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The "I Can't Believe I'm Doing a PTR for This Trip"PTR-UD 5/17*TR Link!*

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by mommytothreeboys, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    Yeah..Jeff only had the certificate the hospital gives too. I'm glad it was so easy to get!

    It's a little overwhelming shopping in a place like that. In Jamaica all the shop owners try to entice you into their little stall instead of any other. Lots of "hey honey, you look over here", etc. And you have to be willing to say NO nicely and walk away. Some will try to make you feel guilty for offering a price they think is too low...you have to just roll with it!

    Alaska is one place I just have no interest in. I feel like I live in Alaska half the time living here in the frozen tundra that is upstate New York in the winter. Jeff's parents did an Alaskan cruise several years ago and really enjoyed it.

    Thanks Connie! Sometimes it pays to be a planner! NY has an enhanced drivers license that can be used in lieu of a passport to go to Canada and the Caribbean. But...Jeff's license is not up for renewal yet and since you can use the BC and your driver's license we decided to do that rather than pay the extra for a new license. (We already had to pay $30 for the new BC!) The only issue we will have is if for some odd reason he needs to fly out of the Bahamas back to the US. The BC/license is only suitable for closed-loop cruises, no air travel. If that happens...I guess he'll have to live in the Bahamas! ;)

    I get the "all travel without getting to the vacation". I think, however, that the modern cruise ship has so many on-board activities that it is just a big floating resort! Then the excursions at port are just icing on the cake! You can either book your excursions through the cruise line or go out on your own and do it independently. It's more costly to go through the cruise line for the most part, but the advantage is they make sure you are back to the ship before it leaves port. If an independent trip is planned, you're on your own..they'll leave ya! We are only doing a cruise line sponsored excursion in CoCo Cay because it is a private island..no independent activities other than just the beaches.
     
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  3. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing
     
  4. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    Welcome 15isto2!
    :welcome:
     
  5. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    It wouldn't be a vacation without a good To-Do list! :lovestruc I love a good list...I use lists for every aspect of my life, but there's nothing quite as exciting as a vacation to-do list! As of today, I have 53 days until I leave for Orlando!! :cool1::cool1:

    The biggest project that I needed to get finished in a timely fashion was to make and mail our Project Linus blankets for the GAD vouchers. I signed up online for an opportunity out of Western Massachusetts that was accepting mailed in blankets. The sign up process was a little confusing, but I got confirmation from the project leader and also from Disney that I was indeed signed up and ready to go. Next...to find the materials needed for the project. If you know me at all, you know that I DO NOT SEW. I can sew a button on a shirt in a pinch or sew a hole in a pair of pants or a bookbag, but that is where my skills end! My good DISfriend Angie directed me to JoAnn Fabrics to find the no-sew fleece blanket kits. NO-SEW.....SWEET!!! :thumbsup2 Off I went in search of the kits. Now...JoAnn is not a place I visit often. I am not crafty in any way, although I do scrapbook. I am an independent consultant for Creative Memories though and rarely go to a store to purchase my supplies. Lucky for me, the kits were on sale (BONUS!) and in the front of the store. :woohoo: I'm so glad I didn't have to wander aimlessly through the sewing aisles and show my complete lack of skills! LOL! :laughing:

    Jeff and I set aside Sunday afternoon to work on our blankets. And yes, I told him he had to do his own! If I was gonna step out of my comfort zone, he was coming with me! ::yes:: All I had to do was measure, cut, and tie. Should be easy, right? :rolleyes: Well, after some initial struggles, I learned that using the pizza cutter to make indentations in the fabric where I had to cut was so much easier than trying to use the ruler as a guide. Yep..the pizza cutter. ::yes:: I know that they make a special tool called a rotary cutter that will do the same thing except it actually cuts the fabric, but remember I would have no reason to have a tool like that in my house! :sad2: The pizza cutter worked great! So, I was off to the races! It got faster and easier as I went and Jeff and I actually worked together. On my blanket, I measured and cut while he came behind and tied and we switched jobs on his blanket. All in all it took a little over 3 hours for us to finish both blankets. And believe it or not, they turned out pretty cute. Here are a few pictures of Jeff and I working on our project.

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    I mailed the blankets out yesterday morning and the project coordinator should receive them by Thursday. Then I just wait for her to verify our service and Disney will e-mail me the vouchers. I'm glad I got that done because I've been hearing and reading that Disney has reached the 1 million volunteer mark and will be ending the GAD program soon.

    With that big project out of the way, here is my To-Do list. I have put those items that are not started yet in red, things I am working on in blue, and anything I've finished in green.

    ~53 Days and Counting~

    *Buy sunglasses for Jeff and myself

    *Make ADR at Boma—8:05, Friday May 7th
    (We both wanted to try this on our last trip but ended up doing the QSDP and opted to do a character meal OOP...I'm so excited to try this and to see AKL, my dream resort!)

    *Purchase Seabands and motion sickness meds

    *Check-in online for cruise—can be done anytime!

    *Purchase lightweight beach towels

    *Take inventory of travel-size items and make a list of what I need

    *Make rental car reservation for our weekend in Orlando

    *Make hotel reservation for our weekend in Orlando—this has a story, see below!

    *Confirm airline reservations and check in 24 hours before flight

    *Try on summer outfits and make a list of what we need to buy if anything

    *Work on touring plan for MK—mainly a list of must do's

    *Work out transportation from MCO to Port Canaveral on day of arrival

    *Discuss travel insurance options and purchase if needed

    *Book snorkel excursion in CoCo Cay


    I'm sure this list will grow, but that's what I have for now.

    The hotel story....here goes. I found a great rate on Travelzoo for the Doubletree Castle Hotel in Orlando. The rate was $49/night, about ½ price. :thumbsup2 I checked out reviews (on the DIS of course!) and booked it. Then....my father in law calls me and asks if I'd booked a room yet. Well I had and I told him so. He then tells me that he wants to book Jeff and I a room at his time-share in Orlando instead. He has the points to spare and he'd like to do this for us. Well, OKAY! :cool1: He made sure there was availablity for May7-9 and said he would book us a one bedroom suite on March 7th, the 60 day mark.

    On Sunday he saw me at church and said we were all set, but that he couldn't get a one bedroom so he got us a two bedroom! :eek: Oh my goodness..what are we going to do with all that space?? Anyway, so now instead of the Doubletree Castle, we are staying at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort in a two bedroom deluxe suite. This is a description of the room and the resort from the website.

    Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort is an entertainment complex of its own featuring two monster swimming pools; three hot tubs; two eateries, La Cantina and La Cocina Pizzeria; fitness center; playground; game room; 18-hole miniature golf course; and a 250-foot Lazy River, complete with an interactive wading pool where you can float and play in the warmth of the Florida sunshine.

    Two-bedroom suites sleep 4-6 and include one king-size bed in the master bedroom, two double-beds in the second bedroom, a sleeper sofa in the living room, two bathrooms, a Jacuzzi tub, full kitchen, washer/dryer, balcony and cable TV.

    Here are a few pics from their website...the place is JUST BEAUTIFUL!

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    Thanks MOM AND DAD!! :hug:

    Next up...who's minding the children?? :confused3
     
  6. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Your blankets turned out great!!!:goodvibes What a good idea using the pizza cutter!!:thumbsup2 I do not sew:sad2:-- so no rotary cutter for me either.:laughing: We just made a pattern out of card stock paper and put it on the fleece and then cut on the line.....your way sounds so much easier!

    Yay! for trying Boma!!:yay: AKL is such a beautiful resort!! We didn't have nearly enough time to look around as I would have liked when we went in August! Hoping we get a chance to in the future!

    How exciting to be able to stay at Bonnet Creek!! I've read such great reviews about it! We had thought about staying off-site last year and it was one of the places we had looked into. Ahhh...what a great father in law you have!!:)
     
  7. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    Your condo looks great!! I wish Bonnet Creek was part of our timeshare group... Your blankets came out great too - I'm glad you got in on the program before it ended. :thumbsup2

    I love your to-do list. I will be posting my list tomorrow. I have it broken down by week for each of the next six weeks. I got the idea from Julie & it really helps keep everything manageable.
     
  8. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    I was really pleased with the blankets. Now I'm just holding my breath until I get my vouchers because I guess the GAD promotion is closed. I already got confirmation from Disney that we were signed up, but I won't rest easy until I have the vouchers!

    I'm so glad we are trying Boma this trip. Aside from wanting to try the food, I have been dying to get inside AKL and take a look around! Someday when money is no object, I'm going to stay there in a Savannah view room! ;)

    Bonnet Creek is definitely not in our budget, but it's nice to have in-laws with a time share! We used their condo in Vegas in 2008 as well!

    Thanks! I don't think it's ever anything we could afford out of pocket so it's nice to be treated!

    The week to week list sounds like a great idea. I feel like I have so much less to plan this trip without the kids along! My list seemed short...but like I said, I'm sure it will grow as the weeks go by. Or should I say DRAG by! :rolleyes:
     
  9. Planning fanatic mom

    Planning fanatic mom DIS Veteran

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    Love the blankets!!

    Can't wait to hear your review of Boma. We are eating here for the first time in June.!!!:cool1:
     
  10. carissanboys

    carissanboys DIS Veteran

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    I love tied-fleece blankets!! So easy to make and they are so warm and comfy. We fight over the Pats/Sox one I made in this house. :sad2: Yours came out great! :thumbsup2
     
  11. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    I'm so excited to eat at Boma! I'll be sure to share a review!

    We do too...my gram made each of my boys one and they snuggle with them all winter! In fact, Jonah helped out with making our GAD blankets a bit and he was wishing he had a new one for himself! It was fun to make even though I have no desire to sew...ever. ;)
     
  12. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    Before I dive right in to my Magic Kingdom Must-Do list, I want to share with you some pictures of our past adventures in the MK.

    First up...Our Honeymoon! We got married August 22, 1992. :eek:

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    Next up...Our first family trip in 2007.

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    And lastly, Spring of 2009.

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    After that little trip down memory lane....**sigh**...I'm so excited to go back! :banana:

    With no kids on this little trip to WDW, our touring of the MK will be a bit different. There are definitely some things we will skip that would have been must-do's with the boys along. So here it is...the Must-Do list for our ONE DAY MAGIC KINGDOM EXTRAVAGANZA!!!


    NOT-TO-BE-MISSED

    *Mickey's PhilharMagic---in my opinion, the best 3D experience in WDW

    *It's a Small World---come on, did you think I'd skip this one?

    *Haunted Mansion

    *Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    *Splash Mountain

    *Jungle Cruise---you all know I'm sucker for the well-delivered cheesy joke!

    *Pirates of the Caribbean

    *Buzz Lightyear—I stink, but I LOVE this ride!

    *Space Mountain---this was closed for refurb on our last trip.

    *Carousel of Progress—a sentimental favorite

    *Afternoon parade

    *Wishes


    ON-THE-BUBBLE ( these are things we'd like to do, but only if time allows)

    *Hall of Presidents---Jeff and I have not seen this since our honeymoon in 1992

    *Tomorrowland Transit Authority---also closed on our last trip

    *Monster's Inc Laugh Floor

    *Peter Pan's Flight—I know this is a DIS favorite, and I do like it...but the line is always CRAZY and it's not worth missing other things to stand in line to ride

    *Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

    *Snow White

    *Cinderella's Carousel

    *Spectromagic---I love this parade, but if we still have things we have not done, I'll skip it


    NOT-THIS-TIME

    *Stitch's Great Escape—without Isaiah to lobby for this one, I'll skip the chili dog burp, thank you!

    *Tomorrowland Speedway

    *ToonTown—Sorry Lisa!

    *Enchanted Tiki Room---I hate this, but do it because the boys like it. Jeff will live!

    *Tea Cups---always a no-thank-you for me, Jeff rides with the boys

    *Country Bears

    *Dumbo

    *Winnie the Pooh


    There you have it! Feedback anyone? :confused3 Is it too ambitious to do in one day? Keep in mind that we will probably be at the park from Rope Drop to Wishes.
     
  13. carissanboys

    carissanboys DIS Veteran

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    I don't think it's too ambitious for being there all day without the kids. :thumbsup2
     
  14. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Love all your MK pictures!!!:goodvibes

    Since you are going to be there from rope drop to Wishes...I definitely think you should be able to get everything done on your must-do list (especially without any kids!!;))

    It sounds like a fun day!!:thumbsup2
     
  15. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    Oh good! We won't be stopping to wait in any character lines either so that should help. Unless of course we see Pinocchio...I'm not sure Jeff could walk away from that opportunity! :rotfl:

    Writing about it makes me so excited! The project coordinator for Project Linus emailed me yesterday to let me know the blankets arrived. Now I wait on pins and needles for the vouchers from Disney! :)
     
  16. longing2Batdisney

    longing2Batdisney DIS Veteran

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    love the trip down memory lane!
    I believe your day plans for MK are definately do-able...
    my only ride that I love is Winnie the Pooh so it would have made my list..but, I do understand. I hope you make the Presidents; as we will be skipping that one this year; so, I can't wait to hear what you think about it.
    :wave2:

    thought I had commented about the blankets..GREAT JOB!
    awesome news on the resort stay!
     
  17. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    Hi Connie! Thanks for the compliment on the blankets! Now I wait on pins and needles to get my voucher from Disney.......:surfweb:
     
  18. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    I thought I had already responded to this update... I must have read it on my phone??

    Great flashback pictures! I especially like the 1992 pictures. :thumbsup2

    I think your plan looks great. With just the two of you, you should be able to get a ton of stuff done - especially in the morning before it gets too crowded! Luckily you are missing the Grad Nights... the park closes at 7pm the two weekends (Friday & Saturday) before your visit. I'm hoping that works to our advantage the Saturday before by keeping people away.
     
  19. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Amy. :goodvibes I noticed we just missed Grad Nights as well....whew! I hope it works to your advantage. I think it definitely should affect the crowds during the day.
     
  20. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I sure thought that I had responded to your earlier posts but guess I didn't. You and Jeff did an excellent job on the blankets. We didn't get to participate in the Give A Day program as I couldn't find anything locally and didn't find out about the Linus blanket thing until it was too late.

    I love the trip down memory lane pictures. You guys were so young. Not that you're old not but you know what I mean.:laughing:

    I think your MK plans are very doable. No need to insert the sorry next to Toontown. If it were just John and I and no kids, we'd probably skip it to.
     
  21. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    Hi Lisa! I think a lot of people didn't get to participate in GAD....I am really surprised that Disney didn't choose to extend it considering it only lasted 2 months.

    LOL...I know you're not calling me old! :goodvibes We were young weren't we?? It seems like just yesterday and so long ago all at the same time!

    I just had a friend return and she said a lot of Toontown is under construction...looks like it may not have been an option either way!
     

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