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Old 05-21-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
glaserjm
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Taking the PTR Plunge..our November F&W Extravaganza...update 7/8 a Day in Marceline

Hello DISers...I've decided to take the PTR (and later TR) plunge and put it all out there. In my time on the DIS I've found that I enjoy reading PTRs and TRs more than just about anything else as I love getting to see how other people approach their trips. I've learned some great tips from reading along and also been inspired by some pretty cool people.

I've decided to do a PTR for our November 2013 trip when we will be indulging in F&W for the second time, attending our first MVMCP and participating in our first RunDisney event (Jingle Jungle 5k).


INTROS:



Jayne, your overly chatty guide. I'm native St. Louisan and newish Disney fanatic (I'm three years in). I'm an attorney, dog lover/rescuer, sports nut, runner, cruise director (i.e. I love to be our group social planner), reader, political junkie and comedy fan (bring on Anchorman 2). I am also an avid Anglophile and lover of all things British as I studied in London for 6 months in college and it's never left my heart.



With me as always will be my DH, Joe (joben) here on the forums (the screenname name is an odd adage to I Love You Man when Paul Rudd awkwardly tries to come up with a nickname for Jason Segel). Joe works in research at a medical school here in town. He's a science guy through and through and loves Star Wars, Star Trek (I guess anything with "star" in the title) and all science related programming and literature. He's also a St. Louis Cardinal nut, a camper, cyclist, dog fanatic, beer snob, bbq judge extraordinaire, Top Chef fan and fellow Disneyphile.

We have been together for the past 9 years, married for 5. Every year it becomes a little more obvious that we were meant to be and every year I'm happier that we found each other. Our Disney obsession is something that we found together and continue to grow together. Our goal is to own DVC in the next five years. Together our joint interests revolve around dogs, baseball, travel, Disney, our obsession with Christmas, music (most specifically Mumford & Sons who we will be getting to see again this summer on the Gentelmen of the Road Tour) and our mutual loves of certain TV shows (GoT, Walking Dead, Modern Family, Parks & Rec, Arrested Development..thank you to the TV Gods for the 4th season...he won't admit to being taken by Big Bang Theory yet, however he's used the word "Bazinga" more than once
)




I also can't leave out our faithful companions Pete (also known as Big Buddy, Petey Boy, Peetar...and about another million nicknames) and Charlie (also known as Bear, Bear Bear, Charlie Bear and Lil' Guy)...why we have a million nicknames for them, I cannot tell you. We also have songs about them...we've made up voices for them, etc. We are clearly obsessed. We rescued them when they were about 7 weeks old (which was almost 8 years ago!) and they have been our best buds ever since.


This will be our 7th trip to WDW together, although both of us traveled there fairly frequently as children. It's funny as DH is one of 12 kids and I'm one of 2 our early experiences at WDW as kids were pretty different, but we both loved it nonetheless.

We rediscovered it together in March of 2010 on a day trip while vising friends in Orlando and that trip was quickly followed by a camping trip to FW in August 2010 (so fun but so hot) and a 60th birthday trip for my dad in March 2011.

After that March 2011 trip, the spell was cast, the bug had bitten, the Kool-aid was gulped. I joined the DIS boards shortly after returning and was sucked down the rabbit hole. We had no immediate plans to return (having been three times in the last year) but somehow I (and over time Joe) was determined to make it back there again.

It was odd at first because both of our families had just been and we knew our friends would likely not be that willing to go to WDW (we've converted some by now) and for some reason we felt like that was going to stop us from going, until I looked at Joe one day and said, "Why don't we go just the two of us?" Why it took that long for us to occur to go alone baffles me (we travel quite a bit and love going places just the two of us). Over the course of our 9 year relationship we have been to Costa Rica, London, New York, Florida, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Zion, Colorado, etc. but somehow a trip to WDW started out as mystifying...

Soon the who, when, where, what and why started to form and we learned about renting DVC points. We decided to go in March 2012 and combine spring training with WDW but to use WDW as our home base. I wanted to stay at BWV or AKV but neither were available so we ended up at our 3rd choice OKW (which is now our home away from home)
.


(pic from WDW website)

Welp, the first trip to OKW put the final nail in the coffin...my normally quiet and reserved DH (who is hilarious but isn't normally a chatty Kathy) was relaxed and outgoing in a way that I'd never really seen and I was swept up in a soft glow of sunshine and smiles. It was truly amazing and we've never looked back. We now have a MNSSHP and F&W under our belts and can't wait to go back in November for our first MVMCP and RunDisney event (the Jingle Jungle 5k).

TRIP DETAILS:
When: November 2-10 at Disney's Old Key West Resort
Who: Jayne & Joe (and possibly others?? if we can finally convince some of our friends to pull the trigger)
What: do we really need a what?! It's Disney...we're all on these boards because WDW IS our "what"

I will be honest, I'm a bit nervous doing this as who wants to do a PTR that nobody reads..ya know?! Hopefully someone will want to tag along at some point...please feel free to pop in and say hi! I'll also be covering some small items that will be happening between now and our trip (best friend's wedding, trip to Chicago for the 4th of July, moving into our new house that has it's own Mickey head!,



family camping/float trip and a trip to Troy, OH to see Mumford & Sons in September). Part of me knows that if I have this PTR to be accountable, I'll take all the pics I always promise myself I will take! Chapter links in Post #
Thanks for reading
!
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Cool

It has begun!!!! I see a huge amount of time involved with these reports, based on how much you spend reading TR's guess I'm going to have to finally learn all the abbreviations on these reports.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:57 AM   #3
glaserjm
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My first reader! It still counts...even though you're married to me!
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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In for your PTR!
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
In for your PTR!
Woohoo! My first reader that isn't related to me! Thanks for joining along!
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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Chapter links

You're Going to Disney World Again??

How We Roll!

Joben's Itinerary!

Mini PTR Inside a PTR...soon I'll be doing a PTR for my grocery run!

Day 1!

A Day in Marceline...well worth the detour!

A Day in Marceline (cont.)
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Last edited by glaserjm; 07-08-2013 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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You're going to Disney World again??

Don't you get tired of that question? I know I do...I mean there are a ton of people who vacation in the same spot every year, who own beach houses or lake houses or mountain cabins and I don't think a thing of it...but WDW seems to elicit that response more than other places.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here! But let's face it...where else can you do even 1/2 the things you can do at WDW? And where else can you get views like this:







We've made a few decisions with regard to this trip so far:

1) We've always driven on our trips as we like to have a car and we often go other places while at WDW (spring training games). Mostly however our airport, Lambert, has lost a lot of direct flights to Orlando. This trip we heavily considered driving (we really want to get on the Magical Express) but again, the lack of direct flights and the lack of cheap options were a problem. At this point, we've just decided to drive again. We are more in control that way, it's cheaper and although it takes a while, flying w/ connections can end up taking almost as long. One of the main reasons however, is that our trusty car, Skip (yes we named him) now has his own Old Key West magnet on the back and I know he'd be heartbroken if he didn't get to go to his favorite place in the world!




If you think that I didn't go down to the parking garage in my building during lunch and take this pic just for the PTR...you are wrong. If you think that the woman who got on the elevator with me did not do a bit of line dancing during her one floor trip down while eating a chocoate chip cookie...you are also wrong. You can't make this stuff up.

2) We are taking the dreaded I-75 again. We'd been experimenting with routes the past two trips and were using 65 through Alabama then heading into Florida via US 231. We did not enjoy 75 on our March 2012 trip, but we are giving it another go since this trip won't be during spring break. Also, Joe has exhausted what he believes to be interesting BBQ joints along 65, so we need to give him some new options. If anyone lives along 24 in KY/TN or 75 in GA...give us a shoutout of some good BBQ places along the way!


Image courtesty of Google

3) We are not driving straight through. We've done this the past two trips (takes about 16 hours door to door) and left about 5 AM St. Louis time and driven through, arriving in Orlando late and staying off-site for one night. We theorized that this gave us more time in the parks...but with 4 PM check-in at OKW (which we usually find is accurate) we find that we don't really get any more than by just arriving early in the afternoon. Combined with the fact that Joe promptly falls asleep again at the beginning of the drive leaving me on my own for the first few hours of the trip (thank God for Sirius...if you have it and you've never given the Spectrum on Channel 28 a listen..try it). So this time we are going to leave after work on Friday, November 1st and go until about 12 AM, which should put us around Chattanooga, TN...a pretty cool city
Image courtesy of Google.

I'll likely have made a hotel reservation prior to departure to take any guess work out of it (who wants to drive around at midnight trying to find a hotel in a city with which they are not familiar?) so we'll check in and hit the hay, waking up bright and early to get back on the road.

We'll see this sign...which will make me start to get excited (and which will make Joe lamely joke about getting orange juice...even though we never do it):

Image courtesty of Google

Then this one that will make me start dancing and alternately telling Joe that I'm going to lose it (my mind...bodily functions..etc.) if we don't get there stat:


And finally this one that will melt all my cares away and possibly bring tears to my eyes:



Any other drivers out there who regularly make the road trip down? If you have any tips for places along the way...let me know!
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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I'm here too! )

I totally get tired of that same question. Lots of people go to the mountains, the beach, or wherever once a year.. Why is Disney any different?

They just don't get it.. That's why!

My friend just got back yesterday and she text me on the way back and said " I am so sad we are leaving, I now know how you feel"... ))
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsheliz View Post
I'm here too! )

I totally get tired of that same question. Lots of people go to the mountains, the beach, or wherever once a year.. Why is Disney any different?

They just don't get it.. That's why!

My friend just got back yesterday and she text me on the way back and said " I am so sad we are leaving, I now know how you feel"... ))
Thanks for following along! At least we both now we'll have one reader on our first PTRs!!!

We keep trying to convince our friends to go as we know once they are actually in WDW they will "get it"...I think we may have convinced some to come on our March 2014 trip!

We got my parents to come in March 2013 and within 5 minutes of being on OKW property...they were planning on when they can buy DVC..LOL!
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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Hey can I be reader #3? You are off to a great start with your PTR. November seems like such a great time to visit WDW. I would LOVE to experience the christmas party some day so I'm expecting a Trip Report with lot's of pics when you guys get back.

Oh side note: Your dogs are adorable!

As for driving there, I think it would be a shame to leave poor Skip behind (Gotta love your dedication to the PTR, going all the way to the parking garage for that picture). My dad used to drive when we where kids but it was more like a 28 hour drive (crazy parents) with 4 kids < 12 y.o in the back seat and a trailer behind (crazier parents). Regardless I still remember that as being a good experience.

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:47 PM   #11
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I'm definitely in! Made me laugh already!

I shared with my DH since I am thinking about starting a PTR too, and he completely agrees with your DH about having to then learn all the abbreviations!
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeJuice
Hey can I be reader #3? You are off to a great start with your PTR. November seems like such a great time to visit WDW. I would LOVE to experience the christmas party some day so I'm expecting a Trip Report with lot's of pics when you guys get back.

Oh side note: Your dogs are adorable!

As for driving there, I think it would be a shame to leave poor Skip behind (Gotta love your dedication to the PTR, going all the way to the parking garage for that picture). My dad used to drive when we where kids but it was more like a 28 hour drive (crazy parents) with 4 kids < 12 y.o in the back seat and a trailer behind (crazier parents). Regardless I still remember that as being a good experience.

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip
Yay!! Welcome! I will unabashedly brag about the adorableness (only a word when applied to dogs)of my pups. I, of course played no part in how cute they are, but I'll happily own it nonetheless.

Skip really appreciates your support and understanding, he was very afraid of being left behind this time.

I'm so looking forward to a bit of Christmas during our trip, we thought about doing it a bit later in December, to see Epcot and the resorts all decorated, but we didn't want to miss Food & Wine. Maybe in a few years.

I cannot fathom 28 hours in a car like that, although I took some lengthy bus trips in college (I played field hockey and our games were all over the country but we had no budget for flights). Your dad must have had a lot of patience for that trip!

Thanks for reading along!!
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Li Li
I'm definitely in! Made me laugh already!

I shared with my DH since I am thinking about starting a PTR too, and he completely agrees with your DH about having to then learn all the abbreviations!
Thanks for joining! Joe definitely has some work to do in the abbreviation department. I'll use DIS talk in texts and emails and its sometimes lost in translation.

You should definitely do a pre-trip report...it makes the wait so much shorter!!
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:49 AM   #14
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So I had to check with my DW(for awhile I thought this stood for Disney wife not Dear wife )to make sure it was okay for me to post a lot on this thread. I didn't want to hijack her report. However I did want to contribute to the thread. Hopefully I can find things that DW forgot to mention or maybe glossed over a little to quickly. For example the picture of Illuminations that she posted above. This represents why we love going to Disney so much and why we feel it is a great repeat vacation. Customer Service!!!! IMHO no one does it any better. From the "Welcome Home" that greets you when you arrive to "see you real soon" Mickey says when you leave. (okay that one is in my head but I hear it when we leave the main gate) no company tries harder to please the customer than WDW. So the picture, there is a story for that one. DW and I were celebrating our 5 year anniversary at F&W. DW had arranged for us to get Anniversary pins to wear to the park. I'm not one that likes attention drawn to myself so my first instinct is to hate the idea of wearing a pin that will draw attention to myself. However I like to make my DW happy and it's WDW, and I'm a different person within the property confines. I don't know what it is but when I arrive stress and frustration just evaporates. The Disney effect I guess. So we are walking around Epcot doing the F&W thing. (Honestly DW could just walk around Epcot constantly she loves it so much) As we walk around by one of the bridges where they often have it blocked off for private parties. There was a cast member there in front of a rope to prevent people from going down the steps, and as we walked by we heard a cheerful and sincere "Happy Anniversary!" we said thanks and without even slowing, because this was the one of dozens of greetings we had heard on our trip. However the CM engaged us and started asking questions like how long we were married and where we were from and such. After a brief Q&A with her, she asked if we had any plans for illuminations and if not would we like to come back for some special seating. Well we were all in and continued our stroll until 30 minutes before the fireworks. She took as down to the area and we got a very unobstructed view of the show, that made us feel like an elite class. And this is an example of what I love about WDW. Like I said earlier, we were greeted constantly with random "Happy Anniversary" from CM's as well as fellow guests. We were often given little perks from CM's in acknowledgement of our pins. And this CM was clearly given instructions to "spread the fairy dust" by offering private seating to random guests. This is where Disney excels. They make their "client" feel special and individualized. They go above and beyond at every level to do their best. And they run at 100% effort at all times. This is why for me I have no regrets returning as often as we do. I'm sure there are a million stories from others how Disney has done this same things for them, but I always feel like we are never disappointed in the way we are treated at Disney
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Joben View Post
So I had to check with my DW(for awhile I thought this stood for Disney wife not Dear wife )to make sure it was okay for me to post a lot on this thread. I didn't want to hijack her report. However I did want to contribute to the thread. Hopefully I can find things that DW forgot to mention or maybe glossed over a little to quickly. For example the picture of Illuminations that she posted above. This represents why we love going to Disney so much and why we feel it is a great repeat vacation. Customer Service!!!! IMHO no one does it any better. From the "Welcome Home" that greets you when you arrive to "see you real soon" Mickey says when you leave. (okay that one is in my head but I hear it when we leave the main gate) no company tries harder to please the customer than WDW. So the picture, there is a story for that one. DW and I were celebrating our 5 year anniversary at F&W. DW had arranged for us to get Anniversary pins to wear to the park. I'm not one that likes attention drawn to myself so my first instinct is to hate the idea of wearing a pin that will draw attention to myself. However I like to make my DW happy and it's WDW, and I'm a different person within the property confines. I don't know what it is but when I arrive stress and frustration just evaporates. The Disney effect I guess. So we are walking around Epcot doing the F&W thing. (Honestly DW could just walk around Epcot constantly she loves it so much) As we walk around by one of the bridges where they often have it blocked off for private parties. There was a cast member there in front of a rope to prevent people from going down the steps, and as we walked by we heard a cheerful and sincere "Happy Anniversary!" we said thanks and without even slowing, because this was the one of dozens of greetings we had heard on our trip. However the CM engaged us and started asking questions like how long we were married and where we were from and such. After a brief Q&A with her, she asked if we had any plans for illuminations and if not would we like to come back for some special seating. Well we were all in and continued our stroll until 30 minutes before the fireworks. She took as down to the area and we got a very unobstructed view of the show, that made us feel like an elite class. And this is an example of what I love about WDW. Like I said earlier, we were greeted constantly with random "Happy Anniversary" from CM's as well as fellow guests. We were often given little perks from CM's in acknowledgement of our pins. And this CM was clearly given instructions to "spread the fairy dust" by offering private seating to random guests. This is where Disney excels. They make their "client" feel special and individualized. They go above and beyond at every level to do their best. And they run at 100% effort at all times. This is why for me I have no regrets returning as often as we do. I'm sure there are a million stories from others how Disney has done this same things for them, but I always feel like we are never disappointed in the way we are treated at Disney
Touche DH, you are correct, that story about the Illuminations picture is one of the reasons we return to WDW year after year (along with the GM Slushies obvs!)

That was such an awesome cast member interaction and during that same trip we also got a sneak preview of new FL during a time that was supposed to be for CMs only as well as several free desserts at F&W and the restaurants. It was such a magical trip!

I've assured Joe that I would like his input as much as possibe on this PTR (unless it is to correct me!)
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