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Help me...423 Days to go PTR

As I sit here at my desk and carry on my daily work I find myself pondering all the fun my family and I will have in 423 days when we finally get to check into the our hotel at WDW. So how should I go about trying to waste away the 423 days that I will have to endure before our family trip?:veryconfu
Of course, write a PTR on this awesome website.
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Now a little bit about my family, however, not too much because there are stalkers out there. I am happily married to a wonderful wife of almost 7 years and have two wonderful sons ages 4 and 2. I work full time, go to school full time (attempting to finish my undergrad) all while trying to raise my family.
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Growing up I remember living in Orlando and my mom working as a Cast Member. Those were the good old days when CMs could basically take their immediately families into the park just about every weekend. As a 3 and 4 year old we used to have the best weekends. However, just like most good things, it didn’t last. Prior to me turning 5, we moved away. Say it ain’t so.
Growing up, my family and I would go back and forth to Florida every few years and sometimes make a brief stopover in the “Land of Mouse.” My wife wasn’t so lucky; she only got to go to visit the “Mouse” only once as a child, oh the humanity.

An important piece of information…even though I got to go to visit MK and Epcot as a child I never had the opportunity to stay on site. Quite frankly, both of my parents were immigrants and I was the first generation born in the US. Needless to say we were a lower middle income family on a tight budget and my parents did the best that they could.

Fast forward to me getting married and having my own family. 2 years ago, the wonderful folks at Disney sponsored “Give a Day Get a Day.” I have heard a lot of grumbling on this site about this program, but let me tell you my wife and I appreciated the program and fully participated. We took part in an MLK community project and about 2 weeks later took a trip to Florida with vouchers in hand. While in Florida we took our oldest son, at the time just turning 2, and had the greatest day ever. I had finally completed one of my goals in life, which was to take my child to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” While there we took our one day pass and upgraded to 10-day no expiration tickets. We had the money so why not. And because we had the vouchers, they basically gave us a $160 discount (he shoots he scores). Although we would only be at MK for one day, we would be back.

Earlier this year I finally go to accomplish one of my other goals in life, stay onsite for an extended period at a WDW resort. By the way, I do have other goals in life other than Disney related ones. In February, Disney hosted a convention that was directly related to my occupation. If you are wondering, I am a Construction Project Manager. My employer was going to pay for me to attend the convention, I would receive a per diem, and my mileage down to Florida would be reimbursed. Not only that, the convention had secured special rates; if you stayed prior to and past the convention it was $104/night. So my wife and I planned another trip without telling my oldest son. It was horrible keeping the secret from him for 8 months.

On a Friday afternoon in the latter part of February, we picked up both of my sons from the babysitter and made our way down south. We checked into CSR late Friday night and started our week long vacation. I did have to attend the conference for the first 4 days but after that we spent time together in the parks.
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What a great week! We thought we were going to have a hard time with our youngest son, he still wasn’t quite 2, but he was such a champ and had the best time. He wasn’t afraid of the Meet and Greets with the characters and most of the time got an “aaawwwwww” from everyone else standing in line. I’m a proud father, what can I say!
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Coloring with the Chip & Dale

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Please Don’t Eat Me!

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So our week came to an end and we had to leave the “happiest place on earth,” what a bummer. Just so you know, prior to the trip my wife was excited about the vacation but didn’t understand what made staying onsite such a big deal. My wife is the pessimist and I am the optimist. After a week of staying onsite I can now say that my wife is a convert and couldn’t see anyway of visiting the “Land of Mouse” other than staying onsite. Can I get a high-five? :wave:

Now the question is, when do we go again? Late in the spring I started talking to my wife about going back. Although I would love to go to WDW every year, that is not a necessity and frankly we can’t afford it. Champagne taste, beer wallet. However, my wife’s b-day is in December and she loves Christmas, so much so that it looks as if our house threw-up Christmas every year. With this in mind I began to plan our next trip for the week after Thanksgiving in 2012. I have a cousin in Florida who is planning on getting married the weekend of Thanksgiving so the timing would be perfect.

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As much as we loved staying at CSR, both my wife and I agreed that we would like to stay at another resort. For the time being we decided to try another Moderate. I did some research and decided on PO Riverside. I also decided that we would use Kingdom Konsultants. At this point I am going make a sales pitch for Richard. He has been awesome and helped me with everything. If you are going to plan a trip to WDW why wouldn’t you use Kingdom Konsultants? I contacted Richard, gave him some dates, and he got me some initial pricing. As much as I would have loved to make my reservations in late May, I had to wait until 2012 pricing came out in August, so that I did. August finally arrived and I made my reservation for November 25 through December 1, 2012. 440 days from today.

The reason for my PTR is to pass the time and get some advice on various things. The first one, should I stay at PO Riverside or should I switch over to POFQ. I have been doing some research and I am starting to lean towards POFQ. They are the same price and are right next to one-another. However, it appears as though the rooms and POFQ were recently refurbished and are closer in comparison to the rooms at CSR, as far as newness. Also, POFQ only has one bus stop for the parks and I read that PO Riverside does sometime experience issues because the resorts share buses. So to simplify, do I stay at PO Riverside or move to POFQ?

As time passes on I’ll be sure to share more, such as what we have to do to be able to pay for the trip and not max out the credit cards, and I’ll look for suggestions. I already have three or four more questions lined up but I need to pace myself. Thanks for reading and I look forward to getting some responses.
 

erstwo

Well-Known Member
How fun! My husband is in the construction industry too and usually attends the NAHB convention. I like the years it is in Orlando, much more than the years in Las Vegas! :D

How was CSR? We've never stayed there. It must have been good if it 'converted' your wife. :)

Aren't the Kingdom Konsultants the best? Love them.

I bet the days will fly by. My entire family has decided they want to go as a family reunion every 2 years. It seems like we just got back from our 2010 trip and it is already time to book our 2012 trip. :eek: I have really been in shock (although I guess it helps that our 2010 trip was at the very end of 2010 - December.)

As Ferris Buller said, "Life moves pretty fast." :lol:
 
August finally arrived and I made my reservation for November 25 through December 1, 2012. 440 days from today.

Thanks for the LOVELY reminder that there's only 440 days separating me from my 26th birthday! YIKES!! :lookaroun

The reason for my PTR is to pass the time and get some advice on various things. The first one, should I stay at PO Riverside or should I switch over to POFQ. I have been doing some research and I am starting to lean towards POFQ. They are the same price and are right next to one-another. However, it appears as though the rooms and POFQ were recently refurbished and are closer in comparison to the rooms at CSR, as far as newness. Also, POFQ only has one bus stop for the parks and I read that PO Riverside does sometime experience issues because the resorts share buses. So to simplify, do I stay at PO Riverside or move to POFQ?
]

I'm SOOO excited for you all!! ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE PO Riverside! (Yes that required all caps) In 45 trips, we have stayed there at least 40 times. We have even been during peak seasons and have never had any trouble with the buses. I would highly recommend Alligator Bayou, even request one of the buildings closest to the main building. Building 14 is the best, but starting in 2011, they charge a preferred room rate for that. Any of the other bldgs nearby are a close walk to the main bus stop, where you get picked up AND dropped off first. That eases the bus situation. POFQ is nice, but IMHO, the food court options are lacking and the buildings don't have quite as much character. They have one bus stop, but we had to walk alot further when we stayed there. Also, just and FYI, all of the POR rooms will be fully renovated by the time you get there, so don't let that sway you. Happy planning! :sohappy:
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
How fun! My husband is in the construction industry too and usually attends the NAHB convention. I like the years it is in Orlando, much more than the years in Las Vegas! :D

How was CSR? We've never stayed there. It must have been good if it 'converted' your wife. :)

Aren't the Kingdom Konsultants the best? Love them.

I bet the days will fly by. My entire family has decided they want to go as a family reunion every 2 years. It seems like we just got back from our 2010 trip and it is already time to book our 2012 trip. :eek: I have really been in shock (although I guess it helps that our 2010 trip was at the very end of 2010 - December.)

As Ferris Buller said, "Life moves pretty fast." :lol:

CSR was great. My wife and I really were torn between whether or not to stay there again or try somewhere new. Variety is the spice of life though and we decided to try something new. The food court at CSR was great, we loved the nacho plate (most days my wife and I just split a plate it was so big). I think the best part of CSR was the pool and the waterslide. The kids, my wife and I all had a great time. We have attempted to find another resort with similiar amenities but unfortunately CSR seems to out due the other pools.
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
August finally arrived and I made my reservation for November 25 through December 1, 2012. 440 days from today.

Thanks for the LOVELY reminder that there's only 440 days separating me from my 26th birthday! YIKES!! :lookaroun


I'm SOOO excited for you all!! ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE PO Riverside! (Yes that required all caps) In 45 trips, we have stayed there at least 40 times. We have even been during peak seasons and have never had any trouble with the buses. I would highly recommend Alligator Bayou, even request one of the buildings closest to the main building. Building 14 is the best, but starting in 2011, they charge a preferred room rate for that. Any of the other bldgs nearby are a close walk to the main bus stop, where you get picked up AND dropped off first. That eases the bus situation. POFQ is nice, but IMHO, the food court options are lacking and the buildings don't have quite as much character. They have one bus stop, but we had to walk alot further when we stayed there. Also, just and FYI, all of the POR rooms will be fully renovated by the time you get there, so don't let that sway you. Happy planning! :sohappy:

Funny, you are worried about your 26th B-Day, just wait to you hit 30:eek:. I am still 8 years away from my 40th and I already dreading it.

Thanks for the tip regarding the food court. When traveling with little ones it it helps to have options depending on their mood. I typically don't like them to have their own way when it comes to eating meals but those rules are relaxed when on vacation. I don't want to have to argue with my child and would much rather them enjoy their meal rather than sulk through it.

I looked at Building 14 but the preffered room rate kills it. I love visiting the "House of Mouse" and don't mind paying for the experience but can't stand it when they start nickling and diming for everything, like having to pay for internet.

I'm glad to hear that Riverside will be upgraded before we get there. The rooms at CSR had just been upgraded when we stayed there and it was great. Most if not all the rooms now have dual queen beds and it was perfect. My wife and I had one bed and the two boys easily shared the other.
 

8laurach

New Member
We have 403 days until we go in November 2012. We are waiting until our daughter is 2 1/2 to take her and will be staying at PO French Quarter.

We love PO Riverside but wanted to change up-plus I like the idea of being first on/off the bus.

I understand your excitement and also the budgeting necessary to go. That's what makes anticipation so much better-knowing you are really investing something into a truly magical trip. Hope you have a great time.
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We have 403 days until we go in November 2012. We are waiting until our daughter is 2 1/2 to take her and will be staying at PO French Quarter.

We love PO Riverside but wanted to change up-plus I like the idea of being first on/off the bus.

I understand your excitement and also the budgeting necessary to go. That's what makes anticipation so much better-knowing you are really investing something into a truly magical trip. Hope you have a great time.

My youngest son was 2 1/2 on his first trip and as you can see from the pictures he had no fear and did great. Obviously we had to ensure that he got his mid-day naps but my wife needed those as wells, she can also get a little cranky :lol: .

As silly as it may seem, being first on and off the bus is something that appeals to me, That's why I'm playing with the idea of switching to French Quarter. After a long day at the parks you want to be able to get back to your room for some much needed rest before hitting it again in the morning.

The best part of paying for the trip up front with cash is that when we get there it is already paid and I don't have to worry about a credit card bill when get back. Makes the trip all that much more enjoyable.

I'm hoping that Disney puts out a deal next summer like they did this year. If they do I could save close to $500 off the trip. If a deal does come through that it would be icing on the cake and would let us have more cash for souveniers and doing little extras like taking in a show at Cirque Du Soleil or taking the boys on a pirate trip. I'll just have to wait and see.
 

LuLaSue

Well-Known Member
Very excited for you and your family!

POR is also under "refresher", by the time you arrive everything will be shinny and new.

I have stayed in a CSR, POR and POFQ, my favorite....POR. CSR is beautiful but, just a little to big for us. POFQ is very nice, smaller than POR and CSR but, it was just not POR. Something about Riverside just screams home, we are always overwhelmed by the nostalgic feeling when we arrive. We usually stay in the Magnolia Bend Section but, the Alligator Bayou section is nice as well. It is a bit more rustic and you can request a room near the bus stop and dining hall.

We honestly never had any real problem with the bus system.

I wish you a wonderful trip!
 

mickeysshoes

Well-Known Member
Sounds like there are alot of us in the same 440..something boat. We have not booked but I will be the end of October and will most like put us right at 440 days. AHHH Christmas in Disney is worth a wait that long!!!:xmas:
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Very excited for you and your family!

POR is also under "refresher", by the time you arrive everything will be shinny and new.

I have stayed in a CSR, POR and POFQ, my favorite....POR. CSR is beautiful but, just a little to big for us. POFQ is very nice, smaller than POR and CSR but, it was just not POR. Something about Riverside just screams home, we are always overwhelmed by the nostalgic feeling when we arrive. We usually stay in the Magnolia Bend Section but, the Alligator Bayou section is nice as well. It is a bit more rustic and you can request a room near the bus stop and dining hall.

We honestly never had any real problem with the bus system.

I wish you a wonderful trip!

I'm glad to hear you didn't have any big issues with the bus system, this has probably been my biggest worry to this point. What is the difference between staying in the Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou?
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sounds like there are alot of us in the same 440..something boat. We have not booked but I will be the end of October and will most like put us right at 440 days. AHHH Christmas in Disney is worth a wait that long!!!:xmas:

We should start a new club called "The 440" for all of us who can't wait to get back.

I can't wait to be there for Christmas. That is probably the part I am looking most forward to. Like I said in my original post, my wife is a Christmas addict, so I am sure we will enjoy just going around to the different resorts to see all of the decorations. I'm going to have to make sure we have a free day or two just to do that.
 

ladydi

Active Member
I'd switch to POFQ. POR didn't do anything for me. We stayed in Alligator Bayou and even though it was quiet, I thought it was kind of creepy walking to our room at night. Loved CSR last week, although it is very large. My kids loved the waterslide too!
I'm very into Christmas too (and a December b-day girl as well) and LOVED going to Disney World in December. There are so many different things to see and do. My favorite was the Osbourne Lights and walking through World Showcase and listening to all the different Christmas customs.
 

minnielaw

Well-Known Member
Congratulations on your upcoming trip and for converting your wife into a Disney nut!! I converted my husband in 2007...we returned in 2010 for a 2nd trip and have 360 days until our next trip.

We have stayed at POR for both of our trips and absolutely LOVED it! Our first trip we were in Alligator Bayou, Building 27 (I think) and had a corner room with a gorgeous view of the water and the Riverside Mill. The walk to the car was too long but the walk to the Mill was less than a minute.

Our last trip in 2010, we were in Magnolia Bend. I was prepared to be disappointed as I had requested Alligator Bayou, but we loved our room. We were in Acadian House (the furthest building from the Mill) but our walk was no longer than 5 minutes. We crossed a bridge to the pool area and then walked to the Mill. The landscaping in Magnolia Bend was gorgeous also and the walk along the river is so peaceful.

We always drive to WDW so I cannot comment on the buses. We love taking the boat to Downtown Disney...always a first night trip for us.

The rooms really did need a renovation; that was my only complaint and that's wonderful to hear that they are being renovate right now.

We are trying out CSR next fall and I am anxious about it. I hear complaints about how big it is and that people don't like the food court. However, I heard the same complaints about the size of POR and we felt it was not too big and the walk to the food court was NOT too long. Would love to hear your thoughts on CSR. I wanted to go back to POR or try POFQ, but my boys really wanted to try CSR.

I think you can't go wrong with either resort, but I prefer POR. The food court does have better options and the landscaping and theming are gorgeous.
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'd switch to POFQ. POR didn't do anything for me. We stayed in Alligator Bayou and even though it was quiet, I thought it was kind of creepy walking to our room at night. Loved CSR last week, although it is very large. My kids loved the waterslide too!
I'm very into Christmas too (and a December b-day girl as well) and LOVED going to Disney World in December. There are so many different things to see and do. My favorite was the Osbourne Lights and walking through World Showcase and listening to all the different Christmas customs.

My wife and I were just talking about the Osbourne lights this morning. On our last trip we spent the morning in DHS and then the afternoon/evening in AK. We will have to switch things up on the next trip in order to see the lights, AK in the morning and DHS in the afternoon/evening.

The one thing about doing that is I'm afraid of what the TSM line will look like in the afternoon. And by the time we get there all of the fast passes might be gone. I might just have to make a special trip in the morning by myself in order to get us our FPs.

Sure, we could make it easy and stay the whole day in each park, but with my kids being as young as they are its kind of hard to spend the whole day in those parks. Another bridge we will have to cross at a later date.
 

Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Congratulations on your upcoming trip and for converting your wife into a Disney nut!! I converted my husband in 2007...we returned in 2010 for a 2nd trip and have 360 days until our next trip.

We have stayed at POR for both of our trips and absolutely LOVED it! Our first trip we were in Alligator Bayou, Building 27 (I think) and had a corner room with a gorgeous view of the water and the Riverside Mill. The walk to the car was too long but the walk to the Mill was less than a minute.

Our last trip in 2010, we were in Magnolia Bend. I was prepared to be disappointed as I had requested Alligator Bayou, but we loved our room. We were in Acadian House (the furthest building from the Mill) but our walk was no longer than 5 minutes. We crossed a bridge to the pool area and then walked to the Mill. The landscaping in Magnolia Bend was gorgeous also and the walk along the river is so peaceful.

We always drive to WDW so I cannot comment on the buses. We love taking the boat to Downtown Disney...always a first night trip for us.

The rooms really did need a renovation; that was my only complaint and that's wonderful to hear that they are being renovate right now.

We are trying out CSR next fall and I am anxious about it. I hear complaints about how big it is and that people don't like the food court. However, I heard the same complaints about the size of POR and we felt it was not too big and the walk to the food court was NOT too long. Would love to hear your thoughts on CSR. I wanted to go back to POR or try POFQ, but my boys really wanted to try CSR.

I think you can't go wrong with either resort, but I prefer POR. The food court does have better options and the landscaping and theming are gorgeous.

And a congrats to you. So jealous, less than a year for your next trip. I'll have to figure out a way to celebrate when I hit my 1-year milestone.

Thanks for the suggestions on the the buildings. It's not the easiest thing to do when you are trying to balance between staying close to the food, bus stops, or food.

I'm astonished you have never used the WDW buses inside the resort area. It's a must for us. The best part of the bus ride is that it has special music just as you are pulling up to the front entrance of the MK. Try it you won't regret it.

I like your idea about the boat ride to Downtown Disney. That was our first stop on day one this past trip. We took the boys to go make their special Disney shirts that they wore into MK on the first day. This year we can go again and ride the boats down there.

As I stated before, my wife and I liked CSR so much we thought about staying there again on the next trip. It is a big resort but also has a great pool area, the pond is great for pictures, and the theming is the best. I'm suprised to hear that you have seen negative reviews concerning the food court, everything we ate there was great.

I have noticed on this site that everyone does have their individual tastes, myself included, and I think that plays a big part when people make their negative or positive comments.

We stayed in building 7A. It was on the opposite side of the pond away from the food court but that didn't bother us. Gave us a chance to burn of the calories from the food we were eating on our way back from the food court, it was less than a 5 minute walk. Our room was on the backside of the building facing the road and it took 60 seconds to get to a bus stop. CSR has four different different bus stops, we were # 3 and never had a problem finding a seat. The last bus stop is at the front next to the lobby. Another positive was we were a short walk from the great pool.

This is a great link to a third-party website that has a ton of infromation on CSR: http://coronado_springs.tripod.com/. Take a look, it really has a lot of useful infromation on it.
 

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