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Old 01-27-2018, 11:39 PM   #1
joe.hurley
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I'm going to Disney World!

I haven't been able to say that since 2004, but there, I just said it!!!!!! WAHOO!!!!!

I just today put a hold on a vacation package through a Disney specializing travel agency. The plans are just a skeleton right now, waiting for some flesh to be put on it.

11/8-12 4 nights at Pop Century standard room, with 4-day park hopper pass, including the Dining Plan and Magical Express MCO-WDW

11/12-16 4 night Very Merrytime Bahamian Disney Cruise on The Dream in a deluxe inside stateroom with magical porthole, visiting Nassau and Castaway Cay

That's really it right now. A little background on me -- I'm pretty familiar with Disney World . . . as it existed in 2004. I know that's going to sound crazy to all of you guys here. No, I didn't abandon my love of all things Disney. I've been listening to podcasts and watching videos since then. I simply went through a long period, from 2006 until 2013, when I did not have full-time permanent employment, so I never had the ability to take a paid vacation anywhere nor the financial wherewithal to go to Disneyworld. Since then, I've used my vacations to visit family in the Philippines and to travel to Europe with my parents, having never been to Europe. But this year, I'm going to use some of the money I've been saving the past several years to finally reintroduce myself to the most magical place on earth and its associated boats. I've read and heard on podcasts how wonderful Disney cruises are, and have always wanted to go on one. I'm also susceptible to illness so have been hesitant to go on other companies' cruises due to all the stories of illnesses on them (Disney has never seemed to have these problems, which I chalk up to their heightened attention to cleanliness).

So my focus for the land portion of the trip, since I have only one day per park, plus maybe a few extra hours if I finish one of them early, will be on rides/attractions that were not there (or were there but have been totally changed) in 2004. I do not do thrill rides. (Part of my medical situation is that my endocrine system basically doesn't work. One aspect of that is that my pituitary gland does not stimulate the adrenal glands to produce their hormones -- cortisone and adrenaline. The latter of those is what allows people to survive those. I once rode Tower of Terror and nearly passed out afterward. Since then I've decided thrill rides are simply not for me.) This is why Disney is the only theme parks I go to -- I simply don't see the point in paying $50+ to go to an amusement park where I will be unable to enjoy 40% of the offered attractions/rides. (I think the most "thrilling" attractions I am up for are things like Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom, Star Tours at Studios, or Stitch at Magic Kingdom, which don't really involve the kind of motions that require adrenaline.)

I intend to buy the live guides on this site and then print stuff out to put in my travel pouch (an 8.5 x 11 plastic document holder with snaps where I put travel stuff on trips I take, such as airline reservations, my TSA pre-check letter, etc.) or in a small binder.

So, I would love any suggestions for must-dos, must-experiences for this trip. I don't know whether the second weekend in November would be too early to expect the Christmas stuff to be going on (Mickey's Very Merry, Candlelight Processional, etc.), but would love to do them if they are. I saw the Candlelight Processional and loved it. (So much so that, as a cantor in my local church, I found sheet music for "Il est né," a French carol I heard at the Candlelight Processional and subsequently did it with my organist as an English/French duet prior to Mass on Christmas Eve)

I am buying the dining plan, and hope to do late character breakfasts as "brunch" for my daily table service meal. (My last trip, I did this even without the dining plan -- I would have a pastry at the hotel food court in the morning with some juice, then go ride some rides and then go to a late seating at Crystal Palace or Chef Mickey's for breakfast, finding them already putting out some lunch items so I could make it "brunch")

So, that's the outline of the trip -- send the suggestions please for how to make this a truly magical reintroduction to WDW! I can't wait! Between now and then, I hope to see the University of Connecticut women's basketball team win its twelfth national championship in Columbus this April!

sorry this is so long, but if you've stayed with me this far, I look forward to your advice.

Joe
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:59 AM   #2
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How exciting!
Sounds like you are very much looking forward to your tip!
Yes, holiday decorations and events will be in full swing the 2nd week of November.
If your plan is one park per day, It may be savings to remove park hopper from your ticket.
Remember to add Disney transports to your cruise--resort to port and port to airport. The cost is $70 per person round trip.
Happy planning!
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:45 AM   #3
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Yes, holiday decorations and events will be in full swing the 2nd week of November.
Sorry to disappoint a bit about this, but toddjodybrent is mistaken.

The Magic Kingdom will be fully decorated because of the Christmas party but for the big tree in Town Square. That doesn’t go up until after the Christmas Parade is videoed which has been occurring shortly after your stay or not long after Thanksgiving. It varies.

The big trees and some park decorations may be up elsewhere. Some resorts may be decorated but not all until after Thanksgiving.

Holiday events such as the Epcot World Showcase storytellers don’t begin until after Thanksgiving. Sorry to disappoint more, but that includes the Candlelight Processional which some years has begun shortly before T-day but recently not until that weekend.

Btw, you will really be surprised by the expansion of Fantasyland. It is somewhat bigger with some great new attractions. The very popular 7 Dwarfs Mine Train ride will possibly be one for you to avoid. It’s not as intense or lengthy as other WDW coasters but does have some pretty steep downhills and sharp curves.

You’re going to be amazed by all the changes, particularly by the Magic Band which unlocks your room, gives you park and FastPass entry and other features. Wishing you a magical trip!
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:23 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your trip back to the World!
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:58 AM   #5
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Another thought...or two , I suggest keeping the ParkHopper. We rarely find enough to do in Studios that we want a full day there. If you’re a big Star Wars fan, you may differ somewhat. However, we can easily spend a half day in DHS, ride the boat back to Epcot and finish the day in WS. That’s particularly so if you eat light for breakfast and lunch to do your TS meal as dinner somewhere in WS. Many of the best WDW restaurants are there, IMO.

The PH is also helpful to give you more flexibility to escape crowds and pick restaurants. But, we’re huge PH fans mostly for booking restaurants. Where to eat takes more planning for us than what to do.

Highly recommend Crystal Palace character buffet. It’s an every-tripper for us. Best character interaction of all, we think, and very good food.

Definitely do the Christmas party! So very merry and fun. Besides, you’re guaranteed to see snow falling along Main Street which is more thrilling than I thought it’d be.

On your way to MK by resort monorail, stop off at the Grand Flor. to see the lifesized gingerbread house. It won’t be open yet and selling gingery goodies, but it will be nearly finished and looking festive.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:41 AM   #6
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Congrats on booking your trip!
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:04 PM   #7
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Woo Hoo!! You are going to have a magical time. I think you will find so much new stuff since your last trip that you will have trouble fitting it all in. I agree that the Mine Train ride will probably be off limits for you. I also think you need to check very carefully about Flight of Passage. I haven't experienced it yet, but the reviews make me wonder a bit. You will have a fantastic cruise. There is nothing like a Disney cruise. You definitely will not see any Christmas decorations in Epcot. I think the food and Wine Festival might still be going on during your trip. MK will be pretty much fully decorated, and, I too, recommend the Christmas Party. Decorations at AK and HS will probably be somewhat in place. I was at the World about 2 years ago at approximately the time of your trip and that was my experience. Have fun!!
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:26 PM   #8
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Yes, Food & Wine probably will be about to end. It’s been closing down just as we arrived on 11/11 or 12 a couple years in the past.

Maybe the Epcot decorating schedule has changed in recent years. (Wow! Been nearly four years since we were there in Nov.) It used to be pretty much decorated when we’d hit there shortly after arriving. Of course, the Disney elves swoop in as soon as the F&WF ends to transform Epcot overnight, so that’s probably why.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:49 PM   #9
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Yay, Joe, sounds like a great time!

Are you traveling alone?
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:10 PM   #10
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Yes, I am. I'm single and my parents are planning a different trip this fall. My sister lives near Dallas and has recently started a new job so can't really afford a vacation of this extent.

But I've gone to DW by myself before and had a great time! Also I'm hoping maybe some other passporters will be there and might meet up for a snack or something.

By the way, how do you add these cute little countdown thingies to posts? I've seen lots of people's posts with them, and have no idea whatever how to do it!
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:46 AM   #11
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By the way, how do you add these cute little countdown thingies to posts? I've seen lots of people's posts with them, and have no idea whatever how to do it!
—First, you must create a signature. Like that old song “Love And Marriage”, the signature and countdown must “go together like a horse and carriage.”
—See the orange toolbar near the top of this window with “My Home” at the far left? Click on that and scroll to My Home/Settings & Options/Edit Signature. Click again and create a signature phrase. Be sure to save your new signature with the “Save Signature” button at the bottom.
—Then, back to Settings & Options, click on Edit Options.
—Scroll waaaaay down to the bottom of that area where you’ll find the countdown creator which is pretty much a follow your nose to set up.
—Again, save your countdown settings, go back out to the board.
—Look at one of your posts and admire your new signature with countdown calendar.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:55 AM   #12
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One more thing—

Now that you have a signature, you can go back into My Home to Edit Your Details and scroll down it to Previous Vacations to list your Disney trips.

Those will then appear below your signature and countdown on each post.
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My Previous TripsWDW 10/2017--VGF; WDW 12/2015--GF; WDW 11/2014--WL; WDW 11/2013--GF; WDW 1/2010--GF; WDW 7/2004--CR Tower /// DH to WDW several times in the 1970's & 1984; Me DL 1969.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:27 PM   #13
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Best wishes on your upcoming trip!

As for new stuff, there’s a ton of it! We love Star Wars, and the new fireworks/laser/projection show at DHS is terrific. If you like characters, and are a SW fan, they have a Kylo Ren “encounter,” because he appears menacing and brooding, not so friendly. Chewbacca is much more fun loving. As Dot said, if you aren’t into SW, DHS might not be as big a deal for you, but the Toy Story Land addition will be brand new when you are there. It should be loads of fun to see.

The Fantasyland expansion is impressive. We enjoy Enchanted Tales with Belle, a new experience. We also like the new Little Mermaid ride, and the wait there is usually pretty reasonable. It’s a non-thrill ride, for sure, basically just a journey through the story.

At Animal Kingdom, Pandora is new, replacing Camp Minnie-Mickey. Since you’re not interested in thrill rides, you would want to stick to the Na’vi River Journey, a boat ride.

Epcot now has Frozen Ever After, replacing Maelstrom.

Food...Our favorites are Crystal Palace at MK, Tusker House at AK, not much of anything at DHS, and so many at Epcot. If you like Italian, Via Napoli has the best pizza I’ve ever eaten, and Tutto Italia is a lovely upscale Italian eatery. But really, the variety of food at Epcot is wonderful. We could eat there every night.

Downtown Disney is now Disney Springs, and you’ll hardly recognize it. The Marketplace is still there, but the rest is almost all new stuff. The bus stop is even at a different location.

Hoping you have a great trip!!
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by joe.hurley View Post
Yes, I am. I'm single and my parents are planning a different trip this fall. My sister lives near Dallas and has recently started a new job so can't really afford a vacation of this extent.

But I've gone to DW by myself before and had a great time! Also I'm hoping maybe some other passporters will be there and might meet up for a snack or something.

By the way, how do you add these cute little countdown thingies to posts? I've seen lots of people's posts with them, and have no idea whatever how to do it!
What fun! I've done solo and semi-solo trips and enjoyed them a great deal.

As to meetups: as you get closer, just post the question here in the Planning section to see who's going to be there.

I've done five meetups, I believe--two were couples, so really seven, and had lots of fun talking with fellow PassPorters!
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My Previous TripsWDW visits: 1977, 1985, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 3-2014, 9-2014, 11-2015 (birthday trip), 5-2016, 2-2017, 3-2017 x2, 6-2017, 8-2017, 10-2017x2, 11-2017x2, 12-2017. DISNEYLAND(no kids): 1984, 1993, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 6-2014 (DS19 & me!), 8-2014 (solo), 12-2015 (solo), 9-2016
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:49 AM   #15
joe.hurley
Community Rank: Wayfarer
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Willington CT
Posts: 157

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OK, so I tried creating a countdown following the advice of Her Dotness (thanks!) so am creating a new post, just to see how it looks.

If it looks horrible, please forgive; it's my first try. Suggestions are welcome!
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“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney
My Countdown Counting down to: First visit to WDW in 14 years and first Disney Cruise EVER!
It's time to go to Disney World! Woo Hoo!!!!
My Previous TripsFlorence Italy Oct 2017; Jamaica Jan 2017; Switzerland & Madrid Oct 2016; Philippines many times; WDW Dec 2005 and several prior
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