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Old 06-12-2004, 01:00 AM   #1
Janet2k
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My PC, GF, VWL, BCV, VWL, and SSR vacation…

Over my lifetime many words have been used to describe me, some kind and some not so kind. However, the following word has not been one of them:

self·ish
(Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary)
Pronunciation: 'sel-fish
Function: adjective
1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
2 : arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others <a selfish act>


That is, until now. I admit it; I have recently become selfish in regards to my Walt Disney World vacations.

When I first began planning this vacation, I made the conscious decision to not tell any family members about it except for my husband and our two children. For those of you who have come to know me via the Dis website, that probably comes as a bit of a surprise. You have learned that I am of “the more, the merrier” philosophy. Heck, I embrace that philosophy and have made it my mantra. That is, until now.

For the past couple of years, my son has been unable to join me on vacation. Two years ago he chose to stay home due to a conflict with his schooling. I considered canceling that vacation but instead asked my husband to stay home with our son so that our daughter and I could experience our first Mother & Daughter Walt Disney World vacation together. Since our son normally hangs out with me, and our daughter normally hangs out with my husband, I thought it would be fun to kinda mix things up a bit. And so my daughter and I went to Walt Disney World and bonded, while my son and husband stayed home and bonded.

Last Fall found my son in college. Due to his college schedule, he decided to again forgo joining us on vacation. I tried very hard to convince him to join us for at least a few days of it, most notably for the “Haunted Mansion” Movie Set Dinner Event that I had planned as an anniversary celebration, but my son would not budge – he did not want to miss any of his college courses. Being the big Disney fan that I am, I thought he was crazy and considered sending him for professional help, but my son assured me that the only professional help he needed was found in his college courses. How could I argue with that? I couldn’t. So my son stayed in school while the rest of the family went on vacation. It was at that point that I realized my son had transformed into a man. Where did the years go?

Last Fall’s vacation was perfect even though I had spent the entire vacation in a wheelchair due to being temporarily disabled (click here for my trip report). But as perfect as that vacation was, I still felt like something was missing. It was. It was my son. It was at that point that I decided that the next vacation would occur during my son’s Spring Break. I found out when that was and planned accordingly. Then the Disney Vacation Club announced its first Walt Disney World Member Homecoming event. After much discussion it was decided to move our vacation to May so that we could attend the Member Homecoming event.

Since the event fell during my son’s finals period, I asked him to check into taking his finals a few days early. He told me that he didn’t want to do that and stated that he didn’t mind missing the Member Homecoming event. He said he would join us in Florida as soon as his finals were over. That sounded like a good compromise to me, so I planned for a two-week vacation knowing full well that my son would be there for one-and-a-half weeks of it.

Once all the vacation plans had been moved to May, I debated asking other family members to join us for it. It was then that I got bit by the selfish bug. That bug bite made me long for a vacation spent only with my children and husband. As the selfish bug venom flowed through my veins, I actually imagined what a vacation like that would feel like – the only needs I would have to attend to would be my children’s. What a nice feeling to have. And when I realized that my son wouldn’t be vacationing with us for too many more years to come, the selfish venom completely took hold of me. And so I decided to keep quiet about the May vacation and selfishly keep it only for my immediate family. The idea of spending two weeks in Florida with just my children and husband was too good to pass up.

Just so you don’t think I’m the most selfish person on the face of the Earth and decide to banish me from the Dis website, I should probably mention that besides the May vacation, I also had an October vacation planned. To that October vacation I had already decided I was going to invite extended family members. You see, my husband and I were planning on celebrating our wedding anniversary with a Fairy Tale Weddings’ vow renewal ceremony. We scheduled our ceremony for October and thought it would be wonderful to have a few family members in attendance.

Now I hope you understand why I wanted my May vacation to be only for my children and husband – there would be plenty of time for others later on in the year. And so my May vacation story begins…
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Old 06-12-2004, 02:08 AM   #2
Janet2k
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The Resorts I Chose And Why I Chose Them...

As you saw from the title of this thread, “My PC, GF, VWL, BCV, VWL, and SSR vacation,” my family was going to be doing a lot of resort hopping on this vacation. I’m going to try to explain the method behind my madness.

I initially had planned on beginning the vacation with our very first stay in a Value Resort, the Pop Century. We were going to spend two nights there, followed by two nights in one of our favorite Deluxe Resorts, the Animal Kingdom Lodge. But as you’ll find out as this thread continues, dates, times, and places changed for a myriad of reasons. I promise to get into that later.

I should mention that since my family belongs to the Disney Vacation Club, the bulk of our two-week vacation was going to be spent in a Home-Away-From-Home Resort, in particular, the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. We had stayed in the Wilderness Lodge a few years prior, but we had never stayed in the Villas side before. We were looking forward to experiencing that DVC resort for the first time.

As most of you here on the Dis know, I like to resort hop. A lot. Many of my family’s vacations have been spent in multiple resorts. Since I seem to have ants in my pants and don’t like staying stagnant for too long, I decided that one and a half weeks spent in the VWL was a bit too much for my liking. I thought it would be fun to put a Beach Club Villas stay smack dab in the middle of things. I must admit that I had an ulterior motive for doing that – my son had not experienced that resort before and I wanted him to. So I picked up the phone and called the DVC and changed my reservations around.

But I couldn’t leave well enough alone. The Saratoga Springs Resort was opening up just a few weeks prior to our vacation. I thought it would be nice if my family could experience that brand-new resort together. Once again I picked up the phone and called the DVC. A SSR stay was added to the tail end of my family’s resort-hopping itinerary.

At that point I found myself with the following itinerary: PC, AKL, VWL, BCV, VWL, and SSR. And it stayed that way almost right up until the very end. But I’ll get into that later. I promise.
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Old 06-12-2004, 02:30 AM   #3
Janet2k
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Dreams Unlimited Travel…

My cash reservations were handled once again by Dreams Unlimited Travel. I’ve used Dreams for quite a few years now and have always been happy with their service. This time around my agent was Cathy. She was a pleasure to work with. I changed my reservations a few times and she never complained once. I will definitely use Dreams Unlimited Travel and Cathy again.
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Old 06-12-2004, 07:40 AM   #4
tcfdick
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I love how you tell your TR using the same thread! It's easier to read than having to look for the different parts separately. I look forward to reading the rest of this one. I read your TR that you mentioned in this report and I want to say that I would love to do everything that made your trip so magical!
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Old 06-12-2004, 08:44 AM   #5
Alicnwondrln
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Well I have to say I cant wait to read the rest of your report.
PS
your not selfish
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Old 06-12-2004, 05:58 PM   #6
Janet2k
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My Disney Resort List Keeps Growing…And Growing...And Growing...

Here on the Dis website, I primarily hang out on the Disney Resorts board. I don’t know why that is, it just is.

I guess if I had to put my finger on it, I would probably say that I hang out on the Disney Resorts board because the resort is the most important part of my family’s Walt Disney World vacation. Not only is it the most expensive aspect of my family’s vacation, it is the one place where we will spend the majority of our time. It is important to me to ensure that any time my family needs a place to unwind, our resort will be the perfect place to do so in. I suppose that’s why I hang out on the Disney Resorts board – I learn an awful lot about each of the resorts from the kind folks who post on that board.

By the way, I also try to give as much back to the Disney Resorts board as I have taken. If I know something, I pass that information along. Most of you have learned that for me, no piece of resort room information is too small. I think I have more oddball resort room photos than anyone else here on the Dis. As proof, I submit the following:

In-Room Safes:
Animal Kingdom Lodge
All-Stars Sports
Beach Club Villas
Beach Club Villas
Caribbean Beach Resort
Contemporary Tower
Grand Floridian (Main Building)
Grand Floridian (Main Building)
Grand Floridian (Conch Key)
Grand Floridian (Conch Key)
Grand Floridian (Conch Key)
Old Key West
Pop Century
Pop Century
Port Orleans – French Quarter
Port Orleans – French Quarter
Port Orleans – Riverside
Port Orleans – Riverside

Wet Bars/Mini-Bars:
AKL (click here)
AKL (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)

Balconies/Patios:
AKL (click here)
AKL (click here)
AKL (click here)
AKL (click here)
AKL (click here)
AKL (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)
YC (click here)
YC (click here)

CD-Clock Radios:
AKL (click here)
GF (click here)
GF (click here)

As you can see, I have lots of obscure photos (and will be adding more since I just returned from another vacation). And that is what makes the Dis such a great community – all the nitty-gritty details that everyone has shared here. Because of my fellow Dis’ers and their thirst for information, I can easily justify my crazy quest to try the unknown and to film the un-thinkable. Who else would understand why the following photos are some of my favorites:
Photo # 1
Photo # 2

Prior to my May vacation, my family had stayed in 14 of the Disney resorts. Once this vacation would be completed, 3 more resorts would be added to our list, bringing our total to 17. Years ago when we first began vacationing at Walt Disney World, we never thought we’d ever stay in all of the resorts. But after a few years of vacationing there, I suddenly noticed that our list of resorts had crept up into the double-digits. It was at that point that I thought we might as well try every single one of them. It’s probably obvious to you folks by now that another word can be used to describe me:

in·sa·tia·ble
(Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary)
Pronunciation: (")in-'sA-sh&-b&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English insaciable, from Middle French, from Latin insatiabilis, from in- + satiare to satisfy
: incapable of being satisfied : QUENCHLESS <had an insatiable desire for wealth>


I like that word. You may use that word to describe me at anytime: “Janet2k had an insatiable appetite for Walt Disney World resorts…”

Last edited by Janet2k; 11-04-2005 at 05:27 PM. Reason: To fix broken links...
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Old 06-12-2004, 07:54 PM   #7
Janet2k
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Thanks To The Dis Website, A New Friendship Began…

Months before my vacation began, Floridafam and I struck up an Internet friendship. She learned from the Resorts board (surprise, surprise) that I had stayed in quite a few of the Disney resorts and she had some questions about the Animal Kingdom Lodge. She threw a couple questions my way, and before I knew it, we began corresponding regularly.

During one of our early correspondences, we discovered that our vacations would overlap by a few days. We thought it would be fun to try to hook up while in WDW. She invited my family to join her family for a VIP Tour (click here) in the Magic Kingdom Theme Park, and also for a Wishes fireworks cruise aboard the Grand Floridian’s Grand 1 yacht (click here). I offered to help pay for the activities but she would hear none of it. Her generosity was sincere, as was her concern for my family and how we would like to see the activities tailored. I told her that my family was very easygoing and to not worry about us, we would love whatever she planned, have no fear.

Eventually, I was able to convince Floridafam to allow my family to pay for lunch on the day of the tour, as well as to pay for the Cinderella’s Slipper dessert for the Grand 1 fireworks cruise. Let me just state for the record that it was very hard getting her to agree to this – she is more stubborn than I am. I was happy when she finally consented to my request. (I can be very persuasive when I have to be.)

Like Floridafam, I had heard about the Cinderella’s Slipper dessert for years but had never personally experienced it. I was excited about getting the opportunity to do so during the May vacation. I placed a phone call to the Grand Floridian and inquired about how to order the dessert for the cruise. The Grand Floridian gave me all the information that I needed, including describing the dessert to me in detail over the telephone (I’m sure I drooled all over the receiver). I relayed the information back to Floridafam, and the two of us happily looked forward to the Grand 1 cruise.

As time marched on, as sometimes happens, real life interfered with Floridafam’s vacation plans. Her family’s vacation had to be modified and the Grand 1 cruise had to be cancelled because of it. She was sad when that happened but I assured her that we would try to do it again on a future vacation.

It was at that point that Floridafam began questioning whether or not our young children would be able to handle a five-hour VIP Tour in the hot, Florida sun. For those of you who don’t know, a VIP Tour lasts a minimum of five hours. That’s a long time when the temperature is in the 90’s and the sun is streaming down on you, not to mention the humidity. Floridafam was concerned about the children’s stamina, and unbeknownst to her, I was secretly concerned about my own stamina.

As a few of you know (and those of you who read last Fall’s trip report just learned), I had major surgery last year to repair damage to my leg. I am doing very well now, thank you, but still am in the healing process (it’s a long process for an old broad such as myself). After spending quite a few months in a wheelchair, I was allowed to begin walking again about a month or so after I returned from last Fall’s WDW vacation. It was wonderful to walk again, even if I walked with a pronounced limp. I have no right to complain, and please don’t think that I am, I just think it’s important to bring this point up because my current physical limitations still had an effect on my May vacation-planning process.

I had some setbacks with my leg right around the time that Floridafam and I were planning the VIP Tour. I didn’t dare raise my concerns to Floridafam – I did not want to hamper any of her excitement about the vacation planning. But I did raise my concerns to my husband. I told him that I would do as much as I could during the five-hour VIP Tour, and when I felt that I had done too much, I would drop out of the tour with plans to rejoin it right before it ended. I also told my husband that I wouldn’t mention my recent setbacks to Floridafam. I swore him to secrecy (he’s such a good guy that way) and that was that. But when Floridafam began questioning the stamina of the children, I finally told her about my own stamina concerns. I also told her that maybe we should consider the Family Magic Tour (click here) instead. I mentioned that I had read wonderful things about it over the years.

Just like I knew she would, Floridafam researched the heck out of the Family Magic Tour and reported back to me that she thought it would be perfect for us. I wholeheartedly agreed. She booked the tour and I was secretly relieved. (Floridafam: I know you’re reading this for the first time – sorry to have kept all of this from you – you were an angel to change the tour and I can’t tell you how beautifully that day worked out for my family. Well, maybe I can. Stay tuned. I’m going to post all about that wonderful tour, including photos, soon. It was beyond magical. My family will never forget it.)

So, with the VIP Tour changed to the Family Magic Tour, the two of us continued on with our vacation planning.
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Old 06-12-2004, 08:34 PM   #8
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Janet,

:D I'm so glad we ended up doing the Family Magic Tour! Neither my children nor I would have made it 5 hours! It was hot that day, wasn't it?

You could have told me your concerns. I would have done anything to make sure we were all happy!

The tour was amazing. It did seem to go by fast and it took a while for my children to "open up" and take full advantage of the tour.

My family is looking forward to trying a VIP Tour when it is a little cooler out. I'm sure you know if you are at WDW during that time you are invited.

Thanks so much for your kinds words. It was an honor to meet your family. Your daughter is wonderful-always a smile on her face. Your husband is so friendly and easy to talk to. I'm so glad we were able to share parts of our vacations.
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Old 06-12-2004, 11:24 PM   #9
Janet2k
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Craving A Simple, Outdoor Dinner…

As you folks have learned, I had an Animal Kingdom Lodge stay on my family’s vacation itinerary. We adore the AKL and hadn’t stayed there in a year or two. We had visited the Lodge during last Fall’s vacation because my dear friend Nutz4dzny was staying there and she had arranged for my family to visit the Kilimanjaro Club.

Being inside the Lodge last October really made me long to stay there. Then when I got the opportunity to visit with my favorite WDW Cast Member, Don, well, I knew my family had to stay there on our very next vacation. So when I was planning my May vacation, I put a two-night stay on our itinerary. I was really looking forward to it.

While I was planning that vacation, I decided that I wanted to dine outdoors with my husband and daughter. Since I had spent such a large portion of last year cooped up inside due to my temporary disability, I was itching to be outdoors. Craving it, actually. I sent an e-mail to my favorite AKL concierge CM and asked if it was possible to plan a simple, dinner party outdoors at the AKL. He put me in touch with a wonderful CSR Convention Services CM who I began to work with.

It was right around this point in time that I decided to ask Floridafam’s family to join my family for an outdoor dinner. They graciously accepted the dinner invitation. I was very happy.

I found out from the CSR Convention Services CM that an outdoor meal at the AKL was not possible. I pretty much expected that but still was disappointed to learn it. I thought an outdoor meal at my favorite resort would be a wonderful way to celebrate life but it was not to be, ~sigh.~

Not to be deterred since I still was craving an outdoor meal somewhere on property at Walt Disney World, and also since my dinner party’s headcount had increased by four, I inquired about locations at the Polynesian Resort. My family had not stayed there yet but was somewhat familiar with the resort since we had visited my sister during her Poly stay a few years prior. My family had also dined at the Poly just about every single WDW vacation (the Luau is my favorite). I thought the Poly would be a beautiful place to dine outdoors, but I was having difficultly trying to plan a special meal there. At one point I even offered to book a concierge stay at the resort if it would have made things easier, but sadly an outdoor meal was just not in the cards.

I’ll let you folks in on another word that has been used to describe me:

te·na·cious
(Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary)
Pronunciation: t&-'nA-sh&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin tenac-, tenax tending to hold fast, from tenEre to hold
1 a: not easily pulled apart : COHESIVE <a tenacious metal> b : tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance <tenacious burs>
2 a: persistent in maintaining or adhering to something valued or habitual <a tenacious royalist> b : RETENTIVE <a tenacious memory>
synonym see STRONG


Due to my tenacious spirit, I was not going to easily give up on celebrating life with an outdoor meal. I contacted the Grand Floridian Resort next. My family and Nutz4dzny’s family had enjoyed a scrumptious, outdoor dinner at the Grand Floridian last Fall. I knew that planning another outdoor dinner there would be a pleasure. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.
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Old 06-13-2004, 08:09 AM   #10
nutz4dzny
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Janet,

Thanks again for sharing your trip reports with all of us! Since I had to cancel at the last minute due to some back surgery still planned, not yet done, it makes me smile and feel like I was almost there! sigh......almost, but October awaits! Write on girl!
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:50 AM   #11
KayleeUK
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Lovely wonderful detailed reports
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Old 06-13-2004, 11:06 AM   #12
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This has to be one of the best trips reports ever...I can't wait to finish reading it...and seeing some pics!
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Old 06-13-2004, 02:51 PM   #13
Janet2k
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Planning A Party Is Hard Work…So Is Writing A Report About It…

I want to mention that what I’m going to post next took me almost 24 hours to compose. Pretty much my entire weekend. I will try to post it within the next few hours (I’m still editing it).

I can’t tell you the large number of e-mails that I waded through as I was composing my next post. I wanted to make sure that I gave you folks an accurate portrayal of what I went through as I planned my simple, outdoor dinner party at Walt Disney World. Sure, I could have made things easy on myself by telling my Convention Services Cast Member the following: “I want a party for ‘X’ number of people. It is to be held on such-and-such night and at such-and-such location. My budget is ‘X’ dollars. Plan away.” But I couldn’t do that. There were other people involved in my dinner party, first Floridafam, then Bonzie1. I needed to take their wants and needs into consideration, especially since there were three children involved (my daughter and Floridafam’s son & daughter). Then when you throw the three-hour time zone change into the mix between the East Coast and the West Coast, the number of e-mails increase (e-mail is the easiest way for me to communicate with people in other parts of the country). Simple things become complicated. Things don’t arrive as they should and get lost in the shuffle. This is all normal vacation planning and normal party planning stuff. People are human, none more so than myself. So, as you will see from my following post, party planning is not as easy as it appears. But all that behind-the-scenes stuff that Disney is famous for ensures that you will have a magical event. Mine was no exception to the rule.

My final piece of advice is this: Do not attempt to do this at home; leave the party planning to the professionals. I did. And I have no regrets. Not one. Okay, so I’m lying. My only regret is that my magical night had to come to an end. And there was no glass slipper left behind on the steps of the castle. Come to think of it, I think I need to talk to Disney about that…
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:56 PM   #14
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Dinner Party Pre-Planning Information Will Be Broken Up Into Multiple Posts…

I’m going to break up the “Dinner Party Pre-Planning” portion of my trip report into multiple parts. It was becoming too difficult for me to manage as one long, continuous post. I apologize for not being able to post everything tonight. I am hopeful that I’ll get everything posted before the week is through. I will let you know when this portion of my trip report is done. Thanks for being patient.
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Old 06-13-2004, 11:19 PM   #15
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Pre-Planning Begins For A Simple, Outdoor Dinner Party…

When I contacted the Grand Floridian Resort regarding the planning of a simple, outdoor party, they told me they would put me in touch with their Convention Services organization. I had never worked with that organization before and was curious about what they had to offer me. I was, after all, just one person – a girl with a simple wish – not a large group, heck, not even a small group. What could a Convention Services organization possibly offer little ol’ me?

Unbeknownst to me, shortly after I had first made contact with the resort, a Grand Floridian Convention Services Cast Member had been tasked with my dinner party. He established contact with me one afternoon by sending me both an e-mail message and a voice-mail message. After reviewing his messages, I sent the following e-mail to Floridafam – it conveys my very first impressions of the Grand Floridian's Convention Services organization:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This afternoon I had the most wonderful telephone message and wonderful e-mail message from the person at the Grand Floridian Resort who has been tasked with helping me plan a private dinner. If he didn’t make me feel like Cinderella, I don’t know who could. I can’t wait to speak to him in person. I promise to keep you posted.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, the Convention Services Cast Member had made me feel like Cinderella heading to the royal ball. I had that same reaction last Fall when the Grand Floridian Resort had been helping me plan my anniversary events. It was a very lovely feeling to have – one full of hope and promise for the future. I looked forward to speaking with the Cast Member but he was going to be out of the office for a few days, darn it.

I felt it would be helpful if the Cast Member knew a little bit about what sort of dinner party I was after. I thought I’d share with you folks excerpts from an e-mail message that I sent to him while he was out of the office:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In your absence, I thought I would type up a little something so that it would be waiting for you upon your return to the office.

In regards to the private dinner that I am hoping to plan, I am not looking for anything fancy, just something a little out of the ordinary. I really don’t have any preconceived notions about what I want, and I am definitely open to any suggestions that you may have to offer me.

There will be two families at my dinner: my family (myself, husband, young daughter) and my new friend’s family (wife, husband, young daughter, young son). Both families would love to dine outdoors, and since there are three children in our party, I would love it if we could time the dinner such that it was winding down as the Wishes fireworks and Electrical Water Pageant began. I know the children would enjoy that (not to mention the adults).

I understand that “show” is an issue whenever planning something outdoors, so the available dining locations presented to me might be limited. I am hopeful that there is at least one location that would be perfect for a small dinner party

I only have one concern regarding an outdoor event – inclement weather. If the dinner party must be moved indoors due to weather conditions, are there any locations inside the Grand Floridian that could accommodate us? Please let me know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After the Convention Services Cast Member returned to the office, we played e-mail & voice-mail tag for a few days. I can’t tell you folks how anxious I was to speak with him and get the party planning underway. He eventually scheduled a time when he could do a “discovery process” with me over the telephone. He wanted to know more details about a few of the events that my family had experienced at WDW. He also wanted to know what we had liked about those events. During that particular phone conversation, it immediately became apparent to me that he possessed the true Disney spirit. I had obviously met my match. Right then and there I felt certain that whatever he planned for my family’s party would be wonderful.

During that "discovery" phone conversation, I stated that the main objective for the dinner party was the opportunity for two families (mine and Floridafam’s) to relax and get to know each other. I mentioned that great food would be a plus but was not the most important thing. He shared with me that he was already working on a few dinner party ideas based upon what I had sent to him. He was going to present those ideas to me within the next few days. He was also hopeful that within a few weeks, the dinner party’s details would be completely taken care of and a Banquet and Events Order (BEO) would be created. I was pleased to hear that and told him that I looked forward to working with him in the future.

I relayed the bulk of the telephone conversation to Floridafam. I told her that the Cast Member was easy to talk to and very enthusiastic, and that our dinner party was definitely in good hands. She was happy to hear that, especially when I told her that the topic of dessert had come up and I had immediately put in a request for the Cinderella’s Slipper dessert (that was the only request that Floridafam had).

As I just said, I relayed most of the telephone conversation to Floridafam. There were a few items that I had kept mum about. Entertainment was one of them. Since one potential theme for the party revolved around a Summer picnic idea, specific entertainers had been suggested to me: a balloon artist and a sleight-of-hand magician. I had seen the balloon artist, Andy Mation, at a Beach Club party a few years ago. He was wonderful and I was excited about the prospect of him performing at my party – I knew the children would love him (he is a balloon artist who creates the most amazing balloon characters, plus the stories he tells are extremely entertaining).

Another item that I had kept from Floridafam was how her family was going to receive official notification of the dinner party. The Cast Member told me that a party invitation could be delivered to my guest’s resort room on the evening prior to the party. That invitation could be themed to match the party’s theme. I liked that idea. He then said the invitation idea could be expanded upon further. If I went with the Summer Barbeque/Picnic theme, the invitation could be placed inside a picnic basket. Also in that picnic basket could be French baguettes, cheeses, fruit, water, and gingham-checked picnic napkins. The picnic basket could be delivered directly to my guest’s resort room on the evening prior to the dinner party.

My jaw just about hit the floor. Okay, I’m lying. It didn’t just about hit the floor, it actually hit the floor. I absolutely loved the dinner invitation idea and requested pricing information. The Cast Member said that he would send me an example of what the dinner invitation would look like. I was over-the-moon with the idea of such a unique dinner invitation being delivered to Floridafam’s family.

When I next heard from the Cast Member, it was regarding the potential outdoor dinner locations. I selected the Summerhouse location since it borders the beach. I felt it was the perfect place for an outdoor dinner party with children. Once the dinner location was selected, the Cast Member told me that he would move forward with my event contract. My dinner party was officially underway.

Within a week, I received the contract for my dinner party. I had to initial it and FAX it back, along with my credit card information. There was no turning back now.

The next few weeks were filled with e-mails back and forth between Floridafam and myself. Besides discussing the dinner party, we discussed the Magic Kingdom Theme Park tour that our families were going to enjoy together (her family was very kindly treating my family to the tour). We also discussed various aspects of our vacation planning. It was fun sharing the nitty-gritty details of WDW vacation planning with someone who planned vacations just like I did. It was also fun getting to learn more about Floridafam and her family through our many e-mail exchanges.
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