Taking the Leap! My first PTR! TR link posted 11/19

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by kayemgi, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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  3. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! :wave2:

    I've never done a PTR or a TR before, but I love reading them and I love the DIS, and I really want to kind of journal this whole trip, including the planning part, so I thought this would be a great way to do it! Plus I can work through my plans, and get great advice from all of you out there!

    What: Disney World! Our longest trip ever. My grandparents live in Florida, so I used to go to Disney every few years growing up, and when I hit college I started making a yearly trip to visit my grandparents with my sister. We would go for a week, usually during spring break :-)scared1:) and take a day or two out from visiting them to drive to Orlando and hit Disney or Universal or both. My DH and I (then DBF) did a similar trip in April of 2011, and that's when I really got the Disney bug. That's the first trip I truly planned instead of just showing up, when I discovered the DIS boards, and really got hooked on all of the great Disney details. As we get older (30!) I feel a little awkward about taking a week-long vacation at Chez Grandpa, so we decided to swap out the durations for this trip. We'll be in Disney for 5 nights and 6 days, and then we'll head to my grandparents' for 3 days before we fly back home to Philly.

    When: November 1-6, 2013

    Where: We were originally booked at ASMo, but then Free Dining came out, and after 2.5 hours on hold, I was able to get us moved to ASMu for FD! Yay!

    ADRs: I only made two for this trip, at Sanaa and Sci-Fi.

    Who: Just me and DH on this trip!

    I'm a big big planner, (of course, I'm here aren't I?!) and DH really prefers to do things as they come. He's fine if I plan, he just wants little to do with it. It's tough to get him excited about anything until it's happening, so I've learned to just hold my horses with him until we are there, and then I get to see the big smile on his face and know that my planning has paid off because he really is having fun!

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    I'm a graphic designer, and DH is an editor at a newspaper. Needless to say, a big vacation like this is not a yearly occurrence for us. We probably won't be back to WDW after this trip for several years, so I want to make the most of our time there!

    We just got married last September, and I just have to share a couple of my favorite wedding photos, because it still feels really fresh to me and I love them so much!

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    And here's our little family: 2 cats, Pickle (gray) and Goose (orange) and our rescued retired racing greyhound, Bigby.

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    I'm really looking forward to chronicling my planning process and getting to know more people at the DIS! Hope you'll follow along!
     
  4. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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    I thought I'd start off with a few of my favorite photos from our 2011 trip. I didn't have a very good camera then, and I'm super excited to bring our kind of new DSLR (it's new to me, we bought it used for my 30th birthday!) with zoom lens for this trip. Especially for the Safari in AK, I can't wait to use that zoom lens!

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    We went during Flower & Garden in 2011, I'm a little disappointed we won't see any of the beautiful topiaries this year, but being there for Food & Wine for the first time more than makes up for it!

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    Can you see the identical flying ducks on either side of the castle?!

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    Adventureland is my favorite land in MK, and for some reason this photo really encapsulates it for me.

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    We got Pirates completely to ourselves first thing in the morning, so I took advantage and took photos for the first time in my life! This guy has always been my favorite.

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    We got to see the new interactive Haunted Mansion queue pretty soon after it opened, and we loved it! HM is my favorite ride in all of Disney, always has been since I was a kid, so I was thrilled with this new part of the queue, especially this evil looking guy.

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    And we found Madame Leota's ring in it's new location! These are the kinds of details that really made me fall in love with Disney.

    More to come soon!
     
  5. Surfinpiratee

    Surfinpiratee DIS Veteran

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    I'm in! Can't wait to read more!!!
     
  6. disney-inspired

    disney-inspired Disney on the brain 24/7/365!

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  7. Disney_Princess83

    Disney_Princess83 DIS Veteran

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    Subbing. Can't wait to hear more :)
     
  8. DisneyMountainWoman

    DisneyMountainWoman Mouseketeer

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    Love your wedding photos!
     
  9. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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    I have been planning this vacation since we were 283 days out. I realize a lot of people start planning their Disney vacations even farther out, but this has felt like FOREVER to me! I think because our last vacation was our honeymoon in September, and also because it feels like everyone around me is getting to go on their vacations, and I still have 70 days to wait! My boss alone has taken like, four vacations already this year. Slowly but surely though, we are getting there. And of course, to fill the time, I've been planning what I want to do the most once we arrive!

    I'm counting vacation as starting the moment we arrive at the airport to get on a plane for Orlando. My husband thinks vacation doesn't start until we arrive at Disney. We have to agree to disagree on that one! I wouldn't say I love flying, but since we do it so rarely and we only do it for vacations really, I look at it as a treat and the beginning of something exciting. I'm sure if I had to fly all the time for work I would feel differently, but I don't, so arriving to the airport, especially in the early morning like we will for this trip, is very exciting to me! I also really enjoy eating out. Doesn't even have to be fancy (though I do enjoy fancy!), just treating myself to a cup of coffee that I didn't have to prepare makes me really happy, so arriving at the airport early in the morning also means takeout coffee and breakfast, yay! And junk magazines! I never buy magazines except for when I fly, mostly because I think reading them too much is bad for your self-esteem and perception of reality, but I do enjoy my US Weekly and People magazine on vacation! Sorry for all the exclamation points, I'm getting overly excited again!

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    This is how I feel arriving at the airport: Vacation is starting, whoo-hoo!

    So, Day 1: Arrival at airport, bad-for-me breakfast and magazines, flight to Orlando, take our first trip on the Magical Express! That's right, we've always driven to Florida in the past, so we've never made use of the Disney transportation system. I've read lots of pros and cons on the boards here, and I think I'm well-prepared for possible problems and just really looking forward to not driving for several days and letting the chips fall where they may. We aren't park-hopping this time, and we only have one resort restaurant ADR, so I really don't think it's going to be a big deal for us.

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    Hey there, Mickey!


    I am nervous about just leaving our bags at the airport for Disney to take care of. I'm not sure I can let go of the control that much...I think it will be a decision made on the spot when we arrive. Anyone do it all the time and never have a problem? Or the opposite?

    Then we will be on our way to All-Star Music! Originally we were booked at All-Star Movies, but to get Free Dining we had to switch to Music. At first I was a little disappointed, because I was really looking forward to Movies, but after checking out Music more, I'm now even more excited! I love music, so I think that I will be interested to check out all the different theme areas, whereas at movies, I wasn't all that interested in some of the areas. And we can always take a walk over there and check it out anyway, and we are pretty much in the room only to sleep on Disney vacations, so it should be just fine!

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    This looks so awesome

    Once we arrive and check in at ASMu, we are going to head right back out to take a bus to Downtown Disney. We've only taken short trips to Disney in the past, so we never took the time to go to DTD before. I'm really excited to check it out on this trip. I want to do some shopping and check out all the cool stuff at World of Disney, DH wants to check out the Lego store, I want to eat lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express (that bacon-wrapped meatloaf has been calling my name!), get sundaes at Ghirardelli, and we plan to use our vouchers to DisneyQuest. DH is a big video game fan, so I think he will have an amazing time there, and if I get bored, I can go back out and shop and we will both be happy! As long as I don't spend too much. ;)

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    Tell me that doesn't look amazing and I will call you a liar.

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    I cannot wait to see this guy in person.

    Depending on how long we stay occupied at DTD, I would really love to spend the last part of our first day checking out some of the resorts. We've never taken the time to do that either. I especially want to see Art of Animation and the Polynesian. I really hope we have time to do that, if not on the first day at some other point during the trip. AOA looks so fun, and the Poly looks beautiful and reminds me of our honeymoon in Jamaica.

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    A-mazing!

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    Ahhh, I feel relaxed just looking at this photo.

    But I want to be mindful that we plan to get up early for a full day at Hollywood Studios Saturday, so I don't want to push us too hard on our arrival day. Up next: The Plan: Day 2! Thanks for reading along!

    Note: all images taken from Google, since I haven't experienced most of the things we plan to do on Day 1.
     
  10. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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    Yay, thank you all! I'm so glad to have a few readers on my very first PTR! :cool1:
     
  11. Disney_Princess83

    Disney_Princess83 DIS Veteran

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    Your arrival day looks like a great plan. We love hanging out at DTD. It's great to be able to take things as it comes, if you're feeling tired you can head back to the resort.
     
  12. lazer

    lazer DIS Veteran

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    Following!


    We've done magical express 3 times and it can't be beat. Love that we don't have to worry about anything but getting on the bus. The only downside is that your luggage will arrive after you check in, so have anything you'll need for a few hours in your carry on. We wouldn't fly and not use it!
     
  13. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I thought about heading to a park, because our plane lands pretty early, around noon, but after reading a lot here it seemed like it would be best to take it easy and save a the parks for a full day.


    Good thing to note, thanks! I can't imagine we'll need much, but I'll want to remember to have my camera and any meds we might need in my handbag. And maybe a change of clothes? I always feel like that's overkill, but I'd probably be grateful for it if our luggage gets lost or is really delayed for some reason!
     
  14. lazer

    lazer DIS Veteran

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    Also, I have read reports of people getting their sensor messed up by riding thrill rides with their DSLR. Might be a good idea to put it in a locker while you ride coasters and such. Just a heads up! (We have one too, but two little kids who can't ride coasters yet, so the one staying with the kids...holds the camera).
     
  15. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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    Oh wow, really?! That's one I haven't heard before! I'll definitely be looking into that some more.
     
  16. Disney_Princess83

    Disney_Princess83 DIS Veteran

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    Yes. It's tempting to head straight into the parks. But even though your flight lands early, you'll still get tired earlier if you've been up at an unusual hour. It's best to take it easy and start afresh the next day :)
     
  17. kayemgi

    kayemgi DIS Veteran

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    It's our first park day! Let me tell you, I have really been back and forth over our park itinerary and I still don't know if I'm 100% decided. But for now, the plan is to get up for Hollywood Studios morning EMH today.

    UPDATE! See my Animal Kingdom post for more info, but we finally decided, and we will NOT be doing EMH, so our HS and AK days have switched.

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    I'm so excited!

    EasyWDW says we should do this...I have us set to do this:
    Saturday: AK...HS
    Sunday: MK...AK
    Monday: EP...MK
    Tuesday: HS...EP

    The biggest wrench in this plan is I want to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, and it's only running on Saturday and Monday during our trip. I definitely think it will be more crowded on Saturday than Monday, so that's why I've opted to go with the schedule I have. Plus to take advantage of morning EMH, which the touring experts always say to avoid. I've asked around on the boards and on Facebook and my husband (who I love for saying, "you've done the research honey, whatever you think is best," but which is also not very helpful in my indecision!), and it's split. 50% of people follow touring experts recommendations, 50% always take advantage of EMH. So what say you, PTR readers? Should I at least switch my Saturday and Sunday, keeping MK on Monday for MSEP and Epcot on Tuesday because it has nowhere else to go?

    I should also mention that we do have one more partial park day. On Wednesday we will get up and go to a park, whichever park we feel we didn't get enough of earlier in the week. We both suspect it will be HS. We will have to leave around 3 or 4 in the afternoon to get our rental car from Disney's Car Care Center and then we will be off to my grandparents' in Daytona for a few days to end our vacation.

    Ok! So huge side note behind us, I'll move forward with the original plan for this PTR. Saturday at HS. I can't wait!!! I've never been to HS or AK before, so I am really excited to finally get to these parks. This is a huge trip of firsts for us. In the past we only did short, two-day trips, so we only ever went to MK and EP. Four and three-quarter park days feels like a luxury to us!

    We'll get up super early, earlier than I get up for work at home, and take the bus to HS for EMH rope drop. Which apparently they don't even do anymore. So I'm uncertain if we should try to get there even earlier now! My DH may revolt though, so maybe not.

    Then, of course, as everyone else in the park will be doing, we'll head straight for Toy Story Midway Mania! I can't wait to see what all the fuss is over this ride. We'll do the recommended plan of getting a FP first and then riding.

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    Then we'll head to either TOT or RNR, whichever strikes our fancy in the moment. Then, depending on our FP return time, we'll head to the other one, then back to TSM. Guys, can I just tell you how scared I am to ride TOT? I know that I'll be fine on the drops. I'm not afraid of the drops. I'm afraid of the pre-show and the atmosphere and the CMs. I'm a big big wuss and I can't even watch the movie trailers for scary movies, much less the actual movies themselves. I freak myself out over tiny sounds when it's Halloween season. I scare easily, is what I'm trying to say. I hope that since we'll be riding it in broad daylight and we'll be at an amusement park that I won't end up with nightmares this night. Can anyone tell me that it's really not that bad? It's the ghost element. I'm terrified of ghosts.

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    Anyway! Moving on to Star Tours, probably a few times in a row! This is the ride DH is the most excited about for our whole trip. He wants to see all the combinations, which of course will be impossible, but he definitely wants to ride it multiple times, and I have no problem with that! I'm a big Star Wars fan too. Somewhere in there we can hopefully take a moment to stop in Starring Rolls for breakfast.

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    The Great Movie Ride, Muppet Vision 3D and Fantasmic! are also high on our priority list. We have an ADR at Sci-Fi Dine In Theater which I'm super excited about. Not for the food, but the atmosphere in there looks so cool, and we will both be happy with a burger and a shake for lunch.

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    DH has also really surprised me by telling me he would like to do a M&G with Woody while on this trip! We'll have two opportunities: here in Pixar Place or on Monday at MK. We'll see how the line looks here and decide from there. I'm so excited he wants to meet a character! I didn't think we'd be doing any of that on this trip, and I was ok with that, knowing that once we have kids we'll be back and we'd do lots of character meets in the future with them. Maybe, since he gets to meet Woody, I'll get to meet Rapunzel on this trip! Or Pocahontas. Or the Boss himself! I really can't decide and it will probably be a spur of the moment thing if we do do any other M&Gs.

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    In the afternoon, when the experts say it will be more crowded, I hope we can take it easy by checking out One Man's Dream, which from what I've heard is going to make me cry, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, and maybe LMA and the Studio Backlot Tour. And I would love to do Beauty and the Beast and Voyage of the Little Mermaid, but I told DH I wouldn't make him do both, so I have to pick one. Any recommendations?

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    I think I'm leaning towards VotLM.

    I'm not sure where we will get dinner, probably wherever we happen to be near and looks good. HS has not struck me as having a lot of must-try QS dining opportunities. (Remember, we are on QSFD, and we already splurged on a TS for lunch, so we won't be doing another TS at HS.) I have been told that we should get cupcakes at Starring Rolls and bring them into the wait for Fantasmic!.

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    I can't wait to see F! I've really be restraining myself from watching it on YouTube so that I will have at least one completely new and fresh experience on this trip. I've been watching a LOT of videos lately, because I'm just so excited!

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    This looks so awesome!!

    Assuming Disney doesn't extend the HS hours for today, we'll head 'home' after F! and relax. Maybe take some time to check out the AS resorts if we didn't have time to do it on Friday. Then it'll be early to bed, because tomorrow we'll have another early EMH morning at AK!

    Note: All images found via Google.
     
  18. HollowGrl

    HollowGrl ❤ Halloween & Coasters ❤

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    I'm in! We are also planning our Oct/Nov trip! It will be the first trip for us!
    Yaay for the Starring Rolls cupcakes, I'm really looking forward to them!:worship:
     
  19. Disney_Princess83

    Disney_Princess83 DIS Veteran

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    Your day at HS sounds exciting :) Since you're really bothered by ghosts, are you sure you want to do ToT? Have you looked on youtube for videos? That might be a good place to start :)
     
  20. lazer

    lazer DIS Veteran

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    You're going in Novmeber and we did that two years ago...and rode Star Tours over and over and over again...there was no wait. I hope you have the same experience!
     
  21. the real robp

    the real robp Trip Reporter Extraordinaire

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    You totally had me at "I never buy magazines except for when I fly, mostly because I think reading them too much is bad for your self-esteem and perception of reality."

    We're headed to WDW just a few weeks before you guys so I'm running out of time to do all the planning. I think you've picked a great week to go. I look forward to reading more!
     

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