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Pre-Trip Thanksgiving/Birthday Weekend 2017

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by Princess Leia, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. G8rchamps

    G8rchamps Well-Known Member

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    (We live 90 mins away- out trick is not to go too often$$)
     
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  2. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Ohhh, got it. I don't know if I'd have the self control to not go frequently if I lived that close.
     
  3. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    322 days and 12 hours away, here is my Disney/Universal Wishlist (writing this down both for prosperity and to see what actually happens)

    Magic Kingdom:
    • Space Mountain. I've never ridden it, and would like to finally ride it this trip.
    • Pirates (it's a favorite)
    • Splash Mountain (also a favorite)
    • Peter Pan's Flight (I think it's almost been two decades since I've ridden this :eek:)
    • Big Thunder Mountain RailRoad
    • Dumbo (classic)
    • New Fantasyland attractions (7DMT, Storytime with Belle & Little Mermaid)
    • Be Our Guest
    • Cosmic Ray's (it's not a Disney trip without going here)
    • Haunted Mansion
    • Country Bear Jamboree
    • Tom Sawyer Island (to get some peace and quiet for a bit)
    • Swiss Family Treehouse
    • Jingle Cruise (I've only been on Jungle Cruise, and I love puns)
    • Hall of Presidents & the Muppet history sketches
    • Mickey's Philharmagic
    • Monster's Inc
    Epcot
    • Test Track- another ride I've never been on
    • Soarin' 2.0
    • Living with the Land
    • Behind the Seeds (planning on going to Epcot on my birthday, so I've decided that this will be my special treat of the day)
    • Spaceship Earth
    • Frozen Ever After
    • Gran Fiesta Tour
    • Snacking and Drinking Around the World
    • American Adventure
    DHS
    • Tower of Terror- have never ridden it
    • Aerosmith- have never ridden it
    • TSMM- again, have never been on this thing
    • Indiana Jones stunt show- it's kind of a dream of mine to be picked as an extra for this one
    • Great Movie Ride
    • Frozen sing a long
    • Beauty and the Beast show
    • Muppet 3D
    • Star Tours 2.0- This should be a surprise to no one, but I haven't been on this either (though I have been on the old version)
    Animal Kingdom
    • PANDORA!!!
    • Dinosaur- surprise! I haven't been on this ride
    • Everest- ^^^^^, fingers crossed it's open when we go
    • Kali River Rapids- ^^^, weather permitting
    • Yak & Yeti
    • Festival of the Lion King
    Universal Studios/IOA
    • Everything Harry Potter
    • Spider-Man
    • Jurassic Park
    • Meet Captain America and Cyclops
    • ET Adventure
    • Men In Black
    • Mummy
    • Kong
    • Dudley Do Right- weather permitting
    • Popeye- weather permitting
     
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  4. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Well, it dawned on me today that I was at Disney in 2000, which means I've forgotten if I was at Disney 5 or 6 times, and what years I was there. So I had to change the title from "Disney World, Episode VI: Return to Orlando" to "Thanksgiving/Birthday Weekend 2017" (and I'll probably use a Star Wars related title for the actual report). Whoops.:oops:
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  5. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Might have a 5th/6th person on the trip! Yay! And it could be a double-birthday trip, since one of my friends will have his birthday about a week after our vacation.
    Current lineup of vacation peeps:
    Me
    Katie & Josh
    Elizabeth
    My Sister (possibly)
    Our friend Justin (possibly)

    A little over 10 months until this trip happens, which is incredible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  6. MegRuss626

    MegRuss626 Active Member

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    Just came across your pre-trip report! And as a person who was there Thanksgiving 2015 and September 2016....I FULLY support your November decision! We went the last week of September (got home right before the hurricane) and it was so INSANELY hot and crowded. Thanksgiving time will be crowded too but it's a lot more tolerable when you're not hot, sweaty, and miserable! My advice is to pack a pair of jeans/leggings and a light jacket. We had one night where it was pretty chilly but it was overall great weather!! Enjoy planning...I'm super jealous! (Found out I'm pregnant right after this last trip so no trips for me for a little bit :()
     
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  7. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thank you! Do you have any recommendations or advice about planning around the crowds? I've done a trip or two as a kid before Thanksgiving, but that was 15+ years ago :eek: and I don't think the crowds were as bad then as they are now.
     
  8. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Just found out that we'll be missing Dapper Day by one week. One week!!! :cry: Katie and I were online shopping and I found some super cute vintage dresses. She suggested I get one for Epcot (it looks stereotypically French), and I thought I'd check the dates for this fall's Dapper Day. So close.

    So, if you see 2-4 incredibly stylish young women strolling around the World Showcase in 1950s/60s apparel, we know we missed the date. We'll just be celebrating Dapper Day a little belatedly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  9. Courtney6682

    Courtney6682 Well-Known Member

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    Hahaha...that happened to me toooo! I have a trip coming up in 14 days, and I originally thought it was my 17th trip celebrating my daughter's 17th bday in 2017! Wrongggg...according to my signature this will be my 18th trip...oops! Now my Trip Report title sucks lol.

    Hope your sister can make it!
     
  10. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Someday soon, I am going to dive into old photo albums and folders to try and figure out which years my family went. It's slightly getting on my nerves.
    And I totally understand the frustration about TR titles. I had to change this one, so fingers crossed, the actual Trip Report title will be witty.

    I really hope that my sister can come along. Like, hoping and praying here. The snags are that her Earned Time Off is unfortunately not like mine (my ETO rolls over every year, as long as I don't reach the limit, I don't think my company cares). The other unfortunate matter is that our maternal grandfather (we lost our paternal grandpa last May) has recently started to receive hospice care. We've been told weeks to months. Whenever it does happen, I'm not sure how this will effect my sister's time off (I'm not sure if she has bereavement days). I know this isn't something I should be thinking about right now, but planning this Disney trip is helping me stay on the sane side.
     
  11. Courtney6682

    Courtney6682 Well-Known Member

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    I can NEVER think of an even half clever title lol..oh well!

    Sorry to hear about your grandpa, that kind of stuff is never easy...but Disney will def make it a little better;)
     
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  12. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Trying to plan the 'Drinking and Snacking Around the World' portion of the trip, and I think I finally fixed our Canada problem.

    For some reason, it looks like Canada has a kiosk that is strictly beer and popcorn (it only counts as Canadian popcorn if it's covered in maple, IMO). I was getting pretty upset about not finding a snack food there until I looked at the Le Cellier menu on this site... and they have poutine!!! As much as I'd like to try the steak, I can't justify buying a full meal there when I know that I'll be literally eating and drinking from 11-whenever we get an ADR for Le Celier. So, maybe my group can eat some poutine and soup inside, and then get a beer at the outdoor stand (idk if it's a stand or a kiosk, I just know I'm ticked that it doesn't offer more food). :hungry:
     
  13. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    10 months until we leave for Orlando!!! :joyfull:
    How am I feeling? Excited. One of my friends was down there last week and visited Universal... which made me super jealous.

    Epcot is going to be one of the two most expensive days of the trip (the other being Universal). Between eating and drinking around the world (sharing some snacks of course) and trying practically everything in the Harry Potter sections of the Uni parks, the prices will add up quite a bit.
     
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  14. Epcotfan21

    Epcotfan21 Active Member

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    Yea, unfortunately the kiosk doesn't offer anything other than beer or popcorn. I'll recommend you try the Moosehead draft, as it is excellent. My wife and I always joke that Disney could make a killing if they just added the beer cheese soup and poutine to the Canada kiosk. But enjoy Le Cellier, our favorite restaurant on property! Never have had a bad meal or experience there and the food and service is consistently good.
     
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  15. abzoo

    abzoo Well-Known Member

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    Your trip is definitely going to be awesome. Planning is already tricky to do-- especially when you can't know for sure who's going to attend. But you'll be at Disney so everything will be fine.

    I definitely recommend Behind the Seeds! I've been twice and it's one of those experiences that will be different every tour. It helps that it's pretty cheap (especially since they give discounts for a bunch of things-- passholders, Chase Disney Visa cardholders, AAA too I think).
     
  16. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I'm really excited to go there :joyfull: But really, Disney should add a QS restaurant to the pavilion. It just looks a little strange that every other country has at least 2 restaurants/cafes, and Canada just has the one. I visited Montreal last summer (and loved every minute of it), and it would be so simple for Disney to add a cafe filled with desserts made with maple syrup, or a little poutine and meat pie restaurant. Or anything from Montreal, to be quite honest. That was a foodies paradise.

    Katie's thinking about getting the steak and soup; I'm not sure I'll have the appetite after eating literally all afternoon and evening lol :p
    Thank you! :) I'm really considering getting a Chase Visa card; it sounds like it could be a lifesaver on this trip. I also have a AAA membership that I should really start using more often.

    I really hope to get a headcount for this trip within the next three months. The ADR date opens at the end of May, and now that Le Cellier is on the schedule, that date is a lot more important to me now (though now that I think of it, we'll need another ADR for wherever we eat on Night 1). Does Be Our Guest require ADRs for lunch? Since we'll be visiting Magic Kingdom the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I want to be able to get all of this planned.
     
  17. abzoo

    abzoo Well-Known Member

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    I recommend the Disney Visa. There's two options-- the one I have is the one with no annual fees, which has slightly lower rewards but not by much.
    And for BOG, you will need an ADR for lunch.
     
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  18. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I remember the 'good old days' (I swear I'm not that old) with my family when we could just go to Marakkesh without a reservation. That was nice. I get that with more crowds, this is better, but I do miss the impromptu parts of Disney.
     
  19. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I think that planning this trip will be a lot easier when I know how many people will be going. That way, we can book a hotel and get tickets.

    Here's the ever changing list of friends and (maybe) family going this November:
    • Me
    • Katie
    • Josh
    • ... Elizabeth?
    • ... Justin?
    • ... my sister?
    • ... my friend Carlie and her bf? They're Californians with an AP to Disneyland, but Carlie's never been to WDW, and has discounts from her employer.
    3 for sure, possibly 8.

    I'd really like to get these 'Yes's and 'No's sorted out.
    :banghead:

    Possible ADRs
    • Day 1: Sanaa/O'hana
    • Day 2: Be Our Guest (lunch)
    • Day 3: No ADRs at this time
    • Day 4: Le Cellier (dinner)
    • Day 5: n/a (Universal- planning on eating lunch at the Leaky Cauldron and dinner at the Three Broomsticks)
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
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  20. Princess Leia

    Princess Leia Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    With my grandpa receiving hospice care, the current news cycle being pretty negative, and it being (a mildly warm) winter in Ohio, I am legitimately considering just taking work off for a day to spend a half day at DHS. Unfortunately, there aren't any super early flights, so I wouldn't get to WDW until 11, and would have to leave by 5:30 to go back to the airport. But for DHS, that would be plenty of time, right?

    It's that or I'm going to Quebec City for Carnival for a day.

    The coworker that I needed to talk me out of this... Did not talk me out of this. I could also fly to Texas to visit my sister, but Orlando is the cheapest option of the three cities.

    I know that it would be an expensive day ($320 roundtrip airfare + getting a taxi/Lyft/Uber to and from the park + $104 ticket (including tax) + food & drink), but I guess we'll have to wait and see where my mental health is at over the next few weeks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

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