Showin My Family the World for the FIRST TIME! It's gonna be EPIC! May '14! Updt(3/1)

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by kansasdisneygal, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    Hello Everyone and Welcome to my second Pre-Trip Report! :wave2: This trip will be epic, I am sure of it! Getting this trip to happen was not easy and took A LOT of convincing and persuading to make it work, but we will get to that in a little bit.

    First, I should probably introduce myself for those of you who did not read along with my previous PTR, which was about a year and a half ago. My name is Jenn and I am a 7th grade middle school math teacher. I’m 25 and have loved Disney my whole life – born and raised on Disney VHS tapes! Growing up, my family traveled mostly to Disneyland. That is where my mom went when she was a child (and had to use E-tickets, which they always used on the Matterhorn) and living in Colorado and Arizona placed us much closer to Disneyland than Disney World. I went to Disneyland about 6 times growing up. Then we moved to Kansas when I was in high school and the Disney trips came to an end since we were further away and I believe driving that distance did not appeal to my parents.

    In college, my best friend Sam and I came up with a wonderful plan to go to Disney World together, which we did at the end of May of our junior years (2009). This trip reignited my love for visiting Disney parks and I fell in love with The World. Disneyland will always hold a special place in my heart, but Disney World just takes the cake. Sam and I visited again in 2012, again at the end of May, before she got married in July of that year. Call it a bachelorette trip, if you will.

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    That is me on the left and Sam and the right. Now that Sam is married and has a beautiful baby boy, my Disney travelling partner is not as available like before. But my desire to go to Disney World was bigger than EVER!!! CUE THE CONVINCING AND PERSUADING. I turned to my parents and asked them what they thought about a family trip to The World. At first, they kind of rolled their eyes, probably thinking “here she goes again”. Now, I am not saying my parents do not like Disney, my mom loves Disney too, but I think my Dad could take it or leave it. Over the next few months, I would randomly bring up the idea.

    THEN, I got serious and turned to strategic persuasion. I needed to tug at their heart-strings. ;) One night over dinner, I told my parents that I thought we should take one more big family trip before myself and my brother, Aaron, get much older, settle down, and start families of our own. See, I am 25 and live about an hour and a half away from my parents and my brother is 21 and in college about 3 hours away from my parents. Let me tell you that THIS WORKED!!! :cool1: This was last April that we made the decision to take a family trip, so of course I have been in planning mode since…but before we get to the plans, let me introduce you to the cast! Me: Jenn

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    This picture is of myself and my boyfriend, Doug, I figured I should introduce him as well, because I am sure I will mention him more than once!
    Favorite Disney Character: Belle
    Favorite Disney Movie: Beauty and the Beast
    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Restaurant: Ohana
    Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror

    My Dad
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    This picture is of both my parents at my college graduation a few years ago.
    Favorite Disney Character: Donald
    Favorite Disney Movie: Monsters, Inc.

    We will discover the rest of my dad’s favorites on this trip. He has NEVER been to WDW and when I ask for his input on the trip, he just shrugs his shoulders and tells me to make the decisions. He is a Senior Credit Manager for a major corporation, enjoys bicycling and working out, and has recently been decorating his “Man Cave” in their basement. He wants a pool table…wondering when my mom will cave… Ha!

    My Mom

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    This is my Mom and brother Aaron, taken his Senior year of high school.
    Favorite Disney Character: Minnie Mouse
    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom

    My mom has only been to WDW once and it was for a conference when she used to sell Pampered Chef. It was in the 90’s and she and a friend only visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot in a day and a half. So, her memory of what all they did is not the best considering it was more than ten years ago and it was QUICK! She is scared of heights, so rides like Tower or Terror are a no go for her… but she will ride Splash Mountain…explain that one to me?!?! :confused3 Anyways, my mom is a tech for an elementary school. Basically, she takes care of hundreds of computers, tablets, printers, etc, etc.

    And last but not least, my Brother, Aaron.
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    Here Aaron and I are enjoying some margaritas on vacation this past summer. Aaron doesn’t have many Disney favorites. He doesn’t remember our trips to Disneyland very well. He was still pretty young when we went, but he is very excited for this trip. Aaron is the family jokester and always keeps us laughing. He is a junior in college right now and double majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations. He wants to work for a news company someday, and has been toying with the idea of wanting to be in front of the camera as a sports caster. Personally, I think he would be amazing at it, but I am not biased at all!! :thumbsup2

    Alright, so there you have it, the introductions!! Next up, the When and Where!!! Let me know if you are reading along! I am guilty of being a lurker, but would love to hear from you if you are following along! :wave2:
     
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  3. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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  4. anniebabymu

    anniebabymu DIS Veteran

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    Subbing in! Can't wait to hear all of your plans :)
     
  5. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing! Off to a great start! :)
     
  6. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    Yay! Glad to have you here! :cheer2:

    Welcome!! :wave2: Thank you!!
     
  7. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone!! :wave2: I hope that you all had a Merry Christmas and were able to spend Christmas with your family!! We had an excellent Christmas at my grandparents house. Amongst other gifts, I gave each one of my family members a Disney T-shirt that they would be able to wear on our vacation. I forgot to take pictures before, so I am borrowing the pictures from the Disney website to show you want I gave them.

    Mom’s Minnie Mouse t-shirt:
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    Dad’s Donald t-shirt:
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    Aaron’s Mickey t-shirt:
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    I thought these were are really cute and fit each of their personalities. I also got some Disney stuff for Christmas. I was given Monster’s University and the Little Mermaid, both on Blu-Ray. Also, my mom gave me this really neat Beauty and the Beast bag and tshirt- which I think she got both from Hot Topic, and a SUPER SOFT pair of Minnie pajama pants that she got from Target. My boyfriend’s Mom gave me a Denver Broncos Mickey Mouse and Throw set. (I am a huge Broncos fan!! FYI) Finally, I was given 3 Disney Gift Cards, which I have already used to pay down part of the balance on our trip!!

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    Yay for awesome Disney stuff for Christmas!!


    Anyways, last time we left off, I told you that I would update you on the WHEN and WHERE of this trip.

    Well, the “When” factor is one of the easier things for us to figure out. Because I am a teacher :teacher:, my mom works in a school district, and my brother is in college, we had to go sometime during the year when school is out. My dad’s schedule is pretty flexible as far as when he can take vacation time, so we didn’t really have to worry about him.

    So, we decided to go as soon as school gets out here in Kansas, especially knowing that many East Coast schools do not get out until June. My last day of work (teacher work day) is May 23rd, where I basically just have to make sure my room is all picked up and ready for summer cleaning. I wanted to give myself a few days between the end of school and the trip, just so I am not stressed beyond belief the last week of school, which is already stressful enough as it is!!

    So, we decided on May 27th- June 3rd!!! We were originally going to fly down on the 28th, but I found really great ticket prices out of Kansas City on the afternoon of the 27th. So we are going to get to Orlando around 10:15pm, ride the Magical Express to our resort, and pass out for the night. It will be weird getting there and then having to go to sleep… not sure how well that will work because I will be so excited, but it’s basically giving us an extra full-park day!!!


    But what resort am I talking about you might be wondering?!?!

    Well, when I first started planning the trip, I figured we would stay at a Value. I knew we would be using the room to sleep and shower, so an elaborate resort was not needed. However, after my mom got to looking at the Values, she said there is no way she and my dad could go 6 nights on a double bed. I had never even paid attention to the sizes because both times I went with Sam we each just took our own bed and a double is more than enough for 1 person…SOOOO… Moderate it is!!!

    Then we had to decide on which Moderate we wanted to go with. My mom’s first thought was Carribean Beach Resort, which I truly have no desire to stay at. Not hating on CBR, the feel of it just doesn’t appeal to me. This is also where my Mom stayed the 1 time she was at Disney World, so I convinced her to branch out and try something new…

    Well, after looking at the few other options, my mom picked out Port Orleans Riverside! I was so excited!! This is where Sam and I wanted to stay on our last trip, but budget kept us at a Value.

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    (picture borrowed from Disney website)

    I just think that POR looks gorgeous and I am so excited to be staying there. It looks so relaxing, so I am pretty pumped! We have requested to be in the Mansion buildings, so hopefully we will be on that side of the resort.

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    (picture borrowed from Disney website)

    So that’s the WHEN and WHERE for our trip! I have a Disney Vacation Countdown app on my phone and the days actually seem to be flying by. It feels like it was just Thanksgiving, which happened to be my 180 day mark for dining reservations, and today I am at 152 days!

    Speaking of ADR’s… I will let you know what those are in the next update!! We have some pretty good reservations, if I do say so myself!! Even several new one’s for me!!​
     
  8. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    Hi Jenn! :wave2: Great update! Very cool Disney t-shirts!

    It turns out that your dates AND your resort are very close to ours! We are planning to stay at Port Orleans Riverside (for the first time) and our dates are May 29-June 5! I'm with you....this resort looks very relaxing and people I know who have stayed there absolutely love it. We've stayed at Coronado Springs Resort twice and LOVED it, but we want a different experience this time. The queen size beds are a BIG deal for us, because we have two teens and we definitely need bigger beds. My wife and I stayed at Pop Century last November and it was great for just the two of us, but it would've been a little cramped for all four of us for a full week.

    Hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season! Can't wait to read about your ADRs!
     
  9. anniebabymu

    anniebabymu DIS Veteran

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    Love the update! :)

    Looks like you had a great Christmas! It's hard to believe it's over and almost 2014... we go to Disney in 2014!!

    We stayed at POR in April and LOVED it! I would have LOVED to stay there again this trip, but a few extra days in Disney won out and value it is! We were over in the Royal Guest Rooms in Oak Manor. It was a great location! Beautiful grounds too! You guys will love it!

    Can't wait to hear about your ADR's!
     
  10. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!! I am getting more and more excited about staying at POR. Last night, you mentioned on the Facebook group that a garden view upgrade and a savings of $350 would be great for me and this is just what I got when I called!

    My holidays were great!! Lots of family time!! Hope yours were great as well! ​


    I did have a wonderful Christmas!! It is so fun to say "I am going to Disney this year!!!" I would take a few extra days too over a hotel upgrade, but the parents need the queen beds, which I totally get!! Thanks!​
     
  11. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    Okay, this is not the extensive ADR update... but I wanted to share that I called and got the new discounts applied to our vacation!!!!!!!

    We were in a standard room at POR, but the standard rooms were unavailable when I called, SOOOO... we upgraded to a Garden View and saved a grand total of $350!!!!! I am sooo excited about our savings!!

    Now, I am not super excited about a Garden View :confused3 I guess "views" have never really been that important to me, so I am trying to be excited about this upgrade. At least I won't be looking at a parking lot, right??

    Anyways, I have been under the weather the last week and a half with bronchitis :sick: and it has been no fun. We returned to school today and bless my middle school students hearts, they were so well behaved and listened so well so I didn't have to speak loudly! Gotta love em! :love:

    Hoping to get that ADR update to you guys soon... but for now I am going to go rest some more. ​
     
  12. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    Woohooo! That's awesome! We are staying at POR also and got the discount. We ended up saving $373! I was thrilled! We have always stayed at CSR, which we LOVE, but we wanted to stay at POR this time for a different experience. I was thrilled to get the discount! :cool1:
     
  13. blueangel2

    blueangel2 Mouseketeer

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    Hi! I'm subscribing from facebook!
     
  14. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    Hey, any savings is good with me!! I was thrilled too! I have always stayed value before this trip, so the sticker shock was a bit more. Glad to have the discount!!

    So glad to have you here!!!
     
  15. anniebabymu

    anniebabymu DIS Veteran

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    Gotta love saving some $$$$! We booked a Garden View room on our last trip there, and we basically had a River View room! The grounds at POR are just beautiful!
     
  16. twinsouvenirs

    twinsouvenirs Mother of Dragons :)

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    Subbing! We're going to AKV May 23-27 so we will just miss you-- but what a fun trip! I am trying to convince my parents, DS & DBIL to go next Jan ;)
     
  17. melnbil

    melnbil DIS Veteran

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    Hi!!:wave2: Hopping over from our fb group! Love the sound of your trip so far. We stayed at POFQ last time and made our way to POR. It seemed really nice!
     
  18. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    I agree. The values are just fine, but we really need two queen size beds if we're staying a whole week. My wife and I have stayed at Pop Century and loved it, but I'm pretty sure we would be pretty cramped with a 17 yr old and a 14 yr old.

    We've also stayed at CSR twice and loved it! But this time we are staying at POR for the first time....and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! :dance3:
     
  19. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

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    Bah! I had no idea you were doing a PTR! The DIS app doesn't show signatures so I've been missing out, but I was just on the actual website for the first time in forever and FOUND THE LINK! So yay! Family trips are so great, I bet y'all will have such a wonderful time! And YAY for POR! That place is just wonderful. :)
     
  20. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    That would be awesome if our Garden View turned into a River View! Hoping that this upgrade gives us a better location! I am sure the pictures do not even do the grounds justice! I think they are absolutely stunning!
    :wave2: So happy to have you here!! The AKV look so gorgeous! You will have a great time! I hope you are able to convince them!!
    Hello!!! :wave2: Glad you followed me over here, in a non-creepy way of course! :rotfl: I think POFQ and POR both look stunning. I hope to stay at POFQ sometime soon.
    Yea, since my brother and I will have to share a bed it will be nice to have queen beds and have more room. I always thought CSR looked lovely. We used to live in AZ and the resort reminds me of living in the southwest. Love it! Isn't the wait almost unbearable? I just want to be there NOW! haha! :rotfl2:
    Hey girl!! Yea, I am normally on my iPad on the DIS app so I don't see signatures either. I just stalk people. :rotfl2: Just kidding!! I am so excited to go with my family! We went to Disneyland together many times but haven't been on a real family vacation in many years (other than visiting family in other states)... like since I started college back in 2006. So it is going to be great! Your pics of POR just got me more and more excited to stay there! It looks fabulous and relaxing all in one.
     
  21. kansasdisneygal

    kansasdisneygal Mouseketeer

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    Hey everyone!! Where did January go? My countdown seems to be moving quickly, not that I am complaining, but I need to get these updates going!!

    Last time, I promised an ADR update! Let me tell you, I am so excited for these reservations! There are some that I have eaten at before and some I have not, obviously none of my family has eaten at any of them. Since my first trip in 2009, my parents and brother have had to “deal” with my ranting and raving over Disney Food!! I mean honestly, its one of my favorite parts of the trip. I probably look forward to these meals as much as I look forward to riding the Tower of Terror, which is A WHOLE BUNCH!!

    So let’s get started. I am going to go through the ones that I have been to first, and then I will cover the NEW ones!

    First up, 50’s Prime Time Café!!

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    This was a request from my mom. Sam and I ate here in 2012 and I really liked it. I had the fried chicken last time and it was really good. I just love the interaction with the waiters and waitresses. When I told my mom about 50’s PTC, she thought that she would really enjoy it. Plus, its not like the options at Hollywood Studios are immense, so I was perfectly content to eat here again. I will probably try something different this time. The meatloaf and pot roast both look good. So, I will have to make a decision.

    Next up, OHANA!!! (I don't know why these pictures are huge. Please forgive the huge, perfect food pictures)

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    OMG THOSE POT STICKERS!!!

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    AND THAT DESSERT!!!

    I basically told my family they had no choice and I was forcing them to eat at ‘Ohana. But really, I know they will love it. I pretty much get cravings for the noodles and pot stickers at least once a week. The meat is great too and I love the shrimp! Noms. Anyways, ‘Ohana is pretty much self-explanatory. Done.:thumbsup2


    Okay, so those are the only two repeats for me. All the other choices will be new for everyone. I think that is really exciting. Basically, my family looks to me as the Disney expert and assume I know all there is to know, which is obviously not the case, but I will let them keep thinking that. :lmao: Anyways, I think it will be fun to all experience new stuff together. It was really hard to pick these new reservations because there are so many places that I would like to try. My mom is kind of a picky-eater, even though she told me to pick where I wanted and she would find something, I didn’t want to take her to, for example, one of the African restaurants at AKL. That being said, here are my new choices!!

    1st- Liberty Tree Tavern

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    This place looks so yummy. I know that the food will please everyone in my family and my mom won’t have to eat the veggies if she doesn’t want to! I don’t know too much about LTT, other than the food is kind of like a Thanksgiving feast and its family style. I have heard a lot of great reviews, so I figured we would try it.

    2nd-Tusker House (Breakfast)

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    I had a couple reasons for this choice. First, my dad LOVES Donald. I don’t know why but he has a connection with that moody bird. Second, as I said above, my mom is a picky eater. I knew that they would have plenty of the “normal” breakfast stuff here that she would be fine, while myself and my dad (who are the more adventurous eaters) can try the different dishes. I thought it would be a happy medium. Plus, MICKEY WAFFLES! HELLO! :love:

    3rd- Biergarten.

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    So, we are a mostly German family. My dad’s side is 100% German. So we like German food, but there are not any German restaurants near us, so the only time we get good German food is at my Grandma’s. I thought that my dad would really like this place and I know the rest of my family will also enjoy the food. It sounds like a neat set up and I will not mind sitting with another family if that happens. I will also not mind sampling a few German beers!!

    4th- Be Our Guest :worship:

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    Be Our Guest was the reason that I woke up at 4am Mountain Time on Thanksgiving Day to make my reservations. I want to eat here soooo badly, that I didn’t want to chance not getting a reservation, and I am so glad I got it! I have been eyeing the menu and I want to try that steak! It looks so good! And I have also decided I want to try the strawberry cupcake for my dessert. Yum!! I didn’t give my family much choice on this reservation, but they know Beauty and the Beast is my favorite, and I know they will all find something they like to eat!

    5th – Chefs de France

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    Originally this reservation was for Via Napoli. Then I started thinking…pizza? I can get pizza all the time. But, I also really wanted to try Chefs de France. It’s not like Kansas has abundant choices of French restaurants. So I changed the reservation. Everything on the menu looks so good and I need that French Onion soup in my life. Other than that I don’t know too much about Chefs de France, but I am hoping my family will all find something to enjoy!

    So there you have it! My ADR’s for the trip! I am pretty much excited about each and every one of them. Its lunch time now and writing this has just made me SUPER hungry. So, I am going to leave you with that and go eat some non-Disney lunch.

    Coming up next- Daily Plans! ​
     

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