WELCOME to our December 2009 Pre-Trip Report! Here are some quick links to get you around! 10/12: TO CRUISE OR NOT TO CRUISE 10/16: CRUISING UPDATE & WISH LIST 10/23: SIX MORE WEEKS! 10/26: 40 DAYS AND COUNTING! 10/30: FIVE MORE WEEKS! 11/03: STILL LOOKIN' FOR SOME PIXIE DUST PLEASE? 11/08: CHA-CHA-CHA-CHA-CHANGES OF COURSE 11/10: PAIN AND SUFFERING DESERVES GOOD FOOD 11/11: THE PLAN v2.0 11/12: WILL THEY STAY OR WILL THEY GO? 11/13: What to do, what do to? (I totally blame the RAT!) 11/17: THE PLAN v3.0: Trees, tales and more tails 11/18: Two Weeks Three Days For Our Five Plus Two More: THE FOOD!! 11/25: 10 MORE DAYS and a GREAT OFF-PROPERTY DINNER PLAN 12/2: 72 HOUR COUNTDOWN and Will they stay or will they go? 12/3: 48 Hours to Go: Party of Five: Alternate Plans? 12/3: We have a DECISION! 12/4: Less than 24 Hours Now: The LIST! I figured with the countdown down to less than 2 months, it's time to gear up for our December 2009 Return to Walt Disney World. My siggy linky has our May 2009 Trip Report, which it appears I never quite finished. I am determined to finish this one though! DATES: Dec. 5 thru Dec. 12th, 2009 CAST: The usual suspects...same as most of our trips: our family of five and my in-laws. RESORT: Right now we are booked at a 2-bedroom Villa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort. I am waitlisted for a 2-bedroom at Bay Lake Towers despite the fact that I called EXACTLY seven months before our trip...from the monorail on May 5th as we were on our LAST trip. I think the chances are pretty slim we'll get it as I'll need a standard view to use my DVC points and those are pretty few and far between. I'm still hoping for some magic though. THE PLAN: DAY 1: Arrival Day...our flight leaves at 7am, putting us in Orlando nice and early at 9:10am. Now my FIL will want to LEAVE for the airport I'm sure by 4:30am, even though we live only 15 minutes away. He like a good 2-hour window before the flight. With three kids to keep entertained in the airport, and not wanting to deal with them cranky, I will attempt for probably a 5am departure from our house which is still going to suck. Yet it will all seem better when we get to arrive early at Walt Disney World! Our plan for this day, since we probably will not be able to check into our room, will be to hit the Universal Studios parks... Yes, I said it...we will be doing a NON-Disney park, our first time with the kids. My in-laws (who are in their mid-60s) just LOVE thrill rides and have never been to the Universal Parks either. DH and I went about 6 years ago without kids and thought since the kids are old enough & tall enough to enjoy the majority of the rides there, we'll take them. Also, we already have APs to the Disney Parks, so we just have to shell out the $99 each for the the passes for these parks...still over $500...but hey it's almost Christmas. Maybe we can convince the kids that is their gift? DAY 2: Our second Universal Day which is to be followed by dinner that night at the Cape May Cafe, where we will then walk over the dock there and hop on a boat for an Illuminations Cruise. This is a surprise for my in-laws. We did one of these back in Nov. 2007 and had invited the in-laws but they didn't make it. Long family story which I'll save you from but we know they will enjoy this. DAY 3: I know it's sounds crazy, but I'd really like to try to make the early morning extra magic hour at Animal Kingdom this particular day. I have lunch scheduled at the Rainforest Cafe there...never tried it. Dinner that evening is at the California Grill where we hope to catch the 8pm Wishes and MAYBE hit the Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hour evening if I can convince the hubby to let me drag the kids out that late. This NEVER works out though. I'm always pushing for more park evenings and he wants early bedtimes to prevent cranky kids. Crazy man! DAY 4: Hoping to hit the Magic Kingdom in the morning and do the Main Street Bakery for breakfast. We ate here last trip and are still thinking about those yummy pastries! I also have a lunch ressie at Tony's Town Square...another place we've NEVER eaten. Dinner is planned for Sci-Fi Dine-In that night and then checking out the Osborne Lights. DAY 5: Early breakfast at Chef Mickey's - a family TRADITION. Ever since we first introduced our in-laws to the WORLD back in Sept/Oct of 1997, we always have a meal at CM and get a photo taken. Next plan is to ride the monorail to the other resorts and check out the Holiday decorations, specifically at the Grand Floridian which I hear is a must and which we did not do on our Nov. 2007 trip during the holiday fesitivities. I think we'll spend our park time at EPCOT this day. Lunch is another first time for us at Chef de France because I MUST SEE REMY! We have the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package this day also which is for a dinner at San Angel Inn (another FIRST) and then the 8:15pm show...looking forward to seeing Andy Garcia for that one! DAY 6: Open day here...maybe return to Animal Kingdom in the morning? However I have a lunch ressie for Mama Melrose (another first!) and a diner at Tutto Italia that night. The lunch is rather late, so we may just do that and skip the dinner. We'll see. DAY 7: Our last FULL day at the World.... and that means most likely spending the day at the Magic Kingdom. I must squeeze in lunch at Colmbia Harbour House....yummmm Clam Chowder! Dinner that evening is a favorite - the Kona Cafe. At some point we'll squeeze in packing for departure the next day I guess. DAY 8: Last day...very sad. Lunch is planned for the Hollywood Brown Derby....yummmm Cobb Salad and my FIL LOVES the Grapefruit Cake! We'll probably do morning at Studios and possibly afternoon at EPCOT if we can squeeze it in. Flight leaves at 6:18pm, which means departing the parks by about 3:30pm to be safe and giving us time to gas up the rental and get through the airport. So that's what I call PLAN A. PLAN B is similar...except I have a few other dining reservations. I know it's bad, but I have two or three different LUNCH ressies a few days. I figure if we don't make one, we can make the other one and I'll cancel those I know I won't make, probably that day or the day before. Basically I have two lunches at each of the following places: Tony's Town Square, Mama Melrose, Chef de France and the Brown Derby. I really want to try Tony's, Mama's and Chefs and I know without a ressie if I miss one I have no hope of eating there. My PLAN A appears pretty solid though but you never know.