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Old 04-26-2011, 10:19 PM   #16
sweetpee_1993
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Back in December '07 we had an hour long family portrait sitting in the Magic Kingdom with Disney's Photographic Services ((not in any way even close to Photopass at the time)). That sitting fee was I think $265 or something and included the 6x6 booklet of proofs. The portraits were amazing! At the time the only cd you could purchase was only for viewing, you couldn't reproduce or print them. Any portraits you wanted had to be ordered thru them with no reproduction rights ever released to us. After all the portraits were ordered (we got 3 mounted big ones & like 20 8x10s) we were out just over $1k. Is this what these resort Photopass sittings are moving towards? The price seems to be getting kinda up there. At $99 for 20 minutes, that's $300 for an hour. That's more than we paid for professional services IN the Magic Kingdom 4 years ago. Seems kinda crazy, particularly if these are typical Photopass quality. Ya know?
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:17 PM   #17
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We've done 2 portrait sessions in 2009 and 2010 when Photopass still took them. We did one at the Poly and one at GF. I thought they came out great and I liked the fact for $99 I got both the prints and the CD. I was a little disappointed when Disney Fine Art took over, because now you can only get the CD and no prints for the $99.

We have an upcoming portrait session at the Beach Club at the end of the month. Hopefully they turn out great. We were thinking of doing the $350 package for our honeymoon in October around the Boardwalk, if the Beach Club photos are good.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:07 PM   #18
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We did the Photo Session last June. My total cost was $84 because I received a 20% off coupon in my booklet (the one that Disney sends to you with your resort info & some dining/shopping suggestions in it). I will also point out this year, in my booklet I only received a coupon for a free $5 magnet at DTD...big disappointment, but I guess its ok. lol

We had a party of 3 including our 2 year old son. He wasn't the most cooperative because the sun was shining in his eyes & he was just having a bad day but we ended up getting 65 pictures. We had our session at the Beach Club for 20 minutes. We took some pictures inside, outside in a gazebo area, and then walked out front & had some taken on the beach overlooking the Boardwalk resort. The photographer wanted to take some in the front of the resort & also where the car is in the back lobby but we just said that we had enough pictures due to our son's behavior. I was shocked that we were able to get 65+ pictures in only 20 minutes considering how many times we stopped to calm him down or try to make him smile.

I ended up getting the package with the CD and seven 5x7's. I thought it was a great deal because I normally take my son to either JC Penney, Portrait People, or Sears & I pay way over $100 and do NOT get a CD. If I want the CD included, it usually costs anywhere from $50-100. I also liked that I could go home & add the photopass card from our photo session to my photopass account & add borders.

Are you still able to get a photopass card with the session? Or is this feature gone now?
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:42 AM   #19
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I think I'll call later today to ask what happens if the pictures are not acceptable. If I shelled out $350 the pictures need to knock my socks off. If they don't, I wouldn't want to be stuck for that amount of money. This also creates a situation where Disney better make sure they're sending photographers who know what they're doing and can produce. I'll report back when I find something out.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:44 AM   #20
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Just got off the phone with a nice lady with Disney Fine Art Photography. She said they had a website that I should check out:

www.disneyeventphotography.com

No, no part of the $350 is refundable even if they portraits come out stinky. This $350 package DOES sound extremely similar to what we did in December '07 when we had an hour long family portrait session with Disney's Professional Photographic Services in the MK for $265 sitting fee which included retouching and the 6x6 proof book. The fact that you can purchase the CD with your pics for $50 more is pretty mind-blowing. That was not an available option for us in '07. If you liked a picture you had to buy them individually. Our total out of pocket was like $1k but that was our family portraits. That's what I had budgeted before ever deciding to do them at WDW.

The $350 package can be scheduled "practically anywhere on WDW property" is what I was told. When I questioned further with, "Including the parks?", she replied, "Yes but we try to discourage that because it's very difficult to get the best shots when there's so many other people around. The quality doesn't come out as good." That makes sense. However, when my family did our sitting in the Rose Garden in the MK in December '07 we did it during the Christmas parade taping. There were literally thousands of people on Main Street. It was insane. Here's our signature castle shot:



You don't see anyone else in the shot.

Personally, if I was going to do another family portrait session I would do the $350 package early in the morning in World Showcase/Epcot then buy the CD. If I was going to do a session at a resort I'd lean towards hiring an outside photographer that I can assure myself the quality is there.

I asked repeatedly in many different ways if the photographers that are doing the Fine Art Photography are the same that do the regular Photopass pictures in the parks. She never faltered and always answered, "Yes." Then I explained about our previous portrait experience and the seriously declining park Photopass shots we've had in the parks over the years. I reiterated that $350 would be a lot a money to spend for 1 decent shot out of 200 or so. I think she finally got it. She said that in the reorganizing of the private resort sittings that Photopass used to do, they split off with their own group of professional photographers so now they are a specialized group that handles this particular type of private sitting in the resorts and parks. No, unless you're a very large group or a DFTW bride, you cannot request specific photographers. I asked.

I hope maybe that was a little better info to clarify on the transition with these private sittings. I was really unsure and required additional info making that jump to a $350 package. I'm nutty like that, I guess.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:36 PM   #21
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We did the 20 minute session last week. I was kinda -ah- about the whole thing. We did get a few shots but....

1) They charge our CC the entire amount at booking instead of the $25 deposit as we were told.
2) The photographer didn't try to do any indoor shots despite the fact that my four year old couldn't stop squinting because of the sun.
3) We weren't able to view our photos there at all and had to do it on our own later. (Thought this was wierd.) Also was problematic since we didn't have a computer with us so had to wait until we got home from vacation.
4) The photographer tooks some shots at BC that ended up having a LADDER in the background thus ruining the pictures that were taken there. I'm not sure if he didn't see it or didn't care but it was annoying since that was over half our photos.

All in all it was an ok experience. I'm not sure if we'd do it again. They were on time and professional during the shoot. He didn't work as well with my children to get them to smile as my local picture people would though. For us it was a lot of extra stress and not the most fun experience. We did however get 2 good shots so I guess it's not all bad!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hannahdrewmom View Post
We did the 20 minute session last week. I was kinda -ah- about the whole thing. We did get a few shots but....

1) They charge our CC the entire amount at booking instead of the $25 deposit as we were told.
2) The photographer didn't try to do any indoor shots despite the fact that my four year old couldn't stop squinting because of the sun.
3) We weren't able to view our photos there at all and had to do it on our own later. (Thought this was wierd.) Also was problematic since we didn't have a computer with us so had to wait until we got home from vacation.
4) The photographer tooks some shots at BC that ended up having a LADDER in the background thus ruining the pictures that were taken there. I'm not sure if he didn't see it or didn't care but it was annoying since that was over half our photos.

All in all it was an ok experience. I'm not sure if we'd do it again. They were on time and professional during the shoot. He didn't work as well with my children to get them to smile as my local picture people would though. For us it was a lot of extra stress and not the most fun experience. We did however get 2 good shots so I guess it's not all bad!
I would call about the ladder in the background. That is certainly something a photographer should avoid!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by sweetpee_1993 View Post
Just got off the phone with a nice lady with Disney Fine Art Photography. She said they had a website that I should check out:

www.disneyeventphotography.com

No, no part of the $350 is refundable even if they portraits come out stinky. This $350 package DOES sound extremely similar to what we did in December '07 when we had an hour long family portrait session with Disney's Professional Photographic Services in the MK for $265 sitting fee which included retouching and the 6x6 proof book. The fact that you can purchase the CD with your pics for $50 more is pretty mind-blowing. That was not an available option for us in '07. If you liked a picture you had to buy them individually. Our total out of pocket was like $1k but that was our family portraits. That's what I had budgeted before ever deciding to do them at WDW.

The $350 package can be scheduled "practically anywhere on WDW property" is what I was told. When I questioned further with, "Including the parks?", she replied, "Yes but we try to discourage that because it's very difficult to get the best shots when there's so many other people around. The quality doesn't come out as good." That makes sense. However, when my family did our sitting in the Rose Garden in the MK in December '07 we did it during the Christmas parade taping. There were literally thousands of people on Main Street. It was insane. Here's our signature castle shot:



You don't see anyone else in the shot.

Personally, if I was going to do another family portrait session I would do the $350 package early in the morning in World Showcase/Epcot then buy the CD. If I was going to do a session at a resort I'd lean towards hiring an outside photographer that I can assure myself the quality is there.

I asked repeatedly in many different ways if the photographers that are doing the Fine Art Photography are the same that do the regular Photopass pictures in the parks. She never faltered and always answered, "Yes." Then I explained about our previous portrait experience and the seriously declining park Photopass shots we've had in the parks over the years. I reiterated that $350 would be a lot a money to spend for 1 decent shot out of 200 or so. I think she finally got it. She said that in the reorganizing of the private resort sittings that Photopass used to do, they split off with their own group of professional photographers so now they are a specialized group that handles this particular type of private sitting in the resorts and parks. No, unless you're a very large group or a DFTW bride, you cannot request specific photographers. I asked.

I hope maybe that was a little better info to clarify on the transition with these private sittings. I was really unsure and required additional info making that jump to a $350 package. I'm nutty like that, I guess.
I wish you hadn't posted .... because now I am trying to figure out a way to budget an extra $250 (we were going to do the 20 minute session anyway)

Haveing seen the picture you posted has certainly prompted me to do a little digging into this package. I hadn't paid much attention to it since i first saw it posted as I was happy with the $99 one - but having see what they did with your castle pic in heavy crowds I want to find out if the new package is something similar. (I was kidding about wishing you'd not posted - thank you for sharing )
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:07 PM   #24
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I wish you hadn't posted .... because now I am trying to figure out a way to budget an extra $250 (we were going to do the 20 minute session anyway)

Haveing seen the picture you posted has certainly prompted me to do a little digging into this package. I hadn't paid much attention to it since i first saw it posted as I was happy with the $99 one - but having see what they did with your castle pic in heavy crowds I want to find out if the new package is something similar. (I was kidding about wishing you'd not posted - thank you for sharing )
Not a problem.

We didn't do a whole lot of pics with the castle in the background. There's just that one. The others were at the base of the big Christmas tree without the castle (remember, this was 2007 so it was when they had the big tree out in the Rose Garden before they moved it to the area where Roy & Minnie sit post parade taping). Those shots had the gifts and toys as a back drop. The best shots, IMO, were the ones that were done in Belle's Storybook Garden. Again, that was in 2007 before it was Rapunzel & Flynn's meet-n-greet so the area wasn't in use at 9:15 in the morning. I believe now it is. I think maybe the areas with nice backdrops without other guests after 9:00 a.m. are more limited. That's why I was I thinking Epcot/World Showcase before 11 would be a nice option. No other guests. I'm also sure that DFTW shoots will always take precedence. Ya know?

I'm really thinking hard on doing the $350 package and adding on the $50 cd when we stay at the YC in September for our annivesary. It's been 4 years. It's time. Plus, we're already planning to dress up nice for our anniversary dinner at the Yachtsman. It'd be a good time to do it before dinner.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:22 PM   #25
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Did the 20 minutes photos at the Poly on May 4 and have to say I am not happy. First off, we got there at 8:45 am as we were told for 9am photo but was told that we were not going to get our photos becasue we were an hour late... what no way I would schedule a 8am shoot with 4yo triplets. A few minutes later, they told us that they would do the photos anyways. Out of the 20 minutes, the lady played 50% of the time with the settings of her camera, she couldn't get the flash to work, couldn't get camera to take pictures. we got 1 indoor family picture that is good and one picture of each of the girls outside by the fall that turned out ok but not all that great by any stretch of the imagination. I am very dissapointed considering on how easy my girls are to photograph. We went back a few days later an took pictures with our camera and they were way better then what she did. I will honestely not bedoing it again. I was hoping to make this our annual family portrait but have to say that I ahve since change my mind. Hope you all get better photos then we did.

BTW we too got charged the full amount the day we booked and not $25 on booking day and remaining a week prior to shoot.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #26
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Not a problem.

That's why I was I thinking Epcot/World Showcase before 11 would be a nice option. No other guests. I'm also sure that DFTW shoots will always take precedence. Ya know?

I'm really thinking hard on doing the $350 package and adding on the $50 cd when we stay at the YC in September for our annivesary. It's been 4 years. It's time. Plus, we're already planning to dress up nice for our anniversary dinner at the Yachtsman. It'd be a good time to do it before dinner.
An anniversary dinner would be a great way to end off your photo shoot if you do go with that! So can you still choose your park for that (just seeing you mentioned Epcot)?

I am keen to see some more reviews of this now that they have it newly launched. I want to see how it compares to the $99 one we did last year. I was very happy with our session at the Poly. We got 80 pics and aside from 1 or 2 where my eyes are closed, they all came out great. I realize however htat it is a gamble in that you don't know what photograher you will get and that will really make or break the final product for you. I really don't have the cash to lay out for the big one, but since we don't know when we will be back after this next trip, it has me thinking that it is an investment. Of course to me it isn't worth it if you don't get the CD so I would have to get that on top of the session. Hmmm, decisions. You have got me thinking now.

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Did the 20 minutes photos at the Poly on May 4 and have to say I am not happy. First off, we got there at 8:45 am as we were told for 9am photo but was told that we were not going to get our photos becasue we were an hour late... what no way I would schedule a 8am shoot with 4yo triplets. A few minutes later, they told us that they would do the photos anyways. Out of the 20 minutes, the lady played 50% of the time with the settings of her camera, she couldn't get the flash to work, couldn't get camera to take pictures. we got 1 indoor family picture that is good and one picture of each of the girls outside by the fall that turned out ok but not all that great by any stretch of the imagination. I am very dissapointed considering on how easy my girls are to photograph. We went back a few days later an took pictures with our camera and they were way better then what she did. I will honestely not bedoing it again. I was hoping to make this our annual family portrait but have to say that I ahve since change my mind. Hope you all get better photos then we did.

BTW we too got charged the full amount the day we booked and not $25 on booking day and remaining a week prior to shoot.
When did they start this? Did you have a photopass photographer? TBH I think I would have complained about it. You were there recently and it may be worth taking this up with them. I mean they may call it a mini session but $99 is $99 and all the time taken out of your day to get to the resort etc. I think it's worth a shot. You should at least have had a few more good pics to take home with you.

I am assuming that since this is no longer operated by Photopass that you don't get the option to add it to your PP account. Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:05 PM   #27
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An anniversary dinner would be a great way to end off your photo shoot if you do go with that! So can you still choose your park for that (just seeing you mentioned Epcot)?

I am keen to see some more reviews of this now that they have it newly launched. I want to see how it compares to the $99 one we did last year. I was very happy with our session at the Poly. We got 80 pics and aside from 1 or 2 where my eyes are closed, they all came out great. I realize however htat it is a gamble in that you don't know what photograher you will get and that will really make or break the final product for you. I really don't have the cash to lay out for the big one, but since we don't know when we will be back after this next trip, it has me thinking that it is an investment. Of course to me it isn't worth it if you don't get the CD so I would have to get that on top of the session. Hmmm, decisions. You have got me thinking now.



When did they start this? Did you have a photopass photographer? TBH I think I would have complained about it. You were there recently and it may be worth taking this up with them. I mean they may call it a mini session but $99 is $99 and all the time taken out of your day to get to the resort etc. I think it's worth a shot. You should at least have had a few more good pics to take home with you.

I am assuming that since this is no longer operated by Photopass that you don't get the option to add it to your PP account. Can anyone confirm this?

I actually called and booked the 1-hour family portrait shoot for our September trip just yesterday morning. I was asked if I intended to order the cd for $50 additional which, yes, I am so my total cost will be $400. She said it was a $25 deposit at the time of booking with the balance charged to my card about a week before our shoot date. I just checked my Discover card but it's too soon for the charge to show up. I'm going to keep an eye on it to see if they only charge me the deposit or if it's the full amount. We booked for World Showcase/Epcot at 8:45 a.m. on 9/12. We opted not to do the shoot before our anniversary dinner because it'll be extremely hot before our 5:00 dinner ADR plus we stand a bigger risk of being rained on.

The $99 package includes the photos on a cd so you don't really need them added to your Photopass (although I do think it'd be cool if you could add the borders like you can with the Photopass pics). They won't be retouched, tho.

Sooooo, now my mind is all aflutter trying to pick just 2 of the countries that will be most picturesque with what we'll be wearing, different shots I'd like to have, etc. I think I might actually haul our Mickey ears hats down with us for the very end of the shoot. We had them done back before they changed to the computerized embroidery machines. Because of that I've been hesitant to bring them back since. If they get lost or damaged they can't be replaced. Ya know? Still, I think it'd make a killer family shot to see us walking along together with our ears on so I may finally pluck-up the courage to bring them.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:32 PM   #29
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Thank you for the great info from your call with Disney Fine Art Photography, sweetpee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpee_1993 View Post
I asked repeatedly in many different ways if the photographers that are doing the Fine Art Photography are the same that do the regular Photopass pictures in the parks. She never faltered and always answered, "Yes." Then I explained about our previous portrait experience and the seriously declining park Photopass shots we've had in the parks over the years. I reiterated that $350 would be a lot a money to spend for 1 decent shot out of 200 or so. I think she finally got it. She said that in the reorganizing of the private resort sittings that Photopass used to do, they split off with their own group of professional photographers so now they are a specialized group that handles this particular type of private sitting in the resorts and parks. No, unless you're a very large group or a DFTW bride, you cannot request specific photographers. I asked.
Am I understanding this correctly - the photogs for these sessions are former PhotoPass photogs that have been put under the Disney Fine Art umbrella for the purposes of resort sessions?

We had a photog through Disney Fine Art for our vow renewal and she was wonderful but it sounds like the photogs that do weddings are seperate from this specialized group.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:00 PM   #30
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Now that the photo sessions aren't done by photopass, can I assume that I don't need to have pre-ordered a photopass CD to get the $99 package? Thanks!
The $99 package comes with it's own CD. No, no reason to pre-purchase the Photopass CD unless you want to have all your regular Photopass pics on a disk.

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Thank you for the great info from your call with Disney Fine Art Photography, sweetpee.



Am I understanding this correctly - the photogs for these sessions are former PhotoPass photogs that have been put under the Disney Fine Art umbrella for the purposes of resort sessions?

We had a photog through Disney Fine Art for our vow renewal and she was wonderful but it sounds like the photogs that do weddings are seperate from this specialized group.
I know this sounds horrible but I really did try to trip the girl up that I spoke with. I tried hard to ask in a lot of different ways and wording to get her to tell me in black & white/yes & no if the photographers doing these sessions are the exact same ones that do the Photopass pics in the parks. We would talk and I'd ask that question. She'd answer, we'd talk about other things, then I'd ask that question again in a different way. She would not say "no". She said repeatedly that they are all professional photographers and that Fine Art Photography is not the same thing as Photopass. It sounded to me like she is probably not allowed to say anything that could come off as detracting from the regular Photopass photographers. Does that make sense? Finally, I got down to the nitty-gritty by explaining that we've been traveling to WDW at least once a year since 2004. We remember when Photopass first started and have noticed over the years that the pictures have really lessened in quality. I gave the specific example that our last trip in November we had just over 200 pics on our Photopass CD with only 1 or 2 being worth keeping. Then I explained that we had done family portraits in the MK w/Disney's Professional Photographic Services in December 2007 and how those photos were all really, really wonderful. Our only challenge with that set was narrowing down to 20 or so that we wanted to purchase. The photographer was very obviously an experienced professional at what he was doing. He was not learning or working on his technique. She then stated that I could expect the quality of product & experience to be comparable to what we did with the Professional Photographic Services. Of course we only really got detailed discussing the hour-long, $350 shoot. She shared with me that she booked herself a $99 package a few weeks prior and went about the experience as a guest, not a CM and really loved what she got. Not that I think she would tell me it was crappy. That's not what she's paid to do.

I'm really not sure about the $99 shoot. I think the biggest difference that people will notice between the 2 packages is the retouching. The $99 package is not retouched or altered in any way. What is shot is what you will receive. There's a lot to be said for retouching & editing. Heck, I retouched & edited every picture I took at WDW last November prior to posting my trip report (on another forum). Honestly, $400 for an hour long session with all images retouched AND on a disk w/copyright release is pretty amazing. The proof book is a bonus. Most professional photographers charge a great deal more than that. Plus, you get the benefit of doing this "on location", not just in some bland studio. That's pretty dang good!

Oh! And I asked the girl I spoke with if I could request specific photogs. She said unless you're a really large group or a DFTW bride, no.

Again, she never said one way or another if the photogs were from the Photopass pool. What I got from the conversation is that one could be assured that at least with the $350 session you will not have just 1 or 2 acceptable images out of 200. Do I think that means these are ordinary Photopass photographers? I don't think they are. Do I think Fine Arts photographers occasionally will don a Photopass vest & set up at the Rose Garden to shoot? Perhaps. Or, if needed, I could see the cream of the crop who do the DFTW portrait shoots doing the family shoots. It would make sense for the more professional/technical photogs to pop in where quality isn't as much of an issue than it would for inexperienced novices to be tasked with taking professional, portrait quality images. Ya know?

I hope that sorta answered your question.
__________________
Disney Adventures: 1/04 POP, 1/05 POP, 2/06 POP, 1/07 POP, 12/07 CR, 5/08 POFQ sans kids, 1/09 CR, 5/09 Poly w/o the family, 1/10 AKL, 11/10 POFQ, 9/11 WL+DCL Dream+YC, 5/12 DCL Magic, 9/12 DCL Dream sans kids, 1/13 DCL Magic, 5/13 DCL Fantasy, 9/13 DCL Dream w/friends, 9/13 DCL Fantasy sans kids

Other Adventures:
11/13 RCI Allure of the Seas

Future Adventures:
4/14 Disneyland!
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