Island Hopping: A WDW PTR for Sept. 2012-- Link to TR! 10/10

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by Fantasyland Mom, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Fantasyland Mom

    Fantasyland Mom DIS Veteran

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    :beach:Here we go again! Our wild bunch has decided to invade Walt Disney World yet again, and this time we are doing it on Island Time! That has many meanings to us, so you’ll just have to stick around and find out what we’re talking about…good luck on that, by the way…most of the time we don’t even understand ourselves!:sunny:

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    Who are the island-dwellers, you might ask? If you read my first ever TR, "Twirling Through the World", you no doubt remember the five of us (for better or worse):grouphug:. If you’ve never had the pleasure (?) of meeting my family, then WELCOME! I’m so glad you’ve decided to follow us on what is sure to be quite an adventure! Here are the tour guides:

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    First up, ME! I’m Jennifer. I’m a 29 year old stay-at-home mom to my three spectacular children. Disney planning became a surprise obsession of mine before our first trip in 2009. We’ve been back every year, even when I was hugely pregnant! I love reading British history and historical fiction and watching “Magnum, P.I.” on Netflix. Don’t judge!

    Favorite Park: Epcot for myself, Magic Kingdom for the joy I get watching my kids have fun
    Favorite Ride: “it’s a small world” and Soarin’. Yes, really.
    Favorite Disney Movies: Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, and Finding Nemo
    Favorite Disney Songs: “You Can Fly” and “I See the Light”
    Favorite Disney Restaurant: Chef Mickey’s. Yes, really, again.

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    This is my DH, Brandon. He’s a 32 year old Civil Designer for the Water Resources Dept. of an engineering firm. I don’t know what that means either, so don’t feel bad. Computers. Dams and levees. Pipes and drains and flood planes. Something along those lines, and a paycheck is magically deposited in our bank account twice a month. Brandon’s obsession is photography, and he is usually successful in convincing me to allow him to get more camera gear just by saying, “You know how awesome our Disney pictures could be if I had this??” He knows I’m a pushover for all things WDW vacation related. He is also very artistic, and while he looks nothing like Magnum, he’s still cute and I appreciate that he does not rock the short shorts and open Hawaiian shirt…yet. He doesn’t do the Disney planning, but he loves all the hype before, during, and after a WDW vacation, and he is all about being silly on our trips, as evidenced by the above picture!

    Favorite Park: Epcot
    Favorite Ride: Rockin’ Rollercoaster
    Favorite Disney Movie: Blank Check
    Favorite Disney Songs: “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”
    Favorite Disney Restaurant: Sci-Fi Dine-In

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    Here’s our oldest, 6 year old Julia. She’ll be starting first grade soon, but she’s more like a thirty year old. Her reading level most likely surpasses mine, as does her attitude sometimes. Julia’s a planner like her Mommy, and she very much lets her displeasure show if things don’t go how she planned in her head. She’s a protective older sister and loves playing with her siblings. She gives hugs and kisses all day long with no prompting. Her current hobby is writing and illustrating books, and she is one spoiled princess.

    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Ride: Soarin’
    Favorite Disney Movies: Any of the million of “Buddies” movies…you know, the dogs that talk? All of them.
    Favorite Disney Song: “Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride” from Lilo and Stitch.
    Favorite Disney Restaurant: Chef Mickey's

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    Next up is Brynn. Brynn’s 4, and she is full of love, energy, and pixie dust. My last TR was named after her because she really does twirl and bounce around wherever she goes:tigger:. It’s rather endearing and you can’t help smiling when you’re around her and her enthusiasm. We recently found out that her constant movement is part of her diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder, but we don’t think it’s negative at all! If you’re not familiar with SPD, it pretty much means that the brain has trouble processing the information your body is sending. It looks different for everyone. In Brynn’s case, she seeks some sensory experiences (spinning, bouncing, being in constant motion) and avoids/is upset by some (loud/sudden noises, sticky hands, any temperature above lukewarm—it’s hot to her, certain textures, light touch). There’s more to it, but that’s it in a nutshell. In addition, she has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's. Luckily, her other issue, a dairy allergy, is going away, and she now can tolerate moderate amounts of any dairy food except yogurt. And since there’s only one food she can’t eat, we don’t have to go through the allergy dining experience this time:cool1:! YAY! Brynn is the happiest and smartest four year old I know. To know her is to love her!

    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Ride: “it’s a small world”
    Favorite Disney Movies: Her DVD of the ride through for “it’s a small world.” She also likes most Disney Junior shows.
    Favorite Disney Song: “it’s a small world.” On repeat. Noticing a trend here?? As odd as this sounds, this whole ride/song is very comforting to her, so we hear it and see it A LOT. I think we all love it even more because it makes her so happy!
    Favorite Disney Restaurant: Pinocchio Village Haus…because it overlooks “it’s a small world.”

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    Last is our baby, Sawyer. He’s almost two. He’s a funny little guy who charms everyone and has such a big sense of humor already! He is such a sweetheart, but he can put up a fuss when he wants to! He is in love with the Fab Five, especially Mickey. In fact, his first word was not “Mama,” but “Minn-uh,” which he used to call both Mickey and Minnie. Now he gets them all straight and I sort of miss that mispronunciation!

    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Ride: Any of them. He loves to yell, “Wheeeeeeeeee!”
    Favorite Disney Movies: Disneyland Fun Sing-a-long Songs, Beach Party at Disney World Sing-a-long Songs
    Favorite Disney Song: “it’s a small world”
    Favorite Disney Restaurant: Chef Mickey’s

    Our trip is scheduled for September 14-23, and we're going to be hopping resorts for a split stay.

    Please join in on the fun and let me know you’re here! We’re hoping for rope drops and relaxation, but I’m betting we’re in for craziness and chaos. No matter what, I know it will be fun!

    Pull up a lounge chair and take it easy with us….ahhhhh…

    Next Up: Decisions, Decisions...

    Handy Dandy Links:
    Resort Choices--A Crazy Trip Through My Mind
    ADRs: Feeding the masses...aka our family!
    News and Big Purchases
    Driving Day and Day 1 Plans
    Real Life Update...does this sound familiar?:crazy2:
    Day 2 Plans...ONE MONTH!
    Obsessive Clothing Planning at its best.
    My Disney Box Insanity
    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!!
    TEN DAYS!!
    NINE DAYS!! And some rambling.
    ONLY ONE WEEK! Quick Plans Run-down.
    ONE MORE SLEEP til Disney!
    It's Disney Day!!
    We're home...and not the magical home...
    Link to Trip Report! :)
     
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  3. dara00

    dara00 DIS Veteran

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    yay, I'm in!
     
  4. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    I'm in too!

    Jill in CO
     
  5. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    I told ya I'd make it over here! Haha :rotfl:

    I'm in! And our trips overlap this time!!
    I'll be down Sept 10-17th with my mom & the 15-21st with a friend! Yay! I'm excited to read more!!
     
  6. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    I'm here! Can't wait to hear what you guys will be up to!
     
  7. megveg

    megveg Drink up me hearties, yo ho!

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    :wave2: hi there! I'm in! Your trip sounds like it's going to be wonderful! Cant wait to read more :)

    -Meghan
     
  8. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    Heck to the YES I'm here! I am so excited to hear all about your trip! :yay: I love your intros; they're always so entertaining. :goodvibes
     
  9. LifeIsDis

    LifeIsDis "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

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    I read your past TR so I can't wait for this trip, so I'm in! :goodvibes
     
  10. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Yay...so excited you started! You know I'm in!
     
  11. lledman

    lledman DIS Veteran

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    can't wait to follow along
     
  12. Fantasyland Mom

    Fantasyland Mom DIS Veteran

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    YAY! I've been working on reading your TR. How did I overlook it:confused3? Glad you're on board again!

    :banana: Hey, Jill!

    That is great news!! We have to plan a dismeet; I've never had one!

    Well, you know us...we'll probably be up to no good:thumbsup2!

    Welcome, Meghan! I think it's shaping up to be a great trip, although we did learn on our last trip that just about anything can happen!

    DANI!!!! This PTR is definitely going to be entertaining with you around:goodvibes!
    Yay! I hope I don't disappoint! Thanks for joining in!

    Oh, Queen! I'm so glad you're here:hug:!

    Thanks for reading! I think this is going to be a fun one.

     
  13. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

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    You have a beautiful family. ;)

    I think our 2 oldest daughters would get along very well. Hmmm, maybe NOT since they sould like the exact same person. Reya (my DD) is starting 1st grade in August. She LOVES to read ! I'm not sure about your DD but mine has recently started with the eye rolling and head tilting thing. It's like she's turning into a teenager overnight and she's only 6. I'm dreading her pre-teen years. Luckily I have a little time.

    Your son also reminds me a little of mine. Maybe it's just cuz of the picture with his nose in your IPAD and hanging off the couch. That's Jayden everyday, sometimes I think he knows how to use my IPAD better then I do.

    Anyway.... Can't wait to read more about your plans.. I love going in September that's one of the best times in my opinion. ;)
     
  14. Fantasyland Mom

    Fantasyland Mom DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!:goodvibes
    Yes, Julia has me a little worried about the pre-teen years! She thinks she's grown already and that her ideas are the only ones that could possibly be right.
    All my kids are better with technology than I am:lmao:! They have to teach me things all the time.
    I agree, September is a great time for a trip. We've also been in early May, which was nice for the F&G festival, but September is most definitely our favorite.

     
  15. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!!! And I'm thrilled to hear that Brynn's allergies have improved so much!!! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  16. Fantasyland Mom

    Fantasyland Mom DIS Veteran

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    HEY:wave2:! So happy you're here. Yes, her allergy is so much better! This time last year, she couldn't even tolerate something that had trace amounts of casein or whey even as a baked ingredient, and now she can handle pretty much all baked in dairy. She can even eat small amounts of cheese and have regular milk on her cereal! I don't have her drinking straight milk yet, and one bite of yogurt and she's sick, but those are things that are easily avoided! The doctors told me that it's common to outgrow a dairy allergy, but things were so bad that I didn't believe she'd be one of the lucky ones, and now it looks like she is:cool1:! You helped me so much in planning our allergy dining and I will always be so grateful to you.

     
  17. cyndiloveswalt

    cyndiloveswalt Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like a fun group, I'd love to follow along! And I'm happy to get in at the beginning, not having to try and catch up on tons of pages!
     
  18. Fantasyland Mom

    Fantasyland Mom DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! We are surely not a dull group! I know what you mean about getting in at the beginning--I'm always playing catch-up!
     
  19. Fantasyland Mom

    Fantasyland Mom DIS Veteran

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    Usually I know just what I want, and I usually go for it. USUALLY.

    When I started planning this trip, I apparently had no direction or clear thoughts. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

    First of all, we sometimes start planning our next trip before the other trip has even happened, so there is a year or more to make a zillion changes. Before now, I haven’t really made that many, though. On our 2011 trip, we had an ADR at Chef Mickey’s and I fell in love with the Contemporary Resort. I loved the vibe, I loved the design, and I especially loved the access to Magic Kingdom! Do you know how easy it would be for us logistically with our three small children? Perfection! I told Brandon during that dinner than I wanted this to be where we stayed next time, and he agreed. Contemporary it was!

    But…

    I started pricing it out:scared:. We were hit with lots of medical bills and the room-only discounts have been getting less and less. Reality sunk in: we would not be able to afford nine nights here.

    I started from scratch with my planning. If we couldn’t have easy access, at least we could have room. It was time to look….

    DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN….off property. Yes, I just said that. I know, I know. What was wrong with me:confused3?!

    I began my new search with some criteria. We’d need a place extremely close to WDW property. We needed a place with at least a water slide and possibly more water activities since this would be a trip without a water park (Brandon refuses to go back to a water park; read my last TR to find out why). We would need a place with two bedrooms. We would need somewhere CHEAP! There was one place that fit the bill, and I got quotes from two different people: Wyndham Bonnet Creek. The price was extremely reasonable. It has lazy rivers and water slides and is gorgeous! We would get our tickets via Undercover Tourist and pay out of pocket for meals, which would end up costing us more than the room. It was perfect!

    But…

    I just wasn’t feeling it. I kept putting off booking it.

    And then?

    Free dining was announced for Disney Visa cardholders:cheer2:! We’ve had free dining on every trip, though we’ve had to upgrade to the regular dining plan because of all the character meals we like to attend since values only give you quick service dining now. I looked into it and realized it would make sense to stay at a moderate resort and just get the free regular dining plan rather than staying at a value and upgrading. The resort would be bigger and better, as would the rooms, and it would end up costing about the same. Plus, moderates have water slides! I mentioned my reasoning to Brandon. He knew I hadn’t felt settled on Bonnet Creek, so he told me to price them all out and see how it went. When I totaled up room cost, dining, tickets, and parking cost if staying off-site, everything ended up costing about the same. YAY! He told me to decide which moderate I wanted and to book it!

    I started looking through all the moderates on Allears. I wanted to try somewhere new, I really did.

    But…

    None of them appealed to me as much as Caribbean Beach Resort:beach:. We had stayed her for three nights in 2010 and loved it. Coming from Pop Century (which we also love), it was just so calm and relaxed. The kids loved the pirate ship kiddie pool area, and I loved the beaches and hammocks and theming. The kids love Finding Nemo, so the décor is perfect. Here are some pictures from that trip:

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    Yes, I was very pregnant with Sawyer in that picture, and the hammock was wonderful! No, I will NOT be pregnant this time. That’s unusual for me:rotfl2:.

    Okay, so I wouldn’t be trying somewhere new, but we would get to explore the resort more this time. I made a call and booked us at CBR with free dining and 8 day tickets from September 14-23. I was ecstatic and very much at ease! I would be giving up an extra bedroom, but I was more than willing to do that just to stay in the Disney magic!

    But…

    Room Only discounts came out. No, they weren’t spectacular, but my mind started thinking back to the ease of being on the monorail loop. As much as I played around the numbers, I couldn’t make it work for us to stay nine nights at a deluxe, even with the 20% off. But you know what I could afford? THREE NIGHTS! Brandon actually didn’t think I was crazy and encouraged me to splurge a little!!

    So…

    I called and changed my CBR ressie to September 14-20 with free dining and I kept the 8 park tickets on this reservation, and I booked the POLYNESIAN RESORT for September 20-23 with the room only discount!!!!! It will be our first ever deluxe stay! The girls are so happy because they are in love with Lilo and Stitch. And I’m excited because I love all things Hawaiian thanks to “Magnum, P.I.” (Again, don’t judge. Try it. You’ll be sucked into the mustache and short shorts and sports cars, too!)

    Thus, I named this PTR “Island Hopping” because we’ll be hopping from the Caribbean islands to the Polynesian ones! (Also, the helicopter tour business in “Magnum, P.I.” is called Island Hoppers. Super fan here!)

    Okay, do we have all that straight? Just to clarify:

    6 nights at Caribbean Beach Resort, free dining, 8 park day tickets

    3 nights at Polynesian Resort, room only discount, dining out of pocket on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

    Both resorts I chose the least expensive room category because a view means pretty much nothing to us.

    There you have it—my confusing route to booking our trip!

    If you thought that was confusing, just wait til I get around to making ADRs:thumbsup2!
     
  20. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    YAY,YAY, YAY!!!!!!

    I loved CBR and am dying to stay at the Poly!!! I am so excited for you!

    Free dining too? Awesome!

    Can't wait to hear about the ADRs!

    No MiL? I'm sure that you're upset about that, but do try to have a good time without her there. :rotfl2:
     
  21. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

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    I always loved relaxing on those hammocks at CBR... Especially at night after a long day at the park..... Sounds like heaven right now.

    Glad you got everything you wanted. :thumbsup2
     

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