2014 Graduation Trip - Pre-Trip Report

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Hardy0109's picture
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2014 Graduation Trip - Pre-Trip Report

Alright guys. I finished my rough sketch of park/dining on my day off from work today and I am stoked. So here's the plan: it's my mom and I. I'm 16 and this will be my...fourth time visiting the world.

I'm flying in on February 6 and departing on February 18, although we haven't booked our flight or resort yet. We're staying at Port Orleans French Quarter for the entire trip. I will be spending 2 full days visiting USO/IOA when I'm in the area, towards the beginning of the trip. We're renting a car for the entire trip so we have easy access to get to resorts to eat. Wo

Truly, planning isn't necessary for a February trip, because the crowd calendar is at one of it's lowest points of the year. But I'm a planner, so I'm doing it anyways. There are a few spots I'm still deciding between (you'll notice the slashes, that means I'm still deciding), so if you havea suggestion, please... say it! Other suggestions and comments also welcome. Let's get this thing on the road.

Day 1 - Thursday, February 6, 2014
This is the day that we'll fly in, hopefully in the morning. The plan is to pick up our car or whatever we have to do to get that, go to our resort, drop our stuff off, and rush to Epcot, maybe get a quick swim in there somewhere, too. I'll have a reservation for Biergarten. We'll get done with that, and just wonder around Epcot, then find a spot for Illuminations, which also should be a lot easier in February.

Day 2 - Friday, February 7, 2014
I'm knocking out Animal Kingdom first. I've only been once, when Everest wasn't complete, so hopefully I'll catch a ride or two on that thing. I'll be there all day, but we will be leaving for a late lunch at Boma, which I'm very, very excited for.

Day 3 - Saturday, February 8, 2014
I'm splitting this day up because we have park hoppers. Morning will be rope drop at MK, then possibly a break before heading over to Hollywood Studios where we'll be eating at Sci-Fi Dine-In. Also hoping to catch an early lunch at Pecos Bill's.

Day 4 - Sunday, February 9, 2014
A day dedicated to Universal. I haven't done much research, so that's all I have to say about it.

Day 5 - Monday, February 10, 2014
My aunt and two year-old cousin will be visiting from St. Pete on this day. We'll be in Magic Kingdom all day long. We're going to catch the Pooh characters at Crystal Palace and certainly watch the fireworks show.

Day 6 - Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Islands of Adventure, all day long.

Day 7 - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Future World at Epcot and do everything that they have to offer there, including Soarin' more than once. Deciding between Via Napoli/Tutto Gusto on this day, although I don't believe you can make an ADR at Tutto Gusto. Lunch will be at Sunshine Seasons in Future World.

Day 8 - Thursday, February 13, 2014
Epcot World Showcase will be in store for us. Hoping to catch lunch at Les Chefs de France, which fits well since I was also considering Paris for my senior trip. For the rest of the day, we'll just be snacking around the world, as usual.

Day 9 - Friday, February 14, 2014 - Valentine's Day
Crowd calendar isn't too bad yet, approx. around 6's. We'll go to Hollywood Studios all day. I'm deciding between 50's Primetime and Hollywood Brown Derby for dinner, a decision that will likely be made by my mom, because I can't choose. I've hear great things about both.

Day 10 - Saturday, February 15, 2014 - President's Day Weekend
Surprisingly, Saturday isn't too bad either. Magic Kingdom has a 4.5/10 on the Crowd Calendar, which is where I'll be visiting. We'll do some touring before rope drop, then go to Ohana for a 10:30 breakfast. The rest of the day is sort of being left open.

Day 11 - Sunday, February 16, 2014 - President's Day Weekend
Now the crowd calendar is ridiculous. 9.0+ everywhere. I'm leaving this day open, but I'll likely end up at Disney Hollywood Studios, but who knows. I'm planning on leaving the park early for California Grill.

Day 12 - Monday, February 17, 2014 - President's Day
Our last full day in Disney, and another ridiculous day on the rowd calendar. Another day I'm leaving open for park choice, but late in the day we will be in Magic Kingdom. I'll be grabbing ADRs at Be Our Guest and then booking the Firework's dessert party for our last night. These will be the first two reservations I make, and they will be right on the 180-day mark. No risks taken.

Day 13 - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Not really planning on anything. If flight is in afternoon, may hit up DTD and go to Raglan Road, as I've heard some good things.

List of Snacks I MUST get..but I need you guy's help finding more
Carrot Cake Cookie (Writer's Stop)
Dole Whip
School Bread
Waffle Sandwich
Magic Cookie Bar (Port Orleans Riverside)
Beignets (POFQ)
Gelato Cookie Sandwich
CUPCAKES BECAUSE I'VE NEVER HAD ONE AT WDW EVER. (Where do I go? What kind do I get? Ahhhhh sooo many).

----------

So that about does it for now. I'd like to hear any comments or suggestions (ESPECIALLY SUGGESTIONS) down below. This is my first time and I feel like I've leaving some stuff out. I still have some time before 180 days, so still plenty of time to adjust. I'm outrageously excited. Until the trip I'll be living through all of you! laugh Thanks in advance for suggestions, and sorry I just took an hour of your day if you read all of this. biggrin

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taratru's picture
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Wow, what an awesome trip!!! You're hitting some definite dining highlights.

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taratru wrote:
Wow, what an awesome trip!!! You're hitting some definite dining highlights.

That was my goal! Lots of places that I haven't been able to go to/opted not to go with my complete family because we have two wee ones.

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Sounds like a great plan. I haven't had all that many cupcakes, but can recommend the red velvet ones at Starring Rolls in HS. We've tried their Butterfinger one too - it was good, but I liked the red velvet one better.

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finngirl wrote:
Sounds like a great plan. I haven't had all that many cupcakes, but can recommend the red velvet ones at Starring Rolls in HS. We've tried their Butterfinger one too - it was good, but I liked the red velvet one better.

Red Velvet is also usually my favorite. So Red Velvet it will be...plus maybe a few more (:

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Awesome plans, Hardy! Your dining choices are making me drool laugh

We'll be trying via Napoli for the first time in September so maybe we can share our perspective when we get back.

As for snacks, I agree with the red velvet cheesecake cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe. Jess speaks highly of the cappuccino cupcake at HS Pizza Planet, so we're going to try that on that this trip as well.

Have you ever tried the Zebra Domes? We haven't but VetteLover and others highly recommend. I also would suggest a Mickey Pretzel just because. mickey

If you like caramel, go check out Karamell Kuche at the German pavilion. The caramel,apple,cookie was incredible, as was just about everything else....

You can also check out the Disney Food Blog for some great snack suggestions:
Best of...Disney Snacks and Food

Have fun with the planning!

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sounds like a great trip. When you make your ADRs on day 180, you can only make them for up to 10 days. You won't be able to make your ADR for Be Our Guest that day if you are planning on going on day 12 of your trip. I suggest trying to get one for day 10 since you be in MK that day. When you can make ADRs for day 12 and you are able to get into Be Our Guest, you can always cancel the first one.

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JoAnn C wrote:
sounds like a great trip. When you make your ADRs on day 180, you can only make them for up to 10 days. You won't be able to make your ADR for Be Our Guest that day if you are planning on going on day 12 of your trip. I suggest trying to get one for day 10 since you be in MK that day. When you can make ADRs for day 12 and you are able to get into Be Our Guest, you can always cancel the first one.

Agreed. If BOG is that important to you (as it was for me!), grab the ressie when you can and make changes later. Better to get the experience and then have to rearrange the other ADRs that are not as popular then miss out. This is a graduation celebration trip before you're graduating? We went to WDW following my high school graduation as well. It was awesome, although to tell you how old I am, I'm not sure AK was open yet! At some point, you'll have to fill us in on what you plan to do post-graduation (I mean life stuff - job, school, etc!).

Make sure you're wearing your "I'm celebrating" button so maybe you'll get some gray stuff! I hear it's delicious, if you don't believe me, ask the dishes....

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It all sounds AWESOME! What a great way to celebrate!

We loved muchlove POFQ ! Make sure to hit DTD via the little boats that motor between POFQ and DTD..it's only a 20 minute ride, very calm and relaxing-it goes by very quickly! And it's a great vantage point to enter DTD from the water, especially if it's dark and all the lights are on!

We had lunch at Via Napoli and it was delicious~ I had the pizza and thought it was really good...Amy had the Parmesan Chicken which was also divine, but be warned that it's served Italian Style which means you get potatoes with it not Pasta! Apparently American's have Americanized it by offering pasta with it. eek

We also really loved Les Chef's...everything was fresh and tasty-top notch service. And the view..ahh the view was awesome! It didn't take much to really feel like you were sitting in a little nook in France biggrin

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Hi Hardy,

Sounds like a great trip--but on day 2 you have scheduled a late lunch at Boma. Boma isn't open for lunch so make it before 11:00 when breakfast closes, or after 4:00 when they open for dinner! Sanaa (at Kidani Village) IS open for lunch.

We are normally at WDW during the first 2 weeks in February and I have a few suggestions:

1. You WILL need ADRs for most of your planned meals.

2. 2 of the parks (Magic Kingdom & Epcot) will be crowded on the weekends--especially Magic Kingdom!

3. Get fast passes first thing in the morning for the rides you really want to ride.

4. For Expedition Everest, use the single rider line--you usually get on right away!

5. If the fireworks dessert party is the Tomorrowland Terrace one, remember they usually don't open reservations until 3 months prior (some years it has been only 2 months!) to the event.

hawklady313 (Patti) mickey

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Sounds like a great trip! I also recommend the cappuccino cupcake at Pizza Planet. I liked the Oreo Bon Bon cupcake at the Boardwalk bakery. The sea salt caramel from Karamell-kuche in Epcot was good too.

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JeffC wrote:

Jess speaks highly of the cappuccino cupcake at HS Pizza Planet, so we're going to try that on that this trip as well.

Have you ever tried the Zebra Domes? We haven't but VetteLover and others highly recommend. I also would suggest a Mickey Pretzel just because. mickey

If you like caramel, go check out Karamell Kuche at the German pavilion. The caramel,apple,cookie was incredible, as was just about everything else....

You can also check out the Disney Food Blog for some great snack suggestions:
Best of...Disney Snacks and Food

Zebra Domes are one of the reasons I picked Boma! I've heard of Karmell Kuche and I'll have to peak in. I've never gone in there. I'll definitely be sure to keep my eyes on DFB and read that article as well. Thanks!

JoAnn C wrote:
I suggest trying to get one for day 10 since you be in MK that day. When you can make ADRs for day 12 and you are able to get into Be Our Guest, you can always cancel the first one.

Great idea. I'd bet I can get either in February by that time, but that's just a guess. I'll definitely be trying that idea.

JMUDukz wrote:

Agreed. If BOG is that important to you (as it was for me!), grab the ressie when you can and make changes later. Better to get the experience and then have to rearrange the other ADRs that are not as popular then miss out. This is a graduation celebration trip before you're graduating? We went to WDW following my high school graduation as well. It was awesome, although to tell you how old I am, I'm not sure AK was open yet! At some point, you'll have to fill us in on what you plan to do post-graduation (I mean life stuff - job, school, etc!).

Make sure you're wearing your "I'm celebrating" button so maybe you'll get some gray stuff! I hear it's delicious, if you don't believe me, ask the dishes....

Yes. I'll have a smaller schedule in second semester, where my only real classes are honors physics, Calculus and Spanish 4, so it shouldn't be too bad to cover for the five days. I'm going to apply to Oklahoma State, Kansas, and a Florida school (probably UF). I'll be doing some sort of journalism, at OSU (where I'll likely be going) I'll be doing Sports Media, which is what I really want to do. I want to work my way up to become a beat reporter for a professional team. I'll definitely be getting the button! I've never celebrated anything at WDW!

Magic Mirror wrote:
It all sounds AWESOME! What a great way to celebrate!

We loved muchlove POFQ ! Make sure to hit DTD via the little boats that motor between POFQ and DTD..it's only a 20 minute ride, very calm and relaxing-it goes by very quickly! And it's a great vantage point to enter DTD from the water, especially if it's dark and all the lights are on!

We had lunch at Via Napoli and it was delicious~ I had the pizza and thought it was really good...Amy had the Parmesan Chicken which was also divine, but be warned that it's served Italian Style which means you get potatoes with it not Pasta! Apparently American's have Americanized it by offering pasta with it. eek

We also really loved Les Chef's...everything was fresh and tasty-top notch service. And the view..ahh the view was awesome! It didn't take much to really feel like you were sitting in a little nook in France biggrin

I don't have much off-time planned, that's just the kind of tourist I am, but in one of my last two days, I'll be sure to catch that boat for sure. Maybe catch a sandwich at Earl. Via Napoli is the one place I know what I'll be eating if I go-- pizza with prosciutto, because I love that stuff.

hawklady313 wrote:
Hi Hardy,

Sounds like a great trip--but on day 2 you have scheduled a late lunch at Boma. Boma isn't open for lunch so make it before 11:00 when breakfast closes, or after 4:00 when they open for dinner! Sanaa (at Kidani Village) IS open for lunch.

We are normally at WDW during the first 2 weeks in February and I have a few suggestions:

1. You WILL need ADRs for most of your planned meals.

2. 2 of the parks (Magic Kingdom & Epcot) will be crowded on the weekends--especially Magic Kingdom!

3. Get fast passes first thing in the morning for the rides you really want to ride.

4. For Expedition Everest, use the single rider line--you usually get on right away!

5. If the fireworks dessert party is the Tomorrowland Terrace one, remember they usually don't open reservations until 3 months prior (some years it has been only 2 months!) to the event.

hawklady313 (Patti) mickey

Wow thanks for all of this. I'll be sure to get those ADRs in, especially the big ones like BOG and California Grill, at the 180-mark. I always go by the crowd calendar to pick my parks. I'm also following touring plans for my first days at the parks, but then will just be wondering. I always grab a FP then go ride something else then come back. I still need to do more searching on the Dessert Party at MK, because I'm super interested in that.

Thanks for all the tips and words everyone!

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I'll third the red velvet cheesecake cupcake at Starring Rolls! Delish! And the waffle sandwhich with fruit and nutella at Sleepy Hollow is to die for!

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And I will 4th the red velvet cupcake. mickey

I am also a huge fan of Disney's seasonal cupcakes - strawberry for summer, a pineapple filled one with coconut, vanilla buttercream and a white chocolate bunny for Easter, a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting and candy Mickey pumpkin ears in the fall....you get the idea.

I lOVE Disney cupcakes. Oh yes, and the carrot cake cookie, of course. awesome

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Looks like you're got a great trip planned!

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And an early congrats on your pending graduation! You do, however, have to do a few more things to get out the door... wink

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disneydoc- any idea what the Christmas Seasonal cupcake will be? confused

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Magic Mirror wrote:
disneydoc- any idea what the Christmas Seasonal cupcake will be? confused

No, but I bet you could do a little digging on the Disney Food Blog to see what was out last year...it seems like they roll out a few things, such as vanilla and/ or chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icings that are tinted and decorated with holiday candies. I also think I remember seeing a peppermint icing one...unfortunately I always have leave the World just after Thanksgiving, so I miss some of the holiday goodies.

But I do remember that they had some gingerbread around, including at the GF!

I stalk those cupcakes. laugh

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disneydoc wrote:
And an early congrats on your pending graduation! You do, however, have to do a few more things to get out the door... wink

Thanks! I'll be looking for a Valentine's Day seasonal cupcake. I'm trying to fit Kona Cafe breakfast in on Valentine's day for Red Velvet pancakes...but we'll just have to see.

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Thanks Disney doc, I will make sure to note and photograph all holiday cupcakes before consuming so I can share later!

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Magic Mirror wrote:
Thanks Disney doc, I will make sure to note and photograph all holiday cupcakes before consuming so I can share later!

Wonderful, thank you! When will you guys be there again? Do we overlap at all?

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Hardy great pre-trip report. It's a good thing you're young because that is a very ambitious schedule. Enjoy yourself planning your trip.

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Hardy0109 wrote:
[
JoAnn C wrote:
I suggest trying to get one for day 10 since you be in MK that day. When you can make ADRs for day 12 and you are able to get into Be Our Guest, you can always cancel the first one.

Great idea. I'd bet I can get either in February by that time, but that's just a guess. I'll definitely be trying that idea.

Definitely be flexible if Be Our Guest is a must do for you. Take what you can get.

I was online at 6:00am on day 180. The first one I tried for was Be Our Guest for the 5th day of my trip. Nothing was available and the crowd calendar was 1.1. I tried the day before. There was an availability around 4:00 so I adjusted the time to see if there was anything a little later. The later one was too late so I went back to the original time and it was gone. I finally got an ADR at 4:20pm on the third day I tried.

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Disney Doc....current plans have us arriving on Nov 30th and leaving on Dec 7th.........

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Well rats, I leave on the 30th. Maybe if our arrivals and departures coordinate. I sure wish I could come the week you are there - Thanksgiving week is so crowded! yuck

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I posted this elsewhere, but thought it should also go here. So my mother proposed an idea for my senior trip, after I had planned this entire trip to Disney. The idea was going and seeing as many baseball games as we could in two weeks, hopefully from Minnesota to Boston. It would have been hectic and sort of a nightmare planning it. I thought hard about it for two days, looked at MLB schedules for this year to get an idea of it would work (although they will change drastically before next year). I then decided it would be hard to plan, and I might not get to see all of the ballparks that I want to.

Then I started reading more posts on the forum and thought to myself: "I can't leave this. I'm too addicted." SO..long story short..I love you all and I'm still going to Disney. MEI just sent us package details, but we are planning on waiting until September (when MLB schedules come out) to book a room, just to make sure the schedule doesn't fall into place perfectly for us.

Couple questions:

Do I have to have a room reservation to be able to make dining reservations?

Do you think it would be in my best interests to just book a room now? Or, with a trip in February, will we be good to book it in September?

Thanks everyone (:

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Hardy0109 wrote:
Do I have to have a room reservation to be able to make dining reservations?

No - Anyone can book an ADR at 180 days out. However since your room isn't booked yet, it's 180 days from each date instead of 180 +10 if you did have a room reservation.

Hardy0109 wrote:
Do you think it would be in my best interests to just book a room now? Or, with a trip in February, will we be good to book it in September?

I think either way is fine.

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Will I need that extra 180 days if I was planning on trying to schedule Be Our Guest?

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Most likely yes - with BOG that "+10" makes a difference.

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Adding a snack here: Chocolate Cappuccino cupcake at Pizza Planet in DHS.

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I'd make your reservation so that you get the extended ADR window. Just pay VERY close attention to the cancellation policy. It will cost you a $200 deposit, but that is fully refundable if you cancel before the deadline (which I think is still 60 days out for 2014?).

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