The SuperDuper (Preface) to a DLR vets 2nd trip 6/19-29 LIVE UPDATE 6/22 from SSR!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by DLR29, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Hello everybody. I am DLR29, and I'm starting my FIRST ever WDW Pre TR. First let's start off with some introductions.

    ME! :cool1: I'm 17 and a senior in high school. I love rides, Disney :-)wizard:), sports, hanging out with friends, and dill pickles (mmmm, so good). I usually chill out on the DLR boards where I love helping people plan DLR trips, but I ocassionally venture out into different forums. I am one of the main planners in the family.

    DM (mom) :yay: She loves all things Disney too. I received the planning genes from her because we both love to find the best deals and bargains for vacations and stuff. She is in charge of just as much planning for this trip as I am.

    DD (dad, not daughter....:rolleyes:) :banana: He is not as enthusiastic about the whole Disney thing. He likes going to DLR, but he is not nearly as much of a planner. He follows our plans very well. :rotfl2:

    DB (brother) :idea: He's 13, but will be 14 for our trip. He recently discovered the wonders of Disneyland, which I am very excited about. He used to be skeptical and almost anti-Disney :-)scared1:), but I've turned him over to the dark side. ;)


    Ok, sooo our WDW trip dates are 6/19-6/26, and we are all very excited, but before we keep going, I'll begin with some background of this (and our last) trip.

    Background:
    So back in 2007, the 4 of us piled into a minivan and drove around the country for 6 weeks. My mom and I planned all of the stops and hotels and attractions and one of our "must-dos" was WDW. It took us a week to drive from CA to FL, but it was so worth it. We stayed at Worldmark Orlando, which was really great because we had a car and the drive was super short to the parks, but we still missed the experience of staying onsite. Also with a 6 week trip we could not afford to spend a whole week onsite, so we used credits with our timeshare Worldmark place.

    We really enjoyed ourselves and we got a lot done by using TGM and all of the wonderful tips from the DIS. We went to the parks for 5 1/2 days, park hopping, getting a taste of the resort for the first time. We ate some TS meals, saw some shows, rode a ton of rides, visited DTD, and got a glimpse of WDW, but definitely not the whole thing. We knew we would come back, we just weren't sure when.

    So this idea pops up in our head to go back to WDW, but this time stay onsite and do the whole "WDW vacation" thing. Since my dad is a teacher, and my brother and I can't really afford to miss school, we decided late June would be a good time to go. It's also kinda a graduation gift for me, as I'll be DONE with high school! :woohoo: We also want to bring my uncle (mom's brother) and his 3 kids. We're not sure if they'll be able to go, but we're praying that it'll all work out. They've never been to WDW, but they live in So. Cal, so they've been to DLR a lot and love it, so I know that they would love WDW too! This would be doubling our party from last time. The more the merrier!!


    So...we've decided that we're going to stay at SSR, but I'll save more on that for later (I wanted to keep it a secret, but realized it's in my sig :lmao:). This intro is getting too long anyway. We also have a few more surprises that I'll mention later. I just wanted to get this started because I was so excited that the June hours were posted the other day. :dance3:

    Ok, this is DLR29 signing off for now.
     
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  3. BillyFan

    BillyFan The Billies are fans of ME

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    I'm on board. I always enjoy your TRs!
     
  4. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Thanks BillyFan. It's kinda intimidating heading over here to the WDW boards when I'm used to the DLR boards, but now that I have some company it's not so bad. :thumbsup2

    Here are some pictures of my family. First, here's me, my brother and my mom after we won Dream FPs at DLR last October
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    My dad came late that trip, so here's a great pic of him on Pirate's Lair at DL:
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    Ya, he's a goofball.

    Since I'm in a picture mood, here are some of the shots I took on my last WDW trip. Actually storytime first...I actually lost my camera on our first night. I originally thought that someone had stolen it when we were in the exhibit after Test Track. So I didn't have my camera for like 3 days, but then we got a call saying that they found it on TT! :banana: I was so happy. So really, I only had 3 days of taking pictures, but anyway...here you go.

    [​IMG]

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    Classic Cinderella Castle shot
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    We entered AK from Rainforest Cafe and we got in the park before the main entrance. So we were at the very front of the rope drop. Here's a pic looking back at the crowd at rope drop. :scared1:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More coming later.
     
  5. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Here are a few more pics.

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    I'm really excited to take TONS of pics when we go to WDW because last time I was just starting to learn how to use my camera with all of its settings and stuff. I took a lot more than I've posted, but a lot were pretty blurry or had random people's heads in my shots! My picture taking has gotten better since then, so I can't wait.

    Anyway, I'm ready to do a lot of planning. When it comes to DLR I know it like the back of my hand. When it comes to WDW, I only know from my one trip and anything that I've read from TGM or the UG. I'm gonna need some help planning this trip so that it's the best that it can be. On the DLR boards there are lots of "WDW vets" who come and ask questions about their "first DLR trip". I totally feel like that person, just swap the roles! :thumbsup2
     
  6. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Another update for anyone listening.

    Why we are staying where we are:
    We have chosen to stay at SSR. We (well, I mostly) wanted to stay onsite this time because "everyone says" that it is a much better experience to be so close. I've only once stayed onsite at DLR because over there it's not as important, but there are a lot more perks at WDW to staying onsite. :wizard:

    So we are trying to find the best deal on a hotel right? We don't really want the cramped rooms of a value, especially the small beds (2 teens trying to share a double can work, but not very well). Most of the deluxes were out of our price range. We're on somewhat of a budget, especially because airfare to Orlando is going to be a huge cost. Although AKL was looking pretty good. The problem with AKL is that the rooms that we would want (Savannah view) are just as expensive as other Deluxes. We never even considered a DVC place because they were just way too expensive.

    Ok, so then we start looking at Moderates. POR, POFQ, and CBR all have the same bed problem as the values, so CSR looked like a really good option. Plus I've heard that they have a really good bus service and their food court is one of the best, not to mention the cool looking pool. CSR looked like our best option. But then when we thought of inviting my mom's brother and his kids, we thought that it might be too expensive for them (funds are a little tighter for them). So...what are we going to do?? :confused: We considered not staying onsite, and just going back to Worldmark for another trip, but I fought to stay onsite and figure out a way so that we wouldn't have to rent a car, we could get a dining plan, and we could use some EMHs.

    So we're at a dilemma. We really want to stay onsite, but it is possibly too expensive. I guess we signed up for some DVC thing a while ago because we keep getting mail from them asking us to join (I wish we could, but it's too much right now). We got a booklet that listed all of the places that you could stay with DVC and surprisingly enough, we saw our Worldmark timeshare places on the list. Ok....?

    So apparently, DVC has reciprocity (sp?) with the popular RCI travel company, which also has reci..whatever with Wyndham, which owns Worldmark (got that?). So we call Worldmark and get transferred to RCI to talk about exchanging. And it turns out that we are able to use our Worldmark "credits" for "credits" at a DVC resort :cool1:. Problem now is choosing which one. We weren't even considering them in the first place; I know nothing about them!

    Well, we knew we would like to try AKV if possible because that was one of our top choices for a Deluxe. We call RCI and ask about available resorts during that week that we wanted (Sat 6/19-sat 6/26).....the only ones that they had were SSR and OKW. The two that were way out of the way.

    So again we have to decide. Is it worth it to stay "way out of the way" and onsite? Well I figured it's better than staying "way out of the way" and at Worldmark. So we came to the decision of going with SSR. We looked at the pool (looks good), heard some good things about its bus service and how it's really close to DTD which is a nice perk, and we just went with it. We booked a 2BR to sleep all 8 of us (4 in each family). Since we're using mostly credits (a little cash), my uncle won't have to worry about the huge cost of accommodations.

    And that is that...:thumbsup2 I realized that I love to tell stories.
     
  7. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    WDW planning is on halt right now because we're planning a DLR trip in 2 weeks. I will pick up with the updates in the new year (if anyone cares).
     
  8. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I care! I just hadn't seen your report before just now. :)

    So now we're two little DLR vets headin' off to WDW this year! How cool is it that you're getting to stay at DVC through RCI through Worldmark?
     
  9. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Awww, thanks bumbershoot for stopping in! :goodvibes Nice to see a friendly face over here. Imagine my surprise when I see this thread in my subscribed threads! :rotfl: I'm getting more and more excited about our trip with each day.

    I guess I'll hop over to your PTR too because I love your TRs a ton!

    Coming up next in this PTR: Dining plan plans and other itinerary stuff.
     
  10. ty&brenmom

    ty&brenmom Mouseketeer

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    I have been home sick all day, and have been reading through many trip reports. I have read all your DLR reports and have enjoyed them. It is nice to see that a teenage boy does enjoy disney (my oldest is at the stage where it's not cool to love disney). I can not wait to see your WDW trip. I am one of those who have been to WDW and are now thinking about a DL trip only not for a few years. congrats on getting into a DVC resort - we stay at the values and have enjoyed them, but I would LOVE to own DVC.
     
  11. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Thanks for the kind words and for joining in! I'm sure the magic will come back to your DS soon enough. If you're thinking about a DLR trip, I highly recommend hopping over to the DLR boards, even if it's just a wild dream right now. Everybody is super nice over there. I might need an expert WDW planner to help me with some of the details too so any help would be greatly appreciated!

    And, trust me, we would also LOVE to own DVC! I think after staying at SSR we'll be spoiled and not want to stay in a normal hotel room again! :lmao:
     
  12. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Dining Plan Plans

    We are fans of saving money (I mean who isn't?), so when we knew that we were going to stay onsite, I automatically thought "DINING PLAN!" Unfortunately, DLR's dining plan doesn't work as well as WDW's, so I have 0 experience with prepaid meals.

    We started looking at costs. We absolutely loved Le Cellier when we went 2 1/2 years ago (delicious steakhouse in Canada, Epcot), so our first instinct was to look at the regular dining plan. But then in the fall the prices for the 2010 dining plan came out and they did that weird thing where they had different prices for different times of the year :confused3. In 2009, the regular dining plan was $40 a person. In 2010, during our dates it would be $48 a person.

    That's an increase of $8 x 4 (people) x 7 (nights) = more than an extra $200! :scared1:

    That would be paying entirely too much, plus we didn't know if DU could afford it at that price either. So we got to thinking, what about the (relatively) new QSDP? Pricing it all out, getting the QSDP over the regular dining plan saves us about $500 per family. So that's what we've decided to do. I've been searching all of the Allears menus, the DIS dining boards, UG, etc. to find the best places for counter service restaurants. It looks like there's actually quite a bit of variety, and we're very excited.

    Since the QSDP gives us 2 CS meals, 2 snacks and a refillable mug, we're thinking about doing this as our plan:
    Breakfast: 1/2 snacks
    Lunch/Dinner: Each a CS

    Plus sometimes we might share meals or snack on other things. I've seen the humongous thread on the the Dining boards with pictures of all the snacks! Mmmmmmmmmm. We'll probably end up using a CS or 2 on breakfast too, especially if we're sleeping in that day or something. I've also been reading as many QSDP reviews as posssible on the dining boards, but they are rare. I will definitely be writing a dining review of our trip when we return.

    So that's what we've got planned for food. We called DVC member services a while ago and requested the plan. We also requested the Grandstand area of the hotel because it's the first and last bus stop in the resort, plus it's relatively close to the main pool/main hall/boat dock.
     
  13. Grumpygrandpa

    Grumpygrandpa dvc owners and loving it

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    Keep in mind that you will have a full kitchen at SSR. You may want to do breakfast (bowl of cereal, OJ etc) in your room. We find that this is a big money and time saver. There are many online grocers who deliver to WDW. We have used one in the past and were very happy. Have fun planning.
     
  14. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Yes, but even with the kitchen, I don't think we're going to be buying very much food, if any at all. We'll be sharing a lot of CS meals and snacks with the dining plan, so I'm pretty sure we'll have lots of snacks left over (or at least that's what I've heard/read). Snacks can buy like danishes and pastries from places like the France pastry shop or the Main Street Bakery right? I think maybe we'll get stuff like that on our way out of the parks and store them for the morning.
     
  15. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Park Touring/Tentative Itinerary

    Lately, I've been trying to plan the days out (I know it's like 5 months away, but still). Which day to visit which park? We've got TGM, so I feel pretty prepared. We are planning to go against his word and do 2 or 3 EMHs though. We're looking at AK evening and MK evening, possible MK morning also. We'll be getting to the parks at rope drop on most days, then taking an afternoon break (swim, nap etc.) and then return to a different park around 4 and stay for the evening. This is what we did on our last trip and it worked great! We weren't exhausted because we took breaks in the middle and we beat the crowds by showing up to a lot of rope drops. We also will have 6 day Park hoppers.

    I'm still asking a lot of questions on the TP&A boards, and I'm reading the TGM articles a ton. Our TENTATIVE (it most certainly will change) itinerary is:

    Arrive on Saturday June 19th? (possibly Friday but we're not sure yet, depends on airfare) We'll probably go to Epcot that evening. Maybe see Illuminations.

    Sunday, June 20th:
    Morning (M)- MK
    Evening (E)- DHS (Fantasmic night, not sure yet if we'll see it)

    Monday, June 21st:
    M- EP
    E- AK EEMH (excited to see the park later at night, the EMH only go to 10PM, so it's not like it's going to be a super late night)

    Tuesday June 22nd:
    Break day. Sleep in after relatively late night. Go to DTD, explore, shop, see a movie maybe? Go for a swim at the pool.

    Wednesday, June 23rd:
    M-DHS (rope drop, sprint to TSM apparently because of the lines that ride builds)
    E- EP (Illuminations? If we didn't see it on Saturday night)

    Thursday, June 24th:
    M- Either AK or MK MEMH, probably depends on how early we wake up
    E- DHS (another Fantasmic night, at least one of the nights we'll be doing rides and not the show)

    Friday, June 25th:
    M- MK or AK if we did MK MEMH the morning before
    E- MK EEMH until we tire out (hopefully very late into the night)

    Saturday, June 26th:
    Leave via MCO :(

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. We're still working out details and stuff.
     
  16. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Park Attractions

    Yeah, I know it's like 5 months in advance, but I'm so excited that last night I made charts of what we want to do once we get to WDW.

    I separated each attraction at each park into 4 groups:
    -Double Do's (have to do at least 2x)
    -Must Do's (1x at least)
    -Maybe Do's (if we have time)
    -Don't Do's (eh, we'll pass)

    So far our only Double Do's are Space, Test Track, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest (although we have some "Must +'s" like Splash, RnRC, etc.)

    Many things on the Must Do's list are things that we missed the first time so we just have to do them this time like Finding Nemo: the Musical and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. But it also includes stuff that is not found at DLR (Maelstrom, Philharmagic, Dinosaur, etc.) that we really liked last time we went to WDW. We're also thinking about DCousins who haven't ever been to WDW and will want to experience a lot of new things.

    I was also thinking, since DDad likes to sing, he should totally try out for the American Idol Experience. He's hesitant, but the rest of us are encouraging him. Even though that would TOTALLY wreck my planned days, but it would be worth it. I'm still messing with an itinerary, trying to figure out if we really want to use some EMHs or not. It all really depends on when we can find flights, which I'll save for a future installment of this PTR. We've been considering many different options as of lately, so I'm sure that I'll have another update very soon, within the next couple days. :goodvibes
     
  17. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    pg.2 baby! :cool1:

    Arrival Day??

    So we've been watching airfare constantly through expedia, through DING, Kayak, etc. Everywhere. But it's possible that we could get a few tickets for free using credit card miles. It would also help out DUncle a ton if he didn't have to pay airfare. However, if we did that we'd probably have to fly on Friday. That would mean that we'd

    a) Have to find a hotel for Friday night
    b) Have some time on Saturday morning/afternoon before checking into SSR and heading off to the parks in the evening.

    So I've been exploring lots and lots of options. Right now, we're looking at staying at the Hilton WDW in Downtown Disney because we belong to the Hilton Honors program. They have a package thing there where you can get free DisneyQuest tickets, so that's one possibility. However, I'm not sure DDad and DMom would really appreciate DQ like me and my brother.

    Other plausible options would be:
    -Water Park (Typhoon Lagoon or Aquatica it looks like at this point)
    -Just sit and relax
    -Miniature golf (the courses at WDW look so cool! :thumbsup2)
    -Other theme park (seaworld, busch, etc.), but that might be too expensive and too much for one morning/afternoon.
    -Or even just go to a WDW park because we will be going that evening (Saturday)

    While I love water slides and Blizzard Beach has some really great ones, I think my family would like the nicer lazy river and wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon. I can also see my parents really loving Crush n Gusher and some of the raft slides. Plus Shark Reef looks incredible! Aquatica also looks interesting, but if we don't have a car, I'm not sure if it would be our first choice to get a cab there.

    I don't know, we'll see. Still lots of planning to do!
     
  18. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Arrival day contd.

    It really does look like we'll be staying at the Hilton on Friday night. The problem is, how we are going to get our luggage from the Hilton to SSR. I did just read about "early check-in" at SSR, where we can get our room keys and our dining credits early on Saturday. That will help us for lunch/snacks that day.

    Since we probably won't be renting a car, our choices are:
    a) Grabbing a cab to drive us like 2 min from the Hilton to SSR
    b) Looking hilarious, rolling our suitcases around DTD and the pathway to SSR from DTD :-)lmao::lmao: )

    And then once we get to SSR in the morning, we'll leave our bags there and get our dining credits, etc. I think we're just going to keep it low key that first day. Visit DTD, browse the shops, maybe try to get into the pool even before we check in??

    Then once we check in at 4ish, we'll get everything settled and then head off to the parks probably.

    I'm still trying to figure out which days to do which parks and which to have an "off day", etc. Still checking airfares and my mom's been buried in the Unofficial Guide, reading about dining. We might be looking at one "nice" dinner at a place like Boma on our off day. But nothing set in stone until we confirm our flights.
     
  19. EastYorkDisneyFan

    EastYorkDisneyFan DIS Veteran

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    Just coming in to say that I think it's really cool to read a PTR from a DLR native. One thing I would suggest is that you skip Fantasmic at the studios as it is not very good compared to the DL version.
     
  20. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Thanks for stopping by. Last time I was at WDW in 2007, I was not a very experienced DLR vet. I had seen Fantasmic before (at DLR), but only once I think. We got the Fantasmic dinner package and saw it at WDW. I really enjoyed it there too.

    However, since then I have been to DLR on 6 separate trips and have seen F! on at least 4 or 5 of them, so I definitely have a strong appreciation for DLR's show. This makes me think that WDW's will definitely appear lesser quality if we see it this time. BUT, my cousins and uncle have never seen it even at DLR (although they live like an hour away), so they might be wanting to see it at WDW. Come to think of it, I don't remember the last time DDad has seen the DLR version. So it's still a possibility, and I'll go into it just trying to enjoy myself and not comparing the two shows (because obviousy, DLR's is going to win :rolleyes: )

    Have you seen the new dragon in the Fantasmic at DL? It's actually amazing!! :goodvibes
     
  21. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    Uh oh.

    DMom got an email from DUncle saying that he probably wouldn't be able to pay for the trip. :sad2: We're still trying to work on getting him and his family to go with us. DGrandparents did say that they would do their best to get them to come on the trip if they couldn't afford it. But as of right now, our party of 8 went down to 4. :(
     

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