November 2012- F&W, MVMCP & Smelling the Roses

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by exwdwcm, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    And so it begins…our first NOVEMBER visit to WDW! So happy to start the next chapter in our Disney adventure.

    WHEN: November 8-17, 2012
    WHERE: Bay Lake Tower, 2 Bedroom Lockout, Lakeview
    HOW: Park hoppers, fly and rental car

    WHO: Me, DH, DS, my parents

    CAST:
    Here is a little more detail about our cast.
    Me: Michelle, 38, Disney obsessed, picky eater, fast walker, hates crowds, ex cast member, full time marketing professional.
    Favorite ride: Tower of Terror
    Favorite character: Tinkerbell
    [​IMG]
    DH: Alan, 40, along for the ride, early riser, financial real estate (REIT) professional, likes working out and eating healthy, dreads crowds and lines, slowly becoming a Disney expert himself!
    Favorite ride: Peter Pan
    Favorite character:??
    [​IMG]


    DS: Will, 4, just turned four day before Halloween, this is his 4th trip to WDW. He’s a happy, easy going kid and very well behaved. Eats anything, hates waiting for anything, loves thrills.
    Favorite ride: Haunted Mansion (he’s obsessed with it)
    Favorite character: Pooh Bear
    [​IMG]
    Mom: 60 something (no need to be specific!), mother of three grown daughters, married almost 40 years, retired day care director. Loves shopping and spending time with grandkids (4 and one on the way). She’s the “boss” of the family! She’s visually impaired.
    Favorite ride: ??
    Favorite character: Minnie Mouse
    [​IMG]
    Dad: 60 something (again, no need to be specific right?), dad of three daughters (God bless him!), retired this past April from the City Traffic division, electrician, handyman, very laid back, goes with the flow, quiet guy. Enjoys fixing up the house and spending time with grandkids. Diabetic.
    Favorite ride: Test Track

    Favorite character: ??
    [​IMG]
    So I have some research to do on their favorite rides and characters!

    BACKGROUND:
    We’ve been so blessed to enjoy many trips to my happiest place on earth and were just recently lucky enough to purchase DVC in Feb 2010. This will be our third trip as DVC members. Our first DVC trip was December 2010 (with my MIL and niece), followed by this past October 2011 (just the three of us).
    Now for November 2012, we are happy to be able to invite my parents along for the ride.

    MY PARENTS:

    My parents have graciously taken us on many trips, first as kids in the early 80s, when my obsession with WDW began. I still vividly remember reading Birnbaum’s guide and getting so excited. Even then, as a kid, I was already a planner at heart. We stayed in Fort Wilderness in our pop up camper at least twice in the 80s as kids. My parents more recently treated all of us, including my two sisters and their families to 10 days at the Wilderness Lodge in December 2009. This was my son’s first trip (2yo) and also when we did our DVC tour and bought a few months later. So inviting my parents along only made sense. They love the parks and the least we could do is invite them to experience our home resort, Bay Lake Tower. My parents are some of the most considerate and giving people I know. They scarified a lot for us growing up so that we could play sports, buy a dress for the dance and have family vacations.


    WHAT'S DIFFERENT THIS TRIP?

    Well this is our first time going in November. We loved October so much, we thought we would try November to catch the end of Food & Wine and also MVMCP and some Christmas décor. My mom loves the Christmas stuff, as do I.

    Secondly, we will be utilizing a wheelchair and/or scooter for all or parts of the trip. Mom has spent the last few years adjusting to life after brain surgery. She had a benign growth on her pituitary gland that was removed twice through surgery, first through the sinuses, then more recently through actual brain surgery. The tumor, while benign was pressing on her optic nerve, causing vision loss. We hoped the surgery would help the vision, but she hasn’t regained any really. We don’t know what the future holds and if she might lose more vision or not. Another reason why I can’t wait to enjoy this trip with her! The loss of her pituitary gland also means lots of hormone replacement type drugs, which have many side effects, leaving her often tired. She can’t drive a scooter since she can’t see great, so a wheelchair is the option for her. Although at Disney, people run over you anyways, so maybe a scooter would be fun? LOL She does have a white cane and went through training on how to maneuver as someone legally blind. The cane is helpful for feeling for curbs, as changes in walkways; ramps etc. are hard, since her perception is off. Plus it is helpful in cluing in others around her that she can’t see well. Although I have noticed many people don’t care and will still just run into her or walk in front of her and cut her off. She still has vision- she can read menus if she looks very close, literally right up on top of it. Same with signing her name, she is right on top of it. But seeing stuff far away is tough, and her peripheral vision is totally gone. So someone walking up from behind her, or coming from behind fast with a stroller, well she can’t see them. If a waiter tries to set a plate down from behind, she can’t see him until it is right in front of her. She explains it as looking through a tube basically, like a paper towel roll, she can only see directly in front of her and then, not good at all. Only one eye has some vision that is useful. She hasn’t been able to drive for years, which is the hardest thing on her. So we will encourage her to use a wheelchair for the majority of the trip. I am going to look at alternatives for this- we’ve rented in park before, but maybe having a rental from off site would be good, so we can use it for the entire trip.

    Third, my dad is not in perfect health either. He just found out he is diabetic in the last few years and while he is a healthy eater and in good shape, that has taken its toll. He checks his sugar often. He also fights gout and can rarely eat red meat. Between the gout and diabetes, he also has some horrible foot pain, which could mean we encourage him to rent a scooter. Some days the pain can be really bad for him, especially walking a lot. I know he will fight us on using a scooter, since he doesn’t want to, but I am going to push hard, because I don’t want him to be in pain. I want him to be able to enjoy this trip. I know using a scooter will make life a whole lot easier for him.

    Fourth- so in using a wheelchair and scooter, that means Alan or I will be pushing mom most of the time. We also still take a stroller for William. However, if we do rent a wheelchair and scooter, we might consider leaving the stroller at home. Will could always ride in his Papa’s lap on the scooter when tired. He’ll be almost 5 when we go and while he does complain about walking sometimes, I figured maybe we can think about leaving the stroller. Something for us to think about. So having a wheelchair and/or scooter will definitely force us to slow down. That isn’t a bad thing. We actually slowed down some this last trip. Because we’ve been fortunate enough to go so many times, we’ve seen a lot and don’t feel the need to rush around as much anymore. Some of my favorite trip moments are stopping and taking in the little details or things that weren’t planned. So going slow allows us to do more of that.

    Lastly- the week we are going in sort of a strange one. It is the week before Thanksgiving. Typically not high crowds. However, that first weekend we arrive is a busy one. There is a lot going on:

    • Last weekend of the Food & Wine Festival
    • Festival of the Masters (art show) at Downtown Disney
    • Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Epcot (recently moved to this weekend)
    • End of Jersey week
    • Veterans Day on 11/11


    So that’s our crew and background. Stay tuned for some initial plans. We are under 300 days out!:wizard:

     
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  3. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    Saved for Table of Contents
     
  4. meredy338

    meredy338 Mouseketeer

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    Really?!? I get to be first!!!

    Looking forward to reading along!
     
  5. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I'm here & ready to read about your plans!! Hopefully you enjoy November. :thumbsup2 Kind of funny how we are flip flopping this year with you going in November and us going in October! :laughing: At least we will then be able to compare experiences!
     
  6. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    Welcome and first no less. I wish I had a prize or something, but a smiley will have to do. :wizard:;)

    Hey there, yes, hoping November is great. Yes, very funny how we are doing it this year. We did really love October too- I definitely want to go back in October again, heck, maybe 2013!!
     
  7. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    WHAT's DONE
    Well we are so far out, 295 days to be exact, so not much is done yet. We are confirmed and booked through DVC for November 9-17th at BLT in a 2 bedroom.

    NEXT TO DO's

    • Find a decent airfare! Prices are just crazy right now, so I'll be stalking the web for anything under $300 direct. We prefer flying AA, but it's pricey. Right now rates are like $450 RT! OUCH! No way!
    • Decide on tickets- we will most likely buy park hoppers. Our APs just expired in December. Given we will be trying for baby #2 right after this trip, I don't want to commit to AP's, since not sure what 2013 will hold for us! We will probably do 9 day hoppers.
    • Add a night for the 8th at POP. Ideally I'd like to fly in on Thursday evening, 11/8. DH can work a half day that am. This allows us to have a full day Friday, which is important to tackle F&W on Friday morning. We've never stayed at a value before and I hear such great things about POP. I'd love to experience it, if only for a night.
    • SAVE SAVE SAVE!


    So a few questions, things I need advice on:

    1. Should we rent a wheelchair and/or scooter from an off site company and have it delivered to BLT and use during our entire stay?
    2. If we have a scooter for my dad, should we bring our stroller still for William? He will have just turned 5. He does tire easily with all that walking and we do criss cross the park often, although with my parents, we will probably do that less. Is it silly to have the stroller? I would be pushing mom and DH would be pushing stroller and dad would be in the scooter/ECV. Should we bring the stroller in case, but not plan to use it much?
    3. Groceries- I hate wasting time on a grocery stop- I've used Garden Grocer many times and loved them, but have considered using a smaller business like Personal Disney Shopper, anyone used them?
    4. I'd like to do something special upon arrival for DS for his bday- a gift basket or something maybe from Disney Florist. Have you used them or another gift company before? We've done our own gifts before, but I'd like to do something official this time that is delivered.
     
  8. obxlover

    obxlover Mouseketeer

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    We rented from Apple Scooter in December for my MIL. It was great!! The scooter was waiting at the resort for us when we arrived. The first scooter didn't work correctly, the resort called let them know that we would be on our way, we got to their store and they upgraded us with no questions.

    They were much cheaper than renting on property. It can be quite a walk from the parking lot to the front gates, so having the scooter in the car for my MIL was a big help.

    Can't wait to hear more about your trip.
     
  9. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    Joining in !!

    When my mom went a few years ago, she had a scooter delivered to her by a rental company. It worked out great and it was a real nice scooter too. It was great for getting around the parks. She usually had a child sitting with her and they loved it !

    Looking forward to hearing more !
     
  10. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    Thanks for the info, noting it now in my folder! So how did it fit in the car? That is my concern. Renting a wheelchair is easy enough- we can fit that, but a scooter too?

    Thank you for joining and for the info. Good to know a child can fit nicely too. Plus, it is nice to have more storage on the scooter, right? :thumbsup2
     
  11. WDWCP96

    WDWCP96 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! We only overlap on your departure day and my arrival day. Wish we could do a DISmeet of former '96 CM's!

    We are staying in a 1 bedroom at BLT with lake view but I think you know this from my PTR.
     
  12. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    I know, wouldn't a DISmeet be fun for alums? One of my roommates from 96 still works there. She's bumped around a lot- she was in the Hunchback show, entertainment at DHS, worked the Kodak pavilion at Imagination, was a Ziti sister in Italy and now does a preshow fake producer/film crew thing at DHS before parades etc. I always try and meet up with her while there, at least a mini reunion ! :rotfl:

    We've done the one bedroom and a studio, both lakeviews. Loved the one bedroom, so we are really looking forward to having the 2 bedroom! I know it will be fabulous. I really missed having a W/D when we stayed in a studio in October. :thumbsup2
     
  13. mousescrapper

    mousescrapper DIS Veteran

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    Here....be back to get caught up popcorn::
     
  14. TinkerbellLuvr7

    TinkerbellLuvr7 Tinkerbellluvr7

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    I'm here!!!!!

    I can be your personal Disney shopper!!!! lol. I would LOVE to see what the rooms at BLT look like! Sadly I missed that CM tour by like a year..darn!!!

    Looks like you'll have a lot on your plate for this trip but I'm sure you will have a blast. I would suggest getting a GAC for your week there. I don't think they ask for medical proof whether you get it for your Dad or Mom but that would be very helpful for you and cause less headaches I'm sure!!! I dislike when people abuse it but based on what's on your plate...get one :) You'll be glad you did!!!

    Can't wait to hear more!!
     
  15. vikkii19

    vikkii19 Mouseketeer

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    Joining in and can't wait to read your plans. We went that week last year and we loved it. Although it was a lot more crowded than I had anticipated (Columbus day week was less crowded in 2009), we loved the weather and having F&W and the Christmas decorations. So we're heading back this year, but we've learned from our mistakes (rope drop every morning and no MK on Saturdays).

    We are planning on Garden Grocer, is there a reason you might not use them this time. This is the first time we'll be ordering groceries and I won't use them if they're not good.

    It's so fun that you'll get to share this trip with your parents. I invited my parents to come with us, but they declined. They never get out of the house and are hermits. They seriously have not gone anywhere more than 30 minutes from their house. I kind of expected them not to come. So now I've invited my in-laws and they will let me know if they can get the vacation time or not.
     
  16. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    yeah! I can't wait to read your latest TR!!!! :goodvibes
    Hey Megan! I think we will try the GAC just in case we need it. It might be good for certain shows so she can get a good spot up front to see better. We didn't even use it once the last time we had one. But it is good to have if needed I guess. Usually we were able to get front seats, so it wasn't bad. We hate people that abuse them too. I remember one trip, we were in line for Small World and this group of teens comes in pushing one of them in a wheelchair. No obvious impairment, which means NOTHING, as I know firsthand (Mom) that many medical challenges are not always visible. So never judge. But we saw one girl in the wheelchair, they went in the wheelchair entrance, so were able to get on very fast of course and there was a long line that day. We saw them come back out (we were still in line) and a different person was in the wheelchair now and they were all laughing and then another kid pushed them out and he sat in it. I assume they were abusing. I can't be sure, maybe more than one needed it, you really never know. But the snarky laughing was like they had gotten away with something and I couldn't help but wonder. Again, even then, I can't be sure, I mean if mom gets a wheelchair, her and dad might switch otu from time to time. Heck, at DL a efw years ago, my mom got one to use on our Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour. My cousin, who is a cancer survivor, has all sorts of medical issues too due to some white blood cell problems. She tires so easily, so often she would switch out with my mom in the chair. I guess you never know. :confused3 But sure is frustrating knowing people abuse it.

    Hi Vicki! Welcome!!! :thumbsup2 So glad to hear you liked that week last year. Yep, we are realistic. We might do MK on Saturday, but only at rope drop and might do the Family Magic Tour, which I think starts at 10, so we'd be part of a group and then leave right after that. I figured the crowds won't be bad that early and if they are, we are part of a tour, so it shouldn't affect us too much, since we aren't really doing attractions (and if we do, maybe we get front doored). Did you do F&W that last weekend?

    Garden Grocer has always been great. The only thing I might check out is using the Personal Disney Shopper if she is cheaper, but I'll have to compare prices. Also, she will buy I think where you want- like wal-mart, so that the deals might be better, and therefore cheaper total. Plus, i think you can request more special items or brands that way. With GG, i think you are limited to what is on their site, which is a pretty good selection. I figured I would just check out my options to find the best deal. But GG has always been fabulous in terms of no problems, great service, etc.

    Sorry your parents won't make it, but glad your in laws might! We just took my mother in law in 2010 (December early). She had a ball. It was her first time. She rarely gets to travel or leave OK/TX. So it was fun. My parents do travel a lot now that they are both retired. They did Hawaii last year and are booked for an Alaskan Cruise in August! Plus WDW in NOvember. We did the Smokey Mountains in June with them too. They love to travel! WE will have a great time!
     
  17. vikkii19

    vikkii19 Mouseketeer

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    We did F&W the very last Sunday (we only arrived on the Saturday afternoon, so it was the most logical choice) and started in Canada as soon as the booths opened at around 10:45am, by 2pm we were in Mexico and it was starting to get crazy. When we first started the booths had maybe 3 to 4 people in line, but once we got to Mexico there were at least 15 to 20 people in line. We ended up skipping the last 4 or 5 booths because there were just too many people. This year we're going earlier in the week, probably the Thursday afternoon so hopefully it won't be as busy.
     
  18. mousescrapper

    mousescrapper DIS Veteran

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    Ok I am caught up:thumbsup2

    Love that you are going back in the fall and taking your parents too :goodvibes...I just know they will love BLT as much as we both do, can't wait till next yr when I take my parents there for the first time

    Seems like a packed time to go and see a lot...but your a pro, I know you will come up w/ a great plan


    So I can help w/ two of your Q's

    Stroller, so we debated it for Naomi-Ruth for our Jan trip she turned 5 the end of Nov..so just a tad older at the time of travel than Will


    But we figured we would need it half the time we were there. She did great and we loved not having to deal w/ parking it, etc....when we went to MK in the morning she walked it and when we went back in the evening after dinner (in the villa hear $$$ savings) we used the stroller

    We used the stroller at EP since its just huge w/ a lot of walking but skipped it for a 3/4 day at the Studios

    So I'd say you can probably manage a similar system :thumbsup2

    Haven't tried the personal shopper for groceries or anything yet...but I'd go that route for a gift delivery to your room vs the Disney florist...those prices are crazy and the selection is limited

    Looking forward to more planspopcorn::
     
  19. obxlover

    obxlover Mouseketeer

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    We have a Honda mini van and it fit perfectly in the back with one set of seats down, I'm not sure how well it would fit in a car :confused3.

    The storage basket was great for holding camera bags, etc.
     
  20. tree320

    tree320 Mouseketeer

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    Love reading this and since some of our days overlap I can steal some of your plans:laughing:.
     
  21. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    Thank you so much! It sounds like if we start early, it should be manageable!

    Thank you for all the info!! I think we will plan to take the stroller and use in the evenings like you said. Yep, i need to figure out a cool gift for Will to do! I need to check out what she can put together for us.

    Great- thank you so much. I think we will definitely be getting a mini van.

    Yeah- LOL! feel free to steal anything you want! :thumbsup2:rotfl:
     

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