It's the Most Wonderful Time to Wear Ears! A December 2018 PTR *New 11/9

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by the2ndstar2theright, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
    In honor of the first day of 2018, I thought I would get a head start on this PTR! :D If this is your first visit to my ramblings, HELLO! If you’re a returning reader, WELCOME BACK!
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    I am so very excited to present this PTR for my first ever Christmas trip...

    It's the Most Wonderful Time to Wear Ears! A December 2018 PTR

    I am fully aware that I am still 11 months away from this trip, but, hey, it's never too early to start a PTR!

    A little mood music...


    And now, on with the show!

    Table of Contents
    Introductions

    What We're Thinking
    Changes to Our Itinerary
    Hotel Updates and BREAKING NEWS
    ADRs and Even More Changes
    A Little RL Mixed with PTR
    DOUBLE DIGITS
    Fast Passes!
    Days 0-2

    Days 3-5




     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 11:01 PM
  2. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    Introductions

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    Hi there! My name is Lindsey, and I’m an 18 year old Disney fanatic (aren’t we all, though?). I first traveled to WDW in February 2003…

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    …and I most recently visited WDW for the graduation trip of a lifetime in May/June 2017! You can find the link for that ongoing TR in my signature (or right HERE).

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    I have been to WDW a total of 11 times, making this trip number 12!

    First, a little background. I have always wanted to go to Disney when it was decorated for Christmas. In the past, though, my school calendar made that basically impossible. Now that I’m in college, I get done with school MUCH earlier in December than I did before. And thus, the planning begun! Very little of this trip is concrete, but I’ll share what we’re thinking and give more definitive details as they come.

    Over the last several years, my Disney trips have been just me and my mom. We asked my dad and brother if they wanted to come, but they declined. Crazy, right?:confused3

    This is my mom, Amy.

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    She’s better known as 2Monkeys here on the DIS, and she’s been to WDW way more times than I have. She’s my Disney buddy and my partner-in-crime, and more than half the time I think we’re a real-life Rory and Lorelai Gilmore.
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    Anyways…

    When we first started talking about this trip, we just kind of figured it would be just us again. The boys had shown no interest in going back to WDW in recent years, so why would this time be any different, right?

    Wrong.

    When we told my dad that we were planning a trip for next December, he said, “Can I come?”

    ...of course you can!

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    This is my dad, Allan, on his last trip in October 2014.

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    My dad is the family clown and one of the funniest people I know. When I was younger, we joked that he was Goofy’s long-lost twin. :goofy:He’s much more adventurous than the rest of us where both rides and food are concerned.

    As of right now, I’m really not sure if my brother is coming with us or not, so I figured I would introduce him anyway.

    This is my brother Matthew.
    He’s 16 and has been a good bit taller than me for quite some time.:laughing:

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    He’s the athlete of our family and definitely inherited our dad’s sense of humor. He loved Disney as a kid, but I think now feels like he’s outgrown it.
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    His participation in this upcoming trip is undetermined at best.:confused3

    And just because I love sharing pictures of my puppies…:lovestruc

    This is Pepper. She is a 9 year-old Yorkie Poo and our family’s first furry child.

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    And this is Bailey. She is a 2 year-old Lab mix and a ball full of energy.

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    They tolerate each other…

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    …sometimes.

    That’s us! Now that introductions are out of the way, let’s get on with the planning!

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  4. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    What We're Thinking

    Who: Me, Mom, and Dad…maybe Matthew

    What: A Christmas trip to WDW!

    When: December 8-15, 2018 (subject to change)

    Where: This is the biggest question mark of our trip right now. You see, my mom and I have made it a goal to stay at every Disney resort at some point in our lives. Currently, we have stayed at 4 out of 17 (which doesn’t include the DVC Villas), so, clearly, we have some work to do. I have a giant color-coded spreadsheet with our different resort options.

    Here’s some of the ones we’re considering:

    Art of Animation
    Caribbean Beach

    Any number of combinations for split stays, including...

    Art of Animation and an All Star
    Animal Kingdom Lodge and an All Star
    Art of Animation and Caribbean Beach

    We’ve also considered renting DVC points. These are the studios we’re considering if we go that route:

    Old Key West
    Animal Kingdom Lodge
    Boardwalk
    Bay Lake Tower

    Recently, we’ve also started looking at the Disney Springs Resorts. Disney has announced that the 7 Disney Springs Area Resorts will have EMH privileges in 2018, as well as the 60-day FP+ reservation date. In light of this new information, we have added these resorts to our list of possibilities. We are mostly considering:

    B Resort and Spa
    Double Tree Suites
    Either of the Hiltons

    Does anyone have any experience with longer stays at these resorts? My biggest concern is the transportation to and from the parks.:car: We stayed at the Double Tree this summer, but it was only for one night, and we had our car.:confused3

    As far as tickets go, we’ll definitely have a park hopper this time, which we don’t always do. We’re planning to take on the
    4 Parks in One Day Challenge, so we’ll obviously need a park hopper for that. We’ll probably have a 6-day ticket, but, knowing us, we will more than likely end up adding a day. :thumbsup2

    In my researching process, I found that Disney has offered a Free Dining deal for the last several years that includes the days of our trip. This is definitely an option we’re considering but really have not decided on yet.

    ADRs

    Now, obviously, our ADR date is still a long way away, but we have a tentative list of places we’d like to eat.

    Be Our Guest
    Homecomin’
    Whispering Canyon
    The Wave
    Liberty Tree Tavern

    We’re really trying to branch out and try new places, so BOG is the only one on that list that we’ve tried. We may not actually book all of these, but it’s a starting place. :goodvibes

    That’s really about all the information I have right now. I’m hoping we can start making real decisions semi-soon, and I’ll post updates as soon as I know anything.:flower1:

    Until then,
    Happy New Year to you and yours! See ya real soon! :wave:
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  5. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Following Along! I love the planning process!
     
  6. Newsies

    Newsies Headlines don't sell papes.

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    FOLLOWING!!!

    Like you said, it's never too early to start a PTR because PTRs are just so much fun to write!!! Journaling trip progress and non-related trip stuff alike is seriously half the fun of a Disney trip.

    Yay for introductions and YAY for a family Christmas trip!

    We gotta see the color coded spreadsheet with all the options. I just know everything is going to work out great for you guys, and I seriously hope Free Dining for 2018 follows suit from last year and reaches your dates! Pleeeeease let us know where you end up settling down and your ticket options as soon as you know.

    ADR list looks terrific so far. Can't sing my praises enough about The Wave, ugh that was one of our favorite meals last trip. Mom and dad are crazy about it, they want to go twice this upcoming trip and I'm like chilllllll lol. If you haven't been to Kona Cafe or Grand Floridian Cafe yet, both of those are also great.
     
  7. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:

    The planning is part of the fun!

    :welcome::welcome:

    Absolutely!

    :woohoo::woohoo:

    I'll have to post an update with all my spreadsheet craziness! Free Dining could potentially be really good for us, especially if all four of us end up going--those boys eat a lot! :laughing:

    The Wave is one I've wanted to try for a while, so I hope that actually works out. HA your parents sound like how I am about BOG, so I relate.:rotfl2: Kona Cafe is a long-standing favorite of my mom's, and it will more than likely end up on our list. We've never tried Grand Floridian Cafe, so we'll have to remember that one!
     
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  8. jpmom97

    jpmom97 DIS Veteran

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    Following along, looks like we will be there about the same time :)
     
  9. MrsSaraG

    MrsSaraG Mouseketeer

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    Count me in! I am with you on starting the PTR early! I just started mine a few weeks ago for our trip in Nov 2018. I can't wait to read all about your planning process. It's part of the fun!
     
  10. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    Welcome aboard!

    Hi there! I love that other DISers understand the obsessive planning--it's all part of the experience!
     
  11. 2Monkeys

    2Monkeys DIS Veteran

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    We might end up at Grand Floridian Cafe! I have always wanted to try it!
     
    the2ndstar2theright and Newsies like this.
  12. Newsies

    Newsies Headlines don't sell papes.

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    It's so good. We did went there for breakfast on a whim this past trip and our minds were blown.
     
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  13. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Following along! We will overlap by a day (I'm currently set to do Nov 29-Dec 9), so maybe we'll get a chance to meet up! I'm planning on staying at WL or rent DVC at CCV or BRV (will find out about that in a few days)!
     
  14. Raeven

    Raeven DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :wave2: We should be there the week before you go!
     
  15. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Joining! Yay for having another trip on the horizon :thumbsup2
     
  16. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    Welcome welcome! How exciting--WL is definitely on our Disney Bucket List!

    Hi there!:wave:

    Happy to have you here! :D
     
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  17. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    I'm here and following! I'm excited for you and your trip, especially since your Dad also seems enthused to come!!
     
  18. MiracleCream

    MiracleCream Mouseketeer

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    I definitely recommend the wave! Great food and not as expensive as other restaurant but just as good. Contempo cafe in same resort is really good quick service too! We stayed at CR last June for our first trip and both places were awesome. Happy to be following along!
     
  19. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Glad to have you!

    :welcome: I've heard a lot of really good things about The Wave, but we've never been to Contempo Cafe either. Thanks for reading!
     
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  20. the2ndstar2theright

    the2ndstar2theright DIS Veteran

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    Changes to Our Itinerary

    Hello there, DIS friends!:wave: A lot has happened since my last update. First, I have been going through old Disney pictures and photo albums, and will be sharing some fun throwbacks here throughout this PTR, including gems like this...

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    fullsizeoutput_1268 by the2ndstar2theright, on Flickr

    ...from my first trip in February 2003.

    Then, as far as RL info goes, I started my second semester! I moved back last Saturday and have successfully completed my first week of classes. I’m back at home for the long weekend and, thankfully, didn’t have any trouble with wintry weather.

    In Disney news…well there’s kind of been a lot. Before I left to go back to school, this is what my spreadsheet looked like.

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    (This is a very large spreadsheet because I had calculations for 2,3, and 4 people).

    Then, I got to talking with my mom, and we realized how much less it would be for us to rent DVC points. So we started looking at the different DVC resort options and pretty much got it narrowed down to Old Key West, AKL, and Boardwalk. I showed them all to Dad, who said he didn’t really have an opinion. We determined that if all four of us go, OKW is the way to go, since it’s the only studio with 2 queen beds. If it was only 3 of us, then we’d decide later.

    Well, then I got back to school. And then I checked the academic calendar for next fall, only to discover that finals are a week later this next fall than they were in 2017. Figures.:confused3

    So, I had to redo my spreadsheet with the new dates.

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    Now, this new spreadsheet has the dates as December 14-21, but that’s not set in stone, either. We’re hoping that the exam schedule for December 2018 will come out soon enough that we could potentially go earlier in that week.

    Based on the recommendations for when to book, we will most likely end up renting points for OKW. If we can’t get them, then I think we’ll end up at CBR. With all the construction going on, we’re hoping we could get a really good discount.

    This is the other part of my spreadsheet—the non-resort stuff.

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    That’s really all I have as far as trip things go. So, to close out this post, I have another fun throwback from my brother’s first trip. This was also my cousins’ first trip!

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    September 2004. For those of you that read my TR from my graduation trip, Kelsey is the one on the far left!

    Have a magical weekend everyone!:tink:
     
  21. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    :lovestruc You were adorable!!

    We didn't. :( But we also travelled the week after Christmas, so they knew they'd sell out everywhere I'm sure. Keep your eyes peeled!

    I hope you can rent DVC! That sounds like a great option for you guys!

    Oh my gosh! Could you girls be any cuter!?
     

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