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Old 08-07-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
1stvisit0909
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PTP: 1st visit for our princesses!

The Crew:
Me (Val) (32) Biologist -
DH (34) GIS analyist (map-maker, gonna put him to work!)
DD8 -Cinderella (loves all things princess, but Cindy is her fave)
DD4-Tinkerbell (also loves all things princess, but REALLY is in to the fairies)

The story:
We've been wanting to take our kids to WDW for years. Our oldest has been saving her birthday gift money for about 3-4 years now, trying to get to WDW.
We've just never been able to make the leap. WDW is $$!! We wanted to stay on property, and since its about a 14-15 hr drive, mom (me) really wanted to fly. There is a NS flight from our city that gets there in 1 hr 20 mins! oh the difference!

Anyway, we couldn't ever gain traction on the funds. :-( Life gets in the way doesn't it?

We spotted the 48 hour southwest airfare sale back in July ($120 rt/each to MCO) and tried to make the $$ work. Not in the cards. We had to get a new AC unit this summer. Anyway, DH was talking to his dad on the phone, and he said, book it, I'll pay for parks/hotel if y'all can get the airfare. YEAH!! Early Christmas Present for us!!
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Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time TR POFQ 2012 OKW 09
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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opps, internet hiccup
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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So we booked our 4 night stay at the value resort, and got the DDP included for free. Booked our airline tickets, and we are off to the races.

The kids have no idea, and we are planning on suprising them.

Just before the final payment was due at the end of July, we got an email from Disney offering a free upgrade to a 1bd room villa at Old Key West. I didn't believe there wasn't a catch, but I called, and there wasn't so we upgraded.

So now we are staying at OKW, with the free DDP. whohoo!

Flying on a NS flight, using Magical Express to get to the resort. Non-park hopper tix, but with the short time I figured that would be ok.

Since I was behind the game, it was time to deal with ADRs.

I've never planned before, so I hit the websites, found this forum, and a couple others and started trying to figure out where to use our TS credits.

We were only 50 days out when I started, so I knew I needed to get on the reservations. I decided to get the reservations we wanted when I could, and then plan the rest of the attractions.


I made a late breakfast reservation for Akershus on our first full day.
Then I got a dinner reservation at CRT for our second full day
And a reservation at Hollywood and Vine for our 3rd full day.

Whew. CRT was tough, I had to keep calling and finally got a dinner. I was afraid we wouldn't get that one, but I'm happy now!

I also decided that tinkerbell, though she has outgrown her stroller (and we sold it) that it would be worth it to rent one from Orlando Stroller Rental, so that is done. yeah!
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Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time TR POFQ 2012 OKW 09

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Old 08-07-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
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We received our luggage tags in the mail this past Monday!

A friend of mine told me that I might want to consider buying somethings before hand online and having them shipped, so we wouldn't have to waste time looking for autograph books and what not. So I did. I ordered WDW Minnie Mouse ears for the girls, the disney store was having a sale on tshirts, so I ordered them each a princess tshirt, autograph books and pens. So we'll be ready to hit the parks running! DH and I also decided to give them gift cards to spend in the parks, so I got those ahead online too.

I thought all the planning was done...until I started reading posts here. Now I need to get ponchos, and mister fans....and and and...you get the point. :-)
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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The schedule:

Arrive at MCO at 330 pm, Thursday 9/10
Take ME to OKW. We plan to drop off our stuff, and hit MK to take it all in and let the kids see the MK at night. Not sure if we will stay for the parade and Wishes first night, or go back and rest. Depends on the kiddos.

Friday, 9/11 Epcot. We have a 1020 reservation at Akershus for the princess bfast. This should be fun! The girls both love the princesses. Then we want to spend the day doing whatever in Epcot. Still planning this one.

Saturday 9/12 MK. We have 645 reservations at CRT. We plan to be there at rope drop, and take an afternoon break at the resort, to come back to the partk for CRT and maybe parade/wishes if we don't do that Thursday.

Sunday: DHS. We have a reservation at Hollywood and Vine, but if someone has a better suggestion we are open....

Monday: not sure about this one. I think we have to catch the ME back to the airport around noon, so I'm not sure if we will try to squeeze in a park or if we will go to DTD or if we will just hang at the resort. Thoughts?
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Coronado Springs 2014 PTR
Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time TR POFQ 2012 OKW 09

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Old 08-08-2009, 06:12 PM   #6
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Update: Since DH had the Dear Princesses off to a birthday party, I spent some time on DISboards today (love this site!)

Then I wandered over to the disney website, b/c I keep trying for a morning or lunch CRT ADR, but no luck. I did however, get to move our Akershus ADR to 8:10 am!! YEAH!!

And then I moved our Hollywood and Vine ADR to lunch. We had dinner, but I wanted to try to get character there too, since DD4 LOVES playhouse disney.

Things are lining up!

Then I wandered out to the mail, and we got more Disney Mail!! I think I've received everything now...I hope so. I dont want the kids to intercept something since its a suprise!!
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Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time TR POFQ 2012 OKW 09

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Old 08-08-2009, 07:03 PM   #7
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What a fun surprise for your little girls! And how fun you got one of the free upgrades, a magical start to your vacation for sure! I will be going with my 8yo (ds) and 4yo (dd) too, and also my dd who will be 17 months, we will be there the week before you (no upgrade though, we'll be staying at POP). If your 4yo is anything like mine I think it's smart you got a stroller. We are obviously bringing a stroller for the baby, I'm bringing the one we have which has a bench at the back for my 4yo to stand or sit for a break because it is a lot of walking.

Rhonda
PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2243659
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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Now I'm torn...
Remember this is our first time planning. I had heard of the not so scary halloween party...but I didn't put 2 +2 together to realize there would be one while we are there. I just assumed they would be starting those parties until October.

Argh! now I want to go to that too. Decisions decisions....but that is $200 extra bucks. Not sure I can pull that off now esp since I have picked up some extra stuff and rented the stroller.

DH says we can talk about it later...he wants to see more info, but thinks its a cute idea too.
I know we can't do everything in the short time we have, but who knows when we will get back? the MNSSHP looks so cute!!

Pros? Cons? WWYD if you were us?
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhondac View Post
What a fun surprise for your little girls! And how fun you got one of the free upgrades, a magical start to your vacation for sure! I will be going with my 8yo (ds) and 4yo (dd) too, and also my dd who will be 17 months, we will be there the week before you (no upgrade though, we'll be staying at POP). If your 4yo is anything like mine I think it's smart you got a stroller. We are obviously bringing a stroller for the baby, I'm bringing the one we have which has a bench at the back for my 4yo to stand or sit for a break because it is a lot of walking.

Rhonda
PTR http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2243659

Thanks Rhonda! I think it was the right choice too. I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it! Hope y'all have fun too!
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
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Ok, I have some time, so its time to flush out some of the plans I have right now. Tips, suggestions, tricks, all appreciated!!

Day 1 9/10 Arrive at MCO at 3:20 pm. This is a NS from our city of only 1:20 mins. whohoo! We are taking ME and letting them get our bags for us, so our back packs and us will hit the ME counter to ride to OKW. I assume this means we'll get to OKW around 415-430 ish. I intend to do online checkin, so hopefull we'll be done with that and dropping stuff off in our rooms by 5ish. Our orlando stroller rental should already be there waiting on us! Then if the kids aren't too tired, we plan to hit MK and check it out. I hope this means we can get there by 6-630. I want the kids to see MK all lit up at night. A quick CS meal. Spectromagic and Wishes are that night, but we aren't sure if we want to try to do that, or just check it out and do a few rides for the kids. Depends on how tired we are I think.
Then, back to OKW for some much needed ZzzzZzzzz. The other option is if we are too tired, maybe the boat to DTD for a quick CS meal and then back to rest. Totaly depends on how we are. Either will work, heck we'll be at DISNEY!!!

Friday 9/11. Epcot Day
Up and at them early, b/c we have ADR at Akershus for the Princess Storybook Bfast (810). The kids will LOVE this (and I'm pretty sure I will too...hehehe). Dad, well, he'll just have to deal. After that, I think the "must does" Seas with Nemo and Turtle Talk (looks like fun) and kim possible, and the kidicot stations. once WS opens up, we may wander over there or we may go back to the resort when it gets hot, and come back later to Epcot for WS and a CS meal. I love WS, DH has never been, and I think the kids would enjoy some of it too. Heres where I have a planning problem....

MNSSHP is at MK this night at 7. We do not have tickets for it...but the more I read about it the cuter it becomes....but I can't decide. DH and I have tabled this discussion until we can get more time to talk about it after the kids are in bed one night. (remember a surprise trip for them!). I know we dont have time to do and see everything on this trip...argh! Why are decisions always so tough. LOL

More later!
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Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time TR POFQ 2012 OKW 09

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Old 08-09-2009, 03:26 PM   #11
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Hey! You guys leave the day before we arrive.

If you can swing it, I'd go for MNSSHP tickets. DH and I are going. I've heard a lot of people say that it's really fantastic, and a lot better than MVMCP in December. I'm excited. If you can't afford it---hey, you're still going to Disney World! I took three trips without ever even considering going, and they were fantastic. You'll have a great time either way.

Are you planning on going to AK at all? Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris are two really fabulous rides that I wouldn't miss. They also have a Nemo show. Even if I had to catch ME at noon, I would probably still drop by AK that morning to at least ride Kilimanjaro and Everest! But I love AK, so that's why. DD4 probably can't ride EE though.

and DEFINITELY GET THOSE PONCHOS! We bought some higher quality ones that have a little bag in which to store them for our last trip. We wore them every day. They're in perfect condition now and so we're using them again. The little bag is SO nice when you take it off. Also, get one for the stroller.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:16 PM   #12
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Oooh! Good luck keeping it a surprise for your kids!!! I don't know if I'd be able to do it! I'd be so excited, I might let it slip!

I am going to be at WDW during MNSSHP, but we're not planning on going. I would LOVE to go, but it is pretty expensive! Especially considering how much we've spent on this trip already! We're already doing so much on this trip anyway, I don't feel like we'll be missing out. But at some point in the future I would love to go to MNSSHP.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickiwoo View Post
Oooh! Good luck keeping it a surprise for your kids!!! I don't know if I'd be able to do it! I'd be so excited, I might let it slip!

I am going to be at WDW during MNSSHP, but we're not planning on going. I would LOVE to go, but it is pretty expensive! Especially considering how much we've spent on this trip already! We're already doing so much on this trip anyway, I don't feel like we'll be missing out. But at some point in the future I would love to go to MNSSHP.

And it is exactly why common sense tells me to skip it. I mean we are only going to be there 4 nights...with 3 full days and 2 partial days. The kid in me wants to do it...but the realist in me says the little one is gonna be pooped out anyway by party time on Friday and probably wouldn't enjoy it.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverL View Post

Are you planning on going to AK at all? Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris are two really fabulous rides that I wouldn't miss. They also have a Nemo show. Even if I had to catch ME at noon, I would probably still drop by AK that morning to at least ride Kilimanjaro and Everest! But I love AK, so that's why. DD4 probably can't ride EE though.

and DEFINITELY GET THOSE PONCHOS! We bought some higher quality ones that have a little bag in which to store them for our last trip. We wore them every day. They're in perfect condition now and so we're using them again. The little bag is SO nice when you take it off. Also, get one for the stroller.
We aren't sure about AK. The Monday we leave its EMH so it opens at 8. We thought about a 2-3 hours there, but just aren't sure if we have the time and if it would worth it for that short of time or not.

Got the ponchos tonight at Wally World! and snagged a mister fan. Check and check. :-)
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:29 PM   #15
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I really debated on the MNSSHP too. It is on 1 night while we are at Disney and we have decided we aren't doing it. It is pricey imo at $200 for the 5 of us to go (L is free). And I just didn't know if we'd really be taking full advantage of it - to be honest with J and L we don't plan to be at the parks later than 9pm. Everyone I know who's gone to MNSSHP absolutely loves it, so I'm a little sad we aren't doing it but I know we'll go back someday, and hoepfully do it when L is a bit older and we can stay at the parks later and take full advantage of being in the park late.

I'm sure whatever you decide will be fine, whether or not you do MNSSHP you will still have a fantastic trip!

Rhonda
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