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Thread: 2 Trips a Month Apart: 1st time w/DVC in Oct w/family, then ASSp in Nov w/sis

  1. #1
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    2 Trips a Month Apart: 1st time w/DVC in Oct w/family, then ASSp in Nov w/sis

    I wasn't going to do any more trip reports...for one thing, I doubt there's much room left in my signature for any more trip report links, lol. For another, it seems that many people read them but don't comment and contribute to the fun discussions....a few people do, and I enjoy chatting with them.

    But then I decided this year's trips are unique and should perhaps be "documented" - and maybe I won't get into as many details this time as I used to, like reporting exactly what times we get into queues, onto rides, off rides, etc. I don't want to take a lot of notes while in the parks, as I've done in the past. I'm going to take pictures but maybe not of everything since I already have albums full of pictures of just about every nook and cranny of all the Disney parks. We bought Memory Maker the other day, so we'll at least have pictures with all of us in them (at least for the October trip).

    This year's trips: October 10-20 (the longest trip we'll have ever done thus far in Orlando) will be a split stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani studio villa with a savannah view) and Bay Lake Tower (studio villa with a lake view). That covers most of my DD9's fall break from school (she's off from October 10th - 26th and is in 4th grade) and she won't have homework as far as I know. They never assign projects or homework over school breaks. We booked this trip in March, and then in May we cancelled parts of it in order to RE-BOOK through DVC. More on that in a few minutes. The November trip I'm taking will just be my sister (Houston-based) and me, meeting up in Orlando for a sisters' birthdays trip November 14th - 19th. She turned 40 in September and had nowhere fun to go and no money with which to go anywhere, so I asked Hubby if we could treat her to a few days in Orlando with just me (I'm turning 44 on November 16th), staying somewhere cheap and as part of the Free Dining offer. She had hoped to be somewhere like Italy or Greece but couldn't afford to go overseas (she works at a university and hasn't had a pay increase in over 5 years), so we settled on Epcot, haha. Now we can have dinner in "Italy" and lunch in "France." I recently paid to upgrade our free quick service dining plan to the regular DP so we can now have more table service meals. We'll only have three days in the Disney parks (splitting one day between DAK and DHS) and one day at Universal Studios, where she has never been (I've been once so far, and I'll be there again in October for a day with DD9 and Hubby - their first time there). Our parents helped her out with her airfare and I'm taking care of the rest. She'll have some spending money, and she hopes to shop a little bit for earrings and a sweatshirt, I hear. She only just got her ears pierced this year and wants some Mickey earrings. My sis is single (never married) and has no children other than her two dachshunds. She loves Disney almost as much as I do (I'm the main Disney lover in the family, maybe even more than my daughter).

    In May, the day after Mother's Day, while "stuck" at the Grand Californian for an extra day because of snow/bad weather in Denver (where our car was parked at the airport, waiting for our 90-minute drive home from our Thurs-Sun Disneyland trip....I didn't do a trip report for that one) we used our "bonus" morning before heading back to the airport to finally talk in person with the DVC rep and officially join as members. We'd had the dvd and paperwork about the program for a couple years, and actually my hubby had looked seriously into buying a hotel condo in Celebration that we could have used up to 6 months of the year while renting it out the rest of the year. That wound up not happening because no one would finance that type of "vacation home" (hotel condo) and we didn't have enough to liquidate and afford to pay the $80,000 up front like the realtor required. But we were SO CLOSE! lol (Not really.) We DID, however, have enough to liquidate some "stuff" and afford to buy into DVC (cheaper than the hotel condo)...and since Hubby had already started that process with his stocks, etc., we went ahead with starting payments spread out over 2 or 3 months with DVC through my Disney Chase Visa (we upped the limit first and then Hubby kept paying off the balance so there would be room for the next DVC payment). I got A LOT of Disney Dream Reward points through Chase that way. Tony in the DVC office next to the Disneyland Hotel was very helpful and knew we'd done our homework beforehand - he gave us a lot of paper Fastpasses good at Disneyland, and since we weren't going back into the parks (it was the end of our trip) he said to bring them back when we were next at Disneyland and he'd exchange them for FPs with new expiration dates. (DD9 and I did that in July, the next time we were down in CA to visit/stay with my parents....I don't remember how many FPs the front office girls gave us, but we still came home with 19 unused paper passes and they said to save those until NEXT time. Even without using all the FPs in the one day we had at DLR we wound up doing about 26 rides/attractions/shows....we even got a couple DL CMs to let us use the FPs on two rides that normally don't allow FP: Peter Pan's Flight and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, just to save on wait time...because I'd originally misunderstood that the FPs were good for ANYTHING except for World of Color and Radiator Springs Racers - that turned out to be wrong; they're only good for rides that already offer FP. But the CMs were nice and let us use them since we were just two people.) Back to DVC, though: we wanted the Polynesian as our "home base," but it wasn't for sale yet - our second choice would have been the Contemporary (Bay Lake Tower) but DVC doesn't sell those directly any more (we'd have to buy "secondhand")....so, it was a toss-up between Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Grand Floridian. Hubby knows AKL is far from everything (just from what I've told him - he hasn't been there before) and he likes getting up early to make the rope drop at parks, and then going "home" to rest for a while later (whether it's actual rest in the room or relaxing at the pool) and then going back later for more time in the parks. He used to hate theme parks, so I'm impressed with how far he has come, lol. He likes being very close to the parks, where we stay. So, in the end, even though we don't see ourselves as fancy "Grand Floridian" people....we picked the Grand Floridian because it was available and very close to Magic Kingdom (our favorite park and where we figured we'd spend most of our time). We bought 200 points, thinking that's enough for our purposes (maybe two trips a year, one of them maybe being at Disneyland in spring time...and the other almost always being at WDW during fall break or another time of year once our daughter gets older and her school schedule changes a bit). We used up all but, I think, 18 points (which we banked for next year), with this October's trip. No more free dining plan, lol....at least not while staying in DVC accommodations.

    It's too bad we don't have free dining for the October trip, actually, because I've booked us a lot of great ADRs. We'll be paying out of pocket (I'm stocking up on gift cards, too). More on that in the next post, where I'll talk about what our plans are thus far. I have booked all our FP+ and ADRs for both the October and November trips. Oh, and the November trip will be at All Star Sports....I tried for Art of Animation and All Star Movies but they weren't available at the time of booking (I booked kind of late), for Free QS Dining. I've stayed at ASMo twice (once on my solo trip in November 2010 and once a couple Marches ago with DD9), and my sis has seen all my pictures in the past but if she'd like to walk over there and see the larger-than-life character statues we can certainly find time to go over there and look around. Neither of us are into sports at all (I mean, I watch the Superbowl just for the ads, mainly) - we'll enjoy the food court and MAYBE swim if there is time and if it's warm/dry enough, but all our time other than sleeping will be spent in the parks, I'm sure.

    I'll also try to give a brief history of our WDW trips we've taken thus far in the next post. We've only been going since 2010, so it shouldn't take long. Hubby and I grew up in California, so we were closer to Disneyland for many years. Our kiddo is a Colorado native and is lucky enough to have grandparents in southern California and have gone to both Disneyland and WDW ever since she was 4-1/2 years old (her first experience was a Disney Cruise in November 2009).

    Bye for now. Stay tuned.
    Last edited by RebeccaMcK; 09-27-2014 at 05:46 PM.
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  2. #2
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Okay, a hopefully brief history of our WDW trips....
    I went for the first time in May 2010 with my sister and my DD9 (let's call her Kimberly from here on out, since that's her name). Kimberly was turning 5 that month and I'd be 40 in November. Originally my hubby was to go on the trip with us, too, but he decided not to go and so it was just my sister Jenn, Kimberly and me at Wilderness Lodge. This was to be a "once in a lifetime" trip of sorts, because we'd been saving for quite a while and had planned it for a couple years. We got a special gift card deal where we received a free $750 gift card upon hotel check-in, which we used for all our meals, snacks and some souvenirs. I'd always wanted to go to WDW, and my sister had only been once before (for a work-related trip). Hubby and I had taken Kimberly on a Disney Cruise in November 2009 and then to Disneyland for her first time in December 2009 (for one day, with my parents, sister and grandma).

    The May 2010 WDW trip was great, and then in November 2010 I went solo for my 40th birthday. Stayed at All Star Movies and had a good time by myself (had Free Dining and dined at some places that I knew the fussy-eater hubby and daughter maybe wouldn't like. The dining plan was free as a QS plan but I paid the difference to upgrade it to regular dining so I could have some table service meals, too - just like I did for the upcoming November trip). Went to Universal Studios Orlando for the first time ever, and on a November weekday it was great with somewhat low crowds for touring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and other attractions.

    We went back as a family (Hubby, too, this time) in October 2011 and also met up with my mom, who flew out from California to join us at the Polynesian Resort. Had Free Dining again, and it was a great trip. It was the first time in Orlando for both my husband and my mom, and Mom would like to go back some time with my dad and stay at the Polynesian again.

    I took Kimberly to WDW on a short Mommy-Daughter trip in March 2013, planned kind of last minute, a couple days before her school's spring break started. She missed a couple days of school but we brought her work with us and she caught up while at the airport for our flight back home. We had a great time and stayed at All Star Movies.

    So, Kimberly has been to WDW three times now. I've been four times. Hubby has been once, and while there in 2011 he ALMOST set up a DVC appointment in the Poly lobby (he said, "I can see why families like to come here a lot") and might have signed up for membership that day if we had had the time. I wish we had signed up back then, but the time was right this last May when we were at Disneyland for a fun Mother's Day weekend....we'll see how it goes year after year, now that we'll just have annual dues (and airfare...and park tickets) to pay.

    Park plans and ADRs coming up next.
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    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  3. #3
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Plans for October's trip....and I've already changed some FPs and dropped a couple ADRs, so this is pretty much our final schedule. I've got good touring notes for when to fit in all the stuff we're NOT using FPs for, and stuff that doesn't offer FP, etc.

    We three fly practically all day on Friday, October 10th. I did the online check-in through the DVC member site. We depart from Colorado Springs at 10:17 am (after dropping our dachshund Peanut off at her kennel in town) and get to Denver at 11:03 (if the weather is good, fingers crossed) on United Airlines. Then we leave Denver at 12:37 pm (might have time to eat lunch somewhere near the gate, and we should at least pick up something to eat for dinner later) and arrive in Orlando at 6:08 pm. By the time Magical Express gets us over to AKL-Kidani I figure it might be 7:30 pm or later, so we'll get settled in our room and get to sleep. Kimberly's usual bedtime is usually between 7:30 and 8 pm here in Colorado, and we try to keep her to that as much as we can even while on vacation. There will be exceptions made during the trip. I figure it's better to have a to-go dinner ready while on the plane in case we want to get right on the DME bus and not stop anywhere in Orlando's airport for food before we get to our hotel. We just want to GET there.

    Saturday morning, the 11th, we'll bus to Animal Kingdom. We like to start with that park (did the same thing in October 2011) or with Epcot (did that in March 2013, on an arrival afternoon). We have FP+ booked for the safari at 9:25-10:25 am, Expedition Everest at 11:30-12:30, and Primeval Whirl (Kimberly told me, "We're going to ride that AGAIN?!" so - maybe not, lol) at 12:55 - 1:55 pm. MIGHT also ride Dinosaur if Kimberly is up for it. We have a lunch ADR at Yak & Yeti booked for 12:30 pm, so Primeval Hurl might not be optimal for riding after lunch. Kimberly seems to have no problem riding fast rides (even spinning rides) after she eats. So far, I don't either. We tested this at a recent carnival at our church....she and I went on a "Starship" spinning ride after eating lunch, and both of us KEPT our lunch. Hubby didn't ride it, though (he's not into spinning - this was a "lean back while standing up" ride where you eventually move upwards on rollers that are on the back of your padded backrest....Kimberly liked this so much we rode it twice). She and I have been on Primeval Whirl before and thought it was dizzying but fun. We'll try to see Flights of Wonder for the first time, and Kimberly has opted to skip the Nemo musical show this time and see her favorite Festival of the Lion King instead. We're also going to try and go up to Rafiki's Planet Watch for a little while (haven't been there before, and she wants to meet Rafiki). We're not planning to ride Kali River Rapids, but we could if it's hot and if we have enough time (maybe a 4th FP if necessary and if it's bookable).

    Then we have dinner back at our hotel, at Boma, at 6 pm. We might be done with Animal Kingdom well before our dinner time, so that'll give us time to rest in the room or go swimming, which will please Hubby. Now, before moving on to a new post, here is a recent photo of Kimberly and me (taken at a wedding we attended this year while Hubby was mountain biking in Crested Butte). I hope the attachment works.

    RebeccaKimAtAWedding.jpg
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  4. #4
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    That's a great picture, Rebecca.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  5. #5
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Whoa, that is a really big picture, sorry.

    You'll see a pic of Hubby some time later - I don't have a really recent one (I'd have to go photo hunting), and we'll have pics of him during the trip later, I'm sure. We leave in under 3 weeks!

    On to more plans for October. Sunday, October 12th, will be spent at Hollywood Studios. If we find ourselves with not much to do in the afternoon, maybe there might be time to go back to our hotel for a while (or Downtown Disney or something, but I'm leaving room for DTD later in the week anyway). What we've planned is this: FP+ Toy Story Midway Mania 9:30 - 10:30, the Frozen Sing-Along stage show 11:05-11:20 am (FP+ return time), and Muppetvision 3D FP+ 12:50-1:50 pm, after our lunch FDP at Mama Melrose at 12:15 pm. Fantasmic is at 7:30 that night, which is why we'll have some time to kill to wait around for the show. Kimberly doesn't find much to do at DHS....she's "meh" about Voyage of the Little Mermaid now (saw it once before and didn't want to see it on our March 2013 trip at all). She hates 3D usually and won't do Star Tours any more. She rode Tower of Terror with my sis and me back in May 2010 and swore she'd never ride again. She says she won't ride Rock'n'Roller Coaster but Hubby and I plan to ride it, so she might wait with us and let us do the child swap thing. We don't have FP+ for that right now, so maybe it can be booked as a 4th FP that day. Or we could try Single Rider, or I'll just wait for November's trip when I DO have FP+ booked for it to ride with my sister (who has never ridden it and wants to).

    Hubby really enjoys TSMM, even more than Kimberly does.....she hates that we score better than she does, and she's a sore loser. We don't hold back, though - we do our best. I don't care whether I ride any more or not, but Hubby liked the ride a lot during our October 2011 trip and has ridden it at DCA with us since then, too (where they don't offer FP for it).

    We will try to fit in Characterpallooza if it's going on (indoors or outdoors), Animation Academy (maybe Kimberly will do another drawing class with me - she did just one so far), and maybe a show if we have time. My sister wants to see the LMA show and Indiana Jones, so I'm saving that for November (I haven't seen them either, only on YouTube) if the others don't want to see them in October. There's no more American Idol Experience (Sis wanted to check that out but can't now) and no more Backlot Tour by the time we get there (never did it in the past)....but we're glad the Frozen sing-along show is continuing, since Kimberly, Jenn and I are all Frozen fans. Not "all Frozen all the time" fans, but a little at a time. We saw the movie 5 times while it was still in theatres (two of those times were the sing-along version). We have the dvd. Jenn (Sis) has three Frozen shirts, and I have two. I think Kimberly just has one, but she also has the Elsa gown and wig (which she'll wear at our October 16th MNSSHP night and for Halloween trick-or-treating at home). We got the gown back in November 2013 at JCPenney's Disney department back when it was still under $30. Yesterday I glued snowflakes to the wig to make it more like Elsa's platinum braid. Sparkly.

    On the meeting characters front, Kimberly just has a handful left that she'd like to meet if we come across them (she has met MANY over the past 4 years at all the U.S. Disney parks and on the cruise):
    Rafiki, Flik, the Seven Dwarfs, Rabbitt, Jiminy Cricket, and Tarzan. Granted, we'll probably never find them all (some are rare now). She'll be dressed as Snow White for our Halloween party night (just to start off, until she changes into the Elsa gown) so she'll meet the Seven Dwarfs while she's still shorter than them. We plan to line up early for them. And I think this is the last year that gown will fit her anyway, so it's now or never. The Elsa gown is a size or two larger than her normal size, so it'll fit her for a while yet.

    She has met ALL the Disney Princesses (met Elsa and Anna in DL last May) and we filled two Shutterfly books so far with all her character encounters. She doesn't collect autographs, just photos. We are doing some character meals this trip, so she'll re-meet some favorites.

    The next post will have more October trip plans.
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  6. #6
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicki_c View Post
    That's a great picture, Rebecca.
    Thank you, Vicki! Yay, I have a reader! Thanks for following along.
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  7. #7
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    One of my previous trip reports includes the pages of character photos from the Shutterfly books I mentioned - I think it's the October 2011 one, if not the March 2013 one.

    Okay, on to the rest of our October plans. Monday, October 13th, we'll be at Epcot. A local friend of mine moved this year from Colorado Springs to the Sarasota area, and she is a fan of good food and wine (mostly moscato, like me - there are very few wines I like, actually). She and her husband, who works from home, plan to come out and meet us at Epcot for Food & Wine Festival. She knows all our FP+ plans for earlier in the day and is hopefully buying her park tickets and coordinating her plans with ours so we can ride stuff at the same time. (Last time she and I communicated, that was her plan.) They have no children, and if the hubby can't get the day off from his client she might just come without him.

    She's not joining us for our lunch ADR at Le Cellier, but she'll snack her way around the World Showcase with me for dinner. My hubby and Kimberly may or may not participate in that (fussy eaters, but there is SOME stuff I know they'll like) - but their plan, for when they get bored (Hubby gets bored at Epcot eventually) is to go back to Animal Kingdom Lodge and either eat somewhere there or at a QS place in Epcot before leaving. Our breakfasts up to this point, by the way, will be on-the-go....either bowls of cereal in our hotel room, granola bars or BelVita biscuits while waiting for the bus, or whatever breakfasty snack that gets us to last until lunch time. We do have some breakfast ADRs later in the trip. 'Ohana was a favorite of Hubby's during our 2011 trip, so I made sure we booked a breakfast there for while we're staying at BLT.

    FP+ plans for Epcot on this Monday (our one day planned for Epcot): Ride the Nemo ride at 9:25-10:25 and look around the Seas Pavilion, ride Test Track 10:25 - 11:25 am, and ride Mission:Space (probably the easy/green version - none of us have ridden orange/queasy before) 11:30-12:30. These are all return times, of course (in everything I type pertaining to our plans in all the parks) - we don't plan to be ON these rides for the whole hours given. Our Le Cellier lunch is reserved for 12:30 pm, so we'd better be done with M:S in time to head up into Canada anyway. We might try an Agent Perry mission (have never done that or its predecessor Kim Possible missions before). Before heading into World Showcase, we'll fill some Future World time with Sum of All Thrills and maybe Living with the Land if there is a short line. We're only planning to ride Soarin' if there is a new film...but most likely there won't be (I've read that they've filmed new footage and there may eventually be a new movie so it's not Soarin' Over California any more). We're done with Figment and Spaceship Earth. Hubby hasn't ridden Spaceship Earth, but Kimberly found it boring in 2010 and never wants to ride it again (I might ride it again with Sis in November, though - we booked a FP+ for it due to limited options; still might skip it, lol).

    I have a list of food items I want to try at F&WF....I probably won't get to try all of them, and it'll depend on how full I am from Le Cellier. We're going to Le Cellier basically because we've never been, and I HAD an ADR booked for it back during our October 2011 trip and then ran out of TS credits on our dining plan before that last Epcot day happened so I cancelled it. Hubby likes steak. Kimberly likes steak. I like the soup (had a small portion of it during that year's F&WF with Mom, who also loved it....she grew up in Toronto and loved the Canada pavilion) and I bet I'd like the bread/pretzels that you DIP in the soup....I'm good with steak, too, but I'm not as much of a carnivore as my kiddo and hubby. Still, we'll go ONCE to Le Cellier and see how we like it. Especially since our favorite menu item at Rose & Crown is no longer offered (the Sunday Roast Dinner with Yorkshire Pudding) - I'd still go for Scotch eggs there, though.

    I'd like to get a Doofenslurper beaker, so where to find one is in my notes that I'll have on me (in my trusty backpack). I don't have my laminator machine any more, so I "weather-proof" my trip notes by wrapping them in clear packing tape. I even have a trip binder now (like Sue Heck from "The Middle") but I will not bring the binder into the parks - just pages from it, in plastic page protectors. In case my Droid phone dies, I have the FP+ and ADR plans printed out from the My Disney Experience site....but I don't plan to let the Droid die. I have a portable charger that I'll remember to keep charged.

    I don't particularly like Illuminations that much, but if my friend Raquel and her hubby want to stick around and watch it I'll watch it with them. I've seen it twice now (during the very first trip in 2010 and with my mom in 2011 after Hubby and Kimberly had gone back to our hotel). My favorite WDW show is still Fantasmic. I'm not planning to see Illuminations in November, either, unless Jenn wants to see it. We WILL be in WS during Illuminations, but set back in Via Napoli for a late dinner (8:30 pm) so we might not be able to see it anyway (no biggie). It's not on Jenn's wish list for our November trip (but dining in "Italy" was, so that's what she and I are doing).

    More in the next post, when we'll be on to our Tuesday plans (Universal Studios!).
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    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  8. #8
    Senior Member R&RMom's Avatar
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    Following along as well . Love that you are helping to make your little sister's 40th b-day trip a reality. With all the worldwide craziness, I like the idea of going to Florida to tour Europe at Epcot. LOL! My sister and I are about the same age as you guys (I'm the older one) and I get the whole "looking out for the little sister" no matter what the age. I come from a long line of two sisters (at least 4 generations back) and have 2 girls myself, so the movie Frozen was right up our alley. Sister-love!

  9. #9
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    For Tuesday, October 14th, we've booked the online "bus and one day/two parks" ticket deal for Universal....so the bus picks us up from our hotel and gets us to and from Universal, and I use the voucher they emailed me to pick up our park tickets at Will Call. I did this for a day in November, too, for Jenn and me, so I hope it goes well. I've heard from people who've done it and spoke highly of it, so I feel good about it.

    Up until about 2 months ago, my daughter had no interest in Harry Potter. None whatsoever. When she'd flip through our big case of DVDs, she'd frown at the pictures on the discs (I have all the movies) - especially at creepy Dobby the House Elf. She never read the books (I have all the paperback books), only saw maybe 20 minutes of one of the movies (the second one, with the basilisk), and just was a *wimp* about the whole thing, lol. My nieces (Hubby's sister's daughters) LOVE Harry Potter and would have loved to go to Universal Orlando before they had to move to Germany (new job for retired Air Force hubby, our bro-in-law). One of them even had her most recent birthday cake themed with Harry Potter (Legos) defeating Voldemort in the Great Hall at Hogwarts (my sis-in-law is an excellent cake baker/decorator....she has done more than one Harry Potter cake and lots of other creative cakes).

    So, I basically planned for Hubby to take Kimberly around stuff like Seuss Landing while I explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (the IOA side) and then take her to something else kid-friendly while we're on the Universal side for Diagon Alley and its new stuff. We'd all ride the train together (Hogwarts Express) between the two parks, but other than that she wouldn't explore WWoHP at all. She likes Buck Beak the Hippogriff, so maybe she'd ride Flight of the Hippogriff.

    TWO MONTHS AGO.....after she realized that all of my movie recommendations for her lately have been very good (I got her to watch "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" and "Hook" - oddly, about a week or two before Robin Williams' passing, RIP), she finally gave in and started watching the Harry Potter movie dvds with me. I'd skip through scenes she was uncomfortable watching, she'd get the gist of the story...and she started enjoying them. She watched all seven movies (including the final one, parts 1 and 2) in about two weeks' time, whenever she was done with homework and not doing anything else important. She'd ask me questions about the story and characters, and I'd answer them to the best of my recollection (had not seen the movies or read the books in a while myself). Then she started being willing to start reading the books. However, my sister just borrowed the first three books from me - I shipped them to her since she was too busy with work to go find them at a library or borrow them from any friends - so Kimberly checked out "Harry Potter & the Sorceror's Stone" from her school library and we began reading it together. SHE LOVED IT. Of course, she has seen all the movies now, so the movies helped her understand the books. I have to read Hagrid's lines aloud to her, since she has trouble reading his dialect/accent, lol. I found out that my sister reads his lines aloud to her dogs, haha. Apparently they all get a kick out of gameskeeper Hagrid and his gruff accent.

    Sis Jenn also bought the first movie dvd for herself recently (cheap somewhere in Houston) so she can watch it when she's done with the first book. She never read the books before but she saw the movies just in theatres. She wants to refamiliarize herself with Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley before we get to Universal in November. She doesn't have much time to read, though, being very busy with leading seminars at the university, leading her church's choir, giving voice lessons (she sang in high school and college with show choirs), and being lead singer for a cover band (8 Trax, who I think does mostly 80s and 90s hits plus some oldies). I might pry the other movie dvds away from Kimberly in November and take them with me in case Jenn has time to watch them in our hotel room at night (we can use a laptop).

    Anyway, Kimberly now wants to try all the Harry Potter attractions at Universal (still, we'll be ready to child swap if she chickens out once it's time to board a ride) AND get a wand and possibly a broom. I guess if we did get a broom we'd have to ship it home, I don't know. I might get her one of the new interactive wands so she can play with it in the areas with the ground medallions (like an Agent P mission)....and Hubby now thinks she'll like Universal so much we'll wind up going there more often in the future (well, with DVC we'll have the chance now each year hopefully). She is in LOVE with Harry, Ron, Sirius, Neville, Seamus (she's basically boy crazy now, and every year she likes a different boy at school).....and she adores poor Dobby the House Elf (cries every time she sees him die). She hates Draco Malfoy and Dolores Umbridge....and now she likes Snape (we make fun of him in the earlier movies, he delivered his lines so awesomely) because of Snape's storyline near the end of the final movie....his background "memories" that Harry saw and finally knew/understood, etc. So, she cries now for Snape when he meets his end. I still have books 4-7 here, ready to ship or hand over to my sister when she's ready for them OR keep for Kimberly to read (whomever gets there first). If I lend them to my sister (besides November I'll also see her at Christmas since we're all going to her place in Houston this year), Kimberly can still find them at her school library anyway.

    US/IOA's touring plan will be somewhat flexible. I have a good idea, from Josh's past blog posts and from Orlando Informer's site, about what to do and when (it's not a Halloween Horror Night, and they'll close somewhat early) - and we'll wing some stuff, but if all we get to do is Harry Potter, Seuss Landing, Shrek 4D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and a bit more, that's okay because Kimberly won't go on a lot of the other rides AND I'll be there again the next month and be able to do more with Jenn. I'd like to get Kimberly to ride the E.T. ride (I skipped it my one other time there but I'd been on it in Hollywood, CA) because it would be fun and she saw the movie a while back (just once). She likes "I Love Lucy" (I showed her some of the more classic episodes on hulu) so she might enjoy the Lucy tribute hall. We watched video footage on YouTube of the Hogwarts Express, Escape from Gringott's and Forbidden Journey (albeit dark/bad footage), so she's a bit prepared for what we'll see. And she's used to seeing crazy Bellatrix and Lord Voldemort so she won't be super scared when they appear on the Gringott's ride in Diagon Alley.

    She runs around with a fairy plastic wand "cursing" her dad and me, yelling "Stupefy" and "Expelliarmus" at us all the time. She even had us find good sticks in the field parking lot at church (during the carnival I mentioned before) to maybe carve into fake wands. As if we're good at whittling wood, lol. I'll try, though. Found one that looks like Bellatrix's angled wand. She knows there's no magic, that it's all for fun. Today she had Hubby make cardboard brooms with her that she can "ride" around the house. She loves Quidditch. I've created a monster.

    More in a bit.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Bernie2003's Avatar
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    I'm reading along as well! Good to "see" you again! It seems like just yesterday we were both planning our first May 2010 trips...
    ~Brandi

  11. #11
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R&RMom View Post
    Following along as well . Love that you are helping to make your little sister's 40th b-day trip a reality. With all the worldwide craziness, I like the idea of going to Florida to tour Europe at Epcot. LOL! My sister and I are about the same age as you guys (I'm the older one) and I get the whole "looking out for the little sister" no matter what the age. I come from a long line of two sisters (at least 4 generations back) and have 2 girls myself, so the movie Frozen was right up our alley. Sister-love!
    Thanks, Brandi! Yeah, unless we ever go visit my sis-in-law and her family in actual Germany, I bet Epcot is the closest we'll get to Europe for a while, lol. I have lots of family in England (older relatives, more my Mom's cousins than anyone else's...she was born in Manchester but moved to Canada when she was two, with her parents after WWII ended) and have been there 3 times but not for quite a while now. Whenever we do go back (we'll wait until Kimberly is older, and Hubby has never been) we'll go to England and maybe Disneyland Paris if the sis-in-law would like to meet us there. I don't know....it's far off in the future.

    Here's a picture of a magnet my sis Jenn sent me recently (we're big into Frozen, like I said), and I took this photo of it with all the little Dumbo reminder magnets cut up to "frame" the sisters magnet and "commemorate" our upcoming trip:

    SistersTripApproaches.jpg

    I also just found some tote bags in the dollar aisle at Target today that featured Anna, Elsa and Olaf....so of course I bought, like, SIX of them and plan to give a few of them to Jenn (in her Christmas stocking if not earlier). I also have a blue Frozen lanyard/zip coin purse that I can use for whatever (already wore it once at Disneyland over the summer), and my sister's coworkers threw her a Frozen-themed 40th birthday party. Paper goods, cake, balloon, everything. Too bad I can't figure out how to get texted photos off my phone and onto the computer so I could share them. Then I could share a recent pic of my sis, too, with her new short haircut.

    Anyway, taking a break now to have dinner and then maybe later I'll continue with more of the October plans here.
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  12. #12
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie2003 View Post
    I'm reading along as well! Good to "see" you again! It seems like just yesterday we were both planning our first May 2010 trips...
    Thanks, Brandi! I remember that well...all the May 2010 planning, and you being in one of my Fantasyland pics in the trip report, lol. Thanks for following along with this one.
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    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  13. #13
    I'm reading as well. We will be at AK and DHS the same days as you! We are also considering Epcot Monday evening depending on my little one. We are going for my fall break (I'm a teacher). I wish my break was as long as your DD's. We only get Monday and Tuesday off, but apparently half the students and teachers at my school will be at Disney. We are staying at AoA in a "Ariel's Bedroom", so we are going to try relax this trip and spend time at the pool.

    Also, just fyi- The abbreviation for All Star Sports is ASSp, although your abbreviation totally made me giggle. There's a reason I teach middle school... :)

  14. #14
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    lol Chloe...I wondered when someone would notice my abbreviation for All Star Sports. I don't remember how to change report titles, oh well. I might figure it out some time. I just knew there was Movies, Music and Sports. And the food court at Music, I think, is closed for refurbishment, so I've warned my sister there might be more people over at Sports just to eat at certain meal times. I'd like to at least go look around the grounds at AoA some time - haven't had time yet to do that, but maybe in October we can. I have scheduled two days "off" from the parks, during our BLT stay.

    My kiddo started school August 1st, and our district gets occasional days off (and some "early release" Fridays starting this year) and longer breaks than some other districts in our city. She gets two weeks for spring break whereas other districts get just one week, and she gets three days off during Thanksgiving week while other districts either get the full week or just the Thursday and Friday off. I think our winter/Christmas break is two weeks or a bit longer, the same as the other local districts. They worked in some "teacher workdays" and gave the students the days off here and there throughout the year. Some teachers and students at my daughter's school are also going to WDW over fall break....I know of at least one of the staff members going (a special ed teacher), and I talked her into buying Josh's book one day while I was making popcorn in the teacher's lounge. She heard me talking about Disney World and after I told her about the book she bought it on Amazon and got the kindle version coupled with it, right there during her lunch break on her laptop. All she had planned so far at the time was a dining reservation at Biergarten, about a month prior. I'm always telling people about easywdw (and now yourfirstvisit.net, too, but I haven't been to that site as often). Even when I don't have a trip planned, I'm always in the habit of checking certain Disney-related sites a few times a week for park news.

    I lent my book to a local friend who is going to FL a few days before we are (before fall break actually starts - but I think it's because they're meeting up with a lot of family members in Daytona and they want to get their Disney days out of the way before they're stuck with more family, lol), and she has read it and will give it back to me in a couple days. I don't know if she and her husband will plan very well or if they've even booked their hotel and park tickets yet (I keep reminding her about FP+), but I've helped her all I can (crowd calendars, etc.). I read the Kindle version and I'm just bringing the book with me on the trip in case I see Josh and can get him to sign it for me.
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    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  15. #15
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    On to more of the October trip plans. On Wednesday, October 15th, we check out of AKL and head over to BLT....probably by way of taxi but we'll see what the front desk recommends. And I have to tell DME that we'll be departing from BLT and not AKL when we eventually head back to the airport on October 20th (I have it in my notes to tell them before the 19th).

    First, before we're totally checked out of our room, we're having breakfast at Boma at 9 am. After we're at BLT, the only park we're planning to go to is Magic Kingdom and we'll have three days there. The first day there will be a late start, though, since it's after we check in at BLT and get them to hold our luggage if the room isn't ready yet. We can get lunch either at the QS in the Contemporary or somewhere in MK. Kimberly's favorite ride is Big Thunder Mtn RR, so that's our first FP+ at 1:30 pm. We've got Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FP+ at 2:40 and a dinner at Be Our Guest at 5:05 pm. The day I was up early to book our October ADRs I was having trouble getting BOG, so I called them and did it over the phone with no problem. Our 3rd FP+ is very late, but it's for MSEP at 8:40 pm (9 pm) - because Hubby and Kimberly have never seen that parade, and everyone should see it once in their lives (after that, never again LOL - just kidding). I grew up with that parade at Disneyland, so I like it. I always liked Elliott (Pete's Dragon) in it, and Kimberly has seen the movie in recent years. I never saw the SpectroMagic parade at WDW....we skipped it in May 2010, and I think after that WDW trip we never had the chance again.

    My sis and I aren't usually parade people - we tend to go on rides while everyone else watches parades. Kimberly and I have only sat down ahead of time maybe twice to watch any Disney parade - we normally catch them in passing and keep walking while watching. In July we sat on the hot curb near the hub in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland to see the Frozen float come by in the "pre-parade" for the Mickey's SoundSational Parade (and then watched the whole thing). During Kimberly's first Disneyland visit in 2009, we all sat down in front of the Plaza restaurant for good spots to watch the Christmas parade at night. That was the one time my grandma got to visit Disneyland with my daughter, so that was a special day. During our March 2013 WDW trip, Kimberly and I were at the platform/seating area by the Main Street train station while the afternoon parade was going by - and a nice old man let Kimberly stand in front of him (she's short) and watch by the rail above the end of the parade route. We had just walked up and he told her to go stand in front, so that was very nice of him and his wife.

    We DO plan to see the Halloween parade during our MNSSHP night on the 16th, and we need to try for the earlier one because of Kimberly not being able to stay up really late (although, she surprises us sometimes - we've seen a 10 pm Fantasmic at Disneyland before, just this past May). And if Jenn wants to see the Christmas parade during our November trip, we will (she and I will just have one MK day on that trip and it's the same day as the MVMCP we're attending. I'm also going to a MVMCP alone on 11/14 since I get to Orlando long before she does - she'll get to our hotel probably around midnight. More about November plans later, when I'm done with October's).

    Back to October 16th (Thursday), we have a Chef Mickey's breakfast booked for 8:55 am (first time ever, and we may as well try it while we're staying so close and Kimberly is still technically a "child" at Disney). Our FP+ plan that day is: POTC at 10:25-11:25 (giving us time to get there after breakfast), Enchanted Tales with Belle at 11:50 - 12:50 (Kimberly has played the Beast before; if she gets to do it again I'll film it. Hubby didn't see her before since he wasn't with us), and Jungle Cruise at 1:40-2:40 pm. Lunch will just be QS somewhere. I like CHH, but I've made notes of all the other places/menus that will appeal to my fussy group. The lunch menu at BOG doesn't really appeal to Hubby, so I'm saving lunch at BOG for my November trip with Jenn. We already know what we plan to order, in case we get the emailed link again for FP+ (I got it for October but tried booking it too late; all my MK dates were gone). Dinner will be QS somewhere, too (either in MK or at the Contemporary), after a break back at BLT so we can get Kimberly into her costume (remember, she's Snow White first and then Elsa later, after we meet the Seven Dwarfs). BTW her Snow White gown is the same one my mom gave her during our October 2011 trip. She had brought it from Target or some place, and Kimberly wore it for our afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian (a very nice afternoon on an "off" day for us - which just means we didn't go into the parks, but we DID rent a boat and cruise around the lake/lagoon and then later went to 'Ohana for dinner). Since that trip, I had my neighbor sew a nice red satin cape onto the gown so it looks more like Snow White's - and it fits as long as we can put it on over Kimberly's head (we had to stand up the white collar and keep the velcro fastened in the back in order to make the gathered cape stay sewed on with the elastic band gathering it - it looks nice). That's another reason the gown will only fit one more year (2014): we can't undo the velcro backing any more, lol. I hope that all makes sense. Kimberly is around 53 inches tall now and is still slender - the bodice and sleeves still fit her. The skirt part is getting shorter but not TOO short. It just doesn't go to the floor any more, if it ever did.

    She also still wears her Belle dress-up gown at home (yet refuses to watch BatB any more - the movie OR the live show at DHS, because parts scare her). Her favorite princess used to be Ariel and now it's Belle (I think because she had such a blast playing the Beast in her little show in March 2013 AND because she's brunette, like Kimberly). For a while she really liked Merida, too, and we have a little rounded carry-on bag with Brave characters on it (I wish it was smaller, but it stows under airline seats...kind of). She also has Merida's bow and arrows set, from a Disneyland visit. The arrows have suction cup tips, of course - and my fearless husband once shot them up at our high window in the entry hall, where they stuck for a while and he had to knock them down by tossing a stuffed animal up at them (luckily the animal didn't get stuck on the window ledge, or he'd have had to get out the very tall ladder). Kimberly can shoot them and get them to line up in a clean row along my kitchen pantry's smooth doors. She can't shoot them against many walls in our house because they're all "rough" and not smooth like the painted doors.

    Okay, I covered Wednesday and Thursday's MK plans. We'll fit in the non-FP stuff we like to do, and we'll still have one more MK day anyway - Sunday the 19th. At our Halloween party on the 16th, we'll see the parade, ride some rides, see Hallowishes and go to bed. I'm disappointed that the Villains are taking over what used to be the Toy Story gang's dance party...Kimberly's not really into the villains, and it would have been fun to see Bullseye (Woody's horse). She doesn't want to see the Villains stage show (no longer a mingle this year, so it's not "Mix'n'Mingle" any more, I've heard), but maybe we'll catch it in passing.

    Friday the 17th: All we've got booked is dinner at The Wave at the Contemporary at 5:35 pm. I looked at menus, and The Wave's typical menus appeal more to Hubby's tastes than the California Grill's offerings so I didn't book California Grill. This is an "off" day, so we'll sleep in finally (if we can, since I've got my family trained to get up early at Disney) and either go to DTD or hang out at our hotel's pool. All we really plan to do at DTD is go to DisneyQuest, and this is something that can happen either Friday OR Saturday, because Saturday is an "off" day for us, too (except for breakfast and dinner ADRs). So, it'll depend on the weather and which day is best for the pool. We haven't been to DisneyQuest before, so we'll try it and also look around some shops at DTD. I just haven't had luck with good bus times at DTD (getting back), so I saved it for days where we don't have to rush to any park (or to an airport, since that has happened twice in the past where I've had to rush back in order to get on DME back to the airport).

    Saturday the 18th: Now it's time for our 'Ohana breakfast that my husband swears he could eat every day if we could afford it. 9 am. We've met the characters before but we really like the food so that's why we're going back. Hubby liked breakfast more than dinner at 'Ohana, so I didn't book a dinner there this time (plus, dinner was a lot of work, prepping all the shrimp that Kimberly could eat faster than we could prep them, lol). After this breakfast, we have no other plans other than DTD/pool/Celebration (we plan to taxi over to the town of Celebration and look around, I forgot to mention earlier....this is also a possibility for Friday the 17th - and the 17th is a local school holiday so that's why we're not going into any theme parks that day. Maybe DTD might get crowded but I don't know). We might even go over to Melia and see the hotel condo we wound up not buying (well, not the actual condo but the place that houses it)...unless it would torture Hubby too much (regretting not buying it), but it was his idea to go look anyway. Melia has a restaurant and a shuttle that takes guests to and from all the popular Orlando theme parks. Yes, we might have been able to afford the expensive HOA dues if the condo was constantly rented (it had a good rental history Hubby had checked out thanks to the realtor), but it was iffy and we didn't want to pay so much. In my dream world, I would have loved to own two of those hotel condos and lived in both of them half the year (we're allowed up to six months, right? I'd do six months in one and then six months in the other, lol). And then I'd finally get an Annual Pass. Hubby wants to wait until we can get the Premier pass or whatever it's called that is good in both Orlando and Anaheim, with no block-out dates...so it might be a while yet.

    We DO have to be back in time to get ready for our Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner at Ft. Wilderness at 6:15 pm. That is pre-paid.

    We can get a discount on APs with our DVC membership, but we decided not to get them yet and just get regular park hoppers for this October's trip because they still wound up being cheaper (six days in the Disney parks for two adults and one child, the last year Kimberly can be a Disney child). And I had to get park tickets for the November trip because it was part of qualifying for Free Dining with Jenn....couldn't get by with an AP for myself there.

    Okay, on to our final October Orlando day: Sunday the 19th. This will be our last day at MK. We have FP+ for: meeting Mickey in Town Square Theater 9:20-10:20 am (yes, we've met Mickey before, but he might be able to TALK to Kimberly here so we're trying it), Peter Pan's Flight 11:15 - 12:15 (it is better here than at Disneyland; I'm not bothering with PPF at DL any more unless it's ever a walk-on...which means maybe never), and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 3:30-4:30. Yay, we get to ride it twice during the trip (with FP...maybe we can ride it more if it has a short standby queue at some point during our 3 MK days, perhaps during the party night).

    Our final ADR is dinner at Cinderella's Castle that night at 5:30 pm. Pre-paid. I've been buying a lot of Disney gift cards at Target with my red debit card, and so far I've just been applying them to pay off the November trip (final balance is due at the end of this month). I might get more to help with meals, etc., for October, but at least two of our meals are pre-paid (Cindy's Castle dinner and HDDR).

    Bye for now. Kimberly's asking me to come up and read "Chamber of Secrets" (HP book #2) with her. More report probably tomorrow.
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    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  16. #16
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    I love that your daughter is interested in the HP books now. I have one HP wizard and one that is just meh about it. Maybe in his own time...

  17. #17
    Senior Member TiggerGirl's Avatar
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    I think it's so awesome that you're treating your sister to this trip - this is totally something my sister would have done and I'm happy for you guys that you're able to do it.

    Quick question on the Shutterfly books you mentioned - I was trying to upload pictures from MemoryMaker to Shutterfly and it wouldn't work.... have you done this or just your own photos from your camera?

    TIA
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  18. #18
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiggerGirl View Post
    I think it's so awesome that you're treating your sister to this trip - this is totally something my sister would have done and I'm happy for you guys that you're able to do it.

    Quick question on the Shutterfly books you mentioned - I was trying to upload pictures from MemoryMaker to Shutterfly and it wouldn't work.... have you done this or just your own photos from your camera?

    TIA
    Hi TiggerGirl,
    I have not tried MemoryMaker yet....in the past, if I had any PhotoPass photo prints I'd just scan them at home into JPGs and then use them along with JPG files from my own camera's photos to upload into Shutterfly albums. If there was any special border at the bottom or something making it look like a copyrighted photo, I'd crop it off as best I could when making my new JPG. This October will be our first time with a full MemoryMaker/Photopass package (I never even bought the CD before, in the past). What I'm kind of excited about, though, is the new video they've added to it - so if we ride ToT (with Kimberly, we most likely won't) and SDMT they'll do a video that I think is about 30 seconds long, as long as we're wearing our MagicBands.

    Thanks for reading along.
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  19. #19
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goofballs View Post
    I love that your daughter is interested in the HP books now. I have one HP wizard and one that is just meh about it. Maybe in his own time...
    Hi Goofballs, thanks for reading. I was just thinking about it last night, and actually I think it has been LESS than two months - more like a month, really (it just FEELS like two months, lol)...for when my daughter started being really into the HP movies and now the books. School started August 1st and her deskmate (new best friend) was reading the first three HP books and that helped get Kimberly interested in starting them on her own, around the second or third week of school. So, maybe almost a month or month and a half ago. Now she takes the books to school for when they have free reading time in class, and when she gets home I try to catch up to how far she has read ahead of me (since it's a story refresher for me) before we continue reading at bedtime.

    Also, we don't skip any movie scenes now - she watches all of them. If Hubby is home, I do still turn the volume way down when we get to the part in the final movie where Mrs. Weasley kills Bellatrix (and she calls her the B word). It's a great scene, so we don't skip over it entirely but we mute the sound. Kimberly knows that word and knows not to ever use it, but it's better that Hubby doesn't hear her hearing that word in the movie, lol. Even the words "idiot" and "stupid" - when Kimberly comes across them in the book while reading aloud she says "blank" instead. Hubby didn't see the last 4 movies with me when I saw them, but he's now familiar with all of them since Kimberly makes him watch sometimes and she explains a lot of stuff to him. lol
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  20. #20
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    BTW....just a note about one trip report in my signature: the November 2010 "one day US/IOA/DHS" report has no photos. I did take pictures at WWoHP and other things I did that day but it was all with disposable cameras and most of the pics didn't turn out very well. I've thought about finding the CD they're on and inserting them into that report (the report is only here because a kind TGMer found it for me and PM'd all the text to me here so I could re-post it on easywdw, since I let my old TGM account expire a while back), but I'm now just going to take new and better pictures on the October and November trips coming up. I know my indoor pics in the castle while waiting to ride Forbidden Journey were very dark or just didn't look right.

    Just to finish off October's trip plans....Monday the 20th is our day for flying back home. 'Nuff said, lol. I'll post about November's plans later.
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  21. #21
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    One more thing about October's trip - a former co-worker of Hubby's may be meeting us somewhere while we're there (I've offered up a couple of meal reservations we could add him to, if he wanted to join us), because last month he moved to Orlando (Celebration, probably) to work for WDW. Lucky guy...he's young and "unattached" - he had still been living with his parents here (I think he's kind of fresh out of college), and they're all Disney Nuts (I mean that in the nicest way, of course). They have the premier annual passes that get them into all the FL and CA Disney parks and they go a lot. Now he lives and works at Disney, and it's some kind of internship role (not an Imagineer, per se....I hear it's more of a research project team, and I'm dying to pick his brain when we see him - also knowing he probably can't share much information). His job (which was a big pay cut for him but he can apparently handle it) has him living in a dorm-type situation with at least 3 other interns/employees and it's just through December. After that ends, he'll probably find something else in order to stay on with them because this kind of leads to his dream job. Hubby and I were pretty happy for him that he got this opportunity (and maybe some day he could get Hubby in the door for something....ah, but to dream). They're both engineers, by the way....software/aerospace/aeronautical, in the missile defense field - Hubby would rather be designing airplanes if truth be told. And lucky Chris gets to work with WDW now (he might wind up doing some stuff for DLR, too, in the future).

    Also, I mentioned before that Kimberly is willing to try all the Harry Potter rides at US/IOA, but there is actually one she says she won't do. Just because it goes upside down, she won't try Dragon Challenge (same reason she says she won't ride RnRC at DHS). I haven't ridden it yet either (almost did in 2010, but I'd forgotten to stow my backpack in a locker and didn't want to hike back up the hilly queue later), so I might just save it for November with Jenn. Jenn's game for most rides as long as her back pain doesn't act up. She's bringing whatever she needs to get through any pain. And we're going to drink a bit at Epcot, lol. We're both lightweights, so it really won't be much. We could share wine flights, etc. It's too bad F&WF ends before our November trip (it ends the 10th, and we get to Orlando on the 14th), but I have notes about what drinks we could try in World Showcase while waiting for our Via Napoli dinner...and we could also take the boat over to DHS and see a show or two to kill time.
    ****************
    That brings us to November's trip plans. Jenn and I both got our airfare done quite early, and sure enough the airlines kept making changes since then so I had to phone DME a couple times to update them about flight #s and times. Aggravating. MAYBE the flights won't change any more now. Jenn has to work a seminar on the Friday (11/14) so she can't leave as early as I can. I fly from Colorado Springs to Dallas at 6:35 am on American Airlines (Hubby will get Kimberly to school later that morning but I'll take myself to the airport so I'll have my car when I get back), connecting and then arriving in Orlando at 3:45 pm. I'll have close to 3 hours in Dallas if there are no delays on Colorado's end. Jenn has no connections (lucky) - she flies from Bush Airport in Houston at 7:12 pm to Orlando and arrives at 10:30 pm. By the time she gets on DME and gets over to our hotel it'll probably be around midnight. I'm to send her her MagicBand and the DME stuff ahead of time, and I did online check-in for ASSp. Since I'm getting there earlier, and a friend of mine from easywdw/TGM is going to be at the MVMCP that night with her fiance, I got an extra party ticket (used DVC discount) and I plan to head over to MK and meet up with wileycoyote and her fiance from England (she might be reading/commenting on this report eventually - I emailed her the link). We've been chatting since our first trip reports back in 2010, and it will be nice to meet in person. I know where they're having dinner (I couldn't get an ADR there myself) so I'll pop in to say hi and we'll make quick plans on where to meet up. I'll go up to Casey's or somewhere to get a QS dinner unless I eat something at ASSp before getting on the MK bus. I plan to just do what I can at the party, ride whatever....I know I'm going to have another MK day on the Sunday with Jenn.

    I might still get back to the hotel before Jenn arrives, but if I don't she knows where I'll be. I can text her our room number, etc., and she'll tell me when she gets on the DME bus. She knows that arriving that late means Disney won't be handling her luggage, so she plans to do all carry-on and bring her own stuff onto the bus (I will probably do the same, just because I plan to pack lighter than in October and can handle my backpack and whatever else I'll have). One of us will have a laptop so we can empty camera memory cards to make room for more photos, daily or whenever.

    On Saturday, November 15th, we'll be at Epcot. We're only riding Soarin' if there is a new film (doubtful), because we've both ridden it at DCA somewhat recently (Jenn and I went to Disneyland for a day in December while out in CA over Christmas, while Hubby took Kimberly to LegoLand) and it's the same ride. I have FP+ for Spaceship Earth 9:50-10:50 am (or we will skip it or let it expire), Test Track 11:20-12:20 (Jenn hasn't done the newer version yet), and M:S 12:25-1:25 pm. I don't think either of us have ridden the orange/queasy version so I'll let her pick which one we do there. She knows Maelstrom will be closed but is happy about the Frozen ride coming in its place in 2016 (I've kept her informed of all things Frozen). I won't get to ride it in October, either, since it closes before our trip starts - but I've ridden it twice in the past and one of those times was with Kimberly, who didn't like it very much. She didn't like how it went backwards a bit and had a little plunge (my favorite part...same with POTC, where she also doesn't like the plunges/dips, lol). Jenn likes the Gran Fiesta Tour so we'll ride that one and also fill in (while in Future World, before we hit Mexico's ride) with stuff like Sum of All Thrills, Club Cool soda samples (opens at 11), and whatever else she wants to do before our 8:30 pm dinner at Via Napoli. And now we have a lunch ADR at Chefs de France at 1:50 pm. She didn't answer me about whether to ride Living with the Land, but we'll see what queues look like if we're in the Land pavilion. We're not doing Figment or Captain EO. She says she didn't get to explore much of World Showcase before, so we'll do more of that this time. Back in May 2010, she went the wrong way around (the long way) to catch up to us at Rose & Crown for a dinner reservation so she sped past China, Norway, Germany, etc., and by the time she sat down at our table she was dying for her shandy (it was mid May and pretty hot). She apparently didn't have a park map, so she didn't know that the UK pavilion was closer to the right side of WS. A shandy, in case some don't know, is a drink that is part beer/ale and part lemon-lime soda (or sparkling lemonade sometimes). When I make one at home it's mostly Sprite or Sierra Mist with maybe 1/3 of a beer bottle poured into the glass first. Refreshing. Hubby has been buying the darker beers now (Sierra Nevada comes to mind) so I usually check with him to see if he wants the remaining 2/3 of the bottle after I make a shandy for myself. Not often...just once in a while.

    Jenn likes red wine (mostly merlot) while I don't, which is why we might share a wine flight or two. We both like moscato and other sparkling wines....other than moscato I like sangria if it's not made with red wine, and sometimes white zinfandel. I saw in one of Josh's blog posts that Germany has a Reisling flight and a cheese plate available. People are always telling me that since I like moscato I'll like reisling, and so far I don't. I can try Germany's, though, and Jenn can finish what I don't drink, lol. There's also the light flight of wines in France or a champagne cocktail (I made note of that one since it has a black currant liqueur in it). At some point either on the October or November trip I'll try some of these (and I want a Doofenslurper beaker!), and I also like the GGCLS in France and might like the Primavera in Italy. I find all the Mexico margaritas offered outside to be too strong (I'm a lightweight, like I said...the fruitier and less alcohol taste the better). Jenn got mad at me once in the Norway pavilion (2010) when I tossed out what was left of my Mexico margarita. I've told her that the ice cream in L'Artisan des Glaces in France should be pretty good, and we need to get a cro'nut at Refreshment Port. Cupcakes are on Jenn's list, so we'll find cupcakes at MK and maybe DAK...but I must try a cro'nut, too. It's a vacation, we don't care.

    IF we find ourselves with time to kill, we'll boat over to DHS and see a show or two or ride something that we won't then have to do on our half day at DHS later. I might have said that already, sorry. More in a bit.
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  22. #22
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Sunday, November 16th - my birthday!
    We're hoping to have lunch at BOG (I'm watching for if we get invited for the FP+ link for it, otherwise we'll line up at 10:30 and get a return pass). Before we eat, though, our FP+ attractions for the day are: Peter Pan's Flight 9-10 am, Jingle Cruise 10:05-11:05 (see how any theming is different; haven't been on the holiday version before), and BTMRR 11:05-12:05 pm (working around whenever we're to show up for lunch). I was NOT able to get us a FP+ for SDMT, because I went on the MDE site too late (10:15 pm rather than 10 pm Mountain time) at our 60-days-prior point and they were all gone already. We can ride standby during the MVMCP, though, since we'll be there through the party night. We don't have FP to meet Elsa and Anna, but Jenn is okay not meeting them (Kimberly met them at Disneyland in May, where we waited 3 hours while taking turns in the line. Hubby took her on a lot of rides while I did most of the waiting).

    We'll leave MK for a little break, because we have a 2:35 pm Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian. On the way there, we could hop off the monorail at the Contemporary and see the Frozen-themed gingerbread house if it's set up by then. The Tea isn't covered by the dining plan but I plan to pay OOP anyway. That and Via Napoli were the only sit-down "meals" I had booked a while back...the other things I added were just this week (Chefs de France and Brown Derby). Options by now are limited. I have lots of QS menus to help us figure out other meals. I told her we could bring a change of clothes or else just freshen up in a restroom at the GF before we head back to MK for the party, if necessary. I had suggested Frozen or Christmas-themed t-shirts and jeans. I have a blue Christmasy 3/4 sleeve shirt, but I might stick with Frozen. After all, Elsa is lighting up the Castle that night! We're going to be sure and catch that castle lighting ceremony. And we might look for Kristoff, if he is going to appear anywhere for a meet'n'greet. I know the "princes" won't be at the Halloween parties but I don't think anything has been confirmed yet about Christmas party meets.

    I've told Jenn that since our lunch and Tea will be filling, we'll just see what we feel like for dinner - quick service or a snack somewhere. Sleepy Hollow has the spicy chicken waffle thing and we'll ask for them to leave off the slaw and we'll get syrup packets. Jenn and I always liked the fried chicken and waffles at Roscoe's in Pasadena and Hollywood....I never went to the Hollywood location, but Jenn did. You'd think those two foods wouldn't go together, but they do. Have not tried it yet at Sleepy Hollow.

    More November plans later.
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  23. #23
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    We'll see how late we stay at MK for the party. Maybe see the parade, the fireworks, drink hot cocoa and eat cookies (free at the party)...mostly ride rides.

    Monday, November 17th: This is to be our day at US/IOA. Jenn saw the menus I sent her for the Leaky Cauldron and Three Broomsticks, and she said, "Forget Rose & Crown...we'll get our British food fix at Universal" (and I don't mind if we head there for lunch AND dinner...maybe breakfast, too, if we're there early enough). Universal food is, of course, not covered by Disney's dining plan...so I'll pay OOP for whatever we eat there. Might even just have a QS dinner at our hotel's food court once we get back, though. Jenn will be willing to ride more here than little Kimberly will, and we'll see how we do after exploring Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. I bet we'll skip Transformers (hated the one movie I saw), Men in Black and the water rides....but we might have time for everything else that looks interesting.

    Tuesday, November 18th: Our last full day at Disney, and we're splitting it between Animal Kingdom and DHS. Originally I had FP+ booked for three AK attractions, but I decided that since they extended the Frozen Sing-Along's run we'd be better off with FP+ at DHS in the afternoon and evening. So we'll do what we can all morning at DAK....Expedition Everest, the safari, the Nemo musical (Jenn's choice, since she has seen FotLK before but not Nemo), FOW if there is time....and then we'll bus over to DHS either after a QS lunch at DAK or save lunch for when we get to DHS. I booked an early dinner at HBDerby, for 4:05 pm. Just working around the FP+ times I have, which are: RnRC 3:25-4:25 pm, Star Tours 5:20-6:20 (hopefully that one is done early so we can first see the Osborne Lights, which Jenn has never seen), and the Frozen Sing-Along show 6:40-6:55 (return time) - YES it'll be my second time seeing the show, but so what? lol Jenn will sing with me.

    We'll fill in with whatever still needs to be done....if we saw LMA already on Saturday, we'll try for Indiana Jones - or vice versa. I don't really care about those shows...saw them on YouTube and they were just okay in my opinion, but Jenn wants to see them so we'll see them. I told her now about the Backlot Tour not being available after this month, which I'd never done but we were going to try in November (oh well). She had wanted to check out the American Idol Experience (another thing I hadn't done before except to watch on the big screens outside during the finale one time), and, again...GONE NOW. She doesn't want to see BatBL again - we've both seen it once or twice already. We'll try the drawing class at Animation Academy since she hasn't done that before (I've drawn Buzz Lightyear and Scrooge McDuck in the past).

    Oh, and while there in October we'll look for Hiro and Baymax from the new "Big Hero 6" movie (or whatever it is called) since Kimberly wants to meet them....they'll probably be in the Animation building, since I heard Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope are leaving soon (met them already).

    Jenn is opting to skip Fantasmic in favor of the Osborne Lights, and I'm fine with that since I'll have already seen Fantasmic (weather permitting) in October. Maybe we'll see Muppetvision...I still haven't seen a full pre-show yet.

    That completes the November plans. On Wednesday the 19th, we've managed to get on the same flight to Houston, 11:49 am on United. We don't have seats together but we can probably fix that at the gate or trade with someone aboard the plane. Houston is where Jenn's trip ends and mine continues back to Colorado Springs on a new flight. I land after Kimberly gets out of school, so Hubby will pick her up and bring her home to wait for me. I think a taxi ride to the airport costs about the same as paying for my car to stay in long-term parking, which is why so far I plan to drive myself to the airport and keep it there.

    Although, it's kind of exciting sometimes to wait out on my cold front porch at 4 am for a taxi so he doesn't honk his horn or ring the doorbell (yes, I've done that for two trips in the past).

    More later if I think of anything. In the meantime, 3 weeks from today we'll be in Epcot! And we'll be done with DHS and Animal Kingdom (for the October portion).
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  24. #24
    carries her own pineapple juice RebeccaMcK's Avatar
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    Okay, just to practice the "insert image" from Shutterfly method I haven't used in a while, I found a recent picture of Hubby to post in here.



    I hope that works. He's wearing one of my two Malificent head "masks" (hard plastic), and this pic was taken over the summer. I saw the movie; no one else in my family other than my sister saw it. We both liked it. Speaking of Sis...the November trip is paid off as of today (thanks to Disney gift cards and some Disney Dream Reward points from my Chase Visa) and I added MemoryMaker to the November trip before I finished all the phone payments. Had a lot of card #s to read off to them, but they're always happy to get them.

    OH, and my 13th wedding anniversary is Monday (Sept. 29th)....the October trip will be our celebration (with kiddo in tow). I don't know if we'll do anything special before then - the trip is pricey enough, lol. Bye for now.
    2010 WDW&US ASMo 1 Day Solo US&DHS Trip Report, 2011 Poly (incl. DLR/DCA July & Dec)
    Trip Report, 2012 DLR PPier Trip Report w/bonus features, 2013 ASMo Trip Report, 2014 Oct AKL-KV, BLT & Nov ASSp WDW&US Trip Report & more.

  25. #25
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    Yay, I got the link and here I am !
    Totally excited, 7 weeks to go till our trip and we get to meet
    Your plans look fab , we don't get to cross over much apart from the first night . We will have to see if we can squeeze in a second catch up, even if just to say goodbye.
    Your October trip sounds brilliant and well planned as always.

    I must start my pre trippy too, we have lots of plans . What started as a mega cheap budget holiday at the Rosen Inn somehow now has the Yacht Club,POrtofino Bay , and dinner at Victoria and Alberts thrown in

    Will be reading along from now. Can't wait to see the October report
    Amanda xxx

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