My 14th trip, his first...a PTR to save DBf's sanity

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by SoccerDogWithEars, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    Once again, I find myself starting a PTR for a hopeful trip that hasn't even been booked yet. But hey, last time we ended up going, so maybe it will work again!!!

    You see, last October I went to WDW with my parents. I'm an only child, and this marked our 12th trip as a family (the 13th trip comes from a Spring Break trip with a friend my junior year in high school). Disney is our obsession, our happy place, our go-to vacation spot. This trip, however, well.....to put it nicely, I was miserable. I had spent all this time and effort into trying to make it the best trip possible as I'm graduating in May and thought that this could be the last family vacation for a while. All of us were excited to go. Then we get down there, and Mom was menopausal, and Dad was cranky, and I spent the entire trip playing mediator. I literally cried on the way back because it was the first time I'd ever regretted a Disney trip. I then decided I would never go to Disney with my parents again (I know, I know...we'll see), but that I wanted a redemption trip. And that brings us to

    The Who: No, not THAT Who :rockband:
    [​IMG]
    Firstly, there's me. Annie. I'm 22 years old, born and raised in NC. As I said before, I'm a Disney-holic. This May, I'll graduate from East Carolina University (GO PIRATES!!) with a degree in Hospitality Management.
    Then there's DBf, aka Joe. He's 24 (soon to be 25), and he graduated this past December with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design. Or something like that. It was really long. And no, it didn't really take him that long to graduate, he already had a degree from Wake Tech, he just apparently loves school so much he couldn't get enough and so transferred into ECU. He's technically been to Disney once before with his family. However, he was around 8 or 9 and doesn't remember any of it, and when his parents discuss it, I'm pretty sure they're confusing Disney and Universal (I think they did both, they just mix up which rides were where)
    We met at a St. Patrick's Day party at a mutual friend's house. I honestly thought he was just about the most attractive person I'd laid eyes on, and I was so nervous that I spent the entire night avoiding him. He noticed me, thought I was cute, and spent the night trying to get my attention and talk to me. Eventually we bumped into each other (literally, on the stairs) and got to talking. We spent the next couple of weeks hanging out with each other, and on April Fool's (kind of ironic, I know) we made it official. We've been dating almost 2 years now, and while we're not headed down the aisle any time soon, we're pretty serious. :lovestruc And unfortunately, yes, I really am that short. I'm 5'2". He's 6'1"
    Joe also just accepted a job offer from a pharmaceutical calibration company he's interned with the past 2 summers. I'm ridiculously proud of him. So this trip is sort of a celebration of graduations, our relationship, and having real world jobs (hopefully I'll have one then too).

    The When: After much debate...ha, who am I kidding, I basically had this thing entirely planned before I even pitched it to him. We (I) would like to go the first week of December. Mainly because it's one of the cheapest times to go. Right now the planned dates are Dec. 1-8. I'd love to stay longer, but Joe can only take 5 days off of work. We're trying to decide if we'll get an 8 day ticket and try to do a half day that last day, or just do 7 days. I'm planning on adding the dining plan as well, so that 8th day would be nice as far as credits go.

    The Where: Port Orleans French Quarter!! I won't lie, I'm sort of a snob when it comes to hotels. I REFUSE to stay offsite, even though I know that it will most likely be cheaper. I just love the atmosphere at all the resorts, and the convenience of having bus transportation everywhere. My favorite resort is WL, but sadly, our budget just can't swing it. The Port Orleans resorts are my favorite moderate resort. I love the mansions at POR, but I like the fact that POFQ has only one bus stop to deal with. Plus, the bedspreads are purple and gold, and once Joe saw that, he was sold!

    Joe still isn't 100% convinced that the parks will keep us occupied for the whole week, but he also only has vague ideas about what Disney holds. I've ordered the planning DVD, and I also plan to buy the new Birnbaum's guide. (Personally, I'm an Unofficial Guide fan, but I think Joe would be a bit intimidated) We're also very competitive with each other. We keep running tabs on our records in air hockey, bowling, putt putt, go-karts, etc. etc. So in addition to the rides (and I'm stressing both Buzz and TSMM), we also plan on hitting up Fantasia Gardens. I've only played in once in 8th grade, but I had a fantastic time. And mini golf is one of our favorite things to do, no matter where we are. DisneyQuest is another possibility, but I'm just not sure we want/are able to pay to get in. My family still has some WP&M credits left on old tickets, but it was after Disney started the biometric scans, so I don't know if we could use them or not. I know my junior year my friend and I switched tickets and they still worked, so I'm hoping that Joe's finger is close enough to my dad's that they system will let him use it.

    Will this trip become a reality? Will Joe slowly come over to the dark side? Or will I drive him crazy with my OCD planning? Stay tuned to find out!!
     
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  3. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    Good news!! The other day my planning DVD came in, and I sat Joe down and we watched the segment on the parks and then the "grown-up" portion, and he's admitted he's actually excited about going!!!!:worship::cool1::thumbsup2

    Now, he's mainly excited about the fact that you can do watersports, Downtown Disney, and everything outside of the parks. So my main concern now is trying to plan and allocate time for both the extra stuff and the park stuff. As well as money. He's been asking about La Nouba, but what he DOESN'T know is that I'm planning to take a night to drive over to Universal and see the Blue Man Group. I'm keeping this a surprise. HE once told me that one of the things he's always really wanted to do is see them, but they didn't go when he was in Vegas. He doesn't know that they also perform at Universal, so I'm really excited about this.

    Of course, this is all still mostly hypothetical as nothing is booked yet. He starts his new job Tuesday, and we're planning on putting the deposit down with his first paycheck. Obviously I can't figure out what the day by day plan is until park hours are released, and the wait is KILLING me. I'm also still keeping fingers crossed for FD.

    I do have a question for all you DISers out there....where is your favorite place to get a steak? Preferably on the DP. When discussing restaurants all Joe said is that he wants a good steak somewhere. Also, if you were going to use 2 TS credits, would you rather choose California Grill or Hoop-De-Doo?
    Right now our top choices for dining are:
    Raglan Road - we both are of Irish descent, and love Irish music. So this was a no-brainer
    Teppan Edo - I've never eaten here, but we both love restaurants like this
    Be Our Guest - This is me, not him. I told him this was non-negotiable. Beauty and the Beast is my FAVORITE Disney movie.
    Boma - Joe loves spicy foods, and is willing to try new things. I've loved every time I've eaten here, and buffets are always a good thing with Joe ;)

    We're also considering Tony's, because we like Italian and I've never eaten here, and Whispering Canyon Cafe, because I just want to see his face when he asks for ketchup.

    So...thoughts? Opinions? Advice? Random useless facts?
     
  4. MouseDogMom

    MouseDogMom DIS Veteran

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    Hope it all works out!

    Favorite place for a steak? Not the most obvious, but Artist Point. Best atmosphere anywhere, and the food is great too.

    And ordinarily I'd use the 2 TS on Cali Grill, but if I'm going to eat at Artist Point, then maybe I'd do HDDR instead. Decisions, decisions.

    And btw, it appears that as of 2013, admission to Disney Quest will be included with the Magic Your Way Package. http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/vacation-packages/2013/base/ That should help!
     
  5. happybelle

    happybelle DIS Veteran

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    I have NC connections. I hope you are able to take your trip.
     
  6. Tinker_Tam

    Tinker_Tam DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! We are hoping to be there at the same time (Dec 1-10). I hope things work out for all of us!

    You and Joe make a really cute couple!!
     
  7. TriniandBre

    TriniandBre Mouseketeer

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    I'm on board for the PTR. :thumbsup2 I love going to the HDDR. I always spend the 2 credits every trip we go at HDDR.
     
  8. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

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    I'm joining in! Came over from the December facebook group, though I actually read your intro yesterday!

    I am not much help when it comes to dining because we hardly ever make ADRs but I would recommend Tony's. We also love Italian and it is a fun restaurant. I can give more feedback about the HDDR after I get back in April!
     
  9. faerieprincess

    faerieprincess on the threshold of revelation

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    I am also obsessively planning a hypothetical trip. So far I've successfully fought the urge to start a PTR, but not sure how much longer I can hold out!

    I really enjoyed the teriyaki steak at Kona.
     
  10. Marshay

    Marshay I'm Goofy for Mickey. Don't worry if you get a bi

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    Another Dec FB person here!

    We will be there the same time. I hope your trip is a wonderful one this time!

    I'd pick Cali over HDDR. I love both but Cali is more adult, with great views, watch Wishes, and better food, etc. HDDR is just good corny fun and better IMHO with a large group, than just two. But it is fun -- singing, dancing, jokes, BBQ.

    So great you are surprising him with Blue Man Group!
     
  11. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    A big huge :welcome: to all my new friends!!! And a nice to see you again to all those coming over from the FB group :hug: Glad you all could join my hypothetical party.

    Thanks! I like to think so too, though he jokes that if we ever get married I'll have to stand on a box during the ceremony to see him eye to eye.:rolleyes2

    I probably don't need ADRs, but I'm just such an obsessive planner that I would freak out if we DIDN'T have them. Thanks for the vote for Tony's, you never really hear much about it.

    Come over to the dark side. We may not have cookies, but we have spreadsheets and budgets and park itineraries and lots of magical planning pixie dust! Though I might throw in some cookies if you want. :rotfl::rotfl2:
    I've had the steak at Kona before, and I enjoyed it, but teriyaki really isn't my thing. If I want steak, I want a thick, hearty marinade.

    Marshay--good advice! That's sort of how I feel, but unfortunately I let slip that HDDR had all you can eat ribs, and now Joe is fixated :headache: Maybe I could coerce him into trying WCC instead though....

    I just started my Disney box, and starting out I already have $59 in it just from the tips I've made the last month. Or well, the tip money I haven't used on other things, such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pts 1 and 2 on DVD......ahem. I will say that having this trip is a great motivator for me to save more and spend less. If only I didn't have so many necessities, like rent, and food, and gas...I could afford to stay at the GF :lmao:
     
  12. PrincessAmongPrinces

    PrincessAmongPrinces Mouseketeer

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    Yet another Dec FB person here! :) I'm joining in to see how your plans are progressing!

    You and Joe are an adorable couple! Congrats on graduating/getting real jobs!!
     
  13. ::danielle::

    ::danielle:: Mouseketeer

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    Joining you from the December FB group!
     
  14. budafam

    budafam DIS Veteran

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    I'm also joining in from the FB group :) I would love to get a PTR started but I think I need to finish my TR from October yet :confused3 So much going on in this household but I always find myself back to planning our trip which is only 286 days away.. lol.
     
  15. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to all my FB buddies!!!

    As some of you may know, my latest venture in brainwashing...um, I mean....persuading Joe is a PowerPoint presentation detailing restaurants and attractions in Disney. I think I may have gone a little overboard....I'm at 32 slides and have only covered the restaurants we've decided on and Magic Kingdom, and even then I only included about 10 rides. :rolleyes1 Ah, well, at least I'm having fun. I usually work on this with MouseWorldRadio playing in the background. It makes me happy. I was listening to it on my phone the other day while riding the bus, and honestly sort of lost myself pretending I was on a Disney bus and headed to AK. Quite a shock when I got off to a crowd of college students in front of a gym :headache: I limit my listening to just my room now.

    The trip will officially be booked March 15 or 16. Joe gets paid the 15, and then he'll give me his half of the deposit and I'll book it. And we'll pay it off as we go. HOPEFULLY by 45 days out I'll have found a job and will have more income than I do now. March 16 is also exciting because we'll be celebrating Joe's 25th birthday and St. Patty's. I tell him he's an old man now :lmao: And in my strange humor way, his birthday gift is a rotisserie oven. I kid you not. My mom is getting rid of the one she got as a wedding present and never used, and she asked if I wanted it, and when she described it I was like "omg Joe would probably love that...birthday gift!" I'll probably get him something, well, that he really wants too. Mainly I'm just curious as to how he'll react. St. Patrick's day (or in this case, the day before) is always special for us since it marks when we met. And here in Raleigh we have a parade and festival downtown, so we're planning on going to that. I'm also planning on baking him Guinness cupcakes with Bailey's frosting. :shamrock: Am I domestic or what? :laundy:

    Other than that, no real news on the Disney front. Life here is full of ups and downs, as life generally is. Mom and Dad leave for their *mostly free* trip to Paris in a month....the jerks. Can't blame them too much, as Mom won the trip and it was only for 2, but I can still pout :snooty: I'm the only one who wanted to go to Paris anyway. But only 84 more days until my graduation present of going to the Indy 500!!!!! My other obsession is Indy Car Racing, and while we went to Indianapolis in 2010, it was a few weeks before the race. I still geeked out over seeing IMS in person. Now, to actually see THE greatest spectacle in racing...:cool1::yay::dance3::cheer2::teeth: about sums it up.

    I know I've been kind of quiet, but I don't want to bore you all with the details of my daily life. Unless you REALLY want to know about how to categorize menu items as stars, plowhorses, puzzles, or dogs. So, most likely, until booking day, TTFN, Ta Ta For Now!
     
  16. MamaJessie

    MamaJessie DIS Veteran

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    Joining in from the FB group too, looking forward to more :thumbsup2
     
  17. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    pixiedust:We are officially BOOKED!!!!pixiedust:

    I think. You see, the first time I booked over the phone. The next day, no deposit had been taken from my account, and My Disney Experience listed the trip as in my cart but not paid for in any way. Ok....well...so I paid again. And then got a completely different confirmation number. :faint: So I called Disney again, explained my situation, and sure enough I did have 2 trips booked (for the exact same time), so the nice Disney lady canceled the first one and told me I was all set. Checked my account, and sure enough there was a pending withdrawal for $200. The NEXT day. I'm checking my e-mail, and there's a lovely one filled with pictures of POFQ (which is where we're staying) and at the end it says "we're so glad you're looking at visiting us, book now and reserve your spot!" Ummm.....I thought I did. Go over to My Experience, it shows my balance which shows they have accepted the deposit. Go over to my account.....and sure enough, no more pending withdrawal :confused3

    I called Disney AGAIN, and the guy (who was not very Disney-like) said that my account showed the deposit as being accepted, so I guess I'll just wait and see if it finally gets posted to my account. On the flip side, if they want to credit me with the deposit and not actually take it out....well, hey, who I am to argue?

    So, if all goes well, we are booked for Dec 1-8 at POFQ, plus the DDP. I'm reeeeeeeeeeally hoping they'll release FD, but regardless, I enjoy not worrying about what my entree costs. And having dessert included. I can't do much else right now. I won't be able to make ADRs until June 4th, and park hours aren't released for Dec until August 27th (yes, I do have both dates in my phone :rolleyes1). So for now, we'll just start the countdown. Or, well, add to my list of countdowns. My phone looks something like this:

    35 days until the Run Like a Diva half marathon in Myrtle Beach. Hmm...I should probably start training....

    47 days until Graduation

    63 days until the Indy 500 (which I'm going to, because my parents are the most awesomest parents in the history of awesome parents)

    251 days until Disney!!!
     
  18. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    I was just going to pop in and update my countdowns, only to release it's been exactly a month since I last posted! Which I can't figure out if I'm relieved because it means there wasn't much to stress me out, or depressed that this thread has been inactive for that long. But then again, I am pretty active on the FB group, so maybe that's where everyone has been.

    Really, you can just subtract 30 from all of the above countdowns. Graduation is getting scarily close. But the good news is that I have an interview Friday for a job....keep your fingers crossed!!!

    Also, the plan right now is for Joe and I to drive down Saturday and just stay off property Saturday night in Orlando, then check in Sunday, stow our bags with bell services, and head to a park! Not sure which yet, it depends on MVMCP dates. Anywho, does anyone have any suggestions on things to do that Saturday night? I don't know what time we'll get in, but it'll probably be mid-afternoonish, and I don't want to spend hours just watching TV in the room, but we also don't want to spend a lot of money. Anyone have any ideas???
     
  19. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    Oh, hai guys, guess what????

    I GOT A JOB!!!!! :cheer2: :party: :cool1: :yay: :woohoo:

    This means I will actually be able to pay for Disney!!! Haha, because my job at school was just not cutting it.

    But, anyway, I'm super excited, because I also was offered the job a measly 8 hours after the interview, so obviously I did something right. For those of you who are interested, I'll be working as a travel agent. Which is something that a) goes with my major and b) people tell me I'd be good with and c) I've always wanted to do!

    So just wanted to share that piece of good news. If anyone's out there...been feeling kinda lonely here lately....
     
  20. PrincessAmongPrinces

    PrincessAmongPrinces Mouseketeer

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    Congratulations! That's great news about the job! I think it would be awesome to be a travel agent! :)

    And of course, congrats on booking your trip! POFQ sounds great, and good call on the ddp!

    Looking forward to hearing more
     
  21. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, and :welcome:

    I'm really excited about this, because I think it'll be a lot of fun. I love planning things (if you hadn't already picked up on that).

    POFQ is one of my favorite resorts, so I can't wait to go back. And I do love the DDP...it just takes so much stress out of everything. Pay once, and then I don't have to worry about it the rest of the trip. By the way, I see from your ticker you'll be down there in December...when do you arrive?

    The next update should be my Day 1 plans. I've been holding off on that because I don't know park hours, but I have at least an idea of what I want to do. If Disney cooperates haha.
     

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