PTR - Go with the flow vs. overplanning. Can't we all just get along?
Hello, and welcome to my first ever attempt at a pre trip report! We are headed to Disney this October and I couldn't be more excited. It's the first time for many of us, so we can't wait.
First things first, the cast of this adventure:
Me (ElisaBethe) and my DH (Chris)
I am a serious overplanner. It's is now 3 months in and I have had my toiletries packed for a good while. I know what I am eating at each park. Not just where, but what. Meanwhile, Chris is a real go with the flow type of guy. He thinks vacations are meant to be relaxing and we should do what feels right. :lmao: He married the wrong woman for that. This is my fourth trip and his second. We have not been since 2008 when we got engaged on the ferry back to our hotel after he chickened out during Wishes. He likes Disney ok, he really likes Universal Studios more, but we are skipping that this trip. I am banned from talking about Disney until one week before our trip, something about divorce if he hears the D word one more time :scratchin so I use these boards for all my planning.
Enough about us! We have two kiddos, Cooper (3) and Anya (8 mos.)
Too bad for Anya, she will not be going on this trip. I agonized back and forth, and have decided that Anya has to sit this one out. Don't worry, I will be sure to bring my princess some Minnie ears. princess: So while Anya gets loved on by her Grandma, I will be taking another child, my niece, Bella. Bella is my sister's child, and my sister has decided that she won't be going. My other niece, Juliet has sensory issues and other health concerns, and my sister has decided that she doesn't like to leave Juli for long periods of time. So Bella will come a long to be Cooper's buddy.
It's not just this clan going along. We've got some friends coming with us. My friends Andrea and Juan are coming, sorry no pictures of them. They are bringing their handsome little guy, Gabe. He will be 2 1/2 at the time of the trip.
Andrea and Juan are also go with the flow types, and have basically left all of the planning up to me. Andrea has not threatened a friendship termination, but she has definitely made it clear I need to shut up about Disney! So all of my planning will be in silence until we get there.
What we've got going so far
We will be driving to Florida from the Houston area. From what I can see it's in between a 13 and 15 hour drive. On the way there, we plan to stop off in Pensacola. Now, even though I am a serial planner, I have not decided if we will leave Saturday or Sunday. (Check into Orlando hotel on Monday.) I just can't get excited about this leg of the trip, as it is not Disney. We are both off of work so we can leave whenever we want. Andrea's work schedule is different than ours, so she has to leave Sunday. She is driving and meeting us at the hotel. We are not staying on Disney property. We are staying at a Disney good neighbor hotel, the Radisson Celebration Resort. I stayed here last time, and I LOVE this hotel. Free transportation to the parks, the buses have a good schedule going, and the hotel pool is amazing. Plus kids eat free at the hotel breakfast and dinner buffet. No, we don't get EMH or dining plan, but we will be ok.
This is just a stock photo, I don't really feel like going to drag out my old photo album from four years ago and scan in a vacation photo.
As far as plans go, yep, I have every day mapped out.
Monday: Check into hotel, go to DTD in the evening. I love nighttime there. Shopping, and Earl of Sandwich, yum! I tried to get ADR to T-Rex, but they were out. It was a good thing too, because I tried to take Coop to our local Rainforest Cafe and he freaked out in terror, so I can't imagine he would do good there.
Tuesday: First park day. Animal Kingdom. Now I know this sounds crazy. First park day should be Magic Kingdom with three small children and two first time adults. However, Wishes is only on M,W,F that week, and we are not doing hoppers, so we chose MK for Wednesday. AK is smaller, and I already know what attractions we will and will not want to do. Since AK is smaller and closes early, we plan to go to the boardwalk that evening and eat at Kouzzina. Now, I have never been to a Disney resort and know NOTHING about the process if you are not a Disney guest so I am a little nervous. I've read enough trip reports to know that we basically just have to go valet our car and then we can eat there (love Greek food!) and then explore the boardwalk. I've read that you can see illuminations from the beach by the boardwalk but I don't know if there are certain Disney guest only places there. I guess we will see.
Wednesday: Magic Kingdom. Again, I have a list of must dos, maybes, and skip. I have never spent more than a 1/2 day at MK and always got through what I wanted. I know it will different with kids. I have never rode Dumbo or Peter Pan, in fact, I'm not sure if I've ever gone to Fantasyland. It doesn't matter anyway, because it's all new! Cooper is very excited to see Mickey and Bella is very excited to see the princesses and fairies. We plan to stay 1/2 day, eat at Columbia Harbor House, and then go back to the hotel, and return that evening for Wishes. I've never eaten anything there except Cosmic Ray's (what is it about Space Mountain that makes me hungry?) so I'm excited to try something else.
Thursday: Disney Hollywood Studios. Call me crazy, but I have no interest in Toy Story Mania. I don't really want to run through the park to get the chance to play an arcade game. :confused3 I've talked with Chris, Andrea, and Juan and they don't care either. This is going to be a big rider swap day, as we both love Rockin Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror. Cooper loves Phineas and Ferb so I'm glad we get to see them. All 3 kids love Disney Jr. so seeing that show is a must.
Friday: Either Epcot or MK again. I LOVE Epcot. It's my favorite park, and Maelstrom is my favorite ride. Chris hates Epcot. He calls Soarin' "borin." He hates World Showcase, and the only redeeming thing to him is Test Track, which will be closed when we go. So I told him that if we don't get our fill of MK, we will just return on Friday. (I'm hoping we get our fill.) Another option is for Andrea and I to take the kids to Epcot, and Chris and Juan head off to the park of their choice.
Phew! I've got many more plans and questions, but it's time for Anya to wake up from her nap, so I will continue on another day.
The stroller conundrum
Had a great night out last night with Andrea, we went on a 3 hour dinner cruise. And of course all I could think was hmm.... Wishes cruise, Illuminations cruise.... yeah I'm a little obsessed. But I managed to keep my Disney talk to a minimum. It didn't help when she gave me these cute sneakers for my Coop.
Well I am getting so excited about our vacation. I am currently researching our stroller situation. I have a Graco Quatro tour double stroller, which is great for Cooper and Anya locally, but it's very heavy. I just can't decide if I want to lug that thing on and off a bus to get to the parks, or if I want to rent a more lightweight double stroller. Or if I want to bring one stroller for each kid. Luckily, my mom agreed to let me borrow her Xterra, so it's more roomy than my Cobalt. So we have stroller room and racks to strap things to the car if need be. I was actually starting to hate my stroller since it's so heavy, and I considered trying to sell it. But I figured once the weather gets cooler I will probably want to take both kids out to the zoo or something so might as well keep it.
On a sad, (but kind of happy note) I broke my camera yesterday. It wasn't much, just a Samsung point and shoot, but while we were on the boat it dropped right out of my hand. The touchscreen cracked and now it won't do anything except turn on. I looked into repairing it, and from what I can see online, I can buy a camera cheaper. So it's kind of happy, because I get to shop. :rotfl:
Oh well, back to work and maybe a little camera research.
Joining in :thumbsup2
I think you're wise to let Anya stay with grandma. I say this as someone whose kids are all going to have first done Disney as teenagers. :rotfl2: Seriously, though, I think it's great that you can take Bella, and that it makes more sense to take Bella and Cooper this time. That way everyone, including Anya, will have a more relaxed time. :)
And if Cooper is anything like my boys, he'll love playing "big brother who has already experienced this" for Anya next time. :goodvibes
Trip is (unofficially) paid for
I felt so happy today, as I purchased my last Disney gift card sets. I have paid for my hotel room, bought our tickets, and purchased a good amount of Disney gift cards. Today as I purchased the last one, I felt so happy! I've got a set amount in savings for outside the park food (mostly road trip), I've got another set amount for gas (assuming prices don't skyrocket.) All I have to decide now are the road trip hotels, pay for those, and I'm finished. Aaaaah, relaxation. As soon as I pay for those other hotels, I can get Christmas knocked out, that way after my vacation (and Anya's birthday two weeks later) I can just relax this holiday season.
That's what I'm hoping. :)
Things I would say if I wanted a divorce
Since I've mentioned that DH Chris put a zip it on talking about Disney until right before our trip, I've managed to bite my tongue. And now I think he may have a teeny point. :scratchin So without further ado, here is a small list of things that I have almost said, but not quite in the last two days.
DH: Do you want to go to the waterpark on Saturday?
Imaginary Me: I wonder if I should add the waterpark and more option, just in case we decide to stay one more day.
DH: I think I'm going to start freezing water for my lunches so it's still cold.
IM: I think we are bringing two cases of water frozen in a cooler.
DH: Let's go ahead and renew onstar, I miss it in my truck.
IM: Let's do an upgrade in my car to directions and connections so onstar can pick us a good route to take and we never have to print a map in Florida. (btw, we are not taking my car, don't even know why I thought that.)
DH: Is your ear still hurting?
IM: Oh no! What if my ear hurts at Disney????
:rotfl2: I'm glad I have these disboards to talk about disney on so I don't end up in divorce court!
Finally have something to update about my trip, woo hoo! We have finally planned a route to and from Disney! We will be leaving one day before our Orlando stay, EARLY in the morning, like 5 am early :scared1: and driving to Pensacola. I've got some things planned. We're going to stop for breakfast about an hour or two in, hopefully at a McDonalds or somewhere with a playground. Then I'm bringing a mini cooler with packed lunches. We're going to hope to find a rest stop about the time we are starving, but if not we will use my handy dandy phone to find a nearby playground. Even if we have to invade someone's neighborhood. Our hopes and dreams are to make it to Pensacola by 3, where we will stay at the fancy schmancy (ok not so much) America's best value inn. Hey, we need our money for DISNEY, not Pensacola!
On our sad drive back we plan to do similar things minus the packed lunch and stay in Robertson, Al. (Exact halfway point.) I don't have a hotel there yet but honestly we will be travel weary at that point and probably willing to sleep in a hollowed out tree. :rotfl2:
Well I realized today that this late in the game I may be throwing in a sub. A substitute child that is. Let's rewind to September 2008. My sister announced her first pregnancy. About 5 seconds later I was mentally planning to take my niece or nephew to Disney. :rotfl2: Imagine my joy when I found out around Thanksgiving that I was pregnant too. ZOMG! Cousins at Disney! Then imagine my happiness a year later when my best friend announced she was pregnant and of course our kids would be best friends and of course we would all go to Disney together.
Well time went on, we always knew our trip would be in October 2012. My sister had another baby, the more the merrier. I had another baby, I was unsure if she would be joining us. My sister's husband left her with a toddler and a newborn. :mad: Fine, she can still come along, my treat. Her baby got diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, and it became obvious she wouldn't make it to Disney. My sister decided she would stay home and care for her baby. (Sane plan, very sound.) Fine, I would still take Bella, who loves the princesses (esp. Repunzel) and talks Disney non stop. First thing when she gets to my house is "Lisbeth I wanna watch Disneyworld." (The planning dvd.) Well I realized last week that Bella hadn't slept over in a while and I invited her over. That's when the drama started. She screamed, cried for her mom, and I finally drove her home around 11 pm. I realized that I can't take her out of state for a week if she won't sleep over. :worried:
So I started having talks with her about what Disneyworld is and where she will sleep and all that. So she doesn't want to go now. I understand that she is 3, but she keeps telling me she is not going to go and asking me to bring Disneyworld to her house. I told her that I can't, that she will be safe and sound but it's a no go. Tonight I was going to bring her over for a sleepover but she wouldn't budge from her own house. So unless there is a major miracle, Bella will be benched and Anya will be subbed in.
Here are the issues with that: My sister and my mother are telling me I'm crazy not to take Bella. They both think that when she gets there she will be ok because she won't have a choice. They are urging me to take her to sleep over in a hotel in our town that my aunt works at so she can see what it's like. DH is telling me he doesn't want to take Anya because she's too little, doesn't do well in the car, has asthma, and is squirmy and wormy. However, my mom is telling me that she cannot handle watching my baby if Bella is there too. (she is just being petty on this, because Anya goes to daycare and Bella and Juli's mom is there in the evenings.) So what fun. :rolleyes2 Two months old and I don't even know who is coming with me.
Three year olds don't get "don't have a choice." Notice that Bella's trying to get you to bring Disneyworld to her; not the act of someone who understands the whole "don't have a choice" mentality. ;)
It may be that Bella gets comfy with the idea, but consider the fact that she's got all kinda weirdness going on in her life -- I don't know how the time frame breaks down, but new sibling and health issues with the sibling and dad leaving is a lot of stuff for a little one to cope with. :sad1: A trip without mom may just be more than she can handle right now. No way to say for sure, but I suspect your mom and sister may be living in fantasyland -- but not the Disney kind -- with their conviction that everything will work out if you just haul her off.
Your plans sound great. We're road tripping from Colorado. It's a 24 hour drive that we're breaking up into three days. Should be fun with a 6 and 2 year old. :rotfl2: Actually it shouldn't be bad with our DVD player, snacks, prizes for good behavior and as many stops at outside playgrounds and McDonald playgrounds. Thanks god for gps's to help us find said playgrounds!:woohoo:
FYI... My daughter was terrified of rainforest cafe for the longest time. When we took her to trex she had no problem with it after we sat dwn. I'm pretty sure it's because it doesn't have thunder storms and loud monkeys. :lmao: if you want reservations after all I would call them, that's what I had to do.
You have some cute kiddos and I'm looking forward to reading more! Enjoy your planning!
Wow, amazing what a minute can do. Or several minutes. So much of my plans have changed. I never posted a word, but kept practicing with Bella, and now she isn't afraid to sleep anywhere, and a big part of that is my wonderful mother in law! Bella's paternal grandmother is out of the picture, so my mother in law has "adopted" my nieces and she is more than happy to be their granny as well.
My mother in law works very hard caring for her own parents. Her father has alzeimers and is in a nursing home, and her mother can barely walk and is early onset alzeimers as well. So my mother in law moved in to care for her mother, despite her own health problems. (She has a few issues, but the main issue is her feet. She has completely flat feet, that have bothered her over time, but basically the bone is so weak now that any extended walking hurts very bad. She can fix it through surgery, but that is not an option right now.)
Well the point is, she figured Bella might need more of a mother/grandma figure, so she invited her to sleep over. And it worked like a charm! Bella climbed right into bed with her, and didn't even put up a fight brushing her teeth. Bella has slept over at my mother in law's house, and even went on a short weekend trip with all of us, just to the local boardwalk and overnight in a hotel, with no issues. As long as granny puts her to bed, she will sleep with me no problem.
So I got to thinking... I have this extra hotel room. My mother in law needs a break. Why don't I invite her along? And she accepted! She couldn't be more excited, just talks about Disney nonstop. She even got her husband (step father in law) to agree to go, and he doesn't take off work for anything. We think that Bella will be ok as long as granny is there, and Cooper is over the moon that she is going!
That brings us to Andrea. How awkward that I invited my mother in law without even asking her? I felt awful,but she was fine. She understands that although we will all be together, we don't have to be together all the time. She likes my inlaws, and so I don't have to worry about that.
My newest thing is that because of my mother in law's (Susan's) feet, she will be renting an ECV from a local company. We are all new to the disabled thing, so I've been lurking the DISabilities boards, trying to figure out how it works. She is fine to stand in lines, fine to walk about 20 minutes at a time, but really wants to take it easy. So we've been trying to learn the ECV system to make it as easy as possible without going through handicap lines or anything like that, because she is not disabled. She is a bit heavyset, and she is really worried that people will see her get off her scooter to wait in a line and then make fun of her "fat cart." (She rode one once in the grocery store and a lady called it that.)
Well that's a long and rambling rant, but I'm so excited, things are working out. Up next - some pics of our new group!
The hubby and I
Andrea and I (for the life of me cannot find any pics of her husband, Juan, who is coming with us)
Their adorable son Gabe (in green) with my adorable son Cooper (in blue)
My gorgeous little dizzybells
My mother in law, Susan (also cannot find a single pic of my stepfather in law)
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