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Old 07-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #1
emmysmommy
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Prince Charmsalot to Accompany the Damsels This Trip But You Must Pose w/ Princesses

Hi there! After reading and commenting on so many PTRs and dining reviews I’m in the mood to throw mine out here and share in all the anticipation and excitement!! Who doesn’t love to commiserate and plan with all the helpful people here on the Disboards? Considering that I didn’t even know what an ADR or a photopass was a couple of years ago, I think I have come a long way thanks to this very friendly community.

Note: To skip the preamble... chapter links are in post #2.

Who am I and what am I doing here? Glad you asked!

I’m Brenda (aka “trouble” as DH calls me) and I will be traveling with said DH and DD (16) in August – which is NEXT MONTH! I’m a lover of dining at WDW and I’m always looking for new and exciting things to try so don’t be surprised if a lot of my PTR involves dining plans and strategies.
My typical travel partner is our DD, Emily, who is 16. She and I have enjoyed several mother/daughter trips in the past few years. We have similar tastes and touring styles so we really love these vacations together. Building some fond memories together is a nice little benefit as well.


And making a guest appearance this trip will be my DH, Michael (Prince Charms-a-lot since he is the funniest and most charming of men!) He has not been to WDW since our family trip in 2006 which was a combination cruise/WDW vacation. He’s the type of guy who would rather go on a fishing trip or camp than go to WDW. (Yes, I knew this when I married him oh so long ago but I thought I could change him. Ladies, you know how that goes!) Because I have been with my company forever (ok, technically only 22 years but it seems like a lifetime!) I have 4 more weeks of vacation each year compared to DH. So with all my time off I tend to book trips with Emily or my parents. Not to worry though, we still take family vacations… just not WDW – until now.




When I was booking our family vacation earlier this year it was going to be just a cruise but then I sneaked in 6 days pre-cruise at WDW. Our plans ended up changing and we dropped the cruise but kept the WDW portion. DH wasn’t going to go since he said it could be another girl trip but then all of a sudden he did a 180 on me and said he would come with us!!! I was so excited! I can be his personal Dis tour guide and show him all the things that we love to do, and see, and eat. Lucky him!

Now to reveal a chink in the armor of Prince Charms-a-lot….DH sometimes gets annoyed with all of my attention to taking photos. Although I can proudly say that for vacation dining he doesn’t take a bite of his food until I have snapped a photo!! (How well trained is he??) I have cautioned DH that I like characters, and I like photos with characters, and if you go with us, you may need to pose with a princess or two. His reply, “I could pose with that Jasmine girl and see if she has a belly piercing.” He’s such a man! And that my friends is how the title of this PTR was born.


Who doesn't love this guy!



Next Up: What are our plans?

Last edited by emmysmommy; 07-12-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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Chapter Links

Reserving for Chapter links..... Or a few jokes whichever works better!

Chapter 1 Proper Introductions and getting started
Chapter 2: The Where, When, and What we are planning to do there!
Chapter 3: Dining Plans
Chapter 4: Flight Plans with a little surprise!
Chapter 5: Some Disney's Grand Californian Hotel Time - But it's all in the name of business!
Chapter 6: Disneyland VIP Tour Part I - Walt's Firehouse Apartment
Chapter 7: Disneyland VIP Tour Part II - Dream Suite & Champagne Toasts
Chapter 8: Disney's Grand Californian - Day 2 of Conference
Chapter 9: The Story Behind the Photo in My Signature
Chapter 10: Some actual trip planning...well, not exactly planning...
Chapter 11: Happy Mail arrived!!!!
Chapter 12: Shopping and other pre-trip rituals
Chapter 13: An old favorite makes its way back into our dining line up!
Chapter 14: Biergarten & Regrets
Chapter 15: Why not a TPV??
Chapter 16: Sentimental Journey - a little detour tonight
Chapter 17: A Little Practice for our Trip
Chapter 18: A Total Chick update
Chapter 19: My Voice Mail Message

Last edited by emmysmommy; 08-15-2012 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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I am in and excited to find out your plans! I just started my first pre trip every too so we will see how that goes!
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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Putting a Plan into place

When are we going?

Our travel dates changed a few times… we went from the original 6 nites to 11 nights as a girl only trip, to 10 nites as a family to finally, 12 nights. We will arrive Sat. 8/18 and stay until Thurs. 8/30. We could have stayed through the Labor Day weekend but we decided to come back early so that we could relax and enjoy a few days at the beach before going back to work/school.


Where will we stay?
We are absolutely in love with Bay Lake Tower. We have stayed there, in whole or in part, for all of our girl trips. You can’t beat walking to MK and the convenience of the monorail. I love the sound of the ferry whistles on the Seven Seas lagoon and the tranquility of Bay Lake. As for BLT itself, we have stayed in a 1 bedroom and a studio – both with theme park views. I love the spaciousness of the 1 bedroom and although I didn’t think I would care for the décor the first time we went, I became a big fan!

For this trip I booked a 2 bedroom Lake View room for 8 nights. Because there have not been any significant AP discounts for our travel dates we booked with the room only discount which equaled a whopping 5% for our room type.

BLT:


View from room (with zoom):


With a 12 night trip I wanted to book a split stay and try a new resort. After Em and I ate breakfast at Kouzzina in February, I knew I wanted to stay at the Boardwalk. We stayed at Beach Club Resort for 7 nights in 2010 so we were familiar with the Epcot resorts. We will have a 1 bedroom at the Boardwalk villas the first 4 nights of our trip. Again, the room only discount was applied to this reservation. If I had kept my original room reservation at BWI, it had a 30% discount but we decided that we wanted more space than a standard room. Regardless, I am looking forward to walking to Epcot and DHS from the resort.



What parks and activities?
Because we live near D-land we have Premier passes so we are set for park admission and some other new activities that we may try such as DisneyQuest and a water park.

We plan to visit all the parks with a greater emphasis on MK. (My favorite!) I also plan to stop by and say hi to at least one CM that is doing the DCP at one of the Frontierland attractions! (Hi there Betsy)

Epcot and DHS we plan to visit often with AK only getting honorable mention since we’ll likely only be there for two half days. (Sorry AK lovers!)

Does anyone have a preference of Typhoon Lagoon versus Blizzard Beach? We’ve never been to either so are not sure which has the more thrilling flumes and slides. Personally, I’m not looking forward to water wedgies from these but I am the ever accommodating wife!

Next up: Dining plans
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel09985 View Post
I am in and excited to find out your plans! I just started my first pre trip every too so we will see how that goes!
Hi there! You slipped in between my postings. Thanks for joining. I see you will be at WDW in November - such a better time of the year weather wise. I'm heading your way to check out your plans as well.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
[SIZE="3"][SIZE="4"][COLOR="Navy"] I have cautioned DH that I like characters, and I like photos with characters, and if you go with us, you may need to pose with a princess or two. His reply, “I could pose with that Jasmine girl and see if she has a belly piercing.” He’s such a man! And that my friends is how the title of this PTR was born.

Next Up: What are our plans?

I just started reading your PTR and I had to laugh at the description of your DH. He sounds a lot like mine. He has the same quirky sense of humor. LOL!! I love his comment about Jasmine. It made me That is definitely something that my DH would say. LOL!! I'm always saying that he's such a man. LOL!

My DH has been with his company for 22 years. He also says that it seems like forever.

I'm off to read the rest, but am loving it so far.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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Sorry to post so much, but I love your ptr.

Okay, I love AK, but our family's favorite park has always been Epcot. Even my son. He's loved it since he was little. Now, he prefers it over MK. I guess it's cause he's in that whole teenage angst thing. LOL!!

We have never been to any of the water parks. Shocking I know. Since we lived in Florida for years and Disney was practically our second home.

DH & DS don't really like to do water parks. Me? I could stay there our entire trip. DS is getting to like them more the older he gets. From what I've read I would probably pick Typhoon Lagoon over Blizzard Beach. I just think that TL seems more relaxing, but that's probably just me. LOL!!

Can't wait to see what your dining plans look like. I think that's one of my favorite parts of planning a Disney trip. The food!!!
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNipRules View Post
DH & DS don't really like to do water parks. Me? I could stay there our entire trip. DS is getting to like them more the older he gets. From what I've read I would probably pick Typhoon Lagoon over Blizzard Beach. I just think that TL seems more relaxing, but that's probably just me. LOL!!

Can't wait to see what your dining plans look like. I think that's one of my favorite parts of planning a Disney trip. The food!!!
Thanks for reading! Oh my! We have so much in common. I was hoping that no one would take the Jasmine comment wrong - but you get it if you DH has that crazy and sometimes irreverent sense of humor!

Thanks for the advice for the water parks... I just have no clue.

And yes, dining plans are a HUGE part of my planning and even the trip! Too much probably but since there is really no self help group for that I just come here! I'll be posting our ever evolving plans shortly.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:13 PM   #9
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Dining Plans


Since I hang out a lot on the Dis dining boards and have completed 3 dining reviews thus far, (see signature for all manner of food, snacks, and other edibles) you will not be surprised to learn that we have over 30 ADRs booked for our 13 day stay! We will try some new places, revisit some favorites, and I am looking forward to our first Wishes Dessert party. We have a TiW card which will give us the food and beverage (including cocktails ) discount of 18%. Actually, it expired a little over a month ago so I need to renew it either by mail (I received the renewal notice that says it takes a few weeks to process) or when we arrive. I think I want to save some time and do it by mail in the next week or two.

Honestly, if I could stay at WDW 29.8 days I could fit all the ADRs that I want and not change my mind. My problem is not indecisivness, it is that my trips are too short!

Here’s our current dining line up: (Subject to change based on whimsy and reading yet another dining review that captures my attention!)

Day 1
No plans – I want to try either Big River Grille or the pizza window at BW

Day 2
Cape May – breakfast
Tokyo Dining – lunch
No plans – dinner

Day 3
No breakfast plans – likely Boardwalk Bakery
Yak & Yeti – lunch (new to us)
Wolfgang Puck Express – dinner (new to us)

Day 4
Captain’s Grill – breakfast
Sci-Fi Dine In – lunch
Yachtsman Steakhouse – dinner (new to us)

Day 5
Kouzzina – breakfast
50’s PT Café – lunch
Wishes Dessert Party

Day 6
Kona Café – breakfast (our favorite breakfast!)
Tony’s Town Square – lunch
Teppan Edo – dinner

Day 7
The Wave – breakfast (giving this a 3rd try)
Le Cellier – lunch
Grand Floridian Café – dinner

Day 8
Whispering Canyon Café – breakfast
Liberty Tree Tavern – lunch
California Grill – dinner

Day 9
Grand Floridian Café – breakfast
Chefs de France – lunch
‘Ohana – dinner (never eaten dinner here)

Day 10
Boma – breakfast
No plans for lunch – may stop by Flame Tree BBQ a favorite
Hollywood Brown Derby – dinner

Day 11
Crystal Palace – breakfast
Plaza Restaurant – lunch
La Hacienda de San Angel – dinner

Day 12
‘Ohana – breakfast
Via Napoli – lunch
Citricos – dinner

Day 13
Cinderella’s Royal Table – breakfast
Open for lunch

Now, I know you are thinking the same thing that I did the first time I booked a ton of ADRs a few years ago – how can you eat all of that food? My secret is to split meals and eat appetizers when an entrée will be too much food so that we can still enjoy the variety and some of our favorites. The reality may end up being quite different than the current plan!

Some of these ADRs were made with the schedules of some of our favorite CMs in mind…. We love Cooper at 50’s PT, James at HBD, and Robert at GFC. We’ve had amazing service from them and they have made our dining experience special so we hope to see them again this trip.

Sadly, we likely will not be dining at Artists Point (which I think DH would like) or Coral Reef (honestly, I like the theming and ambiance more than the food.) Also because I didn't want to do princess & character overload for DH, I didn't book Akershus (we've been there for breakfast twice and I love the cheesey potatoes) or 1900 Park Fare since Michael specifically said that he didn't want to eat with the Mad Hatter judging his breakfast options! That just means I see another girl trip in my future to return to some of our favorites!

Although I rarely can work in more than 1 snack a trip (that carrot cake cookie from DHS is worth skipping a meal for!) I would like to one day try the school bread in Norway, one of those big pretzels in Germany, or those nachos from Mexico! Perhaps I need to consider a trip where we will just eat snack food the entire time!

Seriously, if you have never tried this baby, you NEED to:


close up:


Next Up: More travel planning….
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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That carrot cake cookie looks yummy. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to try one on our trip.

We are trying lots of new places too. There are a few that you are eating at that we are to. I'm looking forward to 'Ohana. I've heard good things about it.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #11
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I am following!! I can't wait to read your TR, I've read one before and loved it! We'll be returning in Sept for our 2nd family trip and I am considering doing a TR.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #12
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I am following!! I can't wait to read your TR, I've read one before and loved it! We'll be returning in Sept for our 2nd family trip and I am considering doing a TR.
Thanks! You definitely should do a TR!
BTW: Your avatar brings a smile to my face since my DD's favorite Dis character Rapunzel is from Tangled -
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:48 AM   #13
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Hi!

Your PTR looks great! And sounds delicious!! One year (we were traveling as 4 adults and 2 1 year olds) We "ate around the world" and got appetizers to splite 4 ways in every country... It was very filling but doable. It did require a jog back to the car in the parking lot with our strollers though
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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We will be there at the same time you are! (at least some of the days...we are going on a 4 night Bahamas cruise of Royal Caribbean first)
Enjoy!
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:31 PM   #15
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Hi Brenda!

I seldom venture away from the Dining Boards, so thank you for posting the link to your PTR in your signature.

Your dining plans look wonderful so far! I wonder how many changes you will make to them between now and the 18th of August??? Or maybe you will do like DonaldDoleWhip and wait until you get there to make drastic changes to your plans and throw us all for a loop! I still can't believe that he cancelled Artist Point!!! Anyway, regardless of where you do end up dining, I will be anxiously waiting to hear all about it when you return.

Oh, and while I'm over here on this board (where I'm sure my DD2 will never see), I must tell you that we have one more thing in common besides that we both love Disney and Disney food. You see, my DD2 is also named Emily and her favorite Disney character is currently Rapunzel from Tangled. I never mentioned this on my Dining Report because she wants to remain incognito. So we will just keep this secret between you and me.
Oops, and also the thousands of other people who will probably be reading your PTR. ---Barb
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