"What I learned from the DIS" - Spring Break 06 - **5/12 Final Day w/pics, Page 9**

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by nicolemarie, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. nicolemarie

    nicolemarie DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2005
    Well, I admit that I am intimidated to even post on this board. I feel like a high school student who so badly wants to be a part of the in-crowd. Of course this in-crowd is cyber. Consisting of the likes of Vettechick, Mel Happyhaunt, and… Prom King/Quarterback of the football team/Most Popular – ZZUB!! How can I compete? Am I worthy to even post on this board? Much less start a thread? I will heed the advice I always give my daughter – “Who cares what others think?” So, I’ll post this thread for all the DISer’s who helped me plan the most INCREDIBLE vacation I have ever shared with my family – for all of you who are planning your next trip and drinking in all the trip reports you can get. Just for the information. Not necessarily for the entertainment. There. I said it. I’m not gonna care who thinks I’m good – I just hope you get some good tips along the way. Just like I did. And I hope you have the BEST Disney vacation ever – just like I did.


    I love Disney. I never went as a child, but I have been eight times since I was married and seven of those since my DD7 was born. And DS3 has been three times. But we’ve never been at Christmas. So we planned a little jaunt on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and spent three nights at the GF since we had lots of Disney Visa reward dollars. We did just 2 days at MK with a MVMCP thrown in as well. It was wonderful – I discovered the DIS about three weeks before the trip, and learned all kinds of great tips that made my husband think I was 1) A Disney Geek 2) Very good at planning family vacations. He’s Type-A, really anal retentive, and his motto for life is “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.” Blah, blah, blah I usually say – until the DIS. I was a trip-planning fool. I was addicted. I threw out all kinds of impressive facts before and during the trip and DH was truly awed. But what to do when we came home? When the trip was over and I had no reason to DIS? Well, I just DISed anyway. And eventually talked him into going back over our Spring Break. But of course three nights and two park days would not suffice – “There’s SO much to do!!”, I’d say. “Let’s do it right.”

    My DH is a hard worker – he believes in a hard work ethic and does whatever it takes to do everything he does well. I’m very proud of him. But he also likes to play hard. And he likes nice vacations – especially when the place you are going also believes in working hard (all Cast Members) and playing hard (it doesn’t get any more fun than Disney!). So, he too has always wanted to “do Disney right”, but we never have. However, the Lord has been good to us, and this year it was gonna work.

    So I went to DISin’. My kids think I have a full-time job that I do from the computer at home. It’s gotten so bad that I erase my internet history every time I sign off. Don’t say a word…you know you are just as bad. Let’s see a show of hands for all of you who DIS when you should be working!! Remember hard workin’ honey? He don’t like no slackin’ wife. He already thinks my entire life is a vacation. I hear the screams from all you stay-at-home moms. “Being at home with two kids all day is not a vacation!” But only one kid is at home all day. And he’s even gone three mornings a week. So, yeah, I cook and clean a little, but I do have lots of time to spend on the DIS. And spend it I did. I even signed up for Tour Guide Mike (best $20 I’ve spent in a LOOOONG time).

    Next thing you know, we have gone from a 4 or 5 night stay with four 5-day PH’s, to a 7-night stay with an AP for me, and 8-day PH’s for DH and the kids. “But honey, look at the money we save on the hotel room if I get an AP.” Secretly, I know this will secure a trip in less than a year. Who could waste an AP? (We actually stayed for 8 nights, but I’ll get to that later.) So I DIS and I plan. And I TGM and I plan. And I send private messages to DISer’s who seem REALLY informed about certain things. I even begin to post questions. Can we this….? What do you think of that…? I have an itinerary in Excel and more ADR’s than any one family can use in a week. So did the expectations live up to the trip? Yeah, they did. And more. Next installment – DAY ONE 3/25...Are the Resort Pools Really Getting Colder?

    First of many helpful facts from the DIS:

    1.Stormalong Bay is the best pool on Disney property (in many, not all, opinions). We wanted to spend time in the pool this trip, so we chose Yacht Club.

    2.Tour Guide Mike. Say what you want about his site, but I had an entire notebook filled with his tips, best days, ect. And I will go to my grave saying it worked.

    3.California Grill. As with most things DIS, the quality of this experience is hotly debated – but we loved it and went twice.

    4.AKL. We didn’t stay here, but the loyal fans had me curious – we went for breakfast at Boma our departure morning and loved the whole place. We will probably stay there next time.

    5.A crowded day at Disney is better than a good day at home.
  2. My2Cinderellas

    My2Cinderellas DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2005
    you've got me hooked so far... :thumbsup2

    looking forward to reading more! :surfweb:
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  4. pumba


    Dec 28, 1999
    thanks for telling us what you really learned from the dis.......I hope you have an enjoyable vacation.....and yes the pools are warmer then ones up here in Maine..
  5. jamal

    jamal <font color=blue>Nutwing #4<br><font color=deeppin

    Oct 12, 2003
    Oh good. You sound like a kindred spirit. I will lap up your report as I try to wake from my post-Disney stupor and write mine!

    What name could we make for thiose of us who are stay at home (Dis-all-day:) moms? Aaaahhh!! I said it! Not all day, of course. No no. So Dis-a-good-bit-of-the-day moms.

    I'm thinking.... and will post later.

    I love the start of your report!
  6. byoung

    byoung <font color=coral>You are keeping us alive<br><br>

    Jun 22, 2005
    Hooked a lot of us.

    MOMOFMNM DIS Veteran

    May 3, 2005
    Liking it so far!!!!
  8. bozley0621

    bozley0621 Mouseketeer on the edge.

    Mar 20, 2006
  9. Cinerama

    Cinerama Mouseketeer

    Jan 20, 2005
    Sounds great---I'll be looking for more!
  10. horsegirl

    horsegirl <font color=red>I feel blonder than a cocker spani

    Aug 21, 2005
    Thank you for posting your report. It is intimidating, I suppose, but just write it for you. That's how I started too. I loved your beginning and think it is great that you have so much time researching, so we can learn all about your tips. Sounds like you have tons to share. I love your list of the helpful facts. Write on! :thumbsup2
  11. Grammyof2

    Grammyof2 <font color=deeppink>Best Woo Hootier that ever wo

    Oct 27, 2005
    You are off to a great start. Do not be intimidated. Everyone has something to offer. This board does have some wonderful writers. We are high school with wrinkles, but nicer to each other. Can't wait to here more. :thumbsup2
  12. jackdis

    jackdis DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2003
    so far, so good........ :)
  13. nicolemarie

    nicolemarie DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2005
    Thanks to the sweet souls who have posted to this thread – and to those of you who are worried that I am truly trying to be a part of the in-crowd, I might have exaggerated that a bit!! Although I would love to write like the heavy-hitters! But it really is alot of fun to relive the vacation and share my tips. So here goes Day 1.

    Day One - Sat 3/25
    I’ve made my list and checked it twice, none of us are naughty, we’re all pretty nice…so let’s go! We live a short 5 ½ hours from the World and I have demanded that we are on the road by 6:00 AM. No need to waste time sleeping – we have the rest of our lives for that. So, the cooler is packed, the clothes are packed, the car is packed, the three-ring binder with ADR's, itineraries, etc. is packed, but what about the anti-bacterial wipes? Remember anal-retentive DH? Well, he’s also a germophobe (sp?)– but a sweet one. It’s all in the interest of no one getting a bad case of the stomach virus while we are out of town. So every five minutes when we are ever out of town, he has me pulling out the wipes to clean hands. So yes, we have ten packs of wipes and we can pull out of the driveway. WOO HOO!!! We are on the road!!

    You know, I used to care a lot more about what people thought. If we were staying in a nice hotel, I wouldn’t want to look like a cheapskate who couldn’t afford to buy drinks or snacks in the hotel. I would never have packed a cooler and wheeled it on up to the room – that would be too country-come-to-town, the Clampetts, red-neck, just plain embarrassing. When we stayed at the GF, we stayed in the Sugarloaf concierge and had all the drinks and snacks we could eat – if you’re into Goldfish and bad lemonade. So no need to bust out my cooler and LARGE shopping bag full of food. Before all you GF loyals get all up in arms, we loved the GF – and even loved concierge. But you gotta admit the snacks are pretty weak. Anyway, this time I reasoned that there is a fridge in the room. Of course they EXPECT me to bring stuff. And bring it I did – I even stooped to the disgust of purchasing for the kids the cartons of milk that don’t have to be refrigerated. The refillable mug program doesn’t include milk, you know. At least not at the Yacht/Beach Club.

    I am digressing from my original point – which is this. I had packed a cooler full of drinks and snacks just for the ride down so the ONLY stops would be short potty breaks. And of course the multi-generational family tradition of a free cup of OJ at the Florida Welcome Center.

    Traffic was good, weather was perfect, and moods were even better. We arrived at Disney right after lunch. I had my ring binder full of DIS tips and Tour Guide Mike itineraries and we are ready to check in. But first I have to walk the short walk to Epcot to activate my Annual Pass. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now a Disney Passholder. That just flat out makes me happy. Especially considering all the moolah I saved on our room!! So I activate the pass, and then try to pick up the other three PH from this nice gentleman at the window. “Ma’am, what is the confirmation number of the THREE 8 DAY PARKHOPPERS you ordered off the internet and paid a full non-refundable price for?” No, that isn’t really what he said – but he did ask for my confirmation number. Which Miss Proud Disser DID NOT have. “I actually don’t have that with me. It’s back in my bag in the car. Can you pull it up by last name?” “Sure, we can try that.” Long hestitation. Long pause. Lots of key pecking. “What was your name again? I am not finding anything.” At this point I am in somewhat of a panic. Have I just spent $700 non-refundable dollars on tickets that they can not locate without my confirmation number? You make me stick my fingers in to scan them before I can get into the park. You can synchronize fireworks to music. You know how old my children are, how many times we’ve been to Disney, what resorts I have stayed in and when, but you can not look up my name and find my TICKETS? Whatever. No worries, though. I know that confirmation number is in my trusty notebook. I’ll just get the tickets when we check in.

    Meanwhile back at the Yacht Club, DH and the kids wander around Stormalong Bay checking things out. DH sticks his hand in the water. Here it is folks, the moment you have all been waiting for….is the pool warm? Not really. Maybe if you are from the North. Maybe if the air outside was actually warm (it was about 65 degrees that day – and windy). But if you live in Georgia and have a pool that you heat to 85 degrees, Stormalong was NOT warm. So there – I said it. Not warm at all. But not cold – definitely doable. Once you got used to it.

    So I head back to the Yacht Club, hook up with the family, and we proceed to check in. Thanks to the friendly Disney Gator DISer, I know that I can take my time checking in. I can work with them on my room location and meeting my requests. This proves to be true. Disney Gator rocks. The check-in girl actually shows me on a map where my room is and asks if that is OK. I get checked in without a hitch, all four room requests met. The nice girl directs me to the concierge to retrieve my tickets, and I priss on over with my notebook to start the vacation of a lifetime. “Ma’am, do you have your confirmation number?” “Yes, I do.” I pull out the notebook, but not to look too nerdy, conceal all the printed pages with the Tour Guide Mike logo on them. I begin to flip pages. I begin to panic again. I can’t find my confirmation number. I have EVERYTHING else – ADR’s, itineraries, park maps, reviews of all of our entertainments choices – even the Tour Guide Mike tips for getting a high score on Buzz Lightyear!! But the ONE thing that I don’t have is the confirmation number. The nice lady says, and it sounds slightly patronizing to me at this point, “You look very organized. I am sure you have that number. But if you don’t find it, you can go to the ticket window at Epcot and they can look it up by last name.” This would have been comforting had I not just tried that and it failed. So by now, I am really starting to panic. So is DH. He is blinking dollar signs just like on the old cartoons.

    But we head to the room and check it out and it is wonderful. A view of the Boardwalk, the lake and all the beautiful landscaping – a day bed for DS 3 who is awful to sleep with, non-smoking and 4th floor. But where is that confirmation number? One last flip through the notebook and lo and behold – there it is. WHEW!!! Thank you, Lord. DH is beyond relieved and I am too. We unpack and get ready to start our vacation.

    Next Up – Epcot, California Grill and MK until Midnight

    P.S. I promise that I will cover more time in less words on my next report. OK maybe not.

    What I learned from the DIS.

    1.That I had to activate my AP BEFORE checking into the hotel. Although they never asked to see it.
    2.That as a Passholder, I could purchase the DDE card for 20% discounts on most all table service meals.
    3.That I could take my time checking in (at the YC at least) to make sure I felt good about where my room was located. This might not ALWAYS be true, but it was for us.
    4.That my whole family did not need AP’s to get an AP rate on the room.
    5.That the previously never visited Epcot Resort area is hoppin’ with things to do.
  14. SamIAm21

    SamIAm21 Mickey's #1 Fan

    Aug 2, 2005
    Great report... can't wait to hear more!!
  15. jamal

    jamal <font color=blue>Nutwing #4<br><font color=deeppin

    Oct 12, 2003
    Love it! You've given me a great image of an Epcot resort. What day did you check in, if you don't mind me asking? We arrived on the 23rd and it was too cold for me to swim for four days! Then there was the problem of not wanting to put on a bathing suit...

    Love the TGM notes in the binder!
  16. frankenpooh

    frankenpooh Mouseketeer

    Feb 3, 2006
    Wow, you ARE organized! We were at Disney last week, too, and I'm still working on the darn laundry.

    I got Tour Guide Mike, too, and really thought it helped. I had to laugh -- I printed off those pages with the Buzz Lightyear tips, too. Those actually did not help me, but at least DH's score was even worse!

    Now here was a tip I didn't know:

    We love anything free ... maybe next trip!
  17. goofyfan-12

    goofyfan-12 <font color=purple>BL II - Purple Team<br><font co

    Mar 23, 2006
    Great trip report... I was there during that same week so I can't wait to read how your trip went. I too had the TGM binder full of notes. My sister and travelling companion took every opportunity to pick on me about my binder, but started calling it the bible after the first day of no lines...

    Can't wait to read more.. keep it coming...
  18. Katy

    Katy Mouseketeer

    Dec 7, 1999
    Love your report - I've never heard of "tour guide Mike". can you tell me about it? Do you think it's worth it if you're a "disney veteran"?
  19. ZZUB

    ZZUB Roll Tide, Mean It

    May 9, 2003
    I'm really enjoying your report. I appreciate all the details. Also, you sound like the kind of Disney Nerd who I could be friends with. You realize that's a compliment. I'm looking forward to seeing what else happens on your trip.
  20. TLinden16

    TLinden16 Scotty and Ray at Jelly Rolls are the best!

    Dec 20, 2002
    Great start to your trip! Glad you found that confirmation number. I hate it when I can't find something I know is there.

    Thanks for posting.
  21. Mickeefan

    Mickeefan DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 1999
    I want to be like Nicolemarie when I grow up. I'm only wishing I was as organized as you. Oh, I've got itineraries in Excel and Word, but I don't have a 3-ring binder. I'm seeing a trip to the Walmart school supplies section on my way home from work today. (Yes, I'm at work reading trip reports!) :blush: I've only got 152 days to get organized. I had better get busy! :teeth:

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