a birthday celebration to this ADR because this will be DS's last month of being 5. I hope they bring him a cupcake.

    The only other plans we have for the day are ADR's for 3 of us at Coral Reef that evening. Epcot has EMH that evening which will allow us to relax and say goodbye to my parents (and pack up any extra souvenirs or stuff that we want to send with them and not take on the plane) during the day.

    I'm hoping the relaxation in the afternoon will allow us to see Illuminations at Epcot that night, but I will go with the 5 year old's wishes.
     
  9. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    We have nothing planned for our last day, but because our flight does not leave until 6:55 pm, we will definitely be visiting a park or two. Most likely, it will be MK because of the boat transportation from WL to and from.

    So those are our plans.

    Over the past 6 months of planning this trip, I've changed ADR's dozens of times and will probably change our mind a time or two while we are there.

    I also reserved the Pirates Fireworks Cruise only to cancel it when I thought of all of the things that could go wrong with it (most of all my fear was that my DS would not want to do it once we were there).

    I've thought about trying to do Rope Drop, but not sure we are all morning enough people to do it.

    I would like to explore the Contemporary and see if I could ever justify the expense of staying there for the convenience of the monorail.

    I would like to check out the Campfire singalong at Fort Wilderness.

    I would have loved to do Mickey's Backyard BBQ but it is not offered during the time we are there. We like BBQ and it looks like it engages the audience with song and dance, which both DH and DS would enjoy.

    I'm really looking forward to this trip and thank this board for an opportunity to write out my plans. This may be the best way to explain them to my DH by showing him these posts! He simply wasn't understanding the excel spreadsheet. :rotfl:
     
  10. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    Well, this report has only made be more obsessed about this trip. This 2 weeks will be impossible to get through. A few work projects, basketball pictures and a game, a few ski trips, a birthday party for a classmate may help to distract me, but I doubt it. I want to be there now!

    I managed to figure out how to post pictures from photobucket last night, so now I'm prepared for when I get back to do a Trip Report.

    I also had my DH read my plan and now he has an understanding of what I hope to accomplish while there. So at least I know someone has read this.:)

    Today's agenda:
    1. Look for youtube videos of some rides I want to suggest to our DS, Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear, POTC.
    2. Sign up for the $99 pretrip photopass offer.
    3. Make beef stew.
    4. Watch Steeler Football.
    5. Get advice on flying with a 5 year old for the 1st time.
    6. Start thinking about packing.
    7. Keep trying to find that Chef Mickey's ADR on 1/25 for breakfast.
     
  11. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    Still obsessed as ever but haven't started my work day yet.
     
  12. Diegosmom

    Diegosmom DIS Veteran

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    Hey we are going the same week :)

    We are leaving Jan 21st from NC and we are making the drive down.

    We are also doing Epcot on Monday and I did not book thru AAA but was planning on transferring my reservation but I just realized I never did that. I wonder if it is too late. We have lunch in France that day.

    And we are staying till Sunday the 29th but that is just a travel day...

    Maybe we will see you around. (Oh and we are staying at All Star Sports)
     
  13. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for posting! So nice to feel like I'm not just talking to myself.

    I hope we do see you around. We'll definitely be in France to look for Marie while at Epcot on Monday. When do you plan on DHS?
     
  14. Marshay

    Marshay I'm Goofy for Mickey. Don't worry if you get a bi

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    Joining in your PTR! thanks for mentioning your PTR -- sometimes I forget to check people's siggie!

    Will go back and read yours from the beginning as soon as I update mine!:goodvibes
     
  15. amyb9

    amyb9 My boys rock!

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    Us too
    We are taking our six y/o son from Jan 21-27. We have been several times also!

    HS on Tues with lunch at H and V......how crazy!!!!

    I am also obsessing......obviously.....and cannot get into Chef Ms either.....

    I am going back to reading....but will subscribe and look forward to maybe seeing you down there!!!
     
  16. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    No worries. My first post on your trip report failed to mention my PTR in my signature. Only because I didn't yet know how. :confused:

    Thanks for reading!

    Oh, I hope we see you at H & V! Our ressies are at 12:15. It will be 4 adults and our 5 year old son (6 in February). You can see our pic from last year in my avatar, and one from last week in the first post on this thread. DS is actually watching Oso now, when last week he wanted nothing to do with him. :confused3
     
  17. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    Spent my free time today checking out Southwest's and the NTSB websites for tips on flying. Haven't been on an airplane since 2004 for our honeymoon, and this will be the first airplane trip for DS.

    He informed us this past weekend he is afraid of heights, so I had to break out the Cars 2 DVD which has a preview of Planes to help build the excitement (and not fear) of this airplane trip. I also told him it would take 2 days by car, but 2 hours by plane to get to Disney World and he seemed to like the shorter time option.
     
  18. Marshay

    Marshay I'm Goofy for Mickey. Don't worry if you get a bi

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    Ok, all caught up!

    I'm a Pennsylvania gal myself -- born in Reading and went to school in Main Line Philly.

    Wow -- I can't believe you've been to WDW 15 times but never stayed on property. So this is just super exciting!!

    For us, we just loved staying on property...then we ended up buying DVC and now we can't even think of doing just a regular room anymore or going off-property for a vacation home.

    Hope you can take advantage of some of the EMHs... the AM ones are sooo totally worth it! I know you have to get up a bit early but you can get almost all the rides done by 11am w/o feeling rushed.

    We love Whispering Canyon. Must get back there to eat one of these days.

    What is the AAA STorytime and preferred viewing? This is new to me.

    Looks like we will be in MK on 1/24, too, so I hope to see you. We will probably just go at RD and stay until we are tired. This is our one big day scheduled but we might still be around. Keep an eye out for LGMH!:thumbsup2
     
  19. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    Hello to another Pennsylvania girl!

    The AAA storytime is because we booked our trip through AAA, we get a voucher to have a story read to us by one of the characters. You have to call and reserve it though. We have no idea who it is until we get there, and it is supposed to take about 20 minutes or so. My DS loves being read to, so we're looking forward to this. When we booked the trip, the storytime was supposed to be in Norway, but it has now been moved to Innoventions West.

    The preferred fireworks viewing is another voucher through AAA and also requires a reservation. Its at the Plaza Landing and is Standing room only.

    I will keep an eye out for LMGH! Lime green is one of my favorite colors. :thumbsup2
     
  20. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    We get to do online check in tomorrow. :cool1:

    Spent half a day at work today because I'm starting to feel sick. I hope I can get it out of my system before Disney!

    Anyway, I used the time today to watch a few Disney videos when I wasn't sleeping: Tangled, Princess and the Frog and Lion King. Can't let a sick day keep me from my Disney fix!

    From my to do list the other day, the only thing I haven't accomplished yet is to pre-order the photopass cd. Steelers lost, beef stew was good, watched some youtubes with DS and ruled out HM, but convinced him to try POTC again and to try Buzz Lightyear. I will be packing right up until we get to the airport, I'm sure.

    I can't believe how close we are to going on this trip!
     
  21. pld5

    pld5 Mouseketeer

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    On line check in done. Check!

    Photopass CD and Book pre-ordered. Check!

    Continued obsession with this trip. Check!

    Inspired by Marshay's PTR, I started looking through pictures of our last 2 trips to see if there are ones I want to replicate on this trip and make a tradition out of for DS. And now I know why I appreciated photopass so much. All of my candid shots seem to be of DS alone, DS with my DH, DS with my parents. I guess it never occurs to any of them that I might want MY picture with my DS. Hrmph.

    I will keep looking for the right ones to use as a tradition and should post them here soon. Not sure my ego will handle me posting my pregnant self from my 2005 trip, but maybe once I get a glass of wine in me, I won't care. :laughing:
     

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