Thursday, August 27, 2009

Disney World!!!!!

Family Photo
We really ARE having fun, it's just that the sun is all up in our faces!

The night before we were to leave for Disney World, the neighbors behind us had a guest who was drunk and yelling from 7pm until 5am, when I had to get up. I got NO sleep. I'm pretty sure they were still yelling when we left at 6am for the airport. I thought, foolishly, that I'd get to sleep on the plane. Nope. I mean hello, a flight to Orlando, where Disney World is? Kids and babies. Babies hate flying. Babies were screaming the whole time. My iPod Skullcandy ear buds were pretty good but I still didn't sleep well. I wasn't sure how I was going to fare in a theme park, my first day, on so little rest. Fortunately, I had enough adrenaline running that I was able to hit the parks at about 2:15pm and I kept going until 1am, when the awesome Extra Magic Hours ended. Woohoo.

Here are a few highlights that we didn't get video or pictures of. On our first night, we were eating at Liberty Tree Tavern. There were LOADS of people celebrating birthdays. There was a birthday in our room. After everyone sang Happy Birthday and applauded, Aidan yelled out the biggest YAY I'd ever heard. My first instinct was to be kind of mortified, but then the entire room burst out laughing. Another thing happened at LTT. Aidan had asked for a root beer and was given a Coke. I told him to ask the server nicely for a root beer instead, which Aidan did. Not only did the server replace Aidan's Coke with a root beer, he gave it to him in one of the $7 souvenir cups with a light-up Lightning McQueen!

Aidan's Bonus!

Watching Aidan during the parades was SUCH a treat. I remember how I felt the first time I saw a parade, but it was nothing compared to watching Aidan see Celebrate a Dream Come True and Spectromagic.

Aidan also got to help the, well, I call them Magic Makers. They're the guys with fancy brooms that paint Disney characters on the ground with water.

Magical Characters

Aidan was so enthusiastic during the shows that he got singled out at Crush's Turtle Talk, and it was hilarious. He was next to the man who got picked on during Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so he was on the big screen quite a bit. During two parades/parties, he was pulled out into the street by characters and performers to dance, and at the end of the Toy Story Block Party Bash, he got a little Nerf ball that says "Block Party Bash" on it. He was terrified of Soarin', but when we got off, he said he loved it and said "Can we do that again???"

Garden Grill, as usual, was a pleasure. The characters there are TOP NOTCH, you get to see them tons of times, and the food is outstanding, especially the blueberry buckle. YUMMMM. 1900 Park Fare's characters were hilarious. And autographs are fun.

I watched the High School Musical 3 show, and we got to meet the $heriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood and Marie from The Aristocats. And THE FAIRY GODMOTHER!

Fairy Godmother

But you don't want to read my jabber. You want to see MORE pictures, right? Here goes!

Southwest FTW! Adam and Aidan

On the Magical Express

Daisy Duck Aidan and Goofy Me and Lilo

Us With the Mouse

Aidan and Dale Aidan, Adam and Mickey

Aidan and Stitch Aidan and the Gang

Aidan and Spaceship Earth Love! Aidan and Buzz

Here's a slide show of the whole trip, minus the Photopass pictures, which are not here yet:


And if you're still reading, I encourage you to check out this video of highlights I made of the trip (if you haven't seen it already).

About halfway through the trip, Adam said "We're coming back next year." :) Wheeee! He mentioned trying out Chef Mickey's, and I sure do wish we could stay at the Polynesian, but hey, I'll be happy with Pop Century again if it means having more money to spend in the parks. Shopping for Disney stuff is FUN (especially during the parades when the stores are pretty empty)!

OK, I guess this entry is long enough. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go and continue recovering from a busy August. I've been hit with a cold or mini-flu or something and I'm been drained. Hope you enjoyed my recap and my Disney memories! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Final Countdown!

Only 1 day, 19 hours until we're in the parks! I have finally begun packing and making the preparations. I will have two carry-on bags on the plane. One with my computer and stuff to keep me entertained during the flight, and one full of the stuff we're going to need in the parks, like sunscreen (thank goodness they make little sized sunscreen tubes), sunglasses, and empty water bottles, which we'll fill up there.

Aidan has already packed his carry-on bag. Mickey Mouse coloring book and crayons and markers and colored pencils, stuffed animals, and some books to read. Adam hasn't packed one thing! But we still have all day tomorrow to pack.

I set my alarm so we can check in early on Southwest and get a full row to ourselves. I'll put Aidan by the window. Last time we went to Disney World, Adam and I had to sit apart. Naturally, we were not flying Southwest.

Here is a list of stuff I still need to do:
- charge all camera batteries
- pack clothes and stuff (LOL)
- charge phone
- change Riley into Florida-appropriate clothing
- check in for flight

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there is more. I'm not even going that long, but there's still a lot of preparation. We're all excited, though. I think Adam may have even talked Aidan into going on Haunted Mansion!

YAY Disney World!!!

Now playing: S. J. Tucker - Hymn to Herne
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh Yeah!

Got the travel documents. That's always a good time, and it never gets old. Because you know what it means!

The trip is COMING!!

In the package, there were our documents and vouchers and everything, but Suzy, the best travel agent ever, included some surprises. She put in a Peter Pan slap bracelet, a Minnie Mouse car antennae topper, and a lanyard for carrying Keys to the World and stuff. She is awesome and I will use her for every Disney trip I plan from now on. She's like an old friend.

Only 19 days until Disney World now! Aidan and I are getting to a feverish pitch in our excitement. I've started gathering supplies for the trip. We won't even be there for that long, but I still love to plan and prepare. So far, I've gotten:
  • sunglasses for Aidan (Wall•E ones for $1.62 at The Disney Store!)
  • ponchos
  • a water mister
  • sunscreen
  • Disney dollars that are put away for Aidan ($35 worth)
I can't even believe that I'll be there soon!!! I'm so excited!

More soon! <3

P.S. Dang. The crowd level prediction for August 16 went up to 7. That's gonna suck. Oh well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Less Than A Month!!!

THEY'VE ADDED MORE SPECTROMAGIC PARADES! You know what this means? My first night at WDW, I get to see Spectromagic!


I thought for sure I'd have to miss it this year, as there were too many things piling up. But nope. I was planning on being in MK anyway, and it's a late parade, so I'm hoping it won't be as crowded. I am so excited! YAY Spectromagic! On this magic night....

It's time to really start planning. WDW is 28 days away. I've already ordered new lens filters for my camera, and I'm looking into water misters and ponchos. Adam and I have Disney ponchos from last year, but I think we should grab a little one for Aidan as well.

I've given Aidan an opportunity to earn Disney Dollars. Every night that he goes to bed without incident and stays there and is good, he earns $1. He can earn extra dollars by doing chores without being asked, and generally being a good little boy. He has the potential to earn about $50 Disney bucks. He seems excited and determined to make it happen.

We're getting very excited about WDW! :) Aidan wants to go RIGHT NOW. I do too. But there are still some things that have to happen before we can go.

We need to get our documents in the mail, and our luggage tags!! I wonder if they'll be Tinkerbell again.

I need to buy the following things:
  • sunscreen
  • water misters
  • lens cleaning cloths
  • snacks to travel with
So... every trip there are things I want to do that I haven't done before. I haven't had a turkey leg, for instance. Or pursued character autographs. (Adam and I got a Magical Moment certificate from Crystal Palace last year signed by Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet, though.) We're eating at two new restaurants. I wonder what other new things we'll get to see and do?

Then there are the things I love doing and can't imagine skipping. Things like eating at Garden Grill. Doing at least one character meal. Seeing at least one fireworks show. Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

My mind is all frenetic and crazy when I think about Disney. All the stuff I want to do, dealing with a six-year old, wondering about crowds and weather, taking pictures, having fun. I really just want to have fun.

Til next time....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Awesome Disney Family Video!

I post on the Dis boards, and someone posted the most fun Disney family video I've ever seen. This makes me REALLY excited about our trip next month!

I really hope we have a magical time. Only 33 more days!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

45 Days!

Forty-five days until Disney World! I called my travel agent yesterday to pay off the balance. Soon, we'll be getting all the fun packages from WDW, like our Magical Express tags, and our itinerary.

My travel agent, Suzy, told me that I'm really lucky we got Pop Century. It's been sold out for weeks now, at least for people using Free Dining. I wonder what that will say about the crowd level. I've been spoiled; the last few times I've gone to Disney, it has not been very crowded. It's going to be hot and crowded this time. I'm really going to have to exercise some patience, wear lots of tank tops, and use sunscreen. I also plan to wear bucket hats (or ears), and to use water misters.

Now is the time to start planning for real! I have to pull down my spreadsheet. Check the schedules. And just... have fun.

Forty-five days!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Disney Love

Fewer than 90 days!!!!

Today, my travel agent made my ADRs. By the way, I HIGHLY recommend using Mouse Fan Travel. I'd never used an agent before, but I will from now on. Not only can they quote you a package and hold it for a few days (which came in handy while waiting to get approval to take the time off), but they will proactively apply any discounts that arise while waiting to take your vacation. There are no fees to use them. On top of that, they make your ADRs for you, which is great because I TOTALLY forgot that my window opened today!

Suzy--the best travel agent ever--got me all of my first choices:

8/16: Liberty Tree Tavern at 6:40pm

8/17: 1900 Park Fare at 4:30pm

8/18: The Garden Grill at 7:20pm

8/19: Hollywood and Vine at 12:20pm

8/20: 'Ohana at 9:25am

YAY. Four character meals. Two places I've never eaten before. One good time!

* * *
On a Disney bulletin board that I post, someone asked what our favorite non-ride things to do at Disney are. Just thinking about it made me smile. And I came up with this:
  • I LOVE talking to all the different people from all over the country and the world.
  • I like talking to cast members, the ones that are probably more invisible to most guests.
  • I like sitting on the rocking chair and just relaxing.
  • I LOVE meeting characters (might do autographs this year!)
  • Fireworks. Parades. Character meals.
Just BEING there makes me happy. And thinking about all that stuff makes me think of even more things I love about Disney. Such as:
Wearing Mickey ears everywhere, and feeling left out when I don't.

And, in even more happiness, Touring Plans lowered its crowd predictions. If I am not mistaken, it will be similar to how it was when Adam and I went for our honeymoon last year. This is really good news! I enjoyed walking onto rides, and watching the parks all but empty when it rained. We don't leave when it rains. We pop on our ponchos and stick it out, because in the evening, once that rain clears up, the park is even more magical.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Princess and the Frog Trailer

Oh yes. I am quite excited. First animated classic in years! :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hours Are Up!

The park hours are finally all up. I put them into a nice spreadsheet that I got from Plan A Magical Vacation so that I can have an "all-in-one" glance at the plans for the four days we'll be at Disney World.

All the initial plans I had are pretty much blown to the water--except for the Sunday we get there. The ADRs I want for that night can still work because I was planning on being in Magic Kingdom that day anyway. Plus, they have extra evening hours which I like better than the morning hours. I will just make sure Aidan gets a nap on the plane or something so that he can stay up and enjoy the park at night.

The extra magic morning hour in Magic Kingdom is the same day as Spectromagic, which is my favorite parade. However, that morning hour makes the park VERY crowded and I'd like to avoid it. It's already going to be crowded as it is: free dining, summer season, etc. If I can avoid extra crowds, I'm in. In addition, Fantasmic, which I have never seen, is the same night!

So now, I have to once again, rearrange which days we're going to what, and really make use of the Park Hopper. Thank God I got the Park Hopper--I'm really going to need it this time!

Sunday - Magic Kingdom. Hands down.
Monday - My original plan was Epcot. Then I changed it to Magic Kingdom. I think it'll be a good Magic Kingdom day. No parades, no extra hours. I'm hoping that everyone will be at Hollywood Studios taking advantage of that extra morning hour and then just STAY there. Maybe we can hop over to Epcot in the evening for dinner and Illuminations, or even to Animal Kingdom to take advantage of the extra evening hours there.
Tuesday - This day will be crazy. Here is my dilemma. Spectromagic and Fantasmic are on the same night. So I figure this. If I can get the Fantasmic Dining Package, we'll do that. If not, we'll watch Spectro. Then hop over to Epcot for its extra magic evening hours. So, looks like Tuesday will be: Epcot, Hollywood or Magic Kingdom, then Epcot again. Somehow, we have to get Garden Grill in here, and they only do dinner.
Wednesday - Hollywood Studios is having its extra evening hours that night, but it's possible that this might be the only night we get to see Illuminations. So what shall we do? Probably some more hopping. Epcot in the morning, and then dinner there, then Hollywood Studios for their extra hours. Or Hollywood, Epcot, Hollywood.

Ah, the madness!!

Thursday - This is easy. I didn't buy park tickets for this day, so we're just going to have breakfast at Ohana and then hang around Downtown Disney or resort hop until time for us to catch our flight.

Adam is happy to let me do all this crazy planning. It seemed so much easier when planning our honeymoon! But this time we won't be there as long, so I want to take more advantage of the evening extra magic hours, and eat at all the restaurants we want (especially Garden Grill!) and somehow manage not to tire ourselves out with all this running around!

It's going to be a wild ride, but I'm still looking forward to it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Park Hours

Like many other August Disney-goers, we are anxiously waiting for WDW to post their park hours! As I said in my last post, I have many tentative ADRs lined up, but I want to make sure that I'm in the right park on the right nights for certain events. I'd like to see Spectromagic and Wishes for sure. I'd hate to miss either of those because my ADRs are not in the right park. Fortunately, my ADR window doesn't open until May 18th, so I have a bit of time, but still, I want to know now!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Meal Planning!

On May 18, the window opens for my ADRs. I like to try new places as well as stick to some old favorites. Because Aidan is coming along, it's going to be more tried and true places because he's pretty picky. I mean, really, who's heard of a 6-year-old who didn't like bread?

The new places I want to try this time around include:
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Chefs de France
  • Ohana
I also want to try different meal times for restaurants I've already dined at. For example, I'd like to try Chef Mickey's or 1900 Park Fare at dinner instead of breakfast.

The top places on my list for our August trip are:

  • Garden Grill - The Land, Epcot
  • Liberty Tree Tavern - Magic Kingdom
  • Ohana - Polynesian Resort
  • Hollywood & Vine for the Fantasmic Dinner Package.

I have a huge list of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices of places I want to eat each day. In some cases, I have a 4th choice! We will only have the meal plan for four days, but we have a late flight out on our 5th day, so I plan to treat them to breakfast at Ohana that day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not So Mini Intro

Hi! I'm back again, and this time with an intro. Most of you reading this probably came from my Live Journal or my domain, or maybe from one of the message boards I post at, so you might know a little, or a lot about me. :)

I'm 34 years old, but a kid at heart. I work as a freelance proofreader for an ad agency in Chicago, and I adore my job. I also do freelance proofreading for a university in Chicago. I'm married to Adam Selzer, a children's book author, and I have a 6-year-old son named Aidan, who is adorable beyond words. I love reading (especially), writing, eating spaghetti, collecting American Girl dolls, and Disney! I love Disney movies, Disney stores, Disney shows, Disney music. I especially love hitting up Disney Parks. I've been to Disney World three times and Disneyland twice.

I'll be taking my 4th trip to the World this August, and I'm totally excited. Adam, Aidan, and I will be going on our first major family vacation, and Adam and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I'll be blabbering on about my trip in this blog, and all sorts of other Disney-related stuff as well. Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mini Intro

Hi! I'm Ronni, I'm a Disney freak, and I wanted an outlet for my obsession. I'll be back soon with more. :)


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