Girls Only Spring Break POFQ w/DxDP **Updated w/ Dooney & Bourke Tote Pics**

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Tri-Delta4Life, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    I took my mom and sister to WDW during their Spring Break, Sunday, March 21 - Saturday, March 27.

    Me (24) - Avionics engineer from Iowa. This was my 3rd WDW trip in 3 years. My previous 2 trips have been with DH.

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    (This is Sam, my corgi... he didn't go on the trip, but corgis are like bacon... they make everything just a little bit better!)

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    Mom (54) - Middle school Math teacher from Indiana. Mom’s been to WDW 2 previous times, ~20 and ~35 years ago.

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    Sis (17) - High school junior and part time cosmetology student from Indiana. Sis’s first trip!

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    I caught the Disney bug on my honeymoon to WDW in 2008 and have been obsessed ever since! After graduating college a few years ago, I moved to Iowa to start my career and haven’t been able to see Mom and Sis much since then. I’d been wanting to take Mom and Sis to my favorite vacation spot so we could enjoy some girl time, so as soon as the Buy 4, Get 3 Free promo came out I was on the phone booking our trip for their spring break. I told Sis immediately and she was super excited, but I kept it a surprise from Mom. I just told her that I had something planned and to keep spring break open.

    On my previous trips, I’ve stayed at POR and the GF. A Deluxe wasn’t in the budget for this trip because I wanted to do the Deluxe Dining Plan, so I choose POFQ. Having never been to WDW before, Sis had some concerns that it might be too little kidish for her, so I wanted to stay away from the Value resorts. I choose POFQ because 1) it was in my budget and 2) it’s the smallest Moderate resort, which ended up really coming in handy... more on that in a bit! I wanted to go with the DxDP because I wanted everyone to enjoy herself at meals and not worry about trying to select the entree with the cheapest price tag. I was footing the bill for our Girls Only trip and didn’t want anyone to be thinking about money while we were out having fun. DxDP was a good fit for us because I’m a big fan of the WDW Signature restaurants and like to do as many as possible!

    I had debated for a while on how to “reveal” the big trip to Mom. I finally settled on on mailing her and Sis a package about a month before spring break with a letter explaining where we were going, Magical Express tags, flight info and 2 Coach swing pack purses (my ultimate Disney parks bag)! Mom said it wasn’t a huge surprise because she knows how much I love WDW (so true...) but she was still super excited to get away with her two girls for a week!

    I signed us up for GAD, which turned out to be awesome! I volunteered at a local free clothing store and then I helped Mom and Sis out with their Haiti Care Kits. I actually ended up going back to the clothing store a few more times to volunteer. The Haiti Care Kits ended up being a lot more expensive than we originally anticipated, almost $70 per 10 kits (10 kits per person). Overall, our GAD experience was good though and those GAD fast pass cards were amazing!

    Three weeks prior to our big trip, I tripped over a rolled up rug in my house and sprained BOTH of my ankles! I’ve had many questions about how this is physically possible, but I can assure you it is just about as much fun as it sounds. Fortunately, my right ankle wasn’t nearly as bad as my left. It was able to start bearing some weight in about 3 days. In the mean time though, my only mode of transportation was crawling or getting pushed in a roller chair. Once the right ankle could start bearing weight, I upgraded from the roller chair to crutches, which I had right up until a few days before boarding my plane to Orlando. I left for WDW with no idea of how well my ankles would hold up for touring the parks or even navigating the airports (whooo connecting flights)! I prepared Sis that she might end up pushing me in a wheelchair if all else failed.

    The Plan

    Sunday - Arrival at MCO, Check in to POFQ, Dinner at The Flying Fish Cafe
    Monday - Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, MK park day, Dinner at Artist Point
    Tuesday - AK park day, Lunch at Yak and Yeti, Dinner at Boma
    Wednesday - DHS park day, Lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby, Dinner at The California Grill
    Thursday - Epcot park day, Lunch at Coral Reef, Dinner at LeCellier
    Friday - Epcot park day, Lunch at Les Chefs de France, Dinner at Narcossee's
    Saturday - Departure
     
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  3. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    I woke up at 3 am to finish packing and get to the airport at 4:30 am for my 5:15 am flight out of the Cedar Rapids airport. In case you’ve never been to the Cedar Rapids airport... it is tiny. My flight was the first of the day and the next flight wasn’t until 6 am. It took me about 10 minute from walking in the door to sitting at my gate: 5 minutes to check in and check my luggage and then 5 minutes to go through security and walk to my gate. You can only get direct flights from Cedar Rapids to a handful of cities, one of which is Orlando! Unfortunately, you can only fly direct to the Sanford Airport and not the Orlando International Airport which I like to fly to so I can catch the Magic Express to my resort. I catch my 5:15 am flight to Chicago and hang out there for an hour before hopping on my connection to Orlando. In Chicago, I called Mom to see if their flight is on time and it is, but Sis is complaining about having to wake up so early.... hahaha, you haven’t lived until you’ve woken up at 3 am for a flight! Their direct flight out of Cincinnati isn’t leaving until 9 am (Eastern) so I didn’t have any sympathy for the sleepy gal.

    Mom and Sis on the plane!

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    We all arrived in MCO within a half hour of each other and we met down at the Magical Express check in area. I hadn’t seen them since I was home for Christmas, so I was really excited for our reunion! We checked in at the Magical Express without any issues and promptly boarded our bus for POFQ!

    Me and Sis on the Magical Express!

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    We checked in to POFQ without any issues. We were given a 3rd floor river view room in building 7. It was pretty close to the furthest room from the main building, but it wasn’t bad at all because of how small POFQ is! The view of the river from our building was gorgeous. Mom and Sis couldn’t believe how nice everything at the resort was. They really had no idea what to expect. I was a little afraid I’d be disappointed in the resort because my last stay was at the Grand Floridian, but I actually loved POFQ and would definitely go back there!

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    After we explored the resort a little and picked up our refillable drink mugs, we got on the bus to head to the Boardwalk for dinner at The Flying Fish Cafe. The trip to the Boardwalk was less than ideal.... next time I’ll take a cab! We took the bus to Downtown Disney then got on the Boardwalk bus, but unfortunately it stopped at all of the other Epcot/DHS area resorts before dropping us off. I think Mom and Sis were convinced I had no idea what I was doing and we were never going to make it there.

    Our meal at FF was excellent as usual. DH and I have a tradition of always eating at FF on our first night at WDW then enjoying a stroll along the boardwalk. I had done the DxDP before so I knew what to expect, Mom and Sis were in the dark though about how much food they were going to be presented with over the next week. I tried to prepare them that they would NOT be able to eat everything put in front of them or else they would pop! They definitely tried to eat it all at FF that first night, but after that they started taking my advice. I had my normal FF favorites, crab cake and potato wrapped snapper. I think the FF crab cake is the best in WDW and the snapper is one of my favorite fish entrees.

    Ceiling at Flying Fish

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    After dinner we walked around the boardwalk and enjoyed the entertainment. It ended up getting pretty chilly as the sun set. To get home we took the bus to Downtown Disney then the boat back to POFQ.

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    On the boat back to from Downtown Disney!

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  4. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    Day 2

    We got up early and to make it to MK for our breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table. Today we exchanged our first GAD voucher for the GAD fast pass cards. Everything went well getting the fast pass cards, no problems. Our reservation was prior to park opening so we got to check out Main Street when it was practically empty!

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    I over estimated how long it would take us to get to MK and get our GAD voucher turned in. We ended up checking in at the Castle about 40 minutes before our scheduled ADR time. Fortunately we got in with very minimal wait! Sis and I both got the french toast and Mom got the omelet. We were really disappointed in the french toast, it was way too greasy for our tastes. We did enjoy the pastries and fruit though. Our favorite part about eating in the Castle was getting into the park early and seeing all of the little girls who were so excited to see the Princesses.

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    After breakfast the park had opened up and was starting to fill with people. We headed over to Fantasyland to get in some rides before the crowds picked up. This was my first trip during Spring Break, so I was concerned that the crowds might become overwhelming. For our first ride of the trip, we selected Snow White’s Scary Adventure... ok, so maybe not the best ride to convince Sis that WDW wasn’t just for little kids, but there was no wait, so I figured why not!

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    Then we hit up some of my other Fantasyland faves like Peter Pan and Mickey’s Philharmagic before heading over to one of my absolute favorite attractions in MK... Splash Mountain!! Mom and Sis were both concerned about going on a ride with “splash” in the title when it was only upper 60’s out. I assured them that you don’t get soaked on it, just sprayed a little bit. So of course, they had the water cannons on and the water happened to fall on the seat Mom and Sis were in together. No on else got anything more than misted! We took about a 20 minutes break while Mom and Sis dried themselves out and then continued on with our day after I promised there would be no more water rides.

    We spent the rest of the day touring MK, making stops at Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, TTA, and Space Mountain. We didn't end up using all of our GAD fast passes so we found a family of 3 and gave our fast pass cards and instructions on how to use them to the family. At first I think they thought I was trying to sell them something, but once they realized I wasn't crazy they were so excited!

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    That night we went to Artist Point at The Wilderness Lodge for dinner. DH and I planned to eat here on our honeymoon but I got sick so we ended up skipping this ADR, so I was really excited to finally try AP! I’d never been to WL before either and it was so much more beautiful than the pictures I’d seen of it. It’s definitely on my list of resorts to stay at at some point. Dinner was great. I had a venisan appetizer that I didn’t really care for, I think maybe I just don’t like venison, but my salmon was absolutely amazing. It was probably the best cooked and seasoned salmon I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to take DH here on our next trip back to WDW. Mom had her first encounter with buffalo and has decided that she is a fan. Sis enjoyed her steak, but her highlight was definitely the berry cobbler. Sis is a raspberry fanatic, so she was in 7th heaven with this dessert.

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  5. DisGirl81

    DisGirl81 Earning My Ears

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    I am very much enjoying your TR. My Mom and I are taking a girls only trip in December! I am so excited!
     
  6. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    Awe thanks!!! I was afraid nobody was reading! I'm sure you guys will have an awesome time. I know I'll always remember this trip with my mom and sister. :goodvibes
     
  7. spiroff.natasha

    spiroff.natasha Mouseketeer

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    I love your early morning Main Street pictures...I will definitely have to have breakfast there on the next trip to take advantage of a nearly empty Main Street!
     
  8. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    It was so neat! I really didn't expect to get any shots with no people in them! You definitely have to do breakfast in the park before it opens, just for the experience of walking down Main Street with only a handfull of other people around. :cloud9:
     
  9. Disneymama1

    Disneymama1 Mouseketeer

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    Sounds wonderful so far. I am very much enjoying your report. My daughter and I are off to Food and Wine Festival in 4 months and 2 days - we can't wait. Reading your report makes me even more excited for our own trip. I'll be waiting to read the next installment.
     
  10. mauigal

    mauigal Yay! For the happiest place on earth!

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    I'm in!!! popcorn::
    I'm spiroff.natasha's mom
    Mom daughter trips are the BEST in my opinion!!
    Keep it coming!
     
  11. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    Day 3

    We slept in some today and got to AK a little before our lunch ADR at Yak and Yeti. We decided AK would be our one park to not use a GAD voucher because we only only had 2 "must do" rides (EE and Safari). Lunch at Y&Y was great as always. I tried something new this time, the ribs, and they were fantastic. I’ll definitely be getting them again next time. Sis was confused at the menu because she thought she could actually order some Yeti.... we had to explain to her that Yetis aren’t real. After lunch, we checked out the walking trails. We even got to see the baby gorilla! Momma gorilla was guarding baby pretty closely from the on lookers so we only got a brief glimpse of the baby when she was repositioning, so unfortunately you can’t see the baby in any of my pictures.

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    My sprained ankle was holding up pretty well, but I was trying to minimize walking as much as possible. I sent Mom and Sis to collect fast passes while I waited on them. Mom really enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Sis and I decided that Expedition Everest was our favorite though!

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    After the safari and Everest, we headed over to the Tree of Life to check out It’s Tough to Be a Bug. It was nice to have some time in the A/C! It wasn’t an especially hot day, but like others before me have said... AK just feels hotter than the other parks.

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    Then we headed over to catch the last showing of the day of Finding Nemo The Musical which I’ve seen before and really love. Actually, every time I think about the show “It the big blue world....” pops into my head.

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    Then we hopped a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma. We enjoyed it, but Mom and Sis weren’t a big fan of a lot of the spices and thought some of the savory foods were too sweet, but fortunately they did find a lot of satisfactory desserts! I prefer Jiko over Boma, but I thought Mom and Sis might need a break from Signature dinners and like trying a buffet. If I had to do it over, I think I would’ve just gone a head a booked Jiko instead of Boma.

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    Since we had an earlier dinner tonight, we checked out Downtown Disney for a little shopping on our way back to POFQ. Mom’s favorite Disney movie is Toy Story so she was super excited when she found some of her friends!

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  12. wed100105

    wed100105 Mouseketeer

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    I'm loving your trip report! What a kind sister and daughter you are to provide such a wonderful trip. I'm sure you have made memories that will last for years and years to come!

    I'm taking my mom (49) and daughter (2) down in a little more than a month. I have really enjoyed reading your trip and getting excited about our own. Keep posting! You're doing fabulous! popcorn::
     
  13. teacher1717

    teacher1717 Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like you guys had a blast. I'm heading back to POFQ in exactly a month and I CAN'T WAIT!!!:yay:
     
  14. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    How fun! I hope I can make it to Food & Wine someday... I do enjoy both of those quite a lot! :rotfl:

    I agree! Loving reading about ya'lls trip too!

    I hope you have as an amazing trip as we did! This type of thing is always what kept me motivated in college... I always wanted to do well in school and get a good job so I would be able to do things with my family that we weren't able to do when I was growing up.

    Yay! I'm officially a POFQ lover now after this trip ... have an awesome time!
     
  15. MAJ RN

    MAJ RN Mom to Tyler and Alex!

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    Really enjoying your trip report, can't wait to read more!!



    Melissa
     
  16. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for reading! I'll have more to post tonight!
     
  17. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    Day 4

    We slept in again some today before heading over to DHS. I was really excited to take Sis here because I knew she’d love Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. We used our 2nd GAD voucher to get fast pass cards today. Upon arrival, Mom and Sis fetched regular fast passes from Tower of Terror then we headed to lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby. We had some amazing fillets here! Mmmm, I’m drooling just thinking about them. The salmon was also excellent. For dessert, we tried some grapefruit cake, which DH and I both love, but it just wasn’t as good as I remembered this time. Maybe it was a bad day, maybe they tweaked the recipe, maybe my memory is bad... all possibilities! I think I’ll give it another try though next time we’re there.

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    After lunch we were eligible to pick up another regular fast pass so Mom and Sis headed over to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to pick some up for us. Then we headed over and rode TT with a GAD fast pass. Mom and Sis both really enjoyed. It was a lot of fun watching them anticipate when the drops would come since they didn’t know when the dropping would start. Mom definitely screamed a lot!

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    After TT we headed over to RnR and used another of our GAD fast passes. Sis volunteered to ride by herself so Mom and I could sit together. Sis’s single rider happened to be a teen boy who was obviously looking for a way to strike up a conversation, so he used the best pick up line he could think of... “Do you throw up?” ... she was not so impressed and asked him “Do you scream?” and he responded “I can if you want me to.” At this point, Mom and I both busted out laughing and Sis just looked at us like, you’ve got to be kidding me. Fortunately for Sis, RnR is a pretty short ride. Mom and I considered buying the picture from the ride so Sis could always remember her new “friend” but we were too cheap.

    After RnR, we decided to sit down and hang out for a bit. My ankle was hurting and it was starting to get pretty hot out.

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    After our break, we used our regular fast passes to go on TT and RnR again. Then we went over to Toy Story Mania. I was really excited for Mom to go on TSM because she LOVES Toy Story! Her two favorite “modern” Disney movies are Toy Story and Monsters Inc. We used our GAD fast pass to get immediate fast passes. We still had to wait almost 20 minutes in the fast pass line! The standby line was 90 minutes, I think, possibly longer. I felt bad depriving Mom of seeing Mr. Potato Head, but none of us really wanted to wait in that long of a standby line. Mom and Sis rode together and I sat by myself, but I was having so much fun, I didn’t even notice! I could hear Mom and Sis laughing and giggling the whole time. Needless to say, TSM was a big hit with this crowd!

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    I’ve never really been a big character person. I like seeing them from afar, but I never really felt the need to wait in a line to interact with them or get a signature. Actually, I think our breakfast at CRT might be my first character interaction as an adult! After TSM, Sis wasn’t feeling so great, so we decided to find a shady place to have a drink and relax.

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    After our break we got up and found a little merchandise area that had tons of Monsters Inc stuff. Mom was so excited! We looked it all over and as we were getting ready to leave, I caught this big blue furry thing out of the corner of my eye. It was Sulley! Followed closely by Mike, of course! They were just coming out of their door to start a character greet, I presume. I pointed them out to Mom and she ran over, just like a little kid and gave Sulley a big hug. We got a few minutes to hang out with Mike and Sulley before anyone else started coming over to get in line to meet them. It was definitely magical!

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    Afterwards, we decided to just walk around and do a little shopping. I found the store that sells the Disney Dooney and Bourke purses. I’d been eyeing them on the Dis for a few months and hadn’t decided if I wanted one or not. After seeing them in person, I was sold. I decided to get a large tote bag! Once I decided what I wanted, I probably sent 30 minutes deciding which one had the best layout. (If anyone requests, I'll take a picture of the tote and post it.)

    On our way out of HS, we saw this American Idol Experience billboard that looked just like Sis! We took a picture so we could tell everyone she was so good at AI they decided to feature her on a billboard. I know the Dissers are too smart to fall for that, so I didn’t try to fool you guys! We actually tried to convince Sis to audition for the AI Experience, but Mom and I were unsuccessful. Sis is a really great singer and performer, I think she would’ve had a good chance of making it to one of the shows, but I guess we’ll never know!

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    We still had some time between leaving the park and dinner at The California Grill at the Contemporary. We decided to get on the bus to the Contemp then take a monorail tour of the the Poly and GF. We enjoyed checking out the different lobbies and gift shops. We spent a while admiring the art store in the Poly.... some beautiful stuff in there! At the GF, I spent a small fortune in White Basin, replenishing my bath bomb collection. I also picked up some salt scrub for my feet and some shaving cream for DH.

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    Sis was really not feeling well at dinner. Nothing sounded good, so she just ordered a cheese flat bread and the goat cheese ravioli (the two plainest things on the menu) but she still only managed a few bites. Mom and I both had delicious meals. But most importantly, we had an amazing night time view of MK. About 10 minutes after our meal ended, we went out onto the observation deck to watch Wishes. It was amazing to watch Mom and Sis see it for the first time. I’ll have to admit though, I’ve never actually seen wishes from within MK! I’ve only ever seen it from the Cali Grill observation deck! Next trip though, that is definitely on my to-do list. I’ve actually never been in any of the parks at night, but I hope to change that on my next trip with DH.
     
  18. teacher1717

    teacher1717 Mouseketeer

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    I'd like to see a picture of the bag if you don't mind.
     
  19. DisGirl81

    DisGirl81 Earning My Ears

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    Me too! I might pick one up in December if I really love it.
     
  20. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

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    Ask and ye shall receive!

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    With side snapped

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    With side snapped

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    Bottom has metal feet to keep the material from getting dirty/worn

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    Inside has cell phone pocket and zipper pocket

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    Review

    The size is perfect for traveling or transporting binders/books/other stuff. The two straps fit comfortably on your shoulder and the tote is comfortable under your arm. For me, it's too large for an everyday use purse and I'm a "big purse" kinda gal. There is a smaller tote size that would be better for everyday use. Then there is also an even smaller hand held purse available and a wristlet. One reason I don't recommend it for everyday use is that it is inconvenient to get in and out of it you have the strap buckled (it's an actual buckle, not magnetic). I love the side snaps! With the snaps done and the buckle fastened on the tightest setting, the top is pretty well sealed to keep most anything from falling out. I used the tote as my carry on on the way back from WDW and had to put it in the overhead and nothing fell out.
     
  21. teacher1717

    teacher1717 Mouseketeer

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    super cute! I love it, I may have to check out the wristlet when I go. I use a wristlet a lot in the evenings when I go to WDW.
     

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