Getting Our Geek On & A Trip of Many Firsts PTR June 2012
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Getting Our Geek On & A Trip of Many Firsts PTR June 2012
I have been chewing on the idea of starting a PTR and ultimately a TR for our June vacation, but have been hesitant due to the fact that I have yet to actually finish a TR. Yes, I know....horrible. Usually I take notes or try to write it down each night, but this time we are taking a laptop and DH is in full support of a TR. So, without further ado....
Welcome to Getting Our Geek On & A Trip of Many Firsts!
This trip has been in the works for the last several years as my nephew, who has yet to visit WDW, has been asking when we will take him to Disney with us. Plans were finally able to be started last year. DH and I visited WDW in Jan 2011 when I flew down for the TA Disney Dream Tour and on our last day at WDW, we met with a DVC rep. Two months later, we purchased at SSR. Guess what nephew, it's time to start planning that trip! This will be a family vacation with us, my in-laws and my nephew. DH's sister and her husband have now decided to join us as well.
We will be traveling June 2-9, 2012 and enjoying our FIRST trip HOME as DVC members! We are staying in a Treehouse Villa and everyone is excited to experience the villa. I just ordered our Premium Annual Passes this weekend and my inlaws ordered tickets for them and DN this weekend as well.
Me - Denise, age 36, Disney fan and this will be my 11th trip to WDW. I work full time in Corrections as well as being a TA with Ears To You Travel. I am an admitted Star Wars geek and have a love for a certain Mouse with a soft spot for Donald Duck.
DH - Jason, age 39, 9th trip to the World. He works in IT for a major insurance company and loves his Green Bay Packers. He is never without an item that has a "G" on it and that usually leads to great conversations with other Packer fans while at Disney. He is a kid at heart who has always said he'd never grow up.
DD - Ariana, age 9, 2nd trip. Ari will be finishing up 3rd grade as we leave for this trip and she is excited to experience the "big" rides, in particular ToT. She is my sensitive kid and has some sensory/anxiety issues, so we keep a close eye on how she's doing. She loves animals and reaaaaaalllllyyyy wants to go to a water park while at WDW.
DS - Phoenix, age 6, 2nd trip. Phoenix is a kindergartner right now and is a very active child. No really, very active. He's had his own host of issues in the last year or so and has really grown up this year. He loves to talk and flirt with the ladies. He does not really remember the 2008 Disney vacation, but can tell you all about it from photos.
DMIL - Bernie, 2nd trip. Bernie is getting ready to retire in August and cannot wait! She is very easy going and I have to say, is the BEST MIL a girl could ask for. We do a great deal with my inlaws and they are always ready for a good time.
DFIL - Kim, 2nd trip. Kim will be celebrating retirement on this trip. He is also a retired veteran. He is also a go-with-the-flow kind of person.
DN - Ethan, age 12, FIRST TRIP . Ethan has been begging to go to Disney for years and is so excited to finally do so. His highlights to hit are ToT, DisneyQuest, and EE. He has Type-1 Diabetes and this will be the first major vacation away from his dad, so he is a bit nervous.
DSIL - Amber, 2nd trip. Amber is looking forward to being able to experience the magic again. She has been working her butt off to save $ for this trip.
DBIL - Dave, 2nd trip. Dave is very excited for Disney and can't wait to golf. He and Amber are doing a split stay at AS Music & AKL for this trip.
Great start! Your daughter sounds a little like my son. He is 9 and has sensory issues and is very sensitive. He was excited for the big rides but once there he did get nervous. He still went on most of them but only liked a couple of the big ones. Hopefully your daughter will love all of them!
We have a few days that overlap! You'll love SWW! We've been several times for it.
How great that you'll be taking DN with you too! I'm Type 1 as well so I can understand his being nervous about being away from his parents, but I'm sure you all will take excellent care of him.
We are officially 62 days from arriving on Disney property, however our countdown at home reads 69 days remaining. We wanted to somehow surprise the kids and yet include them in the planning. Ethan knows the real date and has been a super sport not sharing it with my kids. We leave for Milwaukee on June 1st, which happens to be the last day of school for my kids. Ethan's last day is the day before. We've told the kids we leave for Disney on June 9th. This way we can still plan for the trip and surprise them.
Since it's the last day of school and nothing really gets done school-wise anyway, we have talked with both teachers and will be picking up the kids at lunch-time on Friday, June 1st. We are still working on plans on how to actually tell them (balloons at the vehicle, a sign on the window, etc) so share any ideas! We will then meet up with my inlaws and Ethan and make the 3 hour drive to MKE to our hotel for the evening.
Anywho, in 2008 I made a countdown garden for our trip and Ariana really wanted to do another countdown for this trip. So the planning for that was one. I found an idea that I loved, but due to it being more than 100 days out I had to expand the original idea to accommodate the number of days we needed. I think it turned out great and the kids love seeing us go through the various stages of the countdown.
Here is the entire thing.....
And some close-ups....
It took a bit of careful counting but on a few significant "real" dates, I made those Mickey heads larger or decorated them in a different fashion. See how countdown day 7 is our true arrival date and has the Mickey hands. Neither kid has figured it out yet! It was a huge deal to move onto the Mickey head part of the countdown and when we finished the one ear, we had a small celebration. Now we are onto the second ear and working our ways towards the remainder of the countdown. Between Jason, myself and the kids, it's a race to see who does marks off a day. I picked up red foam star stickers to mark days off and it's been working well.
My family is not a group of large eaters, however my inlaws are. And with wanting Ethan to have a good sit-down meal each day, this trip is FULL of table service meals. Way more than Jason and I have ever planned on a trip before. Enough meals for us to go ahead and add the dining plan to our DVC stay. As I said before, Ethan has Type 1 diabetes and is anxious about the trip. So, we've poured over menus so he has had the chance to see what he can/will order or select to eat when he's at a restaurant. It's helped him out to do this. For myself, I was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity last year and I need to watch how much wheat I take in. Too much and I get itchy & my tummy doesn't feel hot. Beyond those two issues, we are excited to introduce the kids to some fun restaurants. The inlaws are huge fans of "all you can eat" as you will see as we go along in our plans.
Here are our dining choices for this vacation:
*Whispering Canyon Cafe ~ all of us adults have dined here before and my inlaws really want to go back. I cannot wait to see the kids here!
*Chef Mickey's ~ Jason & I ate here years ago and it's a FIRST for everyone else.
*Coral Reef ~ Jason & I dined here last year and had the best meal we've ever had on Disney property, so it's a go for this trip too. The kids want to eat "in the aquarium" and the adults are looking forward to the food, especially the yummy desserts! Another FIRST for most of our party.
*Tusker House Safari Breakfast ~ Technically a FIRST for all of us. I dined at Donald's Breakfastasaurus with my mom years ago. This is our only breakfast planned for the trip.
*Boma ~ A favorite of ours and my inlaws. My SIL and her husband will be joining us for this meal, making a party of 9. They love Boma's as well. Zebra Domes and other yummy desserts, need I say more? This will be a FIRST for the kids. I'm looking forward to dining here to introduce the kids to AKL as we will be staying at AKV in December with my parents.
*T-Rex ~ Jason & I ate here last year and had a surprisingly great meal. All of the kids are dinosaur fans, so this was a must do on the list. Amber & Dave are also joining us for this meal too.
*Crystal Palace ~ this will be a FIRST for everyone. We have NEVER eaten at CP before. We had a ressie last trip, but cancelled it the morning of as the kids were out of sorts so we hung out at the pool. We've made this ADR for a party of 9 as Amber & Dave may join us, but they are not 100% sure at this time if they will.
*Sci Fi Dine-In ~ My inlaws this place and Jason & I have had good food here, so it was another "let's add it to the list" option. The kids all want to be in the driver's seat for this meal, so it will be interesting to see how it works out.
And for counter service dining.....
*Flame Tree BBQ
*Kaki Gori (a must for each visit to Epcot)
*La Cantina de San Angel (and a visit to the margarita stand)
*Lotus Blossom Cafe (egg rolls for Ethan)
*Yorkshire County Fish Shop (a must for me each trip!)
*Aloha Isle (let's get the kids into the Dole Whip/Mickey Bar poll)
*Cosmic Ray's (the kids ate here in 2008 and want to visit again)
*Turkey Leg Cart
And we are contemplating fitting in a trip to Beaches & Cream for some ice cream. Since I'm going to pack everyone but the Kitchen Sink, perhaps we should pick one up while we are there.