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Old 10-15-2012, 09:43 PM   #1
librarygeek
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My family joins me in Disney for the first time in 15 years!- time to go!

First of all, let me introduce myself! My name is Becky, I'm 24 years old, and I am, of course, the big Disney fanatic here! I'm finishing up my masters degree in library science and hoping to get a job in either a school library or as a public children's librarian. Joining me on this trip will be my DH Jason, my husband since about one year ago. He works as a software developer. We were last in Disney together for our honeymoon in September 2011. He is not quite as into Disney as I am but he likes when there's new things there to experience, so he's looking forward to the new fantasyland! Here we are on our honeymoon:



Also joining us on this trip are my parents and my brother. My dad has not been to Disney since he and I went together my senior year of high school, in 2005. My mom and brother have not been since our big family trip together back in 1996! A lot has changed since then, of course, and I've got to catch them up with things! Here I am with my parents:



And here's DH with my lil bro (okay, not exactly little, but he'll always be my little brother!)



I'm really close with my family and so excited for all of us to be back in Disney together for the first time in 15 years.

Our trip will be from Sunday, April 21st - Saturday, April 27th. We are staying off property, at the Fountains by bluegreen, as DH's uncle has a timeshare that he is letting us use for free (can't really get much better than free, right?). This works out decently enough, as we probably would've rented a car anyway since we plan to do a day at Universal Islands of Adventure.

The family is giving me pretty free reign over the planning process, so I've come up with some ideas about our schedule as well as our ADRs, which we get to make next week! More to come in the next post!

Last edited by librarygeek; 04-19-2013 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Our Schedule

One of the advantages to starting a pre-trip report is to keep myself organized - I've already typed up our plans in a Word document twice and then lost it because I forgot to save and my computer re-started!

Anyhow, here's our basic schedule for the days we'll be there. Since we're staying off-property I'm not sure if it would be too much to plan anything for our arrival date or our leaving date. I tried to pick our dates based on TouringPlans and the calendar, avoiding the EMH days. I have an AP, but the rest of my family has regular 5 day passes, no park hopper. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Sunday:
Arrive - time unknown
No plans yet (downtown Disney? Just hang at the hotel/pool?)

Monday:
Magic Kingdom 9am-10pm

Tuesday:
Hollywood Studios 9am-8:30pm

Wednesday:
Epcot 9am-9pm

Thursday:
Islands of Adventure 8am-? (probably stay til around 2 or so, since I've been to IoA a bunch of times and I don't love much about it except WWoHP, which is what my family really wants to see)
then over to Epcot for dinner and the evening, which is open til 9pm

Friday:
Animal Kingdom 9am-6pm

Saturday:
Departure time unknown
Thinking about possibly a water park if we leave late enough, as my dad had expressed interest in doing that - I'm just not sure if we'll be too tired by the end of the week! We do plan to take mid-day breaks every day.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:28 PM   #3
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Dining Plans!

We can start making our ADRs on Tuesday! Though since we're off-site we can't do the 180 +, so I'll probably just make each day's reservations on the 180 days out.

Figuring out dining was one of the most tricky parts of planning this trip. DH and I are foodies that love to have a good meal and try new restaurants. My parents like food but didn't want to spend a ton of money (so no signatures). My brother, however, is the really challenging one. He's been a picky eater forever, and even at the age of 22 the only things he will eat are pizza, pancakes, mozzarella sticks, and other assorted bread/cheese products. I'm not exaggerating - no meat, no veggies, no fruit, no pasta, no rice, etc. So the major thing he'll be eating while we're there is pizza. I've tried to pick out a few places that will appeal to him, but we've already accepted the fact that there may be a few meals where he'll go off on his own for awhile and the four of us will eat together somewhere.

Keeping all of that in mind, here's our dining plans - along with notes about why I picked it and any things I might be wondering about. We're pretty much doing table service meals for dinner and counter service for lunch. There are a few things I could use some suggestions on so let me know! Highlighted in red are the questions/suggestions that I'm looking for!

Sunday
Arrival day
Dinner - ??
I don't know about this one yet. It will definitely depend on how early we arrive, how tired we are, etc. If we decide to eat at Disney it would have to be outside the parks, since my family won't have park passes for that day. I would really like to go somewhere to "kick off the magic" but I'm stuck for a place - mostly because I want my brother to be able to join us, with it being the first night there, but there aren't a lot of places that stand out that he would like. I thought a character meal would be fun but I don't want to pay for a buffet/one-price deal where he won't eat anything. I would've done California Grill but it'll be closed while we're there. Any suggestions?

Monday
Magic Kingdom Day!
Lunch - counter service, wherever we happen to be at the time. DB will probably have to go to Pinocchio's village Haus to grab a flatbread, the rest of us will be open to options!
Dinner - Be Our Guest. This is a must even though I'll be there in February, as BatB is my mom's favorite movie.

Tuesday
Hollywood Studios
Lunch - counter service, Pizza Planet for DB. I'm not too familiar with the CS places in HS, any suggestions of a good place to grab lunch there?
Dinner - Mama Melrose's - it's got flatbreads for DB, and DH and I have never eaten there. We attempt to try as many new places as possible on our trips!

Wednesday
Epcot
Lunch - any CS places that have pizza? For the rest of us I love Sunshine Seasons. I'm also thinking about a lunch ressie at Via Napoli, but I don't want to spend too much time eating and not enough time in the park!
Dinner - San Angel Inn. My dad loves Mexican so this was a must. I showed him the menus for both San Angel and La Hacienda and this is the one that he picked!

Thursday
Islands of Adventure/Epcot
Lunch - Three Broomsticks, definitely! I've been to WWoHP so many times but it will be the first for my parents and DB! They're all big Harry Potter fans, though I know there's nothing DB will like there - he can still come for the experience and grab pizza somewhere else.
Dinner - Rose and Crown. This was my mom's one request, so we're doing it! I think it will be too crazy to try and get that fireworks seating, so I'm not sure the best time to reserve.

Friday
Animal Kingdom
Lunch - Yak and Yeti. I've always wanted to try it, so this was my one request.
Dinner - may just grab CS somewhere, or even eat back at the suite.
Any advantage to doing Yak and Yeti for lunch rather than dinner, or vice versa? It doesn't really matter to me which way we do it, but is there any particular reason why you might have a preference?

Saturday
Departure
Breakfast? I'm thinking it might be nice to do a final breakfast, provided we don't decide to do a water park or something that day. Would love to do a character meal (DB eats pancakes, pastries, and waffles so it wouldn't be a waste!) - thinking 1900 Park Fare but I don't do a lot of breakfasts so I'm definitely open to suggestions! Chef Mickey's?

Thank you for bearing with me if you've made it this far - and I'd really love some thoughts/suggestions on the dining plans I've made!
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I'm thinking downtown Disney would be nice for the day we arrive, but not quite sure where to eat. Maybe T-REX (food for DB and DH really liked it when we were there!), but I'd also be down for just grabbing Earl of Sandwich and then maybe an ice cream at Ghiradelli! Hmm, decisions, decisions!
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Subbing along! I don't have any suggestions yet since this will be my first trip in 20 years coming up, but around the holidays I'll have plenty of input for you ...
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taaren View Post
Subbing along! I don't have any suggestions yet since this will be my first trip in 20 years coming up, but around the holidays I'll have plenty of input for you ...
Thanks for joining in! I can't wait to hear about your experiences and will look forward to any input you might have! I see you've been to DL regularly - I've never been and would like to at least think about planning a trip there, hopefully within the next year or two.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:24 PM   #7
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I'm leaning towards the Cape May Cafe for breakfast on that Saturday. Anyone ever do the breakfast there before?

I also think the Sunday night of our arrival date it might be nice to just grab sandwiches at Earl and sundaes at Ghiradelli, so I'm not sure if I will even make an ADR. Though I may try to pick a place to make it just in case, knowing I can cancel it later. Hmm..
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:08 PM   #8
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Joining in here!

T-Rex might be a fun place for you to go on your first night! It certainly has that Disney feel, and looking at the menu I think your brother could get a few appetizers instead of a meal if he wants - they have tons of tasty options full of bread and cheese.

Pizza Planet is by far my favourite CS place in HS. I love the atmosphere. I think your entire party would enjoy it.

In Magic Kingdom, I suggest Pecos Bill in Frontierland. I really enjoyed the taco salad and the chilled chicken wrap. The Tomorrowland Terrace is only open seasonally, so if that's open when you're there, I suggest it as well.

I don't know if/where there's pizza in Epcot other than Via Napoli, but I think your brother may like something at Sunshine Seasons in the Land. I loved that one. There's a turkey and monterey jack on ciabatta, and if he really can't stand the turkey, he could ask them to make it without it, or pick it off after.

I LOVED the Three Broomsticks. I'm a rabid Harry Potter fan, and walking into that area of the park for the first time, with the music playing, was enough to bring tears to my eyes. Make sure you get everyone to try the Butterbeer and pumpkin juice. Definitely not to be missed. The ice cream is also delicious!

Anyway those are my suggestions! I look forward to following all your plans!

Last edited by rebeccaariel; 10-20-2012 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccaariel View Post
Joining in here!

T-Rex might be a fun place for you to go on your first night! It certainly has that Disney feel, and looking at the menu I think your brother could get a few appetizers instead of a meal if he wants - they have tons of tasty options full of bread and cheese.

Pizza Planet is by far my favourite CS place in HS. I love the atmosphere. I think your entire party would enjoy it.

In Magic Kingdom, I suggest Pecos Bill in Frontierland. I really enjoyed the taco salad and the chilled chicken wrap. The Tomorrowland Terrace is only open seasonally, so if that's open when you're there, I suggest it as well.

I don't know if/where there's pizza in Epcot other than Via Napoli, but I think your brother may like something at Sunshine Seasons in the Land. I loved that one. There's a turkey and monterey jack on ciabatta, and if he really can't stand the turkey, he could ask them to make it without it, or pick it off after.

I LOVED the Three Broomsticks. I'm a rabid Harry Potter fan, and walking into that area of the park for the first time, with the music playing, was enough to bring tears to my eyes. Make sure you get everyone to try the Butterbeer and pumpkin juice. Definitely not to be missed. The ice cream is also delicious!

Anyway those are my suggestions! I look forward to following all your plans!
Hello, and welcome aboard! Thanks for all of your suggestions And I think you may have sold me on making a ressie for T-REX that night! Pecos Bill is one CS place I haven't tried. It sounds like stuff that we would really enjoy!

Also, someone told me that apparently Via Napoli does CS pizza as well - I had no idea! So that might be a good plan, at least for my brother. I adore Sunshine Seasons so if we split up I'm pretty sure I'll go there

And I can't wait for more Butterbeer!! I've been to IOA a bunch of times since the wizarding world opened and I can't get enough of it! Only at Three Broomsticks once though, the first summer it opened, so I'm excited to go back there.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Hey becks I am here! As far as dining at Yak and Yeti it was fabulous for lunch when we had it so I say go for it. Also you will love Mama Melrose that is DH and I's restaurant!

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Hey becks I am here! As far as dining at Yak and Yeti it was fabulous for lunch when we had it so I say go for it. Also you will love Mama Melrose that is DH and I's restaurant!

Teresa
Yum, I can't wait for Yak and Yeti! What did you have? Also, I know Mama Melrose is your and DH's "place" - I always think of you when I hear it mentioned!
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:17 PM   #12
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Landrys Select Club

So I'm thinking it will make sense to join the Landrys Select Club membership. They are the company that owns a bunch of restaurants, including Rainforest, T-REX, and Yak and Yeti:

http://www.landrysselect.com/SelectClubFeatures.aspx

It costs $25 to join, but then you get a $25 welcome credit, so that really cancels out. You also get a $25 credit during your birthday month - and mine happens to be April! So it's basically like a free $25 towards our food. And we're planning to eat at both Yak and Yeti and T-REX, so it will be useful.

And now that I think about it, it would probably make sense for my dad to get a card too. His birthday is also in April. So I could pay for one of the meals and he could pay for the other, and that way we'd save $25 on both! It would mean less points for each of us, but I don't think we'd necessarily reach $250 anyway, and even if we did I don't know if we'd be back to these particular restaurants within the year to use it.

Anyone have any experience with this? It seems like a really good deal to me, I can't think of any reason not to do it?
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:34 PM   #13
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Snagged my first ADR today! As I mentioned I have to do them one at a time since we're off-site. Today I booked T-REX for Sunday 4/21 at 6pm. Online they only had times of 4pm and 8pm, so I called and had no problem getting a better time!

Tomorrow I'm aiming for Be Our Guest!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #14
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I got Be Our Guest! It was the only one I was even slightly worried about not getting the time that we wanted, since I know it's going to be popular for awhile. I was able to book dinner for 4:45pm. We're really hoping to be able to book the Tomorrowland Fireworks dessert party that night, so I wanted an early dinner to hopefully leave lots of room for desserts!
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:49 PM   #15
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First of all, we made it through hurricane Sandy! We didn't lose power but we did lose internet and cable for the past day. Luckily we made it through. I hope everyone else in the area is doing well and got through it without too much damage.

On a brighter note, all of our ADRs are made! Here's what we have:

Sun 4/21 - T-REX at 6:00pm
Monday 4/22 - Be Our Guest at 4:45pm
Tuesday 4/23 - Mama Melrose at 5:15pm
Wednesday 4/24 - Rose and Crown at 7:00pm
Thursday 4/25 - San Angel Inn at 7:00pm
Friday 4/26 - Yak and Yeti at 11:30am
Saturday 4/27 - Cape May Cafe at 9:15am
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