I will never go to WDW pushing a stroller! - Nov/Dec 2011 PTR, Final? Itinerary 11/18

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by afwdwfan, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    :welcome:Welcome to my first effort at writing a PTR. We will be taking our first family vacation with just me, DW and DS this fall the week after Thanksgiving. We plan to drive on Friday and Saturday to St. Pete Beach where we will spend 2 nights, then drive on to Wilderness Lodge where we'll stay 5 nights before heading back home.

    Here is our agenda for the trip:
    • Nov 25: Drive to St. Pete Beach
    • Nov 26-27: Spend some time relaxing by the water
    • Nov 28: Eat a late (11:20) breakfast at Chef Mickey's and check in at WL
    • Nov 29-Dec 2 Spend 4 full days at the parks (Detailed plans to follow)
    • Dec 3 Check out and spend a few hours at the parks
    • Dec 3-4 Return home
    Now a little bit about us:

    Me: My name is Andy. I'm the Dad and a proud member of the DIS Dads Club. This will be my 7th trip to WDW.
    • My favorite park is MK
    • My favorite ride is Rockin Rollercoaster
    • My favorite character is Goofy
    • My favorite Disney movie is Peter Pan
    DW: This will be her 4th trip to WDW. She likes it, but is nowhere near as addicted as I am.:sad2:
    • Her favorite park is MK
    • Her favorite ride is Rockin Rollercoaster
    • Her favorite character is Eeyore
    • Her favorite Disney movie is all of the Pixar movies
    DS: Well, he will be 22 months when we go... therefore it looks like I will be pushing a stroller:rolleyes1 (watch your ankles:rotfl:). This will be his first trip and I'm not sure who his favorite character is, but he loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

    We know it will be hard to do everything having a 22 month old with us, but we are planning accordingly. There is a slight chance that we could be going back in 2012 with my parents so we won't feel the need to do it all. We're going to take a laid back approach to things and take it easy. I tend to be the commando type personality that wants to be in the parks from Rope Drop to closing time. DW always wants to sleep in and relax. I've already been given permission to go to morning EMH solo and hit the big kid rides as long as I promise to come back and get them to go to whatever park we're visiting that day.:thumbsup2

    Since we're going to try to stay flexible and not overplan, we're going to use the Quick Service Dining Plan this time. We're going to do a few table service meals as well, but I haven't decided which ones we'll do. We love Italian food and in 2008 the Italian pavillion in WS was under renovation and I don't think the restaurant was open. We're going to have to visit at least one of those. We're also going to plan a character meal but haven't decided which one yet, although I'm leaning toward Chef Mickey's. As you can see we still have a lot of details to iron out, but a lot of time to do it.

    This is a bit of an introduction for now. I'll post some more background information about how this trip came to be later.

    Thanks for reading!

    Table of Contents
    How This trip came to be
    A Little bit of Disney Magic
    There's something to Celebrate
    Where do we want to eat?
    Will our Timing Work?
    Prelminary pre-ADR plans
    180 Days to go!
    Can we make it 2 years in a row???
    Tweaking some ADRs
    Independence Day Weekend
    Kings Island - Part 1
    Kings Island - The Waiting Game
    Kings Island - Snake Bit
    Lessons Learned and a Change in Plans
    Can we fit in Beaches & Cream?
    The Update About Nothing
    Can we still add someone to the reservation?
    Harvest time update
    Final???? Itinerary
     
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  3. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Hey, look what I found! Time to make someone else the butt of the jokes for a change... :stir:

    Sounds like the planning is fully underway! :thumbsup2
     
  4. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

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    Jumping over here from my PTR! Hope you don't mind the addition of a teenage girl to your DIS Dad's Club party!:laughing:
     
  5. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Well, I usually am the butt of the joke so I guess I'm just resuming my normal role. Thanks for stopping by and welcome.

    Everybody's welcome, glad you stopped by. I'd been meaning to start a PTR for a few weeks now. Turns out a slow day at work and reading a few others today was what I needed to get me going.
     
  6. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Make sure you put a nice heavy duty brush guard on the front of the stroller. It helps "persuade" people to stay out of your way.
    Oh, and big spikes coming out of the hub of the wheels, like in those Bugs Bunny Chariot races. :thumbsup2
     
  7. BigTex71

    BigTex71 DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas

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    Also, airhorns work wonders to clear a path.

    -------------------


    I'm in, looking forward to hearing about your planning and eventual trip.
     
  8. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    You guys have some really good ideas. That should help to part the crowds. :rotfl2: I think I might have to put some bigger tires on it too so that the brush guard knocks them forward instead of catching them in the back of the knee and making them fall back on the stroller.:rolleyes1

    Welcome and thanks for stopping by!
     
  9. DisDadDoc

    DisDadDoc <font color=red>DDC #403<br><font color=royalblue>

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    I'm in too! Can't wait to see how it goes! :cool1:
     
  10. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    And a flamethrower! :thumbsup2
     
  11. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Welcome! Glad you stopped by. It will probably go slow though... I've got 9 months to kill before we leave. I thought it would be fun to try a PTR, and if it doesn't completely crash and burn, a TR after the trip.

    That is a great idea!!!! :idea: It would have to be compact and easy to remove from the stroller though. No point taking a flamethrower if I can't mount it onto the front of a boat in a certain attraction.:rolleyes1
    I love the smell of napalm in the morning.:rotfl2::lmao:
     
  12. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    How this trip and the PTR title came to be:

    I've always enjoyed Disney World and looked forward to the day that I could take my children to enjoy it with me. Over the course of my trips to Disney World, I’ve seen parents juggling with strollers and diaper bags and I knew I had no interest in doing that. I was 4 (almost 5) when I first visited Walt Disney World in 1985. I was old enough that my parents didn’t have to take a stroller and be loaded down with a bag full of diapers, extra clothes, etc. I had it set in my mind that my kids were going to have to wait until they were that age to go to Disney World also. I have always been very adamant about the fact that I don’t want to have to deal with pushing a stroller around Disney World. I hate maneuvering the stroller through any crowds at all. I’ve actually only used that thing 1 or 2 times in the past year because I find it easier to just carry him if it is at all possible. It has worked out very well for me that DS loves being higher than everybody else and is always content to ride on my shoulders. Right now he only weighs 20 pounds so that has been working out well for us until Dad forgets to duck under a doorway.:headache::rolleyes1 It has only happened once... at church... in front of a crowd.:guilty:

    Anyway, DW and I decided we needed a vacation with just us and our DS in 2011. In 2008 we vacationed with my parents at WDW. In 2009 she was pregnant and we were both saving our vacation days to take time off when DS was born. In 2010 we vacationed with DW’s family. 2011 is going to be our first family vacation. Our expectations for this trip rival those of a trip planned by Clark W. Griswold. This trip is going to be EPIC… or at least as epic as it can be with a toddler a couple of months shy of 2 years old.

    DW wanted to go to the beach. I love the beach... for about 2 hours. After that I start to get just a little bit bored. I think the sand and water is beautiful and I love the sound of waves crashing on the beach, but one day of that every year or two and I'm good. DW loves sitting on the beach just relaxing and reading. I guess my problem is that I just don't do well sitting in one place doing nothing for very long. If I'm not doing something I'm thinking about what I have back at home that I should be doing and that just isn't relaxing. Unfortunately, she was very set on the idea of spending a week at St. Pete Beach and I was unable to put together an argument to convince her otherwise.


    Next update: How Disney helped me negotiate a compromise
     
  13. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

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    Love the idea of the flamethrower! :rotfl2:

    popcorn::
     
  14. that's nice

    that's nice DIS Dad #330

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    Checkin IN!!!! I gotta run but I'll be back later to read all the plans!:thumbsup2
     
  15. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Are you giving out points in this TR? :rolleyes1

    :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

    Uh oh. Expectations are a dangerous thing...

    Yeah, I can understand that. I like the beach a lot more when I'm swimming. I can do that for a while. Sitting on the sand gets old pretty quick. It helps when you can spend time playing with your kids.
     
  16. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    What's not to like about mindless destruction? :confused3

    Good to have you here! Thanks for stopping by.

    It would be a crime if that quote wasn't mentioned when flamethrower discussion began. I can't steal your idea... well I could, but I have too much class for that. I'm going to quote works of literature in my TR.
    Not really, but I might try to come up with something original between now and December. The contests in your TR were really a lot of fun.:thumbsup2


    :lmao::rotfl2: Yeah, I always expect the unexpected. I have to spice this thing up a little bit and build some suspense if I expect to have any readers left by the time I actually get to a TR. popcorn::

    That, and I'm always looking for an excuse to reference one of the greatest fathers in American cinema.
     
  17. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    I’m sorry that I haven’t put any pictures in here yet… simple fact is that when we went to Disney in 2008, DW took a ton of pictures. Unfortunately we can’t find them. The only ones we can find are the ones she had on her desktop of the park icons and the Hollywood Tower Hotel. I’ll try to work some visuals in as I can, and promise to have pictures for the upcoming TR. I might have to raid my mom’s photo albums and scan some 1985 pics to stick in here sometime.
     
  18. mtgirl29

    mtgirl29 Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like a wonderful plan so far. We have actually planned a beach vacation after our Disney trip (May 29- June 3) I will need to relax after my "Drill Sargeant" hubby is done with us at Disney (ha!) ! My dh is a real Disney fanatic. I need to tell him about the DIS Dad Club. Cannot wait to read more!
     
  19. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Welcome... both to the DIS and to my PTR. I'm a little harsh on my criticizm of the beach. It is definitely fun and relaxing, I just need it in moderation. It looks like your husband meets the first requirement for the DIS Dads Club. If he likes immature humor and fart jokes he could run the place.:lmao:
     
  20. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    How Disney helped me negotiate a compromise and some Disney Magic

    Just when I thought I was going to be sitting on a beach for a week, our good friends at Disney sent us a pin code for a 40% discount on stays at a Deluxe Resort.:woohoo: I started working on a spreadsheet:surfweb: (thanks to the example set by my fellow DIS Dads) and showed DW how we could stay at Wilderness Lodge for relatively cheap, and even comparable to what our usual place at the beach costs. DW isn’t quite as crazy about Disney as I am, so she wasn't quite sold on the idea. My compromise was to take a couple of days driving down, spend 2 nights at St. Pete Beach and then spend 5 nights at Wilderness Lodge. She was still a bit hesitant until I showed her all the pictures of the lobby and pool that were provided complements of the many WL lovers on the DIS.:thumbsup2 I have always loved the theme of WL and wanted to stay there, and I knew she’d feel the same way after I showed her the pictures.

    We have never been to WL, and are really looking forward to it. DW loves the rustic look and our living room is decorated with things that look like they belong in the lobby of WL. I’ve noticed that some of the light fixtures with the cutouts of evergreen trees and animals on them are actually similar to a ceiling fan we have in our living room. We will definitely be very much at home there. With DS taking his first trip, it will be really nice to be just a boat ride away from MK. When I was little, I always thought that the Contemporary was the coolest thing ever. I mean it is a hotel with a monorail running through it!!!! I would have loved to stay at one of the monorail resorts, but the theme (and lower cost) of WL made it an easy choice for us.

    I checked into booking the package through AAA because we've dealt with them in the past and I knew I could communicate with them by e-mail from work. I don't know why Disney won't allow you to use a pin code to book online instead of having to call in.:confused3 When I looked at the AAA website after the pin code arrived and saw that January was Disney month, it was just some more incentive to book with them. We simply wanted a standard view room, but by the time we booked there were none available so we had to upgrade to the woods view. I’ve got to admit, it concerns me a bit that the Standard View rooms were already booked up nearly 11 months out. I just hope that it means there were none left for the discount rate and not necessarily an indication that crowds will be ridiculous. :confused3I guess I’ll be able to answer that question later in the TR.

    I went to the AAA office on a Saturday morning to make the down payment on our reservation and secure my complementary Disney Gift Card. I shared this story with the DIS Dads already, but I got to experience some Disney magic that morning. I had to wait while the “Disney TA” took care of a family that was booking an October trip. They had a cute little girl with them who was probably 3 or 4 years old and apparently had no idea they were booking a trip to Disney World. She was acting kind of bored and impatient while mom and dad were working things out with the TA. Finally as their paperwork was printing the TA started handing out some materials including a kid’s travel guide for the little girl. Once she saw the pictures she began to open up a little bit and started asking questions. Her mom leaned over and started telling her about all the rides that were in the pictures and explained to her that they were going to Disney World and they were going to eat breakfast with Handy Manny. Apparently the magic words are “Handy Manny.” This shy, quiet little girl quickly began to resemble Chip (or Dale) after about 7 or 8 Red Bulls.:scared1: She started running around the office telling anyone who was (or wasn’t) willing to listen that she is going to go to Disney World and eat breakfast with Handy Manny. :rotfl2:

    After they left, it was my turn with the TA. I sat down and we started chatting about that little girl. She told me she loves seeing children get excited like that, but it is going to be a long 9 months until she gets her breakfast. :faint:

    This is the kind of thing I love about Disney. Just the thought of being there can give you that special feeling. It is almost like the goosebumps I get anytime I see the castle at the beginning of a Disney movie or hear “When you Wish Upon a Star.” I don’t know who that little girl was, but I think about her every time I sit down to write something for this PTR or work on planning for our trip. Her excitement was infectious and that is really what it is all about. I wasn’t at Disney and all I was doing was making my wallet a bit lighter that day, but still I came away feeling a healthy dose of Disney magic.:wizard::goodvibes


    Next update: past visits to the mouse
     
  21. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    I've only stayed one night at the Wilderness Lodge (Down on the DVC end), but it's an awesome hotel! You're going to love it!
     

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