Friday, December 28, 2012

All Things Disney: Trip Notes

I polled friends and read reviews for months. I read myself silly about this and that. I fretted about where to eat, where to stay, where to go. I changed reservations a thousand times. And finally the day came to leave for Disney. And we had a great trip!

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There are things I would do the same and some I would do differently. Overall we had a great time, and I can’t wait to go back.

Here are a few of the tips I’m giving myself if there’s a next time (and they’ll be good ones for others who are planning a trip too!):

  • Animal Kingdom for a day and Magic Kingdom for two days was a perfect stay for a 4 year old. I think we may drop AK next time and add a day overall.
  • Character supper on arrival day was great! And Garden Grill was a pleasant surprise!
  • Character breakfast on departure day was also a good idea.
  • Instead of going to the park on the day of a special night event – like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – we can spend the time swimming or have a sit down breakfast or lunch. Blair begged to swim the whole time, and I had not planned for us to because I was not sure of the weather. It was 83 every day. In December.
  • Tusker house breakfast is awesome. (A reason to do Animal Kingdom again!)
  • We spent about the same amount of money without the dining plan as we would have with it. I might consider a dining plan next time, especially if it’s free.
  • Blair needs to be much older before we try the Candlelight Processional again.
  • The double stroller was a bit more difficult on the bus, but it was a dream on the monorail. Wearing Leighton at times also worked out great for lines and rides. I would definitely go with a 4 month old again. He was perfect.
  • What other kids love may not be what mine love. Blair did not want anything to do with the indoor rides/attractions (this may be hearing related?). We rode the Barnstormer over and over again. And the carousel. And she loved the characters.
  • The second week in December was perfect! Beautiful weather, short lines, awesome decorations. Great time to go!

animal kingdom 121012 001Wreath at the Contemporary.

Even though Blair is not really into movies and much television at all, she adored meeting the characters and getting them to sign her autograph book.

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A few days before departure, my sister forwarded me a link to Dixie Delights blog where the blogger had posted how to make her precious Disney autograph book. I had the things on hand to make it, so I whipped one right up. It really took less than an hour to do the whole thing, and we had a trip to the doctor planned that week, so I had it bound while we were in the city (you know, where we can actually run errands!).

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A few things I did differently from the Dixie Delights tutorial…. I used some 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 notecards I had had a long time. Then, I cut card stock in half for the cover and back. I also used Microsoft Word to lay out my book. I used the basic layout from Dixie Delights and the fonts she linked to in her post. I laminated the cover, and I had the book bound at FedEx Kinko’s for about $6.

I ended up with about 25 autograph pages plus pages for each park, restaurant, and special event. And I had a few pages left over for extra pictures.

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It turned out super cute, and I was so glad that Lin stumbled upon Dixie Delights’ autograph books!

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I printed about 50 pictures when we got home and put them in the book. It’s a perfect keepsake for Blair!

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