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Our Magical WDW Adventure ~ Take 2 ~ May 2009

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Ariel2008, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Our Magical WDW Adventure ~ Take 2
    That's Right... Were Going Back



    Where The Magic Begins..
    ... And To Think It All Started With A Dream... And Then A Wish

    At the end of last April I finally got to go back to the most magical place on earth, and it was another holiday of a lifetime filled with magical moments and even more magical memories. We had waited 17 months to go back, which
    may not seem long, but to me it was the most depressing 17 months ever. We had tried to fill the huge void that not going back to WDW had left with a couple of trips to Disneyland Paris. And although we had the most amazing time it just wasn’t the same, and we missed WDW and Orlando even more with each trip and each passing day. So in August 2007 as we lay on the beach in France after our most recent trip to DLP we began to talk about returning to WDW and how amazing it would be, the more we talked about it, the more certain we became that going back was the right decision. So we got back and booked for the end of April 2008 and spent the next 8 long months planning, planning and planning some more. The holiday was amazing, everything we hoped it would be and so much more, but of course it came to an end again, and all far too soon. Post Disney depression set in, and every time I turned the TV on there was yet another advert for Disney World or Orlando and everywhere I looked in our house was yet another reminder of my favorite place on earth, and the place I knew I wouldn’t be back to for a while :(


    After this years trip to Disney World we knew we wouldn’t be able to go back until at least 2010, but how on earth could we survive with no WDW adventure to plan and look forward to, and what holiday could possibly fill the huge void not going to Disney had left in both of us...

    ... Well that is when we decided to fill the huge void with 6 holidays, yes 6 different holidays to look forward to. The first was to the Smoky Mountains and Atlanta for my Mum’s 50th, it was amazing holiday, quite different to Disney but brilliant all the same. And it was so good just to be back in America again. Then we went to Disneyland Paris for Halloween, an amazing trip filled with more Disney magic. We all had an amazing time and again, but it made me want to go back to WDW even more, especially when it was time to come home again. We were sad to be back but we still had 4 more holidays to look forward too, Las Vegas in January, Mexico in May, New York in July and a Euro-trip in August.... that was until DBF and I were having a nice lazy evening together and a little discussion began...


    ME: You know Mexico is going to be quite expensive
    DBF: Hum, how much
    ME: About £....
    DBF: How much :scared1:
    ME: You know we could go to Disney for that price
    DBF: Really. Ok lets do that
    ME: Ummmmmm, what did you just say?
    DBF: Lets go to Disney instead
    ME: But which would you prefer to do
    DBF: Disney... of course


    Now those two little words, “Of Course” meant a whole lot, in fact they pretty much meant the same as “Lets book it”. You see after our last trip we thought we wouldn’t be able to go back for a few years, and both agreed it would be great to try somewhere else as we both love traveling and have wanted to go to Mexico forever. So for DBF to be the one that initiates going back to Disney was a shock, but a very great shock :hug2:
    So after talking about it pretty much all night, where we wanted to stay, what we wanted to do, where we wanted to eat, where we would spend our first day, last day etc, etc... we got up after little sleep and what did I do, get on the internet and start getting prices and ideas of course. And from then on, our minds were made up, we were going back to the most Magical place on earth
    :sunny4:
  2. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Where The Magic Begins ...
    ... There Was The Dream and The Wish and Us



    The Cast

    Me, Ariel, 23
    A major lover of all things Disney / Florida / America. A typical girly-girl who loves the usual girly related things – shopping, clothes, jewelery, anything pink, sparkly and pretty.

    My favorite movie of all time is The Little Mermaid and my favorite Disney character is Ariel.
    I have been watching and loving Disney movies since I was born thanks to my wonderful Mum, sparking what some may call a ‘mild’ (term used very loosely) Disney obsession. What started as watching the odd Disney movie and having the odd Disney teddy slowly grew into um, we’ll call it a Disney inspired lifestyle, complete with a whole Disney room and regular trips to the Disney Store (and no trip would be without a souvenir would it). And since my first visit to Disneyland Paris (then Euro Disney) aged 9, I have become not only a Disney obsessive, but a Disney theme park obsessive. Now life would not be complete without an annual trip to Disney, and all the fun that goes into planning and waiting for the trip to come.

    Here's me:
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    Disney Boyfriend, Robin Hood, Nick, 24
    Loves Disney of course, Robin Hood being his favorite film. Can sometimes be heard singing the Mickey Mouse March when he thinks no-one is listening.

    Loves typical boy things – cars, Top Gear, anything gadgetty, computer games and most sport – both playing and watching, especially Cricket, Rugby and golf. Luckily went to a posh school so got to play a lot of sport at school which took him to some amazing places including Australia, South Africa and Barcelona.

    Nick had watched Disney movies from a small child but until we met that was as far as his Disney knowledge and fascination went. Now he is a fully fledged member of the Mickey Mouse club of Disney movies, shows, trips, the whole schebang. And he is even catching the ‘Planning’ bug.

    Here's Nick:
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    Our Little Fairytale...

    Nick and I met on our first day at university, at the bus stop of all places, and have been together ever since. We have now been together for 5 years (we just celebrated our 5 year dating anniversary in DLP) and during that time have done some amazing things together. We have so much in common, we love the same things, share a lot of the same passions and have the same dreams and aspirations in life. From the moment we met we were completely comfortable with each other and have great fun planning our future.

    Despite having a lot in common we have quite opposite personalities, I am a bit of a worrier, very particular and organized (Nick swears I have OCD but I find nothing wrong with color-coding my wardrobe and having specific places for my DVD’s) as opposed to Nick who is so laid-back and takes everything as it comes…if it ever does. We therefore balance each other out perfectly which means we live, work and play together without killing each other in the process. It is also great because it means I get to make most of the decisions…like where we go on holiday!!

    One of our main passions is traveling and we’ve visited some amazing places together including Thailand and Cuba. We loving reading about the countries, planning the trips and experiencing the culture, the countryside and especially the food and drink. Although at the moment we are on a bit of a stalemate as we have the WDW bug badly.
    We also love going to the theater and have seen some brilliant shows including 4 different Cirque du Soliel’s, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Chicago and our particular favorite, We Will Rock You.

    Here is a few pictures of us:

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    Coming Up... A Couple More Cast Members
  3. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Our Extended Family


    The third and final member of our group to be joining us on this holiday. He has a real sense of adventure, loves traveling the world and has come with us on all our trips...and of course will be joining us on this one.

    Here he is, the one and only Piggles:

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    Relaxing in the Bahama's

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    Playing Poker in France

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    Eating at Annettes Diner, Disneyland Paris

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    His favorite place...Ohana

    He cant wait to ride Sheikra again, finally get his picture on Splash Mountain and drink yet more cocktails in Ohana. Keep an eye out for him, he could pop up at any time or any place....

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    Oh and I just wanted to introduce you to my 2 little babys, this is our little Disney kitties Scamp and Tigger;

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    This is Scamp, Daddy's boy, and the cuddley baby
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    And this is my baby, the most loving Cat ever

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    Coming Up... Our Disney Fairytale
  4. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Where The Magic Began...
    ... It Really Did Start With A Dream, And Then A Wish​



    Now that you have met the cast its time to relive with you our Disney history in classic fairytale style (for those who have read my other pre-trippies this bit is pretty much the same as before)...

    "Once upon a time there was a beautiful Queen who had 2 little princesses. The Queen liked to treat the 2 little Princesses by showing them magical Disney films and buying them small Disney gifts, starting a little Disney obsession in the smallest princess. Therefore when the magical Euro Disney first opened in 1992 the 2 Princesses begged the wonderful Queen and the boring old King to take them to this magical land of fairies, pirates and wondrous creatures. The Queen and King promised that in 1993 there wish would be granted ~ much to the Princesses delight.

    But like in every good fairytale disaster struck and the boring old King left the beautiful Queen and the 2 Princesses, and their dream of visiting the wonderful and magical Euro Disney was left in pieces.

    However, True to fairytale tradition a handsome and wonderful Knight came riding in on his beautiful black stallion to save the day. In 1994 The beautiful Queen and wonderful Knight took the 2 Princesses and the Knights young son to the magical World of Dreams, the most magical and wondrous surprise the young children had ever encountered.

    Fortunately this was just the beginning of the magical adventures the young Princesses and young Knight would enjoy to this magical place, full of dreams and wishes.

    And, of course, They all lived Happily Ever After"


    So like the story tells in 1994 my wonderful Mum and step-dad took my older sister, myself and my younger step-brother to Euro Disney as a surprise. They told us some story about going to visit my Step-dad’s brother who worked on a ferry as a chef, except when we got on the ferry began to move. My Mum told us to all bet where we thought were going and the person who came closest would win a pound (talk about big money). Not knowing many places abroad, or perhaps it was my Disney-intuition, I said Paris.
    The journey down to Paris took a while but as soon as we close and started seeing the signs for Euro Disney I twigged and nudged my sister, we were both so excited. When we eventually arrived and drove under the large wooden Davy Crockett Ranch sign, surrounded by trees and empty fields we were most disappointed. What we didn’t know was The Davy Crockett Ranch was a Disney resort. When we finally arrived at the park we were all so excited and couldn’t believe we were finally there, the place we had dreamed about going since it was first announced. My Mum and Step-dad had done such a good job keeping this a secret and were so excited to see our reaction, which of course was sheer amazement. We all instantly fell in love with the place and were so sad when it was time to leave.

    Heres a few pictures:
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    I'm the little one in the middle


    Luckily we got to visit a few times over the next few years, one of the most memorable trips was for my 16th birthday in 2001. This was my little sisters first trip to Disney (although I had made sure she had been brought up on Disney films) and it was just as amazing to see her reaction to everything as it was to actually be there.

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    1995

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    2001 - My baby sisters 1st trip to Disney

    In 1998 I was lucky enough to have my first visit to WDW. My Dad (yes, the boring King) decided to take my older sister and I along with his girlfriend and her 8 year old daughter to Florida to visit his sister who had just moved to Fort Lauderdale (her husbands in the Navy). We went for 2 weeks, spending 1 in Fort Lauderdale at my aunties house and the other on I-drive. Within a week we managed to visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot (on the 4th of July), Animal Kingdom (which had recently opened), Universal Studio’s, Seaworld, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon all in 7 days. I instantly fell in love with Disney World, Orlando and America in general, and I still have magical memories of that first sight of Cinderella’s castle as we floated across Seven Sea’s Lagoon, the beautiful grandeur of the Grand Floridian, imagining all the rich people inside, so lucky to stay there, and the Crystal Palace, sitting outside and seeing all those lucky children inside meeting some of my favorite characters. Unfortunately my Dad wasn’t the organized type which meant we were rarely at a park before 11am and due to lack of funds and lack of liking good-food all our meals were either in the form of a large Ponderosa breakfast to keep us going till tea, then KFC, McDonalds or fries. Although the holiday was magical and was the kind of holiday I thought only rich people could only ever afford, I really missed my Mum and baby sister and wished they were there to enjoy it too, as I knew they would absolutely love it just like I was.

    Fast-forward to 2004 and Mum and my Step-dad mention the possibility of going to Colorado skiing in January 2005. After picking up a load of brochures and pricing up options I decide to price up Walt Disney World, never dreaming we would actually be able to go there. However thanks to some great prices from First Choice which included staying onsite and a bit of sweet talking my parents (who didn’t actually take much convincing) we booked up to go for 2 weeks in January 2005, staying at the All Star Movies (my Mum, Step-dad, little sister and I). The trip was amazing, and it was even more amazing to be sharing it all with my parents and little sister. The first glance at the Cinderella castle as we floated across the Seven Sea’s Lagoon was as magical as the first time, and instead of sitting outside the Crystal Palace watching all the lucky people inside, I was actually one of those lucky people (and I WILL stay in the Grand Floridian one day soon). We hadn’t done much planning (apart from reading the Brit Guide from front to back many times) and had booked no ADR’s. Fortunately for us this was fine for this time of year. The holiday was everything we had dreamed it to be and so much more and we had so many magical moments and memories. Unfortunately though it had to end, and all too soon.

    Here are some pictures
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    As soon as we got back we started planning on our next trip to WDW. However this time Nick was coming for his first ever trip to Disney (and America) and it was going to be a really BIG one. Due to various school / university / work commitments we had to go in the summer holidays but this did mean that it would coincide with my 21st birthday, both my little sister and Step-dad’s birthdays and would be just after Nick and my graduation, hence BIG celebrations. Therefore we decided to go for a whole month, spending 2 weeks in Port Orleans Riverside, 1 week in Animal Kingdom Lodge and the final week in Miami. This time we planned, planned, planned, and planned some more, made lots of ADR’s, lots of plans and were much more prepared. Again we had the best holiday ever and added many more magical memories to the collection. Unfortunately this time when we got back we knew we wouldn’t be going back for some time.

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    After getting back and us all falling into Disney depression, yet again, we filled the void with a trip to DLP for New Years Eve 2006. We hadn’t been for 5 years, and this was Nick’s first trip, but we spent 5 days there enjoying the Christmas atmosphere, the special christmas decorations, parades and fireworks, the outdoor ice-skating at the hotel New York and wonderful Tinkerbell dinner show, and we loved it every bit as much as we did the first time. A few months later Nick took me for a short 3 day visit for my birthday, and again we had a great time. However the more time we spent there, the more it made us want to go back to WDW, and so when we got back we booked for 2008.

    New Years Eve 2006/2007:

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    The ice rink at the hotel New York
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    ---------------

    My Birthday 2007:

    The Newport Bay hotel
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    The Disney Village
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    The Disney Park decorated for its 15th Anniversary, with a special parade
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    At the end of April 2008 Nick and I took our 2nd trip to WDW together. This was to be my 4th trip but was special, yet again, as it was Nick and my first trip just the 2 of us. We decided to go for 23 nights, just enough time to fit everything in (only just though). We spent a week in a villa, 2 nights at Royal Pacific Resort and 2 weeks at Coronado Springs. We did loads of amazing things, new things and old things, we ate in amazing restaurants and had so much fun together. We planned the trip from beginning to end, we booked a million ADR’s 180 days out, I planned lots of surprises and special treats for Nick and I even managed to get an Illumination’s Cruise. It truly was a trip of A Million Dream’s.

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    So that brings us to now, having just got back from DLP for a Halloween/5 year dating anniversary trip, we of course were getting post Disney blues. And the only way to solve this problem was to of course to book another magical trip to WDW, what else?!
    So now we are here, and at the start of this amazing new adventure that we are planning, I hope you all join me, I’m sure its going to be fun.


    Coming Up... Our Plans Revealed
  5. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    I love the photo of the two kittens cuddled up together. :hug2:Great to hear you are able to go back so soon. :thumbs_up:
  6. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Thanks, I am soooooo excited :p015:. The kitties often cuddle up together, they are so cute :hug2:
  7. caz1712
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    caz1712 Earning my ears

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    WOW! Your going back! OMG your sooo lucky!

    Can't wait to read all about it I have loved reading your trippies!

    xxx
  8. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Re: Our Magical WDW Adventure ~ Take 2 ~ pt.5

    Where The Magic Will Be...
    ... Our WDW Plans​


    So now you know the back story, the Who, the Why and the How (or the How It All Began anyway), so now I will enlighten you all with the When and the Where, as that is one of the most important parts after all :p015:. I must admit, I am very excited about this years plans. I mean I am always excited when we go to Disney, but this year more than ever....


    The When:
    April 26th - May 18th
    22 wonderful nights in Orlando


    The Where:

    Ok this is the best part...

    First off we will be getting there by one of these

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    I did like BA when we flew to Atlanta, in fact I found there flights to be very good. There customer service was very good, the planes were nice, as was the food and amenities. However, we like the extra's that Virgin offer. The opportunity to book seats in advance (although I know 8 times out of 10 you don't get those seats), the night before check-in, the Downtown Disney check-in and the clublounge. So we decided on Virgin as it just makes things a little easier, which is always good.

    ---------------

    And of course we will be hiring one of these.

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    Now last time we went we got a Ford Mustang. Nick loves cars, and really, really wanted a Mustang, so we spent out the extra money and hired one. Nick absolutely loved driving the Mustang, and although we ended up with a regular one, instead of the convertible, he was one happy boy.

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    This time however he said he doesn't mind just getting a regular car, so we can save the extra money (which is quite a bit) for something else. I know he would love to have a Mustang though, but most companies can't guarantee them even if you pay a small fortune. So we will probably just book a regular car and then if they have any Mustangs when we get there we may upgrade :)

    ---------------

    And when we get there we will be staying...

    13 nights at Port Orleans French Quarter


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    We decided on a Moderate hotel as we love the beauty of the grounds and the more adult theming (although we are both big kids really).
    We both automatically thought of Port Orlean's French Quarter as we stayed here for a few nights last time we went with my family. It was actually by accident when Virgin messed up and canceled our booking at Port Orlean's Riverside. Luckily Disney saved the day and found us a room in POFQ for 3 nights before they could move us over to POR, much to our disgust. But it was a blessing as we ended up loving it there.
    We really liked how the resort was pretty small, it made it easy to walk to the pool, food court and lobby and we also thought it was really pretty and quite romantic. The theming and grounds were beautiful.
    We did like Coronado Springs, but weren't blow away by it. It was so big which meant a lot of walking to the pool and food court, and it was always so busy with conventioners, loud, rowdy conventioners. Saying this I did find the grounds to be really beautiful and were glad we did stay there.
    After a while we did think about Caribbean Beach, which funnily was our first choice last time, however this time didn't spring to mind. It does look like a lovely resort and we would like to try somewhere different and definitely plan to stay there one day. However, this time they only had King Bed rooms left which were £500 more, which we both thought was absolutely ridiculous, especially since we would actually prefer 2 doubles anyway (somewhere for all our new things). So CBR was out.
    So our choice was pretty easy :love:

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    Next up we will be staying...

    2 nights Royal Pacific, Water View

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    Now this isn't booked yet, as we are still waiting for the dollar rate to improve (fingers crossed). However, as soon as it does we will get this booked.
    We stayed in the Royal Pacific last time for 2 nights and loved it. One of the main reasons was for the Express Passes, although it wasn't busy when we were there it was still so good to be able to just walk onto all the rides. It meant we had enough time to go on our favorite rides twice, and also get back to the hotel for pool/margarita time. We also loved the resort itself, it was beautiful and the atmosphere was so laid back and tropical. We love tropical themed resorts and RPR is a great one. And the view we had from our Water View room was brilliant, it looked right over the pool and IOA.
    However, we are not completely decided on RPR, as much as we love it we are also considering Hard Rock Hotel. We have heard lots of good things about this hotel and love trying new places. On the other hand we wouldn't get the fab view over IOA and we couldn't just walk down to Tchoup Chop for tea (which we fully intend on doing). So we are not 100% sure either way.

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    So for the final part of our stay, and saving the best till last...

    7 nights Polynesian Resort

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    OMG I cannot tell you how excited we both are about this, we both love this resort soooooo much. We are only having a garden view room, but we don't care, as long as we are staying there.
    We stayed in the Polynesian for a night on our last visit and it was everything we dream't it to be and more. We love the resort, the beauty of it, the tropical grounds and atmosphere. We cannot wait to be able to simply jump on the monorail to get to MK, and Epcot and the Grand Floridian and Contemporary. To be able to just walk to Ohana, and Kona Cafe, and enjoy lots of yummy cocktails in the Tambu Lounge. To be able to walk along the beach, and look across to the beautiful castle. And most of all... to be able to watch Wishes without having to be in MK get crushed and squashed. We can simply go down to the beach, or the pool, and watch them from there, I cannot wait :sunny4:
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    But wait there is more... And this is something we are really, really, really excited about....








    ... We are doing the DINING PLAN

    Yep thats right, for 13 nights at POFQ and then 7 nights at the Polynesian... Wahoo, thats lots of lovely Disney food for us, and hopefully some great pictures and reports for you guys :goodvibes

    California Grill
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    Yachtsman Steakhouse
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    Whispering Canyon
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    So there you have it, our holiday plans as they stand. Like I said, I am very excited about them. And now that the main logistics are sorted, it is time to start with the real planning... Let the fun begin :207:

  9. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Come guys, what do you think of my plans?
  10. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    It all sounds great with some lovely hotels to stay at. It's a shame we are going to miss you by a couple of weeks - we come home on 8th April.
  11. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Thanks, I'm so excited about all the hotels. I love them all :p015:

    Thats such a shame we will miss you, I hope you guys have a great time too. I think we will just miss you in the Smokey's too, when do you go again?
  12. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    We arrive in the Smokies on 26th July and leave on 4th August. So, are you planning a trip back there as well?
  13. Jodie
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    Jodie Addicted to Mickey

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    It all looks wicked great Sammi!
  14. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    You arrive there on my birthday, how exciting. It will be easy for me to remember when you get there.

    Yes we are going back, but it will be the end of August again. We found this time great as we missed all the crowds which was especially helpful due to our limited time. It means I will be able to see what you got up to before we go :p015:

    Thanks Jodie. I haven't seen you around much lately, I missed chatting to you :hug2:
  15. Disneybumble
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    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

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    What do i think of your plans. AWESOME. I am delighted for you. I can't wait to read every pre-trip installment.:yes:
  16. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Thanks very much, next one up in a minute :p015:
  17. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    Re: Our Magical WDW Adventure ~ Take 2 ~ Pt. 6

    The One Where The Magic Really Begins...
    ...Way Before We Even Get To WDW​


    To Make A Holiday Practically Perfect You Need To Have A Perfect Plan
    Beware The Planning Bug (it can get even the most laid back person)



    So since we decided to go back, and I have obviously been extremely excited as you can imagine, something Nick has been putting up with rather well. I think he has been putting up with it rather well, as he is nearly, not totally, but nearly, as excited :smiley4::sigs-cartoon-005::smiley3::sigs-tv-003:


    I am so lucky to have found someone that shares my passion for Disney and Disney holidays, it makes life so much easier and means that I know we will be spending many, many holidays at Disney, which of course is brilliant :cloud9:

    Despite the fact Nick had never been to Disney before we met, the first time we went he was readily on board and very excited to go. And then when we got there he loved every minute of it. He didn't care that he was a 22 year old male who loved sports and cars and computer games and beer, he loved Disney too, probably even more so. However, he didn't get the whole planning thing. As he hadn't been before, and due to being majorly laid back, he didn't quite understand ADR's and daily plans and booking everything months in advance. That was until we got there, in the height of summer, and managed to do everything we wanted with relative ease. Then we booked for last year and he no longer thought I was bonkers with my excessive plans and million ADR's, he actually thanked me for it as he knew that the holiday would be that much better and run that much smoother having everything already in place. Which of course it did.
    That brings us to now, and of course as soon as we decided on our accommodation plans I started to plan our daily plans and think about ADR's. And this time Nick actually helped. I mean he didn't sit there and research the busy day guides and extra magic hours and endless planning guides, but he did look through menu's and help decide ADR's, gave me actual real opinions on my plans, and actually suggested watching the Disney and Universal DVD's :hug2:

    So in the 2 1/2 years since I took him on his first trip I have turned him from a Disney Theme Park Virgin to someone who has been 5 times and is now slightly obsessed. And from a complete non-planner, to someone who is actually showing a real interest in the whole planning. And its great, I love him being more on board (as long as he still knows his place :p015:). Don't you just love the effect Disney can have on people :love:
  18. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    Ah, it's great that Nick has caught the 'planning bug' from you.
  19. Ariel2008
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    Ariel2008 Earning my ears

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    I know, I would have never have thought it possible :rolleyes008:

    Its a shame, were going to just miss each other twice next year, and in the same places too.
  20. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    Yeah, maybe next time - which will be for mine and WDW's 40th birthday :eek3:

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