Loosen Your Belt Buckles-We're Doing Deluxe Dining-AGAIN! Our 11/12 PTR *Update 4/25*

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by eecteacher82, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Hi everyone! Yep, we are back again! This will be our 8th big trip (not counting many, many day trips over the past 3 years).

    Who are we you ask? Here is our cast of characters for this trip:

    Me, Me, Erin. A 29 year old, former kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom to my princess Olivia and wife to my DH. I have loved all things Disney since my first visit when I was 4. I was born in Wisconsin and moved down to Florida when I was 8 and have been here ever since. We live about 1.5 hours from the mouse on the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa. I am the total anal Disney planner and start planning the next big trip on the way home from the last one!

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    DH, Toby. A super hard working 26 year old daddy to Olivia! Toby works extremely hard so that I can stay home with Olivia! Toby will be the first to tell you that I am totally obsessed with Disney, although he does not share in my obsession (yet!). We went to Disney while I was pregnant with Olivia and I have been dragging him along ever since. He says Disney is just "ok", but while we are there he is having a blast and loving every minute of it.

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    DD, Olivia, or Livy. Our 4 year old princess who, like me, loves all things Disney! She is our little miracle baby. Olivia was born at just 32 weeks, weighing 4 pounds and measuring 16 3/4 inches long and spent 3.5 weeks in the NICU more than an hour away from home. She made a total turn around, and now you would never know (other than being a bit on the small side) that she was a preemie! This trip is to celebrate her 5th birthday!! Olivia loves every minute of our Disney trips and asks on a daily basis to go back!

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    Also joining us for a couple of days of this trip will be my mom, or as Olivia calls her Gumma. She is a 50 something awesome grandma to Olivia. She has spent a few days at Disney with Olivia and I over the past couple of years: a day at DHS when Livy was 2.5, a day at MK when Livy was 2.5 and a day at MK just this past December for Olivia's 4th birthday. We are not sure when mom will be joining us, but the plan is for her to drive up early one morning, join us for the day and then stay at the hotel with us for the night before heading home the next day. I tried to convince her to come with us for the whole trip, but she isn't interested in that.

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    Well, there you have it, the "who" of this trip. Coming up next the "what", "when", "where", "why", and "how". Please join in!
     
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  3. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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  4. TinkerbellLuvr7

    TinkerbellLuvr7 Tinkerbellluvr7

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    I'm here!!! Can't wait to hear all about it :) I'm hoping you are able to make several mini trips here before the big one!!
     
  5. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Since you already have the "who", I figured you needed the "why" as well.

    The why is actually pretty simple: TO CELEBRATE OLIVIA'S 5TH BIRTHDAY! :bday:

    Since Olivia was a preemie and there were times that we didn't know if she was even going to make it, we consider each birthday a true miracle and we know how to celebrate! Our little princess was due on December 31, 2007 but she ended up making her grand entrance on November 11, 2007-8 weeks early! She was only 4 pounds and 16 inches long when she was born and spent 3.5 weeks in the NICU more than an hour away from home. After a few scares, she made a turn around and now you would never know she was a preemie. Here are a couple of her first pictures:

    About 3 hours old:
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    About 1.5 weeks old:
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    3.5 weeks old:
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    Olivia's first trip to Disney was technically while I was about 5 months pregnant, but her first trip out of the womb was when she was 15 months old. It was just a quick 2 day getaway, but she loved it!

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    We also spent Olivia's 2nd birthday at Disney:
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    Of course her 3rd birthday as well:
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    And her 4th:
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    So, there you go. The "why" (not like you need a "why" to visit WDW in the first place)!
     
  6. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Yeah! You're here! I had a feeling you might be one of the first! I am pretty sure we will make some mini trips along the way! I think Livy and I might be up next Saturday afternoon for a few hours since Toby has a wrestling thing up there! I might just have him drop us off at a park and pick us up when he is done!
     
  7. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    The "where". This is always a debate for us. With Olivia we have stayed at Pop Century (her absolute favorite), Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs, Saratoga Springs, Port Orleans Riverside and All Star Movies. I'm honestly not too picky about our hotel choice since we really don't spend a ton of time in the room anyways, so I would rather save the money to spend on other stuff.

    Since this is Olivia's birthday trip, I of course gave her the choice. I had it narrowed down to 3 resorts: Coronado Springs, Pop, and....Art of Animation! I was pretty sure which one she would pick and I was right: Art of Animation in a Little Mermaid room!

    We are all actually pretty darn excited about this one! We have been watching them build it up each time we take a trip and stay at Pop, so it has been really neat! The whole resort looks amazing and we cannot wait to be some of the first people to stay there!

    So, "when" might we be staying at the fantastic resort you might ask? Well, we are booked from Sunday November 11 (Olivia's birthday) until Friday November 16, with a possibility of extending until the 17th. We are hoping for great weather (mid 60s would be amazing), crowds that aren't too terrible, and a touch of the Christmas decorations.

    Up next: The "how" and the "what".
     
  8. TinkerbellLuvr7

    TinkerbellLuvr7 Tinkerbellluvr7

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    Oooh fun!!! Let me know :) I have an appt for my car at 11am but that's all I have planned for the day!! I have some exciting news for you too about WDW!! I'll send you a text :)
     
  9. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    So, "how" are we doing this trip you ask? Well, we are fortunate enough to have our 3rd set of WDW seasonal passes so that take care of our tickets, plus it should give us a pretty decent discount on our room at AoA. We obviously don't have to worry about flights since we are only about 1.5 hours away! :cool1:

    The "what". This will be a hodgepodge of miscellaneous stuff, so here ya go:

    Dining Plan: Yep, we are doing the deluxe dining once again! We have tried all 3 dining plans and really fell in love with deluxe for trips that are more than a couple of days. The quick service is great for a quick overnight trip and the regular isn't all that bad, but since we don't have the "need to see it all" mentality and can take the time to relax and enjoy meals knowing that if we miss something we can always just come back. The deluxe plan is the one and only thing Toby pretty much insists on for our longer trips, so who am I to say no?! This is also about the only way he will tolerate my super early mornings since he is of the thinking that on vacation you should sleep in!

    BBB: Yep, we are doing this one again! This will be Olivia's 3rd trip to the BBB. It seems to have become a birthday tradition, and I will keep indulging her for as long as she enjoys it. For her 3rd birthday she went as Cinderella, last year it was Belle and this year the plan is Rapunzel.

    Touring: Since we are park veterans, I really don't need to have a down to the minute itinerary, but I do have general guide of what parks we will be hitting each day and what (if any) evening plans we have.

    There you have it. I have been through the who, what, when, where, why and how!

    Up next: ADR day is May 15th, here is what I am hoping for...
     
  10. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Sounds good! Can't wait to hear your news!
     
  11. PirateKate

    PirateKate DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Joining in! Your trip sounds great. Olivia is adorable! We're trying deluxe dining for the first time in a few weeks and I'm hoping we love it, too. Can't wait to hear about your ADRs!
     
  12. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Thanks for joining in! Thanks, we think Olivia is pretty cute too. I have to say, we really do like the deluxe, some guaranteed downtime each day is wonderful! I should have my hopeful ADR list up later tonight or tomorrow!
     
  13. onescgirl

    onescgirl DIS Veteran

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    Olivia is just precious! I loved looking at her newborn pictures. My twins were preemies. Levi spent 3 weeks in the NICU & so remember that stressful time & yet it's all a blur too! :confused3
    I can't wait to read all about Olivia's 5th birthday WDW celebration.
    And, I'm going to love reading all about the AoA resort!
     
  14. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Glad you made it over here! I know exactly what you mean about the NICU time being sooo stressful and a blur! It's amazing how resilient the preemies are! I really can't wait to say at AoA!
     
  15. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Hi guys! Well today is our 200 day mark-it seems so far, yet so close! ADR day is May 15 which is 20 days from today! :cool1: Since we are doing the deluxe dining plan again we had lots of meals to plan for! Even before park hours came out, I had a pretty good idea of what meals we were wanting, so I planned those out and then when the hours came out, I just stuck them into the day that worked best!

    I have to say that we really love the deluxe plan! It gives us plenty of chances to sit down and relax and catch our breath. Another thing we love is that we have plenty of credits to enjoy our favorite restaurants as well as try new ones! Of the 14 ADRs we had on our last deluxe trip, we had only eaten at 3 of them before! This trip I am trying to do the same-get a good mix of old favorites/must dos as well as new things to try. So, without further ado, here you go, our list of *hopeful* ADRs:

    Cinderella's Royal Table (dinner)
    *I have eaten here but Toby and Olivia never have, and it is a surprise for Livy!*
    Chef Mickey's (breakfast)
    *We have eaten here on every single trip!*
    Crystal Palace (breakfast)
    *We have eaten lunch and dinner here but never breakfast*
    Akershus (breakfast)
    *This will be our 4th time here*
    Ohana (breakfast)
    *We did on Olivia's 3rd birthday trip and really enjoyed it, plus Olivia loves Stitch*
    Garden Grill (dinner)
    *LOVED this one on Olivia's 3th bday trip*
    Tusker House (lunch)
    *We ate lunch here when Olivia was 15 months old, but it wasn't a character meal then*
    Hollywood & Vine (lunch)
    *One word: Jake. Olivia loves Jake and the Neverland pirates. We also ate here on her 3rd bday trip*
    Cape May Cafe (dinner)
    *We have eaten breakfast here but never dinner. Toby and I love seafood so this should be good!*
    Chefs de France (lunch)
    *A totally new one for us! Olivia will be excited to see Remy*
    Whispering Canyon Cafe (dinner)
    *Olivia and I ate breakfast here in February and really enjoyed it, so I am hoping dinner will be great too!*
    Liberty Tree Tavern (lunch)
    *Olivia, my mom and I ate here for Olivia's 4th birthday and it was really good*
    Captain's Grill (Dinner)
    *I have heard great things about this one, and I figure Toby will like a good steak*
    ESPN Club (lunch)
    *This is Toby's only request. We have eaten here several times and have never had a bad meal*

    The order of the meals listed above is the order I plan on trying to get the ADRs. What do you think of that? I know I need to do CRT first thing and beyond that I tried to remember what I have had a hard time getting in the past and done the order based on that. Thoughts?
     
  16. blessedby3

    blessedby3 Actually Blessedby4 now, but cant change my userna

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    Coming over to join in on this trip report too! I am so jealous that you are so close you can pop in to WDW so often...maybe one day I will live in FL again:cloud9:
    Cant wait to read more about the planning. We are heading down in October for our youngest daughter's (Alexa) 5th birthday too:cool1: We are looking forward to MNSSHP...we have never been. Have you all done the party?
    I would love to stay at AOA! I cant wait to see lots of pictures from there:goodvibes Livy picked a great resort!
     
  17. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Glad you made it over here! I do always say that WDW is the only good thing about living in Florida!

    How cool that you are celebrating a 5th birthday so close to us! We did MNSSHP last year and really loved everything about it! We are debating going back this year, and we are only debating b/c it would be so close to Livy's birthday trip and we don't know if we want to spend the money on that or save it to have more to spend on the big trip.

    We are all super excited about AoA! It should be a blast! You can bet I will be taking TONS of pics! Where are you guys staying?
     
  18. blessedby3

    blessedby3 Actually Blessedby4 now, but cant change my userna

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    This will be our first off site trip:eek: since the disaster of 1999 trip!!!! I had booked us at Days Inn or something like that....we checked in and right back out! It was nasty! We ended up at the Holiday Inn and after that we have always stayed on property.
    Our oldest dd is graduating from college May 12th and then getting married July 21st. Crazy amounts of money are getting spent (even on a tight budget) so we are once again staying off property (although we are staying at Bonnet Creek and it is really on property...just not a WDW hotel).
    We are excited about having lots of room, but I know we will miss being at a WDW resort. We really need a budget trip and we are getting the whole week in a 2BR for $832. We are also getting YES tickets and saving about $500 there. I already have enough rewards points for our meals so the only other thing we have to pay for is parking, gas and MNSSHP tickets. We are driving because airfare for us is really expensive.
    Maybe on our next trip we can stay at AOA:)
     
  19. TinkerbellLuvr7

    TinkerbellLuvr7 Tinkerbellluvr7

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    I WANT ALL OF THOSE ADRS!!! Especially CRT..jealous!!!! Can't wait to see you Saturday :)
     

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