The "You're going to Disney....again?" Pre-trip report 2012

Hello all. It has been a while since I have contributed either a pre-trip or post trip report, but for some reason, this year feels a bit different so I thought it might be worth while to create one.

We have been going to Disney on a regular basis since 2003. This will be my 19th trip in my lifetime and I honestly believe I could spend one week a month there and never get tired of the place. Unfortunately, this may be our last excursion to WDW until 2014 or 2015 depending on various factors in our life, so I am doing everything I can to make sure I simply take it all in and enjoy the pleasure of being at my favorite vacation destination. First, the players:

There is me, Tracy, the planner/obsessor/fanatic in this family. I just turned 40 :)eek:) but still feel like a young un.

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Then there is my husband, who is ALSO named Tracy (true story, I swear). He is not quite as infatuated with WDW as I am, but I have to say that he has come a long way and he at least loves going now.

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As with any Disney trip, I tend to make my initial plans and then try to extend those plans by several days. As of right now we are scheduled to arrive on property Sunday, September 16th and are scheduled to leave Saturday, September 22nd. We are staying at the Wilderness Lodge with Free Dining. We actually booked this trip as part of a bounce back offer we were given last September while staying at the Contemporary.

Once we found out that the Art of Animation would be opening on September 15th, I immediately booked a room for September 22nd through the 26th in case we decide to extend our trip. The other possibility we are looking at is a 3 day Disney cruise that leaves port on Thursday, September 13th and returns on the 16th, which would fit perfectly with what we already have finalized. We aren't sure if we are going to do either at this point due to finances, but it is still on the table. So, with that being said I am only going to discuss what we are 100% certain of, and that is 9/16 - 9/22.

Ahhhh...The Wilderness. We are so excited to be returning to the Wilderness. We stayed there in 2004 and both fell in love. If their transportation was set up just a little differently, I don't think we would ever stay at any other resort. We personally find the theme of this resort to be one of WDW's very best.

Our flight is scheduled to arrive at MCO at 9:05 am, which means we will have an entire day to spend in the parks. We do have park hoppers, which we will abuse, but we are also going to try something a little different this year. Instead of park hopping every single day, we are going to try 3 days park hopping and 3 days of spending the day in just one park. The other big decision we have made is that we will not be visiting Animal Kingdom at all this year. AK use to be my husband's favorite park, but during our trip last year we both decided that we can live without going to AK for awhile. Instead, our focus will be on the other three parks.

Sunday, 9/16 - arrive at resort, get park tickets and immediately head to Magic Kingdom. This is a tradition for us. We find it impossible to begin our trip anywhere other than MK. There are Extra Magic Hours this night, so we will be in the park with every other living soul on property, I am sure. But that's okay with us. This is one of our single park days so it gives us plenty of time to walk around, relax and enjoy. We will not be doing any sit down meals this day. Instead we will use Counter Service credits at Casey's and Columbia Harbor House.

Monday, 9/17 - We will begin the day at Epcot and end the day at Studios. We have dining reservations at Teppan Edo's, which is my husband's favorite place to eat while at WDW. Because of this, we will actually eat at Teppan Edo's twice. We often receive criticism for this since many people find Teppan Edo to be no better than their own local Hibachi restaurant. And while I understand that thought process I always respond with, "well, sure, except your local hibachi is not located inside one of the greatest spots on planet earth...Epcot." Plus, it's an easy restaurant to get in to, which the planner in me loves. After dinner we will be heading over to Hollywood Studios for extra magic hours.

Tuesday, 9/18 - This is another single park day. And we will be spending that day at Magic. But before we go to Magic, we will be having breakfast at Kona Cafe'. Tonga Toast for hubby. Pinapple Macadamia pancakes for me. And a pot of french press coffee. 'Nuff said. :lol: We will also be attending the Halloween Party this night. Another fall tradition for us. We love love love (insert 200 more loves here) this party. I know many find the parties a waste of time and money, but we aren't those people. We love it so much that we will be going twice on this trip.

Wednesday, 9/19 - We plan on sleeping in a bit this morning since we will be at the half way point for our trip. This means hanging out at the resort, maybe checking out the pool and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere of the Wilderness. Then, it's off to Epcot for the entire day. We once again will be taking advantage of extra magic hours until midnight. Epcot is so beautiful at night. I love just walking around the park after dark. We have lunch reservations at Le Chef's De France and then a late dinner reservation at Via Napoli. In between I also hope to order some chips and guacamole with a margarita at La Cantina de San Angel. We should be good and stuffed by the time we roll ourselves out of there that evening.

Thursday, 9/20 - A three park day! We will start our day at Hollywood Studios then we will head over to Epcot where, for the very first time, we will dine at the world famous Le Cellier. I am so surprised that we were able to get in here, but I did the typical 7:00 am on line ressie stampede at 180 days. This year, it actually worked and now we will be able to mark Le Cellier off our Disney bucket list. After our Le Cellier induced haze, we will make our way over to Magic for some evening fun.

Friday - 9/21 - Our last day in the parks, so we will focus on our two favorites - Epcot in the morning and then Magic in the evening for our second Halloween Party. We always try to end our September trips on a party night. This will be a big day for seconds because this also be the second time we will be dining at Teppan Edo, this time at lunch. On our last day we really try to focus on just our favorites - which means Soarin', SSE, Mansion, Pirates, Peoplemover, etc... I will also be trying to take every magical moment in while I am there since we will most likely have a few years until our next trip.

So, this is the plan....for now. If we finalize the extra days at the Art of Animation at the end of our trip, or if we add the cruise to the beginning of our trip, I will be sure to add that in to the PTR.

Thanks for reading and if you happen to be at Disney during the time we are and you see two 40 somethings running around the park looking happy as can be, don't hesitate to shout out a quick hello and a wave. :wave:

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Mickey92

Member
Hi Tracy!

Great pre-trip report! I'm the same as yourself, I could spend one week a month in WDW and never get tired! it would be heaven! :sohappy: I really do hope it will be the best trip for you, as you said it maybe your last trip for a long time :) So I really hope it's everything you wanted and more!! :sohappy:

Never stayed at Wilderness Lodge, so will have to try it out in the many many trips I have planned for my future! I LOVE The idea of possibly extending your trip at the last minute because you already have it booked! :D What if you were unable to do that? Could you get a refund on the room you booked at all? :veryconfu Great idea though! :) Just wake up and think 'Yeh I can stay another few days! it would be rude not too!!' :D

I think I speak for most people here, and say that AK is a half-day park in my mind, It does have some great rides but as you said if you're not fussed about it, focus on the other parks that you enjoy and that you can do more at! Maybe if you do decide to stay a few more days... Pop to AK for half-day :) Just a thought..

But I really hope you have a great trip Tracy and Tracy! :lol: Looking forward to the trip report and all the updates that lead up to it!

Best Wishes,

Tristan
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hi Tracy!

Great pre-trip report! I'm the same as yourself, I could spend one week a month in WDW and never get tired! it would be heaven! :sohappy: I really do hope it will be the best trip for you, as you said it maybe your last trip for a long time :) So I really hope it's everything you wanted and more!! :sohappy:

Never stayed at Wilderness Lodge, so will have to try it out in the many many trips I have planned for my future! I LOVE The idea of possibly extending your trip at the last minute because you already have it booked! :D What if you were unable to do that? Could you get a refund on the room you booked at all? :veryconfu Great idea though! :) Just wake up and think 'Yeh I can stay another few days! it would be rude not too!!' :D

I think I speak for most people here, and say that AK is a half-day park in my mind, It does have some great rides but as you said if you're not fussed about it, focus on the other parks that you enjoy and that you can do more at! Maybe if you do decide to stay a few more days... Pop to AK for half-day :) Just a thought..

But I really hope you have a great trip Tracy and Tracy! :lol: Looking forward to the trip report and all the updates that lead up to it!

Best Wishes,

Tristan

Thanks for the advice Tristan.:wave: We may decide to stop in to AK at some point. As for when we will decide about the trip extension, that will probably happen sooner rather than later. The Art of Animation ressie is a room only, so we can cancel up to a week before our scheduled arrival. But we will make the decision by the end of this month. I dont want to keep a hold on a room that someone else can use if we don't intend to. If it were up to me, I would go for three weeks. But I am so happy to go no matter how long I get to stay.
 

Mickey92

Member
Thanks for the advice Tristan.:wave: We may decide to stop in to AK at some point. As for when we will decide about the trip extension, that will probably happen sooner rather than later. The Art of Animation ressie is a room only, so we can cancel up to a week before our scheduled arrival. But we will make the decision by the end of this month. I dont want to keep a hold on a room that someone else can use if we don't intend to. If it were up to me, I would go for three weeks. But I am so happy to go no matter how long I get to stay.

Ah thats good it works out like that and you can change your mind upto a week before :)

Loooking forward to more pics and info! :D :sohappy:
 

ILDisneyFan

Active Member
I also could go to Walt Disney World EVERY month and NEVER get tired of it! Sounds like you have everything planned out! We love the parties as well and while a lot of people think they're a waste of money we always go to at least two every time we go because sometimes it's hard to get everything in that you want to see and do! We've been to MNSSHP (Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party) in 2008 and 2011 and we've been to MVMCP (Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party) in 2007, 2009 and we're going this year! Yay! Can't wait! The parties are so much fun! Great pre-trip report, I can't wait to read the full trip report! Let me know how you like Via Napoli, I would like to go there in November when we go. :)
 

PolynesianPrincess

Well-Known Member
Great PTR!!! Funny story about both of you having the name Tracy! My mother's name is Terryn and she goes by Terri... My step-dad is also named Terry. lol everyone calls him Mr. Terry to avaoid any confusion!!

I am the planner in my family and I love it! My family also loves it since they don't need to do anything but say "yes we'd like to eat at Ohana" or "no let's try Cali Grill" works out for everyone!! :)

We LOVE the WL as well. Stayed there last November for the first time and we loved it so much we're staying the last 2 nights of our trip next month in one of the studio villas. It's so peaceful yet so close to all the action. I love taking the boat over to MK. It's so relaxing. I don't like that you have to go all the way to Fort Wilderness though when going to the parks :( Takes too much time!!!

We've never eaten at Teppan Edo but it is on our to do list! I love hibatchi! Le Cellier is my fav so I hope you guys love it as well!!

If you extend your trip, our paths may cross since we are arriving on 9/24.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I also could go to Walt Disney World EVERY month and NEVER get tired of it! Sounds like you have everything planned out! We love the parties as well and while a lot of people think they're a waste of money we always go to at least two every time we go because sometimes it's hard to get everything in that you want to see and do! We've been to MNSSHP (Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party) in 2008 and 2011 and we've been to MVMCP (Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party) in 2007, 2009 and we're going this year! Yay! Can't wait! The parties are so much fun! Great pre-trip report, I can't wait to read the full trip report! Let me know how you like Via Napoli, I would like to go there in November when we go. :)

We attended MVMCP in 2010 and I really enjoyed it as well. I personally think the parties are just a fun way to spend time in the park. With the Christmas party, it was the little things that really hooked me: the snow on Main Street, drinking (free) hot chocolate while walking around the park. Plus, we went during a freak cold spell and it really did feel like Christmas. Have a great time when you go.

As for Via Napoli, we ate there for the first time last September and we LOVED it. I know I use the word love a lot when discussing Disney, and I fully admit that I am firmly in the "pixie dust at all times" camp, but sometimes love is just the right word to use. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was fun although it can get a bit noisy due to the size of the room and ceiling height. We had wonderful service too. My only real complaint was that the tables seem to be placed very close together, which can make it annoying to others if you need to pop up and down. We actually spent most of our meal talking to a very nice couple at the next table, since they were sitting so close to us.

I highly recommend Via Napoli.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Great PTR!!! Funny story about both of you having the name Tracy! My mother's name is Terryn and she goes by Terri... My step-dad is also named Terry. lol everyone calls him Mr. Terry to avaoid any confusion!!

I am the planner in my family and I love it! My family also loves it since they don't need to do anything but say "yes we'd like to eat at Ohana" or "no let's try Cali Grill" works out for everyone!! :)

We LOVE the WL as well. Stayed there last November for the first time and we loved it so much we're staying the last 2 nights of our trip next month in one of the studio villas. It's so peaceful yet so close to all the action. I love taking the boat over to MK. It's so relaxing. I don't like that you have to go all the way to Fort Wilderness though when going to the parks :( Takes too much time!!!

We've never eaten at Teppan Edo but it is on our to do list! I love hibatchi! Le Cellier is my fav so I hope you guys love it as well!!

If you extend your trip, our paths may cross since we are arriving on 9/24.

I had to laugh at your comment regarding the boat ride to the park and the fact that it stops at Fort Wilderness because this is my husband's number one complaint about the Wilderness boats. :ROFLOL: We have many, many, many discussions about this issue because it doesn't really bother me at all but he is the total opposite.

Have a great trip! And thanks for the opinion on Le Cellier. I know it is almost always at the top of everyone's dining list so I am happy to finally find out what all the fuss is about.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Update to our travel plans...

As it turns out, yesterday's full moon must have put my better half in a terrific mood because he has decided that we should try a three day cruise at the start of our trip. Now I wish I could change the title of my report to "A Cruise, some booze and a trip to The Wilderness".

While I was thrilled when he made this decision, I immediately started to panic because as much as I love planning every single second of my park trips, I have never been on or planned a cruise. For some reason, scheduling the transfers intimidated me since we need transportation from MCO to Port Canaveral on 9/13 and then a second transfer from Port Canaveral to the Wilderness on 9/16. So, I did the only sensible thing someone in my shoes could do and I contacted our resident Cruise expert, Tammy (DisneyFalcon) at Kingdom Konsultants.

Tammy was wonderful. I simply gave her our travel dates, let her know what type of room we were looking for and in no time at all, she had everything set up for us. She took care of setting up our transfers, our room, our dining schedule (apparently choosing either early dining or late dining is a big deal...who knew?? :) ) and made is so incredibly easy that all I had to do was sit back and start dreaming about my three day excursion on the Disney Dream. The thought of having three whole days to just veg out and unwind in the sun and sand sounds incredible to me. Then, hopefully, I will be good and rested for the second half of our trip where we become sun up to sun down park warriors.

Now that the decision to take a three day cruise is finalized, we have gone ahead and canceled our stay at the Art of Animation. I will just have to wait a few years to stay there.

I appears that everything is set. Cruise? Check. Transportation to and from all places? Check. Dining reservations? Check. Now all we have to do is wait until our travel dates arrive.

Thanks again, for reading. Wishing everyone a magical, pixie dust infused day.
 

minnielaw

Well-Known Member
Oh, how exciting!! A cruise and park trip report to look forward to!! So excited for you!

Have you ever been on a cruise? I have not and they have never appealed to me in the least. However, after reading several of Tammy's (Disneyfalcon) cruise trip reports and Kelly's (sweetpea) cruise report....I am sorely tempted! My boys have been begging for a cruise for years, so I may break down and plan one in a few years. Can't wait to hear your report!!
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh, how exciting!! A cruise and park trip report to look forward to!! So excited for you!

Have you ever been on a cruise? I have not and they have never appealed to me in the least. However, after reading several of Tammy's (Disneyfalcon) cruise trip reports and Kelly's (sweetpea) cruise report....I am sorely tempted! My boys have been begging for a cruise for years, so I may break down and plan one in a few years. Can't wait to hear your report!!

Thanks Minnie!:wave:

This will be my very first cruise and I am a bit nervous about it but overall I am just really excited. I thought that starting with a three day cruise the first time out would be the way to go. Thanks for reading my PTR.
 

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