Trip: November 7 - 15th
Resort: Wilderness Lodge
Reason for this Trip: First Family Vacation, DD 14th Birthday, Our 1st Anniversary
Cast of Characters and Experience:
Yvonne - Me: Age 40 - 2 previous trips to WDW and 30+ trips to Disneyland
Sam - DH: Age 49 - None - Reluctant Disney Newbie
Kassie - DD: Age 13/14 (will turn 14 on the trip) - Disneyland 1x and WDW 3X Pretrip - Let the Planning begin and Will He EVER let me talk about Disney....
I started on the planning and decided to let MouseEarVacations help me with that part. We had a lovely travel agent - Pam. She helped us out with many things.
Pam recommended so we decided to book a town car through Premier Town cars. Boy that turned out to be a FIASCO....more on that later.
At that time, DME didn’t even exist and when it first came out we were still leery as to use it or not. Next time we’ll definitely consider using DME. I also decided to rent an ECV while we were there as I have Fibromyalgia and although I can walk normally, I can’t do LONG walks and standing for outrageous periods of time. I wasn’t planning a lot of “handicap” lines - I was just going to park and stand in regular lines.
I started looking for airfare and but knew I couldn’t purchase anything until around the Spring of the next year (remember we were planning this about 15 months ahead of time). Since it was such a long time to plan ahead, my daughter and I kept planning milestones to count down til the trip. Our 1st one was the 1 year mark on November 7th 2004. Then it was Christmas.
Valentines Day was next, then my mom came to visit from California in May (she hadn’t seen my daughter in person for 10 years). As I figured the summer of 2005 was going to CRAWL by (even Kassie said that time went by faster when she was in school).
Meanwhile during the late Spring - I found some airfare for $156 round trip. Not too bad at all. I’d been saving money each week out of Ebay sales for the trip and promptly took some money out or Savings and purchased them. I also started my itinerary with ADR’s. I’m not going to bore you with my original plans because they were all scrapped - but I will let you see the intinerary/ADR’s that we used and booked so you can see IF it all unfolded and worked out during the week.
After Sam got over the initial “OMG, it’s costing how much”. He started into the “I’m going to be SOOOOO bored” thing.
When I tried to explain how many cool and exciting things we’d be doing, he’d say “Disney, Disney, Disney, is that all we can talk about” or "OK, I've had enough Disney for today". I tried TiVoing a few Disney things on TV and even one about the Wilderness Lodge - but I could tell it was DEFINITELY a captive audience. LOL I did have the planning DVD sent and also had one sent about DVC. Of course I knew he’d never go for it. I had to try. He did watch both of them and read through all the DVC stuff and even seemed mildly interested ??[img]/ubb/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
Meanwhile to feed my Disney “thirst”. I found the trip reports at the PP website and was in “heaven” reading them all. There were 3 people’s trip reports that stood out to me at the beginning, that was chezp (Cheryl & Mark’s very experienced adventures), Colexis Mom (her whole family was an adventure to read about) and DawnDenise (Dawn & Chuck - fellow Hoosiers and Mr. Incredible Groper). I LOVED these. They were all so different and so unique and delightful to read about.
We had purchased the food plan and I was excited to be able to eat in “real” restaurants this trip
(my other two previous trips were mostly all counter service as my ex-husband would basically only eat french fries and all things made of bread) so I didn’t get to experience any table service meals whatsoever. It was getting down to the wire and I needed to get my ADR’s set so I consulted the list, read the menus at AllEarsNet and had them all arranged and “just perfect”. We were going to F&WF and I figured we could use many of our snack coupons for at least a few meals at F&WF.
Little did I know...... Up next - Jersey Week - we’d better rewrite the ENTIRE Itinerary with ADR’s & “You’re going to run me to DEATH”....