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Prince Charmsalot to Accompany the Damsels This Trip But You Must Pose w/ Princesses

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by emmysmommy, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! After reading and commenting on so many PTRs and dining reviews I’m in the mood to throw mine out here and share in all the anticipation and excitement!! Who doesn’t love to commiserate and plan with all the helpful people here on the Disboards? Considering that I didn’t even know what an ADR or a photopass was a couple of years ago, I think I have come a long way thanks to this very friendly community.

    Note: To skip the preamble... chapter links are in post #2.

    Who am I and what am I doing here? Glad you asked!

    I’m Brenda (aka “trouble” as DH calls me) and I will be traveling with said DH and DD (16) in August – which is NEXT MONTH! I’m a lover of dining at WDW and I’m always looking for new and exciting things to try so don’t be surprised if a lot of my PTR involves dining plans and strategies.
    My typical travel partner is our DD, Emily, who is 16. She and I have enjoyed several mother/daughter trips in the past few years. We have similar tastes and touring styles so we really love these vacations together. Building some fond memories together is a nice little benefit as well.
    [​IMG]

    And making a guest appearance this trip will be my DH, Michael (Prince Charms-a-lot since he is the funniest and most charming of men!) He has not been to WDW since our family trip in 2006 which was a combination cruise/WDW vacation. He’s the type of guy who would rather go on a fishing trip or camp than go to WDW. (Yes, I knew this when I married him oh so long ago but I thought I could change him. Ladies, you know how that goes!) Because I have been with my company forever (ok, technically only 22 years but it seems like a lifetime!) I have 4 more weeks of vacation each year compared to DH. So with all my time off I tend to book trips with Emily or my parents. Not to worry though, we still take family vacations… just not WDW – until now.


    [​IMG]

    When I was booking our family vacation earlier this year it was going to be just a cruise but then I sneaked in 6 days pre-cruise at WDW. Our plans ended up changing and we dropped the cruise but kept the WDW portion. DH wasn’t going to go since he said it could be another girl trip but then all of a sudden he did a 180 on me and said he would come with us!!! I was so excited! I can be his personal Dis tour guide and show him all the things that we love to do, and see, and eat. Lucky him!

    Now to reveal a chink in the armor of Prince Charms-a-lot….DH sometimes gets annoyed with all of my attention to taking photos. Although I can proudly say that for vacation dining he doesn’t take a bite of his food until I have snapped a photo!! (How well trained is he??) I have cautioned DH that I like characters, and I like photos with characters, and if you go with us, you may need to pose with a princess or two. His reply, “I could pose with that Jasmine girl and see if she has a belly piercing.” He’s such a man! And that my friends is how the title of this PTR was born.


    Who doesn't love this guy!

    [​IMG]

    Next Up: What are our plans?
     
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  3. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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  4. rachel09985

    rachel09985 DIS Veteran

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    I am in and excited to find out your plans! I just started my first pre trip every too so we will see how that goes!
     
  5. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    When are we going?

    Our travel dates changed a few times… we went from the original 6 nites to 11 nights as a girl only trip, to 10 nites as a family to finally, 12 nights. We will arrive Sat. 8/18 and stay until Thurs. 8/30. We could have stayed through the Labor Day weekend but we decided to come back early so that we could relax and enjoy a few days at the beach before going back to work/school.


    Where will we stay?
    We are absolutely in love with Bay Lake Tower. We have stayed there, in whole or in part, for all of our girl trips. You can’t beat walking to MK and the convenience of the monorail. I love the sound of the ferry whistles on the Seven Seas lagoon and the tranquility of Bay Lake. As for BLT itself, we have stayed in a 1 bedroom and a studio – both with theme park views. I love the spaciousness of the 1 bedroom and although I didn’t think I would care for the décor the first time we went, I became a big fan!

    For this trip I booked a 2 bedroom Lake View room for 8 nights. Because there have not been any significant AP discounts for our travel dates we booked with the room only discount which equaled a whopping 5% for our room type. :crazy2:

    BLT:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    View from room (with zoom):
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    With a 12 night trip I wanted to book a split stay and try a new resort. After Em and I ate breakfast at Kouzzina in February, I knew I wanted to stay at the Boardwalk. We stayed at Beach Club Resort for 7 nights in 2010 so we were familiar with the Epcot resorts. We will have a 1 bedroom at the Boardwalk villas the first 4 nights of our trip. Again, the room only discount was applied to this reservation. If I had kept my original room reservation at BWI, it had a 30% discount but we decided that we wanted more space than a standard room. Regardless, I am looking forward to walking to Epcot and DHS from the resort.

    [​IMG]

    What parks and activities?
    Because we live near D-land we have Premier passes so we are set for park admission and some other new activities that we may try such as DisneyQuest and a water park.

    We plan to visit all the parks with a greater emphasis on MK. (My favorite!) I also plan to stop by and say hi to at least one CM that is doing the DCP at one of the Frontierland attractions! (Hi there Betsy)

    Epcot and DHS we plan to visit often with AK only getting honorable mention since we’ll likely only be there for two half days. (Sorry AK lovers!)

    Does anyone have a preference of Typhoon Lagoon versus Blizzard Beach? We’ve never been to either so are not sure which has the more thrilling flumes and slides. Personally, I’m not looking forward to water wedgies from these but I am the ever accommodating wife!

    Next up: Dining plans
     
  6. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! You slipped in between my postings. :) Thanks for joining. I see you will be at WDW in November - such a better time of the year weather wise. I'm heading your way to check out your plans as well. :wave2:
     
  7. CatNipRules

    CatNipRules <font color=royalblue>Overplanner Extraordinaire..

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    I just started reading your PTR and I had to laugh at the description of your DH. He sounds a lot like mine. He has the same quirky sense of humor. LOL!! I love his comment about Jasmine. It made me :rotfl2: That is definitely something that my DH would say. LOL!! I'm always saying that he's such a man. LOL!

    My DH has been with his company for 22 years. He also says that it seems like forever.

    I'm off to read the rest, but am loving it so far.
     
  8. CatNipRules

    CatNipRules <font color=royalblue>Overplanner Extraordinaire..

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    Sorry to post so much, but I love your ptr.

    Okay, I love AK, but our family's favorite park has always been Epcot. Even my son. He's loved it since he was little. Now, he prefers it over MK. I guess it's cause he's in that whole teenage angst thing. LOL!!

    We have never been to any of the water parks. Shocking I know. Since we lived in Florida for years and Disney was practically our second home.

    DH & DS don't really like to do water parks. Me? I could stay there our entire trip. DS is getting to like them more the older he gets. From what I've read I would probably pick Typhoon Lagoon over Blizzard Beach. I just think that TL seems more relaxing, but that's probably just me. LOL!!

    Can't wait to see what your dining plans look like. I think that's one of my favorite parts of planning a Disney trip. The food!!!
     
  9. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for reading! Oh my! We have so much in common. I was hoping that no one would take the Jasmine comment wrong - but you get it if you DH has that crazy and sometimes irreverent sense of humor!

    Thanks for the advice for the water parks... I just have no clue.

    And yes, dining plans are a HUGE part of my planning and even the trip! :p Too much probably but since there is really no self help group for that I just come here! I'll be posting our ever evolving plans shortly.
     
  10. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Since I hang out a lot on the Dis dining boards and have completed 3 dining reviews thus far, (see signature for all manner of food, snacks, and other edibles) you will not be surprised to learn that we have over 30 ADRs booked for our 13 day stay! :scared1: We will try some new places, revisit some favorites, and I am looking forward to our first Wishes Dessert party. We have a TiW card which will give us the food and beverage (including cocktails ::yes::) discount of 18%. Actually, it expired a little over a month ago so I need to renew it either by mail (I received the renewal notice that says it takes a few weeks to process) or when we arrive. I think I want to save some time and do it by mail in the next week or two.

    Honestly, if I could stay at WDW 29.8 days I could fit all the ADRs that I want and not change my mind. My problem is not indecisivness, it is that my trips are too short! :rotfl2:

    Here’s our current dining line up: (Subject to change based on whimsy and reading yet another dining review that captures my attention!)

    Day 1
    No plans – I want to try either Big River Grille or the pizza window at BW

    Day 2
    Cape May – breakfast
    Tokyo Dining – lunch
    No plans – dinner

    Day 3
    No breakfast plans – likely Boardwalk Bakery
    Yak & Yeti – lunch (new to us)
    Wolfgang Puck Express – dinner (new to us)

    Day 4
    Captain’s Grill – breakfast
    Sci-Fi Dine In – lunch
    Yachtsman Steakhouse – dinner (new to us)

    Day 5
    Kouzzina – breakfast
    50’s PT Café – lunch
    Wishes Dessert Party

    Day 6
    Kona Café – breakfast (our favorite breakfast!)
    Tony’s Town Square – lunch
    Teppan Edo – dinner

    Day 7
    The Wave – breakfast (giving this a 3rd try)
    Le Cellier – lunch
    Grand Floridian Café – dinner

    Day 8
    Whispering Canyon Café – breakfast
    Liberty Tree Tavern – lunch
    California Grill – dinner

    Day 9
    Grand Floridian Café – breakfast
    Chefs de France – lunch
    ‘Ohana – dinner (never eaten dinner here)

    Day 10
    Boma – breakfast
    No plans for lunch – may stop by Flame Tree BBQ a favorite
    Hollywood Brown Derby – dinner

    Day 11
    Crystal Palace – breakfast
    Plaza Restaurant – lunch
    La Hacienda de San Angel – dinner

    Day 12
    ‘Ohana – breakfast
    Via Napoli – lunch
    Citricos – dinner

    Day 13
    Cinderella’s Royal Table – breakfast
    Open for lunch

    Now, I know you are thinking the same thing that I did the first time I booked a ton of ADRs a few years ago – how can you eat all of that food? :confused3 My secret is to split meals and eat appetizers when an entrée will be too much food so that we can still enjoy the variety and some of our favorites. The reality may end up being quite different than the current plan!

    Some of these ADRs were made with the schedules of some of our favorite CMs in mind…. We love Cooper at 50’s PT, James at HBD, and Robert at GFC. We’ve had amazing service from them and they have made our dining experience special so we hope to see them again this trip.

    Sadly, we likely will not be dining at Artists Point (which I think DH would like) or Coral Reef (honestly, I like the theming and ambiance more than the food.) Also because I didn't want to do princess & character overload for DH, I didn't book Akershus (we've been there for breakfast twice and I love the cheesey potatoes) or 1900 Park Fare since Michael specifically said that he didn't want to eat with the Mad Hatter judging his breakfast options! :lmao: That just means I see another girl trip in my future to return to some of our favorites!

    Although I rarely can work in more than 1 snack a trip (that carrot cake cookie from DHS is worth skipping a meal for!) I would like to one day try the school bread in Norway, one of those big pretzels in Germany, or those nachos from Mexico! Perhaps I need to consider a trip where we will just eat snack food the entire time!

    Seriously, if you have never tried this baby, you NEED to:
    [​IMG]

    close up:
    [​IMG]

    Next Up: More travel planning….
     
  11. CatNipRules

    CatNipRules <font color=royalblue>Overplanner Extraordinaire..

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    That carrot cake cookie looks yummy. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to try one on our trip. :)

    We are trying lots of new places too. There are a few that you are eating at that we are to. I'm looking forward to 'Ohana. I've heard good things about it. :)
     
  12. my2lovedisney

    my2lovedisney Mouseketeer

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    I am following!! I can't wait to read your TR, I've read one before and loved it! We'll be returning in Sept for our 2nd family trip and I am considering doing a TR.
     
  13. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! You definitely should do a TR! :thumbsup2
    BTW: Your avatar brings a smile to my face since my DD's favorite Dis character Rapunzel is from Tangled -
     
  14. SAT887

    SAT887 DIS Veteran

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    Hi! :wave2:

    Your PTR looks great! And sounds delicious!! One year (we were traveling as 4 adults and 2 1 year olds) We "ate around the world" and got appetizers to splite 4 ways in every country... It was very filling but doable. It did require a jog back to the car in the parking lot with our strollers though :upsidedow
     
  15. tallen429

    tallen429 DIS Veteran

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    We will be there at the same time you are! (at least some of the days...we are going on a 4 night Bahamas cruise of Royal Caribbean first)
    Enjoy!
     
  16. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Hi Brenda!

    I seldom venture away from the Dining Boards, so thank you for posting the link to your PTR in your signature. :thumbsup2

    Your dining plans look wonderful so far! :cloud9: I wonder how many changes you will make to them between now and the 18th of August??? Or maybe you will do like DonaldDoleWhip and wait until you get there to make drastic changes to your plans and throw us all for a loop! :lmao: I still can't believe that he cancelled Artist Point!!! :faint: Anyway, regardless of where you do end up dining, I will be anxiously waiting to hear all about it when you return.

    Oh, and while I'm over here on this board (where I'm sure my DD2 will never see), I must tell you that we have one more thing in common besides that we both love Disney and Disney food. You see, my DD2 is also named Emily and her favorite Disney character is currently Rapunzel from Tangled. :) I never mentioned this on my Dining Report because she wants to remain incognito. ;) So we will just keep this secret between you and me. :ssst:
    Oops, and also the thousands of other people who will probably be reading your PTR. :rotfl: ---Barb :wave2:
     
  17. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! Thanks for reading. Snacking around the world is a BRILLIANT idea! I'm down with that! :thumbsup2

    How exciting to be able to combine a land/sea vacation. This was originally to be that same type of trip so I'm glad that someone is living my dream! ::yes:: Enjoy your cruise! If you see us in WDW say hi! :wave2:

    Hi Barb! :wave2: I rarely wander far from the dining board too so this is really expanding my horizons! I'm glad you followed my link to my PTR.

    I almost made a change and was going to book Akershus but I just couldn't do it to DH! But yes, I may make a change or two.

    Speaking of Donald... couldn't believe I called him a "lassie" - I don't know why I assumed he was a she! :confused3 That's what I get!

    Awwww... thanks for sharing about DD - I understand the identity thing. :) One thing I didn't say (I don't think??) now that I know where you live.... (from your reference in Linda's review about Route 66) was that my DH's family lives in the Joliet, Amboy, Batavia, Aurora, and Warrenville areas of the Chicago suburbs so we travel there often. (He has a big family!)

    Thanks for joining and reading. I'm really glad to see you drop by. :goodvibes
     
  18. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    To recap….

    So we know when we are going: August 18-30, 2012

    We know where we are staying: 4 nites BWV and 8 nites BLT 2 bedroom LV

    We know where we are eating: 30+ADRs and a Wishes Dessert party thrown in!

    How are we getting there? Considering it is 2,210 miles to WDW from where we live we will definitely be flying. If I had an endless amount of vacation time I would love to do a road trip and drive someday. But that opportunity may never get here so we’ll let American Airlines do all the work!

    I cashed in some frequent flier miles on America Airlines to fly first class – shhh it’s a surprise for Michael and Emily. I have always flown coach so this will be a first. I hope I don’t embarrass myself and annoy any of the other first class passengers but I am getting at least a photo or two (maybe 3, I promise 4 will be my limit!) to document this class of travel for which I am totally unaccustomed! :blush:

    For our return trip, I didn’t like American Airlines’ flight schedules so I found a great web-rate for Delta for…. first class tickets. It was such a great price that I couldn’t pass it up! Plus I can conduct research and compare the first class service between the two airlines! I even surprised the practical side of me that finds it totally unnecessary to splurge like this when their coach fare was lower than I had seen it in a long time. :p

    I’m trying to come up with some positives because I know DH will wonder what lottery I won to pull this off! Here’s my short list for him:
    1. No baggage fees
    2. No purchasing food in the airport since all but one of our flight segments come with a meal.
    3. Free cocktails! At least that is a positive for me! DH doesn’t drink so he won’t care.
    4. Priority boarding so I don’t have to worry about overhead bin space for our roll-aboard bag.
    5. We will be celebrating our anniversary so we deserve to spoil ourselves. Maybe I should put this at the top of the list and show him that love is demonstrated in this small way for him! :lovestruc


    Next Up: Park plans and other not to be missed activities!
     
  19. jabead

    jabead DIS Veteran

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, as I too have never flown first-class, but isn't there usually more leg room between the rows of seats??? Your DH looks pretty tall, so that might be another good selling point to him. :thumbsup2

    Oh, and we've been to the Joliet area many times...I can make it from my house to the Joliet Mall in just under an hour! :lmao:
     
  20. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    I'll tell you if there is more leg room in August! :upsidedow Yeah, DH is a little over 6" so any extra room is a plus. I'll add that one to the list! Thanks!

    If I'm ever in Joliet, or farther south... I'll say hi! :wave2: (We usually stay in North Aurora. I think Joliet is about 45 minutes from there??)
     
  21. CatNipRules

    CatNipRules <font color=royalblue>Overplanner Extraordinaire..

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    Great plans so far! Wow, you are very organized. I have all of my stuff together, but I still feel like I'm so far behind that it isn't funny.

    I would love the visit your side of the country once. My MIL lives in Victorville and DH is trying to convince me that we need to go there. I'm thinking that maybe we could do it with a side trip to Disneyland. LOL!! Not sure how close they are to each other, but hey it's Disney. LOL!!

    Great plans so far!!
     

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