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Old 08-16-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
redoschi
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Wink Introducing WDW to my Fiancee's family - A January 2013 Pre-Trip Report

Hi everyone!

This has been in the planning for a few years already, since we (me and my then DGf, now DFiancee) had returned from a WDW trip with my DParents, DSis and her DBf (now DH).

We wanted to bring her DMom and DBrothers to Orlando, but after some family health issues of both my DGrandmother and hers we postponed this trip for far too long. Now we're a year from our wedding (on September 2013) and her younger Brother is about to start his last year of High School (here in Brazil our school year runs from February to December with summer vacations from mid December to the beginning of February). So we thought it would be the perfect timing to finally make this trip! A last big family trip for them before he finishes High School and before the Wedding!

I'll post more about the planning in the following posts. I'm a huge Disney fan and an overplanner so there is a LOT of planning.

For now here are our trip dates and its participants!

January 20th - February 5th

Eduardo - Me - 28
Bruna - DFiancee - 28 (we should have a true Daisy Smilie!)
Carla - Bruna's DMom - 53
Dante - Bruna's DBro - 16

I know they aren't my official In-Laws yet, but from now on, to make it easier to refer to everyone on this Trip Report, I'll use DFi, DMIL and DBIL to refer to them!
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January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:19 PM   #2
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Ok, still waiting for Free Dining to close up our hotels but I'll start with some more info!

Our flights are already booked from Sao Paulo to Miami and a connecting flight to Orlando (and the same way back)! We're arriving in Orlando International Airport at 11:30pm of January 20th and we'll leave at 7pm of February 5th (16 nights).

We won't go to a Disney Resort right away on the 20th. Unless we split our reservation in 2, we can't stay more than 14 nights at once on a WDW resort, so we will stay at least 2 nights on an off-site hotel, more depending on Free Dining and its black out dates. And we will rent a car for the first week anyway as we would like to visit the off-site parks and outlets!

As Jan 21st is Martin Luther King Day, we're planning on going shopping on the Orlando Premium Outlets (still deciding on which venue) as they usually have great sales on most holiday weekends.

If Free Dining is available for Jan 22nd, we will check out and head over to Sea World for that day and after the park head over to Pop (our first option for WDW hotel as I've never stayed there and Art of Animation LM rooms probably will continue to be left out of Free Dining like on the 2012 offer) for check in and dinner.

At Sea World I'm dying to try out Manta as I'm a bit of a Roller Coaster freak and that seems to be awesome!
Also pretty interested in the new TurtleTrek dome and at Shamu's new show One Ocean. I'm just sad that Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin won't be open yet, I loved that Penguin exhibit and won't get to see them this time!

So for now here is our schedule (I'll include the schedule at the end of each post with the new information added):

January
20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!

February
5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
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January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 08-28-2012, 08:11 AM   #3
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The lack of Free Dining offers sure is killing me!

Well, as I mentioned before, we'll change hotels on the 22nd, but we'll continue heading to off-site parks as I'm planning on renting a car for the first 9 days only then returning it and using just Disney transportation for then on.

January 23rd and 24th will be dedicated for Universal Orlando (in mid-week to try to minimize the crowds that seek Harry Potter!).

For the 23rd I'm planning a rush to Islands of Adventure, being there before rope drop and heading straight to WWoHP. Lunch at either Three Broomsticks or Mythos (always wanted to try it, but it will depend on our budget which will depend on FD!).

No park hours revealed yet, but we plan on staying there until park closes then grabbing something to eat at Citywalk (Bubba Gump maybe?) and then watching the Blue Man Group! (depending on park hours, we might go to Blue man first then dinner!)

The 24th will be Universal Studios day. I'm excited for RRR (love roller coasters and music, so should be FUN!) and Despicable Me (we all love the minions! Think I'll get DFi a minion plush! ) which are new since our last trip. Not so much about The Simpsons (I'm sure I'll like it, but nothing justifies the removal of Back to the Future, which was my favorite US ride!).
No idea yet where to grab lunch, any suggestions?

We might not stay until park closure as I'm thinking of taking us all to Amway Center for Orlando Magic vs Toronto Raptors. We're not big sports fans, but I believe it would be a nice change from theme parks to just watch a nice fun game!

Updated schedule! (New stuff)

January
20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!
23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game


February
5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 08-29-2012, 12:36 PM   #4
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For the next couple days, Jan 25th and Jan 26th, I'm planning a bit differently.

On the morning of the 25th, I'll really bring them closer to a Disney park, but not into one just yet! I've made an ADR for breakfast at Ohana. We're all big fans of both Stitch and the Ohana concept:

Quote:
'Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.
Even our WiFi networks at both my home and that of DFi's family are called Ohana!
The whole idea for the trip was a get together before DBIL finishes high school and our Wedding to connect everyone in a fantastic voyage into WDW! So, even though we're on a budget and they don't feel specially excited about character dining, I couldn't pass on the chance of doing this special Breakfast.

After Ohana we'll go off-site once again, heading towards Gatorland. Me and DFi love Gators and Sharks, but we didn't have time to include this on our last trip (her first one to Orlando). We're all pretty excited at the chance to do their Screamin' Gator Zip Line!

After all I've read about this park, it is a half-day attraction, so we'll continue on to shopping in the afternoon, but not ordinary shopping: DFi and DMIL will look for the wedding gown and the mother of the bride dress (they are already looking a bit here in Brazil, but its nice to be able to see different gowns at least to get more ideas)!
I know me and DBIL will be left out of most of this search, except for driving them to the stores and possibly giving some opinions (even though I can't see the final decision for several more months! ), but it should be a nice mother-daughter moment for them.

Anyone here has any suggestions of Bridal stores in Orlando?

After that we should head back to WDW and walk a bit around Downtown Disney, maybe going to DisneyQuest or Splitsville.


Saturday, Jan 26th, is our least planned day so far. We're leaving it open as we might want to go to more bridal stores, spend some more time at Sea World or, if it happens to be a warmer day, try out Typhoon Lagoon (never been to any waterpark in Orlando). We'll probably to a mix of those things like morning at either Sea World or Typhoon Lagoon and afternoon at the bridal shops or at the other park.

Other plans for the day include heading over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for breakfast at Mara and just admiring the savannah afterwords before heading over to the chosen park. In the evening I believe we'll finish our day at Downtown Disney once again!

Updated schedule! (New stuff)

January
Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!
Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
Friday 25th - Ohana breakfast, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Saturday 26th - Mara breakfast at AKL, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening


February
Tuesday 5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 09-02-2012, 11:48 PM   #5
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Pop Century is finally booked!!!
I was waiting for Free Dining, but decided to book it as we are going anyway, but I won't get the Dining plan if Free Dining isn't offered. I hope it does or all meals will be OOP for us!

Let's continue with our plans.

On Sunday Jan 27th I'm planning to get us all up early for a trip to Tampa for a day at Busch Gardens!
This is a park that has always surprised me and I really enjoy their animal trails and rides! On our last trip Jungala was being built so we didn't get to see the White Tigers, so that is a must for us as well as the new coaster: Cheetah Hunt!

Not really sure on what to do after park closes (park hours not revealed yet), but I believe we'll head back to Orlando and depending on the time we arrive back we'll decide on a destination for dinner. Maybe an off-site restaurant, Pop Century's Everything Pop or Downtown Disney once again!

Have you noticed a pattern here? every night we have some free time I'm planning on heading over to DTD and maybe play some more on DisneyQuest! I'm a big fan of DQ specially the Pirates of the Caribbean ship battles , the Magic Carpet rides and the Cyber Space Mtn.

On Monday 28th it'll be our first Disney day! We'll still have a day at Universal / IoA, but wanted to give them a chance to see a bit of Disney before we finished with outside parks as I believe that the impressions they'll get from the other parks after seeing a Disney park will be different!

As we still have the rental car I'm planning on going to Boardwalk in the morning for breakfast at the bakery and then taking the boat or walking to HS (do you know if I can leave my car parked at the Boardwalk throughout the day if I'll be returning for Jellyrolls at night???)

After rope drop I'm wondering if it will be a run straight to TSMM (which even I haven't done yet!) for FP and regular line or if they'll go there and I'll run to the Hollywood Tower Hotel for some Tower of terror FPs and then join them on the regular line for TSMM. Either way, I intend on doing those first and then getting FP and going on the regular line for one of my most expected rides on this trip: Star Tours 2.0!
As a huge Star Wars fan I loved the original Star Tours and can't wait until I get to experience the new version! I intend on trying it out several times to be able to see all versions of each segment!

I'm also looking forward to Indiana Jones. Always wanted to become an extra on the show (tried it last time but without success!), any tips on managing to do it??? Is there a CM I could talk to about it before the pre-show/show begins?

We also have an ADR for one of my favorite restaurants: Sci-Fi Dine In! I love getting on those car tables and watch those old horror movies with milkshakes, burgers and sundaes!

We'll probably grab some CS dinner before Fantasmic (any suggestions? we haven't had much success with CS at HS on our last trip, ABC Commissary is a no go for us since then !)

After Fantasmic we'll enjoy the remainder of the evening EMH before getting on a boat back to Boardwalk for some Fried Ice Cream at the Funnel Cake Stand (I loved the ones offered at the Epcot Stand at the American pavillion, but read that they aren't offered over there anymore ) and then leave DBIL walking around a bit (any suggestions for him to do on Boardwalk at night? ) while the adults check Jellyrolls! Have been reading quite a bit about it and it sounds a lot of fun!


Updated schedule! (New stuff)

January
Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!
Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
Friday 25th - Ohana breakfast, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Saturday 26th - Mara breakfast at AKL, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Sunday 27th - Trip to Tampa, Busch Gardens, Trip back to Orlando
Monday 28th - Boardwalk Bakery breakfast, Hollywood Studios with Sci-Fi lunch, Boardwalk evening!


February
Tuesday 5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


WDW Commando Member #215

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Old 09-03-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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What a nice long vacation! Enjoying reading about your plans. You are going to be a great son-in-law!
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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What a nice long vacation! Enjoying reading about your plans. You are going to be a great son-in-law!
Thanks for reading Ann!

I plan on being a great SIL, specially if it means taking them do WDW!
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My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 09-06-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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Ok, let's continue with this Pre-Trip Report!

Just booked my off-site hotel for the first couple of nights (Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista) and also a car from Alamo to pick up at the airport when we arrive and drop off at Disney Car Care on Jan 29th (the day I'm about to describe! ).

Well, January 29th will be our last off-site day and as I mentioned we're planning to head back to Universal Orlando for a mixed day between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. I expect to be able to have done all or most of the attractions on our single park days but I'm pretty sure we'll all be wanting to try Forbidden Journey and Despicable Me again as well as others of my favorites from these parks like Spiderman, Jurassic Park, Hulk and Mummy.

When we feel we're done with the parks I'm planning on taking us to the Mall at Millenia, near Universal for some non-outlet shopping (like the Apple Store! ) and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (with them out of DisneyQuest's Wonderland Cafe, we needed to grab some nice cheesecakes! )

After dinner it's time to head back to WDW and return the Car at Disney Car Care and then use their van back to Pop.

The 30th it will be Epcot day! I've always loved Epcot! It's an amazing mix of culture and technology!

I can't wait to try the new Test Track and the completed Spaceship Earth (we were able to test it on one morning back in 2007, but not the whole interactive part had been completed by then).

Getting back to some other favorite rides like Mission Space and Maelstrom will also be pretty nice!
I'm still sad though that two of my favorite pavillions from the past have disappeared forever (Horizons and Wonders of Life! )!
And the food! It has been hard deciding on where to eat in Epcot, specially if we'll have the QSDP (hey Disney! Where are the Free Dining offers?!?!? ). Sunshine Seasons will certainly be our lunch on the 30th and we have an ADR to Teppan Edo, though if we have QSDP we might try another of Epcot's nice CS options instead (my ideas at the moment are of Tangierine Cafe, Katsura Grill or Sommerfest at the moment),

We'll complete the park day with Illuminations! But the day isn't done yet! Depending on our disposition and the DTD/DQ opening hours in January, I was considering some more Downtown Disney fun, but rethinking it a bit I think we're better off heading to sleep earlier as we have a big day on Thursday!

Updated schedule! (New stuff)

January
Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!
Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
Friday 25th - Ohana breakfast, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Saturday 26th - Mara breakfast at AKL, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Sunday 27th - Trip to Tampa, Busch Gardens, Trip back to Orlando
Monday 28th - Boardwalk Bakery breakfast, Hollywood Studios with Sci-Fi lunch, Boardwalk evening!
Tuesday 29th - Islands of Adventure / Universal Studios, Mall at Millenia, drop off the car at Disney Car Care
Wednesday 30th - Epcot with maybe Teppan Edo dinner


February
Tuesday 5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 09-06-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by redoschi View Post
Also pretty interested in the new TurtleTrek dome and at Shamu's new show One Ocean. I'm just sad that Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin won't be open yet, I loved that Penguin exhibit and won't get to see them this time!
Is it me, or is there something deeply wrong with the penguin exhibit being down in January.

Manta looks terrifying, btw. Also, there's a great waterfall as part of it (I love waterfalls), and the aquarium beneath it is much bigger than I expected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redoschi View Post
January 23rd and 24th will be dedicated for Universal Orlando (in mid-week to try to minimize the crowds that seek Harry Potter!).
Have you looked into staying in one of the Universal hotels that night so you can have the skip the line passes people staying there get? Although at that time of year they wouldn't be worth as much as they would most dates, I suppose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redoschi View Post
Updated schedule! (New stuff)

January
Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!
Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
Friday 25th - Ohana breakfast, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Saturday 26th - Mara breakfast at AKL, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Sunday 27th - Trip to Tampa, Busch Gardens, Trip back to Orlando
Monday 28th - Boardwalk Bakery breakfast, Hollywood Studios with Sci-Fi lunch, Boardwalk evening!
Tuesday 29th - Islands of Adventure / Universal Studios, Mall at Millenia, drop off the car at Disney Car Care
Wednesday 30th - Epcot with maybe Teppan Edo dinner


February
Tuesday 5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
Okay, this laid back planner is exhausted just reading that, and you haven't even finished!

We're hopefully going in January as well, and staying two weeks, but will be leaving about the time you get there. We, however, will take days off between park days, where we maybe go out to eat or hit a resort and that's it! Guess I should read your report to see how "the other half" (i.e., "commandos") lives.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:08 AM   #10
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Is it me, or is there something deeply wrong with the penguin exhibit being down in January.
Couldn't agree more! They could at least make a smaller exhibit on Wild Arctic (even though there are no Penguins up there! ) just so we can get our Penguin fix in the mean time!

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Originally Posted by shalom View Post
Have you looked into staying in one of the Universal hotels that night so you can have the skip the line passes people staying there get? Although at that time of year they wouldn't be worth as much as they would most dates, I suppose.
I thought about it, but their hotels are more expensive and we're trying to stay on a budget. And in January I believe most rides won't have huge lines, except Forbidden Journey, Ollivanders and Spiderman. FJ and Ollivanders don't accept the express passes, so staying there mainly to skip lines at Spiderman and be able to get breakfast at the Three Broomsticks just didn't make the cut for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shalom View Post
We're hopefully going in January as well, and staying two weeks, but will be leaving about the time you get there. We, however, will take days off between park days, where we maybe go out to eat or hit a resort and that's it! Guess I should read your report to see how "the other half" (i.e., "commandos") lives.
Being from abroad we have to dive head first into the trip for a "commando" like experience, but as a big WDW fan I like to enjoy the little things as well and, as we're planning about 2 days on each park at a slower season, we'll be able to do everything we want without rush (well, I might still be rushing to get us some FPs, but that's me! )

Thanks for reading! I'll take a look now at your Pre-TR so as to see things from an "anti-commando" perspective.
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My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 09-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
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FJ and Ollivanders don't accept the express passes, so staying there mainly to skip lines at Spiderman and be able to get breakfast at the Three Broomsticks just didn't make the cut for us. .
What tempts me there is the early entry. I keep seeing pictures like the ones on post 40 here:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2864779&page=3

Where the HP area is practically empty, and then compare them to what it looks like most of the time, and I think that's the way to go. Except we are not big rides people, and the HP area is the only one that interests anybody, so the price to get in on its own is really way more than we want to spend.

I hear ya on the price of the Universal hotels, though. I dunno what kind of hotel deals you can get offsite, but we get 2 BR condos and still don't spend the per night price of the Universal hotels. And we'd have to get two rooms to have tickets for everyone.

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Originally Posted by redoschi View Post
Being from abroad we have to dive head first into the trip for a "commando" like experience,
By the time I grew up and moved out, my family had done three whole vacations, so my dad's vacation philosophy was pretty much, "Do it now or it'll never happen!", but I always hated those vacations. On the the one we took when I was a teenager, the first day out, I ticked him off somehow, and he was all, "Keep that up and we're turning around and going home," and I kept replying, "Fine, let's go home." Wasn't until I complained that night that he wasn't keeping his word and heading back for home that he began to suspect I was serious.

Although part of that was that I hated camping or being crammed in a hotel room with five people; even laid back vacationing just wasn't worth it to me until we discovered Timeshares and realized we could get a 2 BR condo with a full kitchen for less than the cost of 2 hotel rooms. And with hungry teenagers, that full kitchen saves us a chunk of cash.

But sticking to either way you don't get the whole experience -- commando you see more but with less depth; laid back you get the depth but don't see as much. I actually try for a blend, where some days are planned and some days more open, but my kids abandon even the mildest schedules, while hubby's version of commando is to move as fast as you can trying whatever is in front of you. Which serves him pretty well most places but isn't going to cut it at WDW I'm thinking. Although it'll be a better approach in January than it would most of the year!

Since he won't stick to my schedule and drives me nuts with, "That's right here, why don't we do that?", I'm just going to tell hubby what ride he should do first and abandon him. Our family does stuff "together" in the sense that we're on the same property at the same time, but we usually separate into smaller groups and then get together either that night (if it's stuff that's over early) or the next morning to share experiences and perspectives. And sometimes photos, but those we usually leave until we get home, unless hubby feels strongly about looking at some together. It helps that we often go somewhere one day, get together and talk about it the next, then go back to the same place the third day, when we pick up stuff someone else mentioned that we missed.

But on shorter trips we also compare notes and plan future trips, even if said future trip is so far in the future we don't have a date for it. WDW is not the only place we like going back to.

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Originally Posted by redoschi View Post
but as a big WDW fan I like to enjoy the little things as well
Yeah, one of the reasons I was frustrated when we visiting Disneyland in the 1970s is that I knew there were tons of little things around, but I kept missing them, because they aren't on the map. One of the things I liked best there were the topiaries and animated clock by "It's a Small World", which you can hardly miss if there's a line for the ride. But I couldn't find anything actually in the castle -- not sure what I would have thought of the Sleeping Beauty Walk if I HAD found it, since I was after something more like the restaurant or the suite at WDW, but at least it would have been something. I was thoroughly disgusted that all you could do with the castle was walk through as if it were just a big gate.

What I was really after at DL was something like Snow White's Grotto and wishing well, which I think I knew existed (I watched the TV show faithfully as a child, and they'd show bits of the parks right regular), but I had no idea where to find it. Now of course I know roughly where it is and would have had no problem. Plus I get overwhelmed with crowds and noise and don't function well, and when I was a teen we went when the crowds were at their peak, which didn't help.

Still, the whole point of a lot of the things I like is that they're off the beaten path, so they're often hard to find if you don't have a pretty good idea where they are! Get people lined up in front of the path to something, or characters drawing a crowd at the entrance, and you really need to know where it is in order to find it.

Now you can track down on the Internet if you look hard enough. One thing both commandos and laid back planners can agree on is that the Internet makes touring WDW by your preferred approach soooo much easier and enables you to do more of what you love!

Last edited by shalom; 09-11-2012 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:56 PM   #12
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What tempts me there is the early entry. I keep seeing pictures like the ones on post 40 here:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2864779&page=3

Where the HP area is practically empty, and then compare them to what it looks like most of the time, and I think that's the way to go. Except we are not big rides people, and the HP area is the only one that interests anybody, so the price to get in on its own is really way more than we want to spend.
I've browsed through that Trip report and that was what got me thinking about staying on-site. Seems pretty cool, but the prices...

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Originally Posted by shalom View Post
Still, the whole point of a lot of the things I like is that they're off the beaten path, so they're often hard to find if you don't have a pretty good idea where they are! Get people lined up in front of the path to something, or characters drawing a crowd at the entrance, and you really need to know where it is in order to find it.

Now you can track down on the Internet if you look hard enough. One thing both commandos and laid back planners can agree on is that the Internet makes touring WDW by your preferred approach soooo much easier and enables you to do more of what you love!
The Internet and specially the DISBoards are a WDW planner's best friends!

I'm making a pretty big tips notes file with things not to forget, locations of hard to find details and general tips for each park.
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My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 09-11-2012, 02:14 PM   #13
redoschi
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Talking about laying back a little and enjoying WDW, I decided to talk about one thing I did very little in the past that now I'm planning on doing some more: resort hopping...

Previously I had visited some hotels (like stopping by the Contemporary for a walk during a Monorail trip or walking around Swan/Dolphin before we rented a car at Alamo) but only dined at the All Stars (till now I had only stayed onsite there), Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge (great food, though as it was dinner we didn't see the savanna ) and on Beaches & Cream at Beach Club (amazing burgers and ice creams that I recommend to anyone ).
I believe I might have dined once on the Contemporary on one of my first couple trips, but I was little and memory is fuzzy.

This time we're staying at Pop (trying a different value resort for a change), going over the bridge to Art of Animation, having breakfast at Ohana to get to know the Polynesian, breakfast at Mara to finally see AKL Savanna and walking at the Boardwalk at both morning and evening.

Just noticed I haven't mentioned Art of Animation in my previous posts!
Well, the idea is that since there is a bridge connecting these hotels, we'll grab breakfast and stroll around AoA on at least a couple mornings! One of them was even the Epcot day I had just described!

Those are just the ones I already mentioned on this Pre-TR. I have some other hotel visits planned, but will talk more about them in upcoming posts.
Will just throw the names here so you can imagine where they might fit in:
Contemporary, Beach Club, Port Orleans
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 09-12-2012, 03:41 PM   #14
redoschi
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These next couple days will complete our first days at each Disney park, each day being a full day at that park (no use for Hoppers yet! )

The last day of January will be EMH morning on Magic Kingdom so that's where we're headed.
I'm still not sure about breakfast for this day. I first thought about Main Street Bakery, but eating breakfast when we arrive in the park cause us to lose the precious EMH!
So I'm thinking of eating light at Pop before heading to the park, running to Fantasyland as soon as the park opens to do both the classics that get very crowded throughout the day (Peter Pan and Pooh), Under the Sea (that first, if its included in EMH, after getting FPs for one of the others) and maybe the Mad Tea Party!
Then grab something else for breakfast (I'm thinking of the Nutella Waffle Sandwich at Sleepy Hollow, never ate there and it seems pretty good!). After the waffle, its time for my favorite MK attraction: Haunted Mansion!
We should then tackle Frontierland with Splash Mtn and BTMRR! (having grabbed FP for one of them before the Waffle!)

Depending on the time, we will either do Tom Sawyer Island and Country Bear Jamboree or leave those for later (or for our 2nd MK day) and take the RR to Storybook Circus. If they are into it we can try Dumbo and Pete's Silly Sideshow. Donald and Daisy are my favorite Disney couple , so to be able to meet them in this new location should be pretty fun! And I'll surely get some more pins of them to add to my pin collection (I don't have a large pin collection, but I've gathered quite a few themed for some specific attractions like Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror and specific characters, specially Stitch, Donald and Daisy!)

Now it should be time for lunch, which I'm planning for Be Our Guest! After lunch it's time to stroll around Belle's Village and pass through Fantasyland again (maybe stopping for Phillarmagic).

Now I think would be a nice time to try to see Mickey on Main Street (probably better than early in the morning or after the parade!) and get our silhouettes done (I didn't know about them until recently and if they can do the silhouette of a couple like I've seen on a Disney Parks blog post about Disneyland it could be something fun to include in our wedding invitations or thank you notes!)

After that probably gonna do Adventureland with PotC, Jungle Cruise, Swiss Family Treehouse and Tiki Room (squeezing a Dole Whip in there!). I'll probably have gone to BTMRR or Splash Mtn to get FPs again.

I don't think we'll watch the daytime parade (unless we feel like we should take a break) and just take advantage of the lower crowds in the attractions during the parade.

After using our FPs it's time to either cross the hub to Tomorrowland or take the RR again depending on our feet!

In Tomorrowland it's straight to either Space Mtn or Buzz and FP to the other. Do all the others like Caroussel of Progress (a classic!), TTA, Laugh Floor, Stitch and, if dark already, AstroOrbiter.

Then it's time to relax again and get us a nice outdoor table at Casey's for some hot dogs and Main Street Electrical Parade! After the parade we get some sundaes at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor to watch Wishes!

But the night isn't over yet. MK closes at 8pm so there is plenty of time to walk around DTD some more before returning to Pop! Depending on the monorail lines we should take it or walk over to Grand Floridian or Contemporary and grab a bus there to DTD for another evening of shopping and DisneyQuest!

Wow, this day's description got huge!!! I'm already rethinking if all is doable in a single day!

Well, off to February 1st, AK day!
I'm not sure if character dining will appeal to the rest of my party (I think I'll like it, but I've not done one in 18 years!), so we'll do Ohana and then decide if we'll keep the ADR for Tusker House breakfast at AK. If we do we'll enter the park 1 hour before official opening (nice for pictures with empty park! can we get FP to anything at that time? ) and get to meet Donald and Daisy again!

We'll then enjoy the park, focusing FPs on Everest (maybe 1 each for the Safari and Dinosaur if the lines justify FP, if not its EE FPs the whole day!)

Probably won't do Primeval Whirl again. I bounced way too much last time, not really my idea of good time.

Love to do all the walking trails and want to try out the Discovery Island trails that I'm not sure I did last time! And I want to finally visit Rafiki's PlanetWatch, other times something always came in the way and we didn't take the train there.

Hopefully FotLK will still be showing because that and Finding Nemo are two amazing shows that can't be missed!

We'll stay until the park closes (or just before that to avoid the lines) and then as there are no buses directly to Downtown Disney, we'll take a bus to Port Orleans to visit that resort (the Moderate that appeals the most to me!) and then take a boat to DTD. This will be another evening of shopping around DTD and dinner at T-Rex! (always loved Dinosaurs, so couldn't possibly pass this one!)

This is also our last night in DTD , so there was anything we saw there that we wanted to buy (and didn't buy at first glance!), this should be the night for it! I'll probably stop by Lego again!

Updated schedule! (New stuff)

January
Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!
Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
Friday 25th - Ohana breakfast, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Saturday 26th - Mara breakfast at AKL, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Sunday 27th - Trip to Tampa, Busch Gardens, Trip back to Orlando
Monday 28th - Boardwalk Bakery breakfast, Hollywood Studios with Sci-Fi lunch, Boardwalk evening!
Tuesday 29th - Islands of Adventure / Universal Studios, Mall at Millenia, drop off the car at Disney Car Care
Wednesday 30th - Epcot with maybe Teppan Edo dinner
Thursday 31st - Magic Kingdom with maybe Downtown Disney evening

February
Friday 1st - Animal Kingdom with maybe Tusker House breakfast, Downtown Disney evening with T-Rex Dinner
Tuesday 5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 09-24-2012, 01:14 AM   #15
redoschi
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Wow! It's been some busy couple of weeks at work! I always found some time to browse the DISBoards and make additional planning, but only now I've managed to stop for a while longer to write a bit more about our plans for this trip!

4-month mark has come! Next will be the double digits!

Let's continue the PTR with another couple of days.

Saturday will be our first 2-Disney-parks day with both Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

We'll hit HS for EMH morning. Once again we're planning on grabbing something for breakfast at Pop or AoA and probably completing our breakfasts after the EMH is over at Starring Rolls!

First is straight to TSMM or ToT to grab FPs and ride on standby line. Next will be the rest of my favorite rides like RnRC and Star Tours! We should have done all DHS shows on our first full park day there (Jan 28th) so this morning will be mainly to do lots of favorite rides again and maybe doing Disney Animation again for more drawing lessons or Indy to try again to be an Extra if it didn't work out on the first try!

We're planning to stay in the park until noon or 1pm at the latest and grab the boat straight to Beach Club. Once there we'll get us a table at Beaches & Cream for some great burgers. Done this last time and it was amazing, actually we did exactly this same plan last time, morning at MGM, lunch at B&C and afternoon at Epcot! These are, in my opinion, the best burgers on WDW (read about some others that I'll have to try out, but doubt they'll win 1st place from B&C! )

After a nice lunch and nice desserts (probably Sundaes or No Way Joses, unless I can get everyone to share a Kitchen Sink! ) we'll head over to Epcot to continue our way through the park!

If we manage to get FPs to Soarin or Test Track those would be great, but arriving after lunch on a Saturday might mean we'll be able to get FPs just for Maelstrom and Mission Space (I don't think Captain EO needs FP, I certainly never needed one for HISTA). This is where that new FastPass+ with scheduled attractions could come in handy! Maybe they'll have released it by then!

I'm excited to take them on a World Showcase tour to see the little things around the world and we're not much into drinking, so we might do Eating Sweets around the World instead!

Not sure where we'll have dinner yet, it will depend on the choices we made for our first Epcot day, but probably Sommerfest if we didn't do it on the 30th!

We'll probably hit Test Track during Illuminations as we'll have seen the show on the other night and I believe that getting glimpses of it during that ride should be really nice!

Then it will probably be straight to Pop (unless we feel like some more DTD)

Sunday will be Superbowl Sunday in which MK has evening EMH, so I thought we couldn't pass the chance to do those EMH with even lower crowds as I believe lots of guests will go to hotels or ESPN at boardwalk for the game!

We should wake early and head over to MK and change into the Contemporary monorail for breakfast at either Contempo Cafe or Chef Mickey's. I've made an ADR for it, but doing it will again depend on whether the others will have approved character dining and also on the status of our QSDP if we get it (that is, if FD is offered! Where are those offers??? )

Then, after breakfast we head back to MK for RD and a nice full day there! I'm planning to do all we haven't done on the first day (and of course redo a lot of stuff!) and really attack Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and if possible complete it all!

I'm planning lunch at one CS that I've never tried, either Columbia Harbour House or Pecos Bill. We have an ADR for Be Our Guest for that night, but going through with it depends on both our budget and the status of our QSDP which I'll discuss in one of the following posts. If we have to do CS again it will either be the other one of those 2 lunch choices or Cosmic Ray's!

Updated schedule! (New stuff)

January
Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and check in at Pop Century!
Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
Friday 25th - Ohana breakfast, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Saturday 26th - Mara breakfast at AKL, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
Sunday 27th - Trip to Tampa, Busch Gardens, Trip back to Orlando
Monday 28th - Boardwalk Bakery breakfast, Hollywood Studios with Sci-Fi lunch, Boardwalk evening!
Tuesday 29th - Islands of Adventure / Universal Studios, Mall at Millenia, drop off the car at Disney Car Care
Wednesday 30th - Epcot with maybe Teppan Edo dinner
Thursday 31st - Magic Kingdom with maybe Downtown Disney evening

February
Friday 1st - Animal Kingdom with maybe Tusker House breakfast, Downtown Disney evening with T-Rex Dinner
Saturday 2nd - EMH Morning at Hollywood Studios, Lunch at Beaches & Cream, Epcot for the rest of the day!
Sunday 3rd - Contemporary Breakfast, MK day with maybe Be Our Guest dinner and EMH evening

Tuesday 5th - Flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm



On my next post I'll complete the plans for each day of the trip and on the one after that I'll talk about my dining choices and the use of the CS credits.
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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