Canadians Go Wild at AKL! An Aug 2011 PTR - **TR Complete - Feb 12th**

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by Disney9.9.10, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Hello fellow DISers!

    While I am still not finished my last TR (getting very close though! Link is in my signature if you are interested) I figured I would start a new PTR for my upcoming trip in August! We are going to be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the very first time, and I am really excited, so I would like to share my planning process with others who know the feeling!

    I will give a quick bio on everyone that is coming, and more details on our plans but first I will give a quick summary of our plans so far!

    Cast Members
    - Krysten (Me)
    - Debbie (my mom)
    - Matt (my brother)
    - Carole (my grandmother)
    - Jim (my moms friend)

    We will be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge from August 22nd to August 29th - a quick, one week trip!

    We currently have the Counter Service dining plan booked, so the only ADR's we have booked are:
    - T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure on the day we arrive. I have not been to this one before but my mom and my brother really enjoyed it when they went last year, so we decided to go this year.
    - Breakfast at 'Ohana with Lilo and Stitch. This is one of our favourites so we try and get there as often as we can.

    We will be visiting all of the parks, and possibly the water parks. Water parks aren't usually high on our list of priorities, especially with only a week long trip, so I am not sure if we will make it there or not.

    So that is a very quick caption of our trip. I will update soon with more details and information as we plan.

    Only 3 months and a couple of weeks left!!:goodvibes

    I like Indexes on my P/TR's so here it is:
    Cast Members 1
    Cast Members 2
    Preliminary Schedule
    Why AKL?
    Garden Grocer
    Disney Florist?
    MK Must Do's!
    EPCOT Must Do's!
    DHS Must Do's!
    DAK Must Do's!
     
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  3. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Hello again everyone!

    I am now going to update with a little bit of information about everyone that is coming on our trip. Since I am writing this PTR, I will start with myself!

    My name is Krysten and I am 24 years old.

    [​IMG]
    I am currently working in a furniture store while I finish my degree in Psychology. I am a creative person, and enjoy dancing, scrapbooking, reading, writing, decorating… and well the list goes on! I am close with my family and spend lots of time with them. I am also a lover of all things Disney! I took my first trip when I was about 18 months old, and have been many, many times since then! Because I am such a fanatic, I married the man of my dreams in Disney last September! It was everything I could have asked for and more - Disney weddings are amazing!! (there is a link in my signature for my pj/tr if you are interested - lots of pictures!)
    [​IMG]
    So I am really excited to get back to WDW and have my first trip at AKL!

    My brother's name is Matt, and he is 12 years old.

    [​IMG]

    He is my favourite person on this earth (DH gets a little jealous sometimes lol). He plays all kinds of sports, and I do my best to watch him play as often as I can. Because of our age difference, I helped to raise him and I have watched him go from a baby, to a fun little boy, to this awesome person! He is now starting to get as much into Disney as my mom and I - which is awesome! We are all pretty bad influences on each other lol He is super excited to stay at AKL! His favourite rides are TOT and RnR. His favourite character is Stitch. And he really wants to go on DCL again because last time we went was 10 years ago :o (Blasphemy, I know lol)


     
  4. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Up next is my mom, Debbie. (and the only pictures I have on photobucket are from the wedding)

    [​IMG]

    My mom and I are really close. She is the best mom and friend that a girl could ask for. She loves sports (and watching my brothers play them!), reading, scrapbooking, and Disney!!My grandparents took her and my uncles to Disney when they were young kids and WDW had just opened - the family has been hooked ever since! This is also her first trip to AKL and she cannot wait! Her favourite Disney movie is Mary Poppins.

    Next is my grandmother, Carole (again, I only have pictures from the wedding lol)

    [​IMG]

    I am also super close with my grandmother. We see each other quite often, and always bake together for the holidays (including those like Valentines day, which aren't really holidays lol). She is a wonderful grandmother to all of her grandchildren, and always tries to be there for us as much as she can, in whatever way she can. She wasn't originally coming with us on this trip, but just decided that she is going to come, and I am so happy that she is going to be there with us! Her favourite ride at the parks is It's a Small World, and on our last trip it was closed for refurb. So I am really happy that we will get to ride it together on this trip!

    Last but not least is my moms friend Jim (who I have no pictures of at this time). My mom has known him for quite a while now, and he wanted to come and be a part of this trip. He hasn't been to Disney in quite a while, so it will be a new experience for him! He is looking forward to a cold drink by the pool at AKL!



     
  5. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    So I have barely gotten this PTR started and I already have a really exciting update! Since my grandmother decided to come on this trip, we were at 5 people total in our room. So we were trying to decide what our best option was for rooming everybody. Well, my mom spoke to our wonderful travel agent yesterday (Tracey from CAA in St. Catharines!!) and….

    we are now getting a 1BR Savannah view villa in Kidani Village!!!

    We are all so excited about staying in a villa. They look so beautiful! And the cost was below what we thought it would be! What a deal.

    Can you tell I'm excited?! lol
     
  6. Villainess

    Villainess Fantasy and reality often overlap - Walt Disney

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    I'm in! I'm a softee for Disney weddings (well, any wedding really - that's why I became an event planner!) still I would love to plan weddings there ... must check out your wedding pics!

    Woo Hoo for the great deal at AKV!
     
  7. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Yay! A reader! Disney Weddings really are amazing - the wedding board is FULL of great stuff!

    Thanks for the comment!
     
  8. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for visiting my PTR :) LOVE your wedding pics, I'll have to head over and see more when I have some time. Love wedding stuff!!! Looking forward to hearing your plans and how you like AKL, it looks great there I always worry about it being far out, but would love to stay there someday, I know my boys would love the animals. You'll love the 1 bedroom villa, we had one last summer at WL and the space is so nice and a washer/dryer is heavenly.
     
  9. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for stopping by my PTR and for the wedding picture love!! Good to know that you liked your villa - we have never stayed in one - but we have heard so many good things! I have heard that kids love the animals - our travel agent has been there, and I was talking to a woman at work the other day who said that her children loved it.
     
  10. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    So I decided to post what our schedule looks like at the moment - it will help me to see things a bit better. We still haven't booked flights (we are hoping that the prices drop again) but because we are early risers, we typically fly out on one of the first flights in the morning.

    Monday August 22nd
    - Fly out to Florida!!
    - ADR - T-Rex: A pre-historic family adventure (Lunch)
    - We plan to spend most of this day around AKL since we haven't been there before. So Check-In, pool time, etc.
    - We also plan on going to a grocery store or Wal-Mart to pick up a few grocery type things because we have a kitchen in our villa

    Tuesday August 23rd
    - Park Day! Most likely MK

    Wednesday August 24th
    - Animal Kingdom Day
    - We have dinner reservations booked at Chef Mickey's (me, grandma and my brother) and California Grill (mom and Jim)

    Thursday August 25th
    - Epcot Day

    Friday August 26th
    - Breakfast reservation at 'Ohana!!
    - MK evening EMH

    Saturday August 27th
    - DHS day, hopefully including Rope Drop!

    Sunday August 28th
    - Not sure what we will do here. Probably go commando on this one! Go to a park for a few hours, spend some time at AKL, whatever!

    Monday August 29th
    - Home day :(
    - Because we haven't booked our flights I am not sure when we will be leaving, so we will try to get some park time in before we leave!

    We don't typically plan out every day to the 'T' so our schedule won't get a whole lot more specific. We like to try and get some relaxing and resort time in when staying at a new resort, and like to go to whichever park we might feel like doing on that particular day. I have all of the park hours written down so we know when everything is open and when EMH are so that we can make a decision any time we want.
     
  11. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    So why stay at

    [​IMG]

    Well, how about this

    [​IMG]

    or this

    [​IMG]

    Isn't it breathtaking?

    There are a bunch of reasons why we chose AKL for this trip.
    - We had a 40% off pin, so the price was incredibly reasonable
    - None of us have ever stayed there before
    - We have heard so many great things about the resort
    - It is so beautiful!!
    - My brother wants to stay at every resort on Disney property, so this crosses another one off of his list lol
    - Savannah view!

    We only have a couple of concerns (having never stayed there before) but I think the pros hugely outweigh the cons.
    - There is no quick service place at Kidani
    - We have heard that the villas don't feel as distinctly Disney as other resort rooms
    - There may be a lot of walking to get from the bus stop to the room (which is not that big of a deal except for those of us on the trip with arthritis at the end of a long day)

    If anyone has an opinion on these concerns, please feel free to share!

    **BTW - I did not take these pictures myself, they are from the Internet
     
  12. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    So my mom was talking to our travel agent yesterday, and she suggested this website for us.

    www.gardengrocer.com

    Basically you go online, grocery shop, and everything gets delivered to your resort! (for a small delivery fee)

    We have a few ADRs booked, but because we are staying in a villa now, we decided to cut the dining plan all together, and we can save some money by buying food and cooking at the resort. They will even deliver it to bell services so we don't have to waste time on our trip waiting for the delivery! We were originally going to go to crossroads or something to shop, but I like this idea much better because we will save so much time.

    Has anyone used this service before? How was your experience?
     
  13. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    3 Months and 1 Week until our trip!:cool1:
     
  14. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    So I'm not sure what I've said on here already about my mom, but she is really important to me and has done so much for me (including paying for almost my entire wedding!) so I want to do something special for her.

    She loves all of the stuff on the Disney Florist website, and has always wanted to order something, but never has. So I was thinking that I might order something special for her and have it placed in the room before we get there. She is not really into flowers, but really likes the personalized bags, and welcome things that Disney Florist offers.

    I was thinking something along the lines of Mickey's Grand Welcome/Mickey's Welcome

    [​IMG]

    It comes with plush characters, a gift box, a welcome banner, a sign on your door, some snacks, an autograph book (signed by the mouse himself), a photoframe…. etc.

    I am going to give them a call and see how much personalizing can be done with this package, to maybe switch some things that she would like better.

    I think that this is something that everyone could really enjoy, and it would be a great surprise!

    Has anyone used Disney Florist before? Is there anything that you would recommend? I would appreciate any opinions!!

    Or another thought I had, is perhaps buying things at home, putting something together, and shipping it to Disney and have them put it in the room before we arrive. But I have never done anything like this so I am not sure if it is even possible.

    Again, I would appreciate any help/opinions that anyone has

    Thanks! :goodvibes
     
  15. Kari-B

    Kari-B Mouseketeer

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    Great PTR so far! Can't wait for more!

    I LOVE the wedding pic with GF in the background, gorgeous. :lovestruc If I had to do over I would definitely do a Disney wedding, I had looked into it for ours. I had really wanted to have our honeymoon at GF, but we ended up on a cruise instead.

    It is incredibly sweet to hear how close and loving you and your family are. Sounds like you will all have a fabulous trip together!!!
     
  16. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Kari! I am hoping to do some stuff with the cricut this weekend - I finally have a couple of days off. We couldn't believe how affordable a Disney wedding was for us, I think that is what finally put it over the top. You could always do a VR at Disney lol
     
  17. Kari-B

    Kari-B Mouseketeer

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    Just had our ten year anniversary, wish I would have thought of that for then. Oh well, maybe 15? :)
     
  18. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    So, I had time tonight..hehe

    I am glad I jumped over... You are lovely and the photo from your wedding is breathtaking!

    Let's see. I have a little brother too who is ten years younger. (However, I am more than ten years older than you and he is now close to your age...and he is a new dad!)

    Garden Grocer is a great option! We used them twice. However, we ordered way more than needed. Will you be on the dining plan? It is so much food!

    I can't tell you about staying at Kidani. Even though I am DVC, I am a Jambo house girl! The Kidani pool is fabulous and your bus stop picks up and drops off before Jambo! You should request a room close to the bus stop end to help out your grandmother.

    Even though there is no quick serve, there is a grab and go in the shop (sorry to say I've not even checked it out.)

    I heard about other companies that provide the same service as the Disney Florists. You may look into them if DF doesn't offer the items you are looking for. My FIL sent us a fruit basket through Disney florist and it came in a giant Wicker Mickey head that I had to stuff in a suitcase. Something to consider when ordering for your mom--how packable are the items.
     
  19. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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    We used it last summer when we stayed in the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. It works great. I liked that I could go on the website and pick things out, since brands and stuff are different in Florida sometimes. This made it easy. I got a confirmation via email I think. Then a day or two before I got a voicemail on my cell phone, the number I had given. I didn't answer because I didn't recognize the number, I do that :) I'm so bad, hate the phone. So it was just confirming everything. Fine. Then I had selected the 9-11am window for delivery since our flight was arriving at 10am. On arrival day, we got picked up by Happy Limo at the airport and it was fast, by 10:30 we were in the car on the way and while in the car I got another message from Garden Grocer saying they had just delivered to Bell Services. We got there 10 minutes later and our room was ready and we just called down to Bell Services and they brought it up to us. It was all packed nicely with cold stuff in a separate bag so Bell Services could keep it cold, etc...

    Now, we probably ordered too much, it was just breakfast stuff for the kids and some fruit, bread for sandwiches that we never really made. Although I did use it for breakfast for the kids. I did not want to cook dinners on vacation. I probably won't order from them again. I can bring a few things in the suitcase and just grab some stuff from the store at the hotel if need be. It's more expensive at the hotel, but when you factor in the delivery fee and tipping, it's break even really if you aren't getting a lot. If you are going to cook meals or even just make lunches then it would be worth it to go through Garden Grocer. We intended too, but it just didn't work out that way for us. Service was great though. I would highly recommend them.
     
  20. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Definitely 15th lol You could start planning soon! :rotfl: Because we all know how much we love to plan!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! We are not doing the dining plan, which is why we figured the website would be good for us. We do have some ADRs booked for dinner, so it will mainly be breakfast and lunch that we will buy for. My mom figured this would save us a bunch of money, and I am okay with that lol And good tip about getting Disney floral items that will be easy to pack - sometimes we don't think about these things until it happens! I will definitely keep that in mind though! Thanks again!

    Thanks for your input! I agree with you about not wanting to cook on vacation, but it will mainly be breakfast and lunch that we will be preparing ourselves, so I don't think it will be too bad. We will mainly buy things like fruit and yogurt for breakfast, so that doesn't take much work. Plus there are 4 adults, so we can all take turns making things. Hopefully it will all work out for us, but if not, lesson learned!
     
  21. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    So on the weekend we booked our flights!:yay: It wasn't the cheapest we've ever got flights, but the price was much better than it has been, so we figured we might as well just book them. So now we are that much closer to our trip!

    So because I love lists, I am going to make a list of my must do's for each of the parks.

    I will start with
    [​IMG]

    Some attractions I haven't done at all, and some I haven'd done in a few years
    - WDW Railroad - It has been a while since I've gone on this, so I would like to do it on this trip
    - Swiss Family Treehouse - I don't think I've ever done this one, and I think my brother would enjoy it
    - The Enchanted Tiki Room - Again, haven't done this one in a while (before new management) and I don't think my brother has ever done it
    - Tom Sawyer Island
    - Liberty Belle Riverboat
    - Carousel of Progress - I really enjoy this, but my brother hasn't been so I wouldn't mind showing him. Also, Jim would love this one.
    - Hall of Presidents - this one is a maybe
    - Country Bear Jamboree - it has been years since I've seen this one!
    - Parades - lately we haven't watched parades like we used to, so I want to catch at least 1 parade

    And of course we have our regulars
    - Jungle Cruise
    - POTC
    - All of the mountains
    - The Haunted Mansion
    - Mickey's Philharmagic
    - Peter Pan's Flight
    - It's A Small World - Gramma's favourite ride, which was down for refurb on our last trip, so this is a MUST do
    - Dumbo
    - Mad Tea Party
    - Stitch's Great Escape
    - Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
    - TTA

    *Note - I am aware that some of these could be down for refurbishments and such, but I haven't really checked what is supposed to be closed so I just made a complete list. So whatever is up and running, we will do!

    This will be the longest list of them all. MK is our favourite park, so we will spend more time there than any of the other parks.

    One other thing we never missÂ…
    [​IMG]
    There are no fireworks like Disney fireworks!!
     

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