And Now For Something Completely Different! A Pre Trip Report

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
And Now For Something Completely Different! PTR 3/17-3/24

Hello everyone! Welcome to my pre trip report! I am so excited to be sharing this with all of you--because, I can't share it with the kids. BIG surprise for them. Of course, this trip was something of a surprise for me, too. Let me explain.

We have "accidently" gone to the World for three years running. The first family trip was on January 1, 2008. Well, we figured out half way through that trip, that we can't do it all. We wanted to come back, but when it was a little warmer. So Spring Break 2009 found us back in our Happy Place. We had so much fun, that we ended up there again for Spring Break 2010. Really, our Spring Break is in March and not tied to Easter, so crowds weren't too bad, even with all the wonderful deals we were getting from Disney.

Before that last trip, my husband and I decided, that would be the last one, for a bit. OK, honestly, I wanted to make sure we could go again when the Fantasyland expansion was complete. And, I knew I could do that if I graciously accepted a break from my home (*sniff*).

Then, a funny thing happened... It turns out the Mister is a secret MouseDreamer, too! "You won't believe what I just did. It's so not like me, I can't believe I did it." UMmmmm, UH-oh. Couldn't figure out what he was talking about. Then he said those magic words that make my feet tingle and my head giddy. "We're going back." HOORAY!!!!!!

So, here is the different part. We have never done this before, and are aware that it could be a miserable mistake, but it gets us there. Mr. Dreaming got a phone call from Hilton Timeshare. Of course we would love to tour your property, but we aren't available until March for our Spring Break. Well, even though this was in June, the good people there REALLY want to show it to us, and were willing to make that happen.

So, March 17th, we are flying out to Orlando. Staying off property with Hilton for a few days, and then the plan is to spend a few days at a Disney Resort. Which one and how long depends on any special room only offers that might come out. (Fingers Crossed!) We have NEVER stayed off property (quite honestly, never even entertained the idea) before.

Next wrinkle. Mr. Dreaming doesn't want to tell the kids. Not as easy as you may think. Aaron Dreaming is 12. It is really hard to fool him with ANYTHING, let alone something of this magnitude. His little sister, Anna (7) is no different. Got to keep my big mouth SHUT!!!!!

Alright, stay tuned for our next episode: Making ADR's-or "Honey, what do you think you might want to eat 6 months from now?"
 

LeafsFanNL

Active Member
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Keep us posted. And good luck keeping it from the kids.

HB
 

_Scar

Active Member
I'm not familiar with any Hilton hotels, but I've read they're quite amazing :)

If it's the one by Downtown Disney then you'll have WDW right in your backyard.
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Keep us posted. And good luck keeping it from the kids.

HB
Thanks! I need all the luck I can get on that one!
I'm not familiar with any Hilton hotels, but I've read they're quite amazing :)

If it's the one by Downtown Disney then you'll have WDW right in your backyard.
We are REALLY hoping this is the one they will put us up in! Location, EMH, it'd be great. Unfortunatly, they can't tell us where they are sticking us until sometime in December, so we'll see. Wherever it is, it is a lot closer to WDW than Chicago!
 

tiaragirl

Well-Known Member
Hahha love this, and the Monty Python reference!

Keep the mouth shut, it'll be worth it in the end!
 
My family and I will probably be there when your family is. We check in March 20th. We've never been that time of year but that's the only time my in-laws could go and this will be their first trip so going then was a MUST! Please keep us posted on any deals you may find. We are just shy of getting Free Dining but I am hopeful another promotion will be going on when we arrive! Looking forward to reading more!
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Making ADR's: Or Honey, What Do You Think You Might want to eat 6 months from now?

Well, recently, we came up on our 180 day mark. Time for ADR's :p! A month ago, Mr. Dreaming gave me one directive...Book Le Cellier! We have never been, have always heard good things about it, and figured, it was time to try it. Honestly, I thought this part of my Pre-trip Report would be boring-ish. We really don't do a lot of TS. It takes up time, money, and with a very picky dd, sometimes feels like a complete waste. I mean really, if she ends up with another hamburger, and the 12 year old wants to order the most expensive steak on the menu, and complains he is STILL hungry... Anyway, something interesting happened.

As I mentioned before, this is our first time off property, which means I can't do ADR's 180 +10. So, I had to do one day at a time. The only thing I know for sure is that Friday, we are supposed to do the sales tour, so a dinner ressie would probably work best that day. I also know we want to be in MK on Sunday for EMH. We love that park at night! Also, the Le Cellier menu will probably have to change for dinner a bit to warrant two dining plan points, but don't know what the menu will be. So, my plan is this. Book a lunch and dinner at Le Cellier, and when the change happens, and the new menu is out, decide between lunch and dinner. Rumors on the boards here suggest lunch will be hard to come by, but dinner should be easy.

We fly in on Thurs, this is a no ADR day. We always seem to have flight delays coming in, and I can't tell you how many times I have heard people on the plane upset that they will miss their ressie. So Fri the 18th is the first day. Go on line. Le Cellier, dinner for 4. Nothing! Lunch, is a bingo! Book it, and then realize may have to give this one up.

Have to go back on line the next day for a Sat. Try Le Cellier for dinner. Nothing. Le Cellier for lunch-Bingo! OK, well, Fri they have EMH, and Sat, well it's Sat!

Sunday. It is a tradition that we have dinner at Tony's Town Square that night. And so, that is what I booked. Love their chicken parm. YUM!

Monday. Dinner at Le Cellier-NOTHING! Lunch-Bingo! Pick your time! OK. Well, now this is getting a little weird. Go back and check other days for dinner. Nothing. Huh. Maybe they are not letting people book it on line until everything is up to speed on the change to evening Signature dining? Hmmmmm.

Tuesday. Back on line. Dinner at Le Cellier is once again a bust! But my husband wants the kids to promise if they want to go back, they will sign an agreement to eat at 50's Prime Time. They are both afraid. The 12 year old is worried that they will holler at him for his elbows on the table, the 7 year old is worried she will have to eat her veggies, and it won't be broccoli, her one acceptable cooked vegetable. So, lunch there, it is!

Wednesday. What may be our last full day there. What a great way to end by having dinner at Le Cellier. Go online. NOTHING! Just for kicks, try lunch. I can have my pick of times.

So, take from this what you will. Either it is a lot harder to get dinner ressie's there than anyone thought it would be, and lunch is a cake walk. Or, for whatever reason, they won't let anyone book dinner online. For what it is worth, I did notice when I was trying to book Le Cellier, it very clearly states in the description that after March 1st, it is 2 credits on the DP. So, well... so I have sour grapes. But I know how this game goes, and I will keep trying. I kinda like having to go on the ADR site, anyway. That's just the kind of nut I am!

Next Episode: Getting there--Do we have to come back?
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hahha love this, and the Monty Python reference!

Keep the mouth shut, it'll be worth it in the end!
Yes, and thought since this was so different for us, it was appropo. Just introduced the 12 yr old to some of the skits. Now he sometimes walks funny, and will yell for no particular reason "I don't like Spam!" Gotta love it!

My family and I will probably be there when your family is. We check in March 20th. We've never been that time of year but that's the only time my in-laws could go and this will be their first trip so going then was a MUST! Please keep us posted on any deals you may find. We are just shy of getting Free Dining but I am hopeful another promotion will be going on when we arrive! Looking forward to reading more!
I was REALLY upset that room only discounts only go through Feb. Hope they have good ones, and they come out soon. If I hear anything, I'll post it, and if you hear anything, please, do the same! Until they come out *fingers crossed*, some of my planning is really jammed up.
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Getting There--Do We Have to Come Back

After much waiting, Southwest finally opened up booking dates for our travel dates. It was very frustrating for a while, because they ended booking dates the week before. So, imagine my surprise when I saw on Facebook that they had opened the dates earlier than they were supposed to! And imagine my excitement that all flights on the 17th of March were $99! And imagine me trying to keep my mouth shut, because the kids were in the next room. Suddenly, I couldn't get them to school fast enough!

I got back home, and booked the flight there. HOORAY!:sohappy: Now, the not so fun part...getting home. You see, we still don't know exactly when that day will be. It really depends on any room only discounts that *might* (fingers crossed) come out. So, I didn't want to book return flights, yet. But now, those flights keep going up and up. I am trying not to think of it too much.

I have been known in the past to book flights home on different airlines to get the best price. Heck, this past March, I had us flying back to a different airport! Just one of the nice perks of living in Chicago land. There has to be something to offset winter!

So, eventually, we will figure out what day to come back. And I'll get the best deal I can on airfare. Until then, I'll just pretend we aren't coming back!
 

brifraz

Well-Known Member
But my husband wants the kids to promise if they want to go back, they will sign an agreement to eat at 50's Prime Time. They are both afraid. The 12 year old is worried that they will holler at him for his elbows on the table, the 7 year old is worried she will have to eat her veggies, and it won't be broccoli, her one acceptable cooked vegetable. So, lunch there, it is!
We love the 50's Prime Time, as does our VERY picky 6yr old daughter. She gets the biggest kick out of mom and dad getting 'a friendly reminder' to keep our elbows off the table. And mom always forgets to set the table. She also loves the classic TV clips. Food-wise, both times she has been, she has gotten chicken tenders and french fries with a strawberry shake to drink. Luckily for your always hungry 12yr old, the portions are generally pretty big there. Out of our family, I'm usually the only one who gets into the 'Clean Plate Club.' It may not be the best food ever, but it sure is a fun experience (this past time, we helped out taking pictures of our 'cousins' at a nearby table).

We also hid a trip from DD for her 5th birthday. Loaded up the car while she was asleep. Put her in and gave her a big stuffed Minnie doll on the drive to the airport to tell her where we were going! Nothing could be better than her look at that moment!
 

sweetpee_1993

Well-Known Member
I love that you and your DH are both Mouse Dreamers. Us too. I bet Tracey texts me or asks me a half dozen times a day if I'm excited for our upcoming trip. He's so silly.

Tuesday. Back on line. Dinner at Le Cellier is once again a bust! But my husband wants the kids to promise if they want to go back, they will sign an agreement to eat at 50's Prime Time. They are both afraid. The 12 year old is worried that they will holler at him for his elbows on the table, the 7 year old is worried she will have to eat her veggies, and it won't be broccoli, her one acceptable cooked vegetable. So, lunch there, it is!

OMG! Thank God my kids aren't the only ones who have these issues with 50's Prime Time! Yes! Both the boys say they don't like getting in trouble for the elbows on the table. My oldest says he doesn't want them to make him eat veggies. I try to convince him he can just feed them to his little brother who loooooves veggies. Still, nothing. They get all wound up if I mention it. Same goes for 1900 Park Fare for breakfast. We did that one in December '07. The Mad Hatter teased and joked with the boys. Apparently the boys decided he was picking on them. So now if they see the Mad Hatter they get all huffy. Any meal where he appears is a big no-no. They're gonna have to get over this stuff. I bet I could bribe 'em. Teens have a certain weakness for cash! :lol:

Your trip sounds wonderful! I'll be checking back in to see how things continue to shape up! :wave:
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
All I can do is wait...Or the Waiting is the Hardest Part

So, not much has changed with the plans at this point. Still don't have a pin code or discount covering our dates. Got real excited when I heard some people are getting them though. Hope they release discounts soon. Still haven't heard from Hilton time share which property they intend to put us in. They haven't opened that block of rooms. Still not coming back (OK, that's kind of a fun one to think about). Can't book a return flight until we know when we are returning. This is the stinky part of planning.:brick:

Mostly, I get really excited about great deals and specials, and then find out, they don't cover my dates, yet. A little frustrating. Halloween is a great distraction, though.

On the other side, finally got Aaron a lanyard for his pins. I've been getting the kids pins on eBay. It's a lot of fun for them to get something special in the mail. And there is a little twisted part of me that loves it when they lament, "But we have to wait so long to actually wear them." I tell them "Some day, we'll go back" (Teehee). Anna spent one night not able to get to sleep, because too many things were racing through her head. One of them being "When will we go back to Disney World?" I just told her "I can't answer that". Thank goodness the room was dark so she couldn't see my face.

She also decided she loves St. Patrick's day, and Mommy's corned beef. I think she won't miss it so much this year.;)

Mostly, I just keep looking for the room discounts. Come on Disney!
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Mousedreaming, I know what its like to want to keep the suprise from the kids. We are going this February and its killing me not to tell my 3 year old DS. On another note, I noticed you mentioned that you had purchased some pins on Ebay for your kids. I was wanting to do the same and was wondering if there was anyone you would suggest purchasing from. I have gone on Ebay to take a look quite a few times but never know which seller to bid on. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Mousedreaming, I know what its like to want to keep the suprise from the kids. We are going this February and its killing me not to tell my 3 year old DS. On another note, I noticed you mentioned that you had purchased some pins on Ebay for your kids. I was wanting to do the same and was wondering if there was anyone you would suggest purchasing from. I have gone on Ebay to take a look quite a few times but never know which seller to bid on. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck with keeping the secret. I know come February, when both the kids are sitting on the couch with a cold, and the winter starts seeming like it only gets worse, its going to be hard to keep it.:rolleyes:

Yes, I started buying pins on eBay. So far, so good. I only buy one at a time, not lots. And I try to get them as cheap as I can. That way, I won't get upset when they get traded.

The best suggestion I can give is this: check their rating! And pay attention to how much they want to charge to ship. I tend to buy pins I like the looks of, and they usually end up being from people who have a LOT of ratings under their belts. These are the same people who tend to give shipping discounts, which is pretty nice, too. Especially when you are paying to ship something as small as a pin. Hope this is helpful!
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello, everyone! I was just reading the boards, and you know what? There are a lot of us upset that we haven't gotten a pin code that covers our March dates! Hopefully, Disney will release some sort of discount or deal that will cover us, soon.

In the meantime, a funny thing happened at dinner the other night. I don't know how the subject came up--although to be honest, it often does-- but my DS came up with the statement that he really loves the SciFi Drive In. My DD quickly agreed. My husband and I just looked at each other. I purposely skipped a ressie there. Don't get me wrong! I love the atmosphere. But last March when we were there, the food was just kinda OK. So, before I start trying to scramble to change ressies, I say "Gee, wouldn't it be fun to try somewhere else? Dad always wanted to try Prime Time."

No sooner were the words out of my mouth, but there was my darling 7 yr old daughter with a look that could freeze "Isn't that the place that makes you eat your vegetables?" The DS then chimes in, "Are you kidding?!?!" DH: "What's so bad about eating your veggies?" The girl starts reciting her list of acceptable vegetables.

My son than makes this observation. "Mom will be the only one that doesn't spend the whole time in the corner. Anna won't eat most vegetables, and Dad and I can't keep our elbows off the table."

DH: What if that's the only way we go back?
DS: Then I don't want to go. (me:?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!PANIC?!?!?!?!?!)
DH: What if you had no choice. What if you didn't know that was where we were going until we got there?
DS: I would let you go there, and I would wait outside. Or, better yet, I'll drop you guys off, and I will go to Sci Fi, where I will have made myself a reservation.
Me: Well, I guess it is a good thing we aren't going for a while.

Seriously, I knew it was bad, but I didn't think it was this volatile a subject. So, there is part of me that wants to keep the ressie, so they can see it isn't all that bad, and might even be kinda fun. Then there's part of me that wants to make a ressie at SciFi as quick as possible, even though I know the DH and I will be kinda disappointed after. Something to ponder, while I wait for the room discount that I know Disney wants to give me...:rolleyes:
 

4everDory

New Member
What fun! I'm really enjoying reading your pre-trip report! I hope you can keep the secret! We did this a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun. Now, we go back yearly, so we can't really surprise our DD's, but I try to throw some surprises into our trip...this year--tickets to La Nouba and a side trip to Sea World! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of the details about your trip, and seeing what happens with the 50's PT ADR (we enjoy going there, as well as Sci-Fi) :rolleyes: Maybe you can bribe them with dinner at Sci-Fi, if they try lunch at 50's PT, or something else like that.
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Big Announcement!

Wow, so a lot has happened in a very short period of time. Time to catch everyone (except my kids) up!

The room only discounts finally came out. The bad news--looks like we won't be trying a deluxe this time. But that's OK. You have to leave something to dream about.

So, we knew we could stay at a moderate. The question was, which one? My family has always stayed at POFQ. It's small. It's well themed. It has the boat to DTD. The grounds are beautiful, and green. (It's surprising how much you can miss green things after escaping a midwest winter!) They hand out beads and Mardi Gras coins to the kids. As a matter of fact, we only have one complaint. The beds. It is almost impossible to share a full size bed with a growing and wiggling, tall for his age 12 year old boy. So, DH and I were tossing around the idea of staying at CSR. After those rooms were re-done, they now have queen size beds. The size of the resort was a little scary. And the food court situation... We tend to end up at the resort food court at least once a day. And while the food court looked fine, we really don't want to be paying an extra fee to eat there, or remember to always ask for it to go. What to do? (This can be translated to do we sleep or eat, sleep or eat?).

Then came the good...POFQ is going through a room rehab even now as I type this, and it should be at least mostly completed by the time we go. YES! QUEEN SIZE BEDS!!!!:sohappy:

So, then it became a no brainer. POFQ it is. And that's not all.

When DH signed us up for the timeshare tour (you know, the thing that got us back here in the first place), he had booked us an extra night. Hilton still can't give us an idea of where they might put us. So, he cancelled the extra night there. So--POFQ will be our home away from home March 20-24.

It is very annoying that Hilton can't tell us where we will be until maybe late December, definitely by sometime January. So, that is still unknown. Now, I am keeping an eye on the airfare for the return trip. And, I need to go through my ressie's again. I'll keep in touch and let you all know what happens next!:wave:
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
What fun! I'm really enjoying reading your pre-trip report! I hope you can keep the secret! We did this a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun. Now, we go back yearly, so we can't really surprise our DD's, but I try to throw some surprises into our trip...this year--tickets to La Nouba and a side trip to Sea World! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of the details about your trip, and seeing what happens with the 50's PT ADR (we enjoy going there, as well as Sci-Fi) :rolleyes: Maybe you can bribe them with dinner at Sci-Fi, if they try lunch at 50's PT, or something else like that.
Thank you, and hello! Throwing in the surprises is always wonderful fun, and it's really easy to do something new and a little different with a WDW trip. I don't think bribing them with SciFi for dinner would work. As a matter of fact, it almost completely backfired when I tried to bribe them with the trip in the first place. Crazy kids. Really. If someone told me all I had to agree to was a lunch or dinner at one place in the World, and I could have a whole week there...Well, let's just say I'd be all over that!
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Doing a double digit dance! OK, really been doing it for a few days now. Honestly, this trip can't come soon enough. It's COLD! At least I know it will be warmer in the World during our March visit, than here. Disney thoughts help keep me warm!
 
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