Wait we're going in 54 days over Spring Break? What about planning?

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by tabrizia, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    Hi all, so I'm going to attempt a pre-trip report again. As a note, I am pretty good about the pre-trip reports and horrible about the whole trip reports afterwards. It has been awhile since I posted. We last went to Disney in January 2016. The plan was to go back in March 2018, but my husband and I ended up doing an awesome anniversary trip to the British Isles last August and decided that we weren't going to make it to Disney in 2018 after all.

    Anyways it turns out we will be going to Disney, in April, April 1st through April 7th to be exact. I will first do introductions first and then finish up the story.

    First off the family. This is a picture from the trip in 2016. They small people have grown a bit since then.
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    I'm the one in glasses in the middle wearing the Belle and Dr. Who shirt. I'm a homeschooling Mom to my 3 minions and happily married to the guy in the Olaf shirt. I love Disney and have tried to impart this love to the minions as well. I will have just turned 40, 6 days before the trip. It is going to end up being a major birthday trip for me and the minions.

    DH is the guy in the Olaf shirt. He is not going to be with us for this trip. He is staying home to do boring things like go to work.

    Now the minions

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    Minion one will be turning 11 during the trip. He likes Disney, enjoys rides and loves to hang out with his friends and family. He is thrilled to be going to Disney over his birthday. He is a bit sad his Dad won't be there, but he is looking forward to going back to Disney. I'll likely either refer to him as minion 1 or D.



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    Minion 2 will have just turned 9, 2 1/2 weeks before the trip. She is looking forward to the trip and hanging out with her cousins especially the 4 year old. I will likely be referring to her as minion 2 or E.


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    Minions 3 will have turned 7, 3 days before the trip, I did mention it was a very birthday heavy trip on our part right?, and is looking forward to Disney. He is really looking forward to hanging out with his cousin who is 3 months older than him. I'll be referring to him as minion 3 or S.


    Now for the rest of the group. The rest you say? Yes, see remember the whole I wasn't planning on going to Disney this year thing? Well the rest of the party had everything to do with my plans changing. Anyways the rest of the crew:

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    These are my parents, Nonnie and Pom and my niece little E and nephew R. E is 4 1/2 and R is 7. All 4 of them will be on the trip.

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    This is my sister L and my BIL M. L will be there for the whole trip, M will be there for the last few days.

    Everyone listed was also there for part of the trip last January. A number of others who were on the January trip however are not going on this trip.

    Anyways that is everyone. Next post will be how this trip is even happening!
     
  2. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    First off my sister has been planning to take little E and R to Disney World for R's spring break for school. My parents have a timeshare in Orlando so she had my Dad book the timeshare for their family. Family trip so I knew they were going but didn't think much of it. Anyways on Sunday my Mom called me. We've been trying to figure out something to do to celebrate my 40th birthday. We have come up with ideas but neither she nor I have gotten around to doing much more than that. We were discussing ideas again because my birthday is in about 50 days and still hadn't come up with a plan, which is fine, I figured we could always do something after my birthday. We then discussed this summer because she wanted to do a Niagara Falls trip, but it didn't look like it was going to happen. We decided to just do it with us and them and bring along any cousin who wanted to come, mainly Little E, R and an older cousin with the possibility of bringing the 2 1/2 year old cousin as well. After discussing that she mentioned she wasn't flying up here at the beginning of April like she had planned because she was going to Disney instead.

    I went, "Disney? I'll go to Disney with you!", since it is Disney. Anyways she went on to explain that M can't go for most of the trip my sister was planning to take her kids on. That meant my sister wanted another adult or two and invited my parents along. I mentioned the kids and I would love to join them if we could figure it out. She went with, "I'll talk to your sister and get back to you, but sounds good to me." Monday she called back, since Sunday afternoon/evening she was at some sportsball party. Anyways my sister thought that having the minions come along sounded fun. She just didn't want the minions mentioning Disney to their cousins because Little E and R don't know about the trip yet. Okay no issue. I then realized the trip was spring break, starting on Easter and there had been no planning done.

    My mom mentioned, it might be nice to do a character meal. I went, hmm yes, but the likelihood of that actually happening are slim to none people, It's Disney in 55 days over a super busy time and so far you have lodgings. Which meant Monday I spent time looking to see if anything was available restaurant wise, haha, yeah no. I also figured out how many days we were going to go to the parks, which parks, and what days. I decided to plan for 4 days, 2 days a Magic Kingdom, 1 EPCOT day, and 1 Animal Kingdom day. We're going to take Wednesday as a down day, unless my minions push to do a park and then I'm willing to take them to EPCOT since Flower and Garden and pay to add another day to their tickets and mine.

    I also started my Disney planning sheet. Which has changed a bit since this picture. No Legoland on Saturday for instance, we're actually leaving Saturday instead. I then coordinated with my sister to decide on 4 days and no Legoland, she had been debating between 3 days and Legoland or 4 days at Disney. She decided she'd rather get home Saturday to have Sunday to recover before school started again for her minions.

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    Yesterday evening I started looking at plane fare for the minions and me. I could find reasonable rates on the 1st, the return flights were a bit insane. I live in the DC metro area though which means there are 3 airports to choose from. I eventually found a reasonable rate returning home by going to a different airport and booked it. I figure if prices go down, haha, I can rebook since it was SouthWest and if they go up, more likely, I've got our flights done.

    This means flights for my crew are done, the rest of them are driving because they are in Atlanta so it isn't a horrible drive. We'll rent a car when we get down since we're staying offsite. We still need to attempt to find another room for me and the minions or some subset of the group because we'll be super crowded if we all stay at the condo, it is 3 bedrooms but the 3rd bedroom is not made for an adult. My Dad is in charge of that, I'll talk to my Mom tonight or tomorrow to see if he's gotten it done.

    My sister also mentioned Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique for E and Little E, I figured there was no chance, but decided we could check. Both girls would love it, so we might as well try. Anyways there was room on April 1st so the girls have an appointment that day to be princessfied. There are still no character meals available for 10 (or 11) or even for 4, since we could split them boys and girls and just send one adult with them. I'm going to keep an eye out, but I am not holding out much hope, not a huge deal since back in 2016 we went to 6 or so character meals so my kids have done a lot of them, but it is a nice way to see characters. I still need to purchase tickets, everyone is linked to my account since I organized the January trip for 18, though I had far more time to plan, so I can link them all there and do FP+ when the 30 day window opens.

    Anyways I am thrilled because Disney! I am also in super planner mode because 54 days to plan! That isn't a lot of time and I'm planning for 10/11 people during a super busy time.

    Anyways cute Disney picture added to the end just because. It is minions 1 and 2 on minion's 2 first trip. My parents were there for that trip too. Minion 1 was 2 1/2 and minion 2 was 1/2 at the time.
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  4. emilyhuff

    emilyhuff Mouseketeer

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    Hi following along! What an exciting rush to get all the planning in, in under 60 days!!!! Have you tried the Reservation Finder on Touring Plans? I mean I am usually only a party of 2 but things do tend to pop up unexpectedly!
     
  5. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    No I haven't; I might have to check it out. I'm about to update again because I have more planning done, yay!
     
  6. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    *Waves* so updates are coming.


    So on Thursday I remembered that this weekend (the 11th) is normally when ticket increases happen. This meant I called my Mom and told her, "I am spending an insane amount of money and ordering the tickets now." We had 1 adult 4 day ticket left from our trip in 2016, my cousin didn't end up coming, so I needed 4 adult 4 day kids and 4 kid 4 day tickets. I also needed 1 adult 2 day ticket. I spent the insane amount of money and shocking no one, ticket prices went up this weekend. The 4 day ticket cost went up $30, so yay we saved a bunch of money.

    My Dad has contacted the timeshare, they can get a 1 room lockout room, but if they want till 21 days out the price goes down over half. We're waiting, if worst comes to worse I can sleep on the couch.

    On the plus side we have tickets, a room that works if we can't find anything else, and we have transportation down so it is coming together.

    I mentioned the girls have a Bibbidi Boppidi Boo appoinment on Sunday April 1st, E is thrilled, Little E still doesn't know she's going to Disney. I was also able to get a character meal at Tusker House for lunch on Friday April 6th. It was only for 8, which means 2 adults don't get to go. I can get a reservation for 2 at the same time, but we've decided that the adults don't care enough. So the one character meal request is happening too. I enjoyed Tusker House when we went 2 years ago so hopefully everyone will have fun. My minions are excited about it.


    Tusker House Jan 2016
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    I also talked to my Mom today and we discussed possibly making the down day a second EPCOT day. Just a slow, explore the world showcase kind of day. We'll see how everyone feels that Wednesday, but I know my minions are up for it. In fact they have already commented, "Why is Wednesday free? We could do EPCOT again." Erm yes we could guys. We'll have to see. I know my kids would be okay with it, not sure about Little E or R. They all loved EPCOT though.

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    In other news I ordered shirts for all 5 kids today. I got them all a set of matching shirts from the Disney Store, I also got Little E and R a starting pin trading set. I also got them all adorable matching shirts off ETSY with Moana or Maui Mickey Heads on them. I really need to check my kids' stuff from the last trip to see if I need any other shirts for just them. I like to have my minions matching and themed for Disney.

    I am debating getting a sling backpack for me for the parks. With the minons being 7, 9, and 11 I really won't need to bring much this time. Bigger kids rock.

    I have the kids' options for what they want to get fastpasses for at each park we are doing. I am waiting for the begining of March to start booking them. I am a bit sad we likely won't get to do the cool Pandora rides, but oh well that just mean we'll have to take another trip.

    I am still thrilled I was able to get a character meal. I am still hoping to get Cinderella's Castle for the girls. I figure I will just book it for them and my Mom if anything ever comes up. I am not holding out hope, but I figure checking once every day or two doesn't hurt.

    Anyways other than checking shops and planning what I need to buy we are kind of in a holding pattern until it is time to book FP+. I will post the plans for FP+ for critiques in a bit. Little E is too small to do a lot of the rides with height requirements and my Mom won't ride rollercoasters so some days we are going to have 2 completely different groups of FP+ depending on the park. E has declared she doesn't have to do all the mountains because she would rather hang with Little E, which works.

    Anyways only 48 days till Disney! I am super excited. It is so weird planning so quickly. I mean I already have a spreadsheet for our trip in 2020 and I don't even know when we are going exactly yet. This whole less than 60 day thing is odd.
     
  7. rlk

    rlk DIS Veteran

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    Hi, following along. We will be there during the same time period. I really recommend using a reservation finder either on Touring Plans or Mouse dining. I found a few reservations for a party of 8 that way.
     
  8. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    Welcome. I just signed up for reservation finder for Cinderella's Castle on Mouse Dining. Here's hoping. Thanks for the suggestion.

    It is great that you'll be there the same time as us.

    On the plus side for Cinderella's Castle I just need a reservation for 3 or 4, because we're just going to let my Mom or my Mom and sister take the girls. Now I have the Tusker House meal, we've got our one requested character meal. I will likely use my Landry card for T-Rex that first night. I love the front of the line privledge that it gives you.
     
  9. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    47 days to go!

    That seems so close.


    So let's talk FP+, since we're staying off site, I get to do them at 30 days out. I prefer 60 days out for obvious reasons, but a free Disney trip is a free Disney trip, so I can deal with it.

    Our first park day is EPCOT. Here is the current plan. We plan to get there at park openning. We are going to head with the crowd to Test Track. We'll get in line ride it once. Once we're done if the line isn't horrible all the kids except Little E will likely ride it single rider. They are all old enough and it is a much quicker wait, so it is totally worth it if they want a second ride. This way I don't need to use FP for TT. E, S and Little E all want to do the new Frozen ride. I am not sure on R and D has said he'd rather do Soarin'. The plan is to get FP+ for 6 for Frozen and for 3 for Soarin' that way if R wants to do Soarin' with D he can and if he wants to do Frozen then one of the other adults will go with Pom and D. Second FP+ will likely be Living with the Land since it is one of my favorite EPCOT rides. I think the third one will be the Character Spot. The kids all love the characters and it makes it easy to see them. I have a Disney Visa so we'll also go for the character meet there. I figure we'll attempt to hit Spaceship Earth at some point. I've noticed the line tend to be better later in the morning since most people are in the park by that point. I know it will likely be crowded still with Spring Break crowds but that is still my plan. D and S also want to do the Perry adventures in the World Showcase, so we'll explore the World Showcase while having fun doing the Perry adventures I hope for most of the afternoon. The plan is to get lunch at the Flower and Garden booths. I hope to have all 3 FP+ done by noon so we can get a 4th one hopefully to Soarin', if not to some other option later in the afternoon. EPCOT is one of those parks my family loves to just wander, so we'll see how that goes with Spring Break crowds.


    EPCOT picture of D's first trip at 5 months old.
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  10. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    Okay so our second park day is Magic Kingdom. Current plan is to get there at openning at 8 and head back to Fantasy Land with everyone else. We'll hopefully be able to Ride 7 Dwarf mine train without too much of a wait and then do Peter Pan. The FP+ plans for the day at 7 Dwarf Mine train, Little E is big enough to ride it, so everyone is getting a FP for it except my Mom who will get a FP for something else probably Peter Pan. The other FP options for the day are Enchanted Tales with Belle for everyone and Buzz Lightyear Space Rangers. I want to have all FP+ done by 1 or so. Our 4th FP will likely be Winnie the Pooh, Haunted Mansion or Pirates. Probably Winnie or Haunted because I'd like to focus on Tomorrowland and Fantasyland mainly on our first day at Magic Kingdom.

    The current plan is to leave the park around 1pm and head back to the condo. We'll eat a late lunch/early dinner and then come back around 6. The park is open until midnight. I don't think Little E will make it that late or even R. E, S, and D however can. The plan it to go from 6 until the minions drop. My sister will probably take her 2 back with either Pom or Nonnie by about 9. Any of mine who are done will go with them. We have a down day planned for Wednesday so staying till closing should not be a big deal. Anyways that is the current plan. We'll see what FP+ I can get and adjust as needed.

    E's first trip when she was 7 months old.
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  11. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    So the current plan for our arrival day, I know I've already done 2 park days, we're going backwards. Anyways the plan is our flight arrives at 9:30am. Everyone else will have driven down the day before. We'll get in, my Mom or Dad will pick us up and we'll head to the room. We'll get settled and head to Disney Springs. Once there Little E and E will have the BBB appointment. The plan is for them to wear their costumes there. We'll probably try to visit the Photopass studio when they are done. The boys will explore Disney Spring while they have their appointment. After we are done with the whole BBB thing we'll probably go to T-Rex for dinner. With the Landry card I can get front of the line privledges so the wait shouldn't be bad. Afterwards I want to hit Goofy's Candy store to make a treat. I figure we'll try to get back to the room by 8 or so. That way the kids can get a good night's rest since mine will have been awake since 5, and we'll have to leave by 7 to be at Park openning the next day.

    I'm also including our rest day plans here. Current plans are a rest day. We might go to the pool. We might visit Disney Springs again. We might just hang out in the room. The last thought is we might visit EPCOT. We don't have a ticket for this day yet, we'll add on to our tickets if we decide to go with this plan, which mean we won't have FP+ and I'll have to do FP either the night before or the day of. I figure I'll just decide then what FP+ to get. If we do go to EPCOT we do not plan to be there at openning, well maybe at openning of the World showcase, but not openning for the park. We'll probably do Perry again and explore the showcase. My Mom loves EPCOT, my kids love EPCOT, I like EPCOT. It would be a fairly low key day, while we explore and just wander. Any way we do it, it will be a quieter low key day, even if we do go to EPCOT.



    Here are some EPCOT pictures from our first day at EPCOT during our 2016 trip.

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  12. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    Okay now onto our third, though could be 4th park day. This will be our 5th day in Orlando. This is also going to be a Magic Kingdom day. I figured Tuesday and Thursday were probably our best bets for Magic Kingdom. My BIL will be here so our party will be up to 10 people for our last two days in Disney and departure day. My brother in law's request was that he wanted to do Magic Kingdom one of the two days he is there. That works well for me, since honestly even with 2 days we won't be able to do all of Magic Kingdom.

    The current plan is to get to the park at openning. This time instead of rushing to get 7 Dwarfs (unless it is requested), I figured we'd head over towards Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. My goal is to ride both without FP and then go on Pirates and maybe Jungle cruise. That being said Little E's major request is to see Ariel. My E said she was willing to not FP the mountains so she can ride with Little E. That means the plan is to FP+ Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain for the boys, my sister and brother in law and either my Dad or me. Which is 6 FP for those three rides. I will then FP Ariel's Grotto and the Under the Sea Ride for the other 4 people. The last FP for those 4 hasn't been decided yet, I may try for 7 Dwarfs again, or I may go for Space Mountain for 2 of them and Buzz for the other two, so Little E and my Mom can do Buzz while everyone else does Space Mountain.

    I am not sure what we'll do for our 4th FP once we use the 3 I can pre-book. I am guessing Buzz (all the kids love it), Winnie the Pooh, Jungle Cruise or Pirates if I can get them. Maybe Big Thunder, Space Mountain or Splash Mountain if they are avaliable. It will depend on what I can get and what the 5 minions want to do. It might even be a character meet and greet. We'll have to wait and see.

    The plan since the park is open till midnight again is to leave around 1pm and get back at 6 or so and go till tired. I am figuring on leaving around 10, rather than midnight because we do plan to get to our final park at openning the next day. We'll see how it goes.

    Those are the basic plans for now. This day isn't quite as set because I need two different plans since Little E is still only 39 inches and really wants Ariel.

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  13. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    Okay here is our 4th (possibly 5th) and last park day plan. We'll be going to Animal Kingdom.

    All my kids want to ride Everest. I figure we will get FP+ for 7 or 8 for Everest. I would love to get Flights of passage FP, but I hold out no real hope for that one. I figure we'll get Safari FP and I haven't decided on the third option yet. I mean I could go for the Lion King show which everyone enjoys but generally it isn't hard getting in to see it. So we'll wait and see what to do for our third FP. If anyone has a suggestion I'm open. I need to decide on FP for Little E and my mom for their Everest as well, though I may get them Everest ones instead so the kids can go twice between those and kidswap. If it is warm we may change whatever I decide our 3rd FP is to Kali or maybe I'll just go with Kali river rapids to start and switch it if it is too cold. That might work better actually. Our 4th FP will probably be a second safari if I can get it.

    We have our character meal at noon at Tusker house this day. The kids should all have fun with that. I am not sure how late we'll stay since it is our last day. I think it depends on how much we get done during the day. I doubt we'll stay till 10:30pm when the park closes though. My kids do want to do the Wilderness Explorer activities too while we are there so we'll get to do a lot of walking to see all the trails and animals which will be fun. I really don't have a ton of plans for rides here because there just isn't a ton of choice.



    Here are a bunch of Animal Kingdom pictures from 2007, 2009 and 2016
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  14. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    45 days!

    Wow, that's happening soon. I got the stuff to make autograph books yesterday and the stuff to make tie dye mickey shirts, which the kids have requested. I need to figure out if I need to order them another shirt off ETSY and if so I should do it soon. I have started making an amazon list of things I need to get before we go. It is still weird to feel like I have no real lead time until the trip.

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  15. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    Of course right after I post things change. I called my parent's tonight, to ask a question about something not Disney related. My Mom then informs me that M is not coming at the end of the week anymore, he's coming for the first 2 day. Okay great, he still will get Magic Kingdom, his request, and EPCOT instead of Animal Kingdom, no big deal. She then mentions my niece, the tall one in the pictures from last trip might be coming for one day, Monday. Erm okay, I can deal as long as I know before I have to make FP+.

    The only major things that might change with this info is that I may end up switching the plans for the MK days. EPCOT isn't changing.

    I also got a second reservation for Tusker House on the last day for 2 because now we only have 1 adult not going to the meal, now everyone is coming on 2 reservations one for 11:50 and one for 11:55. I'm hoping we can get a big table for all of us, but if not at least two tables close together.

    Now to email my sister and see if she has thoughts about which rides M would rather do. I have 17 days till FP+ for Magic Kingdom, but I like having my plans laid out beforehand.

    step_sisters.jpg
     
  16. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    Oh I forgot the conversation I had last night on the phone with my parents. My Dad went, "What about that other park?"

    My Mom and I, "Universal?"

    Dad, "Yeah, can we do that on our down day."

    Me: "That would be $150 or so a person to get the tickets."

    Dad: "I can just take D, E, S and R."

    My Mom and Me: "You just want to take the 4 kids and you to Universal?"

    Dad: "Yeah they are easy."

    Me and my Mom: Yeah, no.

    Me: There are height limits on the rides, only D is tall enough for most of them. You can go take the 4 kids solo to Universal over spring break. It just won't work.

    My Mom: We can go at another time, that isn't spring break.

    Me: That would be great, all 3 of mine desperately want to go to Universal, we would happily go at some other point, but it isn't going to happen this trip Dad.

    My Mom: We can do it next year, when it isn't Spring Break.

    Me: Sounds good to me.


    So we may be doing Universal next year at some point with my parents. However, we totally shot down my Dad's idea to go during this trip, because yeah that just isn't going to work.
     
  17. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    43 days!

    So thanks to the suggestions up thread I signed up to Mouse Dining. This morning right after I got on my computer I got a text, there is an opening at CRT for 4 on April 3rd and 5th at 9:35pm. Okay the time sucks, but we have our off day on the 4th. I grabbed the one on the 3rd. E will have no problem with it, she is normally up till midnight anyways. Little E may have a bit more trouble, but it is available, I will take it and maybe a better time will come up later. This means we now have the Castle booked for 4, probably E, Little E, my Mom and my sister. I've been and my Dad will need a second adult with the boys. If we decide that Little E can't do it, we will try to change it to 3 and just do my Mom, E and me.

    Either way, yay. While talking with my Mom we realized the girls now have 2 cool special events and the boys have none. We're thinking about calling about the Pirates Adventure Cruise. We did it last time, but it was ridiculously cold and poor E got seasick and had to come back early. We're thinking just the boys on the 4th if possible.

    I realized that to upgrade our tickets to 5 days we are likely going to have to spend $45 a ticket (due to price changes since we bought them) so adding a 5th day is probably not going to happen. If the girls do the dinner at CRT they will want a lazy morning anyways, so while they have that the boys can be pirates. I'll wait and check with my Mom, but I'll probably try to call, or really have DH call about that this week.

    Anyways in honor of CRT here is a picture of the menu from our last trip. I can't find any of my pictures of the kid's with the princesses so they must be on the other camera.
    crtmenu.jpg
     
  18. tabrizia

    tabrizia DIS Veteran

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    37 days!


    That seems so close. On Wednesday I realized the shirts I ordered for the kids had arrived. They look great. Yesterday my big order from the Disney Store arrived. Sunday we made an order for a costume for E, another skirt for E, a swimsuit again for E, some other small things and magic bands! I know we're staying off property, but I like magic bands, they still make our life easier. Anyways the package arrived yesterday. Everything fits and looks great. Other than that I attempted to get a different time for CRT, but it was gone by the time I got to the site in under 2 minutes oh well. We also stopped in the Disney Store on Monday because we were at the mall. I didn't get anything, but I need to go back and get S new flip flops because the ones I ordered him are too big.

    I need to call my Mom tonight to see if we can get the pirate adventure for the boys still. Otherwise next week is a big week. It is both our first day for FP+ and Hamilton tickets day!

    We live in DC and Hamilton tickets go on sale to members of the Kennedy Center on the 28th! We are hoping to get tickets so we can all go and see it. All three of the minions desperately want to see it. They have been singing the song from the musical for close to 2 years now. They are all hoping we can procure tickets while it is in town.


    Magic Bands! E has the TsumTsums, S has Spiderman, D has Chewy and Porgs, and I got Maleficent.
    bands of magic.jpg

    E's Ariel skirt and Moana costume
    costumes e.jpg

    The shirts, we went with a Moana theme
    shirts.jpg
     

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