PARK-CRUISE-PARK in Nov. 2012: Another Thanksgiving with Mickey! (7/7/14 UPDATE!!)

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by kittylady1972, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    So I thought it might be a good idea to start a pre-trip report for our trip which is set to commence in just FOUR DAYS!!

    We are doing 2 nights at Walt Disney World, then we board the Disney Dream for our very first Disney cruise for 3 nights, then we return to WDW for another 3 nights. It's going to be a whirlwind trip full of new firsts for us despite our many, many past trips.

    It will not be our first Thanksgiving in Walt Disney World so as we've told others who think we are nuts for going during this busy time of year....this ain't our first rodeo! We are seasoned park people and we know how to work the system. We haven't done as well as we should have during past trips for maximizing our time, but this time we are hoping to improve on that! Our last Thanksgiving trip was November 2007 though...so it has been a while. Still I think we can manage to get everything done that we hope to for this trip.

    The cast of characters is the same as most of our previous trips, but there is a twist for this trip. We will have some other family members joining us for the last leg of our trip and that should be fun. Even the kids involved aren't aware of this...but I'll explain that later.

    So a quick introduction here of our cast:

    Dina (me!): 40-year-old Disneyholic and mom of three kids and wife of a VERY understanding husband who recognizes and helps feed my addiction to Disney!

    DH: 42-year-old hubby who indulges me in my quest for MORE DISNEY!

    The kids: DS12, DD10 and DS8. They are total adventurers and love all things Disney as well. This kids know their Disney parks. Just tonight at dinner they all discussed their favorite rides at each of the parks!

    FIL and MIL: FIL is 70 and MIL is a few years younger and they are both up for anything and everything. We travel with them often. I think my FIL might be almost as addicted as I am now. They ride every ride, love thrill rides especially and definitely can hang with us and the kids.

    And joining us later on our trip will be SIL (age 44) and her son who is 7 years old. This will be the interesting part as DN7 is not up for all things...not even close. We just *MIGHT* get him on BTMRR this time but he won't be going near Space Mt for sure. We have hopes for Everest but that's probably unlikely too and RnRC and TOT will be a definite NO. So we are planning on getting most of these done early in our trip with the 7 of us and then working with him on the 2nd leg of the park trip to see what we can get him to ride. We'll see how it all goes.
    :)
     
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  3. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Ok, so as I mentioned before, our last trip to WDW for Thanksgiving week was November of 2007. Here we are:

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    I think this was actually taken on Thanksgiving Day!

    Here we are in December 2009 with the Osborne Lights:
    [​IMG]

    And the kids on Main Street at night. I insisted on going to the park this night just to see the castle at night while the rest of the party left dinner and went back to our hotel. Just me and the kids, the advantage of staying on property, being able to split up!

    [​IMG]

    Ok so that brings us to today, now three years later and another chance to see the parks decorated for the holidays. This time the kids will be about this size:

    [​IMG]

    That photo was from our June NOT-a-Disney trip...where we did SeaWorld, Busch Gardens Tampa and Legoland. At least that was the ORIGINAL plan. I never did finish our trip report and since I probably won't, I have to say this: NEVER say you are NOT going to Disney because sometimes plans change!

    Before you know it, you are here:
    [​IMG]

    and here:
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    And taking cool fun photos:
    [​IMG]

    So yes...turns out taking your FIL to Sanaa one night can be dangerous. Next thing you know, you find yourself sitting in Busch Gardens Tampa on the phone with Disney looking into reservations for two additional nights. Yeah...we were not staying on property already and the place we were in didn't have availability for two more nights. We were scheduled for checkout in two days. However when you already have two adults (myself and DH) with annual passes it's a bit easier to splurge on annual passes for kids when you already have a trip planned later in the year and you know they will use the tickets.

    Anyway...it worked out great and nobody was disappointed and we got to try out a NEW place to stay...the Walt Disney World Swan...and it was great.

    So there you have it, this is how we ended up with THREE Disney trips in one year!

    That brings us to now...and we are three more sleeps away from our trip! I've packed today and have two of three kids mostly packed. Oh and my nails have had a test run...and here they are:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And DD10 where we couldn't fit the Minnie decals...so I hand painted some Mickey ears:
    [​IMG]


     
  4. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    :cool1: Ok it's official...we are checked into BOTH of our Disney Resorts now and our cruise paperwork from our travel agent arrived TODAY! :cool1:

    I revisited the idea of the dining plan but realized it just won't make sense for either part of this trip. We'll get the TIW card and that will help since we have a lot of table service restaurants planned. I'm hoping we can eat light though, especially in those places.

    I still need to do some repacking but I can do that even on Thursday morning. Tomorrow night will be a bit nuts as we are going out to dinner right after I get home from work and then I have to play tennis from about 6:30pm until 8pm. I'll get home around 8:30pm, shower and the work on finishing up some of the packing.

    I can't believe we have two more sleeps to go and less than 48 hours until we are on the TRAIN on our way to DISNEY!!! :cool2:
     
  5. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Just checking in really quick before I head off to run the dog to the kennel. She knows we are packed of course and all morning I think she has been waiting to go. We take her with us quite a bit when we travel...but not this time. :( Good thing is people at the kennel love her.

    Kids are at school so I will leave here in about 3 hours to get them.

    Cannot wait to get on the train and get going!
     
  6. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Greetings from the Autotrain! We've been on board since 2:30pm. We enjoyed some nice Riesling wine and cheese and veggies from 3 to 4pm on the lounge and then had a nice meal (more wine) at 5pm. I had crabcakes which were pretty good but the flat iron steak my DD ordered was surprisingly also good. I finished hers and one crabcake...surf and turf! Cheesecake for dessert.

    My adrenaline got pumping VERY early today. On our drive we were maybe 15 minutes in and on a busy 3 lane 65mph highway...when my husband declared 'oh &%$#!' and pulled to the side of the road. Seems the two large suitcases he had secured to the roof were not secure enough. Next thing I see IA my 70yo FIL in the middle lane of the highway with one large suitcase and tractor trailers and cars flying by on each side of him. Thankfully a vehicle in the far right travel lane stopped for him to let him cross!!

    My husband retrieved the other suitcase also from the middle of the highway. Both appear OK but they were double wrapped in heavy duty trash bags which hopefully helped. Wont know til we get to our destination tomorrow.

    Oh and one belonged to my SIL who doesn't travel here until next week.

    So we managed to quickly regroup and reorganize the luggage...nothing on the roof. At least we noticed before we pulled into the train station 45 minutes later! And nobody was behind us on the road when they went flying!

    Anyway our connecting rooms here on the train are great. Wish we could afford to travel like this always! Kids are watching a movie on the Nook now.

    Well DH is up from his nap. Turns out packing and repacking luggage is tiring...oh and waking at 4am.

    We crossed the NC border a few minutes ago. Be in Florida in less than 12 hours.
     
  7. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    OK so now I am updating from the Autotrain once again as we head north and back home. It has been a very interesting trip to say the least. As I ponder a catchy title for my TR the one that sticks in my mind is Dealing Drugs in Disney because that became my every day almost from day three. Sadly we are returning with extra souvenirs in the form of viruses or something. Currently there are two coughing and sick kids and I'm starting to develop something myself now. I'm sure the three other passengers unlucky enough to be stuck in this coach level train car with us are loving listening to the constant coughing and sneezing. Ugh.

    So with any luck I will get this trip report started next week. There were still some great times had by everybody, but many planned events didn't get go be enjoyed by all due to illness.
     
  8. prisjoyce

    prisjoyce Planner Extraordinaire

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    I'm sorry to hear your family is sick, but I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip! :goodvibes
     
  9. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Thanks so much. I do look forward to writing about the FUN stuff!
     
  10. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    First... Dina... I wish you would have PMed me to let me know you'd started another PTR... I feel bad that I have't replied until now.

    I didn't realize your last trip was a NON Disney trip turned Disney trip - ROFL!!! I would have loved at TR on that one! ;)

    So sorry you are all sick, I hope you are feeling better by now, and able to be home to relax in your own beds.

    Please let me know when you start your TR. :)

    D~
     
  11. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Hey D! Sorry I think there is a link in my siggy to this one. I am using the app though so I can't be sure as it doesn't show them. I so wish I had finished my TR for the last trip too...it was very interesting planning a very last minute Disney trip!

    I think this will end up being my TR in the end but I promise to keep you posted!!! ;)
     
  12. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Well I'm ALMOST done getting all of my trip photos up and in albums so hopefully I can really get this trip report started soon. I'm not sure when I'll have some free time but hopefully next week! :rotfl:

    I ended up staying home from work on Monday with two sick kids. Then I spent my afternoon in a cleaning frenzy when I learned (via Facebook!) that my brother and his family would be arriving at my house TUESDAY! I had an idea they would be staying with us for a while, as he mentioned it sometime back in OCTOBER but I didn't know the exact timeframe...until MONDAY! So he and his wife and their 5-month-old son and their two LARGE dogs are now residing in my basement until this Sunday! We have to keep the dogs away from my cats because one of their dogs will EAT cats...NOT KIDDING! He is a very prey-driven dog who has attacked cats in the past near their house! So while my cats are good with dogs and not afraid (since we have one) it does not work both ways. So far, so good on keeping the boundaries. I basically gave them the entire run of our basement but they do come upstairs (minus the dogs) to hang out a little bit. :)

    This weekend my brother and his wife are attending a wedding in New York and kids are not invited. So I will get to babysit the 5-month-old on his first night WITHOUT his mom and dad while they attend the wedding. They will leave Saturday afternoon and return home Sunday morning. Oh and their plan is to board the dogs, but as of now I don't know if my brother has managed to arrange that. Hopefully I won't be too sleep-deprived as of Sunday when they return! ;)

    Then Sunday evening my husband will be going on travel for work...to another country...for a few days. So that means I'm on double-duty next week and will need to make arrangements to get some help with the kids since I have a conference for work I need to attend Mon-Thurs as well.

    I have no idea when I'll even think about Christmas Cards or shopping. My kids don't even have lists and don't seem worried about it. My mom keeps asking us for ideas and I just don't have any for her. Oh but I do have to help research a gift for my dad to give to her. I have yet to do that.

    Glad it's Friday already but I'm seeing no signs of the craziness slowing down right now. With any luck I can kick-start this trip report next week one evening after I get everybody in bed if I'm not exhausted myself! :rotfl:

     
  13. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Wow! Your week sounds crazy insane! Just reading about it makes my eyes roll back into my head. LOL

    Glad you made it home safely - cannot wait to see all of your pictures.

    I've done double duty countless times, I hope it's easy and painless for you.

    D~
     
  14. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Yes D...but so far so good. Weekend babysitting went well despite the 2:45am wake-up, bottle diaper change, vomit-burp requiring me to change my shirt! Hubby is out of town and now injured...so now I may have to work out a way to get to the airport Thursday so I can drive him home. I managed to hang my outside Christmas lights last night, making the kids happy. Tonight has been work, PTO meeting and currently at Noelle's basketball practice. Then back home to prepare for another long day tomorrow. Kids are out of school two hours early but my neighbor is watching them until I get home. Christmas is sneaking up and I have nothing purchased and no ideas for anybody!!

    This week shows no signs of slowing down. Thursday evening hubby comes home, Friday evening is my daughter's chorus concert, Saturday and Sunday I am playing in a tennis tournament.

    OK practice is almost over then home to try to relax for a few minutes. BTW GS Thin Mint cookies NOT a great dinner...especially most of a sleeve of them. Ugh!
     
  15. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Oh no... I hope DH is better soon... And it sounds so crazy at your house - good crazy though.

    For Christmas... Make a list - that always makes me feel better. Then I have a plan in place, and anytime I am out, I pick up one or two things... Eventually everything is off my list.

    I know that GS cookie feeling all too well, BTDT. :rolleyes1

    D~
     
  16. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Thanks D! Great advice...just that I honestly have NO ideas for anybody. Well I have a few for the kids, but it is on Amazon so I can order that easily.

    As for the hubby...not sure what condition he will arrive in tomorrow but I fear another surgery may be in order for him with his horrible ankles. That means a ski trip this year may be out...and I am already working on an alternate trip...guess where??? ;)
     
  17. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    So yes still need to get started on this trip report...and what did I do last night instead? Well started planning another trip to WDW of course. I priced out a few resorts for 3 nights in January...and was able to get a GREAT rate at Shades if Green. Another new to us resort but we do qualify for it. I hear it is very close to the Poly. I think it would be great. And maybe we would break up the drive by stopping in NC first for one night...and visiting my brother and his family at their new house.

    I have yet to pitch this complete plan to my husband yet, but I have sent some emails about costs for SOG. His annual pass expires in March so I'd LOVE to squeeze in one more trip on those passes. I think we could do it pretty cheaply too. We will see if I can convince him. ;)
     
  18. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    So...what about Disneyland Paris?

    Yes there are some very serious talks happening in our house right now and they are centered around us moving...temporarily...to England. There is a position out there that would be perfect for my husband, it would be a 2 year assignment (with a possible 3rd year) and although in the past I have absolutely REFUSED to consider it...suddenly I've changed my mind. I can't explain why but I think part of it has to do with the fact that there are really no real family ties for me here in Maryland any longer. Now that my brother and his family have moved to NC and my parents are in NC and my dad always lamenting about the drive here I'm just thinking perhaps it's a good time to go elsewhere for a while.

    My husband and I now work for the same company and that makes my decision a little easier. Before it would have meant me giving up my job but now...well there's a possibility that a position could be found for me in the same place.

    Don't get me wrong...it's actually all a bit scary to think about...especially that part about packing! And moving! But having just left a job that I had for 15+ years and realizing that it CAN be done...it just makes it a bit easier for me to consider. There are many, many pros to this opportunity and until all of the details are worked out I can't say how likely it is that it will happen, which is why I won't even MENTION it to anybody right now, including friends and family. Yet there's a part of me that really wants to start looking into the whole situation more and more and start planning because if it happens it would mean we'd move in JUNE!

    All the more reason to squeeze in ONE MORE WALT DISNEY WORLD TRIP next year because it may be a while before we come back. Until then...there's always Paris I guess and I think the chance to see more of the world would be awesome for the kids.

    So there you have it...another NON-TRIP update from me. I do plan on getting these kiddos to bed soon and REALLY starting my trip report though! REALLY! :thumbsup2
     
  19. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Ok, time to get this trip report kicked off! This first post will be the boring non-photo post for the most part but after this there will be some photos...promise! :thumbsup2

    So our morning began with the usual chaos. We got all of the kiddos on the bus to school...and then the fun began. We were mostly packed but I had the last minute stuff to throw together such as electronics, snacks, get the cats prepared for a week or so without us, etc. My husband insisted that I be the one to take the dog to the kennel so around 9am I left to do that.

    When I returned there was much fuss around the packing. My husband and FIL were trying to figure out how to get the luggage on our rear luggage rack and in the limited space in the back of our Honda Pilot. The most difficult pieces appeared to be the two large suitcases that belonged to my in-laws and my SIL. Yes did I mention my SIL and nephew were joining us later in our trip so we were taking the luggage for them so they didn't have to transport it on the plane? So there was a LARGE suitcase packed for the two of them...for 4 days. :rotfl:

    The final decision was to put the two large suitcases up on the roof rack while most of the remaining luggage was packed on the rear cargo carrier and inside the vehicle. In order to properly protect it from potential elements, the two of them wrapped each large suitcase in an industrial strenght garbage bag...times two...and then packing tape. This rendered them pretty well protected from any rain...and also difficult to handle since...well there were no handles or wheels exposed. Did I mention these were LARGE suitcases? This will soon become very important!

    I then took off to pick up the kids from school. When I returned everybody was ready to go! And so we said goodbye to our kitties and headed out!

    As we headed down the highway on our hour long journey to the Autotrain station, comments were being made about the luggage. The two bags on the roof were of a concern as we noticed the roof above us from the inside was vibrating quite a bit. At one point my husband, being a smart A$$, made a comment to my FIL in the front seat next to him "which suitcase was yours? the one on the left or right?" When he responded by husband said "Oh...that's good I think that one is still up there!" And THAT is when KARMA decided to do it's first smack down on our vacation! :rotfl:

    Not too long later my husband proclaimed "Holy S*#@!" and pulled to the right shoulder...as both suitcases from the roof flew into the highway! Now this was a 3-lane highway with a 65MPH speed limit! One bag was right in the middle lane and the other was in the right lane. I look out the back to see my 70yo FIL in the MIDDLE of the highway trying to get that bag...just as a tractor trailer is coming up fast in the far right lane. I know he won't have time to get that bag and get back to the shoulder..especially since it's heavy, no handles on it, etc so what does he do? He STANDS in the MIDDLE lane of the highway as traffic is flying past him on BOTH SIDES! It is SCARY to watch and my MIL can't see what's happening...and that's a good thing!

    Kids are a bit freaked out though.

    After what seems like FOREVER and MANY speeding cars later, a nice patron stops in the far right lane with flashers...which allows my FIL to get the luggage and get safely back to the shoulder. That's when I got out and spring into action as we quickly try to repack everything into the vehicle and NOT THE ROOF!

    We pack in record timing and are soon back on the road. We arrive at the Autotrain in plenty of time and check in and wait to board. We eat some lunch and just relax, still talking about the adventure we've had SO FAR! My husband comments that at least we noticed the luggage as he came off the roof. It would have sucked to discovered it was missing once we got to the train station! :rotfl:

    Up next...our SWANKIFIED train accomodations!!!

     
  20. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    We have stayed at SoG before - it is a very nice resort... Definately deluxe accomodations. The only thing I didn't like, was that I felt it was a lot of walking... They do provide transport to all the parks, but most of the time, we found ourselves using the Poly as our hub... So, a bit of a hike. The SoG thread on the resort page is very informational. :thumbsup2 I definately wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

    Wow! This is huge for your family - but what a wonderful opportunity! For everyone! I kind of feel the same way - especially after everyone moved and left us here, but now some of them are starting to move back. :confused3

    OMG!!!! That is so insane! I would have been hyper-ventilating in the car, seriously. And if that would have happened to us - I think Josh would have had a major meltdown... So very glad that your FIL wasn't hurt and you were able to retreivet he suitcase.

    Can't wait to see your swankified accomodations! :surfweb:

    D~
     
  21. kittylady1972

    kittylady1972 Disneyholic

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    Yes the more I run the numbers, SOG just makes the most sense....especially for such a short trip. We mentioned our plans to my FIL at dinner Friday night and his eyes lit up...he is so ready to go back AGAIN! Thing is I was not planning on inviting them since it is a marathon weekend trip but I would hate to exclude them if they really wanted to go. My FIL retires later this month so he will have lots of time to travel. So with that I have looked into two rooms at SOG by nothing booked...yet.

    OK I promise to try to get to another real update tomorrow so you can see our train photos...and maybe first day pics too!
     

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