Okay, first of all, I need to say that neither my husband nor I are dorks. At least WE dont think we are. And, all of my wonderful, fantabulous DIS friends are not either. So thats not the reason for this title. That reason will be revealed in this first installment. Below. After my cast run-down. CAST of Characters (and, boy, are they characters....) Me: Susan, Ashclan, Ash, Maelstromer, (44...for a few more days!!). I am a WDW trip planning freak. (As, I suppose, most of us are here on the DIS.) Jay: DH (also 44), the most wonderful husband in the world, IMHO. And handsome, too. Some say he looks like JFK Jr. Well, when he was alive (yeah, thanks for that, Jami)! He isnt as much of a WDW freak as I am. And, until very recently, he had never even looked much at the DIS (other than a few choice ZZUB tidbits I had him read). But he loves to see me happy. And both WDW and the DIS make me happy. So he was game for, if a little leery of, this trip. He did not regret his decision, TFI. DS14 & DS12: NOT with us on this trip. But a very important part of our lives, obviously. We are going again in November, and they will be there for most of that one. So we did make some observations on their behalf in preparation for that upcoming trip. (Yes, we are going twice in a month. And plan to go again in April. Did I say I am a WDW freak?) They are both wonderful boys. They stayed with various family members (although mostly at our own house) while we were partying down south. They didnt mind. Really. They are great kids. And although they love Disney, they love to stay home, too. Do I sound guilty? Well, I was. But just a little. DISfriends: Maelstromers, Fastpassers, Crazy people, but very, very wonderful people. And very funny. And loads of fun. It all started here on this TR board. And with some unpleasantness here that led us over to the Community Board (CB). And we have talked on a daily basis for over six months. Well, some of us on a daily basis. Some of us less frequently. But they have all become such a wonderful part of my life. A bunch of them were meeting at WDW during the weekend of Sept. 29 - Oct. 2. Actually, it was originally just set to meet at Maelstrom (...is a Fastpass?!?!) on the morning of the 2nd. It kinda grew from there. So, anywho, this meet was taking shape. And I was getting antsy. I wanted in. Even though we had already started planning our November trip. So, I asked Jay. Our anniversary is in September....my birthday is in October. I thought, maybe, that this could be an anniverthday gift. He barely paused. Said, sure. (Told you he is wonderful!) I didnt waste a minute before I started planning. Free airfare (we were bumped en route to last springs cruise..thanks for the inspiration Horsegirl!!), free dining (Ya Hoo!! Music to this foodies ears), and the justification (with a few more visits in the works) to buy APs. How could we go wrong? I also decided, since this was to be a short-ish trip, that we could afford to do the Wilderness Lodge, in a normal room, since we didnt have to worry about the crowdedness of sharing with our boys. (We like renting DVC with the boys for the extra room. More on that later, too.) I loved the look of the WL lobby when we dined at WCC a couple of years ago, and always wanted to try it out. So the WL it was. I even used a travel agent, which I never do. Between the free dining, our first try with ME, and paying rack rate anyway (due to said free dining), I figured it would be worth a try. (Used Cathy at Dreams Unlimited. She was great!) THEN, the planning began in earnest. Had to plan our itinerary. So I could plan our dining (or dinning, for the spelling impaired). Because, as we all know, the dining is the most important part. Especially when its free. And when we dont have picky kids tagging along! I think everything was pretty caste in stone within a week or two. Doesnt take me long. We had only three full days, with a late afternoon/evening on Friday, and just an hour or so on Tuesday morning. ADRs included: Boma, Kona Café (thanks for the recommendation, LaLa!), Concourse Steakhouse, and Alfredos. When I started, the only appointment we had was the Maelstrom meet on Monday morning. So I knew wed be in Epcot that day. After reviewing the EMH schedule (which usually just helps me decide which parks to avoid...), our plan fell into place rather quickly. Later, a few changes arose. Lots of friends had managed to secure ADRs at the California Grill. For Wishes viewing. I decided Id like to do that, but was unable to get an ADR later than 4:30 p.m. or so. Not very helpful when Wishes is at 9. I was about to give up, when two of my dear friends, Sheridac and Jamal, came to my rescue. They invited us to join them on Sunday night at 9 for their big-group ADR at the Cali. I was thrilled. Bye-bye Concourse. I then decided, if we were eating that late on Sunday, we may want to do a sit-down lunch. So I set an ADR for LTT for 1:00. Good decision, that. I also set one last one for WCC breakfast before ME was going to pick us up on the dreaded last day. Done, done, done. At least with dinner and which park which days. I continued to chat with my friends. And to get more and more excited. And to exchange itineraries. Jay was getting a little nervous. He told me that, although I really enjoyed my DIS friends, and that they may be really fun and personable online, I shouldnt be so sure that they would be all that normal when I met them in person. He suspected that I may be unpleasantly surprised by these people who spent so much of their time on the internet. Of course, I was one of those people, but he seemed to not really grasp that. Or he doesnt have as high an opinion of me as I think he does. At any rate, he named the trip. And the meet. Dorkapalooza 2006. Yep, my wonderful husband was dissing the DIS. And my dear friends. And, to be honest, his own wife. Now you know where the title for this TR came from! NEXT UP: More planning, pre-departure anxiety, and pixie dust!