Third Time's the Charm - Feb/Mar 2018 PTR

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by PrincessAshlee, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    I had heard about the 4 parks in 1 day “challenge” before, but I was surprised that I was not really able to find a plan online. :scratchin A lot of the people seemed to do it because they only had one day to squeeze in all of the parks (Crazy!! :eek:), so their plans were way too busy. I don’t want to be too tired to enjoy the rest of my trip.

    I think I’ve just about worked out all of the details for our plan, so I will post more about it soon. :D


    But the food at the TS restaurants is usually better. However, I’m worried that if my timing is off or we get delayed at any point in the plan, we would have to completely re-evaluate to make it to an ADR. :sad2: Whereas with QS, we just get there whenever we get there. I think that I have found a good compromise though. ::yes:: (More about that in my next post)

    I thought the same thing when I read your PTR!! :blush:

    I think we would be able to get our money’s worth with the APs too. We are definitely going in February. Then my ideal additional trips would be Oct & Dec, but I also have May or Feb 2019 as backups. Even if we can only take 2 trips, the annual pass would still be worth it. It’s not official yet, but I think DH really close to yes to APs. :hyper:

    Me too!! I’ve started a list of places with fun non-alcoholic drinks, just in case. A lot of the “standard” Disney bars just have lemonade and no-jitos. No-jitos sound like No fun! :sad2:

    If I can find places that have drinks that at least look fun, maybe I won’t care as much that they’re non-alcoholic. :confused3 I just added Nomad Lounge and Abracadabar to my list.

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    Zingiber Fizzie and Hibiscus Henna at Nomad Lounge (Both Non-Alcoholic)

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    Seashore Sweet at Abracadabar (Non-Alcoholic and it actually comes with the Cotton Candy)
     
  2. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    4 Parks in 1 Day Challenge
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    I mentioned in my last post that we want to try to do 4 parks in 1 day on this trip. However, I was really struggling to come up with a plan. Finding the right balance between too much and too little was tricky. I needed to find some guidelines. :scratchin

    Then I came across a blog post the other day where they did a 4 Parks in 1 Day challenge. The challenge was that they had certain things they had to do at every park (ex: must ride a ride at each park, must take a picture with a character at each park, etc). Then I found another post where someone said that they did 4 parks in 1 day and they met Mickey at each park and I really loved that idea! :thumbsup2 So, after reading several different blogs/trip reports, this is what we have come up with:

    At each park, we must…

    • Take a picture with the park icon (Castle, Tree of Life, Epcot Ball, Chinese Theater or ToT??)
    • Ride at least 1 ride
    • Eat a meal or snack
    • Drink an alcoholic beverage or specialty drink
    • Meet Mickey
    We are going to attempt this plan on our second full day, so we will have already been to Epcot on arrival day and Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on our first full day. I hope that by putting it towards the beginning of our trip we won’t be too tired and I can hopefully go all day without a nap (It’s going to be tough; I really love my naps! :cat:)

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    It's going to be the Best Day Ever!!!

    152 Days to Go!!! I Can’t Wait!!!
     
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  4. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    Lost on Safari
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    Ok, I wasn’t on a safari, but you might have thought that I got lost considering how long it’s been since I last posted. :laughing: There’s so much to update everyone on that I decided to make two separate posts. My first post is more real life stuff, although most of it is somewhat Disney related. The trip planning news will be in the next post, so you can skip ahead if you want...

    So, I’ve discovered that I'm becoming a Disney Snob. :snooty: I went to Cedar Point for a day with my sister last month and for most of the day, all I could think was how terrible it was and how much I miss Disney World. :sad2: The strange part is that I used to love Cedar Point. I have gone at least once every year since I was about 5. It was something that I looked forward to every year. Then this year, I just kept comparing it in my head to Disney. I missed all of the great theming that Disney has. :sad1: At Cedar Point, they have stripped away all of the theming and stories behind the rides and now they’re just rides. The coasters are just track and cars; there is no decoration at all. To top it all off, the workers are not very friendly and the food options are limited and most are not very good. I have clearly become spoiled by the magic of Disney and I don’t even know if I will try to go back to Cedar Point again next year or not. :confused3 I did really enjoy spending the day with my sister though! :lovestruc

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    In other news, DH and I had our one year wedding anniversary on October 8th :love:
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    but we exchanged gifts on the 6th, since we were gone on our actual anniversary. Here are the gifts that I had for DH, although half of it was stuff that we already had.
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    We originally said that we were just going to get something small for each other, since the trip was supposed to be our big gift, so I got him the book. (Although I messed that up and ordered the second edition, which is completely different than the first :oops:, so I am going to surprise him with the first edition, today for Sweetest Day.) Then DH told me that he was making my gift, so I felt like I had to do something more. So on our last trip to WDW, DH decided to start collecting pin (he is limited to buying specific pins that have a relevance to our trip though, or else we would own the entire pin store :rolleyes1). So we had been talking about finding a way to display them and had bought the shadow box a few months ago. It sat in our guest room and we hadn’t done anything with it, so I decided to surprise him by making the display for him. I also collected all the pins from around our house. Also I found the happily ever after picture frame that we had bought on our Disneymoon, so I decided to have a picture printed, so that we could display that as well. :blush:

    We left the next day for our anniversary road trip. We spent our actual anniversary at Niagara Falls and it was beautiful! :thumbsup2

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    I had been once before, but DH had never been. It was really nice to be able to go there together. We also made several stops on our way back home and had lots of yummy food and drinks. ::yes::
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    We had a great time on our trip, but we both kind of wished that we had gone to Disney instead. By mid-week, DH was looking up flights to Orlando. I love Disney, but if it were up to him when we went, we wouldn’t have any money at all. :rotfl:
    Throughout the last week, social media has been sending me constant reminders of our Disneymoon last year. It is really making me really miss it, even more than I already was! I can’t believe that our trip is still four months away! It seems like forever!! :sad1:

    I was planning to finish my post-trip report for that trip, but I just still haven’t found the time. :rolleyes1 Then again, I was also going to post my wedding photos on Facebook for our families to see (they’ve seen a few sneak peaks, but have not seen the vast majority of them) and I didn’t get around to that either. :oops: Oh well, I was busy planning our anniversary trip and our Disney trip for next year. Maybe I’ll actually get around by our second anniversary.:confused3

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    If we can’t be at Disney, We might as well make our home look like Disney, right? We put out our Halloween countdown and other items that we bought while we were there last year.:hmghost:

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    We also bought a new inflatable Halloween Mickey and Minnie for our front porch. :cool1:
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    and even though we didn’t get to go to Disney for the Halloween season this year, I still needed to add to our collection, so I bought the new Mickey Light Up Pumpkin Bucket from the Shop Parks app :hyper:
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    Finally, while I was in a shopping mood (when am I not :rotfl:), I also got us some new Disney Christmas items.
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    126 Days to Go!!! I Can’t Wait!!!
     
  5. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    Best Update Ever!!!
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    The most exciting thing that happened while I was away, was that DH and I got annual passes!!! :jumping1: We are still not planning to go again until February, but I am so excited to have a guarantee that we are going to Disney at least twice next year. :hyper: Right now, we are looking at February, October, and December; although I also mentioned to DH that my birthday falls on a Saturday this year and how cool would it be for me and Donald Duck to celebrate together (since we’re birthday buddies) :donald:, so maybe a long weekend trip in June. Although I’m a little nervous about that idea, since we don’t like the heat or the crowds. :scared: But waiting seven and a half months between trips also sounds terrible. :sad1:

    Now that we are planning three trips instead of one, I am re-evaluating our February plans. :scratchin Most of my issue is with our ADRs. DH and I tend to just want to go back to a dining location that we know that we liked, but there are also so many new-to-us places that I would like to try. Currently for our February trip, about half of our dining plans are at restaurants that we’ve already been too. So in order to make sure that I get to try all of the new-to-us places that I want to try, I plan to make a big list of everywhere that we want to eat and see what really fits best in each trip. :thumbsup2 Any recommendations for places that should definitely go on our list? Also, any opinions on dinner shows? They’ve never really appealed to me before, but I’m wondering if I should give one a try.

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    In other really exciting news, I called yesterday morning and booked the Keys to the Kingdom tour for our February trip!!:woohoo: This is something that I’ve always really wanted to do, but I was worried that DH didn’t like Disney enough and he might be bored. :confused3 However, lately he has been really getting into all thing Disney*, but especially the Disney World history and trivia from the book that I got him. :thumbsup2 He seems to be excited about the tour and as long as it goes well, I think that we will do tours on each of our other trips next year as well. We are thinking of doing the Backstage Tails tour at AK in October and DestiNations Discovered at EP in December. :hyper: To make room for the tour, I need to move our plans around a little, since I have now taken away almost all of our Hollywood Studios time and even though some people say that there isn’t a lot to do there, it is still DH’s favorite park, so I really need to plan some time there. :confused:

    *Side note, I think that DH may be turning into a bigger Disney fan than me! :eek: He often talks about how he misses it, but the most shocking thing is that he used to hate the character meets and would only reluctantly take the pictures with me, but for our next trip, he actually requested to meet Chip and Dale! :cool1: We currently have a breakfast planned at the Garden Grill, but if I end up moving that then I might see if he want to go to Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long at Fort Wilderness. I went in 2014 and really enjoyed it. ::yes::

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    126 Days to Go!!! I Can’t Wait!!!

     
  6. rmw1313

    rmw1313 Earning My Ears

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    :laughing: The Disney struggle is REAL! No where else ever comes close!

    Yay! Happy Anniversary!!

    :yay: YAY for APs!!

    Twins once again! We love going back to places that we had amazing experiences at, but there are so many places to try, too! I'm currently re-evaluating our Feb dining plans too after just getting back and it is so hard to make a decision

    We had the BEST experience at Tiffins. I was putting off going there for awhile and I was blown away by it. I also LOVE the Hoop Dee Too Revue. We went our last two trips and had a blast- it really is a lot of fun and it was fun to explore Ft. Wilderness before the show started too. We are currently tossing around the idea of trying Spirit of Aloha in Feb since we are staying at the Poly..I have a few friends who recently went and enjoyed it.

    It's Andrew's favorite park, too. And I thought I could get away with a couple of hours in the morning there on this trip but I literally had to drag him out- march of the first order gets him every time :laughing:
     
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  7. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    It's Double Digit Day!!!
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    It feels like I've been waiting for this trip for forever and we still have a ways to go, but at least we've hit double digit day!!! With the holidays, I'm hoping that the next month goes by quickly and before we know it, it will be our Fastpass day!! :hyper: Which is the day after Christmas! DH has the day off, since his work counts Christmas Eve as a holiday and if falls on a Sunday this year, so they are "observing" it on Tuesday. I'm not really sure who came up with that logic, but I like it! Especially since I don't like to work when DH isn't working (since I work from home), so I'm planning to take the day off too. So I can get up nice and early to make our Fastpasses, then we can go out to breakfast, look for discounted Christmas decorations and candy, and then come home and take a nap. It sounds perfect! :cloud9:

    In other exciting news, DH's work had their annual day to request their vacations for the next year and he got approved for all of the dates that we wanted!! (My work is much more flexible and I can take off almost any day that I want as long as I have the time saved up.) So we've set our dates for all three of our 2018 trips! :cool1:

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    As you already know, we are going February 24th- March 3rd. I am very excited that they announced the dates for Flower & Garden Festival and it starts on February 28th next year. :flower:We had already planned on going on March 2nd, but our schedule for Feb 28th is almost completely open, so now we will likely get 2 days to try the festival food and drinks; which is good because "stuffing" it all into one day was going to be a challenge! I am excited to be going for the 25th anniversary (which is also the 20th anniversary of my first trip to the F&GF, although I first went in April, but I think it still counts! :rolleyes1) I have also moved around some of our ADRs and chosen a couple of new ones, but I'll make a separate post for that.

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    After our early Spring trip, then we have a loooong wait :sad: before our next trip: October 13th-20th. :hyper: This trip is only a day off of the dates of our Honeymoon which was October 12th-19th, 2016 so we have decided to call this our Second Honeymoon trip! We were soooo tired from all of the wedding planning & events that we didn't really get to enjoy our first trip together as much as I had hoped, so I am very excited to go back again at that time next year. ::yes::

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    Then our third trip is only six weeks after our Fall trip and the best part is that we will be going for two weeks!!! December 1-15!!! :woohoo: We had originally planned to go for one week and stay at the Wilderness Lodge, because I just love the way it looks when it is all decorated for Christmas. Then when I started making a list of all the Christmas things that I wanted to do and see, I realized that we’d need more than one week (this is the first time that either of us will be at WDW during the Christmas season :earseek:). So then we considered adding three days and doing a split stay between the WL and POP. However, once I started pricing things out, I realized that we could stay the full two weeks at POP for less than it would cost for one week at POP and three days at WL. Since DH already had both full weeks approved for vacation and we always want more time at Disney, we decided to go for the two weeks and only stay at POP. Then we’ll have time to visit all of the Deluxe hotels. :cool1:
    I am so excited for all of our 2018 trips!! :jumping1:


    99 Days to Go!!! 330 Days to Go!!! 379 Days to Go!!! I Can’t Wait!!!
     
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  8. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    Finally Fastpass Day!!!

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    There was wind chill of -6 here this morning. :cold: It was nice to have a white Christmas, but I am so ready for some Florida sunshine!!!

    It’s been a very busy December, but we made it through all of our Christmas celebrations! :santa: Now it’s time to get back to planning for our next Disney trip and what better way to do that, then making all of our fastpasses!!! :hyper: I was off work today, but I still got up before sunrise to make all of our fastpasses :surfweb: and it was so worth it, because I got everything that we wanted including SDMT, FEA, and FOP (on two different days)!! :woohoo:

    So, I thought this would be a good time for a trip update...

    Trip Dates? :thumbsup2 February 24 - March 3, 2018

    Resort? :thumbsup2 Disney's Pop Century Resort, 7 nights

    Park Tickets Purchased? :thumbsup2 Annual Passes Purchased!!!

    Memory Maker? :thumbsup2 Included with Annual Passes!!!

    Room Only Reservation Payment Progress? :thumbsup2 Paid in Full!!! :cool1:

    Dining and Souvenir Savings? :thumbsup2 We have $1,150 in Disney gift cards to go towards food and souvenirs. We also have $175 in rewards from our Disney Chase Visa. So that should cover most (if not all) of our food. I wanted to put aside all of our trip money before holiday shopping, but I prefer to put the money on gift cards instead of getting the dining plan.

    Airline Tickets? :thumbsup2 Purchased! We are flying Southwest again this time. We flew SW for our last trip and really liked it. The only downside was that they did not have any direct flights from our preferred airport. We got lucky for this trip though, because they started offering one direct flight each way on Saturdays and the times happened to line up perfectly with what I wanted. ::yes::

    TSA Pre-Check? :thumbsup2 DH and I talked about it we decided to apply for TSA pre-check, so that we can hopefully skip those really long security lines at MCO. It is good for five years and since we plan to make three trips next year alone, we decided that it would be worth it. We applied online and went a few weeks ago for our “interviews” (we were there for about 15 minutes total and had to show them our passports and be fingerprinted) and about a week later, we received approval! :D I have added our KTN numbers to our SW accounts and to our existing reservation.

    Itinerary? :thumbsup2 I’ve had my color coded spreadsheets worked out for weeks, but DH was having trouble following what I was talking about when I would ask if he wanted to move ADRs or park days, so he suggested that we get a big dry erase board, so that he can actually see our plans. I love it! It is great having a big reminder of all the fun we are going to have!! I updated it today with all of our fastpasses! ::yes::

    ADRs? :thumbsup2 I think that I actually may be done changing our ADRS. However, I need to go through and cancel all of our extra reservations now that our plans are basically finalized. I am also keeping an eye out for a Yak and Yeti dinner reservation for one of our days, but if I can’t find one, we may just use our Landry’s card.

    FastPasses? :thumbsup2 All Booked!! We got everything that we wanted within 15 minutes of my preferred times! :cool1:

    Shirts? I think we have decided on all of the shirts that I want to make, but I haven’t actually ordered supplies or started making any of them yet.

    Magic Bands? Still trying to decide what colors to order for this trip.

    Packing? We still have a lot of our general items (suntan lotion, aspirin, travel size toothpaste, etc.) stored in our suitcase from our last trip, but I should start making a list, so that I know what I will need to get


    I’ll hopefully get around to posting later this week with our plans with our updated ADRs and Fastpasses.

    Some pictures from Christmas:

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    Merry Christmas from the Lefflers!!

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    Disney Gifts from DH

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    Harry Potter Gifts from DH

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    DH wrapped separated all of my gifts into three themes and then wrapped them with paper according to the theme and put them in a larger box and then wrapped up that box. He couldn't find any HP wrapping paper, so he wrapped them all like this. So Cute!!! :D

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    Definitely one of my favorite gifts! This was given to us from some friends of ours. They got it from a shop that sells limited edition merchandise and items that they get directly from Disney parks and cruises! :love:


    60 Days to Go!!! 291 Days to Go!!! 340 Days to Go!!! I Can’t Wait!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  9. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    I'm totally behind! I thought I commented on some of the other posts but I guess I didn't.

    That's how I felt last time I went to Six Flags! We used to go a lot, the one closest to us holds a special place in my heart even though it's a mess compared to Disney, but we had a really bad experience at another Six Flags we traveled a but to go to and that's when Josh said he only wanted to go back to Disney and Universal :rotfl:

    :cheer2:

    Definitely try new places!

    Has he ever read any of the Jim Korkis books on Disney history? They're amazing.

    Yay! :cheer2:

    2 weeks at Christmas is the best! And we'll be there the first week!

    I love flying Southwest.

    I really want to do this!
     
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  10. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    I am still struggling with the new vs. old restaurant debate. We had planned to go to Ale & Compass for lunch one day, but after reading your review of breakfast, I'm not so sure. :confused3 I know you've said that lunch was better, but I'm not sure if I want to risk it. I know that DH would rather go to Mama Melrose, since it was his favorite on our last trip and I am excited that they brought back the mac n cheese (which is amazing!!) but I'm not sure if I will want to have steak twice, since we already have a dinner planned at Shulas... Other options that I was considering for lunch were Beaches and Cream (which we really liked on our first trip, but there are currently no reservations available) or Le Cellier at EPCOT (but I'm not sure if soup and dessert would be filling enough and would it would take more time to travel from HS to EP). :confused:

    No, but I will have to look into them for his birthday in May! He's still working on the trivia books for now.

    This is the trip that I am most excited about! I really wanted to go for Christmas this year, but there was just no way for us to make it work, so I'm really excited about next December. I already have a big list of things that I want to do, so it's good that we will have two weeks! :hyper:

    The application process was really easy. I'm hoping that using it is going to be just as easy!
     
  11. PrincessAshlee

    PrincessAshlee Mouseketeer

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    101 Things to Do Before Our Trip

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    This has been my life lately. I’ve been so busy it’s crazy. :eek: Work has been stressful and I’ve been trying to eat healthier and walk more in preparation for our trip, and I just haven’t had enough for Disney planning. :sad:

    Our trip is coming up fast though, only 45 days to go!!! :yay:

    These are our current plans, but I may make a couple of changes still...

    Day 1 – Saturday, February 24, 2018
    Flight Arrival @ MCO: 1:45pm
    DME to Check-In @ Pop Century
    PM Park: EPCOT
    ADR: Teppan Edo (6:00pm)
    FP+: Spaceship Earth (3:25pm) & Test Track (4:25pm)

    Day 2 – Sunday, February 25, 2018
    AM Park: Magic Kingdom
    ADR: Crystal Palace (8:20am)
    FP+: Pirates of the Caribbean (10:05am), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (11:05am), & Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (12:15pm)
    PM Park: Hollywood Studios
    ADR: Shulas (8:30pm)

    Day 3 – Monday, February 26, 2018 - 4 Parks in 1 Day
    Park 1: Animal Kingdom
    Park 2: Hollywood Studios
    FP+: Rock n Roller Coaster (10:00am) & Tower of Terror (11:00am)
    QS: Tune-In Lounge (around 11:30am)
    Park 3: EPCOT
    Park 4: Magic Kingdom
    QS: Plaza Restaurant (around 5:45pm)

    Day 4 – Tuesday, February 27, 2018
    AM Park: Hollywood Studios
    FP+: Tower of Terror (9:30am), Toy Story Midway Mania (10:30am), & Star Tours (11:30am)
    ADR: Ale & Compass (12:30pm)
    PM: Disney Springs
    ADR: Homecomin’ (6:00pm)

    Day 5 – Wednesday, February 28, 2018
    ADR: ‘Ohana Best Friends Breakfast (10:00am)
    AM Park: EPCOT
    FP+: Short Film Festival (11:00am), Journey Into Imagination (12:10pm), Frozen Ever After (2:00pm)
    PM Park: Magic Kingdom EMH
    ADR: Be Our Guest (9:00pm)

    Day 6 – Thursday, March 1, 2018
    AM Park: Magic Kingdom - Keys to the Kingdom Tour (8:00am)(includes lunch)
    PM Park: Animal Kingdom
    ADR: Yak & Yeti (5:30pm)
    FP+: Expedition Everest (6:00pm) & Flight of Passage (7:00pm)

    Day 7 – Friday, March 2, 2018
    ADR: Garden Grill (8:30am)
    AM Park: EPCOT
    PM Park: Magic Kingdom
    FP+: Jungle Cruise (5:00pm), Haunted Mansion (6:00pm), & Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (7:00pm)

    Day 8 – Saturday, March 3, 2018
    Check Out @ Pop Century
    AM Park: Animal Kingdom
    FP+: Flight of Passage (9:10am) & Festival of the Lion King (10:30am)
    DME to Departure Flight @ MCO – 5:25pm

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    45 Days to Go!!! 276 Days to Go!!! 325 Days to Go!!! I Can’t Wait!!!
     
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  12. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Yay you're getting close!

    Lunch was better than breakfast, so you could make it work if you wanted to but if you're at HS the restaurants there seem more convenient.
     
  13. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake DIS Veteran

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    So I’ve been neglecting to read current PTRs and just realized we are going to be at WDW the same time... times 2! I’m going Feb 28-Mar 4, then again Nov 29-Dec 9! I plan on visiting Epcot on Mar 2 if you want to have a dismeet!
     

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