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Old 04-19-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
IowaTater
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Pasta and Potatoes Conquer Orlando - October 2-10, 2013 (Updated 1/31)

What happens when a young-ish couple from St. Louis, MO take a week-long vacation in Orlando?


Well, come along and find out! There's sure to be laughter, tears, action, adventure and probably a bit of drama

First off, a little bit about us.

Me aka Potatoes (or Tater):


I'm 36 years old, born in a small town in Southeast Iowa and transplanted to St. Louis about 12 years ago. My nickname refers to my Irish heritage (50%) and my family (huge as it is) has taught me to be proud of that heritage. I work full time as an administrative assistant at a small manufacturing facility and part time in retail. In what little spare time I have, I enjoy scrapbooking and crafting, reading, and word puzzles. I'm a total foodie and will try almost anything once.

DH aka Pasta:



He's 37 years old, half Italian (hence "Pasta") and was born & raised in St. Louis with his younger brother and sister. He works part time in the electronics department of a retail store. His friends and I sometimes call him Rain Man because he can tell you all kinds of movie and TV trivia at the drop of a hat (we've been known to have conversations of almost nothing but movie quotes). He loves pretty much anything Sci Fi and collects Transformers. He's the picky eater but is slowly starting to break out of his meat-and-french-fries box.

Our Story:



DH and I have been together for almost 9 years, married for 3, no kids for us (yet) and I can honestly say we complete each other. We are one of the love stories created by the internet. However, it wasn't a dating website that brought us together but our love of playing mindless games while we should be doing something more productive We started out as friends and the more we hung out together, the more we realize there was something else there. The rest, they say, is history.


Why We Are Going To The Happiest Place on Earth:

There are lots of reasons.

The first and biggest one is, who doesn't love Disney??? I have only been once and that was back in 1995 for my senior class trip. DH has been a couple of times with his family but the last time for him was back in the 90's as well. We both love the fact that we can be big huge kids without looking completely weird, Halloween is my favorite holiday and October has always been our favorite month. So why not?

The second reason is this past year has been kind of, to put it politely, poopie for us. My grandfather (and last living grandparent) passed away in March of last year, DH's grandmother (and his last living grandparent) passed away in September, his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November and my mother was diagnosed with beginning stages of emphysema in January. On top of that all, we've been facing some infertility issues and I had a cancer scare back in August. So we decided we needed a break from reality for a bit.

The third reason is because DH tries not to break promises to me We had initially talked about going for our honeymoon but life intervened (DH's hours at work got cut and I lost my job) and so what money we had set aside for a honeymoon quickly got depleted. Thanks to our amazing family and friends, we were able to have a honeymoon in Las Vegas. As my DH was dragging me all over The Strip, he promised me that as soon as we had gotten enough money together, we would go to Walt Disney World.

Which brings me to our fourth and final reason. When DH's grandmother passed away, she left us a little bit of money with specific instructions that we were to spend it frivolously. We did a lot of thinking and decided that we wanted to spend it on something that we would have forever instead of a new car or a flat panel TV. And because DH always tries to keep his promises, we are heading to Orlando for a wonderful vacation.

So that's us in a nutshell. Hopefully the intro hasn't completely bored you and you'll stick around for the fun-filled adventure!
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Pasta & Potatoes Conquer Orlando - October 2-10, 2013

First trip: 1995 - stayed off property
2nd trip (3rd anniversary): October 2-10, 2013 - ASMu

No countdown

Last edited by IowaTater; 01-31-2014 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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Table of Contents

Pre-Trip Items

Who Are We?
Where Will We Stay?
What Are We Going To Eat?
What Are We Going To Do?
Hey, Crafty Lady!
Real Life and WDW Update
Real Life Update: Graffiti Run & Cancer-Free
Real Life Update: A Big Fat Italian Wedding and Baseball
Real Life Update: Spamalot
Real Life Update: Blockhead 4 Ever!
Real Life Update: Who Lost The Pickle Recipe?
WDW Update: Free Dining AND An Extra Day???
Real Life Update: Backstreet's Back, Alright!
Food & Wine Plans
Updated ADR, Park Plans, & Crafts
MNSSHP & USO Plans
What's A Few More Plans?
Another Change In Plans & ADRs

Trip Report

Travel Day & MK - October 2, 2013:
Guess What? We're Going To Walt Disney World!

MK - October 3, 2013:
What A Bunch Of Characters!
What A Bunch Of Characters - Part 2
Try The Grey Stuff! It's Delicious!
What A Bunch Of Characters - Part 3

DHS - October 4, 2013:
I Know What We're Going To Do Today!
Til Death Do Us Part
This Better Be Worth It!

Relaxation Day - October 5, 2013
Sink Or Swim

MK & MNSSHP - October 6, 2013
Best.Day.EVER!
You May Get Wet!
We're Late! We're Late! For A Very Important Date!
Dancing & Lots of Treats!
What's A Trip Without A Breakdown (or 2 or 3)?
It's Really Not So Scary

Epcot F&W - October 7, 2013
Try Not To Get kicked Out This Time, Okay? - Part 1
Part 2

Universal Studios - October 8, 2013
Welcome to The Dark Side! We have Butterbeer!
"God help us, we're in the hands of engineers."
Transform and Roll Out!
Thank you! Come Again! - Part 1
Thank you! Come again - Part 2

Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios - October 9, 2013
Adventure is out there! - Part 1
Adventure is out there! - Part 2
Hakuna matata. It means no worries!
You're not thinking of going Turbo, are you?

Downtown Disney & Departure - October 10, 2013
Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company
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Pasta & Potatoes Conquer Orlando - October 2-10, 2013

First trip: 1995 - stayed off property
2nd trip (3rd anniversary): October 2-10, 2013 - ASMu

No countdown

Last edited by IowaTater; 01-31-2014 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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Accommodations

We were looking for a value resort mainly because it's just the two of us and we don't plan on being in the room that much. Plus, I'm not big on hanging around the pool so a big, fancy one wasn't high on our list of priorities.

We originally wanted to stay at Art of Animation in a Little Mermaid room but, as it our typical fashion, we waited too long and all the LM rooms were booked. Because we wanted to be at WDW on our actual anniversary, we didn't want to change our dates so we are now booked for October 3-10 at the All Star Movies resort.

Also booked is a one day ticket to Universal Studios/Island of Adventure, our flights on Southwest and the DDP.

I know there's a lot of opinions on the dining plan but the main reason we chose it is because it gives us one less thing to try to budget for. Budgeting for food is difficult for us because we haven't been to WDW in a VERY long time, DH and I have different eating habits, and I knew we wanted to do at least one character dining experience.


The only things we have left to take care of are our tickets to MNSSHP and the PhotoPass.
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Pasta & Potatoes Conquer Orlando - October 2-10, 2013

First trip: 1995 - stayed off property
2nd trip (3rd anniversary): October 2-10, 2013 - ASMu

No countdown
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #4
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ADR's

I can't believe we are down to a little bit more than 5 months before we leave for WDW!!! I really still seems like a dream to me because we've attempted to take this trip so many times before!

Anywho, we were finally able to make our ADR's and here's what we have lined up:

Oct. 3rd: Hoop De Doo Revue (HDDR) at 6:15 pm

Oct. 4th: Planet Hollywood at 5:45 pm

Oct. 5th: Kona Cafe at 7:30 am

Oct. 6th: 1900 Park Fare @ 8:15 am
Liberty Tree Tavern at 4:00 pm

Oct. 7th: No table service scheduled

Oct. 8th: No table service scheduled

Oct. 9th: Cape May Cafe at 5:45 pm

Oct. 10th: No table service scheduled


Opinions? Suggestions?
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Pasta & Potatoes Conquer Orlando - October 2-10, 2013

First trip: 1995 - stayed off property
2nd trip (3rd anniversary): October 2-10, 2013 - ASMu

No countdown

Last edited by IowaTater; 05-07-2013 at 11:41 AM. Reason: Updated ADR on 10/6
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:58 AM   #5
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Following along! We'll be travelling to DW a couple weeks after you, so I'll follow you and see what I should be doing! So glad you all are getting a chance for a second honeymoon. How fun!

Missouri is my home state, but we have been living in TX for the past 2 years. Texas is great...but we miss Missouri. Looking forward to you showing us the fun! (corny, but only way I could think of to get Show Me in there...)
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:28 AM   #6
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Subbing in as well.

Our dates overlap a little and I'm planning on being at MNSSHP on the 6th as well.
I've booked in to a 5 pm ADR. We're rather quick eaters; so that still gives us time to enjoy the party. It just depends on what you want to do on that night. I don't think we'd queue up to get pictures taken with the dwarves; and I think people start queueing up from 6 pm.

Who knows? We might get lucky and it might not be that busy....
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Joining in!
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:01 AM   #8
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I am here! Finally followed over here from the FB group!!!!! We will be there the same time you will! I think you definitely deserve a trip. Our trip in 2006 was for the same reasons... When my mother passed away that year, she left us a little and told me to take her grandbabies to WDW!

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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I don't think you could get much earlier than 5:10 for your ADR. It should only take youabout an hour to eat there. The party doesn't 'officially' start until 7pm so you should be fine. They will just be getting the 'day' guests out of the park and setting up for the party when you are finished.

I love WDW in October. I love the decorations

Will you be doing any of the F&WF? There are some great seminars and classes that would be fun for a couple. We've done scotch tasting and wine tasting in the past.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:20 AM   #10
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Joining in.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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Update #1

Surprisingly we were able to get a 4:00 pm reservation for Liberty Tree on October 6th. So we'll have a little bit more time for the party. I'm not sure we'll stand in line for the Dwarves but if we happen to go past and the line doesn't look too horrible, we might hop in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunkistJoy View Post
Following along! We'll be travelling to DW a couple weeks after you, so I'll follow you and see what I should be doing! So glad you all are getting a chance for a second honeymoon. How fun!

Missouri is my home state, but we have been living in TX for the past 2 years. Texas is great...but we miss Missouri. Looking forward to you showing us the fun! (corny, but only way I could think of to get Show Me in there...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by happybelle View Post
Joining in!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Joining in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4alymom View Post
I am here! Finally followed over here from the FB group!!!!! We will be there the same time you will! I think you definitely deserve a trip. Our trip in 2006 was for the same reasons... When my mother passed away that year, she left us a little and told me to take her grandbabies to WDW!

Thanks for joining in all! It's nice to have some company

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Subbing in as well.

Our dates overlap a little and I'm planning on being at MNSSHP on the 6th as well.
I've booked in to a 5 pm ADR. We're rather quick eaters; so that still gives us time to enjoy the party.
Are you dining at Liberty Tree as well? We've never eaten there but as soon as DH saw the menu, that's what he requested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneychix View Post
I love WDW in October. I love the decorations

Will you be doing any of the F&WF? There are some great seminars and classes that would be fun for a couple. We've done scotch tasting and wine tasting in the past.
We have dedicated a whole day for F&W and I can't wait! I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the sampling menus, events and concerts
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Pasta & Potatoes Conquer Orlando - October 2-10, 2013

First trip: 1995 - stayed off property
2nd trip (3rd anniversary): October 2-10, 2013 - ASMu

No countdown
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaTater View Post
Are you dining at Liberty Tree as well? We've never eaten there but as soon as DH saw the menu, that's what he requested.
I'm dining at Tony's. LTT is great. I liked the food there.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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Touring Plan

Okay, okay...I'm busted. This isn't so much a "touring plan" as a "these are the parks we're visiting and the things we want to do" plan. We've decided to go outside of my normal box and not plan everything to the very minute and just go with flow a bit.

October 3: Arrival Day

*We have nothing scheduled for this day except our ADR at HDDR. We figure that if we feel up to it, we might hit MK for awhile or do a little "treasure hunting" (which is basically just us hopping from resort to resort )

October 4: Hollywood Studios

*I know, I know. Everyone has told us we should do MK as our first park day but to be real honest, DH and I REALLY like HS. We also have dinner res at Planet Hollywood.

Must Dos

Great Movie Ride
Fantasmic!
Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Muppet Vision 3D
Rock N' Roller Coaster
Star Tours
Tower of Terror
Toy Story Mania

October 5 - No Park

* On this day, after our breakfast res at Kona, we are meeting a friend we haven't seen in about 7 years and exploring The Strip. Plans are to hit up the Titanic exhibit, maybe do a little shopping, hopefully some mini golf, and then catching a dinner show. (See, I told you we were totally going against the norm with this trip!)

October 6 - MK & MNSSHP

*Yet another day where we go against what everyone tells us.

We have our character breakfast at 1900 Park Fare that morning and dinner res at Liberty Tree before heading to MNSSHP. At some point, I would imagine that we will head back to the resort to change into our costumes.

Must Dos

Big Thunder Mountain
Space Ranger Spin
Hall of Presidents
Haunted Mansion
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Jungle Cruise
Winnie The Pooh Adventure
Philharmagic
Pirates of the Caribbean
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Stitch's Great Escape
Under The Sea
Enchanted Tiki Room

October 7 - AK & Epcot

* No ADRs today so we are eating QS and F&W! We will hit AK first and then head to Epcot in the afternoon/evening.

Must Dos (AK)

Expedition Everest
Dinosaur
Kilimanjaro Safari
Wandering through the animal exhibits


October 8 - The Dark Side

* Ah, yes. Our trip wouldn't be complete without exploring "The Dark Side" aka Universal Studios Orlando. We don't have our list of "Must Dos" there yet but I know we are planning on getting there for RD so we can fit the park into one day. No ADRs at WDW this day and after we get back to the resort, we'll probably do some more treasure hunting or lounge by the pool.

October 9 - Epcot, MK & More Treasure Hunting

*This day will be spent hitting up things we haven't had a chance to do yet. Since this is our actual anniversary date, we wanted it to be as easygoing as possible. We do have dinner res at Cape May that evening.

Must Dos (Epcot)

Innoventions
The Seas
Spaceship Earth
Illuminations
Maelstrom
Gran Fiesta
American Adventure

October 10 - Departure Day

*This is the day we had hoped to avoid but unless we win the lottery between now and then, it will come along. Luckily, we were able to get a later flight so we can enjoy WDW for a few hours.

The plan is to enjoy breakfast at our resort, hit DTD for some last minute shopping and, if time allows, more treasure hunting.

Whew! Now that I have typed all of that out, it sounds exhausting! I'm sure it will be fine though. After all, we will be in the happiest place on Earth! And we can always modify as we go along.
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Pasta & Potatoes Conquer Orlando - October 2-10, 2013

First trip: 1995 - stayed off property
2nd trip (3rd anniversary): October 2-10, 2013 - ASMu

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Old 05-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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Nice looking plans and must'do's.

Aside from MNSSHP, we will overlap at the Dark Side as well.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:24 PM   #15
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Talking Enjoying your PTR

Hi! I'm Su-Lynn aka Chunkymonkey! Enjoying your PTR so far. Me, my DH and my sister just booked our trip to WDW for Sept this year. I don't think I have enough time to write a PTR but until I do I'll read everyone else's. We are similar in age and we don't have kids (yet) either. The planning is half the fun and it looks like you have great ADRs and stuff planned. Looking forward to more.
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