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Old 11-11-2012, 04:25 PM   #3361
mrsap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomTo3PrincessesInNJ
So we’re back from our first family vacation and it was amazing! Even with US Air being the worst airline EVER, and coming back to the airport to find our car battery dead, this was still the best 6 days we could have ever imagined!
I am going to work on my Photopass+ CD tonight and tomorrow and I’ll upload some when I am done.

I’ll try to recap each day quickly, but first a things:

It was COLD!!! We thought we'd be fine with long sleeve t shirts and light jackets, WRONG! Bring lots of layering clothes. And jackets. And maybe hats & gloves, too! It would get warm in the middle of the day, but the nights were very cold.

I have to say the Deluxe dining plan was WAY TOO MUCH food and not worth the cost for us. This made me really sad because I thought it was a good deal, but after eating a character buffet almost every morning (which will always be a must-do for us because standing in line at a park is a waste of time IMO), then having an app/entre/dessert for lunch and dinner, it was just too much. My H and I are BIG eaters, and we couldn’t keep up. It literally felt like we were constantly eating. We often skipped the appetizer and dessert, which didn’t make the cost worth it. Not to mention that with all that food we had no desire for snacks, so we ended up only using our snack credits for drinks while we were in the park, and when we checked out yesterday we still had 2 meals and 17 (!!!) snack credits left, so we used the snack credits on treats to bring home for friends. We also wasted a lot of time sitting down to eat in the afternoon. I think doing a sit down breakfast and dinner with a counter service lunch would have worked better for us, especially since we returned to the resort for naps every day.

Which brings me to our resort – AoA is amazing! It’s gorgeous and perfect for younger kids. We loved the suite, especially because we had our own bedroom/bathroom! The only negative I have to say about the resort is the food service. No matter when we went – line or no line- everything took FOREVER. It was painfully slow. And there was no information posted about the dining plan and other guests kept getting the wrong stuff with their meals, which held up the whole line at check out. It was a mess. The food was good, but we ended up purposely NOT eating there because it was such a hassle.

So here’s a quick recap:
Arrival, Monday. After our flight was delayed and we switched planes at the gate, we finally arrived at MCO. We were greeted by our driver from Happy Limo and taken to our stretch Lincoln Navigator! We were given a complementary upgrade from the limo we paid for – awesome! Cate did pretty good on the plane, but I couldn’t imagine having to sit with her on a crowded bus for another 30+ minutes, so I’m so glad we decided to go with a car service. I highly recommend Happy Limo, they rolled out red carpet for the girls and all, it was so cute! We got to AoA around 11a and were able to get right into our room. We were on the ground floor facing the pool. The windows do not have screens so we didn’t feel comfortable leaving them open, which was a shame because the weather was gorgeous while we were there. Also, the pool area is VERY noisy. There are activities all day and loud music all the time. Luckily when we came back for naps the girls were so tired they didn’t seem to notice.

We went to Hollywood Studios after we had lunch at Landscape of Flavors. The food was good, the service was slow. We met with our family and rode some rides then had lunch at Sci Fi. Sad to say, this was one of the worst meals we had. Nobody in our party of 10 was happy with their whole meal. My app and dessert were great, my entre was not. After lunch we rode more rides then headed over to F! around 5:30. They already let the line in, and there were tons of seats, so I’m glad we didn’t waste time standing in line. The show was great, the girls loved it. After F! we went to dinner at 50’s Prime Time. Everyone loved their food and the theming was great. After dinner we headed out. Our day started at 3:45a, so we were beat.

Day 2, Tuesday: Breakfast at Chef Mickey. Everyone loved it and the character interaction was good. The weather this day wasn’t great – showers on & off, but we headed over to MK anyway. We had a great day. There weren’t a lot of people in the park so we walked on to almost every ride and when we used the FastPass it was even faster. We have lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. Another not so great experience. H didn’t eat at all because he was still full from breakfast, and I had the Pilgrims feast, which was served luke-warm. Everyone in our party got the toffee cake for dessert and loved it. Next time this will be a dessert only stop! After lunch we went back to the resort for a nap and met our party for dinner at the Cape May Café Clam Bake. This was a great meal because everyone in the party of 10 loves seafood – right down to my 18 month old! After dinner we went back to MK for more rides and fireworks and then we went back to the resort.

Day 3, Wednesday. Breakfast at Akershus. GREAT meal, GREAT character interaction, overall one of our favs. The waitress refilled one platter with just bacon & potatoes when we requested, so the guys were happy! The girls were in awe of the princess… it was priceless! I hate to say it, but I preferred this meal to our Cindy’s Royal table breakfast. After breakfast we grabbed a Soarin’ fastpass, rode the boat thing in the Land, hit up Mission: Space (hated it, but my husband and DD7 thought it was great, haha), went to Soarin’ and then to the Food & Wine Festival for lunch. I had the cheese fondue from the cheese booth (not a fan), the lobster cuddler and lobster roll from Hops & Barley (loved them both!), and ended my lunch cheddar cheese soup and steak from Canada (loved again). We went back for our daily naps then back to Epcot for dinner at Biergarten. This was one of the best meals and experiences of the whole trip. Everyone loved the food and the entertainment was great. We stayed for Illuminations then went back to the resort.

Day 4, Thursday. Breakfast at O’hana. The food was great, loved the service, and the girls were excited to see Lilo, Stitch and Mickey. This day H & my oldest DD went to Universal, so I had the little girls and we went to MK to ride some rides. My 3 year old could have stayed in the Storybook Circus the whole week. Between Dumbo and the Goofy rollercoaster and the closeness of the tea cups and carousel, she was in heaven. We went back to the resort and had lunch (another terribly long and drawn out wait) and then they napped.

H & DD came back from Universal and then we got them ready for our appointment at the BBB! My oldest was great, but my 3 year old decided she didn’t want to do it – fine, no problem, but then she started bawling when we were walking out and said she wanted her hair done, but we had dinner at 1900 Park Fare in 30 mins! So, a fairy godmother called the Grand Floridian and explained our situation, and they said to take our time and they will seat us when we arrived – awesome service!!! Dinner at 1900 was good. Not a huge buffet, but the character interaction was worth the trip. The girls LOVED Prince Charming! After dinner we went back to the resort, then me at my older DD went to MK and stayed until 1a! Oh, did I mention that WE WERE LET INTO THE NEW FANTASY LAND EXPANSION?!?!?! Well, we were. My Disney Dream come true! It was really dark, and late, but I didn’t care. We went on the Little Mermaid ride and into Belle’s cottage. DD was chosen to be the beast so she got to dance with Belle --- she was in heaven! At the end she got a signed book mark from Belle and a photopass card with the pictures of her & Belle on it. It was so cool!

Day 5, Friday. Breakfast at Tusker House. Another great character buffet. Animal Kingdom was good – Expedition Everest was so cool, and we all enjoyed the safari ride. We were only at AK for 5 hours and skipped our ressie at Rainforest (we weren’t hungry). Went to the hotel for naps, then to Hollywood Studios for our dinner at Hollywood and Vine. We wanted to see the Osborne lights before going to the Xmas party and this was the only way to make it work. The food wasn’t delicious, but it was far from terrible – in our group of 10, this was ranked ABOVE Liberty Tree & Sci Fi. To each their own. We made it to the lights after another stop in Tower of Terror – they were beautiful! We stayed for about 30 mins then went to the MK for MVMCP. The party was a lot of fun. The parade was the best part – and the Holiday Wishes show was awesome. The park cleared out after the fireworks, which was great. We walked onto all the rides we wanted to – and then went into the new Fantasy Land AGAIN!

This time Belle’s cottage wasn’t working, but we did the Ariel ride again and looked around. We stayed until close since it was our last night.
Day 6, Saturday. Breakfast at Cindy’s Royal Table. The food wasn’t bad, but not as great as I expected for the price. I had the stuffed French toast, which wasn’t French toast at all, it was like a bread pudding. And it had raisins, which I don’t really like. But I ate it all. H ordered 2 meals, and ate them both (traditional and steak & eggs). The girls got to see Jasmine, which was exciting. We had already seen Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora and Snow White at Akershus. After breakfast we went to the Town Hall to see Rapunzel then went to our resort to check out.

The only princess we didn’t see was Tiana – and we were in line for her, but they cut us off and we never made it back to see her.

All in all, the trip was pretty much the best vacation we could have had. There were some hiccups with our flights, and the airline damaged my very expensive stroller, but that couldn’t ruin my amazing vacation! We are already planning out 2014 vacation

I will try to catch up with everything I missed tonight after the girls go to sleep... today we are unpacking, ugh.
So great to hear you had a great time!!! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!!!

Can I ask, how did you like the food & character interaction at Chef Mickeys? I've read mixed reviews. Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:01 PM   #3362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsap View Post
So great to hear you had a great time!!! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!!!

Can I ask, how did you like the food & character interaction at Chef Mickeys? I've read mixed reviews. Thanks!
I thought the food was good, and so were the characters. My girls prefer the princesses to the other characters, but still wanted their autographs, so it was well worth it. I liked that you could just hop on the monorail after, too.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #3363
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With 4 day to go before we leave - I actually finished everything on my list! I counted it up last night when I was done. This is a 9 day trip. I made 11 dresses, 9 skirts and 19 tee-shirts. 1 dress and 1 skirt are for my neice. 3 Tees are for my nephew. 2 tees are for my neice and 2 tees (1 each) for the older neices. The rest for my 2 girls.

Here is the stash laid out last night on the bed.

IMG_6255 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr

And the last 2 outfits. My youngest sort of modeled my first Lauren Dress. I really like how this came out with the elastic casing in the back. She was twirlling too much so it was hard to get a good picture.

IMG_6251 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr


IMG_6245 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr

And the girls modeled their Perry Tee's and World Skirts this morning for me.

IMG_6257 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr

Please forgive the mess. I got the house straightend up today finally.

I can't wait for Thursday!
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:45 PM   #3364
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9 days for us!!! Finished all of our sewing this weekend which is a huge relief, I can breathe now. I have most of my little ones clothes set aside and just have to hit target to pick up a few little things we need. Here is my attempt to post some images....


This is my awesome camera strap that I am beyond in love with!!



This is a bad awful cell phone picture of our shirts.... I am pretty proud of them, even though they are not that special, unique or perfect I think they turned out good..



This is a shirt I made for my son, I couldn't afford to buy offline so I tried to make it myself and its not perfect but it is my favorite....



Sorry for the awful cell phone pictures, but it's all I have right now my mom has all the shirts with her so I couldn't retake them until I see her and I am soo excited I wanted to share.

My mom made my daughter a Minnie inspired dress and finished that today and when I put the finishing touches on tomorrow I will share as well, I want to post the picture with my DD awesome chunky bead Minnie necklace... Everyone leaving this week have a great time!!
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:47 PM   #3365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachygreen
With 4 day to go before we leave - I actually finished everything on my list! I counted it up last night when I was done. This is a 9 day trip. I made 11 dresses, 9 skirts and 19 tee-shirts. 1 dress and 1 skirt are for my neice. 3 Tees are for my nephew. 2 tees are for my neice and 2 tees (1 each) for the older neices. The rest for my 2 girls.

Here is the stash laid out last night on the bed.

IMG_6255 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr

And the last 2 outfits. My youngest sort of modeled my first Lauren Dress. I really like how this came out with the elastic casing in the back. She was twirlling too much so it was hard to get a good picture.

IMG_6251 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr


IMG_6245 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr

And the girls modeled their Perry Tee's and World Skirts this morning for me.

IMG_6257 by peachygreen2010, on Flickr

Please forgive the mess. I got the house straightend up today finally.

I can't wait for Thursday!
I love the holiday dress!!! So stinkin cute! (So are your little ones!) you have been very busy, I am glad I didn't have has much to do. I think it makes the trip extra special to have cute items that are made with love.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:00 PM   #3366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmills View Post
9 days for us!!! Finished all of our sewing this weekend which is a huge relief, I can breathe now. I have most of my little ones clothes set aside and just have to hit target to pick up a few little things we need. Here is my attempt to post some images....


This is my awesome camera strap that I am beyond in love with!!



This is a bad awful cell phone picture of our shirts.... I am pretty proud of them, even though they are not that special, unique or perfect I think they turned out good..



This is a shirt I made for my son, I couldn't afford to buy offline so I tried to make it myself and its not perfect but it is my favorite....



Sorry for the awful cell phone pictures, but it's all I have right now my mom has all the shirts with her so I couldn't retake them until I see her and I am soo excited I wanted to share.

My mom made my daughter a Minnie inspired dress and finished that today and when I put the finishing touches on tomorrow I will share as well, I want to post the picture with my DD awesome chunky bead Minnie necklace... Everyone leaving this week have a great time!!
I love that shirt you made for your son. Very cute! Great job. It is definately a relief to have it all finished. I'm jealous you did it with 9 days to go. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmills View Post
I love the holiday dress!!! So stinkin cute! (So are your little ones!) you have been very busy, I am glad I didn't have has much to do. I think it makes the trip extra special to have cute items that are made with love.
Thanks. It was a lot of work, but it was fun too. I'm amazed to see how much improved my sewing skills are from my trip 4 years ago. It definately makes it special. The girls have fun helping me with the prep too. My 6 year old was so funny this morning when I showed her the world skirts (she hadn't seen it yet). "Mommy - where did you get this fabric. That is so cool. I love the Earths and the Recycle symbols". I'll enjoy it while she is still enthuastic about me sewing for her.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:24 AM   #3367
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Oh my goodness you all are so crafty and talented. I would never have enough no how or patience to sew and do all that. The outfits are just precious!! We leave Wed. and can't wait only 2 more days
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:55 AM   #3368
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One week from this moment and we will be in FLORIDA!!!!! I am hoping to get my last minute items this week and to get the house nice and clean. I hate coming home to a mess. I can't believe I have been counting down for 8 months and it is finally almost time to leave!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:02 AM   #3369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomTo3PrincessesInNJ

I thought the food was good, and so were the characters. My girls prefer the princesses to the other characters, but still wanted their autographs, so it was well worth it. I liked that you could just hop on the monorail after, too.
That's good to know, thanks! We will be doing both Chef Mickeys and CRT so each child gets to see their favorites too. We didn't do autographs two years ago, but the again, DD was only 2, so we will try it this year. Hopefully she'll have fun with it!!

Leaving in 4 Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to get in the car and just go!!! lol
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:09 AM   #3370
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We leave and arrive in 5 days!!!!

Arrive the 17th and leave the 23rd. Only 1 ADR for Chef Mickeys on the 18 at 8am.

We are flying in and out of Tampa and staying at Windsor Palms. At $61 a night for 3 bedrooms I can't complain.

I've been sick and actually still in bed. I went to the ER yesterday and was diagnosed with a respiratory infection. Big YUCK! I have the suitcases out but not packed. I have so much to do this week. Kids school programs, work on Tuesday and Wednesday, Twilight on Thursday and housecleaning Friday. No time to be sick.

But 5 days!!! Woohoo

Sandi; sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:53 AM   #3371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachygreen View Post
With 4 day to go before we leave - I actually finished everything on my list! I counted it up last night when I was done. This is a 9 day trip. I made 11 dresses, 9 skirts and 19 tee-shirts. 1 dress and 1 skirt are for my neice. 3 Tees are for my nephew. 2 tees are for my neice and 2 tees (1 each) for the older neices. The rest for my 2 girls.

Please forgive the mess. I got the house straightend up today finally.

I can't wait for Thursday!
I forgot to scold you on the Disboutique thread about apologizing for your mess! With what you've achieved these past weeks in between traveling for work, and everything else on your plate, something had to give, right? You got the important things done and that's all that matters. Have a fantastic time at Disney!!! And don't forget to check in when you get back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmills View Post
9 days for us!!! Finished all of our sewing this weekend which is a huge relief, I can breathe now. I have most of my little ones clothes set aside and just have to hit target to pick up a few little things we need. Here is my attempt to post some images....


This is my awesome camera strap that I am beyond in love with!!



This is a bad awful cell phone picture of our shirts.... I am pretty proud of them, even though they are not that special, unique or perfect I think they turned out good..



This is a shirt I made for my son, I couldn't afford to buy offline so I tried to make it myself and its not perfect but it is my favorite....



Sorry for the awful cell phone pictures, but it's all I have right now my mom has all the shirts with her so I couldn't retake them until I see her and I am soo excited I wanted to share.

My mom made my daughter a Minnie inspired dress and finished that today and when I put the finishing touches on tomorrow I will share as well, I want to post the picture with my DD awesome chunky bead Minnie necklace... Everyone leaving this week have a great time!!
Yay for getting everything done! Good for you! Everything looks great. I hope you have a wonderful time and that the little ones get lots of comments on their clothes. Let us know how it went.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uscgmouse View Post
One week from this moment and we will be in FLORIDA!!!!! I am hoping to get my last minute items this week and to get the house nice and clean. I hate coming home to a mess. I can't believe I have been counting down for 8 months and it is finally almost time to leave!
Have a magical time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsap View Post
That's good to know, thanks! We will be doing both Chef Mickeys and CRT so each child gets to see their favorites too. We didn't do autographs two years ago, but the again, DD was only 2, so we will try it this year. Hopefully she'll have fun with it!!

Leaving in 4 Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to get in the car and just go!!! lol
Have a great trip!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by codimouse View Post
We leave and arrive in 5 days!!!!

Arrive the 17th and leave the 23rd. Only 1 ADR for Chef Mickeys on the 18 at 8am.

We are flying in and out of Tampa and staying at Windsor Palms. At $61 a night for 3 bedrooms I can't complain.

I've been sick and actually still in bed. I went to the ER yesterday and was diagnosed with a respiratory infection. Big YUCK! I have the suitcases out but not packed. I have so much to do this week. Kids school programs, work on Tuesday and Wednesday, Twilight on Thursday and housecleaning Friday. No time to be sick.

But 5 days!!! Woohoo

Sandi; sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
Ohhh, hope you feel better very soon! Have a magical trip!
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:57 AM   #3372
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I have great news! My daughter and her family are going to be able to make if for Thanksgiving after all!!! Our DSIL found out they are closing up at 2pm on Wednesday, so they can make the trip after all. I'm soooo excited!! AND my other DD and her family might be able to come too. We will know later today or tomorrow. I'm in heaven. All this and then a trip to Disney. What more could I ask for??

Have a great day everyone!
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #3373
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Originally Posted by disneychic2 View Post
I have great news! My daughter and her family are going to be able to make if for Thanksgiving after all!!! Our DSIL found out they are closing up at 2pm on Wednesday, so they can make the trip after all. I'm soooo excited!! AND my other DD and her family might be able to come too. We will know later today or tomorrow. I'm in heaven. All this and then a trip to Disney. What more could I ask for??

Have a great day everyone!
Yay! That's great news!

We have some good news here. I called Photopass this morning and they refunded us the $20 price cut on the Photopass Plus. We picked up Christmas dresses yesterday at Costco for the girls to wear. We packed a bag of goodies for the kids to have during the trip. Also, we came up with a plan for our family pictures. On Thanksgiving Day we have an ADR at 7pm for CRT. We're going to change into our "picture clothes" before we head to MK for dinner and get the Photopass people to take pictures of us in front of the Castle. It should be lit by then I would think and should make a great back drop for our pictures. Sunset is going to be around 5:30 so by 6pm we should have a great back drop.

To MomTo3PrincessesInNJ: Sounds like you had a great trip! We had the DxDP on our last trip and did a bunch of character meals and buffets last time but aren't doing it this time. Part of why we did it last time was our kids were smaller and we felt it would be good to have a break where they sat down out of the heat (we went in September last time) and see characters without waiting in a ton of lines for that. This time we're doing the regular DDP and will have breakfast in our room on all but 2 days. We'll do QS for lunches and TS for dinner. The only weird one we have is our F! reservation. That is at 3:45pm. We're having breakfast at Play and Dine so we may have F! as a late lunch and then do a late QS dinner.

My wife is finally starting to get excited about it. She said last night that she's been avoiding getting excited because she didn't want to spoil the surprise. Plus we've had so many other distractions recently she had to focus on those things. It's all Disney for the next two weeks though!
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:58 PM   #3374
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Originally Posted by disneychic2 View Post
I have great news! My daughter and her family are going to be able to make if for Thanksgiving after all!!! Our DSIL found out they are closing up at 2pm on Wednesday, so they can make the trip after all. I'm soooo excited!! AND my other DD and her family might be able to come too. We will know later today or tomorrow. I'm in heaven. All this and then a trip to Disney. What more could I ask for??

Have a great day everyone!
Oh, how wonderful! Congrats!
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:44 PM   #3375
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More good news! DD1 is now over 48 inches tall and DD2 is over 40 inches tall!
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