Tuesday, July 17, 2018


I THINK I'm done tweaking everything! A few things have changed a bit...
SO here is what I have.

23 Nov – Arrival Day
I got a really good flight out, I am super happy with the time (not so much the price, but oh well!).
Southwest direct flight Manchester to Orlando
Take off 10:45 am (no need to wake up super early!)

Land at MCO 2:05.
We should be at POP by 4, hopefully.
Nice! I like it, time to wander the resort, or even head to Disney Springs before heading to bed for...

Day 2
24 Nov – Epcot Day 1

Since we are doing a split stay, and this is our move day over to Caribbean Beach, we will have to get up and out EARLY and drop our stuff off at Bell Services before heading over to Epcot. This is something I have not done before, so I am a bit concerned.

I HOPE to be at Epcot for rope drop. Head right to Soarin'. Then have breakfast at Sunshine Seasons and ride The Land.
I hope to get FPs for before World Showcase opens at Spaceship Earth (this IS the Sat after Thanksgiving, it will be busy!) and Turtle Talk and then hop on over to Figment.
Then World Showcase time. Wander some, eat some, FP for Frozen sometime in there. Just kind of do Showcase stuff until out 5:05 Akershus ADR.
After that I HOPE to get a FP for Test Track, but if not, we will Single Rider it.
Then home!

Day 3
25 Nov – Hollywood Studios Day

We will grab a quick breakfast somewhere and rope drop the park.

I am “Meh.” feeling about Toy Story Land. The coaster looks cute, and Woody's Lunchbox sounds great, but it will be a quick in and out. For me, Hollywood Studios is about Star Wars.
Tower of Terror and RnR will be in there, but a few trips on Star Tours is my goal!
Also grabbing a Butterfinger cupcake is on my list.
We have a 4:10 ADR at Sci-Fi. After that we will leave and head over to the Grand Floridian to listen to the Jazz band for awhile and check out the gingerbread house.
Then I would like to go over to The Boardwalk. I have never been and really want to see it (and try Ample Hills!). Getting back to Caribbean Beach will be tricky. We do have park hoppers, so if it is early enough, we might just go through Epcot (maybe ride something) and then catch the bus there. If it is too late, then we will have to get a bus to Disney Springs and then back to CBR. A walking path to CBR would be nice! It is RIGHT there!

Day 4
26 Nov – 4-Parks-1-Day

It is planned to be a quiet park crowd day. Our plan is to go in each park and:
Ride 2 rides
Get a park specific pressed penny
Pin trade
Picture @ icon
and eat something
We also want to do all 4 WDW mountains in 1 day.
Here is our plan:
Bus from resort to AK, get there for our pre-park opening for breakfast at Tusker, pic at the tree, ride Everest and then Dino on the way out.
Then bus from AK to MK where I will have my 3 FPs for the mountains, pic at castle and Mickey bar or Cheshire Cat tail on the way out.

Bus to HS. Ride Star Wars and FP (hopefully) Tower of Terror, pic at Tower of Terror. Cupcake or carrot cake cookie.

Then relaxing boat ride from HS to EP. Ride Figment, Spaceship Earth. Then we have an ADR at 7:55 to watch the fireworks from Spice Road Table.

Fairly easy and something I have been planning and really wanting to do for awhile now!

Day 5
27 Nov – Day off-ish and MVMCP day

Slow day with not much planned.
8:05 Kona ADR … Tonga Toast!
Nothing planned.
Might open up MDE and see what FPs we can get and head there.
Might head over to Fort Wilderness.
Might go swimming.
Might go to Disney Springs.
I dunno.
Then we have a 2:30 ADR at Liberty Tree.
Then MVMCP time!

Day 6
28 Nov – Day Off-ish

So, I can see in our future owning some DVC. So, I set up a time for a DVC tour for 8:30 am. Getting FPs and maybe a gift card are GREAT perks, and seeing a new resort is pretty cool, too.
So they will pick us up at Caribbean Beach and we will go to Saratoga Springs. It should take about 2 hours and they will drop us off anywhere. So, depending upon what time we get out I will have them bring us to Fort Wilderness or right to the Grand Floridian. I say the Grand because we then have a 12:00 ADR there for Tea! We loved it last time and I am excited to do it again.
After tea, no plans, once again. We DO have 8 day hopper tickets, so we might to the FP game again, or we just might resort hop.

The next thing we have to do is 7pm ADR at 1900 Park Fare. After eating, we will head out to the beach and maybe walk towards the Poly, and watch the Electrical Water Pageant then the fireworks.
Then hopefully monorail to MK for the bus home!

Day 7
29 Nov – AK Day

This day is very flexible until our FP day. We will aim to get there early and ride Na'vi and the Safari early one. Then wander the park for a bit.
We have a 11:30 lunch ADR at Sanaa (I plan on asking for a window table). I figured that would make the trip to the restaurant would work out best from and back to AK would be easiest. AK is not usually a full day park for us. We want to get there early, like I said, but we also want to be there at night, so the break in the middle will be a good thing.
We love Everest and Dino, so we will hit those a few time. I want FPs for Passage (I am worried about fitting since I am plus sized and hubby is tall) and for Kali (we usually go in January, so it is never open).
We will hang out for Tree Awakening, maybe watch Rivers of Light and also wander through Pandora at night.

Day 8
30 Nov – Epcot (or MK)

So our last 2 days are going to be hard, maybe changing.
On the 30th, Epcot is down to be a 5 and MK a 2!
On the 1st, Epcot is down to be a 4 and MK a 10!!
So, our current plan is Epcot for the 30thand MK on the 1st only because we have our ADRs set, and I cannot find replacement one...yet! I was thinking of doing ½ Epcot and ½ MK these days, but the 30th is a MVMCP day (hence the 2 level) so going there the second half is out and our ADR is 8am Garden Grill.
SO...here is what it looks like now...
Garden Grill at 8am. Eat then do Soarin', Land, etc. Nothing exciting or crazy this day, just seeing and doing what we didn't last time.

Day 9
1 Dec – MK (or Epcot/MK)
Crowd Level 10 scares me.
We will TOTALLY be there for rope drop and get as much done as possible before 1- the crowds get insane and 2- before out 11:30 lunch ADR at Be Our Guest.
After that will all depend upon the crowds!
We do have the Plaza View Fireworks Dessert Party, so that will super helpful with the crowds.
I am hoping the extend park hours to midnight...if they do, we will totally stay and close down the park.

Day 10
2 Dec – Travel Home

Just a travel day. Our flight takes off at 11:20, so Tragic Express will grab us around 8am.
No direct flight, just one quick stop and land home at 4pm.

I loved typing that out. I tweaked a few things as I was thinking it out to type.

ADR time!!

I got in everywhere I wanted...a couple times are a bit off, but I have 6 months to find better times!

24 Nov Arkershus 03:05 and 8:00pm, hoping for something better. I'll keep the 3:04 one if not.
25 Nov - Sci-Fi - 4:10pm
26 Nov - Tusker - 8:25am - hoping for an 8:00 here
26 Nov - Spice Road - 7:55pm
26 Nov - Kona Cafe - 8:00am
27 Nov - Liberty Tree - 2:30pm, our MVMCP night (yes, I have park ticket for that day)
28 Nov - Afternoon Tea - 12:00noon
28 Nov - 1900 Park Fare - 7:00pm
29 Nov - Sanaa - 11:30am
30 Nov - Garden Grill - 8:10am - wanted 8am...might still keep an eye out for one
1 Dec - Be Our Guest - 11:00am
1 Dec - Garden View Dessert Party - 7:30pm

Dining thoughts!

Dining Time!

I always consider doing the Deluxe plan! We have a set of “Must-Do” that make it hard to find credits to try even more places (to put on our “Must-Do” list)! Someday I will splurge and do it (and they can roll me home in a food coma), but this trip Disney Dining it is.

So, I mentioned our “Must-Dos”...

Our first ADR/supper is always Akershus. EPCOT is our fave park, meeting that many characters and getting their autographs all at one place, and those meatballs(!) all factor in to why. It is just a tradition we started for Daughter's first trip, and we love it!




Our first breakfast ADR (first MK morning) is Chef Mickey. Again, another tradition we started during Daughter's first trip. The amount of characters you can meet in one place is great! We are breakfast people, fill up to last the day! Also taking a trip on the Monorail to get even more excited for the day is perfect.

To be completely honest, I did try to drop this one this next trip. As great as it is I really want to try new places...however Daughter was NOT having it, so it will stay.



Tusker House breakfast for AK pre-park opening. Best breakfast buffet on property, hands down. We try to get a pre-park opening ADR, but the last time they changed park ours so that did not happen. HUGE selection, good quality, good characters. Then we head right over to the Safari to get on without a line. Not sure yet how Pandora will change this yet...





Last supper, Liberty Tree Tavern. LOVE the food here. It is like getting back to normal food after being adventurous the rest of the meals.



SO, that does not leave that many credits on the table to use!

So, since we added that one night, we will have 9 table credits.
Here is what we decided on to try:


Bread service.

Do I need to say more?

We like food with spice and are one the adventurous side for flavors.


Spice Road Table

See above about our palettes...

Also, I am doing a 4-Parks-1-Day day (maybe just me, maybe Daughter, too, NOT hubby). I plan on doing EPCOT last, since that is where Hubby will be. We I thought I will try to get a dining with views of Illuminations AND somewhere new.


Spirit of Aloha

We have wanted to do this for awhile. Since part of this trip is just taking if slower and enjoying more stuff outside of the park, I thought this would fit great.


Quick service-

I NEED to try Tonga Toast and since we have, at this point, used all our table service, we will be going to Captain Cooks to try the Tonga there (I know that the toppings are different between Kona and Cooks).

We will also do BoG at lunch. I think it is worth the quick service for the atmosphere, and sit down meal. On Hubby's last trip we did lunch, and when Daughter and I went last year we did supper, but without extra dining credits (2 credits when we go) lunch it is!



Other meals and snacks-

Daughter and I did the Afternoon Tea during our last trip and we LOVED it! So, we will be doing that again.



We plan on doing Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, so FOOD there!
For snacks, I want to get the Cheshire's Tail at Cheshire Cafe'. That just looks so yummy! We will stop and get a school bread, and a Croque Glacé at L'Artisan des Glaces. We plan on taking a walk over to Boardwalk, so maybe Ample Hills, or the Bakery or even a Mickey's Pants sundae!

Lastly, back in MK, I want to have a fruit and Nutella waffle from Sleepy Hollow.



Well, I think that is it for dining!

Next up...daily plans!


The When and Why and The Where and Why

The When and Why and The Where and Why


Our last 3 trips have been in January. I consider us “January Goers”, and January to be our month.
I even run a Facebook Group for WDW January Travelers.
January is mine.


Being from New Hampshire, I need it to be cool. As much as I love Disney, you could NEVER get me there between April and September, too HOT!!

Also, historically, January had low crowds, and I really cannot stand too many people!

(so cold in 2017 we New Englanders were wearing mittens!)

So, this trip...24 November – 2 December.

Yup, not January.

Why, you ask?

Well, this trip was a gift to us from my dad for Christmas this last year. January 2018 was WAY too soon and we wanted to take this Christmas gift trip BEFORE next Christmas!
So I did a little of research to find the best time where it is cooler and low crowds.

So week after Thanksgiving is it!


I am excited for the holiday stuff to be in full swing and not just winding down. We cannot wait to see the gingerbread houses and the Candlelight Processional.

We will be taking our daughter out of school. We completely believe that you can make up school time, but you cannot make up family time! She will be just starting middle school, so I am interested to see how she will do with week off of school now.

(homework poolside!)

So, where will we stay?


Always POP.


We love it there. We do the parks all day and just use the room to sleep.
We love the Standard Lake Facing rooms. So quiet, nice view, close to the pool, dining and transportation.

(2016 - room 5118 view from our door)
(2017 - room 5335 view from our door)

We have only stayed at Value resorts. I would rather spend money on more days at this point. Maybe when we are all older we will move up to a Mod or rent DVC points (or join!). I would love to stay at Beach Club, not for the theming, but the location to EPCOT (which we usually do 3 day at).
Rebekah also has mentioned a few times that she would love to stay at the Grand Floridian (of course..) and I would love to stay at a Theme Park View room in the Contemporary.

So, I think that is it for When and Where!

Next up:


Lets back up a bit...

Cast of Characters

This is me, Fran!

Times at WDW
1976, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2000, 2013, 2016, 2017

Here are some of my favorites

Favorite Park

Favorite Ride
I cannot choose just 1!
EPCOT- Tie: Spaceship Earth and Soarin'
MK- Tie: Haunted Mansion and Pirates
HS- Star Tours
AK- Expedition Everest

Favorite Character
Snow White

Favorite Resort
POP, but I dream of staying at the Contemporary

Favorite WDW Food
I dream of the Meatballs at Akershus!

Favorite Disney Movie
Meet the Robinsons and Bolt are SO underrated!!

Favorite Disney Memory
First time taking our daughter, crying when we watched the opening show at MK train station.

Also the first time I watched Wishes was SO moving!

This is John (Hubby)!

Times at WDW
2000, 2013, 2016

Here are some of his favorites
Favorite Park

Favorite Ride
Spaceship Earth

Favorite Character

Favorite Resort

Favorite WDW Food
Make-Your-Own Rice Krispy Treat

Favorite Disney Movie

Favorite Disney Memory
Toss up between...
First time we went for our Honeymoon.

Doing Rockin' Roller Coaster 3x in a row through the side door because we had celebration buttons on.

This is Rebekah (DD10/11)

Times at WDW
2013, 2016, 2017

Here are some of her favorites
Favorite Park
All, she cannot choose!

Favorite Ride

Favorite Character
Figment, Pluto, Chip & Dale...or Talking Mickey...or Goofy...or Stitch...it was hard for her to choose just one.

Favorite Resort
Though she loves visiting Grand Floridian.

Favorite WDW Food
Mickey Pop

Favorite Disney Movie
Dr Strange

Favorite Disney Memory
ALL of her last times there!​

Next up
The When and Why and The Where and Why

Next trip on the books! "Back So Soon?"

Our “Back So Soon?” Trip

Really? 3 years in a row? Craziness!
January 2016

January 2017

and soon-ish November 2018

OK...so not QUITE year, but close enough!
The Basics

Me → Fran
My full time job is managing a horse farm. Logging in 14,000 steps everyday. On the side I work a part time job at another farm and I dream about Disney...more than many would even realize or believe possible!

Hubby → John
College professor, reader, tolerater of my Disney addiction.

Daughter → Rebekah
10 (to be 11 at time of next trip). Animal lover, major TsumTsum collector, all around amazing kid and a super Disney freak like me.

23 November to 2 December 2018
Arrival night @ POP
24 Nov-2 Dec @ Caribbean Beach Resort

January 2017 - Update 2

So, I need to find my notes for what we did each day, but here is a basic write up of what our plans were.  I have also put in pictures of our trip for each day!

Travel Day (Fri 1/6) – We have a direct flight from MHT to MCO. We take off from MHT at 5:25pm (so she does not miss another day of school), and land at MCO at 8:45. We will grab luggage (don't want a knock on our door at 11:45pm!) and take MagicExpress to POP. Grab supper at food court and then sleep!

Day 1 (Sat 1/7) – EPCOT day one (hours 9-9). Wake up at 6:30 and eat breakfast in the food court. Be at the bus stop by 7:30. Rope drop Test Track then Soarin'. Ride Spaceship Earth (maybe a couple times) then maybe Energy (if open) and meet Joy/Sadness and wander until World Showcase opens. Slowly wander and explore World Showcase. Take a Boat back to Future and FP at 1:50 on Spaceship Earth then a FP at 3:10 on Figment. Next over to our 4:10 FP at Frozen, hopefully followed by meeting Elsa/Anna before Askershus ADR @ 5:30. Slowly wander out, maybe do Figment and Spaceship Earth on our way out.

Day 2 (Sun 1/8) – MK (hours 9-8). Wake up by 6:00 and get on the first bus to MK to head over to our 7am ADR at Chef Mickey's. After take the Monorail to MK for rope drop. Watch opening show then Drop order- Peter Pan, Small World, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, Splash then Pirates. Take a rest during Jungle Cruise, Tiki room then Country Bears. We have 2:00 FP at Mine Train, 3:05 FP at Space Mountain then 4:15 FP at Big Thunder. Then we will just wander until tired and hungry and head back to POP.

Day 3 (Mon 1/9) – AK (hours 8-5), Wake and on the bus by 7:00 for our Tusker ADR at 8am. After eating do our 9:05 FP at Safari and 10:10 FP at Everest (hopefully ride a few more times before and after) then head over to Dinosaur for our 11:20 FP. At some point we will have lunch somewhere, and maybe we will do the Wilderness Explores again, or maybe leave and go rest and swim. Though we REALLY want to ride Everest at night...this day is kind of very fluid!

Day 4 (Tues 1/10) – Park Day off. Sleep in a bit and a light food court breakfast. 10:30ish Bus to MK then Monorail to Grand Floridian for our Afternoon Tea ADR at 12:00n. We really want to go see Tri-Circle-D Ranch (I am a horse farm manager, I have to check this out!), so maybe monorail to MK then boat to Wilderness. Bus from Wilderness to EPCOT for a 5:00pm ADR at San Angel. Fast Passes to follow are 6:00pm Figment, 7:00pm Soarin' (the whole reason we are making a short trip to EPCOT this day, just in case we missed Soarin' last time) and 8:00pm Spaceship Earth. SLEEP!

 Day 5 (Wed 1/11) – HS day (hours 9-7) 7am wake, breakfast and on the bus at 8am to HS. We plan on being there for rope drop to hopefully sign-up for a Jedi Training Academy at a good time for our FP choices. 9:10 ToT FP. 10:10 FP Toy Story. Ride Movie. Lunch somewhere. 1:50 Star Wars FP (then ride many more times if possible). Meet Chewy and Kylo Ren, Star Wars Stuff. Supper is 6:30pm ADR @ Raglan. I was REALLY hoping for them to release dates for the SW Fireworks and dessert party, but nothing yet, so I need to move on with my plans!


Day 6 (Thurs 1/12) – EPCOT (hours 8-9). Wake at 6:30 on bus at 7 to EPCOT. Rope drop Test Track then Soarin' hopefully then be able to make our 8:50 ADR at Garden Grill. Ride the Land. FP Figment at 10. Head to the World Showcase and wander and see shows/movies we missed the other day. 5:30 ADR at Teppan Edo. FP Test Track at 7:00 then FP Spaceship Earth at 8:00 as our finale.

Day 7 (Fri 1/13) – MK (hours 8-10). 6:00 wake up, breakfast then on the bus by 7:00. Rope drop Pirates, Splash, Big Thunder, HM. Back track and do Country bears, Tiki and Jungle Cruise if we didn't on our first day. Lunch somewhere. Wander and explore and ride more, no real plan. Dinner 5:05 ADR @ BoG. Stay for fireworks, maybe a break to resort after lunch...basically another fluid day.

Day 8 (Sat 1/14) – No parks. Lots of crying. Plane takes off at 1:20 and lands at 4:10. 6:00pm Work Christmas party (yup, for real).