Welcome to my TR! For those of you who followed me over from my PTR, you know how long I had been planning this trip, and all of the thought and effort I put into every day. Thanks for putting up with me and my back and forth decision making. Now you get to see if it paid off! The title is based on how I felt the overall experience went. I definitely feel that this trip had both ups and downs, and I plan on sharing both with you so that hopefully lessons can be learned. I know I learned a lot about myself and how I want future trips to go. Thats why I am calling it the Dos and Donts, to emphasize the things that were great, and the things that could have been done better. For those of you just joining me, our trip dates were Dec 16th-22nd. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort in 2 standard rooms, and we upgraded our free dining to the Deluxe plan. We had 5 people total, my mom, dad, sister, son (Jack), and myself, but Jack is only 2 so we didnt pay for him! Here we all are on our first big day! So here are the first set of Dos and Donts If you like Christmas, even a little bit, DO go in December. The decorations are magical and special and will make even the grinchiest heart grow a few sizes. However, DONT go in the last half of the month, the crowds were worse than I remembered. If you want to spend a little more money DO stay at CBR. DONT expect it to be incrementally better than a value resort, for example POP. Especially during peak seasons, the rooms are at least $100 more per night, and they are not worth and additional $100. If I had more money I would probably always stay at the moderate level, but because I am a single mother not making big bucks, we stay at value resorts because they are a VALUE. The moderate resorts have nicer amenities but the rooms at CBR just werent that nice or much bigger. I would prefer to save the money and stay cheap, since we dont spend much time in our rooms. I will say the soundproofing did seem a bit better at CBR, but it also possible that is based on the fact we were in a more interior location with less foot traffic. DO go with your family, (the holidays are a time for family and its especially nice when they are footing the bill). DONT try to do everything together. If you do, dont expect to be feeling much family love by the end of your trip! As it turns out, my touring style has morphed into something the rest of my family doesnt relate to. We have always been rope drop people, getting there early and hitting hard, and going strong till were done. In September, when Jack and I took our solo trip, we were much more relaxed. Jack sleeps late in the morning and so we got to the parks a but later and were a bit more leisurely in what we did. Of course, Jack is only 2 so he cant do as much, but I really got used to the idea that we dont have to see everything since we know we will be back. This did not mesh well with my parents touring style. I wish I had realized this earlier and done something about it, like stayed at the hotel for part of the morning and caught up with them later, but I didnt and consequently Jack was tired and cranky a good chunk of the time and we had to go back and take naps almost everyday. As for the Deluxe Dining It was amazing. We ate and ate and ate at a bunch of great places we have always wanted to try, but would never have felt comfortable paying for. I do believe that since we only paid for our upgrade we definitely got our moneys worth. I would do it again, but only under different circumstances. Kids are not made to sit at 2 hour long meals once or twice each day, so if I did it again, it would be an adults only experience. Even then I think it would need to be a special occasion, to justify it, or I would have to have won the lottery or married a very rich man so that I didnt have to worry about whether I wasted the credits. So its a DO if you want to eat a lot, and arent worried about kids ruining the experience or missing out on park time. Its a DONT if you are wanting to tour the park commando style and visit every ride and attraction and see every parade etc.