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Little Sister’s First Trip to the World! – PTR February 2013

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by TangledMama, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    Hi! I’m Lexi, and I’m attempting my first PTR (that will hopefully turn into a TR!)

    We’re leaving in 15 days for an 8 day trip! And we are getting APs for the first time!!!

    Who’s going:

    Me (of course). I’m 31 and mama to Alexander and Madeline. During the day I work as a Program Analyst for the government. I’ve been a Disney fan ever since my grandparents took my brother and me to Disneyland right before I turned 7. I’ve been to DLR 3 times and I’ve been to WDW several times. My favorite Disney character is Rapunzel.

    DH (33) – DH is the one who makes my dreams happen (I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true). We’ve known each other since I was a freshman in high school but lost touch over the years. We reconnected on Facebook back in 2008 when I was a single mom and we got engaged in May 2010. We went on a trip with DS back in October 2010 shortly before we got married. He had been there once before when he was in middle school and wasn’t a huge fan. I think he was converted on our trip. Every once in a while he would mention that we should go back to Disney, but then he would crunch the numbers and decide it wasn’t the right time to go (he is also the CFO of our family, among other things). Finally, this past Fall, my best friend said she was thinking about going, so he started looking at the numbers again and decided we could go this February!

    Here’s a picture of us on our trip in October 2010.


    Next up is DS, Alex, who just turned 7 in December. He’s been to DLR once, and has been to WDW in December 2009 and on our October 2010 trip. He is a huge Disney fan. He loves Star Wars, and like a lot of 7 year olds, he is obsessed with Legos – I can’t wait to take him to the Lego Store in DTD. This trip is a surprise for him. We’ve watched some “surprise” videos on Youtube, and one day he told me he wanted me to surprise him with a trip to Disney. It’s been very hard keeping this from him! (I’m horrible at keeping secrets).

    Here are the 3 of us from Oct. 2010:


    Here is a picture of him from before Christmas:


    And last we have the youngest member of our team, Little Sister, aka Madeline (Maddie).
    She just turned a year old last Sunday and she is a very busy toddler. She loves to go new places and I can’t wait to take her to Disney.

    Here she is in her Halloween costume:


    And here is a picture of her and her brother from her birthday party (she has a little less hair than Rapunzel):


    Stay tuned for the next post: When we’re going and where we’re staying!
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  3. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    Trip Dates: February 2nd through 9th

    We got an amazing deal for flights through Southwest back in October (40% off)! We leave super early on Saturday the 2nd and arrive at MCO at 9:30 am. From there we will be taking the Magical Express


    to ….


    All Star Sports!

    We stayed at All Star Movies on our last trip and loved the fun atmosphere of the All Stars. DS is into all sports, so I know he will love this resort.

    We will be doing our first split stay during this trip. After 3 nights at All Star Sports, we will be moving to….


    Port Orleans Riverside!

    I’m really excited about staying here. I’ve had it on my Disney bucket list for years and I’m finally getting the chance to stay here! I’m hoping to take advantage of the boat to Downtown Disney and one night we are planning to go to the River Roost to see Yehaa Bob perform.

    Up next: Where we'll be eating!

  4. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    Last night DS went ice skating with a friend, so DH and I had a few hours to discuss our trip without having to speak in code. :laughing: We pored over the menus on AllEars and added a few more ADRs to our itinerary. We also have a good idea of which counter service restaurants we will be visiting on this trip. Since we'll be AP holders, we are going to purchase Tables in Wonderland.

    While browsing the DIS last night, I found this thread with a link to a fabulous dining calculator tool!



    We plugged in our restaurants and found out that we will save money on this trip alone with TiW (we're planning to go back 2 or 3 times within the year, so we'll definitely save a lot using this benefit).

    Here are the ADRs we have:

    -50's Prime Time Café at DHS
    -Nine Dragons at Epcot
    -Tony's Town Square at MK
    -'Ohana at the Polynesian Resort (we're meeting up with my BFF, her DH, and DD for this dinner)
    -Trail's End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness
    -Boatwright's Dining Hall at Port Orleans Riverside
    -1900 Park Fare for a late breakfast

    DS and I went to 1900 Park Fare during our December 2009 trip. Here's a picture of him after Mary Poppins visited our table and gave him a kiss!


    Counter Service:

    I'm really excited about going to the Boulangerie Patisserie now that they've expanded. This is my favorite place to go (love the chocolate mousse), in my favorite Epcot Pavilion.


    We'll probably be visiting Toy Story Pizza Planet again


    I can't wait to see Be Our Guest. I tried to get Dinner ADRs, but that proved to be impossible. We're really looking forward to trying it out for lunch.

    There will be other meals (and snacks! Dole Whips!), but these are the highlights.
  5. pld5

    pld5 Dreaming of Disney

    I'm subscribing! If only because I'm jealous you have a shorter wait until your trip than ours......

    Your son is adorable! So is your daughter, but I love the intelligence behind a 7 year old boy's eyes. Especially one who is reading his sister's birthday card for her. :thumbsup2

    Glad to hear you did 1900 PF already for breakfast and are planning it again. I've gone back and forth on that one many times, but have decided we have to do it. First everyone in my family loves breakfast buffets and second, I like characters and eating while seeing them is a much better way for me to do that than make my family wait in line in the parks.
  6. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    Yay, my first commenter!!! :welcome:

    From your signature, it looks like your DS is about the same age as mine - he just turned 7 last month.

    I loved 1900 Park Fare for breakfast. I thought the character interaction was great and it's a good mix of characters, so there is something for everyone. You get Pooh and Tigger, who are always fun, but the face characters are what really made it great for us last time. We went for my son's 4th birthday and he was opening presents during our breakfast and got a book as one of the gifts. Alice came to our table and spent quite a few minutes looking through the book with DS. The Mad Hatter was hilarious, and of course, the kiss from Mary Poppins was very memorable. :goodvibes
  7. pld5

    pld5 Dreaming of Disney

    Thank you for the welcome!

    Yes, our son is close in age to yours. He will turn 7 during our trip next month.

    Our first character meals were in January 2012. We did H&V, CRT and Chef Mickey's. DS loved all of the characters and really likes to hug the soft ones and flirt with the princesses. We met Mary Poppins at Animation Courtyard on our trip and she just grabbed his hand and walked away with him. He was in love. :flower3:
  8. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    I'm jealous of all of your character meals! We are only doing one on this trip. DH isn't crazy about character meals or buffets. Which one was your favorite? I've done Chef Mickey's (before kids) and it was just okay. Some of the characters skipped my table (I assume it was because we didn't have any kids).
  9. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    In my first post I mentioned that we'll be getting APs for the first time ever on this trip! DH (master of the spreadsheet) priced tickets and came to the conclusion that if we go for 8 days this year and then schedule another trip the last week of January 2014, we could save some money in the long run and buy APs.

    The prospect of this was very exciting! I never imagined being an AP holder - we live about 900 miles away, so it wouldn't be like we could just hop over there on the weekends. And I never realized that DH would even be willing to take a trip to Disney two years in a row!

    Of course the wheels in my head started turning and I was trying to come up with a compelling reason to go on some additional trips. Soon we had two more (tentative) trips planned. One the last week of August for a summer vacation, and then a quick adults-only weekend in October to celebrate our anniversary.

    Then last weekend I said to DH, "Wouldn't it be cool if you could just go down for a quick trip in May to see Star Wars Weekends with Alex?" I wasn't intending for this to be a suggestion he would take seriously. Alex is a huge Star Wars fan. Well I guess DH thought it sounded like fun, because all the sudden on Monday night, we booked a one night stay for them at All Star Sports (with the Disney Visa discount) and on Tuesday he had arranged the flights!

    So the second trip of our Year of Disney has been confirmed! Maddie and I won't be joining them on this trip, but I'm still so excited about it, you would think I was the one who was going!

    Alex as Darth Vader for Halloween (sorry, not the best pic):


    Now back to the trip we are leaving for in 8 days!!!!!!!! :scared1:

    I have so much to do this weekend. We want to get everything mostly packed by the end of the weekend, since we'll be busy with work/school all week and we have to leave very early next Saturday for our 7:00am flight.

    To get in the packing mood, I'm going to post a few pictures of some items I'll be bringing for Maddie. Over the past several months, I've acquired quite a collection of Disney themed clothes. I got a few things from the Disney Store online on Black Friday, and then a lot of the other things I purchased on clearance from Target.

    Rapunzel Shirt (Babies R Us) and Minnie Mouse Body Suit (Disney Store)


    Winnie the Pooh Onesie (Disney Store) and Alice in Wonderland Shirts (Target)


    Tinkerbell Hoodie and Tank (Target)


    Back of the Hoodie - the wings are too cute!


    Mouseketeer and Marie T-Shirts (Disney Store) and Belle T-Shirt (Target - on clearance for $2.70!!!!)


    Bambi Dress (Xmas gift from Grandma) Rapunzel Body Suit (Disney Store) and Cinderella T-Shirt (another awesome find from Target)


    Maddie modeling the Tink Hoodie


    And we have to bring a few friends along!


    (Rapunzel and Belle were from the Disney Store Black Friday sale, the Minnie Mouse Pookalooz was an Xmas gift from my BIL)

    I didn't realize how much Disney stuff Maddie had until I compiled it all to take the pics for this post! But I'm proud to say that I didn't pay full price for anything pictured above. Now I need to start digging around for the Disney stuff we have hidden away for Alex.

  10. pld5

    pld5 Dreaming of Disney

    I'd have to say CRT breakfast was my favorite. We loved the breakfast at the castle. It was served family style and brought to our table and we were also brought unlimited fruit, bacon, coffee, you name it. The princesses stayed in character and seemed to enjoy a little boy to fawn over for a bit.

    I liked the breakfast food at Chef Mickey's, and the characters did come around quickly, but I was really disappointed by the "celebration" that they advertise you should be sure to stick around for. Donald skipped us and I had to go track his handler down. Hollywood and Vine had really great character interaction but DH did not care for the buffet lunch. Not sure if we are keeping this one for breakfast on this trip because Edward has just outgrown the characters.

    I LOVE meeting characters and if we didn't do the meals, my DH knows I would make him wait in line to do it in the parks, so its a compromise. :bitelip: Edward probably won't be interested much longer so this will probably be my last time. Except for Mickey. I will always want to meet and hug Mickey, no matter how old DS is.

    I'm looking forward to Ohana's breakfast the most on this trip. It will be served family style which is so much better than a buffet.

    Your Disney outfits for your daughter are precious! Makes me wish I had a little girl to dress. But I can't wait to see your outfits for your son. I'll have to take pictures of my Disney store bargains for Edward sometime today.

    Your trip is so close! :banana:
  11. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    I would love to go to CRT one day. I think we'll probably wait until Maddie is a little bit older - plus I know for that one, you need to be ready to make an ADR as soon as your date opens! Maybe we'll try for that for our trip in January next year.

    Alex has been funny about characters the last couple trips. He's very particular about which ones he wants to see. On the trip we took when he turned 4, he refused to visit most characters, but when he saw Buzz Lightyear, he ran right up to him. He also enjoyed meeting the Fab 5. On our last trip, he really enjoyed meeting the Little Einsteins and Handy Manny.

    I personally love the characters. Our last trip was pretty short, so I didn't make DH wait for many. I don't even think we got a picture with Mickey! :faint: I'm definitely looking forward to visiting the princesses this time (I can't wait to meet Rapunzel!) Maddie has the princess decals on her walls in her bedroom and she loves to look at them, so I'm sure she will recognize them.

    I gathered a bunch of Alex's Disney clothes today and am doing laundry right now. But I'm missing his Star Wars shirts! Eeeek! I better find them. :magnify:

    Your trip is getting close too! This next month will go by quickly for you!
  12. happybelle

    happybelle Active Member

    If you wanted to try for CRT sometimes they have cancellations. Either way you will have fun.
  13. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    Thanks for your reply and :welcome: to my PTR! :)

    We'll probably try to get CRT ADRs for our trip next January. I've been searching frantically for some BOG ADRs to open up for next week. So far no luck, but I'm glad we'll at least be able to check it out during lunch.
  14. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    First, a question to any of you reading this: What is your favorite counter service restaurant in Hollywood Studios? I haven't spent much time at DHS in the past, so I'm not familiar with all of the food options. I'm also not crazy about the idea of going back to Toy Story Pizza Planet.

    Now, back to the PTR....

    We are only one week away from Little Sister's First Trip to the World!

    Progress has been made on the packing front...kind of. I've done laundry for the kids, so their clothes for the trip are all ready to be packed tonight or tomorrow. Still need to do my laundry and have DH get his clothes ready. If you knew me, you'd know that I'm way ahead of schedule. I'm a procrastinator and usually wait until the morning of a trip to pack (even on trips when I need to be at the airport super early). I'm hoping to avoid last minute meltdowns (from the adults!) by getting almost everything done tomorrow.

    Since we are only ONE WEEK AWAY :cheer2: (can you tell I'm excited?!) , I thought I would outline our plans each day this week for what we'll be doing one week from now.

    Saturday we'll be flying out insanely early and arrive at MCO around 9:30am. We'll check into All Star Sports and from there we will take a bus to Animal Kingdom (assuming it's not raining - I keep seeing rain in the extended forecast, but I know there is still plenty of time for that to change). We'll trade in our AP vouchers for the real thing! And we'll also purchase Tables in Wonderland.

    Our October 2010 trip was only 3 full days, so on our last day, we went to AK for about 2 hours. We only had time for Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, and a little bit of time for Alex to play at The Boneyard. This trip we plan to spend part of 2 days in AK.

    This trip we want to make sure we see:

    -Festival of the Lion King
    -Finding Nemo: The Musical
    -Expedition Everest
    -Kilimanjaro Safari
    -Dinosaur (just for DH and DS - not sure if this will be too scary for Alex. I know it's too scary for me!)

    I want to spend some time in the Maharajah Jungle Trek and the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. We also plan to watch Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade.

    We're going to grab a quick lunch at Yak & Yeti counter service at some point.

    I'd like to try to find DiVine. I've never seen her before.

    We probably won't get to all of these things on this first day, because we will be leaving AK in the late afternoon to head to Magic Kingdom by 6:00pm. When we get there, we will grab dinner from Pecos Bill and stake out a place to sit to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade. Then we'll stay for Wishes. pixiedust:

    I know a lot of people might think we're insane for such a long day planned on the day of our arrival (especially with a toddler). Our plan isn't set in stone and we'll see how the kids do and alter our plan as needed.
  15. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    One week from today we'll be in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

    On our last trip, we only spent half a day at this park. We tried to get Alex into the first Jedi Training show, but even though we arrived at park opening, by the time we got back to that area, there was a huge line. Alex was just beginning to get into Star Wars at that point, so he wasn't too disappointed to miss it. This time it will be our top priority! We plan to arrive around 8:15, so hopefully we'll be some of the first people to enter the park on this day. We'll head straight back to get Alex signed up for one of the shows.

    Another thing we missed last time was the Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, so we'll have to make sure we see that.

    Alex will be tall enough for all the thrill rides. We'll definitely have to do Star Tours (I think this was closed for the refurb during our last trip). DH loves Tower of Terror and Rock 'n Roller Coaster. I'm not sure if Alex will enjoy either of those, but we shall see.

    Of course we'll ride Toy Story Mania at some point (probably after we sign Alex up for the Jedi Training).

    I love the Beauty and the Beast show and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. I hope to be able to see both of those. I'm not sure how well Maddie will do with sitting for shows. She isn't really into sitting still most of the time, so it may be a challenge.

    One of my favorite things to do at DHS is the Animation Academy. I'm hoping that we can catch this (maybe if Maddie falls asleep).

    I'm looking at the attractions list as I write this, and I almost forgot about MuppetVision 3D!!! :3dglasses I LOVE THIS! Alex used to be terrified of all the 3D movies at Disney, but I'm sure he's outgrown his fear and will enjoy this one.

    We have a dinner reservation at the 50's Prime Time Cafe.

    We may stay for Fantasmic depending on how much energy we have left (I'm not sure if we'll be going back during the day for a break. We'll have to see how much stamina Alex has and if Maddie will nap in the stroller).

    That's about it for this day. If we don't get to everything, we'll make sure to schedule some time later in the week to come back.

  16. pld5

    pld5 Dreaming of Disney

    Wish I could help with this one, but we ate at Pizza Planet on our last two trips and I remember eating at the hot dog stands closer to BATB when we went in 2005. Interestingly enough, during evening EMH's, the hot dog stands happened to be the only counter service place in DHS where we could find a beer (much needed after a long day ::yes::). There was a pretty big counter service option near the HISTK playground but I don't recall the name and we didn't try it out when we were there. It is very close to the Lights, Motor Action show though and if you are there when a show is letting out, you will be amazed at the number of people leaving that arena!

  17. Megablocks

    Megablocks Active Member

    Coming over from MeMom's report! I will definitely say hi to you guys if I see you. :) It looks like your Saturday plans are just like mine; I'll be spending all of Saturday with my Disboards BFF (coincidentally, I have known her for like four years from MeMom's reports!) We'll probably follow my family to AK for a little bit on Saturday and then head over to MK, because my one request was to watch Wishes the first night.

    I'm so jealous of you getting in crazy early...our flight leaves Boston around 7:45 am and we get in around 11 or a little later. It's still awesome, but I wouldn't object to earlier. There was a 6:45 am flight that I suggested, but no one else seemed interested (yeah, I don't get it, either. :lmao:)
  18. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    DHS is the only park that I don't have a favorite counter service restaurant. I'm thinking about skipping lunch and getting one of those awesome looking cupcakes from Starring Rolls. ;)

    I will definitely report back about the Jedi Training sign up.

    :welcome: :goodvibes

    I'm glad you don't think we're crazy for leaving so early. My BFF is arriving the same day and she doesn't get in until around 5pm. She told her DH that she wanted to see if she could switch to our flight, but that didn't go over so well. :laughing: Fortunately my DH is on the same page as me - he wants to make sure we get in as much park time as we can.
  19. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    Most of this day will be an Epcot day. Depending on how the morning goes (and how early everyone wakes up), our plan is to head over to MK for Rope Drop, maybe we will check out Enchanted Tales with Belle. Then we'll have to ride the monorail over to the Grand Floridian for a late breakfast scheduled at 1900 Park Fare (11:00).

    After the character meal, we will head over to Epcot. I can't wait to ride Soarin'. This is probably my favorite ride. I am also looking forward to seeing the new version of Test Track. This trip will be interesting, since the last time we went, the 3 of us (DH, Alex, and I) were able to ride most rides together. This time we will have to use the baby swap. I'm sure Alex will enjoy taking advantage of this, because he'll get to ride twice!

    On this trip, I want to be able to spend more time in the different World Showcase pavilions. We skipped the American Adventure on our last trip - I definitely want to make sure we see it this time. I love all of the movies in World Showcase, especially Impressions de France. I also want to spend some time watching the different performers and maybe see a few characters.

    We have an ADR for dinner at Nine Dragons. And then, if we can last until 9, we will be staying for Illuminations.

    On the packing front, we are a lot closer to being ready to go (5 days, woo hoo!!!!) DH ordered some luggage from Amazon, as ours is falling apart and I was worried it wouldn't make it to Florida and back home again. Today was a "snow day" because of ice, so I was home and was able to get a lot of laundry done. I've set aside Disney clothes for Alex, and here are some of the things I've found (once again, I didn't realize how much I had. Most of these were purchased a few years ago at a Disney Store outlet on a super clearance).

    Wall-E and Mickey/Pluto T-Shirts


    Lightning McQueen and The Fab Four T-Shirts


    Tigger and Cars T-Shirts


    Of course, we have to have Star Wars


    And in order to save us from having to buy yet another light saber, I'm taking the one we bought on our October 2010 trip (hopefully Alex won't notice it's missing from his room).


    And here is DH getting all of our gift cards in order. We have a Target Debit Card, which allows us to get 5% off of all of our Target purchases. Our Target sells gift cards for Disney, so we purchased some to use on our trip. Every little bit we can save counts! ::yes::

  20. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    YAY!!!!! :banana: I am so excited - it is getting very difficult keeping this trip a secret from Alex!

    One week today will be our full day at Magic Kingdom. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they've done with New Fantasyland. I'm also interested to see the new version of Dumbo. I'm sure Maddie will enjoy all the rides in (old) Fantasyland, especially it's a small world. Most little kids seem to enjoy that ride.

    Alex will be tall enough for all the rides! I can't wait to take him on Space Mountain. I'm hoping to avoid Stitch's Great Escape, but I have a feeling Alex will find this and want to see what it is. Luckily I'll have the baby, so I can just make DH go on it with him. ;) We'll definitely be going to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. We did this twice on our last trip and I had tears from laughing so much. And one of Alex's favorite rides is the Tomorrowland Speedway. I'm sure he will want his own car since he'll be old enough and tall enough to drive by himself.

    We plan to check out Be Our Guest this day for lunch. Hopefully the lines won't be too long!

    DH wants to visit Tom Sawyer Island. I haven't been there the last several trips. I remember they used to have paintbrushes on the island to find, but I heard they discontinued that (I never found one).

    Splash Mountain will be closed on our trip, but we will make sure to get a ride on Big Thunder Mountain. We'll also stop by the Country Bear Jamboree. I used to think this was pretty lame, but Alex really enjoyed it on our last trip.

    In Adventureland, we'll have to make sure we go on the Jungle Cruise. We missed it last time. And the Enchanted Tiki Room. They got rid of Iago and Zazu on this since the last time we saw it (Alex used to call that version the "bad birds" - the first time he saw it was the original version at Disneyland and was not pleased about the "bad birds" at WDW).

    At some point, I will be getting a Dole Whip - my favorite is the citrus swirl.

    We will also make sure to see the classics - Haunted Mansion and The Pirates of the Caribbean.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. We'll probably catch the parade this day (although we'll be back to MK later in the week). And I definitely want to make sure we have time to visit the princesses.

    We have a dinner reservation at Tony's. I've never been here and I'm looking forward to trying something new!

    Well that's it for tonight's update. We should receive our new luggage tomorrow and I will really get serious about packing. :upsidedow
  21. TangledMama

    TangledMama Member

    One week from today we will be spending some more time in Epcot.

    This is the day I'm planning to eat lunch at Boulangerie Patisserie in the France pavilion.

    We'll make sure to see what we didn't have time to see on Tuesday. And re-do our favorite attractions. I'm sure we'll be going on Soarin' and Test Track again.

    We have an ADR for dinner with my BFF and her family at 'Ohana. I've never eaten here before - I'm pretty excited about it. Hopefully we'll either be able to watch the fireworks from the restaurant, or we'll be done with dinner and be able to see Wishes from the beach at the Polynesian.

    I can't believe we leave on Saturday! I only have one full day of work tomorrow, and then I'm off on Friday to get ready for our trip (although I'll probably work from home for a few hours to do my beginning of the month reports so I won't have so much to catch up on when I go back to the office).

    Tonight I'm going to start working on a slide show/video to show Alex to let him know about the surprise. I'm going to keep it simple - just some pictures of some of his favorite attractions and some pictures of our past trips. If it turns out halfway decent, I'll post it in my trip report.

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