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Old 06-24-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 64

The "Let's get DH hooked on Disney" vacation - PreTrip for Sept 2009!!

Hi everyone! I hope its ok for me to start a pre-trip report ... I just discovered these boards a couple of weeks ago and they have been amazing! I got a bit overwhelmed trying to plan my ADRs and this board has helped me a ton .... I haven't been to Disney since 1998, so I need lots of help and lots of planning!

Here's a little about me and the characters you'll meet along the way!

I'm Jamie, a 31 year old professional photographer and I work from home. I'm originally from New Orleans but we currently live in a small town about 1 1/2 hours west of the city. My family and I took trips to Disney almost every year until I was a Senior in high school, so I have tons of great memories from WDW. My first visit was before I even turned 1 ... my last visit was with an ex-boyfriend and we had an awful time because we fought the whole week. I don't even remember much from the trip!

This is a picture of me with my 22 mth old nephew


Wade is my 30 year old husband who has NEVER been to Disney He and his family never took vacations, so getting him to go on one has been a huge chore. It has taken me 2 years to convince him to go on a Disney vacation. He likes to relax, read, fish and watch sports and believes a vacation should be about relaxing, so this is going to be a bit of a stretch for him. He's also pretty particular about food ... not picky, he just likes GOOD food.



Hayden is my 3 1/2 year old who is a bundle of energy and attitude ... this is a birthday trip of sorts for him. My original intention was to go the week of his birthday, which is Oct 13, but when they announced the free DP through Oct 3, I decided we'd push the trip up a bit. I've been brainwashing Hayden about Disney for over a year now, so he's super-excited to go!



Emelyn is currently 8 months old and will be 11 months at the time of our trip. Her birthday is also in October, so I plan to celebrate it as well, during the trip. She's very temperamental and is super-attached to me. I'll still be nursing her at the time of the trip, so I'm really curious to see how she'll handle it all.



So of our group, I'm the only one who's ever been to DIsney and while I won't say I'm a Disney fanatic, I am the type that gets all emotional and teary eyed over WDW ... I think its the nostalgia from my childhood, but I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about this trip and sharing this experience with my kids and my husband.

My #1 goal, though, is to make sure DH has an amazing time because if he doesn't, this may be our only trip, EVER I'll definitely need you guys to help me figure out ways to make this a great trip for him!

Last edited by JamieH; 06-24-2009 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
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I'm coming in . You have a very handsome family. I am looking forward to reading more about your plans . We were booked at ASMu but I wanted to change to Pop because we have never stayed there before. Have you made your plans for the ADRs you want yet?
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:09 PM   #3
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 64

Ok, here are the details of our plans so far:

We will be driving there, leaving on Sunday, September 27 ... it takes about 11 hours to drive and since we're doing it with 2 small kids, I'm trying to talk DH into leaving Sept 26 and splitting up the drive. We will be staying off-site when we arrive and are checking into All Star Movies on Monday, Sept 28.

I initially wanted to stay at POP but DH kept putting off booking the trip so by the time we actually booked and put the deposit down, there were no rooms available there. I'm ok with ASM, though, b/c I think DS is going to flip out over the huge characters there... I'm so excited about watching his face when he sees the Toy Story buildings!! (note to self, I need to call ASAP to put in a request for the Toy Story building)

So, our trip is officially booked ... Sept 28 - Oct 3 at ASMovies with free DP!!

I went back and forth on ADRs ... at first, I was going more from reviews and what people have been talking about. I didn't realize how important food was until a few months ago when I started listening to podcasts and reading forums!!! When I went as a kid, it wasn't important, we never did dining plans (did they even have them then??) ... I think we mostly did CS or off-site to save money.

But with free dining ... a whole new world of opportunities!!

So after re-thinking my plan for dining, I realized that I will have 2 small kids on the trip and I have to plan around what I think will be good for them. I'm also kind of a picky eater, though I am open to trying new things. I really wanted to try some of the more exotic places in World Showcase b/c when else will I get to have that kind of food?? But again, I had to think about the kids, so I'm going for lunches, buffets and characters!

This is what I have planned for ADR's ... I get to book on 6/30, so I need to decide if this is definitely what I'm going for:

Crystal Palace - Character Lunch
Boma - Lunch buffet
Akershus Royal Banquet - Lunch
50's Prime Time or Sci Fi for Lunch (need opinions here!)
Ohana's Breakfast

I also asked DH if we could maybe try for California Grill on our last night and just pay OOP ... I'd love to try for a table with a view of the fireworks. He said it would be fine, but then I realized how late that would be ... I think we'll just do MNSSHP on our last night instead.

Last edited by JamieH; 06-24-2009 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:10 PM   #4
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 64

Quote:
Originally Posted by racefanof88 View Post
I'm coming in . You have a very handsome family. I am looking forward to reading more about your plans . We were booked at ASMu but I wanted to change to Pop because we have never stayed there before. Have you made your plans for the ADRs you want yet?
Welcome Glad to see you here! Thanks for stopping by! I've just listed the ADRs that I plan to try for, it took me a long time to settle on these, so I hope I get them. I guess I need to come up with some back-ups!
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieH View Post
Welcome Glad to see you here! Thanks for stopping by! I've just listed the ADRs that I plan to try for, it took me a long time to settle on these, so I hope I get them. I guess I need to come up with some back-ups!
Back ups are always a good thing . As for Sci Fi and 50's, we love Sci Fi. It is dark in the restaurant and you will be sitting in a car so you have to plan who is going to sit with whom. We have never eaten at 50's, but it may be an option if I don't get all my ADRs. If you want to do Cali Grill, I would pay oop for a buffet or two and use two credits for Cali Grill because it is pretty expensive. Some of the buffets are pretty reasonably priced so it may come out better for you that way. We shelved our plans for a siggie restaurant after I added up what we would order and the tip came out to be about $60.00 .
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:06 PM   #6
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Louisiana
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Thanks for the tips! I think I've decided to just forget about Cali Grill this time around. #1 - I don't really want to stress over trying for an ADR #2 The kids are kind of young to try and keep them up and then drag them to a nice restaurant #3 We're going to do MNSSHP on our last night instead

As for my plan to get DH hooked ... well, my evil plan starts Monday, so I'm spending some time this weekend to get it ready.

I created a gmail account from "Mickey Mouse" and plan to email DH (addressed to both he and my 3 year old) from this account every day for our 90 day countdown. Each email will contain a few pictures to get them excited and a little info about our trip as well as some Disney trivia. I just purchased both of Lou Mongello's trivia books (can't wait for them to arrive) as well as one called The Hidden Magic of WDW. I want for DH to sit down with DS3 every day to read the emails to him to build the excitement. I'm hoping that DH will start to see how awesome Disney is and how fun our trip will be!

As for ADRs, Monday is the day and I'm anxious that I won't get what I want ... I supposed I can change our park schedule around depending on what we get, but right now, I have things planned just the way I want.

I've also made our plans for hte last night we'll be there, I'm super excited about it ... first, we're going to take an off-morning from the parks. I do want to try for Ohana's breakfast, then figure we can hang around the resort the rest of the afternoon. I want to get DS3 in for THe Pirate League and may even make an appt for myself (or DH, depending on which one of us decides to take him) That way, he'll be all dressed and ready to go as a pirate for the MNSSHP later that night. Whoever doesn't go to The Pirate League will stay back with DD and let her rest up for the late night!

And just because I love them, here's a quick (bad) photo of my kids from this morning. DD woke up with some funny hair and DS had to jump in the pic:


And one more of DD that I took a few days ago for her 8 month photos:

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Old 06-30-2009, 06:59 AM   #7
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 64

ADR's .... CHECK!!

Well, it was up at 4:50 this morning to prepare for the online ADR system to roll. I had all my top choices saved to my favorites and at exactly 5am I began my ADRs. I was so excited when my first one ... lunch at Crystal Palace on our first day, opened up with no problems. I was a bit apprehensive when my first couple of times for Akershus didn't work out, but 3rd times a charm.

Just an online ADR tip ... keep trying different date ranges and time ranges if an ADR you want isn't showing up. For Akershus, first I tried the actual date I wanted and time I wanted .... nothing available. Then I tried a different time, nothing available. I tried a 3 day date range with different time and all of a sudden, a time on the date I wanted popped up (very close to my desired time, too). d=

I had a couple of scares .. first, my 10 day range wasn't showing up, then I realized I hadn't attached my reservation to it, so that took an extra couple of minutes. A couple of times, some reservations disappeared from my cart and I'm not sure why. But all in all, it wasn't bad. By 5:29, I had all the ADRs I wanted, on the days I wanted and around the basic time I wanted.

Here they are:

Monday, Sept 28 - Crystal Palace lunch
Tuesday, Sept 29 - Akershus Princess Lunch
Wednesday, Sept 30 - Tusker House lunch
Thursday, Oct 1 - Sci Fi lunch
Friday, Oct 2 - Ohana's Breakfast
Saturday, Oct 3 - Chef Mickeys (we're driving home this day )
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
racefanof88
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I love your pictures . You are very good. The email account was ingenious. I need to do that for my DS. Your ADRs look good and congrats on getting what you wanted. We have some of the same places just on different days.
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