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Old 07-23-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
TikiGoddess07
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 162

Our Grand Prize Trip Report!

Our Grand Prize Trip to the World, August 2009

Cast of characters:
TikiG, 36 -- huge WDW fan, podcast fan, and winner of trip
DH, 41 -- ex-CM who really needs a long vacation
DD6 – the sweet one in the family. My tomboy.
DD4 – the spark in the family. My girly-girl.

Supporting characters:
DBIL and DSIL, DH’s brother and sister-in-law
DN16, DN12, and DNiece5, their kids
DBIL#2, DH’s bachelor brother
Grandma, DH’s mom
Lou Mongello, podcast host

This trip has a LONG story behind it. If you’re interested in all the details, check out my homepage, where I also have some of the planning details posted. Here’s the short story:

Back in July 2008, I entered a contest sponsored by one of the unofficial Disney World podcasts. And after many weeks of challenges, interviews, and voting, I was declared the winner of the grand prize! It still makes me smile when I think about it. What a wonderful blessing that came into our lives.

The grand prize consists of:
* 5 nights at a deluxe resort – concierge level
* 6 day Park Hopper tickets (for 4)
* Dining Plan (for 4)
* Gift card to cover airfare expenses
* Dinner with contest host
* Round trip ground transfers to/from airport
* Surprises and ‘pluses’ TBA
* Digital camera, ipod, and trivia books

We will be spending a glorious seven nights at the Wilderness Lodge – yes, seven, as we had the prize extended from 5 to 7 nights when the buy 4/get 3 promotion came out. We also added two nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge following our Wilderness Lodge stay. So we have 10 day park hoppers, seven days of dining, and a trip that we have only ever dreamed about.

What follows is the basic plan. We’ve only planned dining and some special events. A 10 day trip (the longest we’ve ever taken before was 3 nights) begs for some spontaneity. Maybe we’ll just hop on the first bus that comes in the morning…

Thursday, Aug 6th to Sunday, August 9th: We’ll be visiting with family in Tampa. Plans include going to the Lowry Park Zoo, swimming in the pool, and going to Indian Rocks beach. And going to Rita’s for Italian Ice and custard every day.

Monday, Aug 10th: We’ll be driving to Orlando early (we’ll be up at 5am… and hoping we pass a Dunkin’ Donuts on the way...) and checking into the concierge level at the Wilderness Lodge! Off to Epcot for our first day. Since it is August, we’ll be taking an afternoon break each day to go back to the hotel and rest. Then we’ll head back to a park in the evening for a few hours before going to bed.
Prediction: DH will have to remind me (AKA the park commando) at least 5 times that we are not in a rush to get anywhere. (To my credit, we usually only spend 2 days in the parks on our regular trips. You have to use time effectively!)

Tuesday, Aug 11th: Another early morning – 7:05am ADR at Chef Mickey’s (this was DH’s idea… he’s the morning person… but thankfully I can turn into a morning person if it involves 1) Disney and 2) a full breakfast). Off to Magic Kingdom for EMH at 8am and our first glimpse of the castle!
Prediction: 1st time riding Buzz Lightyear DH will beat me soundly.

Our travel agents have planned a private photo shoot in the rose garden by the castle, in the evening after dinner. We’ll receive a proof book and some photos of the experience. What a treat!

Wednesday, Aug 12th: EMH morning at Animal Kingdom with DH’s extended family.
Prediction: We will not leave the park without at least one dinosaur themed item, as my DD6’s favorite thing in the world is dinosaurs. And I will gladly add to her collection.

In the evening DBIL is going to watch the kids for us so we can go and have dinner at Tokyo Dining with Lou Mongello – part of the prize. Sushi (YUM) and good company. And after dinner we’ll stroll to France, get some dessert (or Grand Marnier Slushes…), and watch Illuminations. Maybe we’ll hit Jellyroll’s too.
Prediction: Thursday morning will come too soon.

Thursday, Aug 13th: EMH morning at Magic Kingdom. ( I know… EMH after a late night… who planned this trip??)
Prediction: 2nd time riding Buzz Lightyear and DD6 will beat me soundly.

The girls are headed to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at 11am… and lunch with the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table -- a first for us!
Prediction: I WILL cry.

Friday, Aug 14th: Blizzard Beach in the morning (hoping to try Summit Plummet), lunch at T Rex (for my dino-lovin’ DD6) and dinner at California Grill. My husband and I ate here during our honeymoon, so it’s a sentimental favorite.

Saturday, Aug 15th: Breakfast at Crystal Palace before the park opens.
Predictions: I’ll eat so many Pooh waffles that I’ll need to skip lunch. 3rd time riding Buzz Lightyear and my DD4 will beat me soundly.

Sunday, Aug 16th: our last day at WL. Hoop de doo at 5pm. I have a feeling we’re going to love this show!

Monday, Aug 17th: move over to AKL… lay by the pool with a drink with an umbrella in it, while the kids play…

Tuesday, Aug 18th: Last full day at parks. We’ll start with a pre-opening breakfast at Tusker House. I’m hoping the kids will stay up late enough to see Spectromagic.

Wednesday, Aug 19th: Pack up and head out for one more morning of fun. We’ll be heading off to MCO at 3:30pm via towncar for our early evening flight home.

Our travel agent keeps hinting at surprises and extra pixie dust that we might encounter during our trip, but I have no idea what that might be!

I will be writing a full and extensive (read: LONG) report when we get back! We’ll have to see if any of my predictions come true…

Thanks for reading!
Kathy
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