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Old 06-02-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
STLMickeyMom
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first trip do-over

hello! i've been lurking around on here for awhile, enjoying everyone's TRs and using them to combat my Disney depression, and decided to finally register and say hi! i tried to post this earlier, but.....well, i don't know what happened. it was all typed out and when i tried to post, it disappeared, so i'm trying again and hoping i'm not posting stuff twice, if anyone is reading this.

we (my DH, DD5,DD3 and me) are planning a week long trip jan 5-11. i've heard it's a good time to go, crowdwise and costwise. plus, it's the week of my birthday! We were last at Disney the week of thanksgiving, nov 2012. it was our kids first visit and they were so excited! my DH and i had been to Disney twice during the week before thanksgiving and had loved it--no crowds, no long lines, great weather and Christmas decorations. so, without doing any research, i planned our trip, got plane tickets, made some adrs and away we went.....

what a mistake!! the parks were super crowded, which made my DH a liiiittttllllle cranky (read--who ordered the crabcakes, cuz it sure wasn't me!! he is not a huge crowd kinda person). i guess everyone else went that same week since they had time off work/school just like we did. oops!! it wasn't a horrible trip, we did a lot and our girls didn't know any different (and really--any day at Disney is better then a day at work, right?!?), but DH and i felt like we missed a lot due to the crowds and fast passes being out/too late for us with a 3 and 5 year old. i also realized when we got back that we had no family pictures with mickey (a total sin!) or in front of the castle. sooooo, what to do? what to do? plan another trip and get a do-over, of course!! woohoo!

i did a lot more reading and researching this time. i talked to my husband's boss, who is a Disney nut also. he's been to every Disney park, and has gone like 30 times in the last 15 years or some enviable fact like that. anyway, after talking to him and a friend's sister, who lives in florida, we decided on the week in January. i felt a little torn at first to go then. our oldest starts kindergarten this fall and we will be taking her out of school for a week right after winter break....but, it's DISNEY!! i think i can live with the guilt.....

on our last visit, we stayed at a Disney resort for the first time. shocking, i know! after this experience, we will never stay off property again!! we loved everything about staying at a Disney resort--no luggage to pick up, no driving, magical express and the movie, buses to where ever we were going....awesome!


we stayed at all star movies.
*some things we liked: themeing, pool, buses, dining plan, room was fine for us
*some things we didn't like: the walk to the buses at the parks, the waits for the buses at the resort and the parks, the walk from the bus to our room at the end of the day (seriously--could they not make two stops or something, one in the front, one in the back? it's a really long walk with two sleepy children and two crabby parents to the love bug rooms!) and my husbands biggest complaint--no coffee maker in the room (he is a coffee freak and drinks it 24/7, so when we got back late and the restaurant was closed, he was annoyed that he couldn't get or make any coffee)

this time, we are planning to stay at Caribbean Beach Resort, only because we are going in January and the rates are lower. from reading things online, we are going to request the Jamaica village, building 45.

so, any advice or pros/cons for going in January or staying at cbr? i'd love any advice!

table of contents
arrival day
a day in animal kingdom
a day in epcot

a day in Hollywood studios
a day (really 2) in magic kingdom
final (?) schedule
clippies!
resort reservation
July 10
CrAaAAzy people
new clippies
paperchain
sewing sunday
JACKPOT!
Pettiskirt
mail!
just in case
More ADRs?
getting very excited!
another ADR?!?
just stuff
we love disney!
time for a happy dance!
chefs de france?
just had to get some Disney!
toy story of terror
will it never end?
trunk or treat
magic bands
in love!
magic bands
pumpkins
happy halloween
fastpass +
revised AK day and MK day 1
revised Epcot day
revised MK day 2 and Hollywood day
email
clothes
paid!
IT CAME
guess what came!
snow
memory maker?
SINGLE DIGITS!
ONE WEEK!
watch this space.....
the link!

Last edited by STLMickeyMom; 01-13-2014 at 09:31 PM. Reason: grammar fix
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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arrival day

sooooo.....no comments yet, but i'm gonna keep writing anyway!

my plan for our arrival day......i'm not sure yet what our flights will look like, but we try to get there early afternoon-ish. the plan is to check in, etc, maybe take a nap, then head over to DTD, which we didn't get to at all last time. we have to hit up world of Disney, and the lego store for sure. I think we are going to make an adr for dinner at the t-rex. we'll need to make our traditional trip to ghiradelli for some chocolate and peek in the Christmas store. i'd really love to do the hot air balloon ride too! I don't know how the kids would feel about it, but I think it looks awesome!

after all that, we'll just head back to the room for the night.

for this trip we are doing the dining plan again. I love not having to worry about paying for our meals while we are there. we just took cash to leave tips. it was so nice! last time we did the deluxe dining which was great, but too much food. this time were are doing the 1 QS, 1 TS and 1 snack plan. I think we are going to have breakfast groceries delivered, or maybe just bring stuff in our checked luggage. last time getting breakfast really slowed us down. I think having quick stuff in our room will be much better for us and get us out the door happier and faster. has anyone ever had food delivered before?
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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I'm in for your TR.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:14 AM   #4
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I totally understand the need for a redo! We were so excited about our December trip 3 years ago. Everything had been planned perfectly....ugg! We had extended family challenges as well as a kid with a stomach bug who vomited in the room for 2 days! I left saying "that was not magical"!! We went back 9 months later for our redo!

I think your January plans sounds great! CBR is fabulous for kids! Crowds are good as long as you clear the New Year crowd.

The only thing "iffy" is the weather! Could be 35 or could be 80!

Goodluck and have a magical redo!
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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BTW....we always do breakfast in the room! Cereal bars, fruit etc. It's quick and the kids can eat it on the way to the bus stop. No wasting morning park time for a sit down breakfast!! We love the dining plan. Picking our restaurants is one of my favorite pre vacation activities!
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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Congratulations on planning your return trip! We love staying onsite with the dining plan, it just makes the vacation completely Disney, and we don't have to worry about what each of those Disney meals costs. We do the regular dining plan too, and find it to work out very well, even last year when we were sharing with our 2 year old. This year she'll have her own plan, so that means more snack credits to share.

We did have some food and water bottles delivered from Garden Grocer last year. It worked out nice, and with enough stuff to spread the delivery cost over it wasn't bad. We also packed a lot of snacks, and didn't end up eating most of them. We left stuff there just to save room in the luggage on the way home. This year we might just do water from Amazon and have it shipped to the resort.

We went in June for our first time, and while we loved it the crowds did have a big effect. Going back in September with light crowds was amazing. It is like a different place when you cut down the crowds.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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@STLMickeyMom

Excellent choice with CBR. We've stayed there twice and both trips were our best we ever experienced. Going in January has always been next to impossible for us...we are only able to go when the vast majority of other people are at WDW...in the middle of the summer!

But, like you said, no matter what time of year...it's still Disney!
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnSpaceshipEarth View Post
@STLMickeyMom

Excellent choice with CBR. We've stayed there twice and both trips were our best we ever experienced. Going in January has always been next to impossible for us...we are only able to go when the vast majority of other people are at WDW...in the middle of the summer!
i'm so glad to hear your stay at CBR was great! I've read a few things on here about people having good stays but having a lot of issues with plumbing and other stuff in their rooms. I was starting to wonder if we should stay somewhere else, but I think i'm going to stick with CBR for now. it looks so relaxing and pictures of the buildings/grounds just make me happy!
I don't know if we'll ever get to go in January again, but I can justify it for now since our oldest is only going to be in kindergarten. we'll see how much guilt I get from taking her out of school


Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandCalifornian View Post
We did have some food and water bottles delivered from Garden Grocer last year. It worked out nice, and with enough stuff to spread the delivery cost over it wasn't bad. We also packed a lot of snacks, and didn't end up eating most of them. We left stuff there just to save room in the luggage on the way home. This year we might just do water from Amazon and have it shipped to the resort.
i'm glad to hear that garden grocer worked out so well for you. I really think we might just order from them too. I thought the shipping cost looked pretty reasonable for getting breakfast and snack items for a week delivered. that's a good idea to order from amazon too!
i'm sure you already knew this, but I just learned that you can ask at the snack carts for ice water and they will give it to you free (water from the soda machine, not bottled water). I think we might just do that to avoid carrying around heavy water bottles for the day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
I'm in for your TR.
Yeah! my first comment!! thanks for following along!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessedwith3boys View Post
I totally understand the need for a redo! We were so excited about our December trip 3 years ago. Everything had been planned perfectly....ugg! We had extended family challenges as well as a kid with a stomach bug who vomited in the room for 2 days! I left saying "that was not magical"!! We went back 9 months later for our redo!

The only thing "iffy" is the weather! Could be 35 or could be 80!

Goodluck and have a magical redo!
I think we can handle the weather--we live in Missouri so we're used to crazy weather--I just hope it's warm enough for a swim in the pool at least one day. our kids love to swim! i'll take whatever the weather is so long as we don't have such huge crowds.

oh, that December trip does not sound magical at all! what a bummer to be sick at Disney! and I TOTALLY get the family challenges (you said it so nicely!). before we had kids, we went with my mom once. we were glad that she wanted to do some shows while we did some rides cuz we all needed a break from each other.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessedwith3boys View Post
BTW....we always do breakfast in the room! Cereal bars, fruit etc. It's quick and the kids can eat it on the way to the bus stop. No wasting morning park time for a sit down breakfast!! We love the dining plan. Picking our restaurants is one of my favorite pre vacation activities!
totally think eating in the room will be the way to go! last time we took so long getting ready, then trying to go eat, then waiting to get a bus. it just seemed like it took so long! I even tried sending my DH to get stuff to bring back to the room, but that seemed just as long. I think you're doing it right to have it in the room!

I love the dining plan too! and luckily, my husband is soooo not picky, and will eat anywhere, so I get to pick out all our ADR's. I love picking the restaurants too!! there are just so many we want to try!
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:17 PM   #9
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a day in animal kingdom

a day in animal kingdom.....hopefully this trip will be better than the last one. we did not do much last time and barely left discovery island and dinoland. we ended up going back to the hotel to put the girls to bed and my husband went back to stand in line for Everest and only got to ride once.

some must do's for this trip: festival of the lion king, flights of wonder, train ride, safari, finding nemo, see the fruit bats (love them!), dinosaur, triceratop spin and expedition Everest.
we haven't made any final decisions yet on places to eat, but on our list of possibilities are flame tree BBQ, restaurantasaurus and tusker house. we also want to find kusafiri coffee shop (for my husband the coffee fanatic) and royal anandapur tea co. i'm not a huge tea fan, but they have some drinks that sound so good: honey van rooibos, masala chai (I do love chai!), frozen chai, and Darjeeling (which I've never tried). I also have a note jotted down to go to isle of java. I didn't write down what sounded good there, but i'm sure we can find something!
we also have to see some characters there, of course! last time we saw russel and dug from up, but the line was pretty long so we passed them up. our youngest daughter is in love with Pocahontas, so we have to see her too. if we can see mickey and minnie that'd be great, but we'll maybe just see what the lines are like over by FOTLK and see who we see.
i'd like to get to the park early, go back to the room for a nap at some point, them come back to finish our day. I love, love, love being in the parks at night when everything is all lit up. my DH is not a huge fan of taking a break during the day, but i'm really trying to convince him it's worth it. of course, maybe AK day won't need a break since they close early, but i'm leaving it as an option. we will have a stroller so the girls can maybe catch a nap in there, but i'm not going to count on that happening.


BTW....if anyone is thinking about renting a stroller.....last time we got a double stroller from magic strollers. they were awesome! it was there before we got there, we left it at bell services when we left, it was in perfect condition and was SO easy to use. our girls fit in it comfortably and we stuck our diaper bag, full of jackets, changes of clothes, snacks, etc under the seats. there was even a cup holder. it was perfect for us and, I thought, a great deal. we had it for 6 days and it was $75 (that was for the double, I can't remember what a single was). just wanted to throw that out there since we liked them so much!


since i'm not sure yet what day this will happen, I'm going to add it here. we are going to try the o'hana breakfast at the poly. I think it looks so fun and who can pass up meeting lilo and stitch. can't wait to see mickey in his Hawaiian shirt too!
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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@STLMickeyMom

Yeah...I've heard a lot of horror stories on these boards and in person about how CBR just isn't up to snuff.

All I can say is that we have always LOVED it and found it had an ideal "vacation vibe" to it. Like you said...looking at the images of it just make you *happy*. When you are actually *there* it is multiple times better than just seeing pictures of it.

Maybe we just always caught it on a "good week", but our experience has always been wonderful there.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:35 PM   #11
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Question which resort?!?

I am having a dilemma over which hotel to pick.......

I was all set to pick CBR. it looks like every beach vacation we've ever taken and the thought of hanging out on a hammock and putting my toes in the sand just seemed heavenly. when I started reading some bad reviews of it though, I thought i'd just look around at other moderates and see what was out there. I didn't see anything that looked better than CBR....until I saw the royal rooms at port orleans riverside. they just seriously look soooooo cool! I love the fireworks headboards and I think our girls would too. they will still be at the age where things like that are jawdroppingly mesmerizing! also, since there aren't dates for January yet, I picked the week in October when we had been planning on going, which has similar crowd levels and is the same "season" for pricing, and compared the two. POR is only about $40 more total then CBR. now, I can't decide. has anybody stayed in both of these resorts and have any opinions? I really love the idea of CBR, but feel like this could be our chance to stay at POR while it's still affordable. help!
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by STLMickeyMom View Post
I am having a dilemma over which hotel to pick.......

I was all set to pick CBR. it looks like every beach vacation we've ever taken and the thought of hanging out on a hammock and putting my toes in the sand just seemed heavenly. when I started reading some bad reviews of it though, I thought i'd just look around at other moderates and see what was out there. I didn't see anything that looked better than CBR....until I saw the royal rooms at port orleans riverside. they just seriously look soooooo cool! I love the fireworks headboards and I think our girls would too. they will still be at the age where things like that are jawdroppingly mesmerizing! also, since there aren't dates for January yet, I picked the week in October when we had been planning on going, which has similar crowd levels and is the same "season" for pricing, and compared the two. POR is only about $40 more total then CBR. now, I can't decide. has anybody stayed in both of these resorts and have any opinions? I really love the idea of CBR, but feel like this could be our chance to stay at POR while it's still affordable. help!
We've never stayed at Port Orleans, but there are ENDLESS positive reviews on it. It may be your safest choice. We LOVE CBR, but we have become spoiled after staying at the Boardwalk Inn a few years ago and now only book Deluxe Resorts. Next up...Polynesian Resort next month!
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:26 AM   #13
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a day at epcot

a day at epcot.....so I have to admit, although my husband loves this park, it is not my favorite. I've heard so many people rave about it, I thought maybe I was giving it a bum rap. I did some more reading and checking around and i'm thinking that maybe I've found enough things to do that i'll enjoy it more this trip.

I really want to go to epcot on the day of my birthday. i'd like to get a dinner reservation at rose and crown and request a table with a view of illuminations. I do love those fireworks! we'd also like to eat at garden grill. I also wrote down to find kabuki café and kringla bakeri...not sure what I thought looked good there, have to reread the menus.

other things i'd like to do:
see mariachi cobre--I LOVE a mariachi band (for my husbands 40th birthday, I planned a fiesta surprise party and hired a mariachi band. they were fantastic and it was so fun to have them there!), off kilter, british revolution and jammitors (I think the kids would like jammitors, and any music really--they both love to dance)

I'd love to see miyuki and take the girls to pick a pearl (i'd never even heard of that before! it seems so cool-how did I miss it all these times?!)

of course, we'll do turtle talk (little nervous for this one! last time our oldest, who was sitting up front with the other kids, got swept up in the crowd leaving and we couldn't find her. I was seriously having a heart attack! bless her heart-she did exactly what we told her to do, found a CM and was just telling them she was lost when my husband saw her. of course, this was the one day I forgot to put her bracelet with my number on it on her wrist! mommy guilt off the charts that day!!), the seas, mission space, test track. i've never tried spaceship earth, club cool or the gran fiesta tour, so those are on the list too.
my big plan for WS is princess meetings. last time we met most of the princesses at CRT when we went for lunch. since we're not doing a princess meal this time, i'm hoping we can see most of them at epcot. I went on Kenny the pirate's website and got the times for belle, jasmine, aurora, snow white and mulan. we'll see if we find them all! we might have to add mary poppins (we are going to see it at the outdoor theater here this summer. we'll see how the girls like it)

we might be scheduling a break this day too, at least for me and the girls. I think it'll help to get the girls through a late dinner and fireworks.

***resort update***
I've decided to go ahead and change our plans from staying at CBR to staying in a royal guest room at Port Orleans Riverside. I just can't resist those princess-y rooms and I think the girls will LOVE it! that's it, final decision. i'm sticking with this decision because I can't spend 6 months debating over the two. i'll drive myself crazy!

and I think that's the end of our epcot day. anything i'm missing?
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnSpaceshipEarth View Post
We've never stayed at Port Orleans, but there are ENDLESS positive reviews on it. It may be your safest choice. We LOVE CBR, but we have become spoiled after staying at the Boardwalk Inn a few years ago and now only book Deluxe Resorts. Next up...Polynesian Resort next month!
I can't wait to hear how the poly is!! you're so lucky and your trip is getting so close! I'm afraid we're going to spoil ourselves with this stay and be sad when it's back to values for us!
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:33 AM   #15
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Following for some tips on our first trip in August. I'm a little nervous!
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