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Old 03-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
joshswif
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Here we go! October 2013 Pretrip report!

Hello everyone!

I am so excited to be writing my first ever trip report! I've been following the threads for awhile now and I finally get the chance to write my own! I hope you all enjoy following along as I plan our vacation at the happiest place on Earth!

Now..onto introductions?

First off...yours truly!



Me, my daughter, and one of my favorite character meets last summer!

My name is Tara, I'm 28, married to my best friend and have two amazing little girls. I loved Disney since I was a kid. I've probably been around 5 times as a kid, most of them were when I was too young to remember. I took my oldest daughter when she was three and I think that was when I absolutely fell in love. There's just something about experiencing it through your kid's eyes that melts me!



Then, there's my wonderful husband (with his favorite Disney character!)
Josh is 27 and is in the Army. He is my absolute best friend and is an incredible father to our precious girls. Really...I hit the big time with this one. He loves Disney too, although he is definitely the more "practical" of us two. You gotta have one right? He likes to do all that saving money stuff? He does feed into my Disney needs when he can though and he thoroughly enjoys taking the girls!



Next up, is my oldest daughter, Anistyn. Or Ani for short. She's 7 years old and is honestly SUCH a great kid. She's unbelievably smart (we're still trying to figure out who she got that from). She's in gifted class and such a brainiac. She is very gentle, kind, and sensitive at times, but definitely has a sarcastic side...which I love since she gets it honestly! Although she is mature, she definitely knows how to let loose at Disney!



Last, but certainly not least, is Britton. Or Pretty Britty...her nickname! At the moment she is 20 months old, but she'll be 2 by the time we go. Britton is my little daredevil! She is a little firecracker and is so so funny. I think most of our laughs come from her silliness.

Along for the ride this time is my mom, pictured below with me.



As well as my brother Joe, and my sister Tia! (I'm on the right)


I am soooo excited that they all are going with us this time.

As of now, we're going October 18 through the 27th!

I'll be putting up my table of contents with links to the chapters as I go along. I think I'll tell a tiny story about our previous trip we took. Not a trip report, but just a little info on the trip so you can just get to know us a little more!

I really look forward to planning this trip and hope you all don't mind reading my craziness!

Table of Contents

Our Brief History with Disney
Planning The Park Days!
Attempting to Schedule ADR's
Almost Done With ADR's!
A slight change
Scratch that Plan
Rambling and Costumes!
ADR's All Set!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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Our brief history with Disney

So as I said, I wanted to just skim over our last trip to Disney, which was the first one for our whole family. I had taken our oldest DD when she was 3, but this was the first time all of us were going. My husband had been when he was very small, but of course couldn't remember much.

Being a military family, we don't get a chance for many vacations. At the time of us taking this trip which was in June of 2012, we hadn't taken one family vacation! I pretty much told my husband that I insisted on a vacation! Now, he didn't know just how much I liked to PLAN when it comes to Disney...and he SURPRISED us with a trip! We went June 23rd-27th of 2012. Even though it wasn't planned months in advance, we really had such an amazing time despite a tiny bit of drama. And when I say drama I mean rain. And when I say rain...I mean Tropical Storm Debbie.

Our first day in Orlando we went to Sea World and the skies were gray, but no rain. We went and checked in at Pop Century and went to DTD...no rain.

Our next day, we went to MK and when I say it rained...it POURED!


See what I mean?

So, the first day there was nonstop rain. We sucked it up though! We all bought ponchos and Josh and I rigged Britton's stroller to where the only thing sticking out was her head. She was such a great trooper and loved every minute of it. The park was so empty too! We did so much that day. My favorite part was getting on BTMRR and the cast member saying "Come try out our new water ride!" It was hysterical...and it really felt like you were on a water ride!

After that first day though, we really did get lucky. It still rained for the next two days, but it always seemed like we were indoors when it happened. The last day there was burning hot, so it made me thankful for all that rain!

Oh and by the way...


My man sure can rock a poncho.


We stayed at Pop Century and we really did love it. Their quick service food there is so good. We ate there for breakfast every morning except for one. I never ate anything I didn't like!

We had TS at:
Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - This one was just okay to me, but I really don't blame the place. I think a lot of our experience had to do with our late ADR (we ate around 8pm!?!) and the fact that since it was pouring rain outside, there just weren't a lot of people. So it seemed pretty dead. It might be great another time though. The food was okay, and the girls enjoyed the interaction.

1900 Park Fare - We ate here for breakfast. The food was great with a lot of selections. We liked the characters and would do this one again.

Crystal Palace - We ate here for dinner and although I would rather do it for breakfast, the memories from Britton with the characters will last forever. She was 11 months old at the time and just adored Pooh! I have to share some pictures!




Seriously...is that not just the cutest thing you've ever seen?

A few of the other great things:



The White Rabbit decided to "pet" Anistyn during the parade! Also, when Sleeping Beauty was coming down on the float in the parade, she looked straight at Anistyn and blew her a kiss. It made. her. day.



Anistyn was determined to get that sword out. Like...seriously determined. Maybe next time?



And my husband fell in love with the Grand Floridian and all of the vehicles outside of it...like this one.

So, there's my short recap of our summer trip last year. It definitely felt like a learning experience and now I'm ready for the mack daddy of all plans. I'm so excited to choose our ADR's and plan everything out this time. Control freak much? LOL
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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Planning the Park Days!

So the first part was getting our dates down. I made it very clear this time around that I wanted two days in each park. Even if there's a park we get bored in (is that possible??) we can always park hop. I just didn't want to feel rushed. I also wanted to take a break in between days. The last time we went, we didn't even get a chance to swim. Well, mostly because of the rain, but we still never had time for it. Plus with all. that. walking. It would be nice to just have one day to not have to dart up for rope drop. One morning to hang out and take in the sights.

Originally I had scheduled two break days, but with school going on, its just not possible. So, we'll do 4 days straight, then a break, then the remaining 4.

Once the October schedule came out, I started looking at crowd calendars to determine which park I wanted to be in when. I like to go where they recommend.

I did run into a few problems.

First off...there were only 3 dates to go to MK see Wishes and the Electrical parade. A Monday, Wednesday, and a Saturday. I swore off the Saturday, knowing it would just be too crowded.

So that left Monday and Wednesday...but Wednesday was going to be our break day. I could have shifted it, but then we would be going to MK back to back...and I didn't want to do that.

So...I looked at the crowd numbers and saw that if we go on Monday, its a day to avoid. BUT...its a 4.5. So, as much as I didn't want to go a park that was recommended to avoid, I think I'll have to make a exception. But really...with MNSSHP going on, we just don't have many chances to see the other parades.

I'm telling you...I was stressing about this.

But...I think I finally have our plans.

Here we go!

Sat, 10/19
Animal Kingdom

Sun, 10/20
Epcot

Mon, 10/21
Magic Kingdom
(MSEP, Wishes)

Tues, 10/22
Hollywood Studios
Fantasmic!

Wed, 10/23
Break (DTD?)

Thurs, 10/24
Epcot

Fri, 10/25
Magic Kingdom
MNSSHP

Sat, 10/26
Hollywood Studios

Sun, 10/27
Animal Kingdom

So, there are the plans as of yet. Please, please, please...if you have any suggestions, feel free to chime in!
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:30 AM   #4
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Hi! Joining in from the FB group I don't have time to read right now but will check it out later!
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:32 AM   #5
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Attempting to schedule ADR's

I'm telling you what...trying to sort out all of the ADR's is harder than I thought. And here I thought just planning the days out was rough.

So, the time we go, there's just a lot going on. A Fantasmic! show, MNSSHP, the parades...and then we have to eat in between all that? Sheesh.

We're doing the dining plan and I'm really excited to try it out and I'm hoping that have most everything prepaid for will get my husband hooked too!

Here are the list of meals I would really like to do:

Chef Mickey's (Breakfast)
Cinderella's Royal Table (dinner?)
Hollywood and Vine (breakfast)
1900 Park Fare - (dinner) - Not really a must, but I did like eating at the Grand Floridian
Be Our Guest (dinner)
Ohana
Coral Reef - not another absolute must, but it would be nice!

So, here's what I have so far...and then I'll go over my problems!


*We're staying at AoA, so when that's listed, then it means we'll eat at the resort...just in case anyone was confused, lol.

Sat, 10/19
Animal Kingdom
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Ohana

Sun, 10/20
Epcot
B-Eat our own food at the resort
L-Use QS and snack credits for Food and Wine Festival
D-Coral Reef

Mon, 10/21
Magic Kingdom
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Cinderella's Royal Table
(Staying for MSEP and Wishes)

Tues, 10/22
Hollywood Studios
B-Hollywood and Vine
L-
D-
(Go to Fantasmic)

Wed, 10/23
Break Day
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Order Pizza (Using this TS for CRT meal)

Thurs, 10/24
Epcot
B-Eat out own food at the resort
L- Use QS and snack credits for F&W Festival
D- Date night with Hubby at Le Cellier

Fri, 10/25
Magic Kingdom
B-Chef Mickey's
L- snack
D-Columbia Harbor House

Sat, 10/26
Hollywood Studios
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-50's Primetime Café

Sun, 10/27
B-Tusker House
L-Flametree
And then leave

So, I have two problems.

The first are my meals on my Magic Kingdom days. We're going to MK on Monday and Friday. But I'm wanting to do Chef Mickey's, BOG, and CRT for my table credits. Obviously I can't use two a day, so I'm wondering if I could pull off going to Chef Mickey's in Thursday on our Epcot day? But I know Chef Mickey's is so much closer to MK. So then I wonder if on Thursday, we could park hop that evening and go to MK for BOG? BUT, its on a MNSSHP night, so would they still let you eat there? Cause I didn't think so.

Which brings me to another issue. On our MNSSHP night, when are we supposed to eat? I planned Chef Mickey's for that morning so I wasn't worrying about it in the evening...but I guess when we first get there we need to hurry and eat dinner?

Then my last issue is with Hollywood Studios.

We're going on Tuesday and Saturday. We'll be going to Fantasmic! Tuesday night. We've done the VIP package before and ate at Mama Melrose. It was okay, but there are other places I want to eat and two TS places I really want to go to. Hollywood and Vine (breakfast) and 50's Primetime Café. So I scheduled them on opposite days. But then I don't have my TS to use for the Fantasmic! package.

So, the day that we're trying to see Fantasmic!, the crowd level overall is a 1, with the crowd level in HS is a 1.5. So I'm wondering if I could get away with not even getting the Fantasmic! package.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Hi, I'm in, followed ur link from the FB page
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:07 AM   #7
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I'm here!! Checkin in!
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
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wow I need to update my signature lol
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenlovesdestroy View Post
Hi, I'm in, followed ur link from the FB page
Awesome, thank you!

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wow I need to update my signature lol
LOL! I was wondering if that was you at first since your siggy is a little off...haha!
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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Almost done with ADR's!

Okay, so after a full day (seriously) of talking this through with my Disney loving friend Candice (thank you soooo much for talking me through everything!) I finally have ALMOST everything figured out!

I decided that there was just no way to pull off eating at CRT AND BOG for dinners. SO, we'll eat and CRT Monday night and then just grab an early lunch at BOG on our MNSSHP day before we go get ready in our costumes.

Also, we won't be doing the Fantasmic! package this time. I really don't think there will be a very long wait with the crowd level only being a 1.5. If we have to wait a little bit, that's fine with us. I also didn't realize where the VIP seating is! All the way over to the right? We saw the show with no problem of course, but this time I would really like to see it from one of the middle rows.

Now the only thing left to do is figure out my second Epcot day. I thought it might be nice for my DH and I to have a little date night. Le Cellier is out because its 2 TS credits and I don't want to have to pay out of pocket except for tips.

I was thinking of us going to the Rose and Crown for dinner and watching Illuminations from there. So then I just have to think of somewhere for my mom, brother, sister, and kids to eat for dinner. I'd like to do an early dinner for them, so they can get back to the hotel and rest for the next day.

SO, as of now...here is my updated plan!

Sat, 10/19
Animal Kingdom
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Ohana

Sun, 10/20
Epcot
B-Eat our own food at the resort
L-Use QS and snack credits for Food and Wine Festival
D-Coral Reef

Mon, 10/21
Magic Kingdom
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Cinderella's Royal Table
(Staying for MSEP and Wishes)

Tues, 10/22
Hollywood Studios
B-Hollywood and Vine
L-Snack
D-Studio Catering Company
(Go to Fantasmic)

Wed, 10/23
Break Day
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Order Pizza (Using this TS for CRT meal)

Thurs, 10/24
Epcot
B-Eat out own food at the resort
L- Use QS and snack credits for F&W Festival
D- Date night

Fri, 10/25
Magic Kingdom
B-Chef Mickey's
L- snack
D-Columbia Harbor House

Sat, 10/26
Hollywood Studios
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-50's Primetime Café

Sun, 10/27
Animal Kingdom
B-Tusker House
L-Flametree
And then leave
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
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Your plan looks great! We did CRT, MSEP and Wishes one night in December- we had a 5:15 ADR then went and saw The parade in Liberty Square and Wishes behind Cinderella's castle... It was a great night! In fact one of our favorites from the trip. :D
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:08 AM   #12
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I'm here...following along!
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:00 PM   #13
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I'm here...following along!
Awesome!
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:18 PM   #14
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A slight change

So, I was feeling really great about my plan and all of my choices. THEN, I discovered one small kink in it.

So, one of the things that I'm really excited about is the Disney Junior dance party. For those of you who don't know about it, its a dance party that is held in the same building as Disney Junior Live and the characters come out and dance with you! Mickey, Minnie, and a few others! Super adorable! My Britton is a huge Disney Junior fan...and is always up for dancing so I know this is going to be right up her alley. Only, thanks to my October 2013 group of Disers on facebook, I learned that the dance party is ONLY when Hollywood Studios has evening EMH's.

I'm telling you, this why I love to research Disney. You would never find out about all of the extras they have!

While we're there, the only nights that Hollywood Studios is having EMH is Sunday. So, I decided just to flip my Sunday and Tuesday so that I was going to Hollywood Studios on Sunday and Epcot on Tuesday. So during the EMH hours we will go to the dance party. The only problem with THAT is that we also want to go to Fantasmic!

I figured we would just to Fantasmic! on our other night that we were in Hollywood Studios, but that day is Saturday and they currently aren't doing Fantasmic! on Saturday nights in October? I looked into the other months and they all have it on Saturday nights so I'm hoping that they will add it closer to that date. Otherwise, we'll just have to park hop over there one evening because I just can't switch anymore days.

On another note, while I was out today I got my first items for our trip! I do realize that its 7 months away, but first off...my husband is gone due to the Army so I really don't have much else to do than just plan. I really enjoy it too. Also, I think its good to get as much out of the way as possible. I don't want to be a couple weeks away from our trip spending hundreds of dollars on things to take there.

My first item:



I found these bad boys at Dollar General for...you guessed it. A dollar each. I had actually found this tip on the Dis and thought it was a great idea. When you're at MSEP (I'm sure its at other parades, but especially MSEP) people will try to sell you all these cool light up toys that your children will just ooh and aah over. And you just have to get these for them because...hello...you're at Disney World trying to give them a magical experience. And what's more magical that a $25 glow thingy that they'll only use that one night?

So, for a dollar each I got all of these lovely light up toys. There are wands, necklaces, and a few you just hold. There will be 8 of us altogether, so I got enough for everyone and then some. Which is another reason why I need to go ahead and start buying things. I am a severe over packer and when going on a trip I always think "Well...just in CASE that's not enough...I'll buy 5 more." If I was doing this all last minute, my husband would probably cancel our trip and turn off the lights in the living room so we can just use these lovely glow toys here.

Then, my other purchase:



I found these at Wal Mart for $2.88 a pack. I was pretty happy that I thought of these (although I'm sure another Diser has thought of it before...but just give me a moment to be proud of myself)

So, its a hamper that's all folded up and then when you open it it will stand up on its own. With 8 people in a suite, that's a lot of clothes everyday. We'll be there for 9 days so I know we'll be doing laundry. I bought two of them because...well you just never know (see...I do it everytime!). But really, I just thought with 8 people we might need two! It'll be so easy to just have everyone put dirty clothes in these, then lug them down to the laundry room when we're ready and then when we leave...fold them back up!

So, here's the NEW schedule for us!

Sat, 10/19
Animal Kingdom
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Ohana

Sun, 10/20
Hollywood Studios
B-Hollywood and Vine
L-Snack
D-Studio Catering Company
(Go to Disney Jr. Live dance party)

Mon, 10/21
Magic Kingdom
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Cinderella's Royal Table
(Staying for MSEP and Wishes)

Tues, 10/22
Epcot
B-Eat our own food at the resort
L-Use QS and snack credits for Food and Wine Festival
D-Coral Reef

Wed, 10/23
Break Day
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-Order Pizza (Using this TS for CRT meal)

Thurs, 10/24
Epcot
B-Eat out own food at the resort
L- Use QS and snack credits for F&W Festival
D- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Fri, 10/25
Magic Kingdom
B-Chef Mickey's
L- snack
D-Columbia Harbor House

Sat, 10/26
Hollywood Studios
B-AoA
L-Snack
D-50's Primetime Café
(Go to Fantasmic! if offered)

Sun, 10/27
Animal Kingdom
B-Tusker House
L-Flametree
And then leave
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #15
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Your plan looks great! We did CRT, MSEP and Wishes one night in December- we had a 5:15 ADR then went and saw The parade in Liberty Square and Wishes behind Cinderella's castle... It was a great night! In fact one of our favorites from the trip. :D
Oh good! So, you would suggest a 5:15 time to go eat there?
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