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The Big One - From DL to WDW and a Cruise to boot - PTR June 2012 *Update 4/20*

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by DisneyMom70, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    This is my first trip report which is appropriately for my first trip to WDW. We live in Southern California, 12 minutes (no traffic, driveway to Parking structure) from DL, so this will be quite an adventure. We will be spending 8 nights at the Beach Club, and then will shoot down to Port Canaveral for a 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the Fantasy. This will also be my first cruise, and what better way to start. :banana::banana::banana:

    Cast- WDW

    Me – Disneymom70
    [​IMG]
    I grew up in Orange County, California, so the Disney I know and love is DL. I work for a CSU, so we have to work around the school year, not just for my kids. I am a Disney fanatic, and have been planning for this trip for over 5 years.

    DH –
    [​IMG]
    DH grew up near the Ventura/LA County line, and has been a recent convert to all things Disney. We started going to DL together when we were dating, and recently, we have had annual passes on and off, which he took advantage of more than me – SHOCKING! We have been together for almost 19 years, and married for almost 8 (we really wanted to be sure :rotfl:).

    DD- 6 :littleangel:
    She is over half-way through Kindergarten. She was raised going to DL, loves the Princesses, and is super fun and outgoing. She also has JRA (diagnosed when she was 2), but is doing great right now. When I am not planning for WDW, I am fundraising for the Arthritis Foundation with her.

    DS- 3 pirate:
    He is ALL boy, and really keeps us on our toes. We are really working on Potty training right now, as my husband refuses to bring any pull-ups, etc. on our vacation. He loves Buzz, dinosaurs, trains, but is not above playing with his sister’s princess dolls. DD loves to dress him up as her favorite princesses – life size doll- who wouldn’t like that. I may post pictures of him later – definite blackmail fodder for when he is a teen. :laughing:

    Our trip will start 6/21/2012 and finish on 7/7/2012.

    We are leaving on the red-eye on Thursday night (11:40pm – I didn’t think there were even flights that late) and will arrive at 7:30 am.

    We will be staying at the Beach Club, scored free CL :cool1:, and got the DDP.

    On June30, we will leave the World and board the Fantasy for our Eastern Cruise.

    Additional Cast – DCL
    MIL
    My DH’s mom loves Disney almost as much as me. The cruise was her idea, and we are excited to do this with her. (No-not just because they can watch the kids :rolleyes1)

    FIL
    Tricky one here. He is NOT a Disney person. :scared1: He is doing this for the kids (and because his wife is making him). We are trying to be very sensitive to this when planning things.

    I am so excited to be sharing our trip, and my hope is that I will have as much fun ON the trip as I have had PLANNING it. :cloud9:

    Contents:
    ADRs - Scheduling Day!
    Plan So Far
    WDW Kickin' it at the Beach Club
    A Brief Potty Training Interlude ;)
    Ch Ch Ch Changes...
    Changing Gears and a Fashion Show
    One Week away
     
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  3. marlower

    marlower DIS Veteran

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    Following along:thumbsup2 So excited to be cruising with you and look forward to your trip report!
     
  4. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks! Glad you will be on board with us. :)
     
  5. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    Our 180 day mark was Christmas morning 3am. As it was Christmas Eve, I was already excited for that, so at about 12:30 am, I gave up on trying to fall asleep before my 2:50 wake up. I watched Holiday Inn (my FAVORITE holiday movie) and set up the kid’s presents from Santa (train for DS, and Zhu Zhu stuff for DD). At 2:58am I started calling…and I got the recording. I kept calling…and kept getting the recording. Now this was expected, as it was suggested for trying to get Cinderella’s RT that you should start calling before they open. 3:00…still got the recording. 3:05…recording. :confused3 And so on…

    Yep. PST is only THREE hours behind NOT four. I had another hour before they opened. :mad: I could not believe I made that mistake. Then, I went online and recalculated my days. Yep. The calculator said 180 days out was TOMORROW. Awesome. :sad1: I went to bed at 4:00am Christmas morning. My kids woke up at 5:10. Merry Christmas to me. Ha ha :crazy:

    We went out that night (after a well needed nap) to my ILs and I told them that I would be trying again. I set up their netbook computer, and went to bed. This time, I would get up when the kids woke up (should be 5 with DS’s schedule) and I would book online.
    I actually woke up before my son, and as I was getting online to start scheduling, :surfweb: low and behold, my original 180 day date was right, and now I was a day late in making my ADRs. Grrrr ! But, all’s well that ends well. I got CRT at the time we wanted, and same with Les Chefs. :cool1: At the last minute, I decided against Le Cellier, since with DS being only 3, not sure he could set through a long meal, and Remy might hold his attention more.

    After all that, since I wasn’t doing “regular” time ADRs, they were not hard to get. We are doing late lunches, so we can stay somewhat on West Coast time. We also did late dining on the cruise for this reason.

    Since then, I booked Hollywood and Vine – Character lunch, and Cape May Clambake for dinner on our Resort Day. I am still deciding on our schedule for the rest of the days. The dreaded FP enforcement is definitely changing our strategy, so that is a bit up in the air. We originally planned to use the collected FPs later in the day after DS’s naptime at the resort/ swim break. Now, since that is not an option, we are not sure how things will play out. We will be trying to get as much done before our lunch ressies, as we still plan to go back to the resort in the afternoon. But where we end up in the evenings is at this point a mystery.
     
  6. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    So, as it stands:

    Day 1 Friday – since we are flying in on the red eye, this day may be a wash. Not sure what we will do.
    Day 2 Saturday - ?
    Day 3 Sunday- HS – Late lunch at H&V
    Day 4 Monday - ?
    Day 5 Tuesday – Resort day - Dinner at Cape May
    Day 6 Wednesday - ?
    Day 7 Thursday – MK for early EMH – Late lunch at CRT
    Day 8 Friday – – Epcot for early EMH – Late lunch at Les Chefs
    Day 9 Saturday – leave for PC and the Disney Cruise on the FANTASY! Woo Hoo

    My WDW strategy is plan the early part of the trip using a touring strategy that avoids EMHs in the morning. We might have adjustment issues trying to get up that early, but maybe not. This part is in flux. By the second half of the WDW stay, we should be more acclimated to the time, and plan on utilizing them during this portion.
     
  7. marlower

    marlower DIS Veteran

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    So glad you got CRT!! What I am finding now that Disney is requiring CC info for the more popular restaurants, is that availability is greater which is a good thing for those guests that book within the 180 day window:)
     
  8. FairestOfThemAll

    FairestOfThemAll Earning My Ears

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    First I have to say that I loved your Christmas morning ADR story - it's crazy what we go through for a vacation, isn't it? And I found the same thing with making ADRS - that I was able to get anything I wanted, even for my group of 10, without any trouble. I love the new system!

    Chefs de France is one of my absolute favorites - I actually made myself the Gratin de Macaroni for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Of course, it would have been better if Remy could have stopped by for a chat...
     
  9. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks! I have been able to add ADR's since with no problems as well. You just get so wound up after reading the boards....:rotfl:

    The Gratin de Macaroni sounds so good, and kudos for making it yourself at home. That's awesome.
     
  10. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    [
    I think that's a good thing, although I think it may add some stress. With 2 little one's it can be hard to get places on time. I am not trying to do to many TS for that reason.
     
  11. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    We are staying at the Beach Club. :cool1: I must thank Dee and Marlton Mom for this. The BC/YC threads have been so fun to read, and Stormalong Bay looks amazing. I convince my DH that (since we are unlikely to return in the next 5 years) we should really plan an AMAZING trip. We started at 5 nights, but since that isn’t really enough (I have never been – unlike him), we stretched it to 8.

    2 travel days, 6 park days, and 1 full resort day. We were going to get YES tickets, and the DDP. Well, DH goes to AAA to book the trip, and their tickets, for more days and Water Parks and More, were cheaper than the YES tickets. :banana: Also, Disney was running some promotion, so we got a Garden view CL room for less than a water view regular room (which was all they said they had left in the non-CL rooms). :banana::banana:

    Well, then…an AMAZING trip was just meant to be.

    Of course, now we will have to sneak in some trips to the water parks, so we’ll see how long I can hold on to the resort only day.

    I initially thought that the red eye flight to WDW was a good idea. I am a bit worried since it is unlikely that the room will be ready until mid-afternoon. We may have to find a nice air-conditioned spot to crash midday. I didn’t really want to burn a whole day flying, but we may not get much done that first day anyway. At least we’ll BE there. I don’t really sleep on planes, so I am hoping the kids and I can take late naps on Thursday afternoon, and that will have to tide me over until we can get in our room. The kids should sleep on the plane, and I know my DH will be snoring all the way to Florida. :rotfl2:
    Hopefully, we will be able to take advantage of the CL for breakfast and snacks during the trip. I am hopeful, that being able to grab coffee and cereal first think in the morning will help us get to the parks for RD. I am going to send a package to the resort with my FE stuff in it, but I think I will include some snack food in it as well. Maybe granola bars/protein bars, dried fruit (the freeze dried Kirland/Costco stuff is awesome), and my DS loves the GoGo squeeze applesauce.

    Now, I just need to finalize my touring plans and make the last few ADRs. I really want to eat at a lot of Epcot restaurants, but I realize that’s not practical. I am thinking of Raglan Road for DH. We are Irish, and he would enjoy that. I think we will just to Rainforest at AK, but we’ll see. We go to the one at DTD here in Anaheim a lot, so I know the kids like it, but it would be nice to try something new. I do want to check out T-REX because DS would love that. Decisions …decisions.
     
  12. marlower

    marlower DIS Veteran

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    Oh, you will love BC!! Stormalong Bay is fantastic and you have to try Beaches n Cream!! The great thing about CL is that you will be able to check in and at least enjoy the lounge with all the fun drinks/snacks if your room is not ready yet and you can take a snooze in there! Make sure and pack your swimsuits in your carry on and you could even enjoy a swim if your room isn't ready! Raglan Road is really good! I sent clients there a lot and not one of them has complained...they always have rave reviews! T-REX is always fun but very hard to get a reservation. Enjoying your TR!
     
  13. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    So, one of the big things I have to do is finish potty training DS. There are three main issues that we are dealing with.
    C is great about going on his own IF he is not wearing underpants. He can be commando, and go as needed without much prompting. Put some tighty-whities on the boy, and he can be standing next to the potty and pee on the floor. :confused3
    Two- he has to wear pull-ups at his daycare, so he only goes in the potty about 40% of the time. He is very lazy when he has a pull-up on.
    Three – Will not EVER, No way, No How, poop in the potty. He did it a
    couple of times when we first started, but not at all over the last 3 months.

    We started a chart this past weekend. He gets stickers for going, and every so many, he will earn a treat. Ultimate goal – the MICKEY BOAT!

    [​IMG]

    I also got a ten (twelve?) pack of Spiderman underwear from Costco. That should last me a day. :laughing: Crossing my fingers that this will start to work, because I think he will really like the kids clubs (and being with his sister), and I think he is so close. Plus, he needs to be fully trained by September for preschool. Wish me luck.
     
  14. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    Lets see...
    So now the decisions are what to do with our nights. Wishes, Illuminations...pirate cruise, DTD. Our DS is three, so not old enough for the Sandcastle Club, so maybe one night with a babysitter for a date night. :lovestruc

    I also need to map out the rest of the park days. I just got Tour Guide Mike, and I need to register my book to get the discount for Touring Plans. I have used Easy WDW up until now, but I feel like with the investment we are making in the trip, an extra 30 bucks for different touring plans is not too much. Well, maybe it is...:rotfl:
     
  15. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    Change is a good thing, Right?? :rolleyes1

    So, after the initial map-out of the trip and the ADR’s made at 179 days, I have now changed up both days and ADR’s for most of the trip. Rethought the idea of doing character meals towards the end, and now have Cindy’s toward the beginning, and I added Garden Grill on our first night.

    Now the trip looks like this.

    Friday – Arrival, maybe waterparks – Dinner at Garden Grill, maybe catch Illuminations

    Saturday – Magic Kingdom for AM, Cinderella’s Royal Table for lunch; Hollywood Studios for PM (try to catch the Disney Jr. Dance Party) Maybe Fairfax Fare for dinner

    Sunday – Animal Kingdom – Rainforest Café for Lunch

    Monday – Epcot and Waterparks.

    Tuesday – Resort and Water park day, Cape May clambake for dinner

    Wednesday – Hollywood Studios, Hollywood and Vine for lunch

    Thursday – Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbor House for lunch

    Friday – Epcot , Les Chefs de France for lunch.

    So, I have 6 of 8 table credits used so far. Rainforest will be on existing credits from Landry’s club, and free kids meals for reading logs. :cool1:

    I still need a lunch for Epcot on Monday, and maybe a date night dinner.
    I also need to decide about scheduling the Pirate Fireworks cruise. That sounds like something the kids would LOVE. pirate:
     
  16. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    DH just texted me. Final payments were made on both the WDW trip and the DCL cruise. WOO HOO!!:banana::banana::banana:
     
  17. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    So Sunday night was the big night. 75 days out from the cruise portion of the vacation. One nice thing, since we are on PST, we could book excursions at 9pm. I did have to wait until midnight to check in and grab a boarding time, but that was not bad.

    I did need this the next day…
    [​IMG]

    I booked DH’s Scuba trip in St. Thomas, the stingray excursion on CC for DH, DD, MIL, and FIL, and a Fire and Ice Pedicure for me. I scheduled the pedicure for the first morning. I figure it will be a nice rejuvenator after 8 days at the world.

    There were no Palo times that would work for us, so we will take our chances at the port. My MIL got Palo for the first night, and Remy for a mid week night, but I could not justify the extra money for that one. I told DH I would rather spend the money on rebooking on board, and Surprise! Surprise! he was completely up for that. Yay!!!!

    I also got DD’s Rapunzel dress in the mail. Ooooo! Aaaahhh! I gave it to her this morning, since she finally quick sucking her thumb. She seemed excited, but didn’t want to try it on. I told her we could bring it on the trip, and she immediately asked to bring her Ariel, Aurora, and Cinderella costumes. Yikes! That’s an extra suitcase right there.

    Fashion Show Interlude…. Ha Ha Ha DD loves dressing up her brother!!!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Good times!
     
  18. Lisa71

    Lisa71 Adoption Rocks!

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    We are west coasters too and grew up going to Dland frequently..we have passes and go with the kids, but LOVE the world..we leave in about a week for BC and I wanted to say I LOVE the pics of your kids dressing up together!! Our kids to that too..last year our DS even tried on his sister's swim suits and ran around laughing soooo hard!! I look forward to your final reports!!
     
  19. DisneyMom70

    DisneyMom70 Mouseketeer

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    I see that since I have neglected my PTR - I actually had a reader - Yay!! Hi Lisa71.

    So since we last left our heroes...(too many superhero shows lately):happytv:

    DS is fully potty-trained - YAY!!!
    ADRs have changed - again. Second guessing myself a lot!

    Park planning has changed - maybe. Still debating about utilizing early EMH towards the end of the visit. That will probably be a decision made once we get there.

    Packing has officially taken over my entire house. I wanted to do a trial run last weekend, but of course, everything is still in the suitcases now. With swim classes in full effect, we are constantly grabbing things (suits) that I have already packed. YIKES! Oh well. Talked DH into a larger suitcase. Since we have free checked bags, might as well make use of that instead of trying to mail stuff. DH is going to think I am nuts with all the stuff I am shoving in his bag. Ha Ha! His fault for marrying me. :rotfl:

    I'm halfway done with FE stuff for cruise. I have one last stand alone thing that may get scrapped. We'll see.

    2 1/2 days of work left, and then I have 2 full days off to finish packing, clean house and relax a bit. :hippie:
     

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