Twice As Nice & Double the Fun: an offsite October PTR where “2” is the magic number

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    Hello everyone! [​IMG]

    Glad to have you along on my most recent pre-trip report as we excitedly plan for our next adventure in Orlando [​IMG].

    I struggled a bit with where this PTR would best belong: unlike many people’s vacations, our doesn’t fit nicely into any particular category. It’s not a Disney trip (though there are some Disney components), there’s no Universal involved at all this time (sadly, our AP’s expired in May and it didn’t make financial sense to renew right now), our accommodations are all offsite, and our planned attractions run the gamut from the major parks to small museums. Our dining plans, too, are all over the board (though 90% are off-property)… with that kind of variety, this forum truly does seem like the best place for this thread. Hopefully the moderators will agree ::yes::.

    This vacation will take place from October 13th to 28th and has evolved (quite unintentionally) into a manifestation of the number
    [​IMG] :

    There are two of us travelling.

    Our trip is for two weeks.

    We will be staying at two different resorts.

    We have made reservations for two separate visits to Discovery Cove.

    We will be attending two Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween parties.

    We have booked two different dinner shows (neither of which we have been to before!).

    We will spend two days at Aquatica (and have rented two cabanas, one for each water park day).

    We plan to visit SeaWorld on two different days.

    We have secured two ADR’s for two different Disney dinners.

    We have scheduled in two resort days… at each property…..where we plan to do nothin’ but relax [​IMG].

    Of course, there are a sprinkling of other single events and attractions on the official itinerary, but for the most part, the plans call for us seeing double [​IMG]. After all, the only thing better than a fun and exciting experience is being able to repeat it a second time, right?

    Those of you who have read any of my past trip reports and PTR’s (several of which are featured as links in my signature….feel free to check ‘em out if you are interested) will be very familiar with me and my two guys. Probably definite oddballs on these forums, we are not so much Disney lovers as we are Orlando Superfans [​IMG] . In fact, Disney usually plays a very small part (and sometimes, no part) in our overall trip plans……so that, in itself, makes us an anomaly here on the boards. The City Beautiful is packed with so much awesome stuff to do, we can’t bear to box ourselves into visiting just one park family exclusively. We book a rental car for each trip, we commit to doing something new on every vacation, and we keep adding to our Orlando Bucket List as new attractions and restaurants are opened.

    Honestly, we would have thought that philosophy would have become harder to maintain as the years ticked by and our travels to central Florida became more frequent, but here we are planning Orlando Trip #11 and the new experiences are still so easy to come by. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons that Orlando has become our absolute favourite vacation destination: there is never a shortage of fun, sun and new adventures.

    As I mentioned above, our cast of characters for this trip is pretty darn small: just me and my Big Steve:


    We are very blessed to be the parents of a great young man who shares our adoration for Orlando and still enjoys travelling with his old Ma & Pa.


    This time, however, it’s just going to be the two of us: Jake graduated from college last month and has just recently landed a new position in a field which speaks to the passion of his heart. As an Outcomes Support Facilitator for a local non-profit organization, he works with special needs adults to provide support and services to help them reach their full potential. He also continues to work in both the youth department and as a camp counsellor for young people with exceptionalities at our local YMCA, and he provides in-home respite care on an ongoing basis for a local family with two special needs young adults.

    With his new adult life (and all the responsibilities that go with it) unfolding before him, Jake will take a pass on our October vacation. He has only one request: to be brought home something nice from the Nike Clearance Store. I think we will be able to find him something to make him smile ;).

    As for Steve and I …. we are looking forward to a couples trip after two back-to-back family vacations. I hope that doesn’t make us sound selfish: we love our boy and we have a blast travelling with him, too. That said, as Jake slid effortlessly from the teen years to adulthood, Steve and I have chosen to embrace our new stage of life versus lament the fact that Jake’s childhood has passed. Steve and I are completely different people yet still wonderfully compatible, and we truly enjoy being together. We are more than just spouses and parents, we are best friends and we loved our adult-only getaways in May and October 2015. Neither Steve nor I need to have a kid along in order to embrace our own inner child, and we feel no obligation to have a “grown up” vacation (though it is in many ways). Trick-or-Treating at the Magic Kingdom? Absolutely! Just because we’re travelling without children in tow it doesn’t mean we still can’t have fun.


    So…..with that long and drawn-out preamble (is anyone is still awake?), I declare this PTR officially underway! [​IMG] The countdown begins….

    101 days to go. :hourglass
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  2. juniorbugman

    juniorbugman <font color=blue>New car vs another cruise?? THAT

    Aug 22, 2001
    Yea the PTR has started. Judy:flower1:
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  4. Disneylover99

    Disneylover99 DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    :wave2: Hi Gina,

    I rarely post, but I'm always in the shadows lurking along. :)
    Going to two Halloween parties sounds like so much fun! :woohoo:
  5. dancin Disney style

    dancin Disney style <font color=blue>I found one to share with some fa

    Apr 18, 2005
    Dang it.....I'm third!
    pigletto likes this.
  6. mmdis

    mmdis Earning My Ears

    Jun 2, 2012
    Great title!!! Can't wait to keep up on all your new adventures.
  7. tortilla24

    tortilla24 Mouseketeer

    Feb 22, 2016
    I'm hooked on your reports!
  8. JaxDad

    JaxDad DIS Veteran

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hi Gina! I'll be following along, looking forward to the details of your next big trip! Maybe we can even meet up this time?????:)
  9. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

    Feb 28, 2005
    Yay for PTRs! Hopefully I'll be able to meet you in Oct :)
  10. dmetcalfrn

    dmetcalfrn Mouseketeer

    Jun 18, 2012
    Following! We will be at Seaworld 10/15 and MNSSHP 10/16 before we depart on the Disney Dream 10/17.
  11. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

    Sep 15, 2015
    Your trip is right between our next two trips! Right now we're at 74 & 158 days.

    Love pirate costumes in your the Mnsshp photo :thumbsup2

    Even though we do a lot of stuff in the parks we did do some other stuff last year, and there is no shortage of things to do in Orlando. That's what I tell people when they ask why we keep going back.
  12. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2007
    Ack.. I better have made first page!!!
    Let's get planning Gina!! October is on it's way:sunny:!

    ETA .. after making sure my response was on the first page, I then went back and actually read your intro and have more to add.:rolleyes: By the way.. apparently I've turned into a six year old with my need to be first lol.

    Anyway, your plans sound fabulous as usual! You are way ahead of me. Right now we have our suite at Cabana Bay booked and dd and dh plan to do a night at Halloween Horror Nights. I am pretty certain I will be staying back with ds12 and we will do something else fun (dinner and a movie maybe, swimming and mini golf.. not sure yet.) I wasn't thrilled at the idea of HHN ,though I was willing to go along to be a good sport. DD19 and DH are both really excited. And there was no way ds12 was going. So it makes more sense logistically and financially for the two chickens to make their own fun and dd and dh can take what we would have spent on me and put it towards HHN express passes. I'm not bummed at all to be missing it and it will be better for everyone. DS also felt too old for a kids club and I didn't want to leave him alone in the room so this works out better for all.

    Those are our only concrete plans. I'm jealous of your two weeks! This will be our shortest trip ever from a Saturday to a Saturday but the price was right for the package :).I am definitely mulling over the idea of an Aquatica day with or without a Cabana rental and we have some new to us meals planned.. O'Charleys (got a certificate) and Hash House a Go Go (Travelzoo deal that we both grabbed). I also absolutely MUST try the new city walk restaurant if it's open and we can get in! Do you guys plan to go there?

    Ok.. I'm yammering on now. I'm excited that the planning is underway for both of us and the countdown is on! We are at 117 days!
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
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  13. Mrs Doubtfire

    Mrs Doubtfire DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2006
    :cheer2:Great introduction Gina, joining in the fun :cheer2:
  14. Ritchielace

    Ritchielace CutieBear

    Feb 12, 2015
    Yippie new PTR already started. Can't wait to read all the details and plans as they come! Sounds like you already have a lot of it booked out.
  15. ArwenMarie

    ArwenMarie DIS Veteran

    Apr 10, 2013
    Yay! A new PTR!

    I'm so impressed with the work Jake does. i bet he is very good at it too, his clients must love him.

    Our next trip is our 11th trip too!
  16. Lynne G

    Lynne G DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2009
    A wahoo for the start. Hopefully not a terrible 2 time. ::yes:: only kidding. :rotfl:My DS was more of a terror at 2 than the DD. Thankfully, now I only have teen terror.

  17. Gr8t Fan

    Gr8t Fan DIS Veteran

    Jul 7, 2009
    Checking in. Love, love, love your trip reports, Gina.
  18. J'aime Paris

    J'aime Paris Living happily ever after

    Mar 7, 2008
    Will be eagerly following along! I really enjoy your writing/storytelling style!!
  19. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    :welcome: Judy! Thanks for migrating over to this newest PTR!

    Hello, my fellow Canuck! [​IMG] Don't be shy, feel free to post whenever you have a comment to share. It's much more fun than lurking ;).

    We are very excited to be doing two MNSSHP's again this year. We went to two parties in 2015, and it was so fun: not feeling like we had to cram everything into one night really allowed us to slow down and truly enjoy all the party components without having to rush. There is so many awesome things to do at the parties, its virtually impossible to squeeze it all into one night anyway ::yes::. Even with TWO parties last October, we still missed some of the highlights.

    Third to post, but still first in my heart :flower3:.

    LOL......or top 10, at least :p.

    Thank you! So glad to have you here and joining in! :goodvibes

    Aw, thanks! :blush: Welcome aboard.

    Um, heck yeah! :thumbsup2 I am totally up for a Dismeet :banana:. I will try to get our itinerary up in the next post, so you can see what we have scheduled so far.

    That would be fabulous!! Even cooler if we can coordinate with JaxDad and any other October travelers.....we can have our own little mini Dismeet! :teeth:

    We will be at MNSSHP the same night :). If you happen to see us, absolutely don't hesitate to say hello! We might be dressed as pirates.....or maybe not. A second set of costumes is currently being discussed: we may dress as pirates for one party and something new and different for the second.

    I think I need to start giving some thought to our next, NEXT trip :scratchin. Spring 2017 is calling my name. I love having two trips in the planning stages. It's a sickness, but a good one!

    We try to set a good balance between park time and non-park attractions: hopefully we manage to enjoy the best of both worlds on each vacation. I think many folks are truly surprised at how much there is to do in Central Florida that has nothing to do with theme parks. Many people equate Orlando with Disney and have no idea of all the other awesome things to do.

    Your DH and DD will have a great time at Halloween Horror Nights......but I don't blame you and your DS for taking a pass when he's so young. It's scary: probably moreso than most people expect. We priced it out for our trip, but two admissions + an RIP tour for two + the Scareactor Dining Experience would have been $800 with tax :scared:. Much as we had an incredible time at HHN last year, we just can't justify that cost.

    Have you considered Blue Man Group for your and your DS? Hollywood Drive In Golf is also a fabulous activity choice!

    I don't think we will get to Toothsome Chocolate Factory on this trip (especially when we will have to pay for parking now that our AP's are expired), but never know. The plans keep evolving and I keep making "adjustments" (I feel like I need an AA-style support group: "Hello, my name is Gina and I am a compulsive Itinerary Changer") so its quite possible, if they announce an opening date that jives with our trip, that I tweak things enough to accommodate that. I am almost hoping it doesn't open until after the 28th of the month......then I don't have to make the agonizing "to visit or not to visit?" decision :rotfl:.

    :welcome:, my friend! It wouldn't be the same without you here!!

    We have a TON of stuff booked and paid for. Another one of my compulsions (or perhaps "manias" is a better word? :rolleyes1) is having virtually everything reserved and all related costs covered long before we travel. It may sound weird, but it makes me enjoy our trips more (and allows me to be excited in the weeks before our travel date rather than stressed out). It also means we can travel with minimal cash (which feels so much safer) and eliminates the question of what the exchange rate might be when our trip rolls around.

    Or, I'm just rationalizing my craziness and its all just a manifestation of my travel OCD. Yup, that might be it too!! :lmao:

    Working with special needs adults has been his ultimate goal, and he was so excited to be given that opportunity so early in his career. He enjoyed working with the young men in the group home, but this was where he truly wanted to be. I was so happy for him when he was selected for an interview and hired on the spot!

    So you are on trip #11 as well? How cool is that! What are your dates? And are you doing Disney or Universal? (or a combo of both?)

    Oh heavens, we will not even consider the "terrible twos" association :rolleyes: ... nor will we allow "Double Trouble" to factor in LOL. Only happy thoughts and positive vibes allowed pixiedust:.

    Are you sure you don't want to extend your October adventures by a few days? It sure would be cool to have the chance to meet you in person, too.

    Thank you so much!! I am so glad to have you along. You guys are such a great group to spend time with! :goodvibes
  20. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    Thank you J'aime Paris :goodvibes. That is so kind of you to say.

    :welcome: to this newest thread.....I am glad you have come over to join in the chatter!
  21. dalmatian7

    dalmatian7 Mouseketeer

    Dec 27, 2008
    Subbing and can't wait for more details. Still nothing firm for us for this fall, so I am studying your choices and making lists of potential activities for us.

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